There are plenty of jobs for college students in the summer, but most pay below the minimum wage. Here are some of the highest paying summer jobs for college students.
Summer is approaching fast, and for most college students, it’s the only time when you can make some money to run you through the rest of the year.
And with all the things you hope to take care of with the money back in school, you just don’t need a job. You need the highest paying summer jobs for college students out there.
Having the right summer job for college students means that your ramen noodles or keg stock will be full all year round, and you’ll be more financially stable compared to your peers.
Seriously, these high-paying summer jobs could also help you address the challenges of covering your tuition fees, paying for your books, and other college expenses.
My list of 33 highest paying summer jobs for college students will help you find the best summer jobs that you can do to ensure that you have enough cash for college.
Some of the opportunities outlined below are not only great for summer but can also become a career to follow after college.
These jobs don’t require you to have a college degree, they are flexible, and you can earn $14 or more potentially.
Why Summer Jobs
Most students look for summer jobs but for different reasons.
Among the chief reasons to look for summer jobs, is saving up for books and tuition fees. Some students just need the summer jobs to have enough cash for booze and other extra curricular activities.
Money being the first reason, the second reason for taking up on summer jobs is exploring different career options. You also get to grow your network and skills in a particular area if you choose to go for internships as your summer job.
When Should I start Applying for Summer Jobs in 2021?
For summer jobs that require formal applications, it’s best if you apply soonest. Some thorough background check can also help you know when your particular job of interest starts to receive applications.
Winter is the best time to send out your applications, but spring break isn’t that bad either. Most summer opportunities will ask for a reesume, cover letter, and maybe some recommendation letters. Prepare these documents early enough to avoid last minute stress.
How to Find Summer Jobs Near Me
There are several ways to find the highest paying summer jobs for college students. Some will only need you to approach your neighbors and ask for the job (i.e landscaping), and others require a more formal process of inquiry.
You can use online recruitment resources and job boards to find openings near you.
Some reliable resources include;
Affiliate Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links that I get a commission for, at no cost to you. However, I only review tools, programs, and services that I have used or actually tested, and which I feel are worth recommending to our readers. Please read the full affiliate disclosure.
Highest Paying Summer Jobs for College Students in 2021
1. Customer Service Representative
Customer service representatives are a crucial part of how companies relate to their customers.
As a customer representative, your primary role is to help customers.
Customers rely on you to provide helpful information, respond to their queries, and handle their complaints. You may also provide basic non-technical help such as setup processes
The role requires you to have excellent listening skills and the ability to remain calm even when customers express their frustrations.
Job posting websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed have lots of opportunities open for customers service representatives
2. Camp Leader
Community organizations, schools, high schools, and college students all have one common thing during summer. Summer camps!
Private operators with camping expertise provide schools with the necessary services to organize a camping experience.
If you’ve already been to several summer camps and gained some skills that would help camping students, you can make some extra money in summer as a camp leader.
Being a camp leader could involve trekking, fishing, cooking, organizing sports events, maintaining discipline in the camp, or exploration.
3. Tour Guide
If you love history and consider it fun to share the history of a place with tourists or travelers, you can make money as a tour guide and share your knowledge away.
Tour guides have deep knowledge about different historical sites and phenomena and therefore need excellent interpersonal skills to pass this information to the people they teach.
If you can share valuable information with a tourist or group of travelers who wish to learn about some piece of history, then this could be an excellent fit for you.
The average income for a tour guide is $14 per hour.
4. House Painter
If you have a great eye for colors and are full of creativity in painting, painting houses is a great and fulfilling summer job you can try out.
Many painting companies look for students to help with painting the interior and exterior walls of homes. You’ll have lots of fun painting outside in the summer and make some money out of it.
The average income for a college student in summer is $18.25/ hour.
5. Event Planner
As an event planner, your work is to help individuals, businesses, or companies to organize and hold an event successfully.
As an event planner, your work starts by capturing your client’s idea and then organizing to their satisfaction.
The services involved in event planning will include securing an event location, securing catering, entertainment, décor, transportation, and other things based on your client’s wants.
As an event organizer, you will also take care of the guest registry and ensure that décor is done to your client’s satisfaction and the catering services are in place.
Event organizers sign a contract with their clients and base their charges on the overall cost of the event.
According to Indeed, an event planner earns an average of $16.07 per hour.
Decorating venues for parties or events is a daunting task, and if you’ve tried decorating your house for a summer party, you know it’s not a walk in the park.
Most people prefer to hire event organizers and event management companies, who then hire college students as decorators.
All you need to work with event organizers is creativity and the ability to get the house/ office look as the customer wants it to look.
What’s more, you’ll often get a through-pass to the party and get some generous tips for doing a great job.
7. Fitness Instructor
Is fitness a passion that you pursue daily? You can make money helping people regain their health and fitness.
As a fitness instructor, your work involves instructing, motivating, and leading individuals or groups of people to attain their fitness goals.
As a fitness instructor, your work will involve helping different clients create their fitness routines.
You will also help your clients create success milestones and monitor progress in their fitness journey.
This is one of the highest paying summer jobs for college students who are fitness die-hards. The average salary is $22.68 per hour.
8. Computer Technology
Internet Technology is among the fastest-growing job markets in the world today. If you have any computer programming or networking skills up your sleeves, many companies are looking for your help.
Companies will hire you as a freelancer for Jobs related to computer technology. Besides being one of the highest paying summer jobs for college students, these jobs will help you build a portfolio while you gain real experience.
You could even choose to focus on your IT skills and build a career after you graduate. With the portfolio you build doing computer technology jobs during summer, you’ll likely land a full-time position in companies with an IT department.
The minimum wage for most computer technology-related work starts from $15/ hour. You can make more money in a day by working for more than one company at the same time and even work through school. The number of hours you put in will depend on your schedule and the company’s expectations.
9. Bank Teller
Bank teller jobs are some of the highest paying summer jobs for college students as you get reasonable rates, good working hours, and a significant boost to your resume for customer service and handling cash.
Bank teller jobs are entry-level positions, and you don’t need any prior experience.
Working as a bank teller means that you are trustworthy. You also get to develop multiple skills such as customer service and financial management.
Bank teller jobs pay above the minimum wage and fetch anywhere from $12 to $15/ hour.
10. Waiting & Bartending
Waiting and bartending fall among the highest paying summer jobs for college students, for obvious reasons. Your income depends on where you work, and you may not make as much waiting or tending in small establishments.
Waiting or bartending requires fluid schedules. The jobs pay low base wages, but the tips you get from excellent service are often high.
As a waiter or bartender, tips are your main source of income. You’ll have higher chances to make more money if you target higher-end bars and restaurants.
Waiting or bartending are also great second jobs if you already have a main summer gig. You can pick up extra shifts as a waiter or bartender to increase how much you make during summer. Two jobs will help you save more for your school year.
In particular, bartending is a high-paced job that requires you to multitask in often loud environments.
You’ll have a good chance of making more money if you love chatting with your customers and are available to work over the weekends.
Both waiting and bartending jobs are tedious as you may have to stay standing and walk about for every hour you work. The tips are great, though, and will have to be earned.
11. Construction Worker
As a construction worker, your work mainly involves building or repairing buildings, roads, and other structures using your client’s blueprints.
As a construction worker, the work involved is mainly physical labor and may also involve cleaning up debris from construction sites, loading and unloading building materials, and operating heavy equipment.
The average income for a construction worker is $15 per hour.
12. Child care/ Baby Sitting
When kids are out of school during summer, many people are looking for extra nanny help.
Child care is a great summer job for college students who appreciate/ enjoy taking care of kids.
Heads up, though! Babysitting requires you to be active and be attentive for most of the day.
It’s also best for you if you love organized spaces but don’t mind the occasional mess that children cause during playtime.
The good thing about this job is that parents are willing to pay extra if you are responsible.
If you are an international student or coming from a different state, babysitting could be your next adventure before classes resume.
You could make anywhere from $12-$20 per hour, which varies with the number of kids you babysit.
If you want a well-paying outdoor summer job as a college student, landscaping might be what you are looking for.
Landscaping jobs have a lot to do with weeding gardens, trimming hedges, and mowing lawns.
The basic wage for landscaping jobs is $12/ hour.
14. Ice Cream Shop Attendant
Working in ice cream parlors will get you one of the highest paying jobs for college students.
Working in an ice cream shop will only get you a basic wage as income, but you will make more from the tips that happy customers leave you.
These jobs are hard to come by for college students as most ice cream shops hire high schoolers.
15. Freelance Writer
If you love to write a lot or know a lot about particular topics, freelance writing jobs are a great source of income for college students.
One of the best perks of freelance writing is that you can work from home or a coffee shop. You also choose your working hours and pick the jobs you want to pick.
There are thousands of jobs for freelance writers if you know where to look. Fiverr is a great place to start getting freelance writing jobs.
If you are intent on knowing how freelance writing works and how to start from scratch and grow to earn more than $5,000 a month as a freelance writer, read more about freelance writing as Gina Horkey explains it.
Many cities have a public swimming pool, and each pool hires several lifeguards. You could make good money working one of the highest paying summer jobs for college students as a lifeguard. I
Summer is the best season for public beaches and swimming pools, which leads to hundreds of openings for lifeguard opportunities.
Lifeguard summer jobs require strong swimmers, and if you are one of the people who enjoy sports and outdoor activities, this is a great summer job for you. It’s not only excellent service to the community but also fun.
On average, you’ll make $9.31/ hour or more as a lifeguard, with a chance of making more if you have previous experience or certifications.
Salary.com says you can make anywhere between $16-$20 per hour as a seasonal lifeguard
17. Swimming Pool Instructor
Being a pool instructor is among the highest paying summer jobs for college students. First, you must know how to offer emergency lifesaving procedures.
You must also have enough swimming skills to create and provide different lessons for different ages and swimming levels.
Certifications for this summer job are a must-have, coupled with great communication skills.
As a swimming instructor, your work involves training children how to swim. It may also involve organizing outdoor and indoor recreational activities for people of all ages.
As a college student offering swimming pool instructor services, the average salary is $8.5- $18.7.
Online tutoring is one of the highest paying summer jobs for college students- and there’s a good reason behind it.
There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of children looking for extra help with subjects they have a hard time understanding.
Agencies are the best place to start looking for tutoring jobs as they always need tutors.
Some agencies are entirely online, while others have a walk-in office where you report to and tutor Children through a webcam.
Some companies allow you to work from home. You’ll need to tidy up a part of your room to create a workstation for your tutoring job.
Alternatively, you could also find your clients in your community. Advertorial pamphlets and posters could help you tell your neighbors more about your tutoring services and the subjects you can tutor.
As a tutor, your work will involve reviewing assignments, assisting with homework, and breaking down study content into concepts that are easy to understand.
You could earn an average of $19.57 as a college student tutoring English.
19. Data Entry Operator
If you want a summer job that is relatively simple and flexible, then you won’t go wrong with data entry jobs.
All you need is to enter data in an organized way as your employer requires. You will get the raw data and then organize it into a usable form.
This job offers you the choice of working on an hourly basis or per assignment.
However, you may first have to agree with your employer about how you work.
There are plenty of data entry operator jobs on popular recruitment portals such as Indeed and ZipRecruiter.
Data entry jobs are available all year round, and you could still make money even while in school.
You can also work for multiple companies as a data entry operator, which could help you scale your earnings significantly.
To find multiple clients for your freelance data entry job Fiverr is a great freelance project website to get consistent data entry jobs all year round.
Income for data entry operators averages $14.59/ hour.
In general, transcription involves transforming audio and video records into written text.
Transcription is also one of the highest paying summer jobs for college students that doesn’t require any previous experience to start.
Transcription jobs are highly flexible, and you can work from home and make as much money in a day as you can work.
AS a beginner transcriptionist, all you need is a computer, stable internet, a good quality pair of headsets.
If you plan to turn transcription into a part-time source of income after summer, you can consider buying a foot pedal from Amazon.
Foot pedals for transcribers help in playing, pausing, rewinding, and forwarding the audio or video that you are transcribing.
On average, transcription websites such as Rev.com and TranscribeMe pay an average of $0.60- $1.20/ audio minute.
Often, transcription sites pay you more for transcribing low-quality audio files.
21. Pet Walker
If you love pets and don’t mind spending your mornings walking them during summer, pet sitting and dog walking jobs could be a great fit for you.
Elderly persons or people with day jobs often require somebody to walk their dogs daily.
Most pet owners are willing to pay great money for their pets if you can walk their pets around every morning and evening.
Pet walking is now a profession as it involves you ensuring that the dogs are safe and remain on their leash while walking them.
As a pet walker, you are also expected to ensure that you clean after the dogs and dispose waste in the designated areas to avoid penalties or fines.
Apps such as Wag and Rover are a great place to start if you need to land pet walking jobs quickly.
You could also approach dog owners in your community and offer your dog walking/ pet sitting services and agree on the price.
Most dog walking summer jobs will earn you about $14/hour.
22. Virtual Assistant
Suppose you are social media savvy and want to help companies and entrepreneurs communicate and market their products and services.
In that case, you can work a remote virtual assistant job in the summer and make some extra money online.
As a virtual assistant, you ideally take care of administrative work, managing emails, booking appointments, social media management, creative content design, customer service, and more.
The position is fully remote and freelance, and you can work from home.
You could also pick more than one client to work with, making it a lucrative summer job for college students.
Check out this resource on how to jumpstart your VA business.
Depending on your experience, virtual assistants earn from $6-$15 per hour.
Proofreading summer jobs are a great place to make extra bucks as you get to help local printing presses and stationery suppliers.
Your work will involve correcting addresses and other material to ensure they are free of spelling and grammar errors.
It’s also a cool part-time gig that could make you money even after summer as you can work online as a freelance proof-reader.
Freelancer platforms such as Fiverr have hundreds of proofreading jobs posted daily.
While you don’t need any experience to start making money as a proofreader, taking a proofreading course can help you accelerate your proofreading side hustle to making up to $4,000 a month.
Caitlin Pyle’s General Proofreading workshop is a free webinar that shares actionable steps on how to start a successful freelance proofreading career to making $4,000 a month.
The average pay for a proofreader is $18.53/ hour.
24. Store attendant
Boutiques, malls, supermarkets, retail outlets, and every other brick and mortar business always have a demand for in-store attendants.
Peak seasons only drive the demand for attendants higher. You need to be present physically as the jobs are offline.
As a store attendant, your task involves ensuring that products are correctly displayed and helping customers find what they need.
Being a store attendant does not need any previous experience in sales, and your agreement with your employer determines your working hours.
Tips are not as frequent as you would get as a bartender or waiter- but helping customers push trolleys may get you an occasional tip.
On average, you will make anywhere between $7-$25/hour as a store attendant.
The wide disparity in the hourly rate is because some stores will generally pay higher hourly rates.
25. Bakery Helper/ Assistant
Not only is it one of the highest paying summer jobs for college students, but also one of the most rewarding experiences you may gain over the summer.
You’ll learn lots of new stuff, and you may even know how to bake your cake or cookies.
If you are interested in more than just making money, you may also learn the art of decorating cakes by working alongside professional cake decorators.
You’ll make anywhere between $8-$15/ hour as a bakery assistant.
Labelers are an essential labor force in the retail industry. There is demand for labelers in all types of stores, and the job only involves putting labels with barcodes on all items.
Labels make it easy for cashiers to scan the price of an item and therefore serve multiple customers fast.
You will have to find the right price of stuff and print the labels. After printing, the next step is to affix the labels on the right products and scan them to ensure that you’ve not made any errors.
Labeling is one of the highest paying summer jobs for college students, and you can have flexible working hours.
The average income for a labeler is $10-$15/ hour.
All supermarkets require stockers to ensure that products are stocked on shelves before doors open for customers.
The need for stockers goes high during peak seasons. As a stoker, your assistance may be needed several times a day as the shelves go empty.
You will be tasked with ensuring that you refill shelves with stocks and arrange them the way the store has designed the arrangement.
Stocking is physically involving as you have to carry things around or push trolleys. On average, a stocker earns $10-$15/ hour.
28. Food Delivery
If you have a vehicle or motorbike, you could make some good money during summer as a food delivery guy.
You may find some luck with your neighborhood restaurant, or you could sign up on Postmates and get paid for every delivery you make.
Often, deliveries pay anywhere between $5-$25 per delivery, making food delivery one of the highest paying summer jobs for college students.
How much you get paid depends on the size of the order and the distance. You can also make more money for delivering liquor.
As is with food delivery jobs, you’ll likely get some nice tips from customers.
Depending on who you work for, food delivery jobs pay an average of $10-$18/ hour.
You’ve already seen mascots wooing people to visit a restaurant or a store.
Mascots are a great way for restaurants to attract more customers during promotions or festivals.
Most restaurants will only require you to stand outside for an hour or more.
Other restaurants have a mascot permanently as part of their marketing strategy.
While you’ll have to brave the heat of the day, being a mascot is an easy job.
It’s also fun, especially if you are giving out candy to passers-by.
The average salary for a mascot is $12-$35/ hour.
If you happen to have a large social media following from your campus friends, or you have gained popularity in college for playing a particular sport, you can work as a micro-influencer.
Companies are always willing to collaborate with micro-influencers with a large social media following.
As a micro-influencer, local businesses can leverage your social following to attract customers.
You can create promotional campaigns that go out to your followers to ensure that the businesses you work with can get measurable returns.
Micro influencer income is niche, and factors such as your number of followers and the quality of traffic are considered while negotiating the pay.
31. Sales staff
If you have the skills or the charm to persuade people into making decisions, sales jobs are among the highest paying summer jobs for college students out there.
Whether you work in a sales store, outdoor furniture gallery, or boutique, you can have fun learning how to interact with customers while making some money.
While many companies are offering large commissions to their sales staff out there, you should go for low-pressure sales opportunities in summer.
Sales staff get an average of $10 per hour. However, most businesses also offer a commission-based system of compensation to their sales staff.
32. Freelance Graphic Designer
If you are great at creating digital graphics, memes, or animating videos, you can make extra money as a freelance graphic designer.
As a graphic designer, you’ll work directly with digital marketing departments, content marketing specialists, social media managers, and bloggers to create high-quality graphics that attract and create content for online content.
The work of a graphic designer involves creating visual concepts, mostly using free software such as Canva or paid software such as Adobe Photoshop.
Graphics are an essential component of the overall content marketing strategy of a company or business.
Graphics match a particular piece of content and help promote the content on digital and social media platforms.
Their primary function is to communicate. Often, graphics amplify the underlying message through aspects such as typography, illustrations, and motion graphics.
They are used in advertisements, reports, magazines, brochures, and blogs.
Like other freelancing opportunities, you can work with multiple clients, and most graphic design jobs are remote.
All you need is a reliable laptop and stable Wi-Fi connection to start working on your graphics design summer job.
Entry-level freelance graphic design jobs pay about $26/ hour.
33. Freelance Web Designer
If you have some knowledge in web design skills and know your way around platforms such as WordPress, Squarespace, and landing page builders, you can make some good money in the summer as a freelance web designer.
Your work as a web designer will involve creating new websites, updating existing web pages, creating new landing pages, and more.
Web designers create a seamless and appealing flow between text, pictures, and functions of a website. You map out the layout of the website or web pages.
Depending on the level of your skills, a freelance web designer makes $27-$75 per hour.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much do the highest paying summer jobs for college students pay per hour?
- Computer Technology -$15-$45/hour
- Waiting or Bartending- $8-$15/ hour (with a ton of tips)
- Freelance Writer- $25-$35/hour
- Freelance Web Designer – $27/ hour
- Freelance Graphic designer- $26/hour
- Food Delivery – $5-$25/ delivery
- Dog walking/ pet sitting- $14/hour
- Tutor- $19.75/ hour
- Babysitting- $!2-$20/ hour
2. Are summer jobs for college students worth it?
Summer jobs are worthwhile for college students. They are helpful for most people as they make college life more manageable.
Getting the highest paying summer jobs for colleges can even help you take care of your tuition fees, pay your books, and ensure that you have enough to enjoy life while in college.
To some people, summer jobs are an excellent opportunity to identify their strengths and the direction to follow in building a career.
While you need to take time off and rest, summer can be a great time to make some extra cash.
There are numerous summer jobs, including internships in your field of practice.
These jobs give you a chance to gain invaluable experience that you can use on your resume after you are done with college.
You could even choose to focus on your summer job and get to work full-time, and make more money after graduating from college.
Freelancing jobs are some of the highest paying summer jobs for college students that can also transform into a career after college. Check out this list of legit online jobs for college students that could help you make money part-time while still pursuing your college education.