The Best Online Jobs for College Students

Earn extra cash from the comfort of your dorm room

College students can earn good money from the comfort of their dorm.

Getty Images/Geri Lavrov

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Online Tutor

Do you excel in your area of study? Guess what: there are thousands of students that don't. Some subjects like math and foreign language can be notably difficult for certain students, but both you and they can benefit. You can work online as a tutor through the use of a webcam and Skype calls to tutor students that are struggling with the subject. These students don't have to be those at your university; in fact, you can tutor students in completely different countries.

There are a number of online institutions that will help you find work as a tutor, but you can also do it all yourself. Just make a website and start spreading the word about your services. If you're good at what you do and you can help students understand a tough subject, word will spread and you will find yourself with even more tutees. The best part? Tutors make anywhere from $15 an hour and up. 

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Social Media Marketer/Writer

The age of social media is upon us, and it has changed the face of how businesses connect with their customers. More and more companies are wising up to the fact that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are vital for reaching customers and building up a loyal following, but so few companies have a clue how to do that. Think about the commercials and posts you see from major corporations. So many of them make you cringe with just how out of touch they are. Of course, as a college student in 2019, you know all about how social media works.

You can find work as a social media marketer and writer by posting on job boards and advertising on LinkedIn, but another great option is to reach out to local businesses. There are a lot of mom and pop shops in every city that want to use social media, but either don't know how or aren't taking full advantage of the platform. Offer them a few tips, or to manage their social media marketing. 

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Freelance Writer

There is a never-ending need for skilled writers on the web. With so much content coming out on a daily basis, businesses can't keep up with just their in-house teams. Freelance writing is a great way to earn a living from home. If you can write clearly and convey information without confusing your reader, you're set. You can get started as a freelance writer by advertising your services directly or by going to a bidding site like Upwork. However, you'll have a lot of competition on sites like that—and many writers will be from other countries that let them underbid you.

If you do a great job with a few clients, you can build your portfolio and begin to pick up better-paying jobs. Companies speak to each other, and skilled freelancers are always in high demand. The payment for freelance writing work varies from anywhere from $10 an article to more than $500 per article. 

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Freelance Designer

If you've got art chops and a desire to create for a living, then becoming a freelance designer is a great way to do exactly that. Companies and individuals are always in need of logos, graphics, and other types of media. If you can meet client expectations and get the work out by the deadline, you'll be well on your way to making it as a freelancer. Again, you can look at sites like Upwork, but a better trick is to check the job advertisements on LinkedIn. If a company is looking for a full-time graphic designer, then they are likely also in need of temporary help.

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Freelance Web Developer

Sensing a theme here? Freelance work is always a great option for college students. The ability to work on your own time lends flexibility that traditional jobs do not. As long as you make time to get client work done between finishing school assignments and studying, you'll be able to earn a decent living without the added expense of transportation to and from work. Freelance web development is a great way to earn money, especially for students in the field. Reach out to local businesses that do not have websites (or have outdated websites) and offer to fix up their online presence for a small fee.

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Data Entry Clerk

Believe it or not, there are still companies that need people to manually enter data into forms. It's not the most glamorous or exciting work, but it can earn anywhere from $10 to $17 per hour without you leaving your home. All you need is a computer and an internet connection, which makes it even more appealing to students on a budget. Data entry also doesn't require specialized skills.

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Have you ever wondered how television and Netflix shows have subtitles and closed captioning? It's done by hand, line of dialogue by line of dialogue. And you can be paid to do exactly that. All you need is a fast words-per-minute average for typing and a lot of patience. Transcription work is tedious but can pay upwards of $20 an hour starting out.

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Heads up: being a professional survey-taker is not a career and is no way feasible in the long term. On the other hand, you can make around $20 an hour or so if you're fast and know where to look. Taking surveys for pay in college can be a quick way to make additional money while you look for something that's more reliable. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of websites that will pay you to take surveys, but make sure you do your due diligence on whether these sites are trustworthy or not.

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Evaluate Search Engines

Google didn't rise to the top of the search engine mountain by chance. The company refined its results time and time again until the algorithm was the best in the world, and they did that through the use of search engine evaluators: employees or freelance workers that tested search engines and provided feedback on how accurate the results were. It's not the most thrilling work in the world, but for up to $15 an hour and the ability to work from anywhere at any time, it's hard to argue with the results.

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If you're an English student that can't stand the misuse of "their and there," then you may be the perfect choice for proofreading. Anyone that writes online will one day need the use of a proofreader or editor. Whether it's an article or a novel, you would be paid to look for grammatical errors, misspellings, and continuity problems within the work. Proofreading and editing can be extremely lucrative. Some professional novel editors make upwards of $3,000 per project. Like the other items on this list, it's likely best if you do the legwork to make yourself known to potential clients. Reach out to production groups in your area and ask if they have need of an editor. Offer to proofread other students' essays for a fee. There is no end to the available work if you know where to look.