Summertime has always been for going to the beach, hanging with friends, and having zero responsibilities. When you’re in college, though, it’s also a great opportunity to make some money that you can put towards tuition or use as spending money once the semester starts up again. Here are seven summer jobs that are perfect for college students.
Being a server seems to be the go-to job for a lot of college students who are home on break. While working at a restaurant (or a catering hall) isn’t the easiest job in the world, it does pay well. If you’re able to return to the same eatery every summer, you’ll know the job well and be able to fall right back in with the rest of the crew.
If you want to have some steady money coming in regardless of your tips, try to land a job as a caterer. Servers who work in catering halls get paid more per hour because the tips are inconsistent.
The work is physically demanding, but when it comes to taking orders and remembering the menu, it’s a cinch because you serve up the same dishes every night.
Just plan for long days – caterers generally work weddings and shifts are usually a minimum of six hours (expect to get asked to work a lot of doubles, too).
If you don’t want to look into summer jobs because you don’t want to take any time away from the beach or the pool, you can have the best of both worlds by becoming a lifeguard. Not only will you have a fantastic view, but you’ll also get a killer tan and meet new people.
All you need is to complete a certification course from your area’s YMCA or Red Cross and you’ll be able to work at a beach, resort, day camp, or country club. If you want this type of summer job but you’re not a strong swimmer, consider becoming a camp counselor. Or do both and make double the money!
3. Nanny (Or Pet Sitter)
If you’re hoping to work with kids in some respect once you get out into the real world, being a nanny for the summer is a great start. A lot of working parents needs help once their kids are out of school for a few months and you’ll probably get free room and board, too.
If you land a nanny position for a wealthy family in a cool vacation spot, you basically get paid to play with kids in a great location for a couple of months. Some nannies make as much as $20 per hour!
Keep in mind that some people need nannies for their pets, too! Being a pet sitter is a fantastic job if you love animals (and if the one you’re sitting is well behaved). Some pet “parents” will pay a premium to have their beloved dog pampered and protected.
So long as you don’t mind late nights, bartending (or bar-backing) is a great gig. The per hour rate is low, but what you lose in your paycheck you’ll more than make up for in tips, assuming you’re at a popular bar.
Try to get weekend and nighttime shifts to make the most of your time there. If you have zero experience bartending but you want to learn, ask around to find a restaurant that’ll hire you as a bar-back and teach you the ropes. One summer of bar-backing can lead to a few more of bartending for better tips.
5. Hospitality Representative
Since summer is a prime time for tourism, a lot of hospitality positions open up, especially if you live in a tourist-y area.
Check out your area’s hotels, restaurants, resorts, and attractions to see if they need extra help during July and August. A lot of these jobs pay well and many of them come with tips. You’ll also need a broad range of people from around the country.
If you love working with your hands and you don’t mind building things, a job in construction can turn into some well-earned money. There are a variety of positions in construction, from highway work to excavation, and both commercial and residential projects.
Just make sure you’re physically up to the job before seeking one out – it takes a lot of stamina, energy, and strength.
The absolute best job you can get as a college student is a paid internship. Not only will you make a little bit of money for your savings account, but you’ll get exposure to the career of your choice, which looks great on your resume. You could also make some contacts who’ll come in handy after you graduate.