18 Best Side Hustles For College Students


best side hustles for college students

Having a side hustle while you’re a student allows you to offset some of your living expenses, potentially earning money to pay your tuition bill, or even help you build skills for your future career.

Whether it’s buying books or going out with friends on the weekend, there are a ton of expenses you’ll have to cover while you’re in school. Having a side hustle in college to earn some extra income can be a big win.

The best side hustles for college students are flexible, don’t require a lot of experience, and pay enough to be worth the effort. We break down our favorite flexible jobs for students, based on what type of job it is, how much you can make, the benefits, and the level of time commitment required (because students are busy).

On-Demand Services

One-demand services refers to side hustles where you can pull out an app on your phone and start earning money. On-demand services like ride sharing and delivery are great side hustles for college students because they are typically the most flexible – you can do them anytime, anywhere.

Deliver Stuff

How It Works: Delivery gig apps like DoorDashUberEats, and Amazon Flex allow you to get paid for delivering food and groceries, and other things too!

The best part? You can still make deliveries if you don’t have a car. Just register as a bike or scooter delivery person instead. Not only will you save money by not having to constantly fill up your gas tank, but you’ll basically get paid to exercise too.

Benefits: Compensation for gig delivery apps varies by platform and demand. According to Harvard Business Review, the average delivery driver earns $20.33 per hour.

Getting Started: To get started, simply download the app and sign up in your area. Many of these apps allow you to register as a bike or scooter driver, which can be great near college campuses. Depending on your campus or location, you might find any of the following:

Time Commitment: Low Time Commitment

College Student Delivering Food On A Bike

Walk Dogs

How It Works: If kids aren’t your thing, that’s ok because fur children need attention too. Dog owners who can’t make it home during the workday are constantly in need of dog walkers who can take their pup out for a potty break. This is a great side gig if you have a break between classes that you’d like to monetize.

Benefits: Dog walkers make around $17 per hour. This can be higher, though, if you’re able to walk multiple dogs at once.

Getting Started: You can find dog walking gigs on platforms like Wag and Rover. You can also work with a local dog walking agency to find shift work. Not only is it a great way to make extra cash, but it allows you to get paid to exercise too. Get started here:

Time Commitment: Low Time Commitment


How It Works: Families are always looking for a good babysitter to look after their kids. If you don’t mind giving up some of your weekends, babysitting is an easy way to make extra cash – and get paid to study after you tuck the kids into bed too.

Benefits: Rates for babysitting can vary based on where you live. According to UrbanSitter, babysitters are making around $24 per hour for one child and $26 for two.

Getting Started: Register with a platform like UrbanSitter or Care.com to start offering your services. Once you’ve established yourself in your community, leverage word-of-mouth referrals to build consistent clientele. Get started here:

Time Commitment: Low Time Commitment

House Sit

How It Works: Instead of being paid by the hour, house sitters are often paid per day. This can be an easy way to make extra cash around your existing schedule.

This can be a great gig for pet lovers, since apps like Rover allow pet owners to book housesits while they’re away from home. This can include checking in on a cat a couple of times a day or staying in the pet owner’s home for a few days at a time.

Benefits: The rate for housesitting can vary based on what you’re expected to do and how long you’ll be expected to house sit for. Rates can go as high as $150 per night.

Getting Started: Just like babysitting, word-of-mouth can help you land consistent house sitting gigs. Otherwise you’re going to need to use an app like Rover to combo gigs.

Time Commitment: Medium Time Commitment

Do Odd Jobs

How It Works: Odd jobs are random things most people don’t want to do and are willing to pay someone else to do it for them. This can range from light housework to running errands to assisting a human owner with a big home improvement project.

For example, do you like putting together IKEA furniture or cleaning out gutters? If so there’s an opportunity for you to make extra cash around your school work.

As a side note, only 5.7% of handy-people are women. This is a huge untapped side hustle for women as some women would prefer a female to work in their home.

Benefits: Rates can vary depending on the job. A TaskRabbit assembling IKEA furniture in Austin, for example, can earn around $45 per hour.

Getting Started: You can find odd jobs on sites like Craigslist and Nextdoor, as well as apps like TaskRabbit and Thumbtack. You can also post jobs you’re willing to do too. How much money you’ll make will depend on the type of work you do. Just remember: the harder the task, the more likely you’ll get a bigger payout from it.

Time Commitment: Low Time Commitment

Academic Services

You’re already a student, why not take advantage of what you already know as a side hustle? Academic-related services are an easy tie-in for students. In fact, when I was in college, I would tutor and also sell my class notes. Many colleges have note-taking and note-selling services right on campus! 

Here are some more ideas:


How It Works: If you’re a good student and an ace at helping your classmates with their homework, you could consider becoming a tutor. Many colleges have academic offices that hire student tutors but if you want more flexibility, you can offer your services through a tutoring platform.

Benefits: Tutors make around $22 per hour. More depending on what area you specialize in.

Getting Started: I would recommend starting local on-campus. But you can also go virtual. Chegg, Wyzant, and Varsity Tutors are a couple of examples of places where you can land tutoring gigs.

Time Commitment: Medium Time Commitment

College Student Side Hustle: College Student Tutoring A Child

Editing and Proofreading

How It Works: Depending on your college major, you may be doing a LOT of writing and editing. This can be a valuable skill – for both your other classmates, and even small business owners in your community. Or take it one step farther, and website owners and bloggers everywhere.

This website has several editors, all who edit and proofread the content – making it better, checking for errors, and more.

Benefits: It might sound crazy, but the best proofreaders can make upwards of $4,000 per month or more!

Getting Started: Getting started is the hardest part. You can list your services online marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork, you can leverage word-of-mouth referrals, or you can even jump into classes like Proofreading Launch.

Time Commitment: Medium to High Time Commitment

Research Assistant

How It Works: Student research assistant jobs are great flexible jobs for students since they’re typically on-campus work, they pay well, and they could even help you build a relationship with a professor in your field. Many college departments hire research assistants – look at science fields (especially health and cognitive science), political science, marketing, communications, and business.

Benefits: The average research assistant makes just above minimum wage at $20.50, according to Indeed.

Getting Started: To get started as a research assistant, you’re going to need to look around campus. Many departments post flyers and jobs, or you could connect with your professor or TA to see if they know of any positions.

Time Commitment: High Time Commitment

Online Platforms And Marketplaces

Making money online is always a great opportunity. Sadly, many of the online platforms to earn and make money don’t earn much – but they also take very little time and have no commitments. This can be great for a college student.

Personally, I used to open up my laptop before class and do surveys until class started. This let me earn cash and giftcards that I could use on campus for lunch!

However, as you get into more entrepreneurship-focused side hustles (like selling digital products), it can take more time. But since this is online, you can still do them from your dorm room!

Participate in Research Studies

How It Works: Participating in research studies is a great way to earn money on the side. Depending on the nature of the study, you might be able to complete it online or you may have to regularly report to an office on campus.

There are also a lot of paid survey websites where you can get paid to share your opinion!

Benefits: Compensation can be a lump sum based on completing certain phases of the study or an hourly rate for your time. For online surveys, you’re going to make a very tiny amount per survey.

Getting Started: Check bulletin boards or clinical study websites to see if any departments on campus are looking for research participants. For online surveys, check out these options:

Time Commitment: Low to Medium Time Commitment

Participating in research studies is a great way to earn money on the side. Depending on the nature of the study, you might be able to complete it online or you may have to regularly report to an office on campus.

Check bulletin boards or clinical study websites to see if any departments on campus are looking for research participants. Compensation can be a lump sum based on completing certain phases of the study or an hourly rate for your time.

Related: 100 Ways To Make Money In College

Sell Digital Products

How It Works: Creating and selling digital products is a great side hustle to consider because it allows you to earn residual income. One of my favorite digital products for college students to sell is class notes!

To earn even more money, consider creating a course. This can be around a specific hobby – like photography – or around a particular skill you have. While there’s an upfront time investment for creating digital products, once they’re available for sale you can generate income for months – or even years – to come.

Benefits: Digital product sales can vary depending on what you sell and the type of product it is. Templates on Etsy, for example, can sell for a few bucks while a course could sell for several hundred dollars. If you’re a student, selling your notes to a class could net you $10 every sale.

Getting Started: You can sell course notes, study guides, and templates on sites like Etsy and Gumroad. For note selling, there are special platforms that focus on it:

Time Commitment: Medium Time Commitment

Flip Stuff Online

How It Works: Do you have an eye for spotting treasure at thrift stores or estate sales? If so, flipping can be a great side hustle for you. In fact, this was one of our founder’s favorite side hustles when he was in college!

Benefits: Flipping stuff will vary depending on what you’re selling and the platform you’re selling on. Selling used clothes on Poshmark will probably be less lucrative than selling vintage toys on eBay (although it will probably be a lot easier to source used clothes).

Getting Started: Register for platforms like eBayPoshmark, or Facebook Marketplace to list gently used items for sale. You can find items to sell at thrift stores, garage sales, or helping your roommate clean out their closet.

Time Commitment: Medium Time Commitment

college side hustle ideas: flipping garage sale items

Digital Skills And Freelancing

Freelancing is where you can get paid as a side hustle to create certain deliverables. For example, you get paid to create a logo, or write an article, or develop a calculator for a website. These side hustle options are great for students with the matching skillset. And online platforms make it easier than ever to connect with potential clients.

Freelance Writing

How It Works: Freelance writing is a online side hustle where you get paid for content creation, blogging, and copywriting. Basically someone needs an article, and you write it. If you have good writing skills, this is a fantastic side hustle.

Benefits: Freelance writers can earn anywhere from $0.01 a word to $1.00. Of course, the higher amounts of earning come with experience and expertise. A starting college student can expect to maybe get $50 per article. If you have specific knowledge and expertise in field, you can command more.

Getting Started: To get started, you should look at writing job boards or tools like Upwork. As you build a clietn base, you can start getting referred to others. Here’s our guide to how to get started freelance writing as a side hustle.

Time Commitment: Medium Time Commitment

Graphic Design

How It Works: Graphic design works very similar to freelance writing, except instead of creating an article you’re creating graphics. This could be something simple like a logo, to something more complex like an infographic or full website.

Benefits: Graphic designers are in huge demand due to the rise of social media. On Upwork, Graphic Designers can charge as much as $145 per hour!

Getting Started: To get started with a graphic design side hustle, you’re going to want to create a profile on major sites like Fiverr and Upwork. Showcase a few of your past projects (or create a logo for yourself to highlight your skills if you don’t have much experience). 

Time Commitment: Medium Time Commitment

Web Development and Programming

How It Works: Web development and programming as a side hustle might not sound like a great gig for students, but depending on the project and skill level of the student, it can be very lucrative. With the internet, potential customers don’t even have to know you’re a college student, as long as you can deliver the results.

So what kind of web development works best? Things like creating a website for a small business, making a calculator, and other small projects are great for college students.

Benefits: You can expect to earn anywhere from $50 to $100 per hour creating websites on marketplaces like Fiverr.

Getting Started: To get started, you should first have your own website as proof you can do it. (Side note: every college student needs their own website anyway). Then, you can list your services on major sites like Fiverr or Upwork. You can also rely on word of mouth once you have. few small business customers.

Time Commitment: Medium to High Time Commitment

Become a Virtual Assistant

How It Works: Virtual assistants do a variety of administrative tasks that business owners and busy professionals don’t have time to do. This type of work can range from managing social media accounts to doing data entry.

Benefits: According to Upwork, the average social media manager earns between $14 to $35 per hour. Depending on what services you offer as a virtual assistant, your earning potential can vary.

Getting Started: Upwork and Fiverr are two websites you can use to find virtual assistant gigs that allow you to work on short-term projects. A major benefit of doing this kind of side hustle is that it allows you to get real work experience before you even graduate. You can put this type of work on your resume or use it to build a portfolio to show a future employer.

Time Commitment: Medium to High Time Commitment

Creative And Artistic Ventures

Are you creative and have an little entrepreneurial spirit? If so, these side hustles could be a great idea – especially as a student! These ideas are all about leveraging your creativity, spirit, or artistic ability to make extra money. These are both online and offline side hustles, so you can do them based on your personality.

Selling Handmade Goods

How It Works: Are you into crafting and art? There’s a great side hustle in selling handmade goods. One of my favorites is creating wedding and birthday invitations. If you are great about writing, stamps, and folding cardstock, you can create custom invitations and sell them on platforms like Etsy. Best of all, you can do this from your dorm room.

Benefits: The average Etsy seller made $1,800 – but of course the range can vary greatly. The benefit here is that by selling these types of items, you can effectively do it on your own time.

Getting Started: To get started, you need to have something you can create and showcase. You can create an account on Etsy, and take good photographs of whatever you’ve made. This will be key to helping you attract customers for your goods!

Time Commitment: Medium to High Time Commitment

Music And Performance Gigs

How It Works: If you’re musically inclined, you can get paid to perform! In fact, this was the side hustle that won our Side Hustlin’ Student Scholarship several years ago. You can read the story about how Jessica Vanek was paid to sing the national anthem at events in her town!

Benefits: Depending on the event and what you’re performing, you can earn several hundred dollars per event or show.

Getting Started: The only real way to get started with this is spending your younger years developing your skills. Whether that’s dance, singing, playing an instrument. This isn’t a side hustle you’re going to start overnight. It will take years of practice and experience to be able to earn money with it. But if you’re in college and have been performing for 10+ years already, this can be a great gig.

Time Commitment: High Time Commitment

College side hustle: get paid to perform

Become A Personal Trainer

How It Works: Another easy side hustle for college students is to start is teaching others how to exercise. You can either land a gig as a fitness instructor at your favorite studio or become a personal trainer.

Benefits: How much you’ll be able to earn as a personal trainer will largely come down to your experience. College kids just getting started can expect to earn around $25 per hour while professionals with more experience may charge $100+.

Getting Started: Some gyms may require a certification to join their staff as a personal trainer but you technically don’t need one to work with clients one-on-one. As a personal trainer, you can set your own rates and take on as many clients as your class schedule allows. This is even the type of side hustle you can maintain after you graduate too.

Time Commitment: Medium to High Time Commitment 

Tips For Balancing Side Hustlers With Academic Responsibilities 

One of the biggest “buts” we hear from college students when it comes to making extra money is – “I don’t have enough time to do school and work”. The truth is that this is a major red flag. The biggest benefit of college for most students is learning the ability to manage multiple things at once: college school work, employment, and fun with friends. This is the key skill that you leave college with.

With that said, there are a few things you can do to balance side hustling with school work:

Time Management: Create a detailed schedule that includes both you work and school hours. Make sure that you find the system that works for your personality style – whether that is a paper calendar or digital calendar. Check out our list of time management tips for college students.

Set Realistic Goals: When you’re starting a side hustle, be realistic. You’re not going to jump to $1,000s in revenue on day one. It’s going to take time to start something, learn how to optimize, and then grow. Even for on-demand services like ride sharing or food delivery – you’re not going to be “good” at it until you’ve done it a bunch.

Stay Healthy: This may seem odd, but too many students can work themselves into the ground. You need to stay healthy. Don’t underestimate the importance of self-care.

Choosing Your Ideal College Side Hustle

Any of these side hustles can be great to do as a college student. As you’re figuring out which side hustle is the best for you, here are a few things to ask yourself:

How much time do you have to allocate to a side hustle? If your schedule is flexible you might consider shift work or on-demand gig work. But if you don’t have a lot of wiggle room, a side hustle that lets you earn residual income or work asynchronously may be better for you.

Can you monetize something you’re already doing? Don’t try to reinvent the wheel when you’re deciding on which is the best side hustle for you. Do you already take really good notes? Are you knowledgeable about fashion trends? Is the gym your favorite place on campus? Look for something you already do and see if there’s an opportunity to turn it into a side hustle.

What type of work do you want to do? Not all side hustles are created equal. Some side hustles pay you for the amount of time you put into them. Others pay based on the sale of a product or the completion of a service. Figuring out how you want to work before you start a side hustle can help you narrow down your options.

How much does it pay? Some side hustles will also be more lucrative than others. If you’re good at fixing things, you’ll probably be able to earn more doing odd jobs than driving for DoorDash. Figure out your income goals and choose a side hustle that maximizes the return on your time investment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Side Hustles For Students?

What types of side hustles fit into a college student’s schedule?

Every student will have a different perspective on balancing time, school, and side hustles. It depends on your major, amount of school work, school schedule, and more. However, online side hustles and on-demand side hustles will be the easiest to fit into your schedule.

How can college students maximize their earnings with limited time?

Entrepreneurship-related side hustles have the biggest ability to scale earnings over time. However, they are also the slowest to start. If you need more income quickly, most on-demand side hustles allow you to cash out instantly.

What skills can college students leverage for side hustles?

Time management will be the greatest skill needed for college student side hustles. The ability to work and balance your school work will be key.

Are there side hustles that also enrich a student’s course of study?

There are a lot of side hustles that can benefit your course of study. For example, being a research assistant in your major can help provide a lot of valuable real-world experience while also getting paid. 

Is Uber a good side hustle for college?

Uber can be a good side hustle for a college student that has a vehicle.


It may take a few tries to find the right side hustle for you. If something looks interesting, try it. You don’t have to do it forever.

The ideal side hustle is something that you like to do, fits your schedule, and pays decently. If you’re looking for other ideas, check out this list of more ways to make money in college.


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