20 Best College Side Hustles to Make Extra Money in 2023

Many college students are considering finding part-time jobs, which has been a common practice. When unexpected circumstances requiring additional expenditures arise, having extra funding sources can help you with your financial struggles. You can earn money doing something you are passionate about or good at through side hustles.

And college students have been grabbing hustle ideas here and there. In fact, according to Statista.com, 11.8% of U.S. 2-year college students worked up to 20 hours per week as full-time students in 2019.

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While there are many reasons why the youth is more inclined to make ways to earn money and settle for virtual odd jobs on the side, one primary root cause is the inflation rate of college tuition fees.

Over the last 50 years, tuition inflation at public 2-year institutions has averaged 61.6%. And private 4-year institutions have experienced an average inflation rate of 55.2% since 1963.

By working a side hustle to stack your income, you can pay down debt, boost your emergency fund, invest for your future, and have more fun money during your downtime.

If you’re planning to study college but also earn extra money on the side, there are many possible works to get into. It’s a matter of finding the right one that suits your schedule, professional goals, and financial needs.

The Lowdown

It’s no surprise how expensive college tuition rates are becoming. A growing number of college students would engage in a lucrative side hustle to earn extra dough to finance their studies. Fortunately, many part-time jobs are fit for college students! You can even check your college or university’s website for jobs that pay extra income and provide opportunities that enable students to nurture their technical and soft skills.

No matter what industry you’d like to partake in, many jobs are intended for college-level students studying an on-campus or online course.

Benefits of Side Hustles for College Students

College students can earn extra money while maintaining a flexible schedule with side hustles in their spare time. You can gain more benefits from your side hustle than just a few extra dollars.

Here are the benefits of doing side hustles as a college student:

Real-Life Experience

You can gain real-world experience based on your major through your side hustle. Depending on your field of study, there are side hustles that allow you to hit two birds with a single stone! You can experience the real-life work culture and environment while earning extra income.

For instance, you can work as a part-time food server in a hotel or restaurant and gain more real-life experience that can contribute to your study in hospitality management.

As a result of this type of experience, you could earn some extra income on the side while also building your resume for future freelance opportunities both on and off campus.

Extra Money for Your Extra-Curriculars

Aside from books and projects, other activities at school also require money. You can use the proceeds from your side hustle to pay for other expenses like participating in study abroad programs, partying with your organization during weekends, or joining non-profits that students started. Many things in college life need you to spend money, and they don’t come cheap usually.

Pay Up Student Loans Faster

Student loans are the biggest financial challenge for most college students. On average, graduates of ranked private colleges took out $31,820 in student loans in 2021 compared to $26,320 for graduates of ranked public colleges. You can reduce student loan debt by earning extra income through side hustles.

The less you borrow, the less interest your loan will incur. Sometimes, you can start making student loan payments while still enrolled in school if you have enough money to cover living expenses. 

Nurture Creativity

The job you already have may not be particularly exciting, whether on or off campus. You can harness your creativity by starting a side hustle and creating a rewarding business. Not only can you earn, but you also can express yourself and your ideas better through work.

Earn More Local Clients

On campus, you are surrounded by potential audiences. To convert your side hustle into your main hustle down the road, you need to start early and market your business to peers. In doing so, you’re already widening your network and earning more local clients that can be turned into real-life clients or employers later. 

Best College Side Hustles - fact

Tips for Working a Side Hustle in College

College is an expensive endeavor, so finding a part-time job can help you pay off recurring bills or save money during your college years.

The problem is that earning on the side will eventually interfere with your academic obligations, and you may end up sacrificing your rest. The key is to apply a good balance between shuffling the demands for academics and your part-time jobs.

Bear in mind these strategies for finding and keeping college side hustles to make extra money:

Choose a job that’s not over-demanding.

A part-time job you enjoy is an important consideration, especially during your last years of college. Ideally, you should be able to select a side hustle that will not overwhelm you. It’s vital to find an income source that’s related to your passion.

Find a job that doesn’t seem like one, so you can enjoy it better and not get pressured. All you need to do is choose an online job that allows you to work around your schedule.

Consider its proximity.

In the case of an off-campus side hustle, you have limited time for preparation. This is why getting hired somewhere near your campus or home is crucial. It’s best to choose a job that doesn’t require a long commute unless there’s a long gap between your last class and your shift.

It’s always best to consider the location before applying for a job post. Often, a job might not be worth it if it’s already disrupting your study schedule or the commuting time is taking a toll on your daily routine. Check your campus and its proximity first and see if establishments are hiring.

Manage your time well.

You have nothing to lose by earning additional income on the side. But you should factor in the possibility that your studies might be affected by various factors.

Make sure you have time for a side hustle by checking your schedule. Having all your classes in the morning would be ideal, but you’ll still need to reserve some time to study for major exams and write your thesis. Time management is important, so come up with a manageable schedule to balance work and studies well.

Balance work and study loads.

A side hustle shouldn’t take up all your time, whether it’s a fixed-rate job or a freelance gig that pays by the hour. It is important to remember that your main goal in college is to learn and earn a degree and focusing too much on earning extra income will only distract you from your real goals.

Before starting a job, ensure to accept workloads suitable to your arrangement. Determining how much work you can handle in a given time frame is important. Avoid doing something that will only lead to burnout. 

20 Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Coaching or Consulting Services

Coaching or Consulting Services - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

In 2022, Statista estimates that the online training and education industry will be worth $243 billion. You can participate in this industry and earn extra cash on the side for just an hour or so when you accept a job as a coach or consultant.

It’s time to leverage your skills or expertise in certain topics. You could use such talents online as a side hustle to coach or provide consultation services to clients.

Such a job requires existing coaching skills, so you don’t have to worry about licenses and qualifications. It can be fun to run an online coaching side hustle if you enjoy solving problems and working with people. You can make recurring revenue by charging per hour or month with an online coaching side hustle.

And since you own your time, you can work or offer your services whenever you wish. The consultation and coaching services scope can range from business, HR, IT, supply chain, finance, and other specialized industries.

Job Description:

  • A coach only guides and measures a client’s progress, but the client is still responsible for implementing the strategies needed to achieve results. 
  • Consultants work to determine and evaluate the right strategies that will work effectively on their clients’ situations and problems. 
  • Consultants help clients improve their performance through advice and expertise, depending on the issue or situation. 

Estimated Salary: $63,090 annually

Dog Walker

Dog Walker - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Pet walking is among the many easy and unique side hustles that may appeal to animal lovers. When pet owners are away working or traveling, they like to pay someone to check on their dogs and walk them.

Walking and hanging out with cute, furry companions could pay off. There are many ways to land a job as a dog walker. 

You can join pet-sitting platforms and directly transact and deal with clients. Another way is to advertise your services through social media or your website. Word-of-mouth and referrals are also great marketing strategies to land clients.

Find the right dog-walking arrangement that will work for your boss and your academic schedule and ultimately fatten your bank account.

Job Description:

  • During dog walks, dog walkers follow routes and schedules agreed upon by clients and their dogs. 
  • You will be responsible for providing food and water and disposing of waste. 
  • During working hours or vacation absences, you should also provide companionship.
  • In an emergency, you need to tend to the pet’s welfare and ensure that they are healthy and properly taken care of. 

Estimated Salary: $32,570 annually

eBook Writer

eBook Writer - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

If you have a knack for writing, make money from your amazing hobby! Once you publish an eBook, you’ll earn passive income from every sale. If you’re not keen on writing but have amazing ideas for a book, you can always work with a ghostwriter.

A ghostwriter will take care of the work once you provide an outline and directions. You can partner with a publishing company and make money out of the sales of your books. 

Considering how many people love reading books, there are a lot of good opportunities to make money if you publish an eBook. Aside from books, you can also publish articles, social media content, or blogs, and they can all be paid according to your rate. 

Job Description:

  • Writers create texts in articles, reports, books, and other documents.
  • Writers must write the entire content, edit it, and prepare it for publishing. 
  • They can either be employed or freelance, depending on the type of work.

Estimated Salary: $69,510 annually.

Bartender or Food Server

Bartender or Food Server - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Bartending or serving food are great side hustles if you enjoy being around others and making conversation. You can have fun and earn money doing this gig.

You can also get absorbed in the company after you graduate from your hospitality management major. Serving and bartending jobs usually require evening or weekend work, but part-time jobs are not uncommon.

The key to landing the best bartending or food servicing jobs is to apply for companies that offer good pay and working terms. Depending on the type of establishment and the cost of food and drink, earnings can vary greatly. Although the majority of restaurants offer minimum pay, sometimes it’s the experience that counts more. 

Job Description:

  • Mixing and serving drink orders is the primary responsibility of bartenders. 
  • As part of their responsibilities, they must verify age requirements, know how to make traditional and classy drinks, manage inventory, process payments, and clean bar supplies.
  • As for food servers, job responsibilities include bussing tables, serving food and drinks to customers, washing dishes, and stacking up the pantry.

Estimated Salary: $25,980 annually

Bakery Clerk

Bakery Clerk - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Take advantage of your passion for baking or cooking and make extra money by working at a bakery. The role of bakery assistants is to serve customers at counters where baked goods are displayed. This job is a great start if you want to experience running a bakery first-hand.

Job Description:

  • A bakery clerk is responsible for handling the day-to-day operations, such as bagging baked goods, attending the cash register, and assisting customers.
  • You must greet customers, give advice, take orders, and package baked goods. 
  • Restocking items on display may also be required.

Estimated Salary: $29,750 annually

Tutoring Services

Tutoring Services - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Tutoring could be a great side gig if you enjoy teaching or are knowledgeable about a particular subject. There are many tutoring platforms and sites to make use of. Tutoring services can also be advertised online, and you can ask for referrals to avoid paying platform fees.

If your students’ parents are willing to pay, consider tutoring them for higher grades and test scores. Earning tutoring certificates can land you better pay and more clients, so consider getting one.

Job Description:

  • It is the tutor’s responsibility to help students understand new concepts and complete assignments. 
  • For lesson preparation, they study lesson plans, review textbooks in detail to gain a thorough understanding of the topic, and provide additional assignments as needed.

Estimated Salary: $41,780 annually

Online Survey Participant

Online Survey Participant - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

College students can earn extra income by completing online surveys, as you’ve probably heard. In online surveys, people are asked to provide feedback about brands, products, movies, songs, social media, and other services. Companies use this marketing strategy to understand more about customers’ perceptions. 

Working from home and setting your schedule are advantages of jobs that involve filling out online surveys. You can save time and money by avoiding daily commutes while working from home instead of going to an office. Your schedule can also be tailored to your preferred work hours and availability.

Surveys can also provide insight into new products and companies you may not have heard of, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of the different markets and industries.

Job Description:

  • You can start taking surveys as soon as you sign up for a website and confirm your email address. 
  • You can access the survey by clicking the link in the invitation email.
  • Ensure that you carefully answer each question and provide honest answers. 

Estimated Salary: varies

Blogging or Vlogging

Blogging or Vlogging - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Consider blogging if you enjoy writing about a specific topic. Alternatively, you can become a vlogger if you don’t have a writing background but love to talk. Either way, you can generate passive income through them. 

Find a niche within a topic you love and start blogging about it. The more audience you build, the more profitable your blog can be. If your audience is interested in the partners you want to promote, you can make money blogging by sharing affiliate links.

There are diverse ways to monetize your blog site. Once you gain momentum, you may receive requests from brands to write blog posts or videos about their products or brands.

Job Description:

  • Blogging involves writing, editing, posting, and promoting content on a website. 
  • Among the tasks you must perform are generating and pitching ideas, writing and editing posts, marketing posts to readers, and conducting research.
  • You can publish and promote engaging content using email, newsletters, and social media channels.

Estimated Salary: $45,363 annually

Freelance Photographer

Freelance Photographer - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Another job that will make you some extra money is becoming a freelance photographer. Photography can be a great venture if you are passionate about it and possess the necessary skills.

To entice clients, you must build a part-time freelance photographer portfolio. You must make a great portfolio of stock photos to acquire more photography gigs and projects. Once you’ve gathered some photos you’re proud of, you can advertise yourself to others and leverage social media marketing.

Job Description:

  • Photographers take photographs for records, art, or commercial purposes of events, people, or objects. 
  • You will be responsible for taking photos of subjects and objects, as instructed by your client.
  • You will need to deliver the output that your client requires.

Estimated Salary: $51,274 annually

Rideshare Driver

Rideshare Driver - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Many ridesharing companies accept applications from people with their own pickup trucks and other reliable cars, auto insurance, and a clean background check. If you don’t mind driving passengers around, you can land this part-time job. The best perk is that you can work depending on your schedule. 

Choose which rides you’ll accept and set your hours. By downloading the app and selecting that you are available, you can see the requested rides and receive their payments. Both services offer base pay and promotional pay during peak times or when they require more help.

Making money is convenient when you need it or have a few hours to spare. If you don’t have classes or are bored at school, you can insert some minutes or hours to pick up passengers.

Job Description:

  • Part-time ridesharing drivers usually pick up and transport passengers. 
  • You need to ensure the safety of your passengers.
  • You must know traffic and road rules and use navigation tools and maps to ensure you drive the right paths.

Estimated Salary: $2,138 per month


Babysitter - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Any college student can earn extra money by babysitting. Babysitting is helpful if you want to become a teacher or work with children in any other capacity. Advertise your services and set your availability and rates. Post flyers around the area or share your information on social media.

You can usually find babysitting jobs through word-of-mouth and referrals. This is a common job among students to earn decent money, so they can start paying for student loan debts.

Job Description:

  • As a babysitter, you supervise children in the home of their guardians or the home of a client when their guardians can’t watch them. 
  • As a child’s caregiver, you provide transportation for extracurricular activities, prepare basic meals, and keep them entertained with games.
  • While a parent or guardian is away, a babysitter takes care of children’s needs.
  • Children’s ages and maturity affect the duties and responsibilities of babysitters.

Estimated Salary: $43,618 annually


Lifeguard - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Lifeguards are always in demand at local pools, and if you’re a good swimmer, this is a great job prospect for you. You can find lifeguarding opportunities at your local community center or private country club. This job also requires you to be good with kids. Aside from being a lifeguard, you can teach children to swim on their off days. 

Job Description:

  • Lifeguards are responsible for preventing drowning and other injuries. 
  • The candidates must be able to minimize or eliminate hazardous situations and behaviors to ensure the safety of patrons.
  • Pool policies must be enforced by lifeguards who can effectively communicate why the policies exist.
  • You should be adaptable to emergencies through quick movement, strenuous activity, and lifting varying weights of persons in distress.  
  • You always have to be alert to hazardous situations in various situations.

Estimated Salary: $33,938 annually

Pet Caretaker

Pet Caretaker - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Aside from walking dogs, another animal-related job is to become a pet caretaker. This resembles babysitting, but you’ll care for pets instead of dealing with kids and children. They can come in different species and breeds.

There are pet sitters who specialize in cats and dogs only. But it’s up to your preference. Some take care of birds, rabbits, fish, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

Additional staff members can increase customer capacity, expand service areas, and fill in when pet sitters are on vacation or sick. Franchise businesses and licenses under their established brand names are also ways to earn additional revenue.

Job Description:

  • As a pet sitter, your ultimate job is to feed and care for the pets. 
  • You’ll also be in charge of providing pets with medication according to their owners’ instructions. 
  • Your task includes changing and cleaning litter boxes, cages, and aquariums as often as necessary.

Estimated Salary: $47,605 annually


Barista - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Coffee, tea, and specialty beverages are made and served by baristas. In addition to taking orders, they also collect payments from customers. Besides cleaning, they sanitize their equipment, seating, and work areas. Being a barista is a fun part-time job for college students, and they can learn a lot about managing a coffee business. 

A barista job may be perfect if you enjoy working with the public and providing excellent customer service. An experience in a retail or hospitality role, such as being a waiter/waitress, a front-of-house employee, or working in a coffee shop or café, would be handy in landing a barista job. 

Job Description:

  • As a barista, you’ll be in charge of educating customers on your drinks menu.
  • You should also upsell special items and take orders. 
  • You must have customer service skills and an understanding of how brewing equipment works to succeed in this role. 

Estimated Salary: $32,613 annually

Social Media Manager

Social Media Manager - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Many small business owners do not know how to leverage the many benefits of social media. Young professionals are often able to help them. This is where the social media manager gets hired. There are many job posts for this role. You can check the different job posting sites or social media pages.

The employment term would depend on your client’s needs. Some would have a contract based on their company’s projects, activities, promotions, and other needs. 

Job Description:

  • A Social Media Manager implements social media platforms’ content strategies to manage a company’s interaction with the public. 
  • As part of your duties, you will need to manage social media activities, respond to comments and direct messages, and manage posts.

Estimated Salary: $59,200 annually

Application Tester

Application Tester - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

College students test websites and apps for companies. These side hustles are perfect if you love technology and want to work on your schedule. Students who need a break midday and night owls or early risers are ideal for these tasks.

The key to succeeding at this legit side hustle is to be focused. Your testing aims to find bugs and issues in websites and apps. You need to pay attention to minor details to provide honest company feedback about your experience.

Before companies release new programs and websites, you might be paid to test them. Testing software applications may be a perfect career choice for those with expertise in software development who are naturally curious and comfortable working under pressure.

A person in this position must possess sound judgment, solid communication skills, and be able to work independently or as part of a professional team.

Job Description:

  • Testing software applications, programs, and software is the primary responsibility of a software application tester. 
  • Software application testers prioritize testing the parts of the software that users are most likely to interact with, engaging as much as possible with its functionality and user interface.
  • As part of the role, you will design test scenarios for software usability, run these tests, and prepare reports on the effectiveness and defects for the production team.

Estimated Salary: $62,015 annually

Mystery Shopper

Mystery Shopper - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

This is a popular side hustle among college students. Mysteries shoppers pose as real customers to assess how well a company or organization provides customer service.

Typical mystery shopping assignments include phone calls, emails, letters, website surveys, face-to-face visits, and home visits. As independent contractors, mystery shoppers pose as regular customers for marketing research firms. Each visit is guided by guidelines based on the assignment type.

Job Description:

  • You must travel to assigned store locations, make observations, and create reports.
  • Being discreet while pretending to be a regular customer is important.
  • To detect possible concerns and areas for improvement, you must inspect the store’s environment.
  • Once you have visited each store, a written report detailing your shopping experience should be completed and submitted.

Estimated Salary: $52,187 annually

Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistant - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Consider becoming a virtual assistant if you enjoy performing different tasks online. It usually takes a few hours per day to do this, so make sure it fits into your schedule. You can build your resume through virtual assistant work so that when you’re ready to find a job after graduation, you’ll have some experience.

An Internet connection with a strong signal is necessary for this role, as is experience using some software and tools. A person should be capable of handling administrative tasks under minimal supervision and delivering high-quality results.

Job Description:

  • Self-employed virtual assistants provide administrative services to clients remotely, usually from their homes. 
  • Some of your tasks as a virtual assistant are answering calls, making reports, managing social media accounts, creating graphics, answering emails, organizing files, and so on. 

Estimated Salary: $61,844 annually


Translator - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Why wait until you graduate to get paid for knowing a second language or becoming a translator? There is always a high demand for translators everywhere. You can find online jobs as a translator or get hired by a translating company. There are many companies worldwide that are in constant search of remote translators to hire.

As a result, you don’t have to spend gas money driving to and from work. You can also work per project, so you don’t have to dedicate fixed daily hours.

When translating from one language to another, it is imperative that the meaning of written words is accurately conveyed. It is common for translators to work as freelancers. Typically, translators work with documents related to business, science, and technical writing.

Job Description:

  • The translator’s job is to translate written material from one or more languages into another, ensuring the translated version conveys the original’s meaning as accurately as possible. 
  • To be a successful translator, you need the ability to think quickly and a solid understanding of the field you’re in.

Estimated Salary: $67,426 annually

House Cleaner

House Cleaner - Best College Side Hustles That Pay Good Money

Clean houses for a living by starting a housecleaning business or offering a house cleaning service. Local advertising and word-of-mouth are the best ways to market this business.

You can ask your clients to share the word about you or to leave you a review on your social media page if you have already cleaned a few houses.

The best places to advertise your cleaning services are busy cities, but even small college towns need housecleaners. You can fix your schedule and perform the cleaning tasks on weekends or when you don’t have classes.

Job Description:

  • You will be cleaning and maintaining the household and its surroundings.
  • All areas and surfaces will be swept, washed, dusted, mopped, vacuumed, scrubbed, and sanitized by you. 
  • Making beds, ironing, and folding laundry should also be a part of your skill set.

Estimated Salary: $39,958 annually

Summary Points

  • There are many advantages to having a side hustle while keeping a busy college schedule. You can earn passive income, pay your student loan debts faster, and have cash for any extracurricular activities. 
  • A part-time job can offer more than a paycheck, independence to work based on their own schedule, and satisfaction – it can also provide training and experience. Students learn responsibility through employment, and it reinforces what they learn in school.
  • However, because your studies on your college campus take higher priority over your part-time job, it’s important to balance study and work!
  • Choose a job that fits your own hours, interests, passion, and hobbies so you’ll enjoy doing them while earning a few dollars on the side.

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