13 Legit Online Jobs for College Students
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When I was in college, I had one of the best jobs for college students I could possibly ask for.
I was a team lead at my school’s indoor recreation center, and I loved my job.
And as a team leader, I took my job pretty seriously.
It was my responsibility to train the new employees, manage events, and make sure everyone had a good time. Unfortunately, not everyone I worked with shared my same level of commitment to the job.
At the time it was super frustrating, but in hindsight, it’s easier to understand.
College is a busy time.
Although working through college can help offset some big expenses, between classes, volunteer work, and socializing, it can be difficult to fit a rigid work schedule.
That’s where online jobs come in.
13 Legit Online Jobs for Students To Earn Money
If you’re in college and want to work but have trouble finding the time, these online jobs for students can give you the flexibility you’re looking for. Plus, working online often pays better than regular campus positions.
1. Social media manager
What it pays: $15-$40/hour
If you’re already spending hours per week on social media, why not get paid for some of that time? Almost every business uses social media and many need help managing it.
This is why they hire independently contracted social media managers.
Social media managers help build brand awareness by curating content, building relationships with potential customers, and driving new leads. Your job is to be the online voice of the company.
Get started as a social media manager by approaching local businesses and telling them about your services. Reach out to businesses you already frequent such as yoga studios, coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants.
Focus on which social media platforms you’re most comfortable with, and talk about how you can use it to grow their business and reach new customers.
What it pays: varies (some bloggers make $100,000+ per month)
As a blogger, you’ll produce written content that you share with an audience. The key to making money as a blogger is to write content that provides value to your readers.
For instance, rather than writing a personal recap on your trip to Hawaii, write a post titled “7 Things You Need to Know Before Vacationing in Hawaii” instead. It’s both intriguing and helpful.
Before you start your blog, choose a topic you enjoy writing about, and make it specific. You want to target your audience and write for them. It’s okay to concentrate on a small niche rather than a large one because you can’t always have broad appeal.
Once you have your topic, write down at least 20 blog post ideas, then start writing your first five posts. This is a good test of whether or not you actually enjoy writing on your chosen subject.
Once you’re ready to start your blog, the next step is to choose a host for your website. HostGator is a popular option for beginner bloggers. It’s not free – plans start at $2.75 per month – but it’s an essential first step.
See our step-by-step guide to starting a profitable blog to get started.t
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3. Freelance writer
What it pays: $50-$500+ per article
Don’t worry about credentials or experience if you want to work as a freelance writer. If you have good grammatical skills and a desire to write, you can do it. Just ask Holly Johnson.
She went from working in a mortuary to making over $200,000 per year as a freelance writer.
Freelance writing is a flexible and lucrative way to make money in college. And you might enjoy seeing your byline online or in a print publication. Having an online presence in the form of your own blog can help you land high-paying clients faster and serve as a portfolio for your work. Otherwise, you can get started as a freelance writer by picking up clients on Upwork.
4. Virtual assistant
What it pays: $15-$200+ per hour
Virtual assistant services range from data entry and customer service to copywriting and email marketing. The amount you can charge as a virtual assistant depends on your skillset and experience.
Specialized skills like copywriting or email marketing are premium services that pay premium rates. Businesses hire virtual assistants to outsource tasks that don’t need to be done in-house.
By hiring a virtual assistant, a business can avoid paying employee taxes (since VAs aren’t employees of the businesses they work for) and have someone experienced managing their digital marketing efforts.
For more information on how to get started, check out Kayla Sloan’s course on becoming a VA.
5. Graphic designer
What it pays: $25-$50 per hour
You don’t have to be an art major to make money online as a graphic designer. All you need are the right tools and an eye for detail. Small businesses need appealing graphics for everything including business cards, logos, social media images, and more.
If you don’t have the necessary skills but still want to try your hand at graphic design, sign up for the free Graphic Design Basics course on Skillshare. This class is a short overview of the fundamentals of visual design. After you’ve got the basics down, consider a more detailed course like Graphic Design for Beginners Part 1. This course goes more in-depth about how to apply the principles of design to real-world projects.
Once you’re ready to get started, reach out to small businesses in your area. Let them know what services you offer (business cards, branding, flyer design, etc.) and how you can help them increase brand awareness. Bring a sample of your work.
Many bloggers use freelance designers for Pinterest image creation and other social media images. Email your favorites or any friends who blog and see if they could use your new skills. 99designs and freelance sites like Upwork are also promising sources for freelance designers.
What it pays: $10-$45 per hour
If you have an eye for spotting grammar and punctuation mistakes, consider working as a proofreader. It’s one of the best online jobs for college students since you’re using your proofreading skills all the time anyway.
Editing and proofreading are two very different things. Editing involves restructuring, deleting, and adding content, whereas proofreading is checking for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors. It’s the final stage right before a piece of content is published.
Interested? Check out Proofread Anywhere, for some free seven-day courses. The courses’ creator, Caitlyn Pyle, started her own proofreading business and used it to make a living online to fund her travels.
7. Resume writer
What it pays: $50-$75 per resume/$10-$25 per hour
Online jobs for college students don’t typically expect tons of background and experience on our resumes, but that doesn’t mean your resume shouldn’t stand out.
You can take some free workshops and learn how to create a killer resume. If it lands you a prestigious job or internship, your friends might hire you to work on theirs.
This can turn into a lucrative side hustle if you take advantage of free resources to help build your skills, like school workshops or this resume writing class on SkillShare.
The easiest way to start offering your resume writing services is through freelance sites like Upwork or Freelancer. You can even ask around in your friend circle and see who’s looking for a job or summer internship.
It may not be completely online, but it’s faster than freelancing and has less competition.
What it pays: $14-$20+ per hour
Teaching or tutoring online can allow you to quit full-time work and work online jobs from home instead.
The best part about tutoring is that you’re reinforcing what you’ve already learned, so if you tutor subjects in your major, it’s like getting paid to study.
But if you need a break from school, you can tutor in your other areas of expertise, like an instrument or sport. You can advertise those services on social media, in student centers, or in the community around your school.
If you want to start offering your tutoring services online, here are the best places to start:
- VIPKid – only available to graduate students since you need a bachelor’s degree; pay is $14-$22 per hour
- Wyzant – tutors set their own rates
- Chegg – tutors start at $20 per hour
9. Web developer
What it pays: $20-$75 per hour
Regardless of your major, you can build up a side hustle as a web developer. If you have minimal skills, you can get started by taking The Complete Web Developer Course (currently $10.99) on Udemy.
This course will teach you everything you need to know to start booking clients, and can pay for itself in as little as a week. Of course, one class won’t make you a professional coder, but you will get a good foundation and the confidence to take on your first clients.
For new web developers, it’s best to start with smaller projects. Most of the work I did was editing existing websites rather than building new ones.
The main things to learn are the most popular languages (and WordPress) and how they work together to form a website.
You can begin by bidding on projects on PeoplePerHour, Upwork, and Freelancer. Good web developers are always in high demand.
10. Survey taker
What it pays: $0.10-$20 per survey
Surveys aren’t always the most fun gig, but they are one of the easiest.
Survey sites collect consumer data that companies use to improve their products. That’s why they’re so eager to pay regular people for their opinions.
In just a few minutes a day, you can make a decent side income with paid online surveys.
One of our favorites is Swagbucks because of the many different ways to earn including watching videos, taking surveys, playing games, browsing the web, and more.
To get started as a survey taker, create an account for each site you plan to use. Since you won’t be eligible for every survey, you’ll earn more by signing up with several sites (Survey Junkie is another favorite).
11. Search engine evaluator
What it pays: $12-$15 per hour
Google isn’t always perfect. That’s why it, and other search engines, relies on real people to provide feedback on the relevance and usefulness of their results.
These types of online jobs for college students usually range between 10 to 30 hours per week and can easily work around a busy college schedule.
Find search engine evaluator jobs on:
12. Fiverr gigs
What it pays: $5-$995 per gig
Five dollars doesn’t sound like much, but for tasks that take just a few minutes of your time, it adds up fast. If you have special skills, you can charge more.
Projects on Fiverr range from $5 to $995, and you can offer three versions of your services at three different price points. Many Fiverr sellers have turned it into their full-time gig, while others use it to make money on the side.
Services available on Fiverr include everything you can imagine including writing, web development, and graphic design.
You can also do something unique or wacky like prank calls or celebrity impressions.
13. Data entry
What it pays: $10-$17 per hour
Data entry online jobs are relatively stress-free and don’t require any specialized skills, which makes them great online jobs for college students who don’t want a serious commitment.
Check out these websites for data entry online jobs:
Online Jobs for College Students are the Perfect Flexible Side Hustle
Working online is the best setup for most college students, and you don’t always need any experience to succeed. The gigs are flexible, usually pay better than campus and other brick-and-mortar jobs, and you don’t have to work on your holiday break.
If you find something you’re really passionate about, you could even turn your college side gig into your full-time career.