*This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure for more info.
Being a college student is tough. Your budget is spandex tight and you're so swamped with classwork that the thought of entertaining a job is exhausting.
Luckily, punching a clock is not the only option you have available today. Sure, you can drag yourself to a job while running on two hours of sleep or you can work from home...in your PJs!
Yep, that’s the world we live in now and I’ve gathered the best stay-at-home jobs that don’t include surveys!
10 online jobs for college students
Average salary: $49,293/yr per Glassdoor
A freelance writer is someone who writes for others on a self-employed basis, whether an individual or a business. You get paid per assignment or number of assignments, and clients may be recurring or a one-and-done deal.
It’s a great way to earn extra money in college because you have complete control over your schedule. This position is remote, so you can work anywhere you have access to the internet!
I worked as a freelance writer in my spare time and made up to $400 per month!
Freelance writers assist with writing:
- Blog posts
- Academic papers
- White papers
Try to focus on only offering one or two services, such as article writing. This will make pitching to potential clients easier and you can eventually work your way up to becoming an expert in that particular service.
How to get started:
When I first entertained the idea of getting paid to write, I took Elna Cain’s Write Your Way to Your First $1k course. In just six months she was able to replace her full-time income as a teacher by freelancing part-time.
Now, imagine how much student loan debt you can plow through before you even graduate!
There is no experience or degree needed to become a freelance writer, so yes you qualify! You may find that certain postings want a link to your published work, and if you’re just starting out then obviously there isn’t anything to link to.
One way to get “published” is by posting your writing on a website, either as a guest or a site you’ve created yourself. Before I had a blog I would post my writing to Medium, which is a site where writers and storytellers come together to share their written work with the world.
To get started, create a website or online portfolio to showcase your work. This should include only your best pieces so that writing class you signed up for because you thought it would be an easy A will come in handy. You know what I mean.
Best of all, creating a website or online portfolio doesn’t have to cost you a dime! Cause ya’ know, a college student’s budget is slim.
Free online portfolio websites:
- Contently. This portfolio website is specifically for writers. I’ve used this site myself and you can display an unlimited number of your posts and projects! Any articles that were published under your name are automatically pulled using their search tool!
- Journo Portfolio. Journo Portfolio includes fully customizable themes and a selection of high-quality photos. With the free version, you can include up to 10 articles.
- WordPress. See the free website platforms section!
Free website platforms:
- Wix. Wix allows you to build a free website using easy drag and drop features. I used this platform to build a friend’s website and I will say that it was so much easier to customize the fine details of the site’s template than with WordPress.
- WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular content management platforms! The free version is all you need to showcase your work. It comes with several professional themes although you will have less control over the functionality of the site.
Where to find online freelance writing jobs:
Average salary: $23k/yr per Glassdoor, or roughly $12 per hour
I know, you have schoolwork of your own already, but if you love (or can tolerate) teaching then monetize your skill by becoming an online tutor!
In this position, you will work on a self-employed basis or via contract. In my opinion, self-employed is best because you have the option to set your rates and pick up work as your schedule allows.
Online tutors may work one-on-one or tutor multiple students at once, so dedication and patience are a must!
How to get started:
First, decide which subject(s) you want to teach. Since you’ll be assisting others, stick to your strengths.
If you’re a math wizard then obviously you want to market yourself as a math tutor.
Many tutoring jobs offered online require a 4-year degree so this position is recommended for graduate students although undergrads shouldn’t write themselves off completely.
If you’re an undergrad, simply offer your tutoring services to local students via social media and word of mouth.
Some equipment you will need include:
- Laptop/computer with high-speed internet
- An instant messaging tool, such as Skype
Where to find online tutoring jobs:
- VIPKid- With VIPKid, you can earn $14-$22 an hour teaching English to Chinese students one-on-one. You can teach on your own schedule from wherever works for you.
- Chegg- With Chegg Tutors, students can pick the tutors they are interested in. Sessions are offered via a virtual whiteboard, video chat, text chat, or audio. To apply, complete an online application in which you will be required to provide two forms of verification. There may also be subject tests for the subjects you’re interested in teaching. A decision is typically made within 7 business days.
- QKids - Like VIPKid, you’ll be connected with over 600,000 young Chinese learners. The lessons are already preset in the app so you don’t have to plan them yourself!
- Magic Ears- With Magic Ears, you’ll be teaching English to students ages 4-12 on an interactive platform, making $22 to $26 an hour. Teaching material is already created for you.
Data entry clerk
Average salary: $39,654/yr per ZipRecruiter
As the name suggests, a data entry clerk enters data into electronic forms. Duties vary depending on the company’s needs, but typically include:
- Reviewing records for accuracy
- Organizing paper records
- Updating databases with information
- Collecting and inputting data
No degree or experience is needed for this position, and you will typically receive training on-the-job. The ability to operate a computer is a must, as well as strong attention to detail.
Since you will be doing a lot of typing, ensure that your typing speed is at least 60-words-per-minute.
Some equipment you will need include:
- Computer with high-speed internet
- Microsoft Office suite
- Number pad
Jobs can be found on:
- Flexjobs– Flexjobs connects job seekers with legit flexible opportunities in more than 50 career/job categories.
- ZipRecruiter – ZipRecruiter is a marketplace that connects employers with millions of job seekers from the U.S. and U.K. It’s the #1 rated job search app on Android & iOS.
Posts to check out next!
Average salary: Varies from zilch to six figures!
I wish I stopped letting fear get the best of me and started blogging during my college days. If you have a specific niche you’re interested in, then imagine growing an audience that actually cares about what you have to say AND getting paid.
Yep, that’s blogging. In-between classes and schoolwork you can work on creating content that will truly benefit your audience from wherever you please.
The amount of income bloggers make varies and depends on several factors such as your niche and the amount of effort/time you put into your site. Eva from TeensGotCents started her blog in high school and it has generated enough income that it is now her full-time job!
The best thing is you can get started for just $3.95 a month, which is chump change compared to what you could be making. If you want to know more about how to set up a blog, check out my step-by-step tutorial here!
Ways to monetize your blog:
-Affiliate marketing: This is one of the most popular ways bloggers monetize their sites. Affiliate marketing is when you market a product or service that you like or believe into your audience.
After joining an affiliate program, you’ll be given a personal link to promote within your content. When someone performs the required action (sign-up, purchase, etc.) you’ll receive a sales commission.
For example, I’m in the personal finance niche. I use a savings app called Digit who I am an affiliate for. If my post is on the topic of saving money then I will promote the link by typing something like “I use an app called Digit that saves money for you. You can try it out here!”
I inserted my personal link in the text “You can try it out here.”
When you’re a newbie, I recommend taking the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing offered by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. She’s the Beyoncé’ of affiliate marketing, bringing in $100k per month in affiliate sales.
Needless to say, she knows her stuff and when you want to make money from home as a college student you need to start off doing it right. Her course is jam-packed with the exact strategies she uses to be successful.
- Sell your products/services: If selling other people’s products and services don’t sound enticing then create and sell your own! Depending on your niche, research what products and services your audience is interested in.
For example, let’s say you’re really into fitness so you create a health and fitness blog. From your most popular posts, you conclude that your audience is most interested in meal planning and losing weight.
From this information, you can create an online course centered on losing weight or offer coaching services!
-Ads: If you get a decent amount of traffic per day then ads are a super-easy way to make a passive income. When someone clicks on an ad through your site you get paid.
-Sponsored posts: Sponsored posts are a great way to make money from your blog but typically require a large audience. This is when you, or the advertiser, write a post that is promoting the sponsor and you are paid to publish it on your blog.
Freelance graphic designer
Average salary: $50,028/yr per Glassdoor
If you’re studying graphic design then why not put your fresh skills to use and get paid while doing it?!
As a freelance graphic designer, you will create visuals for your clients using software and other computer applications, such as Photoshop. You can work whenever and wherever you want because...umm… you’re the boss!
Projects graphic designers work on include:
- Business cards
- Website designs
- Social media pages
- Digital product designs
Of course, if you have no experience in graphic design then you can still give it a go. I do, however, recommend teaching yourself or taking some courses before you try to snag your first client.
How to get started:
- Build a portfolio- Select your best work to convince your potential clients that you’re the designer they need.
- Brand yourself – Decide if you will use your name or a business name and how you will market yourself. Are there specific projects you would like to focus on? What type of clients are you looking to attract?
- Network! Clients won’t find you, you must find them so market yourself on social media and tell family and friends about the services you offer to help get your name around. Consider building a website, especially if you’re looking to design websites and social media pages!
Average salary: $61,323/yr per ZipRecruiter
A virtual assistant works remote and on a self-employed basis. They’re typically hired by small business owners who need assistance but don’t want to hire full-time staff. This allows them to cut costs and have more flexibility.
Virtual assistants, also known as VAs, perform a bit of administrative work but responsibilities may vary.
Responsibilities may include:
- Managing emails
- Customer support
- Creating social media posts/images
In my opinion, this is one of the best online jobs for college students. Not only do you gain valuable skills but it can lead to full-time entrepreneurship as well!
Within 6 months, Gina from Horkey Handbook was earning $4,000 per month in addition to her full-time job! In her course 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success, she walks you step-by-step through the entire process of becoming a successful VA.
How to get started:
Choose a specific type of business that aligns with your skills. This could be:
- Social media
Decide on what services you will offer as well as how much you will charge for your services. To attract clients, create an online presence via a website and/or social media and start building your network!
I know this sounds overwhelming, so I recommend browsing around the Horkey Handbook blog for free tips!
Average salary: Varies depending on items and effort.
There’s a new wave, and it’s called buying something for cheap and reselling it at a higher price. Flipping items is one of the most popular side hustles because it’s quick and profitable.
You simply find secondhand clothes or furniture pieces with potential, spruce them up if needed, and resell them!
For example, let’s say you go to Goodwill and find a name brand shirt priced at $4.00. It’s your favorite brand and you know this shirt typically sells for $25 so you buy it and list it on eBay for $20. That a $16 profit!
You can list items on:
-eBay *most popular choice
-Facebook Marketplace (great for large items you don’t want to ship!)
If you really want to make big bucks, target the big-ticket items such as dressers, vanities, accent chairs, etc. Many shoppers browsing through flea markets won’t give these items a second look if they’re not up to par, but when you’re a flipper you see the potential!
Rob and Melissa from Flea Market Flipper make six figures a year and now flip flea market items full-time! Their blog is a goldmine of information and they even offer courses to show you how you can start making money flipping items too.
Create an online store
Average salary: Varies.
It’s no secret that people prefer to shop online so now is the best time to jump on the eCommerce train! Running an online store gives you the flexibility to earn extra money during college and to build an online business at the same time.
How to get started:
Do your research to determine what products to sell and who your targeted audience will be.
Will you be selling your own products or products that are already established? Will they be digital (eBooks, PDFs, etc.) or physical products?
Next, set your pricing structure and shipping process. Will you ship the items yourself or use dropshipping?
Dropshipping is growing in popularity because you don’t have to deal with warehouse costs or the headache of shipping. Instead of you shipping an item, the order is forwarded to your supplier. Then the supplier ships directly to the customer under your name.
While it does have its pros, if something goes wrong then you’ll be the one in the hot seat!
An important step to getting started is to determine which eCommerce platform you will use. Gone are the days of actually having to code your site so it’s easier than ever to build your online store, even without being tech-savvy.
Popular eCommerce platforms:
- Shopify. With Shopify you can easily customize your online store with the online store builder and themes. You can sell on the web, social media, online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops!
- BigCommerce. Like Shopify, you can sell on the web, social media, online marketplaces, and more!
- Bluehost WooCommerce. With Bluehost WooCommerce you get a free domain and WooCommerce is installed for you so getting your site up and running literally takes minutes.
Average salary: Per Glassdoor, $36,290/yr.
If the sight of misspellings and a lack of commas makes you cringe then becoming an online proofreader may be the work-from-home job for you.
No website owner wants their site to be full of grammatical errors so as long as there’s content, there will be a need for proofreaders! They help identify embarrassing mistakes with spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors before the content is published.
You don’t need any experience or degree to become a freelance proofreader but you should definitely be able to use correct word usage and proper punctuation! You should also be proficient in using editing features in programs, such as Track Changes in Microsoft Word.
- Internet access
- Word processing programs (Word, Adobe, etc.)
As a proofreader, it’s best to start by focusing on one or two main types of content. This should be in-line with what you already have experience in such as:
- Blog posts
Search engine evaluator
Average salary: $31,368/yr per Glassdoor
Search engine algorithms are what make the search results pull content that you searched for, but it’s not flawless. It cannot catch the mistakes a human can, and if you’ve ever searched for something specific and said “wtf is this?” about the results then you know it doesn’t always get it right.
Also known as a web search evaluator, search engine evaluators rate the search results so that only the most-relevant results populate for users. This position requires close attention to guidelines and the ability to pass a skills test.
In addition to evaluating search engine results, you may also be given tasks to evaluate ads as well.
To succeed in this position, you need good research skills, time management, and the ability to work quickly and efficiently.
Where to find search engine evaluator jobs:
Finding ways to earn cash in college is stressful, but these 11 online jobs are perfect for college students because they offer flexibility and pay more than breadcrumbs. Determine what skills you have and how you can monetize them to help lessen the financial burden of higher education!
If you're looking for more ways to make more money my eBook Money. Boss. Hustles includes 20 of the most flexible and profitable side hustles. You'll get:
-A "how to get started" section for each hustle
-Where to find opportunities
-A monthly side hustle workbook with a 4-week calendar, goals sheet, and distribution sheet!