Finding an online job as a college student can be tricky, especially when you need flexibility and a decent paycheck so you can prioritize your studies.
Luckily, there are heaps of online jobs for college students where you can work online and forget about wearing pants — you just need to know where to look.
Say goodbye to ramen dinners with these 15 top online jobs for college students!
- 1. Social Media Manager 📱
- 2. Virtual Assistant 👩💼
- 3. Translator 🎙
- 4. Data Entry Clerk ⌨️
- 5. Web Developer or Designer 🧑💻
- 6. Online Survey Taker 🤔
- 7. Micro-Freelancer 🎒
- 8. Graphic Designer 🎨
- 9. English or Foreign Language Tutor 👨🏾🏫
- 10. Freelance Writer ✍️
- 11. Professional Note-Taker 📓
- 12. Product Reviewer 🧐
- 13. Online Course Creator 📹
- 14. Online Entrepreneur 💡
- 15. Search Engine Evaluator 🔎
- Best Online Jobs for College Students: Frequently Asked Questions 🙋♂️
1. Social Media Manager 📱
Everyone (and everything) is on social media. If a brand wants to catch the attention of potential customers on these platforms, getting a social media manager is the way to go. 🤩
In this job, you’re tasked with boosting a business’ online presence, from creating content to social media campaigns. As a freelancer, you’ll have greater freedom to pick and choose what services you offer.
Now there are three things you need to do this online job: a good laptop, a reliable internet connection, and extensive knowledge of social media.
💰 Potential income: $17 to $38 per hour
🎉 Pros: flexible working hours, ability to work in various niches
👎 Cons: competitive market, creatively exhausting, no benefits like health insurance and paid overtime
2. Virtual Assistant 👩💼
Did you know that you can lend a hand to busy executives and business owners even if you’re miles away? 🧑🏾💻
Being a virtual assistant requires hard work, but the good paycheck is well worth the extra effort you’ll exert on top of your studies.
As a virtual assistant, your job description will certainly vary between the clients you work with. However, common duties include updating social media sites, paying bills, answering emails, managing data in spreadsheets, and locating potential customers for your bosses.
In some cases, you can set your own hours, but big or last-minute projects could lead to busy nights and weekends. So, it’s extra convenient that you can work anywhere when you’re a virtual assistant.
Some of the competencies that’ll get you through this job are superior multitasking and organizational skills. Why? Because keeping track of all your assignments (and jumping from one task to another) is no easy feat.
Of course, you also have to be tech-savvy and able to deal with any computer issues.
💰 Potential income: $10 to $25 per hour
🎉 Pros: high earning potential with bonuses, freedom to pick who you work with, flexible working hours
👎 Cons: long hours with the possibility of weekend or holiday work, no added benefits such as health insurance, risk of communication breakdown, responsible for finding suitable clients
3. Translator 🎙
If you’re a bilingual or trilingual speaker, you can try your hand at translation!
From one-page white papers to instruction manuals and manuscripts, in this job, you’ll be handling all types of content that need translating between languages.
It’s also common to work with video subtitles and audio clips that need to be converted into foreign text. 🎞
Expressing a deep understanding of your language’s cultural nuances and specific grammatical concepts can set you up for success — like better reviews and higher rates.
💰 Potential income: $7 to $74 per hour
🎉 Pros: positive job market outlook, flexible working hours, could lead to other language-related job opportunities
👎 Cons: can be dull and tedious, stressful deadlines, no added benefits like health insurance and paid overtime, potential earnings vary
4. Data Entry Clerk ⌨️
If you’ve only heard about this term but never really understood what it means, data entry essentially applies to jobs that transfer data from one medium to another.
Common tasks include typing up handwritten documents, transferring numerical data into a new system database, and similar clerical jobs. Depending on your employer, you might be expected to verify information too.
It’s a relatively easy gig that doesn’t require specialized skills, making it perfect for college students looking for online jobs without a serious commitment. Just submit accurate work and hit your deadlines, and you’re good to go!
However, working as a part-time student usually means smaller pay compared to full-time offers. But if that doesn’t faze you, Indeed, FlexJobs, and Remote.co are where it’s at for online data entry jobs.
💰 Potential income: $10 to $19 per hour
🎉 Pros: easy and manageable tasks, minimal intellectual investment, no specialized skills needed, flexible working hours
👎 Cons: assignments can be tedious, few opportunities for career or salary growth, no added benefits like health insurance and paid overtime
5. Web Developer or Designer 🧑💻
Having an eye-catching and user-friendly website can make all the difference for a business. That’s where you can come in! 😉
There are plenty of online jobs on Upwork, Fiverr, and Flexjobs for college students looking to cash in on their design and web development skills.
And the best part? You don’t even need highly advanced skills to get started. Thanks to website builder apps such as Wix and WordPress, all you need to do is choose the features you want and click.
TIP: If you have time to practice your coding skills or attend short courses to bolster your web design skills, by all means, do it. This will help you secure better-paying online jobs or perhaps a lucrative postgraduate career in web design.
Expect to create and test web pages, troubleshoot problems, and collaborate with your clients to enhance site visitors’ experiences. But the key to making it as a freelance web designer is to market yourself to the right customers.
You can do this by finding your niche and then building your brand. Of course, it’s important to have a portfolio that clients can browse through, so take on meaningful projects.
💰 Potential income: $15 to $25 per hour
🎉 Pros: flexible working hours, improved career prospects, higher earning potential, build a diverse portfolio
👎 Cons: no added benefits like health insurance and paid overtime, responsible for managing client expectations, unstable availability of projects, need to bill clients
6. Online Survey Taker 🤔
Answering surveys may not be a stimulating use of your free time, but it’s a great way to earn a few dollars when you’ve got nothing else to do. 👌🏽
If this is the first time you’ve heard of this part-time gig, plenty of survey sites pay people for information to improve products and services. While getting rich out of online surveys is not easy, who can say no to some cash in exchange for a few minutes?
Do you have a short break between classes? Finished a term paper earlier than you expected? All you need is a working laptop and a stable internet connection, and you’re good to go.
Be careful, though! Scams are everywhere. Before signing up, remember that you’re not supposed to pay a fee to join. If you’re asked to do so, you’re likely to be ripped off.
💰 Potential income: $5 to $193 per hour
🎉 Pros: can sign up on different sites simultaneously, can be done in your spare time, no qualifications necessary for registration
👎 Cons: not well paid, surveys are not released consistently, signing up takes time, accounts can be canceled without warning
7. Micro-Freelancer 🎒
Need cash, fast? Consider signing up for small, quick jobs that pay $5, $10, or $15 at a time.
While you can’t rely too much on these virtual gigs to cover your tuition or rent, taking on tasks like proofreading documents and creating presentations can give you some extra cash to cover more minor expenses.
TaskRabbit and Fiverr are good, reliable places to start your search. But before you get ahead of yourself, remember that client reviews can make or break you. 👀
It’s essential to keep an eye out for details and give your absolute best from start to finish! Pairing satisfactory results with an excellent customer experience is the best recipe to secure repeating clients (and draw in new ones).
Although low-paying tasks are more common, you can rake in bigger pay for specific jobs, such as freelancing as a remote, at-home fitness trainer or a social media monitor.
💰 Potential income: $3 to $100 per task
🎉 Pros: flexible working hours, opportunity for growth in specialized freelance jobs
👎 Cons: commonly low paid, odd hours including possible weekend or holiday work, difficulty in finding quality jobs, no added benefits like health insurance and paid overtime
8. Graphic Designer 🎨
An eye for beauty backed up with technical know-how (hi, Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator 👋🏿) is your ticket to becoming a freelance graphic designer.
In this role, you’ll likely work with social media managers and copywriters to create stunning and effective visual materials for brands.
Does a client want fun illustrations for book covers or blog posts? You got it. What about simple yet sophisticated brand logos? No problemo. 💪
With tons of serious deadlines ahead, you’ll need a powerful laptop compatible with design tools to make sure you keep your clients happy.
TIP: If you’re out of inspiration or hustling to finish a project, try online resources like Canva that offer free graphic design templates. As long as your client doesn’t specifically want original work, using services like this can streamline your workflow.
💰 Potential income: $15 to $59 per hour
🎉 Pros: high earning potential, flexible working hours, freedom to pick who you work with, gain professional experience, build a portfolio of work
👎 Cons: long hours may be required, responsible for managing client expectations, unstable availability of projects, no added benefits like health insurance and paid overtime
9. English or Foreign Language Tutor 👨🏾🏫
Good news! Speaking any language fluently is all you need to start a profitable side gig in college.
Since learning English (and other in-demand languages like Spanish and Mandarin) can be a make-or-break skill in the classroom or the office, it can be quite easy to find people who’d want your help.
You don’t even have to be a licensed teacher or an English major to teach! All you need is to speak and write the language fluently and have a solid understanding of grammar and sentence construction.
You can include reading short stories and news articles to help your students with their reading comprehension. You can also set up short conversation sessions where your students can practice their language skills with others.
Another upside to this virtual job is that there are no borders! You can market your services to anyone in the world as long as you have the time.
💰 Potential income: $12 to $43 per hour
🎉 Pros: high earning potential, no license required, build relationships with clients and their culture, flexible working hours
👎 Cons: possibility of long or odd working hours, difficult client personalities, teaching challenges due to inexperience, no added benefits like health insurance and paid overtime
10. Freelance Writer ✍️
Have a knack for the written word? Then you’ve hit the online job gold mine! 🤑
College students have plenty of ways to profit from writing — whether it’s producing articles for blogs and niche sites, witty taglines for advertisements, or resumes for job seekers.
If you’d rather see your words come alive, you can dabble in scriptwriting for commercials, YouTube, and other promotional videos.
Interested? Start with entry-level assignments that can boost your portfolio. Once you’ve earned enough experience and reviews, it becomes easier to target bigger projects with bigger price tags.
Don’t forget to draft a simple contract for your clients to sign (you can find templates online)! You’ll be shocked to discover that payment dodgers can be quite common in the field of freelance writing.
💰 Potential income: $12 to $57 per hour
🎉 Pros: flexible working hours, stable job market, earn based on output
👎 Cons: competitive market, demanding clients, payment issues, number of revisions, no added benefits like health insurance and paid overtime
11. Professional Note-Taker 📓
The hours you’ve put into making easy-to-read, color-coded notes for your college classes could come in handy for a rainy day! 🌧️
Struggling college students will kill (and pay) for notes in difficult classes, especially if they’ve missed a lesson or two.
If note-taking has become your specialty, you can offer your services to your classmates for a fair price.
But to increase your chances, organize your notes so they can be easily digested, and don’t be afraid to make them pretty.
Need any more reasons to try this online job? Note-taking is proven to help you learn (and improve your grades) because you’re pushed to focus, listen, and go over course materials multiple times.
💰 Potential income: up to $500 per course
🎉 Pros: high earning potential for challenging courses, ability to take on different subjects, beneficial for your academic outcomes
👎 Cons: unstable customer demand, various professors have different paces, rewriting notes can be tiring
12. Product Reviewer 🧐
Want to get paid while trying something new? Become a product reviewer. ✨
We’ve mentioned that data collection is vital for companies to develop the best products possible. So why not sell your reviews?
To get started in this role, find trusted companies and sites that only ask for your time and opinions (not your money).
You may need to sign up to give necessary information since product reviews are all about demographics. Do you think it’s useful to ask men about tampons? What about college students and top-of-the-line skincare products? We don’t think so!
With actual products, companies tend to deliver them to your residence. But you can also review websites, ebooks, and apps that can easily be handed over via email.
Of course, you also need to have a way with words to clinch the gig. Reviewers that don’t relay anything informative and relevant can kiss future opportunities goodbye.
💰 Potential income: $5 to a couple of hundred dollars per product
🎉 Pros: no startup costs, flexible working hours, minimal technical knowledge needed, freedom to choose clients, wide range of possible clients
👎 Cons: available work can be inconsistent, tasks can be dull and repetitive, clients can be demanding, no added benefits like health insurance and paid overtime
13. Online Course Creator 📹
Are there any academic subjects you are incredibly good at? Perhaps you have marketable skills or hobbies learned over time? You can create online courses or monetize YouTube videos and put your knowledge to work. 🧑🏼🏫
First, ask yourself what you’re passionate about that can translate well into online courses. With your list, figure out which topics can attract an audience, then challenge yourself by thinking of ways to teach the class differently than your competition.
TIP: Focus on topics and skills that people will still be searching for in weeks, months, and even years to come.
Set yourself apart with good editing and compelling learning outcomes! But of course, creating an appealing online course that attracts tons of viewers only comes with loads of research and preparation.
Once you’re done, upload your content on platforms like Udemy, Teachable, and Skillshare. You should expect that some of these sites will take a small share out of your profit or require you to pay a fee before uploading.
The best part of this online job? You get to watch something you made once help you earn passive income in the years to come. 💸
💰 Potential income: between $5 and $500+ per course sold
🎉 Pros: low startup costs, earn passive income, flexible working hours
👎 Cons: technology costs, needs aggressive marketing strategies, income dependent on audience, no added benefits like health insurance and paid overtime
14. Online Entrepreneur 💡
Are you into photography, knitting, art, or have a bunch of unused stuff at home? You can create more space in your dorm and capitalize on your talents by selling products online.
There are tons of options to choose from when deciding what to put up for sale! You can resell unopened gifts and pre-loved clothes and appliances. You can also showcase your talent through original artwork, music, and handmade novelty items like resin necklaces and knitted accessories.
Etsy and eBay are fantastic, seller-friendly platforms to start your business. Online marketplaces in social media apps like Facebook can also do the trick.
A word of advice, though: choosing to run a business can be time-consuming, especially if you make the items yourself. Don’t sacrifice your grades for your new business.
💰 Potential income: varied (depending on product and business model)
🎉 Pros: valuable business experience, high earning potential, flexible working hours, freedom to run the business any way you want
👎 Cons: competitive nature of businesses, website and advertising costs, customer dependent, business acumen needed
15. Search Engine Evaluator 🔎
Assessing search engine performance can be a lucrative online job for college students, but we warn you: it’s a tough business to get into.
If you want to pursue this online venture, you need a certain level of understanding of search engines and user experience. Why? Because you’ll need to ensure that anything that comes up in a person’s browser is timely, relevant, and accurate to their inquiry.
Google, Safari, and other search engines depend on user feedback to improve their algorithms. As an evaluator, you can give these companies a much-needed human perspective.
This job might not require a specific set of digital skills, but you’ll need to exhibit superior research capabilities to ensure the correct answers come up. Some employers might impose an additional qualification test to scope your talents before you get started.
💰 Potential income: $10 to $49 per hour
🎉 Pros: flexible working hours, no specialized experience or bachelor’s degree needed, good earning potential
👎 Cons: companies usually have non-compete clauses, irregular flow of available work, no added benefits such as work incentives and health insurance, training period may not be compensated
Thank heavens for the internet. 🙏🏼 Pursuing any of these online jobs for college students will undoubtedly make life easier and keep your wallet (and your fridge) full for a while longer.
Best Online Jobs for College Students: Frequently Asked Questions 🙋♂️
🤑 What online student job pays the most?
If you’re a student with web or graphic design skills, you can earn up to $50 per hour just by working online during your studies.
While other jobs have higher salary caps, the starting income for these two is relatively higher, which could largely benefit talented college students.
Of course, there are also promising jobs that rake in a lot of cash when done right. Good examples would be selling your notes or creating online courses, which can tally from $500 to thousands of dollars if you find the right audience.
💸 How do online student freelancers get paid?
You have multiple ways to get your money. If your employers are from the same town, you can meet up and be paid in cash or by check.
For those not even on the same continent, you can easily find a trusted payment provider like PayPal or Western Union that allows an employer to transfer the money to your local bank account. A usual downside is the service fees that can significantly cut into your profits every year.
Online freelancers can also consider an electronic fund transfer that involves bank-to-bank payments. But it may take more than two business days before the money is reflected in your account.
💰 Do online freelancers pay taxes?
If you’re a US freelancer, you only need to earn $400 before you have to start paying taxes. You also have to pay a self-employment tax once you start to earn more than $400 during the year.
Our suggestion? Carefully record all the transactions you have with your clients so you can breeze through tax days.
As much as possible, spend a little time each day to focus on tax-related tasks like updating your income and expenditures as they come. This makes your records more accurate, so you don’t have to panic when deadlines are near.
💪 What’s the best online job for students without experience?
No specialized skills but need to cash in as a student? Consider working as a part-time language tutor or translator because you only need to speak a language fluently to be hired — even English!
Data entry is also a friendly field for college students without experience since all you have to do is transfer data from one format or source to another.
If you want a little variety, it’s time to get into micro-freelancing. You can bank on simple skills like creating PowerPoint designs and transcribing one-page documents to earn some cash.