College Jobs That Pay Real Money

  • Jobs Are Out There

    In case you’re stumped when it comes to finding a job that allows you to remain in school, and that pays real cash dollars instead of just a totally superlative letter of reference, MainStreet presents you with these ideas. Here’s to many semesters of learning and earning. That rhymes. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Call of Duty: Waiter or Waitress
  • Call of Duty: Waiter or Waitress

    As U.S. News explains, “Don't turn up your nose. This is honest work, you can earn a good amount of money, and employers will typically work around your school schedule. Even better, you can often return to a restaurant after taking time off, and consistency looks good to a hiring manager.” Well, actually, when I was a waiter I did not make a “good” amount of money, and sometimes your shifts will get in the way of other obligations… But despite the frustration, it is an amazing way to learn how to deal with customers, and how to multi-task. If you get good and you’re at a fancy steak house, you can make solid money. I was at a cheap Mexican restaurant, which is why I never made great bank. Photo Credit: TheTruthAbout
    Plasma Donor (Part-Time, Obviously)
  • Plasma Donor (Part-Time, Obviously)

    It is no surprise that many plasma donation clinics are located just a needle’s throw away from college campuses. You can use the donation clinic finder at to help you find somewhere nearby. How much does it pay? Very roughly speaking, around $35 per donation, with a maximum of two per week. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Tour Guide
  • Tour Guide

    “Tour guide jobs for students involve showing visitors around, helping out at major events and acting as an ambassador for your school,” explains. Plus you’ll be able to take advantage of benefits such as “flexible hours, free college-logo clothes and invitations to campus events.” Ask your admissions department if they are looking for campus ambassadors for the upcoming admissions season… Don’t be shy! Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Hang With Grandma
  • Hang With Grandma also suggests caregiver as another good part-time career for college students. “Working as a non-medical caregiver for someone who is elderly or disabled is becoming a popular job for students at many universities. Contrary to what many people think, these jobs don’t involve personal care (like bathing, etc.); instead, you’re helping clients stay in their homes by offering your companionship and help with light housekeeping and errands,” the site explains. Great. Because I hate bathing people, and not just the elderly. I hate bathing all people, babies included. I can’t deal with the responsibility. Anyway, when you sign up for a position like this, see if you can get placed in the same community your grandparents live in—two birds, one stone. When you’re done with your shift you can visit Grandma for some homemade cookies or clean out her dish of Werther’s Originals. Seriously, if you’re interested, try searching Home Instead Senior Care’s job listings. Photo Credit: bravenewtraveler
    Government Gigs
  • Government Gigs

    Definitely peruse the student jobs listing at Paid student programs and employment opportunities are currently available at the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Health & Human Services and elsewhere. Photo Credit:
    Produce Content
  • Produce Content

    Ruthless online media corporations have a thirst for new content that cannot be quenched… not without your help, anyway. Sites like and pay for your short articles on almost every conceivable topic and AOL’s allows you to try your hand at writing paid articles for the company’s many online properties. pays a performance bonus as well—so if your content does really well and attracts lots of readers, you will be paid (although not much!) for it. Bonuses start at $1.50 per thousand page views. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Sell Life Insurance
  • Sell Life Insurance

    I don’t think a middle-aged man or woman would purchase a $500,000 or $1 million insurance policy from a wet behind the ears college junior… But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! Northwestern Mutual’s paid internship program (we hear it’s a lump sum of $2,000 or so for the summer) was rated “Best Place to Start” an internship in the insurance industry. Not the most glamorous gig, agreed, but you will learn how to sell—a lifelong skill that can take you far. And how many internships in today’s economy pay enough to take a sweet vacation or treat yourself to a brand new laptop before the Fall semester begins. Photo Credit: Northwestern Mutual
  • Lifeguard

    There’s a reason why lifeguarding is so popular. There’s nothing wrong with spending your days in the sun (be sure to wear sunscreen though) and occasionally saving a life, thereby looking like a hero to everyone around. And the jobs are out there, as long as you’ve got the proper certification. According to, Hersheypark (the amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania) is currently hiring lifeguards for the summer. Hershey’s job site can be found here but there are plenty more lifeguarding jobs out there. Just check out Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Design/Graphics Freelance Fun
  • Design/Graphics Freelance Fun

    Are you a PhotoShop wizard? Trade your expertise and time for some cold hard cash. At you can find or post a freelance graphic design or multimedia gig. You can also offer your writing, Web design or even translation services. The site claims to have helped generate $253,326,922 in earnings for freelancers thus far. Get a piece of that action, ASAP. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Become a Moneylender
  • Become a Moneylender

    OK, we admit that this is not the sort of job for your average broke college student. But if you are the kid in class who wears a Hermes suit and complains about capital gains taxes being too high—every class has one—then college is little more than a four-year annoyance for you, a speed bump until Daddy places you in charge of the family fund. If this is the case, you might as well make some bank while you’re sitting through stupid lectures about ethics and stuff. Go on a peer-to-peer lending site like and begin loaning money to creditworthy users on the site. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Online Marketing Specialist
  • Online Marketing Specialist

    Know a locally owned business in your college town that is struggling to attract new customers? Offer your services as their online marketing specialist—work on growing their Twitter and Facebook audience, place relevant ads on Craigslist, and sell some of their products over eBay for them. This way, you can do serious work that pays, but you can do it from the comfort of your dorm—and when you have the time. Photo Credit: Craigslist
    Resident Adviser (RA)
  • Resident Adviser (RA)

    According to, becoming an RA might make sense: “This probably isn’t an option for an incoming freshman, but an RA usually gets offered free housing in return for leading a group of students residing in the same dorm (usually assigned per floor or per building). Resident advisers get pretty sweet digs and are required to hold monthly meetings with their residents. They also enforce the rules and offer a helping hand to students looking for guidance.” If you think about it, free housing is worth more than most college part-time jobs pay. Possible downside? The RA is expected to be a model of responsibility, so if weekend keggers are your thing, this may not be the best fit for you—or perhaps you will go down in the books as the sweetest RA ever. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Security Desk Duty
  • Security Desk Duty

    The few. The proud. The part-time front desk security attendants. This is another gig that recommends you consider: “Some schools allow student security guards to watch students enter and leave dorms and other campus buildings. Depending on the job description, you may have to sign guests in and out or disallow non-residents entirely. During the hours that aren’t that busy, you can even do your homework. It’s also a great way to meet new people.” Just remember: with great power comes great responsibility. Someone’s uncle once told them that. Then he got shot. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Defense Contractor Gig?
  • Defense Contractor Gig?

    So you’re a very serious engineering or science student… you don’t want to be a lifeguard or wait tables or any of that jazz. Why not work for a multi-billion dollar defense contractor? Check out Lockheed Martin’s job listings specifically for college students here. There are a variety of Leadership Development Programs and locations to choose from. Impress them and, who knows, it could lead to a full-time job at the company after you graduate. You know what that means? A good starting salary and sweet, sweet health care. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Personal Assistant
  • Personal Assistant

    “The work may not sound glamorous, but administrative assistants have some of the highest-paid hourly jobs out there. Execs and entrepreneurs frequently pay good money for reliable, trustworthy part-time talent to help them with their busy lives. As a personal assistant, you’ll need to be flexible, accommodating, and ready for anything: You might be in an office, making travel arrangements, helping with paperwork, or you might be out and about, running errands, dropping off dry-cleaning, picking up lunch, and pet-sitting,” explains The site adds that deans and department heads often need part-time personal assistants. So start by checking your school’s internal job board, and then branch your search out to word-of-mouth among friends and the Internet’s double-edged sword of opportunity and shame—Craigslist. Photo Credit: Getty Images
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