Finding Best Online Jobs for College Students

College students always need extra cash. And the online marketplace is an ocean of opportunity for college students, motivated enough to put their downtime, and skills, to good use.

In this article, I will tell you about your online job opportunities as a college student. Contrary to appearances, there are quite a lot of options from which you can choose. So if you’re open and willing to do new things, finding a remote job shouldn’t be difficult for you. You can also read my article about remote writing job opportunities. Maybe this is also a great solution that is worth considering.

Table of content:
1. The benefits of working online for college students.
2. Types of online jobs available for college students.
3. How do college students sign up for online gigs?
4. What does a college student need to work online?
5. Types of online jobs for collage student.
6. How do college students get paid from online jobs?
7. What if college students don’t want to work online but still want to find part-time work?

1. The benefits of working online for college students

For college students, working online has 5 direct benefits.

  • Extra cash (no-brainer)
  • Flexible hours – you get to work around your classes and extracurricular.
  • Work from almost anywhere – your dorm, the campus library, coffee shops, etc.
  • You can build up a portfolio and
  • Gain work experience

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2. What types of online jobs are available for college students?

First off, decide what type of jobs or gigs you would be capable of doing. Here are 18 categories of online jobs college students can choose from:

  • Data capturing/Data entry
  • IT (for the tech geeks) – web development, writing code, etc.
  • Freelance writing – includes ghostwriting, proofreading, and editing
  • Start a WordPress Blog and make money from your passion
  • Content Writer
  • Virtual Assistant/Admin work
  • Remote Customer Support
  • Tutoring
  • Teaching English (conversational English taught to Chinese school kids)
  • Surveys
  • Moderators across multiple platforms – forums, chat rooms, social media pages
  • Graphic Design
  • SEO work
  • Use your voice
  • Transcribing
  • Music Reviews
  • Apple work-from-home jobs – yes Apple offers online job for students, so be sure to check their website
  • Mechanical Turk (through Amazon)

As you can see, there is a lot of jobs you can apply for. Choose the ones you like best or the ones you would like to learn and start looking for specific offers. Then get down to signing up with one, or more, sites.

3. How do college students sign up for online gigs?

It’s this easy. Complete the sign-up form. Submit.

When you sign up, you will get asked to list your skills and checkboxes that answer specific questions.

Some sites will run a background check. Once the application process is complete and you’ve been successful, you can start applying for jobs straight away.

If working online doesn’t appeal, you can still use the internet to find many regular part-time jobs.

Most sites are free to sign up with. But they will take a small fee from each job you complete and get paid for. Some sites have a membership fee but then don’t deduct fees per job.

4. What does a college student need to work online?

Working remotely and getting hired online has become the norm for so many people. And companies no longer require face to face interviews. Skyping and video chats are enough these days. In some cases, not even this is necessary.

Everyone has a social media presence, so it’s easy for potential employers to check out your profiles, and be satisfied with who you are. And vice versa.

So all you need is:

  • a reliable laptop, PC, or smartphone (depending on the type of work)
  • a high-speed internet connection
  • a suitable workspace
  • and if you take a job where you will be required to listen or speak to people, you will need a quiet space or at least a noise-canceling headset and a dial pad.

You will also need to write up a suitable CV or resume. The style will depend on which jobs you are applying for, or which sites you use.

In most cases, you will be asked to build a profile on the site you sign with. And that takes the place of a traditional resume.

Your profile can be anything from a simple “About Me” piece to a more detailed write-up. This can include references from teachers or previous employers (if you worked during summer vacations or on weekends). Also, list your skills and any previous experience you have in a specific field.

You are selling yourself. So stay real. Prospective clients appreciate transparency, and you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to give you work, especially if your starting rate is low.

You may find steady part-time work with one online employer, or end up doing small jobs for several online clients wanting specific tasks or articles (if you write).

Once you complete a few jobs, your portfolio, on your profile, will start selling itself. And you can build an online reputation within the platform that you work through.

Sites like:

  • Upwork
  • Guru
  • Fiverr
  • Freelancer
  • PeoplePerHour

All offer freelance gigs. You get to advertise your skills or look for jobs that suit your skillset. Many sites are free to join. Some will want you to pay and become a member.

5. What types of skills do you need to work online?

Data Entry – $8-$15 per hour

You need fast and accurate typing skills. Be organized and stick to deadlines. This type of work needs only basic skills but can be tedious. The pay is lower than other freelance gigs. Know how to use Excel.

You get given lists of data and get asked to create spreadsheets and capture the data. You may also be asked to do basic admin tasks like e-mailing and sourcing more data.

Sites offering data entry positions:

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • The Smart Crowd
  • Clickworker
  • Microworkers
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk

Freelance Gigs – most online work for college students will fall under this category. You can be a freelance writer, web developer, editor or graphic designer.

This is a great way to get experience in a field you want to pursue. And build an impressive portfolio at the same time.

Learn: How To Make Money Blogging.

Freelance Writer – $10-$20 per hour

If you have excellent writing skills, this type of work will suit you.

These gigs want content, so you write as a ghostwriter and hand over all copyrights on payment. Write online content for blogs, write a script for video clips, or even write e-books.

You can set your rate at a price per hour or word. And earn between $30 and $150 per article. It depends on the gig. It is easy to find gigs on sites like Guru and Upwork.

Be careful, though, because many clients will expect you to turn in a crazy amount of words for a small fee. But you’ll soon learn what clients are looking for and which job posts to avoid.

One of my very first jobs wanted 20×200 word articles. Per day! It is not humanly possible. Only later did I learn that companies take these jobs and give the task to 4 or 5 writers at a time. I failed to deliver and got zero dollars for a lot of slogging.

Writing script for video clips pays more than content writing (up to $50 for 1,500 words)

Blogging – Pay varies

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Start a blog and monetize it or use it to build up aa excellent portfolio to get paying jobs.

Affiliate marketers use bloggers to deliver quality content to sell products through sites like Amazon. Some companies will send you samples, and you can write reviews.

So if you blog, you can also become an affiliate marketer and write for a niche market. Sites on Health and Fitness or Natural Living are lucrative industries that always want well-written content.

Freelance Web Developer – $35-$200 per hour

If you can build websites, this job is up to your alley. Pay starts at $35 per hour, but you can charge $500 or more to build a website and end up getting over $100 per hour.

You will need web development skills, which you can get by doing a quick online course. Or you can design a few free websites for friends, to build up a portfolio. And then look for clients that need web sites built. You could offer lower rates and use the time to improve your skills. And get the experience.

Freelance Graphic Designer – $30-$150

This is a great field if you have basic skills.

You get to design logos, websites, brochures, and even blog posts. And keep adding to your design portfolio.

This experience will look great on your resume when you later want to increase your hourly rates or take on bigger jobs.

You can earn per hour, but usually, you will find that charging per gig makes you more. You can create a logo and charge $100. If you are good at it, you get done in 2 hours.

Freelance Editor $10-$300

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This is a well-paid post for a college student.

You can use editing software to double-check your work. And you can choose to edit short articles or entire books (often e-books that are only 10 000 words long).

Sites like Upwork will give you a good idea of what other freelancers charge.

Tip: If you do proofread or edit, always read through the corrected version because the software will sometimes correct one error but leave the sentence as before, which will be a really bad reflection on you.

Find all types of freelance gigs on sites like:

  • Upwork
  • Freelancer
  • iFreelance
  • SimplyHired
  • Guru
  • PeoplePerHour
  • Hiresine

Tutoring/Teaching Online

Do you excel in a particular subject?

Advertise your services online and tutor.

You can tutor fellow students (peer-to-peer) or offer your tutoring skills globally to kids and adults alike.

Teaching conversational English to foreigners (mainly Chinese) via Skype or video calls has become a lucrative way to make extra cash.

Be cautious if you sign up through online agencies. Often they will expect you to take on long hours, and you end up overworked and underpaid. Check out reviews on the agency first. Or stick to selling your services independently.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) used to be an easy way to travel and earn. But due to its popularity, the market became saturated. So now, you need college degrees before you can qualify for the courses you need to become certified.

It is a great way to travel over summer breaks if you already have some qualifications. At the same time, you can also start a travel blog to remember all journeys.

Find Tutoring positions on sites like:

  • VIPKids
  • Magic Ears
  • Preply
  • Wyzant

Virtual Assistant (VA) – $10-$20 per hour

Do you find it easy to organize tasks and carry out administrative work, like replying to e-mails and writing up memos and notes?

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VA’s are a vital element to the online workplace. And are fast taking the place of secretaries that work from brick-and-mortar offices.

SEO companies and affiliate marketers need VA’s to answer mail, edit content, proofread, manage social media platforms, clean up websites, and correspond with customers by answering queries and other customer-related tasks.

And the best part is you choose your hours so you can do all these traditionally day jobs, at night.

Find VA gigs on these sites:

  • Upwork
  • Freelancer
  • Hiresine
  • Flexjobs

Transcribing – $10-$30 per hour

Transcription is simple, but like data entry, it can be repetitive.

All you need to do is listen to audio and transcribe. You write the dialogue for video clips, books, and other written items.

So if your typing is fast and you have the patience for this type of work, you’ll get plenty of gigs.

Find transcription jobs on sites like:

  • Rev
  • TranscribeMe
  • Quicktate
  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • GoTranscript

Video Captioning – $30-$75 per hour

Like transcribing, video captioning will need you to put the words spoken into written captions that appear on the screen. This can be tricky, as the words that appear must sync with the voice on the clip.

Because the skills for this are more advanced, so is the fee. Compare $0.35 per minute with $0.45 per minute.

Sites with video captioning gigs include:

  • Rev
  • Crowdsurf
  • GoTranscript

Surveys – pay varies (sometimes only points and vouchers are awarded)

Taking online surveys sounds like easy money, but from my experience, it is often a waste of time. They don’t always pay cash. Instead, you get points or vouchers.

If you want free stuff, you’ll enjoy taking surveys, and often you get reviews from different platforms but can “cash in” your points earned over multiple sites.

Take Surveys from these sites:

  • Swagbucks
  • MindMovers
  • LifePoints
  • Opinion Outpost
  • OnePoll

6. How do college students get paid from online work?

Most often, you will be paid through PayPal. You can also get paid directly on your bank account. And because you are an independent contractor, you will be responsible for your taxes. Most sites will have the relevant info on these details.

If you sign-up with a site that operates from anywhere other than the US, wire transfers and/or PayPal will be okay to use. But wire transfers charge up to $30 per transaction.

Some sites will let you accumulate your money, and you can set a date to receive the payment in one go.

7. What if college students don’t want to work online but still want to find part-time work?

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As a college student, you can get a part-time job on campus. For example, you could help grade papers, tutor other students, or work in the library.

Maybe you want an evening gig, off-campus, like serving at catered events or waiting tables at a trendy cafe. Ridesharing, food delivery, babysitting, or walking pets are also part-time gigs that can earn you some extra dollars.

Alternatively, you could get an internship over the summers, with a firm or business connected to what you are studying for. And if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, cruise flea markets, garage sales, and pawnshops and then flip goods at a profit on platforms like e-Bay.

Many of these kinds of jobs are part of the “gig economy.” This term describes the growing workforce of people who earn a living from temporary or part-time work. And can be found through sites like:

  • Lyft
  • UberEats
  • Craigslist
  • Flexjobs, and many more.

But working online gives you the freedom to choose your own hours and the type of jobs you want. You could focus on one kind of job. Or get a series of freelance gigs, suited to your skills.

Start Earning Today

So if you are at college and want extra cash, there is nothing to stop you from signing up with a site today.

And get started.

Not only do you get to choose gigs you have the skills for. But you can also broaden your talents, by looking for gigs you know nothing about, but want to.

The online marketplace is crammed with free courses, affordable software, and websites to help you find these tools.

Soon you’ll be buying beer and pizza for the whole dorm! …Not.

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