College students—it’s almost time to start applying for summer jobs. Having a summer job is great for earning extra money, paying off student loans, gaining experience, and saving for fun splurges.
But we’ve all come across “entry-level” jobs that require five-plus years of previous experience in the workforce. It’s an unrealistic requirement that discourages eager and otherwise qualified candidates from applying. Luckily, there are still plenty of summer jobs for students (or recent graduates) just starting out on their career journey that don’t require tons of previous experience and capitalize on personal passions.
Here are 40 summer jobs for college students:
1. Freelance writer
Average pay: $23.44/hour
As long as you have a few samples of writing, whether it be from an internship or a class, you can become a freelance writer or apply to an editorial-based internship. If you’re majoring in journalism or communications and hope to secure a writing-based job after college, this is a great opportunity to test the waters while beefing up your resume and portfolio.
Read more: How to Make a Resume for Your First Job
2. Graphic designer
Average pay: $29.55/hr
A lot of universities offer hands-on graphic design classes to hone your eye for design and offer training in programs like Adobe and Canva. During the summer, you can build on these skills by applying for a graphic design internship or signing up for opportunity alerts on Fiverr or Upwork.
3. Virtual assistant
Average pay: $16.08/hr
Virtual assistants offer a range of administrative services like scheduling meetings and appointments, responding to emails and calls, organizing calendars, and more. Since this role is always remote, you can do your job from anywhere you’d like (poolside?) as long as you complete your responsibilities.
Average pay: $16.10/hr
Social media is a highly coveted skill in the workplace today, so applying for a social media internship or running the social accounts of whatever business you already work for (restaurant, advertising agency, pool, etc) can prove to be extremely valuable experience for your future career—as well as allow you to get paid for your Instagram addiction.
5. Research assistant
Average pay: $17.25/hr
Whether it's scientific research under a professor or competitor research for a large corporation, a remote research-based internship is perfect for students looking to learn and earn money at the same time. Large organizations often hire summer research interns to collect and distribute data, so be vigilant and monitor job boards.
6. Junior copy editor
Average pay: $19.80/hr
If you’re familiar with AP style and consider yourself a grammar know-it-all, you can apply to be a copy editor for a local newspaper, magazine, or company website. You’ll help the other copy editors proofread and edit text at various stages of the writing process while incorporating feedback from senior editors.
7. Virtual fitness instructor
Average pay: $20.13/hr
The virtual fitness industry is gaining popularity, and it’s a trend that won’t be going away anytime soon. If you’re passionate about fitness and consider yourself a good leader, try teaching an online fitness class. Check out apps like Instructrr for fitness instructor opportunities or start a class among your friends and family.
8. Resume writer
Average pay: $23.96/hr
You can work for your university’s career center over the summer aiding students in writing their resumes for applying to jobs. If your career center doesn’t offer a resume writing service, market yourself on LinkedIn or on your own personal website.
9. Sell products online
Average pay: Varies
Tap into your entrepreneurial side and sell handmade products on Etsy. Whether your passion be knitting hats, creating jewelry, or painting flower vases, there’s a niche for everything on Etsy. Plus, you’ll gain experience running your own online business.
Read more: 30+ Side-Hustles for Incredibly Busy Women
Average pay: $10.04/hr
Lifeguarding is the perfect opportunity to get paid to sit in the sun all day while also gaining valuable skills that’ll translate well into any other job—leadership, thinking on your feet, effective communication, etc. To become a lifeguard, you’ll have to be trained in CPR and first aid.
Average pay: $14.03/hr
Here’s your opportunity to become Edward Scissorhands’ real-life nemesis. As a landscaper, you’ll maintain outdoor spaces like gardens and parks by removing litter, mowing lawns, raking leaves, planting flowers, and more.
12. Camp counselor
Average pay: $9.92/hr
If you love working with kids and want to take on a leadership role, being a camp counselor could be a great summer job for you. You’ll be responsible for supervising groups of kids and planning engaging activities and lessons for them. Camp counselors gain a wide variety of transferable job skills like excellent communication, problem-solving, and adaptability.
13. Car washer
Average pay: $10.57/hr
Stay cool in the summer heat by washing cars in your community. As a car washer, not only will you be responsible for cleaning car interiors and exteriors, but you’ll also be expected to provide top-notch customer service—a skill that will propel you forward in any future job.
Read more: 20 of the Best Jobs to Have Now
14. Sports instructor or referee
Average pay: $16.48/hr
If you’re super passionate about a specific sport, sign up to help coach or referee for a local youth recreation team over the summer or give private lessons. You’ll stay in shape while practicing skills like active listening and decision-making.
15. City tour guide
Average pay: $13.22/hr
You can sign up to give guided tours through your city’s visitor center and museums, or on an app like Rent a Local Friend. Tour guides lead tourists through the city by highlighting points of interest and educating them on the historical significance of different sites. Leading tours is a fun way to stay active and improve your public speaking skills.
16. Farm worker
Average pay: $12.26/hr
If you live in a rural area, you can look for a job working on a local farm. Work might include feeding and herding animals, harvesting crops, operating farm machinery, and more. You’ll need a valid driver’s license and be able to lift heavy weight—and keep in mind that farm work can be very physically demanding.
17. Scooter collector
Average pay: $5 to $10 per charged scooter
This is the perfect summer job for night owls and early-risers. You’ll be responsible for collecting and charging scooters for companies like Lime and Bird. You can relax during the day, then begin picking up scooters after 9 p.m., charge them at home overnight, and drop them back off to the public before 7 a.m.
18. Swimming instructor
Average pay: $12.18/hr
As a swim instructor, you’ll teach swimming techniques, strokes, and safety rules to prevent accidents and injuries to various age groups. You’ll need to be a certified swimming instructor (check out The American Red Cross and the YMCA) as well as be certified in first aid and CPR.
Average pay: $11.49/hr
Babysitting is a great way to make money over the summer. You can advertise your services on sites like Care.com or on social media and set your preferred hours depending on your availability—you might prefer to work shorter hours on date nights or longer hours when parents are at work.
Average pay: $17.92/hr
You can either tutor kids at home or online (without leaving your couch). Sites like VIPKid and Chegg make it easy to sign up as a tutor, and you can also market your services on social media or in your neighborhood listserv email.
21. Personal chef
Average pay: $21.93/hr
If you’re a culinary wizard, you can get paid to cook and prepare meals for others. Register yourself as a personal chef on HireAChef and provide services like special occasion cooking, fine dining, cooking classes, and more. P.S. formal culinary training isn’t always necessary, so roll up those amateur sleeves.
22. House cleaner
Average pay: $11.99/hr
Make money over the summer by cleaning houses. You can sign up on Housekeeper.com or start your own cleaning business. Market yourself to your friends and their families, as well as professors, coaches, parent’s coworkers, neighbors, etc.
23. Interior designer
Average pay: $16.91/hr
Here’s where your carefully curated home board on Pinterest might pay off. If you have an eye for design, you can sell interior design services on Houzz. You’ll be matched with someone in your area for your expertise in color consulting, room design, and furniture selection. If you want to be an interior decorator one day, this is an excellent way to get your foot in the door.
Average pay: $11.73/hr
Caregivers provide in-home, non-medical assistance and support for elderly and people with disabilities. Responsibilities might include helping patients with personal care, housekeeping, preparing meals, and running errands.
25. Personal assistant
Average pay: $15.24/hr
Personal assistants help busy business owners with scheduling doctor’s appointments, answering phones, cleaning the house, making travel arrangements, and any other task that usually prevents them from getting their job done. As a personal assistant, you’ll gain tons of organizational and problem-solving skills.
26. Pet caretaking
Average pay: $12.99/hr
With services like Rover, you can get paid to walk other people’s dogs, drop by and feed a pet, or pet sit for a family going out of town. It’s also a fun way to gain experience if you’re hoping to adopt your own furry friend one day.
Retail and food service jobs
27. Movie theater attendant
Average pay: $11.46/hr
Free movies alllll summer! Movie theater attendants work the ticketing booth, sell concessions (hello, extra butter), and clean up the theaters. Some theaters may require you to be certified in CPR to apply.
28. Retail sales associate
Average pay: $11.31/hr
Hello, shopping discounts. Retail sales associates stock merchandise, assist in merchandise displays, and interact with customers by answering any questions or concerns. Retail jobs usually require hours on the weekends and holidays, and call for top notch customer service skills.
29. Food delivery driver
Average pay: $15.07/hr
Sign up to be a driver for DoorDash, UberEats, or Postmates and make a playlist to pump you up on your drives. Depending on the company, you’ll need to be 18+ years old and have a valid driver’s license, but you don’t usually need to have previous delivery experience.
30. Grocery stocker or bagger
Average pay: $11.57/hr
Grocery stockers stock aisles with food items, set up displays, remove expired food, and help customers load groceries into their cars. Baggers help customers bag and load up all of their food items and can also assist in stocker responsibilities.
31. Line cook
Average pay: $12.45/hr
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always need prior food service experience to become a line cook for a local restaurant or cafe. Learn how to stretch pizzas or assemble tiered cakes and gain skills like time-management, multitasking, and effective communication.
32. Server or host
Average pay: $7.05/hr
Serving and hosting will give you tons of great customer service and interpersonal skills to put to use in your career later down the line. Depending on the restaurant, you might be able to schedule your own hours, meaning you could choose to have either nights or days free.
33. Sign spinner
Average pay: $10/hr
Yep, that hot dog costume–clad sign spinner outside your local deli could be you. As a sign spinner, you might be required to dress up and twirl promotional signs on the side of busy streets in order to advertise a business and attract attention.
34. Barista or bartender
Average pay: $10.77/hr
Master the artful skill of latte art or the perfectly shaken cocktail this summer. Obviously you’ll need to be 21-plus years or older to be a bartender, but the barista counter is all yours as long as you're eligible to work.
Average pay: $14.25/hr
If you have access to a truck and don’t mind doing some heavy lifting and breaking a sweat, you can make money as a mover. Apply to work for a local moving company or market your own services online.
36. Animal shelter associate
Average pay: $12.24/hr
Animal lovers, this one's for you. An animal shelter associate’s daily tasks might include caring for, walking, and feeding animals, and cleaning cages. Plus, this job will allow you to hang out with animals all day without the monetary attachment at home.
Average pay: $25.10/hr
If you love photography, grow your portfolio and make some money by photographing this summer. If you love photography but don’t have a camera, try working as a photography assistant. You can work for a photography studio or for an independent photographer prepping for photo shoots and learning more about the logistics and technical side.
38. Library page
Average pay: $10.22/hr
If you’re looking for a quiet job that doesn’t require long hours, being a library page is a good choice. Pages are responsible for sorting and organizing library materials like books, movies, magazines, and more.
39. Mail carrier
Average pay: $17.99/hr
Postal service workers sort, prepare, and deliver mail. You’ll probably want to be a morning person since carriers typically start their day around 7:30 a.m. and can begin sorting mail up to three hours before they even begin delivery.
40. Newspaper deliverer
Average pay: $10/hr
Remember all those classic movies where the teen delivering newspapers by bike gets chased by the neighborhood watchdog or zips around rain puddles? That could be you. Newspaper delivery is another early job and requires impeccable time-management skills.