Being a full time student is difficult. The pressure from all your classes, the time you need to study, exams–-it can all feel so overwhelming. But there’s more than just the struggles of school to think about while you’re working towards that degree.
And who could forget the worries over money? Money makes the world go round and it’s hard to do very much without it. Even though college is as demanding as a full-time job all by itself, you still need to have money for basic things like food, gas, and some fun now and then.
It’s no secret that the cost of education continues to rise, along with the cost of living. From 1988 to 2018, the price of college tuition increased an average of 213% at a public university. For private colleges, tuition has seen a 169% increase. Add this to the skyrocketing cost of living and the lack of wage increases to boot, and you have a very serious struggle for anyone who wishes to get a degree without any scholarships or grants.
More students are working while attending school, and the numbers don’t seem to be going down. The difference does not lie in the number of students working, but in the number of hours they are working while taking classes. Since the cost of tuition has increased so drastically, many college students are working more hours in an attempt to tackle at least some of their debt and also have money to live.
This is a far stretch from the minimum hours needed thirty years ago to pay for college tuition. Now, even students who work a full-time job are still left with large chunks of college loans when they graduate.
More and more college students are looking towards working while studying as a means to support themselves, but with working comes a struggle. The need to keep up with classes, typically more than one at a time, can be more than enough stress on its own. But add a job on top of that, plus worrying about schedules and whether there will be enough time for everything, and it’s easy to see why college students can be so overwhelmed.
Finding a job that allows the flexibility you need as a full-time student can be difficult. There are a lot of jobs that require hours that won’t work with a student’s school schedule. A lot of workplaces won’t work around odd class hours, exam time slots, and the need for studying to make sure your grades don’t slip. It can feel like the most daunting task to find a way to make money and also not lose your education.
The right workplace as a college student is crucial. When a job is not able to work with you on your hours, the chances of becoming overloaded are high. It’s easy to think you won’t be able to find a job that allows you the flexible schedule you need. However, there are more options than you think when it comes to finding a job that can work with you.
Statistics show that nearly half of Americans have a side hustle, which is a secondary job or small business dedicated to bringing in extra cash and isn’t meant to be the primary source of income. This is especially true for college students, who are increasingly looking for freelance work to make ends meet. It’s a similar story in the UK, with 50% of the UK population predicted to have a side hustle by 2030. If you’re looking for a side-hustle in college, here are some flexible options:
Jobs That Allow You to Make Your Schedule
Making your schedule is wonderful, whether you’re a college student or not. But if you’re a full-time student, making your schedule takes away a massive load of stress. If you can pick and choose when you work, you’ll never have to stress about missing a class or losing study time.
You also don’t have to stress about figuring out how to work around an oddly scheduled exam. You can simply choose not to pick up a shift that day. Here are some great options for students who want to work on their schedule.
A) Dog Walker
Becoming a dog walker, or even a dog sitter, is a great option for students who have a busy college schedule. Apps like Rover and Wag! allow students to enter their experience with dogs and find people near them who are searching for someone to walk their dog. Once you have a profile, you can pick and choose the jobs you want. This allows you to work perfectly around your busy school schedule.
Some jobs are also recurring. So if you know you have a free spot every day from 1:00-3:00, for example, there might be a job every weekday walking the same pup. If you have a home where you can have pets, you can make even more money keeping dogs overnight while someone is out of town.
B) Rideshare Driver
Apps like Uber and Lyft allow you to work when you can. As long as you have a valid driver’s license, a reliable car, and pass your background check, you should be good to go. Simply download and apply to be a driver, and you’re on your way to a flexible work schedule. Most rideshare apps allow you to start fairly quickly, and you can work as much or as little as you want.
C) Food Delivery Driver
Apps that deliver food right to your door are all the rage now. With multiple options to choose from like DoorDash, GrubHub, and Uber Eats, there’s no shortage of possibilities. Students can choose when they are available to deliver, making it easy to work around a demanding college schedule. If you have a reliable car and valid license, this could be a great option for you.
D) Brand Ambassador
If you’ve ever gone to an event and seen the people handing out free samples of a product or promoting a brand, you’ve met a brand ambassador. This is a great fit for a college student since the job is extremely flexible and typically pays well.
Usually, brand ambassadors should be friendly and outgoing, since your job will be to meet people and speak with them about the product you’re working with. You will sign on with a company who will then offer you gigs to promote the products.
Travel is often involved with this job, but the convenience lies in the fact that you can say yes or no to each gig and don’t spread yourself too thin. Even better, most gigs are set for nights or weekends, allowing you to have plenty of time for studies and class.
Jobs with Flexible Schedules for Students
Sometimes it’s hard to work a job making your schedule. You might not get as many hours as you are hoping for or the options simply don’t work for you. Jobs that can work with your school schedule and allow you flexibility may also be a great fit. Just be sure to communicate the schedule you need and when you are and aren’t available to work.
Many workplaces have receptionists. Places like offices, gyms, and hotels are just a few. Typically office receptionists work more during the day, so if you are a student taking night classes, working part-time at an office may fit perfectly for you. If you are in school during the day, gyms and hotels typically have evening or even overnight hours that could work great with your busy school schedule.
Being a nanny or babysitter is a great flexible job for college students. You have the option of babysitting when you are available, and the family may ask you to make a schedule with them for multiple days or evenings. Nannying is typically more set in stone, with hours each week you will work with the same family.
A lot of families can be flexible for the most part and find another option if you were to have an exam or other school-related event come up. A job like this is flexible and easy for full-time students. There are even websites for potential sitters and nannies that allow you to find families to fit your scheduling needs.
If you’re looking for a job where you have the potential to earn some decent money quickly, serving or bartending may be for you. Both jobs primarily work through tips, so there is the opportunity to earn more per shift than you might if you were getting paid hourly. Both jobs also tend to be evening and weekend oriented, which would allow ample time to go to classes and study during the day.
There is also the convenience of having co-workers who can potentially cover your shift if something comes up for school. Just keep in mind with a job that relies on tips, you won’t be guaranteed a specific income. Your income will be based on the tips you make since servers and bartenders are typically paid very little hourly.
D) Retail Employee
Working in retail is another great, flexible option for college students. Retail stores often have extended hours, which means there are shifts available to work around your school schedule.
Choosing to work nights or weekends can allow you plenty of time for schoolwork if you attend during the day. Like serving or bartending, you also have the option to swap shifts with other co-workers so you can be covered if your schedule isn’t working on some days.
Remote Jobs Working from Home for Full-Time Students
Although there are times these jobs may not be the easiest to come by, remote work from home job options can be very beneficial for a college student. These jobs allow you to work from where you live, so you won’t have to stress about a commute at all.
This is a great option for students who either can’t afford a car or aren’t allowed to have one. There is also a wider variety of options if you can work from home since location is not a factor.
A) Online Tutoring
Becoming an online tutor is an option for college students to earn extra income right from their home. If you feel confident enough in a particular subject and you can teach it to others, you can apply to be a tutor online.
Multiple sites offer tutoring jobs to college students. These sites typically have requirements to be met for you to be approved to become a tutor. If you qualify and are accepted you will be on your way to making extra money from the comfort of your own home and also helping out fellow students with their grades.
If your typing skills are quick and accurate, transcription or captioning work may be perfect for you. The work can be a little tricky initially, but once you get the hang of it, it can be a good way to make some extra money. You will listen to audio or video clips, and type the words you hear.
The convenience of this job is the ability to work from home and choose your hours. Typically, sites will have jobs posted and you will log in when you’re free to choose available jobs. Most sites will require tests of your grammar knowledge and typing skills you must pass to be accepted. Sites like TrascribeMe.com and Rev.com are popular options.
C) Data Entry
If you have good attention to detail, data entry could be a perfect option for you while attending college. The starting skillset is fairly minimal, you are normally able to work from home, and some companies may see the opportunity to have you use your skills in other positions. If you think data entry might be the right choice for you, simply search and see what companies are hiring for data entry clerks.
D) Freelance Writer
If you have writing skills and can research topics, freelance writing may be a perfect fit for you. Sites like FlexJobs.com and WritersWorks.com will offer job postings for freelance writing gigs. You can search and apply to jobs you think you will be able to do well on.
Some websites will charge a fee for their help finding you writing jobs, but it’s typically a one time fee or a small portion of your earnings.
Most companies will want a sample or two or your writing skills so they have a feel for what you can do, so make sure to have a few handy if this is something you’re interested in.
You may even be able to be contracted for your writing from a company. Freelance writing allows you to have a flexible, work from home schedule, which will be perfect with busy college life.
E) Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants typically work with companies covering their administrative work such as creating schedules, making appointments, answering emails, posting on their social media, and more.
Typically, a virtual assistant is a business you set up yourself rather than finding work through a company. You may put yourself out there as a virtual assistant and companies looking for that position may hire you.
F) Customer Service Representative
This is a great opportunity to work from the comfort of home if you are friendly and outgoing. Many companies will allow you to work from home as a representative for them. This job could require you to have a landline phone to accept calls, so check with the company to see what you will need before starting.
Typically, a customer service representative will have set hours, but these can often be fairly flexible since customer service lines are open extended hours. You shouldn’t have a hard time working them around your schedule.
G) Moving Company
If you have a strong back, working with a moving company could be the perfect job for you. Most people like to move on weekends or evenings depending on their work schedules.
So if you’re a college student taking classes during the day, this job could give you the flexibility to work around your school hours. Check around your college and search online for moving companies that might be hiring close to you.
Some Odd Jobs for Full-Time Students
Maybe you just want a little extra cash here and there. Maybe you have such a hectic schedule you don’t have much free time for a job. These options may not pay quite as much, but they are simple options for college students who just want a little extra spending money.
A) Take Surveys
This sounds simple enough. Hang out on your phone or laptop and answer some questions, then get paid. If this sounds like something you can do in your free time, or even in between study sessions, sign yourself up.
Sites like SurveyJunkie.com, Swagbucks.com, and InboxDollars.com will pay you to participate in their surveys. Prices may vary on how much you can make, but if you’re just looking for some extra cash, this might be great for you.
B) Flip and Upsell
If you’re crafty and have an eye for what something could be, this could be the perfect side job for you. There’s tons of old furniture, clothing, almost anything you can think of just waiting to be found at flea markets and thrift shops.
Find something you can turn into a unique, wonderful piece and sell it on a site like Facebook Marketplace, Etsy, or eBay. There’s no limit to how much you can make if people enjoy what you create and you’re able to do it all on your own time.
C) Start a Blog
If you feel like you have interesting topics to write about, and you can keep people’s attention, starting a blog may be a great option for you. Sometimes this can take a little time to get off the ground, but if you’re successful, there’s no limit to how much you could be earning. Just search for sites that allow you to start your blog and get to work.
D) Task Rabbit
TaskRabbit is an option if you like doing a little bit of everything. On this app, people will submit tasks they want to have someone else complete. You can set your prices for tasks, list your skillset, and people will contact you for your services. There is a wide range of jobs on TaskRabbit such as babysitting, yard work, cleaning, furniture assembly, and much more.
It seems anyone would be able to find something on this site they could be good at. The convenience factor here lies within being able to pick and choose the tasks you wish to do, allowing you flexibility in your work.
E) Research Participation
Chances are that, if you look around your college campus, there are opportunities to be a part of a research group. Many companies want the opinions of college students and they will pay you for them.
Just as easy, websites often also look for testers before fully launching their site. They will pay you to give feedback for their research. This may not be the most consistent job, but it can be a fairly easy way to earn some extra money in your pocket here and there.
Your Most Important Job: Don’t Forget About Yourself
Being a full-time college student is difficult. Working on top of that is even more difficult. Be sure, no matter what you do, you are still taking the time to take care of yourself. It can be easy to get caught up in trying to get everything done, but remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup. You need to make sure you are filling yourself as well. Otherwise, you will have nothing to give to your classes or your workplace.
Create a time each week for just you. Relax, write in a journal, or do whatever it may be that you enjoy. Take that time you need so that you can be your best. Communicate with your workplace, and talk with them if you’re feeling overwhelmed or spread too thin. Money is great, and so is being a good employee, but you know yourself and what you can handle.
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you think you have too much going on at once. Most jobs can be understanding in cutting back a couple of hours or allowing you an extra day off. Whatever you need, make it happen. Because if you aren’t at your best, you can’t do your best!