App version: 0.1.0

23 of the Best-Paying Jobs for College Students

23 of the Best-Paying Jobs for College Students
Emma Diehl
Emma DiehlUpdated November 18, 2022
Share this article:
Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Finding a good job for a college student means striking a balance between time commitment, stress, and hourly wage. Some high-paying jobs for college students include flexible hours, downtime, and the ability to get school work done on the clock. Others offer real-world experience that could inform post-college careers. If you’re angling to get one of the jobs for college students that pays well, it helps to know what options are out there. That way, you can find a job that suits your skill set and your constraints as a working college student.

What Makes a Job Good for College Students?

Due to their schedule and workload, college students should have special considerations when applying for jobs. The best paying jobs for college students likely include one or more of the following elements:
  • Workload flexibility. It’s helpful to have a job where you can drop or pick up hours each week depending on your class schedule and workload.
  • Timing. Based on class and extracurricular commitments, picking up a job that offers night and weekend hours might make sense. Similarly, online gig work can offer flexible timing. 
  • Seasonality. Some students might prefer to work a job available in the summers when they’re out of school to maximize hours and earnings in a concentrated period.
  • Low stress or multitasking. Some of the highest paying jobs for college students have the benefit of downtime while on the clock. That could mean getting ahead on classwork while making money. 
  • Relevancy. A part-time college job that applies to a student’s area of study could help them find full-time employment after school. 
Even if making money during school is a priority, keep in mind the effort a job can take and the time it can take away from focusing on your studies. It’s important to balance hourly earnings with the toll it could take on your education. A high-demand or high-stress job could lead to burnout that impacts your studies. 

23 High-Paying Jobs for College Students

The best-paying part-time jobs for college students involve several of the above factors, with the benefit of a higher than average hourly wage. Read on to learn how much these roles earn and their added benefits.  

1. Driving

Students with cars have the potential to earn between $15 to $25 an hour on average in various driving and delivery roles. This could include:
  • Delivery driving with UberEats could allow you to earn as much as $20 to $25 an hour on the high end. This gig also has the added benefit of flexibility.
  • Package delivery is another flexible side hustle, where the payout varies based on the type of delivery and the car.
  • Rideshare drivers often make between $15 to $25 an hour, and the role doesn’t require set hours. 
It’s worth noting that these numbers don’t account for fuel cost or wear and tear on your vehicle though. 

2. Barista

Baristas make around $11 on average, not including tips. With early shift hours, this job could make sense for students who want to pick up work before class. 

3. Babysitting

A regular babysitting gig is one of the best paying jobs for college students. On average, babysitters make $17.50 an hour. The hours may be less predictable than other high-paying jobs for college students, but this low-stress job pays well and may come with downtime to study. 

4. Tutoring

On average, experienced tutors can net anywhere between $25 to $80 an hour. Tutors with a speciality can make between $45 to $100 an hour, and online tutoring jobs net between $25 to $80 an hour. Ultimately, the amount you make will vary based on experience and qualifications.

5. Graphic Design

If you have a background in freelance design, taking on ad hoc branding gigs could be a lucrative side hustle. Remote graphic designers on Freelancer report making $140 on average per project.Not only is this one of the jobs for college students that pay well, but if a student is considering a career as a designer, these projects could help them build a strong portfolio before graduation.

6. Writing

Another flexible but good paying part time job for college students is writing. Writing could mean anything from freelancing with the local paper, to taking on remote blogging work. Pay will vary based on the type of writing, but freelance copywriters make $38 per hour on average, while technical writers make over $40 an hour.

7. Editing

Proofreading and editing is one of the best-paying part-time jobs for college students, both for its flexible nature and hourly pay. Editing and proofing can pay between $31 to $70 depending on the service, reports the Editorial Freelancers Association.

8. Video Editing

Video editing could be the perfect high-paying job for a college student who needs flexible hours. Freelancer site Upwork reports that video editors on its platform cost between $15 to $30 an hour.

9. Photography

A photographer makes just over $17 an hour, on average. Depending on the type of photography, hours are flexible, often evenings and weekends. 

10. Dog Walking

Students with free time during the day could try dog walking. Walkers working for the company Rover can make between $14 to $29 an hour, depending on the service provided.

11. Library Assistant

Library assistants perform different services across the library, from renewing material to answering the phones. The role doesn’t require postsecondary certifications, and the median hourly wage for a library assistant is $12.41 an hour.

12. Bartender

Bartenders make $12.67 an hour on average, not including tips. Bartending can be a great gig for college students, as most shifts are after class hours, and you can pick up shifts weekly. 

13. Event Caterer

Event catering could be a good-paying job for college students looking for gig work over weekly shifts. Event caterers make an average of $14.79 an hour, which does not include tips. Event caterers can expect to work nights and weekends more often. 

14. Resident Advisor

While it’s not technically a paid position, being a resident advisor can help students cut down on attendance costs. A resident advisor lives in the dorms with other students and is responsible for managing conflicts and planning events.Resident advisors are typically offered free room and board for taking on these duties. The average cost for room and board is $11,950 and $13,620 annually at public colleges and private colleges, respectively. The role’s flexibility means a student could also take on an additional job. 

15. Fitness Instructor

Pay models vary by studio or gym, but the average fitness instructor makes $21 an hour. The role may also include benefits like free classes or a membership to the gym, which could help cut down on some students’ cost of living expenses. 

16. Bank Teller

Tellers are responsible for day-to-day customer transactions at the bank. The role will likely require some on-the-job training but no additional degree. A teller can expect to make around $17 an hour, on average.

17. Landscaper

For students who don’t mind spending time outside, landscaping could be a good fit. On average, the role makes $14 an hour, though it often includes some demanding physical labor. 

18. Night Auditor

Night auditors manage front desk reception at hotels overnight, greeting guests and tackling some administrative tasks. The role pays $13 an hour, on average. The job could allow students to finish some school work on slow shifts. 

19. Cleaner

House cleaning can be a flexible and well-paying job for college students. Cleaners make anywhere between $25 to $50 an hour.

20. Tax Preparer

Tax preparers help people calculate and complete their tax returns. The role requires some training but no post-secondary education. This is often a seasonal role, starting in the winter and extending until April, when taxes are due. Preparers make $14 an hour, on average.

21. Receptionist

Working as an onsite receptionist pays $14 an hour on average. For students seeking more flexibility than a traditional desk job, there’s also virtual assistant work, which involves online coordination and communication. Virtual assistants charge between $10 to $20 an hour.

22. House Painter

House painters charge between $20 to $50 an hour on average. This physically demanding role does require equipment and training. However, students will be able to charge more as they gain experience. 

23. App Tester

App testing can be done from the comfort of a dorm room in many situations. Pay for testing apps varies based on the company. Some websites offer gift cards, while others pay based on the number of bugs a user finds. 

The Takeaway

There’s a wide range of high-paying jobs for college students, and not all will be the right fit for all students. While finding the best paying part-time jobs is important for college students, they should consider their course load and the demands of a role before taking on hours. 

3 Student Loan Refi Tips

  1. Once the pandemic-related pause on federal student loan payments ends, going back to making payments may be hard on budgets. One solution is to refinance to a lower interest rate, longer loan term, or both, depending on your situation. (The tradeoff is that you’ll be forfeiting federal benefits such as repayment programs.) Find and compare your student loan refinance options.
  2. Paying extra each month on your student loan can reduce the interest you pay and so lower your total loan cost over time. (The law prohibits prepayment penalties on federal or private student loans.)
  3. If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school, you may be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some easy jobs for a college student that pay a lot of money?
What are some really high-paying jobs straight out of college?
How can you make a lot of money in college?
Photo credit: iStock/photobyphotoboy

About the Author

Emma Diehl

Emma Diehl

Emma Diehl is a nationally-published journalist with expertise in finance, real estate, and technology. Her work has appeared on NPR, The Huffington Post,, and numerous local publications. When she's not covering the world of personal finance with SoFi, she's probably rollerblading or planning her next meal.
Share this article: