Rob Palmer I have been blogging and living the digital nomad lifestyle since 1999. I help people create an online income so they can go anywhere, do anything and be anyone.

Top 27 Online Jobs for College Students (High Pay, Flexible Hours)

16 min read

Make money while you study, be financially free and get out of debt. Easy ways to create cash online working flexible hours.

What You Will Learn

  • Find great ways to make money without interrupting your studies 
  • Discover high-paying work that you can start today
  • Work flexible hours around your student schedule

The Broke Student Dilemma

There are lots of reasons why being a student is wonderful. You get to spend your days studying a subject that interests you, and your evenings and weekends having the best time of your life.

What could be better? For most people, the answer to that question is ‘the money!’ If you happen to be an Ivy League student bankrolled by an allowance from the family fortune, then good luck to you. But for the other 99% of us, getting by in college is not so easy.

Tuition costs and arm and a leg, and even shared accommodation takes a big chunk out of what little budget you may have. And as for food, you can’t live on Ramen noodles for ever…

So for most students, generating additional income is a necessity. And that means finding some kind of part-time job. But finding the right kind of job to fit in with student life is not always easy.

Studying needs to be your priority, of course, so you can’t work much during weekdays. But on the other hand, you don’t want to be flipping burgers all night, leaving you too tired to get to lectures in the morning.

To make it worse, the only jobs you can get working unsocial hours tend to pay offer miserable pay and even worse conditions. Your grades suffer because you have no free time to study, yet you can still barely pay the bills at the end of the month.

And as for that mountain of student debt, it just keeps on getting bigger and bigger. You end up like a hamster stuck in a wheel, running faster just to stay in the same place.

So what do you do...make money and let your grades suffer? Or focus on your studies and end up even deeper in debt?

It’s a dilemma for sure - but there is a solution...

Best Jobs for College Students

As a student in the 21st century, you are lucky to be living in an era where you don’t have to do menial tasks for minimal pay. Forget waiting on tables and begging for tips, or flogging insurance that nobody wants in a wage-slave call center.

There is a better option - a much better option. You can make money online.

The Internet has opened up a whole wealth of different ways to make money, and dozens of these opportunities are ideal for students. There are many reasons why online jobs are the best jobs for college students today.

You can forget all the problems associated with traditional, part-time student jobs. In particular, no more:

  • Neglecting your studies to make money 
  • Doing rotten jobs you hate
  • Working for minimum wage (or less)
  • Working while your friends are having fun 
  • Relying on tips to make up your money

Instead, you can work online and enjoy all the benefits that these income-generating opportunities create:

  • Working flexible hours that you choose 
  • Putting your studies first, and work second
  • Getting fairly paid for the hours you put in
  • Doing work that is interesting and enjoyable
  • Potentially opening up a whole new career path

For most of these jobs, you don’t need previous experience or qualifications. So being a young student is in no way a handicap. You are perfectly poised to start making money right out of the gate.

There are so many opportunities that you can try several and see which is the best fit for you. At the very least, you can expect to make a good hourly rate to supplement your income. And who knows, your part-time project may grow into a full-time online business.

Back in 1997, two students at Stanford university came up with an idea for a software program that made it easier to search for web pages and find information. This was just a part-time student project, and they hoped to make a little extra money renting out the software.

The Internet has opened up a whole wealth of different ways to make money, and dozens of these opportunities are ideal for students. There are many reasons why online jobs are the best jobs for college students today.

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They made more than a little pocket money. Those two students - Sergey Brin and Larry Page - turned their student project into a company. They named it Google and became multi-billionaires.

And they are not the only students to turn their part-time online gigs into massive fortunes. Yahoo and Facebook also started life as student projects. So start working online today, and who knows where your part-time job could take you.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, and start examining the top online jobs for college students to make money.

1. Write Essays and Term Papers

We’ll start by looking at the opportunities that are a natural fit for students. And the obvious place to start is with writing student essays and term papers.

As a student yourself, no doubt you have lots of experience in writing these! So you know exactly what is required, and you understand all the ‘dos and don’ts’ that apply to this kind of work.

Best of all, you are ‘in the zone’ right now, so your skills in this field are bang up to today. That makes you a perfect fit for essay-writing resources like I Write Essays. This is just one of many websites that connects writers with other students who need things written.

This is an excellent way to leverage your existing skills and make some extra money online.

2. Rent Out University Links

How would you like to make an extra $450 a month for doing next to nothing? Many students are doing exactly that! Here’s now...

Many colleges and universities allocate students some space on their website to upload content. Many website owners consider links from educational establishments (with a .edu domain suffix) to be extra valuable in helping their sites rank in Google.

Because of this, they are prepared to pay you hundreds of dollars every month if you create a link to them from your college website. Once the links is in place (five minutes work), there is nothing further for you to do. You just collect lots of money every month!

3. Tutor Online

Another way to leverage your existing skills is to work as an online tutor. Having recently completed high school yourself, you have detailed knowledge of your best subjects.

That puts you in a great position to help other high-school students. You can work as an online tutor and assist them in improving their grades. There are many websites dedicated to connecting students with suitable tutors.  Just sign up for one or two and see what projects come up.

Here’s some great advice on finding online tutoring jobs:

You can do this job from anywhere in the world, and help students in other states - or even different countries. As well as earning good money, you may also make some new friends!

4. Research Projects

As a student, you know all about doing research. So becoming a freelance researcher is a natural extension of what you are already going.

All you need to do is sign up with a site like Wonder and start taking on projects. You may typically be asked to assist with interesting work such as:

  • Gathering statistics 
  • Explaining a trend
  • Determining the size of a market
  • Competitive landscaping 
  • Researching products or services

“I love working for Wonder because it allows me to do professional, interesting, engaging work on my schedule, which is priceless. The pay is good, the leadership team fantastic, and I learn something new every time I sign on.”

​Nina R.  

Expert Researcher

5. Work for Google

What kind of online job could be cooler than working for Google? You may be surprised that the online search giant hires thousands of remote workers to help improve the quality of its service.

Google is always looking for search engine evaluators who give feedback on the quality of certain search results. The idea is to help the company understand where its complex computer algorithms are working, and where they need improvement.

This is a job that can be done from anywhere in the world. Google hires search engine evaluators through third-party recruiters, and you need to go through a testing process to qualify. Read our detailed post about Google search evaluator jobs to find out more.

6. Write Freelance Articles

If you made to to college, chances are that you are reasonably good writer. And that means you can generate some extra income as a freelance writer. With millions of websites all needing content, there has never been a better time to make money from writing.

You can sign up with any of the freelance writing jobs sites and start picking up clients right away. You might have to work for low rates initially, in order to get some experience and positive feedback on your account.

But once you have a few jobs under your belt, you can start ramping up your rates and earning good money. The best freelance writers make well over $100,000 a year, and top copywriters make a million dollars a year plus. So there is plenty of opportunity in this market!

7. Manage Social Media

Many businesses are run by older people who grew up in an era where there was no Internet and no social media. So they are often somewhat at sea when it comes to taking advantage of social media marketing.

That’s where the student generation comes in. Having grown up with this technology, you can offer facility with social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. So you can help businesses by offering to take on the role of managing their social media.

You can find part-time social media jobs at any of the freelance marketplaces, or even on regular job boards. Alternatively, you can simply approach businesses in your area and offer to help. Look for companies with a poor social media presence, where you can make an immediate impact.

8. Develop Software

As we mentioned earlier, many students have started programming projects that have turned into multi-billion dollar companies. So software development is definitely a good business to get into.

You don’t have to be studying software engineering to make a go of this. You can learn programming through online courses or simply by watching YouTube videos. Once you have a little coding knowledge, you can start taking on simple jobs.

The more jobs you do, the more your skills will grow. You can raise your hourly rates steadily until you are making an excellent income, or charge high rates by the project.

Alternatively, you can put your new skills to personal use and create the next Facebook. If Mark Zuckerberg can build a trillion-dollar business from his dorm room, so can you!

9. Teach English Online

Here’s another nifty way to take advantage of your good English skills. Around the world, there are millions of people learning English. In China alone, 400 million people are learning English...that’s more than the entire population of the United States!

What many of these people need is direct contact with a native English speaker. And that’s where you come in. There are many companies which exist to connect students of English to suitable teachers.

Teachaway alone has over 300,000 students who need a tutor, and they pay up to $22 an hour. It helps if you get TEFL qualified (Teach English is a Foreign Language), but it’s not essential.

Many students simply want to practice chatting with a native English speaker to improve their conversational skills. So if you like the idea of getting paid $20+ an hour just to chat on Skype, teaching English online may be for you!

10. Write Resumes

Another simple way to leverage your writing skills is to specialize in revamping resumes. There are millions of job seekers who need a great resume to secure their next job, but don’t know how to do it well.

This is a simple skill to learn, and you could soon be making good money as a part-time resume writer. Once you have learned the ‘formula’ for writing a good resume, you can knock these out in an hour or two and get paid around $100.

You can add a second string to your bow by offering to write LinkedIn profiles, too. These are really important to job seekers, and go hand in hand with a good resume. Offer the two services together and double your money!

Use any of the major freelance jobs sites to help you find resume-writing jobs. There are always lots of opportunities on offer.

11. Offer Gigs on Fiverr

Fiverr provides you with an opportunity to be creative and offer special services based on your skills, experience and special talents. All kinds of people deliver all kinds of services on this fascinating platform.

Do you want birthday wishes from the Queen of England, or the Pope? Maybe you want someone to sing happy birthday in the shower...anything is possible on Fiverr. You just have to get your thinking cap on and decide what service you could offer.

No matter how crazy your idea may seem, there is sure to be someone who will pay for it. That makes this site perfect for students who are prepared to do almost anything to make money!

12. Test Websites

Want to get paid for just surfing the web? You can! Many companies hire website testers to give them feedback on their online operations.

When a big company launches a new website, they need to know how things are going. Can users find their way around? Do they know where to click? Can they get help when they need it?

To get information about all of this, businesses often hire people to simply test out their websites. You can find work in this field by signing up with a company like WhatUsersDo.

They will pay you around $8 by PayPal for testing out a single website. All you have to do is:

  • 1
    Sign up
  • 2
    Download the screen recorder
  • 3
    Take a practice test
  • 4
    Start earning income


“It's easy and convenient to take the tests. I get rewarded and help someone get real feedback on their products BEFORE they go live. Why not?”

​Christian  

Website Tester

13. Do Search Engine Marketing

For any online business, showing up in the search results on Google and other search engines is incredibly important. In fact, it can be make or break for a business. That’s why so many companies spend a fortune on search engine marketing.

You can help by becoming a search engine optimization (SEO) consultant. This is a specialized skill, but one that you can easily learn if you put your mind to it. Once you have boned up on the art of SEO, you are ready to help companies rise to the top of the Google rankings.

Get good at this and you can earn great money. A single client may well be prepared to pay you several thousand dollars a month to take care of their SEO needs. Good search engine marketing professionals are always in demand.

Alternatively, you can become an advertising consultant and help businesses succeed with Google Ads. Many businesses depend heavily on these ads to generate customers, but they don’t know how to run campaigns efficiently. Step in to help and you could be sitting on a goldmine.

14. Drive for Uber

Ride-sharing jobs depend heavily on Internet technology, so they fit neatly under the heading of online jobs - even if you can’t do the work from your dorm room. They could not exist without wireless Internet, smartphone apps, GPS and other online tools.

Businesses such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the way we get around, and have created a whole new economy in the process. If you are lucky enough to be a student with a car, then you will love driving for the ride-sharing firms.

This work is perfect for students because it is so flexible. When you have a few hours to spare, you can log on and start taking rides. But when you need to focus on your studies, you simply log off and get out a textbook.

How much can you expect to make in a regular week? Find out right here:

You can maximize your income by working at busy times when surge pricing pushes your hourly rate up to the max. Friday and Saturday nights are always great for making money. And if you are prepared to work over holidays, you can really cash in. In just a few hours on New Year’s Eve, you could make over $1000 bucks!

15. Deliver Food & Products

Like to drive but don’t like driving people? Then maybe delivery driving is for you. This option offers all the benefits of driving for the ride-sharing firms, but without the problems of drunks throwing up on your back seat.

There are now lots of companies who will pay you to deliver food or packages, ranging from ride-sharing specialist Uber to eCommerce monster Amazon. Here are the top 10 for you to consider:

  • DoorDash 
  • Instacart
  • Uber Eats
  • Postmates 
  • Favor Delivery
  • Caviar
  • Saucey
  • Eaze
  • Deliv
  • Amazon Flex

Another advantage is these companies are less fussy about the car you drive than the ride-sharing businesses. So if you are driving a rust bucket that suits your student budget, this may be a better option for you.

16. Help People Out (TaskRabbit)

Are good at doing odd jobs? If so, you can try one of the task apps for smartphones, such as TaskRabbit. Just log onto the app when you have some time to spare and get paid to help people in your neighborhood. You may be asked to assist with tasks such as:

  • Mounting & installation 
  • Furniture assembly
  • Moving & packing
  • Home improvement 
  • Heavy lifting
  • Cleaning
  • Handyman jobs

Typical jobs pay anywhere from $40 to $120, with the rates going up for more difficult projects. So this can be a great way to earn some extra money at weekends.

17. Publish eBooks

How would you like to start your own publishing company? Thanks to Amazon’s Kindle platform, that is now a real possibility. You can start with zero budget today, and grow your own million-dollar business.

Amazon has made it easy to publish eBooks, thanks to it’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform. You can easily turn a Google Doc or a Microsoft Word document into an eBook and publish it right away.

You can get started with Kindle publishing by writing and publishing your own books. Then when you start making money, you can reinvest the money by hiring others to do the writing.

18. Create a YouTube Channel

If you have a lively personality and look good on camera, then you could be a YouTube star in the making! All you need is a good idea and some time to commit to making your project a reality.

The top YouTubers make millions every year from advertising, sponsorship and merchandise. While you may not make a seven-figure income, it’s entirely possible that you could make a good part-time living from YouTube.

You don’t need to invest much money to get started. In fact, you can just use the video facility on your smartphone initially. Then as you start making money, you may want to buy some better equipment and set up your own studio.

Here are some tips to get you started:

YouTube racks up over five billion video views every single day - that’s close to the entire population of the planet! Growth is still exploding, so there is plenty of opportunity for you to carve out a lucrative niche.

19. Do Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketers make money online by promoting other company’s products in return for a commission. This can be a very lucrative business, and many affiliate marketers have become multi-millionaires.

You can get going for just a few bucks by starting your own website. Then all you need to do is add some affiliate links and start promoting. The more visitors you can send over to buy the offers, the more money you make.

Of course, you must be prepared to work hard at this. You will need to learn how to market your website using strategies such as SEO and social media marketing. But once you crack the system, you can look forward to a very nice income.

20. Proofread and Edit Documents

If you have a good eye for detail, then you can make good money from proofreading and editing documents. Every day, gazillions of blog posts, articles, reports and other materials get published online.

Any publisher who wants to maintain professional standards needs help with proofreading these documents. So demand for proofreaders is exploding. You can get paid good money for doing relatively easy work from the comfort of your own dorm room.

There are many websites where you can find proofreading jobs you can start today. You need to have a good understanding of English grammar and spelling, plus the ability to spot typos and other textual problems.

21. Sell Online Courses

Do you have some kind of special knowledge or expertise? Maybe you are an expert in archery, or needlepoint or computer programming. Whatever skill you have, you can make good money by sharing your knowledge with others.

Selling online courses has become a boom business. Thanks to platforms like Teachable, it’s easy for anyone to create and offer professional-quality courses. People will pay good money to learn about all kinds of subjects.

You can market your course using social media such as Facebook, or you can get good at search engine marketing. There are many ways to make this work - you just have to find what works for you.

22. Design Websites and Creatives

So you have a good eye for design, huh? In that case, your skills will always be in demand. There is a huge and growing need for good designers who can help get creative work done.

You can use any of the freelance job marketplaces to find work in areas such as:

  • Web design 
  • Graphic design
  • Print design

Alternatively, you can come up with your own designs and sell on them on a platform such as Creative Market. That way, you can create your design once, and get paid for it many times over.

23. Keep Websites Secure

Hackers are everywhere, it seems, and that is a big problem for website owners. But it’s also a great opportunity for you. There is a growing demand for Internet security consultants who can keep websites safe from attack.

You do need something of a geeky side to do this, as it gets technical very quickly. But once you have gained the skills you need, you are in a great position to demand high rates for your work. Businesses that have been hacked will pay almost anything to get the problem fixed.

It’s a good idea to specialize in a popular platform such as WordPress, to ensure that you always have plenty of work. You can offer your services on services websites such as UpWork and Fiverr.

24. Review Products

There are lots of ways you can make good money simply by reviewing products, or testing them out. When a company launches a new product, they need feedback on how well it works, and it compares to rival products.

For you, this is a chance to pick up some easy cash. Here’s a great list of sites that will pay you to review and test products, with the list especially geared towards students. Try a few and see what works best for you.

You can also make good money reviewing products in YouTube videos. Here’s how to do it:

25. Complete Surveys

Another way to make some useful extra income is to complete online surveys. You’re not going to get rich doing this, but it can be a fun way to make some extra money.

Sign up with companies such as Swagbucks and InBoxDollars to get started. You may find that you get rejected for some surveys, but accepted for others. You can top up your income by undertaking all kinds of additional paid tasks.

These sites can be very useful for saving money towards big expenses like Christmas. You can earn money all year, then transfer the funds to Amazon gift cards. That way, you can do all your Christmas shopping without having to spend a cent of your hard cash.

26. Work as a Virtual Assistant

If you are a good organizer, you may consider working as a virtual assistant. This is a job that can be done from anywhere, and the hours are usually flexible. Rates of pay can be good if you find the right clients.

The title ‘virtual assistant’ covers a wide range of possible tasks, which might typically include:

  • Maintaining a website 
  • Posting on social media
  • Dealing with customer support
  • Helping with link building 
  • Organizing and posting content
  • Keeping notes and reports

...and a whole lot more. You can find virtual assistant opportunities on any jobs site, as well as in any of the freelance marketplaces.

27. Start a Blog

One of the best ways to make money online is to start your own blog. This option is great for students because you can get started with very little money. What you mostly need is some time to invest.

Creating a blog is easy with today’s technology, such as WordPress. The hardest part is marketing and promoting your blog. But if you get good at search engine optimization and social media marketing, you can get thousands of visitors to your blog every day.

Once you have an audience, you can make money from advertising and affiliate programs, or by selling products and services online. One lady used her blog to clear $38,000 of student debt in seven months...and then go on to make over a million dollars a year...that’s the way to do it!


"The biggest reason for why I was able to pay off my student loans is because I earned as much money as I could outside of my day job. I mystery shopped and got paid to take surveys, but the biggest thing I did was I make an income through my blog."

​Michelle  

Pro Blogger

Turn Your Finances Around

If you’ve been lying awake at night, fretting about how you are going to stay ahead of your bills and get out of student debt, you can now stop worrying. Working online is the answer.

Wherever you are in the world, and whatever kind of college you attend, there are always ways to make extra money online. Just think...start working online today and you can look forward to:

  • Paying the rent on time every month 
  • Having cash in your pocket to enjoy life
  • Never having to say ‘no’ to fun that costs money
  • Paying down your student debt...fast! 
  • Focusing on your studies and getting better grades

So check out all the options above and decide what’s right for you. It’s a good idea to try out several opportunities. You may be surprised at which one is the best fit for you.


As a student in the 21st century, you are lucky to be living in an era where you don’t have to do menial tasks for minimal pay. Forget waiting on tables and begging for tips, or flogging insurance that nobody wants in a wage-slave call center. There is a better option - a much better option. You can make money online.

Above all, get started today. The sooner you put your toe in the water, the sooner you will be swimming in cash. So take your pick and start making money online today!


Rob Palmer I have been blogging and living the digital nomad lifestyle since 1999. I help people create an online income so they can go anywhere, do anything and be anyone.
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