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Earning extra money while in school can help with tuition and spending money. Too many hours, however, can hurt your grades. So here are the best paying part-time jobs for college students.

Most of us know that being in college is synonymous with being broke. But just because you’re taking 18 hours of classes, doesn’t mean that you can’t still find excellent sources of income in your spare time. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of 12 of the best-paying side hustles, all of which are perfect for college students.

Let’s take a look at where you can find these part-time gigs, how much you can expect to earn, and where to sign up.

Academic Tutor

You are deep into the world of academics at this point in your life. Why not turn your knowledge into income as a tutor?

Whether tutoring young children or fellow students, you can earn some serious cash by helping others in various subjects. If you’re an A student, talk to your professors and let them know that you are offering tutoring services. Then, when they have a struggling student come by, they can refer them to you for help.

You can also find jobs on websites like Upwork and Freelancer or even Care.com if you want to work with kids. Pay varies by subject level, but you can expect to earn up to $40 an hour for academic tutoring, according to Payscale.

Have experience with the GRE or GMAT, and want to offer tutoring in these subjects? You can earn closer to $50 an hour by helping with GMAT prep, according to Glassdoor.


If you want to utilize your writing skills and earn great cash on your own time, blogging is an excellent option. Freelance writing can not only pay good money, but you can also work as much or as little as you want.

Bloggers are typically paid by the article or on a per-word basis. On average, though, you can easily earn $20-30 an hour or more. Pay will depend on the client, the quantity of work, and the subject matter.

To find blogging jobs, try looking on Upwork or FreelandWritingGigs.com. You could even reach out to your favorite blog with some of your writing samples and see if they are looking to hire on new freelance writers.

Rideshare Driver

If you have your own vehicle, you could consider becoming a ride-share driver through a company like Uber or Lyft. If your school is in a metropolitan area or near an airport, this can be particularly lucrative.

Not only can you set your own hours (you can even pick up a few fares if you have a break between classes), but if you choose to work during peak times (like Friday and Saturday nights), you can earn even more.

If you want to learn more about Uber versus Lyft, and how much money you can actually make, check out this article.


If you have a flexible schedule and don’t travel much on the weekends, pet-sitting or dog-walking is a great way to earn extra cash.

Apps like Wag work a lot like Uber. Simply download the app, set up an account, and activate your availability. Then, when dog owners need their pets walked, they can choose from available walkers nearby. You get to walk some friendly pups and earn a paycheck at the same time.

If you’d rather pet-sit, companies like Rover will match excellent sitters with pet owners who need help. You can set your own hours, choose the animals you’d most like to work with, and choose job that range from a quick drop-in during the day to holiday weekend-long care.

Pay ranges based on the services provided, your experience, and your area. However, you could easily earn as much as $45 a night by pet-sitting in your own home or $20 an hour for dog walking.


Do you like grocery shopping or running other small errands? Then you can help a busy parent, professional, or small business owner by being an all-purpose helper.

Sites like TaskRabbit allow you to offer services that range from housework, yardwork, dropping off dry cleaning, and even assembling that impossible Ikea furniture. You set your own rates and availability, and can earn as much as you want on your time.

You can also use sites like Care.com to offer your services as a mother’s helper. Parents can even hire you to pick kids up from school in the afternoons and take them to extracurricular activities. Earnings range based on many factors, but you can easily earn $20 an hour or more, depending on experience and your area.

Freelance Design

If you have design experience, logo and website creation on a freelance basis can be a good source of income. Sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com allow you to post your experience, interests, and rates. Then, you can get hired whenever your schedule allows.

According to Payscale, freelance graphic designers make an average of about $30 an hour, but rates range all the way up to $60+. That’s great money, especially if you’re working from your dorm room on your own time!


Have an eye for photography and experience with a DSLR? Then photography can be the perfect side hustle for you.

You can find a part-time job in your area as a photographer’s assistant. You’ll tag along to weddings and other events as a second (or third) photographer, and may even get to exercise your editing and digital finishing skills. Since these events are typically on the weekends or evenings, it won’t even interfere with classes.

If you have the time and experience, you can even start your own photography business. Whether you offer wedding photography on the weekends, family shoots in your spare time (and around holidays), or even start a company that specializes in senior portraits on campus, it’ll allow you to earn great money and work on your own time.


Ah, babysitting… the oldest side hustle in the book.

You may think babysitting is for teenagers, but you’d be wrong. Many parents would rather find a caregiver who is older, more responsible, and has years of driving experience under their belt. In fact, you could easily earn $15-30 an hour by watching kids in the evenings, over the weekend, or even just picking them up from school.

If you aren’t taking summer classes or going anywhere over winter/spring break, think about this side gig. Babysitting and nannying can net you hundreds (if not thousands, depending on your area) of dollars a week. Parents are always looking for responsible child care, especially when their little ones are out of school.

Care.com and SitterCity are good places to start. You might also check to see if your local area has its own network, as well as check the classifieds for seeking parents.

Campus Library Assistant

Want to earn an income on campus while also snagging yourself some potential study time? Then look into being a campus library assistant.

Whether organizing books, running the front desk, or helping students with their research, you’ll enjoy earning money in a quiet, calm environment. The pay for work-study jobs like this is usually around $15 an hour, but if you can earn cash while also having the possibility of study time at the desk, it’s an excellent deal.

Tour Guide

Are you going to school in your hometown? Do you know all of the secret spots and cool restaurants off the beaten path? Are you well-versed in the architecture of your town or know the best hiking vantage points? Then consider being a tour guide in your spare time.

Through your school as a campus guide or in your town through a site like Airbnb Experiences, you can get paid to share fun experiences with others. Whether taking tourists to a fun speakeasy, guiding a canoe trip, or setting up a delicious restaurant tour, you can have fun with new people and earn cash at the same time.

Book Store Employee

College textbooks are ridiculously expensive these days. So, what if you could earn income while also getting a discount on things like books?

By working at your campus bookstore, you’ll have the opportunity to make a good income and also get an employee discount on your spirit apparel, computer software, and even school books. You’ll probably make $12-20 an hour, but the discount on your class materials will more than make up for that.

Social Media Assistant

Today’s college students are well-versed in social media channels, like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Why not use those skills to earn extra cash?

You can be hired on as a social media assistant for any number of companies. This may mean creating social media content, posting throughout the day, answering questions through the social channels, or even seeking out new followers. You can easily earn $15-25 an hour, for simply doing the things you may do on your phone anyway.

Being a college student doesn’t have to mean being flat-broke, but it also doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment in class or at a job. By finding the right part-time job that pays well, you can earn extra cash, start paying down those student loans, and still get your studying in on your schedule.

Author Bio

Total Articles: 100
Stephanie Colestock is a respected financial writer based in Washington, DC. Her work can be found on sites such as Investopedia, Credit Karma, Quicken, The Balance, Motley Fool, and more, covering a range of topics such as family finances, planning for the future, optimizing credit, and getting out of debt. She is currently working toward her CFP certification. Her full portfolio can be found at stephaniecolestock.com.

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