How to Make Money

13 Online Jobs for College Students That Pay More Than $15/Hour

Updated July 18, 2016
by Dana Sitar
Staff Writer
jobs for college students

Working through college is a good way to offset the high costs of school.

But it can be tough to find a decent-paying job you can balance with classes and extracurriculars.

Instead, look into the hundreds of ways to make money online. If you want this to be your primary, consistent source of income, however, tricks to make a quick $100 won’t suffice.

For a regular paycheck and work-at-home schedule, check out these 13 online jobs for college students.

1. Social Media Manager

Starting Pay: $15-$40/hour

Managing a company’s social media accounts can be a fun way to make money on a flexible schedule. It’s also a cool way to connect with businesses you love.

A social media manager serves as the voice and face of a business on a number of engagement platforms. You’ll promote deals and content, and interact with followers.

How to Get Started

You could post your resume on random job boards, but it’s better to contact local companies directly. Better yet, connect with a business you already patronize.

Focus on social platforms you love and know inside out to boost your pay. If you’re a Twitter fiend, talk up your experience. If you spend all your free time on Pinterest, put your pinning skills to use.

Then, get creative: Outline a plan to connect with customers via Snapchat or Periscope. Smaller companies might not have thought about exploring these newer platforms, making you an integral part of the team.

2. Online Tutor

Pay: $13-$20/hour or more

Take your academic strengths and knowledge online to start your own tutoring business.

Offer peer tutoring for fellow college students or connect with K-12 students in home-school programs.

And it’s not just academic: Focus on your extracurricular talents, and offer tutoring or consulting in things like music, art, social media, fashion or nutrition, too.

How to Get Started

Market your tutoring services online at sites like Wyzant or Tutor.com.

Or, do all the work up front and create an online course to sell through Skillshare, Udemy or your own site.

3. Data Entry Clerk

Pay: $9-$16/hour

These aren’t the best-paying online jobs, but they also don’t require a ton of skills or experience. Typically, all you need is a computer and an internet connection.

How to Get Started

Find online data entry jobs through these sites:

4. Resume Writer

Pay: $15-$25/hour

Know someone about to graduate or looking for a new job? Offer to help polish their resume to make it job-search-ready.

How to Get Started

Find online resume writing jobs through these sites:

But you’ll face a lot of competition and submit many unanswered applications.

Instead, try reaching into your existing network for potential clients, like friends looking for summer jobs and internships.

5. Search Engine Evaluator

Pay: $12-$15/hour

Earn up to $15 an hour cleaning up search engines, like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Despite constant updates to their algorithms, search engines are still riddled with errors. They rely on real humans to look at search results and offer feedback on quality, accuracy and usefulness. That’s where you come in.

How to Get Started

Find search engine evaluator jobs through these sites:

6. Niche Blogger

Pay: varies

Choose a topic that offers clear value to readers. By focusing your efforts on becoming an authority, you can make money blogging.

If you create a go-to source of information in your niche, you can earn money through relevant advertising, affiliate marketing and sponsored posts.

With good planning and time management, you can write for and promote your blog in your spare time, and earn passive income all day when readers visit your site.

How to Get Started

Follow our guide to starting a blog to get up and running.

7. Freelance Writer or Editor

Pay: varies; $50+ per article

This is how I made my living for four years while I traveled and moved around the U.S. It can be lucrative, flexible work.

You can make your own schedule, pick your own gigs and set your own rates. The best part is you get paid to write about almost anything!

Making money researching and writing about your existing hobbies and passions beats a barista gig at the campus coffee shop, right?

You can also try freelance proofreading or copyediting. These gigs are good ways to keep your foot in the door of the writing world when you don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to composition.

How to Get Started

A quick search will show you there’s no shortage of freelance writing work online. It’s hard to sift through, so here are our tips on finding the best gigs:

8. Micro-Freelancer

Pay: $5-$50 per gig

Could you really cut into your debt, or even make a living, $5 at a time?

If you get creative, you might be able to do just that with Fiverr!

Turn your weird ideas and unique skills into gigs on Fiverr. If you don’t want to wait for takers, look for a requested service, and pick up a few bucks from someone who needs help with a quick, simple task.

Copycat sites offer similar opportunities.

Try Gigbucks for tasks ranging from $5 to $50, and TenBux for gigs from $5 to $10. TaskRabbit also connects you with real-life and virtual odd jobs that can bring in extra cash or even become a full-time job.

How to Get Started

Read our overview of what you could sell on Fiverr to get an idea of the hidden gems and talents you might possess!

But make sure you’re valuing your time; if you’re only earning $4 an hour, it might not be your best bet.

9. Virtual Recruiter

Pay: $20-$30/hour

Put your skills and connections in your industry to use by connecting employees or freelancers with the right jobs.

As a virtual recruiter, you’ll work as a liaison between a company and potential new hires. You’ll do things like post available jobs, screen resumes, conduct preliminary interviews and negotiate salaries.

Work can pay around $50,000 per year for full-time employees, $20-$30 per hour for contractors or employees, or on a commission rate you set as a freelancer.

How to Get Started

This is freelance work, so you can start by perusing virtual recruiter job listings on LinkedIn or these freelance sites:

  • Upwork (formerly elance/oDesk)

10. PowerPoint Presentation Designer

Pay: varies, approximately $10-$20 per slide

Did you master PowerPoint for a project last semester? Turn that skill into a moneymaker!

When businesses or keynote speakers don’t have time to create presentations for their events, do it for them.

How to Get Started

Set up your own virtual storefront, like this professional slide designer, or list your services on freelance sites like Upwork or Freelancer.

11. Genealogist

Pay: varies, $70-$700 per project

Yes, people will pay you to put together their tricky family trees.

Are you already a hobby genealogist or studying the subject in school? You could charge between $70-$700 per request, and take on as much or little work as you can manage.

How to Get Started

Set up your own virtual storefront, like this professional genealogist, or list your services on freelance sites.

12. Virtual Assistant

Starting pay varies with duties: $10-$20/hour

Get paid to use the organization and communication skills you’ve developed to stay on top of schoolwork, classes and extracurriculars.

VA gigs vary in pay, hours and the actual work. You might help people and businesses with data entry, social media management, website maintenance, research and customer service.

With more and more professionals diving into freelance jobs and self-employment, these positions are increasingly in demand.

How to Get Started

Find virtual assistant jobs through these sites:

13. Transcriptionist

Pay: $15-$25/hour or more

Transcribing requires little to no prior experience, and offers flexible hours and workloads.

The work sounds easy: Listen to audio and type what you hear. But it can be repetitive and requires a lot of attention to detail.

With that said, the flexible work hours fit well around an academic schedule. And the pay is a pretty good selling point: Earn around $15 to $25 for general transcription, and more if you learn to specialize in the legal or medical fields.

How to Get Started

Find transcriptionist jobs through these sites:

Your Turn: Have you worked any of these online gigs in the past? Will you pick up one to earn money this school year?

Dana Sitar is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She also writes about writing, work, life and love for blogs and books, and sometimes things people care about, like Huffington Post and that one time she had an article published in The Onion. Follow along on Twitter @danasitar.

by Dana Sitar
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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