20 Best Side Income Ideas For College Students (2021)
Find out 20 Best Side Income Ideas For College Students Below!
Table Of Contents
College is far from being a relaxing experience. Everyone who’s either gone or currently going through it knows how bad it can get: grades, deadlines, managing your social life and your responsibilities, and worst of all, money. Anyone struggling with their studies need the money from a regular job but lack the time to keep one.
This isn’t a minority, either. Students juggle with paying for school, materials and resources needed, bills, food, rent, and the occasional hang-out with friends or family. You can take away or add more as per your experience, but I can guarantee most of you deal with several of those issues.
It quickly becomes obvious how making a bit of cash on the side without spending too much time can save your life.
There are many part-time jobs that you can take to fit your schedule; these offer either shorter shifts or flexible hours that you can organize around school time. These aren’t quite what we’re looking for.
Yes, they’re the lifeblood of many students, but our focus is strictly side income: something you can do during your leisure time to make money without sacrificing neither your studying time nor your social life.
Many people need to travel because of business or other responsibilities, and this often means leaving their homes alone for a while; that’s why housesitting is a business today. Anyone wants to be certain that their home is safe at all times, their plants are pets are healthy, and mail doesn’t stack too much.
Even better, you could charge not only by the hour, but also depending on how much you need to do; taking care of a pet is a significant addition that could be worth a bit more. Other than that, the job is basically doing the same you do in your place but at your customer’s home.
Depending on whom you work with, it might even have added advantages like faster internet or a pool – as long as you’re allowed to use it.
The work is easy, yet the pay can be really good depending on the client. You have added benefits such as cable or internet, and you can schedule it around your daily tasks.
You’ll be responsible for someone else’s house. It might be difficult to find customers, and those you find could have dirty places or pets that can make the work more difficult.
Clarify the extent of your responsibilities: what they expect from you exactly, what are the most important tasks, what you don’t need to do, etc. This includes things like watering plants, walking pets, paying bills, cleaning the house, etc. Of course, determine when exactly do you need to be at the house.
Similarly, ask your customers to give you numbers for the services they use: plumbing, vets, electricians,etc.
If you’re good with plants and gardens, you can make some money with landscaping. There’s actually variety in what you can offer: lawn mowing, taking care of the plants, or even full-blown landscaping. You can also charge depending on the services you’re asked for.
You just need a few gardening tools and flyers to advertise your services around your area to start out. However, some people could ask you to mow their lawns without having a lawnmower, so that could be a noticeable investment depending on your budget.
Other than that, you can make a bit of extra cash without breaking your back. Summertime is the most lucrative season here, but you can still make money in other seasons by offering different services like clearing leaves during autumn or plowing snow during winter (depending on where you live).
It takes a few hours only, so you can do it on weekends or after school. The start investment isn’t too big, especially compared with other options. You can determine which services you want to provide.
Working outdoors means possible rain or intense sunlight. Allergies can be problematic, as well as bugs. You need to maintain your equipment, which adds costs.
Take any extra requirements into account: required licenses to work with landscaping, transportation if your clients are far from you, etc. You might also want to hire helpers depending on the size of the job. Always think about the weather when scheduling clients or considering rescheduling.
You don’t really need a big truck if you want to earn money from helping others move. You might not even need a vehicle; you can just work with people or companies with the required gear and make money as a helper.
However, if you do have a somewhat spacious vehicle, you could offer help with smaller jobs. Even a pick-up truck can work perfectly.
Both options let you make money of nothing but being able to haul furniture and heavy objects from one point A to point B.
It’s a simple job that requires no skill other than lifting – it’ll even help you stay fit. You can join services to help you find customers and work, or even work as a helper. You can also work during your free time.
It’s a tiring job, and improper technique may cause different types (and severity) of injury. You might be held responsible for damages to the items.
Some services might require you to commit to certain times or amount of shifts. You need to consider whether the physical toll might keep you from other responsibilities. If you work with your own vehicle, consider limiting the types of items you’ll take and whether you need to hire helpers.
Cleaning is as necessary as it is annoying for a lot of people. Therefore, you can make money if you don’t mind cleaning other people’s places. Besides, you can offer basic services and charge additionally for jobs like cleaning ovens or bathrooms.
Advertising your services is also simpler than other jobs. You can get by simply by referrals and comments from clients to their friends. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to pay for not having to clean themselves.
Initial investment is minimum, even if you want to buy cleaning items to use only for work. It’s also quite simple, and your main investment will be time. You can schedule work as it fits your day and charge your own rates.
Some houses can be specially messy, and allergies might be an issue. Depending on the amount of jobs, you might have to hire staff.
State what you’re going to cover exactly: vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, bathrooms, kitchens, etc. More complicated tasks like cleaning cupboards or cleaning fridges can be offered as extras.
If you hire staff down the line, create standard procedures: which areas to clean first, using gloves, which detergents you use, etc.
Consider contacting wholesalers to get your cleaning supplies. When you’re starting out, you might even ask your clients to provide their detergents and supplies to lower your costs and personalize the service.
You can teach elementary or high-school students easily since you’ve already learned what they’re going through. You might not enjoy spending even more time thinking about the same subjects, but the money is good.
You could even ask your college’s administration if you could create a basic course for new students and charge for it. If it’s not possible, you can go to private schools or become a private tutor.
You have the chance to work right in your college, so transportation might not be an issue. You already learned the subjects you need to teach. You can make good money, especially with private tuition. You can keep yourself from forgetting subjects – especially math.
It takes time, and it can be tiring to stay in the same location for a significant portion of the day. Students might become intrusive: approaching you outside your classes to ask for help.
Where can you make more money? Private schools or individual clients might pay more than your college depending on the subjects you’ll be teaching. However, you’ll want to think about which licenses or certifications you need to teach at different institutions.
Determine the amount of time you want to spend teaching. You don’t want it to interfere with your own studying time. It becomes more of an issue when you realize teaching also includes grading tests and homework,
If you’re anxious about being the center of attention as a teacher, you can still make money off your knowledge by assisting other teachers. This might be even easier to do in your college at the expense of somewhat lower rates.
You still need solid social skills, but qualifications are much lower. You can even schedule your classes and hours with teachers you feel more comfortable with.
It’s a lot less stressful than being an actual teacher. You have better chances to find job inside your college to make transportation less of an issue, and the money is still decent in exchange of less responsibilities.
It can be tedious depending on the subject, and you can feel like you don’t get breaks from your college. Some teachers will ask you to take care of grading student work, and students can still approach you during your free time.
Assisting teachers outside your school remains possible if you feel more comfortable. However, remember about any licenses or certifications that might be required in this case.
Managing your time so that it doesn’t interfere with your studies is still important.
You can work with apps like Lyft and Uber even if you don’t have a car; they have programs that let you lease one for them. You can do it for set times, but you also have the option to rent it only when you’re going to be working with it.
It can be a relaxing experience to get your mind off college since you can just drive around the city and have nice talks with your clients. Of course, you have to pay a fee for the vehicle provided by the company, but your income should be more than enough to cover it without killing your profits.
Needless to say, you can make even more money if you have (and choose to use) your own car.
You can work whenever you want. Fees are really low even if you rent a car. You can meet a lot of interesting people, and it’s great for getting to know your city and sectors.
You need to keep your vehicle in good condition. You also need to work with total strangers, and traffic can make the job tedious.
Determine your preferred working hours. Night shifts can make you more money, but it can be less safe and mess with your sleep.
If you use your own vehicle, think about whether or not the money is worth the maintenance. You also need to ask your insurance provider if you need to upgrade your insurance; the same goes for legal requirements.
This is a similar option to driving others if you have a vehicle. Many companies let you make money delivering food to clients, and you can even do it with a bicycle.
All you need to do is drive to restaurants, collect orders, verify it’s the right one, and take it to the customer’s home. You’ll be paid for every service, and you also keep 100% of all tips your customers give you.
You don’t have to take strangers into your car. You get to keep all tips you receive, and you can work whenever you have spare time.
Traffic is still an issue. Getting an order wrong or delivering cold food can anger customers. Parking might be difficult, especially if you don’t know the area.
There are many delivery services available, and you can work with several to increase the amount of work.
Keep your expenses in mind. If you have a bike or smaller car, then you can make a lot of money. However, vehicles that burn through gas can take a big toll on your earnings. The same goes for parking tickets; be careful about where you park if you don’t want tickets to eat away your income.
This is another job you can take with just your bicycle. If you don’t own a car, then delivering smaller packages on your bike can be a solid option that still pays pretty well.
Courier services are usually in high demand from office buildings, doctors, and lawyers who need to send packages fast from one side of town to the other. If you like cycling, then this can be a great option for you.
It’s usually a day job, so you don’t have to worry too much about your safety. Traffic is much less of an issue if you drive a bicycle, yet you still get to familiarize yourself with different parts of your city. If you’re fast, you can also maximize your earnings. It’s also a great way to stay fit.
It might take some time before you learn the best routes. Weather becomes an issue, and bad drivers are more dangerous for cyclists. While it’s great to stay fit, keep physical exhaustion in mind and how it can mess with your academic performance.
You need to be physically fit if you want to make money. You need to be quick, and this speed requires considerable physical workout. To make things easier, try to learn your city as much as you can to recognize the best routes to your destination.
Bikes aren’t nearly as expensive as cars, but they still need maintenance. Run periodical checks on your bike; they’re quite cheap and can save you a lot of stress from having a tire or a cable die on you.
Digging through people’s junk isn’t pleasant, but it’s still a demanded service, so you can make money from it. There are many low-key hoarders, and you can make a good income from helping them.
While it can be daunting, it’s actually a simple job. You just need to help them determine what to keep and throw away the rest. Services such as Task Rabbit make it easier to find clients.
You can schedule your own work and rates depending on how long it takes and how much needs to be done. You might find that some discarded items are worth money and sell them for extra cash. You can also gain new clients from referrals.
It’s usually a messy job, and some can take much longer than expected. Allergies can be an issue depending on the mess.
You might want to pay a visit first to assess how long the job is going to take. It also helps you determine whether or not you’ll need to bring additional tools. Another worthwhile consideration is who’s responsible for taking out the trash in the end.
If you love animals, then this might even be the perfect job for you. There’s a lot of people with lifestyles so busy that they don’t have time to walk their dogs anymore. 9 to 5 jobs are plenty, and commuting can easily add about an hour to that time.
That means their pets are at risk of getting neglected, and you can alleviate that issue and make money from it. Getting home, tired from work, just to find a sad partner because it’s been days since their last walk is far from nice; a lot of people will be happy to pay you to keep that from happening.
If you can walk several dogs at once – and you’re responsible – you can gather several clients at once and make good money from a few hours a day.
It can be a fun job if you like dogs. You get to set your rates and add additional services like scooping poop and additional time to increase how much you charge. You don’t need any specialization other than being good with dogs and – preferably – handling several at once.
Aggressive dogs are a possible issue both from your clients and other dogs in the are while you work. You’re responsible for the pet, so a dog running off can damage your reputation; the same goes for having your dogs attacking other people or their pets.
Assess how many dogs you can handle at once. Receiving several orders in a single day doesn’t mean you should try to walk all of them; some people have issues walking 2 dogs – let alone more than 6.
Schedule your work hours according to your own schedule. You can still make money working during weekends and evenings as long as you let your clients know.
Consider getting a small insurance in case you get bitten or something bad happens.
Even if you’re not fond of walking around with a dog, you still have a chance to make money by looking after dogs do their business. It’s certainly not the most pleasant job, but it’s quite easy and scheduling is easier.
You need a scooper and many garbage bags, but they’re cheap, so you don’t need a big budget to start. You can advertise yourself with flyers, newspapers or pet shops to find clients around your area.
You can do it anytime as long as you have access to your clients’ yards or gardens. They don’t even need to be home. You can schedule as many houses as you can visit in a single day since it only takes minutes to clean up. Start-up budgets aren’t a problem, and the only spending you need is more bags once yours run out.
Depending on the size of the dog, this can be a smelly and messy job, so it’s not for everyone. Weather can be a problem since you work outside, and dogs can add another layer of difficulty depending on their personalities, so insurance is another investment worth considering.
You have many ways to advertise yourself: car stickers, flyers, newspaper ads, and even word of mouth.
Consider investing in extra safety equipment like gloves and goggles. The same goes with getting a special insurance depending on the area or your own safety concerns.
Selling on Etsy
If you’re an artsy person with skills in knitting, sewing or jewelry, then you can make good money selling your creations with Etsy to people around the world. This marketplace has enabled thousands of people to build a business out of their favorite hobbies by letting them list designs and crafts for potential customers.
Some people live off completely from selling on Etsy, so there’s definitely potential for you here. Like with most similar services, you do need to pay a fee to use their platform, but they pale in comparison to the reach you get and the amount of sales you can make from it.
You don’t have to worry about marketing your products extensively since Etsy already brings the customers to you. There’s little investment necessary other than what you spend on making your products. You can build a full business from it, and setting up your catalog is very easy.
Fees can still be annoying for some. It’s a very competitive market, especially for some types of products, so you might need to cut down your prices to make sales.
Marketing extends only to your product images and descriptions, so don’t neglect these. Make sure your photos have good resolution and your descriptions are alluring. This is especially important since it’s rare for a product to be really unique, so you need to make your offer as attractive as possible.
You might want to consider your competition before deciding to sell on Etsy. If you can’t offer something better than the rest, you won’t be able to make a lot of money from it – especially considering the fees.
Selling on eBay
This is your other option to make sales if you’re not as creative as Etsy demands. You can sell anything you don’t need anymore on eBay for extra cash, and collectibles, video games, certain toys, and electronics can make good money for you.
However, you can somewhat build a business if you’re good at spotting bargains. You can visit pawn shops and garage sales to find cheap products you can sell on eBay for a profit. Some people even do this full-time.
Finding great deals can give you very high profit margins. You don’t need to set any schedules; just list your offers and wait for someone to order for you to send them the product. The platform already drives a lot of traffic, so you just need to set up enticing offers and wait for customers to come.
You still need to pay a fee for the service; this includes relisting, which means that you’ll have to pay eBay if your item doesn’t sell and you want to offer it again. Competition is huge, and it’s the same for virtually any product, so profits can take a hit. Including shipping fees within your sale price can lower your earnings further.
If you want to focus on a niche instead of posting random products, analyze it first. It can make it easier for customers to reach your products, but you don’t want to end up offering the same as dozens of people.
Regardless of what niche you choose, chances are there will be at least a couple of sellers offering the same products. Consider how much you’ll have to sacrifice from your profits as well as eBay fees to find out whether or not you can actually make money from it.
The internet makes it possible for anyone to offer their skills over the internet. Companies have also built a trend out of outsourcing different tasks to lower their costs. Transcriptions translations, virtual assistants, social media management, and many more services can be outsourced completely to save money and time on having to build entire departments.
If you have good internet and skills you can offer through the internet, then you can sign up to websites like Upwork. These let you search categories to find job offers depending on your capabilities. If you’re a good designer, know how to program, or have any other useful skill, then you can make money off these websites
You can schedule your work to fit your daily tasks while working entirely from home; you can even work from a library if you have an hour or two between classes as long as you meet the deadline. You get to pick which tasks you want to do, set your prices, and choose the customers you trust the most. Some people make their entire living from freelancing.
All sites charge fees for connecting clients and freelancers. Besides these commissions, you might face additional fees to move your money from the site to your bank. Some customers can be difficult or fail at explaining exactly what they need.
If you have several skills, it might be better to focus on those closely related. If you can program, design websites, and translate, then focusing on the first 2 keeps you within a certain niche and makes it easier not to lose track of your tasks.
Some clients will ask you to move things outside of the platform. This can increase your profits, but be careful since you’re giving up on their escrow. Speaking of clients, clarify the extent and scope of your work to prevent misunderstandings.
Anyone looking for a job needs a resume/cover letter that looks professional; not everyone knows how to do it properly. If you’re good with English – and know what employers expect from their workers – then you can write professional resumes and make a decent amount from it.
You only need good writing skills and some research depending on the industry your client wants to enter.
The best thing about it is that you’re in a great spot to find job. Hundreds of people graduate from your college every year. That means more people needing to write a resume. You can market yourself by spreading flyers and ads around your college. However, you can also find work with online platforms like Fiverr.
Your college/university is the perfect place to find clients. You can write a good resume in about an hour – if you have to research the industry and read through your clients’ profile – so it’s easy to schedule, even more so once you develop a rhythm. The only requirement is good grammar and the ability to learn about the industry and your client. You can use past resumes as templates to write future resumes a lot faster.
It might take longer than expected depending on your client and the industry they want to enter. Some clients will ask for modifications and even entire rewrites if they’re not satisfied with their resume.
Working inside your school makes reputation important. Make sure you communicate constantly with your clients and provide the best results you can to keep unhappy students from tarnishing your reputation and business.
Consider specializing in industries you know well enough. This might reduce the amount of clients, but it’ll make the job faster and the result better.
If you’re writing both resumes and cover letters, think about whether you want to charge the same for both or have separate fees for resumes and CV’s.
Again, if you’re good with English and reading, then you can make money from your fellow students. Writing countless words for a final essay makes it difficult to spot every mistake on the spot, so you can charge students for reviewing their papers.
It requires good attention to detail and concentration, but the money can be really good. An added benefit is that you’ll improve your speed as you complete more jobs; you might cut down your review times in half after a few months.
You don’t need any special skills nor budget to start. You can work from anywhere during your free time, and it might even give you ideas to improve your own school work and assignments.
It takes a lot of time, especially if you’re asked for revisions. If you have a short attention span, it’ll be very difficult.
Determine how long it takes you to read a set amount of work. It’ll go a long way in making scheduling a lot easier. You might be able to proofread a dozen 1,000-word papers in a couple of hours, but you’ll also be met with work for over 20,000 words.
The same goes for areas you already know since research takes time as well. Like resume writing, it’s better to stick with subjects you’re knowledgeable with to reduce time and improve your quality.
Speaking of resume writing, reputation is very important as well. You’ll be held responsible for other people’s grade, so bad comments can ruin your business down the line.
You don’t really need creativity or artistic inclinations to be good with a paintbrush, and that’s all you need to make money painting houses. Similar to cleaning, painting is necessary quite often, and not everyone enjoys it; you can make money by doing it for them.
You can dedicate your weekends to this job and make solid money from it. Just keep in mind what you’ll need to invest in: brushes, buckets, ladders, etc. Luckily, it won’t take long to make that back if you can find clients. If you’re requested to paint single rooms only, you might even be done after an hour or two.
It’s very flexible; you can schedule large jobs for the weekend and keep the smaller ones for week days. You don’t need any training other than being good with a paintbrush. Work isn’t that hard to find, and you can set your rates.
Paint fumes can get to your lungs, and hot weather can make the job more uncomfortable. You might be held responsible for accidents, and it does require initial investment.
Depending on the size of the job, you might want to hire someone to help you. This means less effort, but you’ll be responsible for their behavior, and you’ll have to lower your profits.
Try to limit how much work you want to tackle. Big homes can take days to finish, and you don’t want to kill the time you usually set aside for studying.
This is one of the oldest side jobs for people looking to make something extra during their spare time, so there’s little need to explain it. If you don’t hate babies, then you can make some money by basically sitting around your client’s house for a while and keeping an eye on their baby.
You don’t need any special skill, but it might be difficult to find work at first since it requires a lot of trust. Referrals come in handy here.
It’s not really difficult since babies aren’t as problematic as children. You can even do homework while you’re at it or just watch TV if you don’t have any. If you love babies, you might have fun with this job, and it’s usually a few hours while parents go to dinner or something like that.
You’ll be responsible of a baby, which isn’t stress-free. Some parents might be awkward to deal with.
Parents can be difficult. Make sure you meet your clients before starting to work to make sure they’re reasonable. Getting a first aid certificate or something similar will boost your profile significantly.
Offering city tours
If you like your city – and know its best sights and history – then you might qualify as a city tour guide. You can make money and have lots of fun by taking visitors around your city and teaching them about the history and events surrounding the most interesting areas.
Airbnb lets you offer tour packages if you don’t know where you can start. It does charge a fee for the service, but you can schedule your dates, rates, and routes as you wish and access a lot potential clients from the platform’s huge traffic.
You don’t need any initial investment. You can meet people from different countries. If you like history, it can be really fun. Walking around town while touring can help you stay fit.
You might have few sign-ups, especially at the start. Weather plays an important role. Not all tourists are nice. Some areas might have strong competition.
Study about your area. Stuttering and wrong facts can make you look unprepared. This becomes more important if you have competitors around your area. Learn about your competitors and see what they don’t offer that you can.
Find out whether you need any license or permission to run a tour around your city.
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