You may be spending most of your time studying (right?), but as a college student, you can never have enough pocket money! After all, there are an endless amount of coffees to buy in the campus cafe, ski trips to go on, and dates to pay for. But since few college students have the time to take on a full-time job, we’ve found 30 side hustles just perfect for busy (and broke!) college students.
1. Sell Stock Photos
Websites, book covers, brochures and just about anything else you can think of often use stock photos to spice up their product with images. College students who are avid photographers can sell their photos to websites like Shutterstock, who will sell them and provide the student with a commission. Go all out and pose various photos using friends as models, or simply sell photos of random objects, scenes, and experiences.
2. Start a Part-Time Photography Business
If photography is your thing, don’t just stop your side hustle at stock photos. Start a part-time photography business in your town or city! Put together a portfolio, then advertise your services to local families and your fellow students. The best part is you can choose not only your own prices, but your own hours.
Whether you attend a rural campus or a college in the bustling big city, there’s a need for babysitters. If you enjoy being around children, figure out times during the week or weekend when you’d be available to watch over a kid or two to earn a little extra cash. Decide on your hourly rate, then create a profile on websites like Sitter City or Care to find potential clients. Worried that you live in a town that’s too small in which to make good money? Print up a professional looking flyer and hand them out to your professors. After all, even teachers need a night out.
4. Give Tours
If you’re lucky enough to live in a “touristy” city or town, becoming a tour guide can prove to be the perfect side hustle for a college student. Decide what it is you know a little about (local architecture, the best local eateries, legendary ghost stories), then come up with a salable tour route. Advertise your tour on local interest websites or via sites like AirBnB. If you’re too unsure about your local environment to take money from tourists, visit your university’s admissions office instead. Perhaps they’re looking for tour guides to show prospective students around.
5. Drive for Uber or Lyft
If you’re fortunate enough to have brought your own car to college, then you can make excellent money driving for companies like Uber or Lyft. It seems like everybody utilizes these services to get anywhere from the grocery store to the airport, but a local Uber driver could do especially well around a college campus filled with car-less students.
6. Deliver Food
College kids love takeout. So do professors and just about anyone else you can think of. If you have access to your own car, take advantage of this love by becoming a driver for a service such as UberEats, GrubHub, or DoorDash. Simply wait for an order to come in, pick up said order from the restaurant, and deliver.
7. Deliver Anything Else Someone Might Need
If food isn’t enough, there’s even a market for the delivery of other things (think files and documents, groceries, and school supplies). To get on board this perfect side hustle, check out the website for Postmates. You can deliver on your own schedule using your car, bicycle, or even your own feet.
8. Haul Junk
A few years ago, an entrepreneur appeared on the TV show Shark Tank to promote his fledgling company called College Hunks Hauling Junk. Today, that company is thriving, and is a perfect side hustle for college students. Both men and women are free to apply (the “hunk” actually stands for Honest, Uniformed, Nice, Knowledgeable, Service), and work hauling junk from the properties of those who just can’t bother with it themselves. If working for an existing company isn’t exactly your cup of tea, use your own pickup truck or rent one when you need it, then place an ad for junk removal on Craigslist or local service sites.
9. Turn Your Car into a Moving Advertisement
Of everything listed on our list of 30 side hustles perfect for college students, this is perhaps the easiest. Step 1: Connect with a company willing to pay you to advertise their name on your car. Step 2: Add the magnet or mesh to your car. Step 3: Drive around. Step 4: Rake in the cash.
10. Become a Handyman or Handywoman
No matter where you live, there will be people who either cannot do simple household repairs, or don’t want to. If you have a handy skill or two, consider offering your services as a handyman or handywoman. Advertise your skills on your local services website, or with flyers at various local businesses. You can schedule your own hours and set your own rate for each task, but be aware that people are often willing to pay good money to have someone swing a hammer, install a new light fixture, or put together a new piece of furniture.
11. Start Your Own Etsy Business
College students who have a little extra time and some artistic talent can make a tidy little income with an Etsy business. Simply start your profile, then sell your homemade greeting cards, baby girl bows, crocheted scarves, or just about anything else you can think of. Not so crafty? That’s okay. Shop around for treasures at local garage and estate sales, then sell your most interesting finds on your Etsy page.
12. Become a Freelancer
More and more people are making their living as freelance writers — that is, creators of website content. If you are able to write well (or illustrate, code, or graphic design), check out Upwork, a website which connects freelancers with those who need work done. Writers can apply for each project individually, choosing their own rates and working to complete the project on their own schedule.
13. Edit Your Classmates’ Papers — For a Fee, Of Course
If you fancy yourself a decent writer, you can make a nice side hustle out of proofreading and editing your classmates’ assignments. Decide what you’d like to charge per page, then advertise in your dorm, classes, or on your student portal. If you have the time and inclination, consider expanding your services to students worldwide by becoming an editor who can be found on websites such as Essay Edge or Scribendi.
14. Write Your Classmates’ Cover Letters and Resumés
Every college student will need a resumé and cover letter sooner or later. Why not take advantage of this need by making resumé writing your side hustle? Build a couple of practice resumés (and keep in mind that a record number of employers today complain that they no longer receive well-written cover letters and CVs), then decide how much you’ll want to charge per document.
15. Proctor Tests
There’s a lot of money in testing, and schools and college students can make some decent pocket money by proctoring tests. Contact local high schools about opportunities for proctoring SATs and ACTs, or offer your services to department heads at your university. Chances are, a professor would jump at the chance at having someone else proctor their final exam or the latest standardized test. Either way, this simple job tends to require you to hand out pencils, keep an eye on the time, and make sure no one is cheating.
16. Become a Tutor
Are you especially talented at math, chemistry, French, or another subject that tends to stump others? If so, consider offering your own tutoring services! Parents want their children — whether in elementary school or in college — to succeed, and often pay big bucks for tutoring services. Be aware that this side hustle requires not only a true knowledge of a subject, but also a knack for teaching. If you can handle those two elements, then choose your hourly rate and get started!
Housesitting is an excellent side hustle that can prove to be quite lucrative. Advertise on websites like Craigslist, Housesitter.com, Trusted Housesitters, or Rover, or spread the word to professors or other families you know living in the area. Although a housesitting job may also include feeding and walking the family’s pets, the hardest part of the job may just be sleeping in an unfamiliar bed.
Often related to housesitting, but not always, is petsitting. If you enjoy hanging out with dogs and cats (and occasionally pets of the more exotic kind), build a profile on Rover and start bringing in the petsitting clients. Options for your services could include walking a dog each day while its owner is at work, petsitting overnight from the owner’s home, or petsitting overnight from your own place. Besides the benefit of spending time with animals, this perfect side hustle allows you to choose your own rates and hours.
19. Dog Walk
Not sure about spending huge chunks of time with a dog or cat? Offer only dog walking services. People who work long hours often seek help in getting their dogs out of the house. Advertise with flyers or add your profile to Rover, where clients can seek out your dog walking services based on your experience, available hours, and rates.
20. Get Hired as an Overnight Attendant
One well paying, but not particularly challenging side hustle is that of overnight attendant. Overnight attendants are often hired by group homes, nursing homes, active-living communities, and hotels, and tasks tend to include making 911 calls when necessary, answering the phone, and in the case of hotels, checking in those late arrivals. As you can probably imagine, overnight attending usually leaves quite a bit of time for studying — or at least Netflixing. Talk about easy money.
21. Offer Lawn and Gardening Services
If you enjoy spending time outdoors, consider taking on the side hustle of gardening, landscaping, or mowing lawns. Though you may have to invest in a weed whacker and mower, chances are your investments will pay off quickly. Advertise to local homeowners, and you’ll likely find that they’re much more willing to pay a college student than one of those large landscaping companies.
22. Shovel Snow During the Winter
If you live in a wintery climate, offer your services shoveling snow! Granted, it can be hard work, but it pays well. Advertise your services in advance, or wait for a snowy day and walk around a neighborhood offering to shovel driveways and walkways.
23. Offer Moving Services
College and university towns are notorious for their high turnover. People are always moving in and out. Take advantage of this turnover by offering moving services as a side hustle. While you could lend your efforts to an already-established company, you may find you’re better off gathering a group of like-minded friends to share the work. Depending on where you live, networking well and working hard can ensure money comes in every weekend.
24. Clean Houses and/or Offices
If you can handle some dust and grime, then cleaning homes and offices can prove to be an excellent side hustle. Towns and cities have dozens of cleaning agencies that cater to businesses, families with busy parents, or the elderly. However, you may find it worth your while to advertise yourself and work alone. This route would allow you to choose your own rate either per hour or per room, along with the hours that work best for you.
25. Teach Music or Sports Lessons
College students with talent in music or sports might find giving lessons to be a lucrative side hustle. You can offer lessons to young children, your fellow college students, or adults. It usually only requires equipment that you would already own. Or you might possibly rent from your college’s music or athletics department. Advertise at local gyms and music stores, community websites, and schools, then choose your own hours and rates.
26. Become a [Legal] Street Performer
Teaching music lessons may not be for you, but what about performing? Depending on where you live, performing on a busy street or in a crowded park could bring in a nice chunk of change. Just make sure you acquire any licenses required by your city.
27. Sign Up as a Substitute Teacher
You don’t need a teaching certificate, or even any experience, to make money as a substitute teacher. You do, however, need to be a high school graduate and have a clean background check. If you can swing working the occasional school day, sign up with your local school district and wait for the [generally early morning] call. Not only does substituting tend to pay pretty well, many teachers will leave their subs movies or student-led activities, which in turn leaves plenty of time for studying.
28. Entertain Kids at Birthday Parties
This one is going to take a little bit of capital, but if you’re willing to invest in a costume or two, entertaining children at birthday parties can be an excellent side hustle for college students. First, choose your entertainment. Will you appear as your favorite Disney princess? Dress as a clown and make balloon animals? Awe children with your amateur magic skills? Once you decide, advertise on local community pages, and get ready to spend your weekends partying.
29. Be a Lifeguard
Confident swimmers might find lifeguarding to be an excellent side hustle. If you live near a beach, or if your university has a pool, look into making some cash while keeping watch (and working on your tan).
30. Offer a Painting Service
Some people find painting to be a peaceful task. If this is you, then offering your services as a painter could be a great side hustle. Most people hate painting their own house, and would be happy to hire a local college student. Do a little research to figure out prices, then invest in a few good paint brushes and rollers. You may ruin a shirt or two, but you can replace those with the money you bring in.
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