If you’re a student in need of extra cash, you have an abundance of online options these days. And you’ll be pleased to know that many are way more painless than sweating out a shift in a restaurant kitchen, or serving behind a bar.
If you’re looking for the best online jobs for students, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a huge list of great ways to earn extra money while you’re studying.
- Why You Many Need a Job While You Study
- Quick and Easy Online Jobs for Students
- Typing, Translation, and Data Entry Jobs
- Selling Online
- Customer Service
- Online Teaching
- Creating Courses
- Other Ideas
- Tips For Working Online as a Student
- Tax for Working Students
- While You’re Here
Why You Many Need a Job While You Study
Student life can be heaps of fun. You’re probably living away from home for the first time. And as well as studying, you’re making new friends, going out, having fun, partying, and making all your own decisions.
The trouble is, you’ve also got a student loan that’s barely meeting your course fees, never mind your living expenses. The average debt for a student coming out of college in the US is around $30,000. And UK students leave university with an average debt of £44,000 ($56,000).
That’s why so many college and high school students head to the internet to look for a part-time job they could fit around their study commitments.
Working online is an excellent way to make some extra cash, and the good news is that there are plenty of great online job opportunities around.
Even better, many of the jobs are fun and make use of your unique talents. Others will give you valuable skills to impress future employers when they read your CV. Some may even lead to starting your own side hustle or full-time business in the future.
So, if you’re looking for some extra cash, let’s do a deep dive into 25+ list of the best online jobs for students today.
Quick and Easy Online Jobs for Students
These popular jobs are great to hop onto whenever you have a little spare time. They generally include simple tasks to make extra pocket money, but they won’t pay enough to cover the rent.
Even if individual tasks only pay pennies, the money mounts up over time. So burning through them during idle moments is a better investment of time than playing Candy Crush! And while just one of these opportunities won’t make you rich, stacking several can add up to a tidy sum.
1. User-Testing Websites
Website owners and app creators need to know if their sites give a great user experience and if they live up to their target audience’s expectations. Platforms like Testing Time and UserCrowd (formerly UsabilityHub) pay testers to use their clients’ websites or apps and give constructive feedback on their experience.
If playing games, watching videos or shopping online and recording your feedback sounds like you, our bumper list of 21 user-testing sites suggests some of the best places to get started.
2. Completing Surveys
Another way you can earn extra cash by giving your opinion is by filling in surveys. Companies want to test their marketing strategies and product performance by asking large groups of people what they think. So they engage survey sites like Swagbucks and Prolific to find those target audiences.
Some sites look for people worldwide; others target individuals from particular companies. So wherever you live, there are plenty of opportunities for you to earn enough over time to pay for a few lunches at your favourite coffee shop or even this year’s Christmas presents.
You don’t have to spend tedious hours doing surveys. Instead, as our survey tips and tricks guide explains, you’re best to learn exactly how to platforms work, and work smart, not hard. You can answer survey questions while you’re on the bus, waiting in line, streaming a movie or even listening to a podcast.
3. Completing Microjobs
Now, doing microjobs won’t make you rich, but it WILL bring in a steady stream of extra money for beers and treats.
Microjobs can involve a huge range of different tasks. Some are pretty fun; others are bitterly monotonous. One day you might be categorising YouTube videos…the next writing short product descriptions, and the next recording your voice over and over again to help train Siri-like recognition systems. Many people look for data entry jobs, and some microjobs are along those lines.
Work can come in fits and starts, but you don’t need to make any commitments – you just do what you have time to do.
It’s increasingly possible for you to do some micro jobs from a mobile device such as your iPhone. Clickworker is one platform that’s recently added an app.
Although this isn’t the most lucrative ideas here, it’s one of the best jobs for college students with no experience of anything else.
Sites to Try:
Typing, Translation, and Data Entry Jobs
If you can touch type at a decent speed and have a good internet connection, you could consider starting a typing side hustle. To get these typing jobs, you can either sign up with specialist companies or go freelance and advertise your services on popular sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
4. Typing Video Captions
There’s a great demand for video captioning on YouTube, marketing videos, online summit videos and more.
You’ll need to have a decent computer and headset, as well as good English skills and excellent concentration. Sometimes you’ll find fascinating videos to caption, but others will seem deadly dull. Both sorts can be equally hard to concentrate on – because one risks sending you to sleep, and with the other, you can get caught up in the action and forget to type!
Most captioning websites require you to pass a suitability test when you sign up. However, a number of them don’t accept freelancers or remote workers. One of the best sites for freelance captioning and transcription job opportunities is Rev, where the pay ranges from .54c to $1.0 per minute of video or audio.
How much you earn depends on how many hours you work each week and how fast and accurately you type.
5. Audio Transcription
Audio transcription involves typing an audio text into written form. AI transcription services are not perfect and often make mistakes, so many businesses prefer to work with humans instead.
Transcription work can be very demanding until you get used to it. At first, you’ll probably have to stop and rewind because your typing won’t keep up with the audio. It’s especially tricky when you make a typo because that disturbs your rhythm.
However, once you get into the flow, your typing and concentration will improve over time.
Once again, the pay rate totally depends on your speed and the number of hours you work. However, Rev says an average monthly amount is $245, and a top rate is $1495.
6. Translating Subtitles or Documents
If you speak another language, you might prefer to get into translating rather than transcription. There are jobs around for people who can translate English into French, Hindi, German, Spanish, Sign Language and more.
These jobs generally pay more, but the work is slower as you have to listen or read and then translate and type the subtitles.
As with transcription companies, translation agencies abound, but not all accept freelancers. Two companies that do welcome freelance translators are:
Freelancers report that they get between 0.5 and 1.0 cent per word from Translate.com. You need to amass at least $20 US in your account before transferring it to Paypal.
For more information, head to this article on translation and interpretation.
7. Data Entry
If you’re looking for an entry-level online jobs for students, you could try data entry, which involves entering information into a documents, spreadsheets or databases.
You’ll generally need to know how to use Word and Excel or Google Sheets to do data entry jobs, and also to be a fast and accurate typist.
The competition to get these jobs can be fierce, and pay is often minimal. Data entry work isn’t as easy to come by as some people expect, because much of this work can now be effectively done by machines.
Payscale says that Data Clerks average $14.24 an hour, but that’s based on full-time office-based work. The rates offered on the freelance job boards are typically much lower.
Places to Look for Data Entry Work:
8. Starting a Blog
If you’ve got plenty to tell the world and enjoy writing, you could start a blog. A successful blog can make money over time, but you won’t earn anything until you build up a decent audience. Blogging is a long-term game and takes regular commitment to make it work.
Bloggers tend to initially earn money from ad placement, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing. Many bloggers then go on to sell products too. Creating courses (our Freelance Kickstarter Course is a perfect example) can be a lucrative option, too, once you’re established.
We wouldn’t recommend blogging as a quick income earner, but if you’ve got lots of great ideas and you’ve got the time to write, then starting a blog could be a long term investment.
The advantage of setting yourself up as a freelancer is that you can structure the work around your lifestyle and the times you can work best.
For example, you might be a morning person (believe it or not, some people are!) If so, you could get up an hour earlier each day and dedicate that time to freelance work. If you’re a night owl, you might do your freelancing then. Or, your timetable might have a generous slot during the day when you could fit a job in.
Whatever timetable works for you, if you’ve got some in-demand skills (or want to develop them), then freelancing could be a lucrative option for you.
If freelancing interests you, be sure to check out Freelance Kickstarter. It will take you step by step through everything you need to know and prepare you for grabbing your first paying clients.
9. Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is one of the best online jobs for students.
You can get involved in any kind of writing work you can imagine – from helping with academic papers to writing blog posts. It helps if you focus your search on writing topics that genuinely interest you. You will enjoy the work more, which will show in your output.
Freelance writing also allows you to build up a portfolio of work that will help you in the job market once you’ve finished your studies.
As a novice freelance writer, you’ll need to get some experience under your belt before you can start grabbing lucrative writing gigs. Although many people slag off content mills such as TextBroker, you shouldn’t listen to those people, as the mills are a place to earn guaranteed money (even if it’s relatively low money!)
Being a freelance writer is one of the jobs for college students listed here that has almost limitless earning potential. There are plenty of graduates and others doing this as a full-time career, and many of them make six figures.
However, realistically, you’re more likely to earn between $10 and $50 per article.
Also, you’ll be competing in a crowded marketplace, so getting started can be challenging.
If this kind of online work appeals to you, be sure to read our guide to freelance writing jobs for beginners.
10. Freelance Graphic Design
Graphic designers arrange graphics, images and typography to communicate information, usually using software tools like Canva, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
Typically, clients hire a freelance graphic designer to create logos, letterheads, greeting cards, advertisements, web pages, YouTube video thumbnails, social media graphics, infographics… anything that makes a visual statement about their business brand.
If you’ve got a natural flair for design and are competent with the software tools, you could create a good side hustle as a freelance graphic designer.
Freelancers typically charge by the project. Prices vary depending on your experience and proven track record. For example, on Fiverr, we found graphic designers charging anywhere from $10 to $245 US to design a logo.
Help Getting Started:
You’ll find plenty of online free and paid courses to help you get started in this kind of work. For example:
- Graphic Design Specialization on Coursera
- Graphic Design Masterclass
- Google UX Design Professional Certificate
11. Becoming a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant helps entrepreneurs, bloggers and other online businesses by taking routine admin tasks off their hands.
- Managing diaries and appointments.
- Answering phone calls and emails.
- Maintaining (and perhaps building) spreadsheets and databases.
- Building PowerPoint presentations.
- Booking travel.
- Undertaking small research projects.
- Transcribing dictated emails and articles
- Filtering and answering review comments
These are general VA tasks, but you can also specialise and become something like a Pinterest VA or a Social Media Manager.
When starting as a VA, you can earn an hourly rate anywhere between $10 and $25. However, more experienced Virtual Assistants can charge $30+ per hour.
How can I get started?
- Try the Must Have Skills for Virtual Assistants in 2022 course.
- Read “Become a Successful Virtual Assistant.”
12. Becoming a Freelance Illustrator
An illustrator is different from a graphic designer. The two often work together on different parts of the same job. i.e. a graphic designer creates the layout and typography for a book cover while the illustrator makes the art images.
Illustrators create images through art, e.g. picture book illustrations, graphic novels, concept drawings for toys, clothing, product design, entertainment art – posters, comics etc.
Their work is often done through painting and drawing but can also include collage, photography, digital art and even 3-D works like puppets or dioramas.
The prices you can charge vary tremendously depending on your experience and the job scope.
13. Proofreading and Editing
The final offering in our freelancing category roundup is excellent for students who pick up spelling mistakes and focus on details.
You’ll need some training and experience to pick up paid proofreading or editing jobs, but there are plenty of affordable courses online (Proofread Anywhere is a popular option).
This is one of those freelancing jobs where you can be a generalist (proofreading anything that’s on offer) or specialise in one niche, e.g. adult novels, children’s books, medical articles, legal documents, academic papers, theses etc.
This comprehensive article gives you all the details you need to get started.
There are a tremendous number of options for selling stuff online to make extra money. Here are a few to get you started:
14. Selling Your Own Creations
If you’re an artist, crafter or photographer, why not sell your work online?
- Create designs and sell creations via print on demand merchandise platforms such as Society 6.
- Make full use of your camera and sell photos on stock photo platforms
- Sell your crafts via an online Etsy store
Check out our case studies section to read about the real-life experiences of people running creative businesses of all sizes.
Look for websites that help artists get the word out about their work. For example, in New Zealand, we have Chooice, a platform where individuals and innovative businesses can showcase their New Zealand-made products.
15. Selling Printables Online
These days there’s a considerable demand for templates — also called printables — online, and this can be another outlet for your artistic flair or graphic design skills.
Many people make extra money making one digital file and selling it as a download on Etsy. Selling printables is something you can easily do in your spare time, making it a great online job for students who have to fit their side hustle around their study.
Some examples include:
- Meal planners
- Pinterest pin templates
- Digital stickers
- Party invitations
- Thank you cards
- Progress trackers and Star charts
- Colouring sheets
16. Selling Secondhand Goods
As well as selling your creations online, you can also sell items you no longer need.
Other students will value your course textbooks when you’ve finished with them, so try selling them at a secondhand bookseller like Bookscouter.
Even obsolete computers and completed video games all have some value in them. How MUCH value often depends on knowing which platform is best for selling which items.
Some people are also making serious money flipping goods.
One person’s junk is another’s treasure, so they say, and flipping takes full advantage of that. Search in thrift stores, yard sales, and markets for good quality secondhand goods at low prices to get started with flipping. Then sell them for a higher price on eBay or similar sites.
These HomeWorkingClub articles have helpful information to get you started with selling secondhand goods:
17. Selling Your Study Notes
Even your study notes have value to people who need them. That’s where Studypool comes in. As well as being a website that connects students and tutors, they also help you share your study notes with others.
Upload your high-quality class notes, homework, prep quizzes and more to the Studypool website. The notes are then vetted and, if they’re approved, become available for people to find and read. According to their website, you earn up to $10 every time someone views your document.
Many of the online jobs for students that we’ve discussed so far are things you would generally do on a self-employed/independent contractor basis. This is often the perfect model, as it’s easier to fit things around your studying commitments if you are your own boss.
That said, there are teleworking opportunities out there in fields such as call centre support and customer service.
18. Remote Customer Care Jobs
Thanks to many companies working around the clock, there are teleworking opportunities where you can work evenings and weekends. For some ideas, look through the companies in this roundup, or consider a low-cost FlexJobs subscription.
As an ex-teacher, I’ll warn you now that teaching isn’t for the faint-hearted!
Teaching online requires a good deal of commitment. Not only do you have to show up on time, you must also be well-prepared. You will need to create lesson plans in advance. And, depending on the school or website you’re working on, you might need to make resources and follow-up exercises too.
On the other hand, if you like interacting with students and people always ask you for help because you’re so good at explaining things, then an online teaching job could be right for you.
What’s more, the skills you learn in teaching offer long-term benefits. For example:
- How to invoice clients; navigate new teaching software; create sequential plans etc.
- They’ll be great additions to your CV.
- You’ll develop many of the soft skills that employers are looking for.
19. Teaching English Online
If you speak English like a native and like helping people learn new skills, then teaching English could be the online job you’re looking for.
Millions of people want to learn or improve their English language skills. And since there’s a vast age range, there are all sorts of opportunities to specialise (or niche down, as it’s called in online teaching circles.)
You could teach young school children, high-school students, university/college students, business people, travellers, or even people who’ve retired and want to sharpen their brains by learning a new language.
Possibilities include joining a teaching website, giving individual lessons over Skype, and even starting your own little online teaching business.
Some of these options require more work than others, but they all demand a regular amount of time each week. You can’t sign up as a teacher and only turn up for lessons when you feel like it.
Online language schools often ask for qualifications too. Some require a degree, so college undergraduates can’t apply there. Other schools ask you to have a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate. If you’re really keen on teaching English and can see yourself doing it while travelling or as a regular side-gig, studying for a TESOL or similar qualification would make sense. But that does take time, and it’ll cost you money in fees.
Some teaching websites don’t require either qualification and ask you to prove your competence with a teaching demo instead.
Depending on your qualifications, abilities, and the school or website you sign up to, you can expect to make anywhere between $10 to $25 an hour teaching English online.
Check out our list of possible teaching websites for more information.
20. Teaching Other Languages
If you speak more than one language (to expert level), that opens up another world of teaching possibilities.
Depending on your qualifications, abilities, and the website you sign up to, you can expect to make anywhere between $6 to $25 an hour teaching languages online. Some sites charge the students and then pass the fees onto you (after taking a 10-15% cut). On other sites, language teachers invoice their students directly.
Sites To Check Out:
- Verbal Planet (86% 5-star Trustpilot Reviews)
- My Lingo Trip (98% 5-star Trustpilot Reviews)
- JustLearn (77% 5-star Trustpilot Reviews)
- Lingoda (88% 5 & 4-star Trustpilot Reviews)
Of course, languages aren’t the only subjects you can teach online. There’s plenty of scope for tutoring in mathematics, arts, and sciences.
You don’t necessarily have to be an expert in a subject to be a tutor; you just have to be several steps ahead of your students. In fact, being a student yourself is an advantage because you understand how learners feel when they get confused over new or complicated material.
As with the language teaching websites, the qualifications you’ll need to become a tutor vary from platform to platform, as do the pay rates. Wyzant, for example, takes at least 20% of your pay in fees.
Where Can You Tutor Online?
- Study Gate (4.6 star average on Glass Door)
- Tutor.com (3.4 star average on Indeed)
- StudyPool (4.5 star average on Indeed)
- Wyzant (4 star average on Indeed)
22. Creating and Marketing Your Own Courses
If you’re into turning knowledge into cash, you could try course creation – an online job for students that can turn into a lucrative business for those willing to put in the work.
If you have specialist knowledge to share, you can create courses and sell them online on any subject whatsoever. People have become millionaires doing precisely this. Indeed, it’s so easy to learn online nowadays that there’s been an explosion of sites for creating and marketing your online courses.
An excellent way to become familiar with these platforms is to sign up and take one or two courses yourself. That way you’ll learn how everything works, and what goes into courses that sell well.
There are heaps of free blog posts and YouTube Videos on “how to create a course,” so you won’t have to work it all out for yourself if you decide to go down this route.
You can also find heaps of paid courses on “how to create a course” too. Here’s a course called the “Udemy Masters: Learn Online Course Creation – Unofficial” which has very good reviews on Udemy.
Not everyone can create a course, though. Good courses need multimedia, so you’ll need to be comfortable in front of a webcam. Strong computer skills are a must too, as you’ll need them to put the course(s) together.
If you tick these boxes, and have knowledge to share with the world, all you need is the time to create the course materials (videos, slides and notes), and the time and inclination to build a following and market your courses online.
Many people do this as a full-time job. But, course creation takes commitment and an entrepreneurial mindset.
The good news is, if you get successful in this marketplace, your products can continue to earn you passive income long after you’ve finished university. On the downside, you can put in a lot of work and get few rewards if you don’t put time and effort into marketing the course too.
There are plenty of other jobs for students online that will bring in extra cash. It’s always worth remembering you can build and stack these, as they can end up adding up to something really substantial.
Here are some other ideas to consider:
23. Working as a Search Engine Evaluator
There are some things that Artificial Intelligence can’t do (yet!) One of those is evaluating the quality of results on the online search engines.
Search engine evaluation is a reasonably well-paying job that you can do at your own pace – and you’ll learn a lot in the process.
Check out this article on search engine evaluation for more details.
24. Working as a Part Time Driver / Delivery Person
This option only just edges into this list of online jobs for students. While it’s something you organise online, you do have to get yourself out of your home to do it!
BUT – there’s always demand for parcel couriers, Deliveroo drivers, and other similar professions – and they’re hugely popular among students these days.
25. Voice Over Work
If you’re a performing arts student, you could find demand for your talents doing voice-overs and other spoken-word work.
The best place to look for work like this is on sites like Upwork and Freelancer.
Tips For Working Online as a Student
1. Get Professional
Even if you’re only doing some micro-tasks or survey work, you’ll still need to set up accounts, respond to notification emails, and do the work professionally. Half-hearted efforts won’t ever make you much money.
2. Work Out How to Collect Payments
Some work will require you to have a PayPal account for payment; Other jobs may involve bank transfers. Work out how you’re going to take payments and manage the financial side of your online work.
3. Have Your Fingers in Plenty of Pies
Don’t forget that you can always dip into several ideas and make your money from a combination of different jobs.
4. Get Your Tech In Order
If you’re going to work online, you need a computer that’s up to the task – not a virus-riddled old machine that takes ages to boot up.
If you’re doing professional work for professional clients, you need to think about things like backups and information security too. You’ll find a some computing tips for home workers here. We’ve also suggested a few of the best laptops here.
Tax for Working Students
Unfortunately, if you’re earning money, the government will invariably want a share of it – and this is no different if you’re a student.
You may find that you don’t earn enough to pay any tax. In the UK, for example, you can earn £12,570 per year completely free of tax (checked and updated for 2022). However, you should make sure you’re aware of your tax situation before you start earning money.
This is especially important if you get successful with your work and the money starts piling in. The tax inspector won’t ignore you just because you’re studying.
If you’re a student and prefer the idea of working for a single company, take a look at this article. There are plenty out there who hire for remote part-time roles. There are also more helpful and flexible options here.
In the past, people assumed that students were almost always broke and in debt.
Nowadays that doesn’t have to be the case.
With a decent computer, a fast broadband connection and some good organisational skills you could find a job that lets you study and earn at the same time.
You can earn pocket money through surveys and user-testing, or a part time income by freelancing or flipping secondhand goods. Working while you’re a student gives you skills and experience that you can highlight on your CV or resumé.
It can even set you on a new career path or lead you to start your own business.
So, what are you waiting for? Right now, you could start earning money to pay the rent, your entertainment costs or even to reduce your debt by paying off your student loans.
If you’ve made it to the end of this mammoth guide you now have all the information you need to get started on finding your ideal online job and earning money.
While You’re Here
Sometimes it’s not lack of information that holds us back from starting a job.
If you’re always dithering and procrastinating we can help:
- Listen to our podcast episode on How to Conquer Procrastination.
- Try the advice in our articles on How to Progress in Life or No Career Interests Me.
If your mental health issues are holding you back, we understand what that’s like too. These might help:
Lyn is the author of Culture Smart NZ (2022). A freelance writer and blogger from New Zealand, she specialises in content for lifestyle magazines, blogs, podcasts and virtual summits. You’ll find her blog on writing, farm life & talented New Zealanders at lynmcnamee.com