The college years are great, don’t get me wrong. I’m 24 now, so those golden years are not too far behind me. I had some of the fondest memories of my life in college. But when you’re at college, with limited time and big debt, it can be very stressful trying to bring in money.
Every college kid’s dream is to find high paying part time jobs with flexible hours. Instead, what most college students end up doing are tedious, minimum wage jobs (does anyone else remember working in the cafeteria dish room? I called it the sweat shop. It’s a fairly dehumanizing experience). What made working 10 or 15 hour weeks for $10 per hour even more challenging is that you have to balance it with easily 30 or 40 hours of school work, and still maintain some semblance of a social life.
Eventually, after a lot of research, trial, error, and sifting through scams, I found these flexible income opportunities that can actually work for a student. Here are 8 High Paying, Flexible, Part time Jobs for college students…
If you have some skill as a writer you have nearly endless opportunity to make good money. While your peers and fellow students disrupt their papers and projects to work shifts that they’re stuck with, you’ll have more freedom of choice as a professional writer. And your earning potential (if you’re good) is MUCH higher and more time efficient.
I know, for some college students you’re already so tired of writing for your classes the last thing you want to do is more writing. But for others this is a perfect opportunity. You’re already accustomed to cranking out well-formatted papers on a weekly basis, you may as well get paid for some of them.
So what kind of freelance writing opportunities are out there?
If you need a guide on how to find freelance work online, I’ve written a guide based on my experience right here!
By creating a free profile on a bunch of different freelancing websites, like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com, and Hubstaff Talent, you can find dozens of writing opportunities every day. You will typically have to apply to each one, which involves sending messages to the clients looking for writers explaining why you can work well together. Not only can you grab as few or as many of these writing projects as you want, but you will have much more freedom in when you work on the projects. While you’ll still have deadlines for finishing them (kind of like a college assignment), you aren’t stuck clocking in at a specific time. You can work on it when and where you feel like it throughout your day.
The amount that writing gigs pay will vary from one to another, so don’t sell yourself short. I have been paid $100 by some clients to write an 800 word blog post. It was a topic I happened to have expertise in, which is part of why the gig paid well, but these are not as hard to find as you might think. Considering that an 800 word post takes me about 25 minutes to write, this is a pay rate of $200+ an hour.
It beats the dishroom…
The more you connect with clients for one-time projects on freelancing sites, you’ll also find opportunities for regular work. A few writing gigs a week, to complete on your own time, will far outdo most college jobs out there.
2. Marketing Through A Blog
Similar to freelance writing, you can also make income by starting a blog and marketing through it. Affiliate marketing through a blog is actually something that many Millennials are making full-time, 6 figure incomes off of. It takes a significant amount of time and effort to get off the ground in the beginning, but once you have some momentum it’s a fully flexible way of bringing in money without spending exorbitant time.
You can promote almost anything through a blog by using referral links, which are provided by most companies through their affiliate programs. These links will give you credit for when readers click on them and purchase something, and you’ll get a commission. The more readers you get to your blog, the more income you’ll feasibly produce through it.
Believe it or not, by developing a website that appeals to Google’s algorithm, pushing it on social media, and using the right keywords you can get a lot of traffic onto your blog. It eventually becomes like owning a piece of land with a billboard on it. As your blog becomes more popular to more readers, affiliate marketing through a blog can even be a sales page selling for you around the clock.
The idea of starting a blog may seem daunting, but I joined something called Wealthy Affiliate that gave me everything I needed to get started. It’s a community, a tool set, and a course all wrapped up in one, and it made launching a business blog super easy. Check it out if you’re interested!
3. Use Your Homework to Make Money
Writing isn’t the only kind of freelance work you can find online. In fact, there are a lot of different kinds of projects you’ll do for school that can make you money by doing it as a service for a business. For example, if you do projects in any kind of graphic design, creating marketing flyers, website design, coding, software development, art, or even voice acting there are hundreds of gigs you can find online.
You may even be able to submit some of the jobs you do for clients as projects for grading! Regardless, the skill sets that you develop in college may be worth paying for to a brand. Keep an eye out on those networks I mentioned before – Upwork, Fiverr, Hubstaff Talent, and Freelancer.com to see if any jobs catch your fancy.
Not only is this kind of work far more flexible than working a campus job, but the opportunities are much higher paying. My wife has been paid a rate of nearly $120/hour to create logos, paid to illustrate a book, and even picked up local art jobs from chalk drawings to t-shirt design. Other local opportunities could include selling your artwork at local art shows and coffee shops (pottery and mugs are especially hot sellers), and performing for pay at local bars.
4. Work For Your Professors
Instead of signing up for minimum wage campus jobs, you can often find more lucrative work by working for your professors. If you’re willing to work hard, and put your name out there, you can often find working raking leaves, shoveling snow, cleaning, mowing, or doing other kinds of landscaping for some of your professors.
This can be especially recurring if there are professors that you have a relationship with, or at least some rapport like a professor who you’ve taken many classes with. Business and marketing professors will especially appreciate innovative students going to the effort of starting a business, or creating a service. Don’t be afraid to pursue these potential opportunities.
You may even be able to sell a unique service to your college itself!
5. Start a Local Business
College towns are high energy places. And they also tend to have very active social media buzz. This can be an opportunity for you to build a lucrative business that is VASTLY higher paying than what most college students find available.
Here are just a few services or business ideas that you could bank plenty of cash with:
– Videography and photography of any kind. If you’re a video/media/photography savvy student, you should be making a fortune while in college. A reasonably nice camera, or a drone, would be all you need. There are enormous numbers of business and non-profit organizations looking for video and photography. You can even start by contacting some realtors to see if they want houses photographed (a drone would give you a huge edge in this department).
– Phone repair. If you have any skills at fixing a cracked phone screen (or skills at watching YouTube tutorials), you can pick up a surprising amount of money from your peers. Cracked phone screens are at epidemic proportions these days. Capitalize on it.
– Flip stuff. Even if you have no experience in fixing phones, create an ad in your college offering to buy the old phones of your fellow students. You can often flip used phones on Ebay for a very nice profit! You’ll want to do your research, see what kind of pricing seems to sell for each kind of phone, make sure the phones are in decent condition, study what keywords to use, but you may quickly find a money making opportunity on your hands! And this can apply to more than just phones. You can flip almost anything that can be sold for a bit more cash on Ebay. Check out some videos about successful phone flippers to get inspired!
– Offer any skill that you have! If you’ve got any kind of unique skill set don’t be afraid to offer it for a little cash. You may find you’re able to make just as much or more than you would in a campus job.
6. Survey Sites
Ah yes, survey sites. They make most people so skeptical, and with good reasons. A lot of survey sites are just scams that will ask you to spend ridiculous amounts of your time filling out surveys that pay you pathetic amounts for your time.
Fortunately not ALL survey sites are like this. In fact, here’s a list of 5 survey sites that I use to make close to a thousand dollars every year!
By using certain free survey sites like Survey Junkie, Pinecone Research, Paidviewpoint, and Swagbucks you can actually rack up a surprising chunk of extra change. It may not replace an actual job, but you can realistically make several hundred dollars within a few weeks by filling out surveys between emails or as a study break. I’ve done it. In the past month alone I’ve been paid out over $200 from survey sites and I don’t even hammer them like I used to.
The best survey sites are the ones where you can make money from more than just surveys. Many of them, like Product Report Card, and Swagbucks will have opportunities to try free trials, product tests, and other ways of earning. It’s easy money!
Another way you can make flexible income that pays more than a typical college job is by transcribing audio files. By joining a company liked Rev.com you can find an endless amount of audio files and video content to transcribe. You just need to listen to it, and write down what you hear.
It sounds ridiculously easy, but keep in mind that you have to be very accurate, very careful, and these files are sometimes as garbled as a fast food Drive Thru intercom. Have you ever driven up to the Drive Thru at a McDonald’s and the person on the intercom sounded like they were trying to eat an entire Big Mac in a single bite… while drowning? That’s unfortunately what a lot of Rev files will sound like, and they’re tedious to try to decipher and transcribe.
Luckily, they’re not all this way. And for a fast typer it’s not difficult to make $30 per hour as a transcriber. You’ll have to apply to Rev (or a similar company), and then do a transcribing project whenever you can or want.
Driving is one of the most popular ways that college students can earn on their own schedule. While there has been recent controversy over the fairness of pay from companies like Uber and Lyft (you have to factor the toll it might take on your car to drive a lot, after all), you can still make an AWESOME amount of money driving with Uber or Lyft in a short amount of time.
The last Uber driver that drove me to an airport said he often made $650 in a single weekend, or even a single Saturday. You won’t get this at a college job in most galaxies.
Similarly, there are new opportunities popping up that are simple deliveries, instead of driving people around. Good news for the introverts! Packages are also usually less of a liability than human beings, too. Companies like Doordash, Uber Eats, and Amazon Flex offer decent comensation for delivering packages or food by car, motorcycle or bike (these opportunities can be GREAT for someone with a motorcycle getting 70 miles to the gallon, instead of a car)
PRO TIP! Always go to Swagbucks first before signing up for any of these companies. Swagbucks will often pay over $200 as a bonus for signing up through their referral. If you’re interested, go to Swagbucks first, then sign up for Doordash, Uber, or whatever you planned to join.
Just keep in mind, these opportunities are usually only available in more urban areas, so it’s not an option everywhere.
What Are Some Of Your Ideas?
I’m always looking for more unique ways to make extra money in college. Do you have some good ideas of your own to share? Any experiences that have made you high pay, while working flexible hours?
Let’s help each other succeed!