> > 35 Best Side Hustles For College Students in 2024

35 Best Side Hustles For College Students in 2024

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There’s no point denying it: College life comes with financial challenges. From tuition fees and textbooks to living expenses and the occasional night out, college students spend a lot of money each semester. 

In fact, the average college student now has a debt of over $30,000 for their BA. Plus, since studying and coursework are so demanding (not to mention extracurriculars), it’s often impossible to squeeze in a part-time job for extra cash

Luckily, there are plenty of flexible side hustles to help college students to chip away at their expenses. No matter your major, adding one of these side hustles to your routine will help bring in extra money while pursuing your academic career. 


Freelance Side Hustles for College Students

Freelance side hustles are the perfect fit for a college student’s hectic lifestyle. Since “freelancing” means you get to set the terms for your side hustle, you’re in control of how much work you take on at any given time. 

1. Proofreading

Even if you’re not an English major, you’ll have to do a lot of reading and writing while in college. As you hone your grammar and style skills, consider earning side cash proofreading other people’s papers for errors and inconsistencies. Whether you want to read through a fellow student’s thesis or work with clients interested in their resumes, eBooks, or cover letters, proofreading is an excellent opportunity if you’re great at reading and revising. 

Pay: ZipRecruiter suggests the average salary for proofreading is around $22 per hour, but the amount you could make depends on various factors like experience, the complexity of the documents, and the client’s budget. 

How to Get Started: The simplest way to get started proofreading is to offer your services on freelancer sites like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. If you need help building your proofreading portfolio, consider signing up for a professional online course for more expert tips.  

Proofreading Side Hustle For College Students
Source: Upwork

2. Become a Virtual Assistant

To be a successful college student, you need superstar organizational and time management skills. As you get better at managing your schedule, consider helping others for a profit as a virtual assistant. In this side hustle, you’ll help clients with tasks such as responding to emails, appointment scheduling, and data entry, all from the comfort of your dorm room. As long as you have a stable Internet connection and are on top of all your timetables, this is a flexible way to earn some side cash.  

Pay: Indeed suggests the average salary for a professional virtual assistant is $24.66 per hour, but ZipRecruiter puts this figure slightly higher at $34 per hour. However, as a beginner VA, you may only make about $15 per hour till you gain more experience. 

How to Get Started: There are no special accreditations you need to apply for virtual assistant roles, so you can get started right away on freelancer sites like Fiverr and Upwork. You could also ask around campus or offer services on professional networking sites like LinkedIn for more opportunities.

If you’re new to applying for virtual assistant jobs, consider taking a pro course like Fully Booked VA to understand how to succeed in this profession. 

3. Social Media Management

Be honest: You’ve probably spent too much time scrolling through social media rather than working on your essay. Hey, no judgment; we’ve all been there! In fact, so many people are on social media nowadays that businesses pay big money for people with the skills to manage their profiles.

If you’re skilled with social media platforms like TikTok or Instagram, you could earn side money as a social media manager. In this role, you’ll follow the latest trends, post engaging content, and measure the impact of your client’s social media efforts. While this opportunity is great for all college students, it’s particularly beneficial for those interested in communications, public relations, and advertising. 

Pay: Social media management is a relatively new profession, so there’s not much data on how much an “average” salary is. However, ZipRecruiter suggests professional social media managers make an average of $31 per hour

How to Get Started: You could look for social media management positions on job boards like Indeed or freelancer sites like Upwork and Fiverr. However, before applying for these roles, consider taking an online course on social media management for professional accreditation.

For instance, Coursera has social media management courses taught by instructors from Meta, which should give you a great headstart jumping into this field. 

4. Transcriptionist

Developing your creativity and critical thinking skills in college is crucial, but transcription is one side hustle that doesn’t require much “brain strain.” All you need to do in this role is listen to audio files and convert them into written text. Since this job is super easy and relatively “mindless,” it’s a great way to earn some side money if you need a break from memorization, experimentation, and idea generation.

Pay: According to ZipRecruiter, you should expect to make about $17 per hour as a transcriptionist.  

How to Get Started: Although you can find transcriptionist opportunities on Fiverr and Upwork, there are a few transcriber-specific websites. For instance, TranscribeMe and Rev are two platforms to check out for this kind of work. You could also take a course like Transcribe Anywhere for pro tips on making the most of this side hustle. 

5. Freelance Writing

Unlike transcription, freelance writing is an intellectually stimulating side hustle where you can show off your creativity. Whether you’re interested in blog posts, fact-based articles, or academic content, freelance writing allows you to use your writing skills to earn side money. As you continue writing and revising for clients, you’ll not only build your income stream, but you’ll probably notice a bump in your grades thanks to all the “prose practice.”

Pay: ZipRecruiter estimates professional freelance writers make $29 per hour, but many of these gigs pay per word rather than for a set timeframe. For instance, you may get paid between $0.02 – $0.05 per word for your first couple of gigs before graduating to higher rates as you gain more expertise.

Experience writers can earn anywhere between $0.25 to $1.25 per word. 

How to Get Started: You could start as a freelance writer by making connections at college and asking if any groups or students have writing projects they need help with. You could also sign up for freelancer sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer to find writing gigs in the fields and genres you’re most interested in.

For pro tips on getting started with freelance writing work, consider taking a course like the Earn More Writing School to put you on the right track. 

LinkedIn Freelance Writing As A Side Hustle
Source: LinkedIn

6. Graphic Design

If you have a flair for visual media and proficiency with tools like Adobe Creative Cloud, you already have the skills for a graphic design side hustle.

In this creative side gig, you’ll design logos, promotional materials, or digital art for clients interested in growing their branding and online presence. Any students already studying related topics like advertising or web design can easily give their portfolios a boost with all the work they accomplish as graphic designers. 

Pay: Indeed data suggests professional graphic designers typically make $21.36 per hour, but the US Bureau of Labor Statistics puts this rate higher at $31.01 per hour

How to Get Started: First off, you need to hone your skills on platforms like Adobe Creative Cloud, Figma, and Canva with plenty of study and practice. After you feel confident with your preferred design platform, build a portfolio of digital art and display it on a private website or on platforms like Behance to showcase your skills and generate leads.

If you don’t get graphic design gigs via word-of-mouth, look for opportunities on sites like Upwork, Fiverr, or 99designs

7. Online Tutoring

If you have a desire to go into education, it makes sense to start gaining experience (and some side cash) with online tutoring side hustles. Whatever age group or subject you’re interested in tutoring, plenty of online education platforms help put you in touch with students. You could also offer test prep help for students gearing up for AP tests, SATs, or ACTs rather than tutoring in one subject. 

Pay: How much you earn from tutoring depends on your skill level and the demand for your course, but ZipRecruiter suggests online tutors typically make $18 per hour

How to Get Started: You could start offering tutoring services to friends, acquaintances, or family members to get your first real-world experience before moving on to other professional opportunities.

While you could find tutoring gigs on sites like Fiverr and Upwork, consider sticking with tutor-specific sites like Varsity Tutors or Wyzant for more tailored options. 

8. Web Development

Web developers are the architects behind the software applications we all know and love. Since digital tools have become indispensable in modern life, it makes sense that web development side gigs are some of the most lucrative — but also the most demanding — for college students.

You need some serious tech-savvy to get involved in web development, but these skills will set you up nicely for a high-paying career. So, if you have skills with frontend, backend, or full-stack development, start looking for web development opportunities.  

Pay: Per Indeed’s data, professional web developers make an average yearly salary of $81,661. ZipRecruiter also estimates web developers make roughly $41 per hour

How to Get Started: To start, master the basic subjects like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with coursework either on campus or with online resources like Codecademy, freeCodeCamp, and W3Schools. Although you don’t need to progress further than this to start working in web development, it always helps to build on your knowledge in more specialized areas.

When you’re ready, start working on personal projects or contribute to open-source projects to expand your professional experience and portfolio. You could also look for gigs on freelancer sites like Upwork and Fiverr or seek part-time positions with local businesses in need of web development services. 


Online Side Hustles for College Students

The Internet has opened new doors for higher education, and it’s also connecting college students with many lucrative side hustle opportunities. Use the web to your advantage to grab some side cash in between your classes and study sessions. 

9. Complete Online Surveys

Taking online surveys is an easy, breezy way to earn extra bucks on your phone or PC. Legit “get-paid-to” sites like Survey Junkie and Swagbucks are free to join, and they’ll pay you a few dollars every time you share your opinions on an available survey.

Although getting involved with this side hustle is simple, please manage your expectations before diving into these apps. Sure, you can make legit money or gift cards from completing online surveys, but it likely won’t exceed $100 per month. Not only is the payout for these surveys pretty low but there’s never a guarantee you’ll qualify for the current available offerings. 

Pay: How much you earn with online surveys depends on how many tests you qualify for and how often you log in each week. However, you’ll only make some pocket change (think about $5 – $20) each week if you log into these sites for a few hours each day. 

How to Get Started: To earn from online surveys, pick a website, submit info like your email address and name, and scroll through the offerings. Each online survey site has different age and country requirements, so read their policies before setting up an account.

There are many high-quality paid survey sites online, but a few with the best reputation in the industry include Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and Branded Surveys.

Branded Surveys Homepage
Source: Branded Surveys

10. Sell Printables on Etsy

You don’t have to be an art major to make money selling crafty goods on sites like Etsy. In fact, you don’t have to be “artsy” at all to bring in some side cash from this online opportunity. With the printables market, you could design countless documents, templates, or even Excel spreadsheets and make money from each sale.

If you have skills with digital platforms like Canva or Google Sheets, consider all the creative or practical printables you could start selling in an Etsy shop.    

Pay: There are a few clickbait headlines of people making nearly $10,000 by selling Canva printables, but you probably won’t make these vast sums right off the bat. However, if you have a good product at the right price and market it well, you could bring in hundreds or even $1,000 per month with this side gig.

How much you make with printables depends on how many items you put out and the market demand. 

How to Get Started: After you set up your Etsy shop, you can start selling any digital designs in your portfolio directly to consumers. However, before you get started on Etsy, be sure you’re well-acquainted with digital design tools like Canva and Adobe Creative Cloud or spreadsheets like Excel and Google Sheets.

If you want to make the most of this opportunity, invest some time into researching search engine optimization (SEO) strategies for your Etsy shop and social media advertising. You could also take a printables course like Gold City Ventures for more ideas on making money with this side hustle. 

11. Create a Course and Sell It

Creating a pre-recorded course is a convenient way for college students to get involved in education and make passive income from their expertise. Although this strategy doesn’t allow you to enjoy the one-on-one tutoring experience, it’s easier to fit into a hectic schedule. Instead of meeting on Zoom with your students each week, you can record, edit, and promote your videos at your own pace. Plus, once your courses are online, you could generate passive income indefinitely. 

Pay: It’s impossible to say an “average” amount you could make on selling online courses since your earnings potential depends on the demand for your class, how much you charge for them, and how many you put online. However, you could bring in a few extra hundred or even a thousand bucks per month if you generate positive word of mouth for your quality content and follow up with more courses. 

How to Get Started: Before joining an online course-sharing website, study the basics of video editing and online marketing to give your course the best odds of success. Once you’ve recorded and polished all of the episodes in your class, a few hot platforms to check out include Teachable, Podia, or Gumroad.

12. Become a Product Tester

Imagine getting paid for sharing your insights on the latest gadgets, websites, or food items. Sounds like a fanciful way to make some cash, right? With product testing websites, you could make some extra income to test new products, games, or webpages and send your honest opinions to manufacturers or developers.

Like survey sites, you won’t get a ton of money from these opportunities, but it’s a legit way to add some spare change to your account with minimal effort.

Pay: In most cases, you won’t get more than a few dollars for sending your opinions on products or websites, and there are never guarantees you’ll qualify for an opportunity on the site you’re using. So, if you’re going to get involved with this side gig, don’t expect more than a few extra bucks per week. 

How to Get Started: UserTesting and uTest are two of the biggest names in the product testing category for web design, so give them a look if you’re starting out. Other sites like BzzAgent and Influenster are also big names in the product testing category that offer free samples on several products. 

13. Sell Clothes Online

Declutter your dorm closet and pick up dollars by selling clothes online. There are plenty of apps and websites you could use to sell clothes you no longer want with deal-seeking shoppers nationwide. If you fancy yourself a fashionista, you could also pick up clothes you find online or in thrift stores and try to flip them for a profit.

Stay “au courant” on the latest fashion trends and see if there are ways to market the clothes you have for some side cash. 

Pay: The amount you’ll get from selling clothes online depends on the quality of your items, their brand name, and whether there’s a strong demand for them at the current time. However, you should always expect to make less than the original market price when selling secondhand clothes online.

Check out what similar items are going for on sites like Poshmark and threadUP for a ballpark figure on what to expect. 

How to Get Started: There are a wide variety of online shops specializing in clothes you could sign up for today, including Poshmark, Depop, and threadUP. You could also set up an account on more general auction sites like eBay or sell clothes on the Facebook Marketplace if you’d prefer using these “OG” platforms.

Once you’ve chosen your online market, snap some appealing photos, write descriptions, and set your prices. If buyers want your items, simply package and ship them out.

Poshmark Sell Clothes for Cash
Source: Poshmark

14. Online Data Entry

Data entry is similar to transcription side hustle in that it doesn’t take a lot of concentrated “brain power” to perform these tasks. All you have to do is input data from one source into another spreadsheet or database for processing.

While these tasks can sometimes be tedious, they’re a relatively “mindless” way to earn some side money (which is excellent news after you’ve been straining your brain with studying). If you don’t mind copying strings of data for a few hours per week, consider adding an online data entry gig to your repertoire. 

Pay: ZipRecruiter estimates professional data entry positions bring in about $28 per hour, but you’ll likely get less than that in your first few gigs. 

How to Get Started: Freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr typically offer a lot of data entry jobs perfect for beginners. If you’re not having luck on these sites, you could type in data entry positions on job boards like Indeed or remote work platforms like Remote OK

15. Blogging

Are you passionate about a specific niche or topic? Well, why not blog about it?

Making money blogging takes considerable time and effort, but it can be a reliable passive income stream once you establish an audience. Try your best to choose a niche that resonates with readers, and work on making your blog as user-friendly and SEO-optimized as possible.

As you gain more traffic to your site, you could start bringing in money from multiple monetization strategies, including display ads, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.

Pay: It’s tricky to gauge the average salary for a blogger since writers make money from multiple monetization strategies, including affiliate marketing, ads, selling physical and digital products, etc. However, ZipRecruiter gives an estimate of professional bloggers making $35 per hour.

Just keep in mind you won’t make this much initially (unless you already have a large fanbase somewhere else), and estimating the average “hourly” rate is tough with blogging due to the numerous revenue streams.

How to Get Started: First, define your target audience and determine the niche you want to concentrate on with your blog.

You’ll also need to create a robust content strategy and execute it on a consistent basis to see results in the form of traffic to your site. Since blogging is a competitive field, consider signing up for a course like Larry Ludwig’s Full-Time Blogger Class for professional insights on getting into this side gig. 

16. YouTuber

YouTube is the king of video-sharing platforms, which makes this the perfect side hustle for non-camera-shy college students (or you can also create a faceless YouTube channel). Whether you want to vlog about your campus life or create videos about a topic you’re passionate about, you can make money from ads on YouTube once you gain enough views and subscribers.

A popular YouTube channel can also open doors for other revenue streams like affiliate marketing and referrals to a paid online course. So, if you are OK with creating content and sharing it with the world, consider creating a YouTube channel as your side hustle. 

Pay: There are many ways you could earn through YouTube, but the easiest way to estimate earnings is through ad revenue. Recent estimates suggest most YouTubers who qualify for the YouTube Partner Program get $0.018 per view (or $180 per 10,000 views).

Just keep in mind these rates vary depending on your channel’s popularity and niche. Also, remember you can earn from other strategies like sponsorship deals or fan funding through Patreon. 

How to Get Started: You only need a Google account and a camera to upload videos on YouTube. However, if you want to succeed on this site, you need to put a lot of time and effort into defining your niche, researching the most “clickable” titles and topics, and creating high-quality video content.

For tips on how to get started building your YouTube channel, consider learning from experts like Erika Kullberg

17. Voice-Over Artist

Has anyone ever said you have a great “radio voice?” Do you have some experience with recording on campus radio? Or maybe you’re involved in your college theater club and have a knack for accents.

Whatever the case, there’s a way to monetize your vocal skills with voice-over acting work. From commercials and audiobooks to narrations and animations, there are plenty of opportunities to earn money simply by speaking into a microphone.  

Pay: Professional voice-over actors often make a lot of money for their service, with ZipRecruiter estimating an average hourly rate between $38 – $57, depending on your state. As a college student, you might not get these high figures to start, but voice-over acting tends to pay well. 

How to Get Started: Similar to finding acting gigs, you’ll need to network at in-person events or on sites like LinkedIn to find the most opportunities in the voice-over world. However, you could get started applying for voice-over work on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, or Voices.com.

Also, consider creating an audio portfolio showcasing your talents and taking diction, singing, or accents classes to broaden your skills. 

Voices, side hustle for college students
Source: Voices

18. Video Editor

If you don’t have time to manage a personal YouTube channel, but you have video editing skills, why not lend a hand to other content creators for side cash? As a freelance video editor, you’ll help craft high-quality video content for your clients and get paid for your service. Whether you’re interested in organizing video ads or vlogs, your skills as a video editor can bring in a steady stream of side cash without the hassle of maintaining your video-streaming presence. 

Pay: On average, Indeed estimates professional video editors make $22.40 per hour, but ZipRecruiter’s data says the average wage is closer to $29 per hour.

How to Get Started: First, acquaint yourself with software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or DaVinci Resolve. Once you feel confident with a video editing platform, consider compiling a portfolio of your prior work and putting it on a professional website or LinkedIn.

You can use these snippets as a reference as you network and apply for positions on freelancing sites like Fiverr or Upwork. 

19. Podcasting

So many college students want to become the next Joe Rogan, but podcasting is one of the trickiest side hustles to monetize. Sure, you could make it big if you strike the right nerve with your audience, but competition is high in the podcasting game, and you might not see results even after months of effort.

If you want to try podcasting as a side gig, please know it requires a lot of time and effort to organize, record, and ship to market, and you might not succeed early on. However, if you genuinely enjoy podcasting and want to see where this side gig goes, this may be an excellent opportunity to gain online exposure and create a successful long-term platform. 

Pay: The standard metric to measure podcaster pay is “cost per mile” (CPM), or the amount hosts make per 1,000 downloads. While CPM rates fluctuate, HubSpot data suggests the average CPM for 30-second ads is now $18. Also, ZipRecruiter estimates professional podcasters make $16 per hour.

How to Get Started: Similar to starting a blog or YouTube channel, you have to define your podcast niche and target audience from the start. Next, you’ll need to get the best equipment for recording and familiarize yourself with audio editing platforms like Audacity or Adobe Audition to create top-tier content.

After recording a few shows, create an RSS feed and publish your podcast on hosting platforms like Libsyn or Podbean to gain an audience. From here, you could submit your podcast to directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts for broader exposure. 


Offline Side Hustles for College Students

College students spend so much time staring at their screens nowadays, so it’s no wonder many are looking for ways to escape this glare during their off-school hours. If you’d like to make some side cash away from your phone or computer, consider incorporating these offline opportunities into your gig repertoire. 

20. Babysitting

Babysitting is a tried-and-true side hustle for teens and college students, and it’s a no-brainer opportunity if you’re studying a subject like elementary education. Ask friends or family members whether they need help watching over kiddos, or promote your services on babysitting service websites to find more opportunities.

Once you have a solid reputation with clients, you can make good money simply monitoring kids, and in some cases, you could even take your coursework to these gigs and get paid while you study! 

Pay: The average hourly wage for professional nannies is in the low $20 range, according to both Indeed and ZipRecruiter. However, rates for these positions fluctuate depending on your state, experience, and how many kids you have to watch over. 

How to Get Started: If you don’t have any leads on babysitting opportunities from friends or family, consider setting up a profile on sites like Sittercity or Care.com to attract clients.

To make your profile stand out, consider getting safety accreditations like CPR. Also, be sure to highlight any relevant info, such as a background in elementary education or prior experience babysitting before you went to college. 

21. Dog Walking

You probably can’t bring a dog into your dorm room, but there’s a way to connect with furry friends and get paid while at college. Yes, there are legit apps where you could get paid for taking dogs out for a walk while their owners are away. Talk about a great way to get some exercise and dog therapy — plus some extra money in your pocket! 

Pay: ZipRecruiter estimates the average income for dog walking is around $17 per hour, but this will vary depending on your reputation, how many dogs you take out, and your location. 

How to Get Started: Rover or Wag! remain the two top-tier apps in the dog-walking niche. To set up a profile on either of these apps, you’ll need to answer some safety questions and pass a background check before you can start accepting clients. Keep building up your experience and earn high reviews to increase your earnings potential. 

Rover side hustle for college students
Source: Rover

22. House or Pet-Sitting

Like dog walking, pet-sitting allows you to earn some side cash while watching an owner’s pets while they’re away. However, instead of just walking dogs and collecting your pay, you’ll need to provide some extra TLC, including feeding, medications, and companionship.

If you’d like to earn money from this side hustle but aren’t a pet person, you could also look into a related field called “house-sitting.” In a house-sitting gig, you’ll take care of a client’s property while they’re away, including tasks like collecting the mail, watering plants, and ensuring everything is safe. 

Pay: The pay for house or pet-sitting depends on the reputation you have on your platform and how many tasks your clients ask you to take on, but ZipRecruiter estimates the average hourly rates are between $15$17 for these positions. 

How to Get Started: For those more interested in pet-sitting, consider creating a profile on sites like Wag! or Rover to connect with people in need of these services. For house-sitting, look into sites like TrustedHousesitter or MindMyHouse to start earning from these opportunities. 

23. Flip Furniture

Are there any college-age carpenters out there? If so, consider putting your skills to use as a furniture flipper. To get into this side gig, find some cheap or free furniture in your area, refurbish it, and re-sell it at a higher price online.

Even if you don’t have exceptional DIY skills, this could be a great opportunity if you love the thrill of antiquing. Look for garage sales, thrift store deals, and online marketplaces for underpriced furniture to make a quick profit. 

Pay: There are some stories of people making over $1,000 per month with successful furniture flips, but there’s no average salary for this side gig. The amount you make depends on the demand for your items. Plus, you need to factor in how much money you put into restoring your items and shipping costs.

Be sure to keep a spreadsheet of all your expenses to determine the minimum you need to take home to clear a profit for all your furniture. 

How to Get Started: As long as you have furniture you want to re-sell, all you have to do is take a few photos, put them on sites like Facebook Marketplace, and wait for interested buyers. While it’s easy to get started with furniture flipping, things get more complicated as you try to scale up your operations.

For instance, where do you store your furniture, and how do you ensure damage-free shipping? To learn pro tips on getting involved in furniture flipping, consider taking a course like Flipper University for expert guidance.   

24. Become a Tour Guide

Any students who love history, the arts, or culture should check out whether there are any relevant tour guide opportunities on campus or nearby. Consider working at museums, historic homes, or tourist attractions to share your knowledge with visitors.

While not all of these positions pay exceptional rates, they often offer attractive perks and discounts, and they’re a great way to practice your public speaking skills.  

Pay: You may find many tour guide opportunities strictly for volunteers, while others may not pay the best starting rates. However, Indeed estimates the average pay for a professional tour guide is around $21.50 per hour, while ZipRecruiter suggests this salary is closer to $19 per hour

How to Get Started: First, research local tour companies, museums, or attractions that offer guide opportunities. If you don’t have a specific place in mind, search for the most popular sites in your area and make a list of places where you’d be most interested in working as a guide.

You could also take a peek at sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter to see if there are any openings for tour guides in your area.  

25. Handy Person

If you love tinkering with tools and DIY projects, you’ll find no shortage of home improvement tasks as a freelance handy person. Whether clients need help with painting and drywall, furniture repair, or fixing minor issues (e.g., leaky faucets or gutter cleaning), there are many opportunities to make money in the home repair and maintenance niche.

Be sure to highlight your specialties to find the perfect clients, and continuously build on your skills to offer the most diverse and competitive services. 

Pay: According to the handyperson platform Thumbtack, the average hourly rate for people offering these DIY-type services is between $50 – $70. However, your rate won’t hit this range until you’ve gained experience and have multiple specialized skills to offer.  

How to Get Started: First, you must assess your competencies and current toolkit to identify which services you feel most comfortable offering. Once you know how to position yourself in the handy person market, create an account on TaskRabbit or Thumbtack to connect with clients.

Consider building an online presence on social media and a professional website to increase your visibility and make it easier to connect with clients. 

26. Lifeguard

Many college students love to de-stress on sandy beaches during the summer, but they usually spend a lot of money for that suntan as a tourist. As a lifeguard, however, you can hear the relaxing waves and work on your tan while bringing in some side cash. As long as you have your certification, you can apply to work as a lifeguard at local pools or beaches and ensure everyone has a safe time.

The first aid skills you learn in lifeguard courses are also invaluable life lessons, especially if you’re working toward a degree in the medical field. 

Pay: Indeed estimates the current lifeguard rate is $15.11 per hour, and ZipRecruiter’s data is just slightly higher at $16 per hour

How to Get Started: First, you must get your lifeguard certification through the American Red Cross or a local YMCA. In your training, you’ll learn essential safety techniques like CPR and gain practical experience with in-class simulations. After you get your certification, apply for lifeguard positions at local swimming pools, beaches, or water parks. 

27. Snow Removal

Unless you’re studying in the Deep South or a desert region, there’s a good chance you’ll see snow on campus or in your hometown during winter break. When these flakes start falling, you could make some side money if you have contacts in place and the proper equipment to clear pathways.

Just keep in mind snow removal is both labor-intensive and incredibly unpredictable. Watch the weather forecast closely and have your game plan ready to capitalize on these opportunities.

Pay: Since snow removal side hustlers typically get paid per gig, it’s hard to give an average estimate for this seasonal opportunity. However, Indeed and ZipRecruiter estimate snow plow operators usually get between $23 – $26 per hour.

The only thing for certain about this gig is your speed and efficiency dramatically increase your earnings potential.

How to Get Started: First, you need to invest in snow removal gear, including shovels, plows, or snow blower machines. Once you have the proper equipment for this job, advertise your services on social media, in local classifieds, or with flyers to build a client pool as early as possible.

Keep a close eye on weather forecasts, and prepare your schedule so you can provide reliable and timely service to local businesses or residential areas. 

28. Landscaping and Gardening

Here’s a pro tip for acing your exams: Schedule time to connect with Mother Nature. There’s emerging evidence that college students who spend as little as 10 minutes in a natural setting boost their mental performance and decrease stress. Better yet, why not look into landscaping and gardening opportunities so you get paid for this healthy mental habit?

If you love digging, planting, and arranging flowers, this is a fantastic side hustle to beautify homes and lawns for extra bucks. 

Pay: The salary for landscaping and gardening depends on your prior experience and the extent of your work, but ZipRecruiter suggests the median wage is around $17 per hour.  

How to Get Started: Landscaping is a competitive field, so you must decide whether to start a new business or inquire about working for an established company. The benefit of offering a personal service is you can set your schedule, but it takes considerably more effort to advertise your offerings, build a clientele, and invest in your equipment.

If you work for a landscaping company, you’ll have less flexibility, but you’ll gain valuable experience and avoid the hassle of self-promotion. Look through landscapers in your area and ask for job opportunities, or start setting up your solo business with a professional website, flyers, and social network advertising.

He Started a Landscaping Business (With $300)

29.  Car Washing and Detailing

Car owners fall into one of two camps: Either they love a weekly washing ritual, or they view cleaning their car as a chore. If you’re in the former category, you’ll have no issue cleaning other people’s vehicles for side cash. Add in detailing work like interior cleaning, waxing, and upholstery treatment to set yourself up for even higher earnings potential with this sudsy side hustle. 

Pay: ZipRecruiter’s estimated salary for a car washing attendant is around $18 per hour, but you could increase these average earnings by adding more detailing work to your services. 

How to Get Started: If you offer car washing services as a solo company, you’ll first need to gather the necessary equipment (e.g., buckets, soap, and microfiber cloths) and create social media ads or flyers to attract attention.

If you’re getting into detailing work, consider grabbing extra tools like portable pressure washers, wax, and vacuum cleaners for more earnings potential. Alternatively, research any car wash businesses in your area to see if they need part-time help. 

30. Window Cleaning

Nobody likes smudges on their windows, but the hassle of removing and polishing windows often keeps people from taking proper care of their windows. So, if you don’t mind getting rid of streaks, grime, and dirt on window units, you could make some great side money with residential and business clients.

The more efficient you get at your window cleaning process, the more you can rake in for getting rid of icky slime. 

Pay: Indeed suggests the average hourly salary for a window cleaner is $19, but ZipRecruiter puts this figure slightly lower at about $17 per hour

How to Get Started: First, you’ll need to purchase the best cleaning equipment for this job, including cleaning products, squeegees and scrubbers, and possibly extension poles. Next, market yourself in flyers and online with social media ads and a professional website to gain your first clients.

You can also visit local businesses or ask within your social network to gain your first customers. 

31. House Painter

You don’t have to be a Picasso with a paintbrush to earn money as a house painter. Even if you flunked art history class, it’s relatively simple to prepare surfaces and apply paint and finishes according to your client’s specifications. As long as you’re careful to use tape around the edges and protect surrounding areas from spills, you can make decent money from this relatively relaxing side hustle.

Anyone with a flair for DIY projects or interior design should take a peek at house painting opportunities. 

Pay: ZipRecruiter suggests professional house painters make $21 per hour, but your rates will depend on the nature of the project and your experience.  

How to Get Started: You need the tools of the trade to start painting, so be sure to invest in plenty of brushes, rollers, and drop cloths. Next, you can ask if anyone has painting jobs they need accomplished and start advertising online with a professional website and social media posts.

Keep networking until you get your first opportunity, and take pictures of your accomplishments to promote on social media. 

32. Mover

If you live on campus, you already have plenty of experience with the logistical and labor-intensive headaches of moving. Since you know how stress-inducing moving is, it’s understandable why other people would want to offload some of that strain with a professional service.

If you don’t mind loading and unloading furniture, you could earn some decent money as a mover. Whether you haul items into a truck, transport them, or assemble and disassemble furniture, moving is a great way to build muscle and earn extra money. 

Pay: ZipRecruiter and Indeed agree the average hourly rate for a professional mover is in the $17 – $18 range. 

How to Get Started: Don’t think you need to apply for College Hunks Hauling Junk to get into the moving side hustle. Sure, this company has the best name for college students, but there are many other moving companies you could apply for to get part-time or seasonal work.

Check out opportunities on job boards like Indeed or ask around campus for any openings. 


Gig Economy Side Hustles for College Students

Earning money from gigs has become the norm in the sharing economy, especially for college students who want flexible work hours. Consider opening a profile on popular apps like Uber, Instacart, or Amazon Flex to get legit cash on your terms. 

33. Become a Rideshare Driver

Rideshare driving is one of the most famous and flexible opportunities in the gig economy, and it’s a great option if you have a car and don’t mind driving other people around town. Whether you use Uber or Lyft, the idea of this job is the same — pick up passengers and transport them to their destination.

Whenever you have spare time, you can earn some spare change by logging into your rideshare app and taking on trips. Oh yeah, and if you’re going to be a designated Friday night rideshare driver, be sure to pack a few vomit bags (hey, don’t say we didn’t warn you!).

Pay: Indeed suggests the national average for Uber drivers is $19.28 per hour, but there’s a wide range of potential earnings depending on your state. According to ZipRecruiter’s rubric, you could earn as little as $11.42 and as much as $16.95 per hour as an Uber driver. You’ll earn higher rankings on your app if you gain a higher reputation and work during peak hours. 

How to Get Started: You need to download and register on an app like Uber or Lyft to get started as a rideshare driver. Once you’ve passed your app’s background check, all you need to do is build your profile, set your availability, and start accepting ride requests. 

Get paid to drive with Lyft
Source: Lyft

34. Become a Delivery Driver

Becoming a delivery driver is the same deal as working as a rideshare driver, except you’ll bring packages to your destinations rather than people. Plenty of apps like Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash make it easy to connect with local restaurants and start delivering grub for green.

If putting food fumes in your car isn’t appealing, consider doing grocery shopping with Instacart or delivering Amazon items through Amazon Flex. Whatever app you choose, this is another simple way to earn side cash from driving around town. 

Pay: Most surveys suggest the average salary for popular delivery apps is around $10 – $15 per hour, but ZipRecruiter claims the average hourly wage for a food delivery driver is $19

How to Get Started: All you have to do to become a delivery driver is download the app you’re interested in, pass the preliminary screening, and start picking up gigs. For food delivery roles, check out big names like Uber Eats, Grubhub, or DoorDash. You could also try Amazon Flex for eCommerce packages or Instacart for groceries.

Once you’re all set on your app, you can start applying for jobs, pick up the requested items, and bring them to their final destination. 

35. Rent Out Your Car

Letting other people drive your car is a significant risk — especially if you’re not in the passenger seat. However, if you’re OK renting out your vehicle when you don’t need it, you could bring in sweet passive income.

Apps like Turo and Getaround act as third-party intermediaries to connect your car with someone who needs to rent it for a short time. All you do is supply your car and keys to the renter and pick up your car when they’re finished. Just be sure to have a good insurance policy with this side hustle to avoid potential damage and disputes. 

Pay: The expected income from renting out your car depends on the quality of your vehicle, demand in your area, and your prior reviews. However, many people bring in a few extra hundred or even thousand bucks per month with this side hustle.

For a more accurate measure of your expected earnings, check out the Turo Calculator to see the anticipated rates for different vehicles. 

How to Get Started: Turo and Getaround are two of the largest and most reputable apps in the car-renting niche, so start by creating an account on either of these sites. After you’ve cleared your background checks and insurance paperwork, you can put your car up for rent and accept offers.

You’ll need to set up a pick-up and drop-off location and follow all the rules for cleanliness and filling your gas tank according to your app’s terms. As you get better reviews online, you should naturally attract higher-paying opportunities. 


FAQs Side Hustles for College Students

We’ve found some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the best side hustles for college students; here are our answers.

Can College Students Have a Side Hustle?

College students can take on as many side hustles as they feel comfortable with while at school. As long as you feel OK incorporating these side gigs into your studies, there’s nothing wrong with adding them to your weekly routine. 

What Side Hustles for College Students Pay the Most?

The pay for side hustles varies widely, and it depends on numerous factors like your skills, the type of work you’re doing, and the demand for your offering.

Typically, jobs in tech fields like web design or freelance IT consulting pay well, but some side gigs like blogging or e-courses could become major passive income streams.
Check out the average rates for side hustles you’re interested in and compare the earnings rates for more accurate details. 

Do I Have to Pay Taxes on Side Hustles as a College Student?

You’ll need to report any income you’ve earned from your side hustles at the end of the year and pay applicable taxes. Keep accurate records, and consider talking with an accountant for professional guidance. 

What Is the Most Flexible Side Hustle for College Students?

Online side hustles are usually the most flexible opportunities since you only need an Internet connection to start earning money. However, gig economy jobs like ridesharing are also straightforward to fit into hectic schedules.


Final Thoughts

Side hustles are the most flexible way to squeeze money-making opportunities into your college experience. However, please ensure these gigs stay on the “side.” If you feel your grades are slipping after taking on side hustles, reevaluate your study schedule and consider trimming your work expectations.

Also, remember to add plenty of time for social activities, exercise, and sleep so you maintain a healthy work-life balance. As tempting as it is to maximize earnings from side hustles, it shouldn’t come at the expense of your mental health or academic performance.

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