Summer is the perfect time to find seasonal work as a college student. While you may have some time off from classes, you can earn some extra cash and gain real-world experience. But there are a ton of summer jobs for college students – how will you know which one is right for you?
If you’re looking for something that aligns with your career goals or you just want to make as much extra cash as possible, here are a few ideas to help get you started on your summer job search.
Here are the 10 best summer jobs for college students:
Outdoor Summer Jobs for College Students
1. Swim Instructor or Lifeguard
Why spend your summer cooped up in an office when you can be out in the sun? Becoming a swim instructor is a great summer job for college students who want to make money, get exercise, and help people become comfortable in the water. Check out the local community pool or your nearest beach to see if they are looking for instructors for the summer.
How to know it’s the right fit for you: If you enjoy the water and are a strong swimmer then put on your red bathing suit and sunscreen because this is the perfect job for you.
Average hourly pay range: $10 – $18
2. Camp Counselor
Grab your canteen and whistle: becoming a camp counselor is a classic summer job for college students. There are thousands of summer camps in the U.S. and abroad, and all of them need counselors to help plan activities and organize classes. Look for a camp that has the type of activities you enjoy, whether it’s outdoor adventures, silent retreats, or even a comedy camp. You may also be able to tutor young children in your major or minor. Requirements may vary by program, and some camps may require previous experience working with children and/or a CPR certification.
How to know it’s the right fit for you: If you enjoy the outdoors, working with kids, and want to develop your leadership skills.
Average hourly page range: $8 – $14
Depending on where you live, you may have the chance to get a job landscaping. You can look to join local companies or start your own summer landscaping business in your neighborhood. Landscaping and related work often pay well, but this job can be tough. Long hours, heavy lifting, and some dirt under your fingernails are all part of the day-to-day responsibilities of a landscaper. But if you want a summer job where you can be outside and work on your own (or a small team), it’s a great option for college students to make some extra money for school.
How to know it’s the right fit for you: If you prefer a summer job that allows you to work outdoors often, working as a landscaper might be a perfect match.
Average hourly pay range: $11 – $21
Corporate Summer Jobs for College Students
4. Office Assistant
As an office assistant, you’ll help things run smoothly by coordinating schedules, ordering office supplies, and taking phone messages. These positions typically pay a little better than other hourly summer jobs and can beef up your resume to show you have professional experience in an office setting.
How to know it’s the right fit for you: If you have strong customer service skills, an eye for detail and your organization skills are impeccable, working as an office manager might be the perfect fit.
Average hourly pay range: $10 – $20
5. Local Social Media Manager
Starting out a career in content or social media for a local business is a good way to get steady work during the summer that can even continue beyond your seasonal gig. Most college students are pros at social media and many companies look to hire young people to add a fresh perspective to their marketing efforts.
In your job search, you may even be able to find work-from-home opportunities, so keep your eyes peeled for jobs you could easily transition into and even carry into the next school year.
How to know it’s the right fit for you: If you love to write, work well independently, and are computer savvy, working as a social media manager may be a fun summer job for you.
Average hourly pay range: $12 – $27
6. Retail Employee
Retail jobs are another popular seasonal position. They can range from working at a clothing store to selling golf clubs or electronics. Like customer service jobs, you’ll interact directly with the public. Retail jobs can be physically demanding since most require you to stand for much of your shift, but they too give you skills for working in fast-paced environments and helping customers solve problems. And while retail jobs are great for college students in the summer, you can also try to pick up hours over winter break during peak holiday shopping times.
How to know it’s the right fit for you: If you’re friendly and don’t mind speaking to new people, this job might be right up your alley.
Average hourly pay range: $9 – $16
Service Summer Jobs for College Students
7. Food Service/Restaurant Work
Working in a restaurant has also become a staple summer job for college students. From serving to working in the back of the house, the fast-paced and public-facing food service industry is a great way to make money during the summer. Restaurants are usually hiring year-round, but often increase staff ahead of summer and can likely give you a part-time schedule that works for you.
How to know it’s the right fit for you: If you’re friendly and enjoy working with people, then a food service job might be a great summer job option for you.
Average hourly pay range: $9 – $15
With young children also out of school during the summer months, families are more likely to turn to a nanny for the summer to watch over the children. Nannying jobs are great for students who want a family-oriented job and have experience working with children. It’s also easier than ever to find nannying gigs, with tons of apps and websites that can connect you with people looking to hire for short and long-term care. Check out Care.com to find out if nannying is right for you.
How to know it’s the right fit for you: If you love working with and caring for children.
Average hourly pay range: $10 – $20
9. Dog Walker
There are sites like Rover and Wag! that can connect you with pet owners looking to hire dog walkers for the summer. You could even take on more than one dog to build a full schedule. Ask friends and family back home if they know anyone looking for a pet sitter or a dog walker, and you might just find yourself the perfect gig.
How to know it’s the right fit for you: If you’re a dog lover and have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Average hourly page range: $10 – $29
10. Driver (Rideshare, Delivery, and More)
If you have a car and enjoy being behind the wheel, some jobs like food delivery, rideshare driver, or valets put you in the driver seat. You can get started with rideshare jobs like Uber or Lyft, where you can set your own hours and driving radius as you go. Many rideshare and food delivery apps even have a sign-on bonus that will give you a bump as soon as you start. Another bonus: you can continue working part-time during the school year to earn some extra cash.
How to know it’s the right fit for you: If you like the open road and flexibility in your work schedule.
Average hourly pay range: $9 – $24
Pro Tip: If you’re looking to get ahead of your required courses during the summer months, a summer session may also be a viable option for you. Some schools offer online courses so that you can work a summer job and study during your free time. You can even apply for summer financial aid to help cover you pay for a summer session or class.
The best summer jobs for college students often align with what you enjoy doing and what you want your future career to look like. If you see yourself going to business school, find a part-time gig with a local company you admire. If you want to start your own company, consider customer service to get started. Look around at local businesses, camps, and organizations for opportunities that fit your interests.
Considering taking a summer class instead of working a summer job? Read our best tips for how to pay for a summer session.