high pay jobs for college students

High Pay Jobs for College Students

College students are busy! I’ve been there and know how it feels. Unfortunately, universities have no sympathy for your empty pockets and continue to raise tuition costs year after year. Below is a list of high pay jobs for college students that can help offset your tuition.

Students need jobs that have flexible schedules but require little time and experience because let’s face it, you don’t have either.

List of High Paying Jobs for College Students

  • Catering Server
  • Selling Printables
  • Dog Walking or Pet Sitting
  • Yard Work
  • Donating Plasma
  • Lifeguarding
  • Delivering Groceries

Catering Server

Food catering for weddings and parties is big business. Vendors look for servers that are punctual and well-mannered toward guests. 

Food serving for catering services is a perfect side job for college students because of its flexibility. Also, no experience is needed to be a table server. Other positions such as bartending may require additional on-the-job training, but are very achievable positions for students.

How to get part-time catering work?

  • GlassdoorSimplyhired, and Indeed are obviously great starting places for searching for catering server positions because they specialize in finding jobs for you.
  • Cold-calling local catering vendors is another way that can help land you work as a server. 
  • And finally, networking. Know someone that is already doing this type of work? Word-of-mouth is great because last-minute cancelations by workers leave vendors scrambling for fill-ins and replacements. 

If no positions are available, ask them to put you on a call list. Larger pools of potential servers allow vendors to offer great flexibility for workers to take or pass on jobs. This allows catering server positions to be on the list of high pay jobs for college students. 

How much can I make as a catering food server?

By searching the three major job sites listed above, wages range from $15-25 per hour. More experienced workers, for jobs such as bartending, can achieve higher wages often because of the great potential for tips. Chain restaurant catering servers will earn more towards $10-$15 per hour.

Personal Experience: My mom started working for a local catering vendor as a server. She recommended her good friend as well. They are very friendly and outgoing, often leaving a great impression on guests.

Within 3-6 months the vendor was allowing my mom and her friend to cater small parties by themselves on the vendor’s behalf. Her wages started at $30+ per hour and often the tips doubled her money. Party hosts have started specifically requesting them which has led to tips in excess of $500+ for the day.

Get your foot in the door and you may be able to work up to those high paying rates!

Sell Printables

A printable is some type of digital product that is sold online. The digital product is downloaded by the customer, which they can then print themselves.

Common printables include schedulers, planners, checklists, templates, trackers, games, etc. 

How do I sell printables?

First, think of a printable that certain groups of people would find useful. If these groups experience problems, make a printable that solves it for them such as a planner for people with busy schedules. Brides to be are always looking for clever signs for the wedding and reception.

You must first create the printable using a website such as Canva. Then, you must find a platform to sell it on. Blogs are great places to sell printables. If you don’t have your own website fear not, Etsy is here to help!

Open your own Etsy store where people can download your digital content for a fee. Market your Etsy printables on a free platform like Pinterest and you’re all set!

How much can I make selling printables?

On average people are willing to spend anywhere from $2-5 per printable depending on what purpose they serve. These numbers can add up if you start creating the right content.

Printables can be some of the best jobs for college students because most have access to a laptop and internet connection. It also allows you to design at your own pace and in your free time between classes and studying. 

Create printables that people enjoy and it can be one of the highest paying jobs for college students as well.

Dog Walking or Pet Sitting

Owners know their pets are more than just animals, they are family! Unfortunately, work and other occasions place pet owners in sticky situations when it comes to proper care for their furry friends.

Be the solution to their problem! Loving pet owners are willing to pay top dollar for taking care of Fido. 

This may involve dog-walking, pet-sitting, or a combination of pet and house sitting. Pet sitting is one of the best jobs for college students because no licensing or certifications are required to earn higher wages.

How do I become a dog-walker/pet sitter?

Sites like Wag! and Rover are the new-aged way for the pet care industry. Sign-up to be a dog walker, pet sitter, or trainer by filling out their applications.

These sites will look for some sort of experience with pets. Be prepared to answer some simple knowledge questions of how to handle different situations that you may encounter with people’s pets. The vetting process ensures the furry ones are getting the best care!

Websites are great, but local self-promotion may lead to higher wages. My favorite method is good ol’ fashion flyer work and door to door canvassing in neighborhoods and local stores. 

It creates a personal connection between you and the owner that searching online cannot replicate. Make sure to include a picture of yourself and a blurb about your experience and love for pets!

How much can I make dog walking and pet sitting?

Pet sitters charge $20-$40 a day on average, depending on the services involved. The average cost of a 30-minute visit is $25, while overnight pet-sitting costs $75-$85 Thumbtack.com

30-minute walks normally range from $12 to $20. This isn’t bad pocket change and you get to exercise yourself! Petcare is one of the best jobs for college students because you can make awesome money in such a short amount of time.

Also, pet care can be one of the better jobs for college students over winter break because families are traveling and cannot take their pets with them. My advice is to set up your flyers at the beginning of November before Thanksgiving and Christmas. Find locations that pet owners often frequent such as parks and walking trails.

Personal Experience: My sister has been dog walking/sitting by word of mouth for years. Sometimes it’s simply letting the dog out to go to the bathroom and feeding them. Other times it’s 30 minute walks for exercise.

More recently it has morphed into the combination of house/pet sitting. She often can bring in a $150 to $300 for a Friday night through Sunday gig. Not too shaggy, I mean shabby!

Yard Work

Yard work was one of my go-to jobs as a college student. Sure it was hard work, but the high pay was worth it as a broke college student.

Take advantage of the seasonal jobs that require attention. Fall and winter can be a great opportunity while you are at school or on winter break to make extra cash on the side. Why is this? Leaves and snow! 

Regular lawn maintenance such as mowing, mulching, weeding, etc are good jobs for college students during spring or summer break. A lot of times homeowners are willing to supply the necessary tools to complete these tasks, but be sure to ask!

How do I find yard work jobs?

If you like the online approach to job searching there are two websites I recommend. Both supply great part-time jobs for college students.

  • Taskrabbit is the first. You register your location, what tasks you are willing to perform, and what you charge. The website then finds and matches you with work that fits those filters. Tasks requiring credentials, such as electrical work, will need qualifications verified before you can begin receiving tasks in those categories. See a list of the task categories.
  • Care.com is the second. Yes, care.com is normally associated with babysitting, but they offer a wide variety of services such as pet care, senior care, and home services. Being such a large company, jobs are easy to find in most locations.
  • And finally, I go back to my trusty advice about flyers and door-to-door canvassing. It provides the personal connections people use to feel comfortable. Meeting face-to-face can really instill trust. If you’re not a people person stick to the online approach.

How much can I earn doing yard work?

The pay scales vary so much for this type of work. The harder the task, the more you will earn. The work can also depend on the experience level required. Obviously, raking leaves will not pay as well as laying pavers for a patio. 

Personal Experience: Shoveling snow has earned me $20 per hour and has also earned me $50 per hour. 

A good payscale reference would be to check the above websites for what people are charging. Find the highs and lows and then ask for something in the middle. 

Get this though: I worked for an elderly neighbor doing her yard work while in high school. I would sit and chat with her after collecting my check providing her with someone to talk to. I received $10,000 from her will that I used towards college expenses!

So go get those hands dirty!

Donating Plasma

Okay so it may not be a side job per se, but donating plasma can earn you the extra money you might need, making it one of the best jobs for college students with limited skill sets.

What exactly is plasma? Plasma is the clear, straw-colored liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other cellular components are removed Donatingplasma.org

Once donated the plasma can be manufactured for certain therapies including blood clotting treatments, body pH balancing, maintaining proper blood pressures, etc.

How do I donate plasma?

The American Red Cross would be my starting point. Enter your zip code and The American Red Cross will supply you with the time and place that donations are accepted.

Besides that, a simple Google search in your area will give you more than enough locations to start.

How much can I get paid for donating plasma?

The first donation tends to be around $50 for the entire visit. Be aware that the first visit will involve a lot of paperwork, blood checks, and waiting. Not everyone will qualify and you can expect to spend 1.5 to 2.5 hours for the entire process.

Each donation after the first will normally be a lesser amount. Expect anywhere from $25 to $45 for follow-up donations. Plasma donations can be given twice a week. $250 – $300 can be made per month

AB blood type is rare and is classified as the universal donor. AB blood types can make more money and help those in need by donating their plasma more often.

If you are not afraid of a few needles, plasma donations make this an easy way for college students to make money.


Stuck on campus for the week, but have some free time at night? Signup to lifeguard for your college’s open swim sessions.

It may not pay the most, but you can literally sit there and make money.

How do you become a lifeguard at your college?

Most likely you can contact your athletic department which can steer you in the right direction. If your school has a career services department you may have to apply through them.

Be aware most lifeguarding positions will require certifications in Basic First Aid and CPR. The campus probably holds free classes to get certified. It’s also a good skill to know!

If you can’t lifeguard at college, check your local YMCA for open positions.

How much do lifeguards get paid?

Lifeguarding for colleges can often bring you $12-18 per hour. YMCA lifeguarding is normally more toward the lower price range of $12 per hour.

You won’t get rich, but lifeguarding can give you enough money for drinks this weekend which is why it is one of the best jobs for students on campus.

Grocery Delivery

Grocery delivery has grown substantially in the last few years. The global pandemic has led to a boom in home deliveries. 

The list of companies for food delivery has grown recently. Some deal strictly with groceries and while others specialize in delivering take-out orders.

Whichever company you choose, the flexibility makes this one of the best and highest paying side jobs for college students.

How do I make money delivering groceries?

Instacart, DoorDash, Ubereats are two of the bigger names in the game. Sign up to become a shopper For Instacart or a Dasher for DoorDash to start earning.

Instacart will require you to have access to a car to become a full-time shopper. Door dash can be done by scooter, bicycle, or walking in certain urban locations.

How much can I make delivering groceries?

There is a lot of hype from people claiming to make great money delivering groceries. After talking with friends that have actually done the service you can expect anywhere from $10-25 per hour.

That is a big pay range, but prices can vary greatly. Companies often have incentives for certain locations or delivery times. Also, those delivering in big cities such as New York, Boston, and LA can expect higher compensation.

Although its a new industry, this field is can definitely be a high paying job while still leaving enough time for studying.

Summary of the Highest Paying Jobs for College Students

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if your money from these jobs goes toward college tuition or weekend fun! 

It’s money you did not have before and will either leave you with less debt or from going into the hole deeper. Having a job as a college student will put you in a better off place.

You can only save so much money, but your earning potential is limitless. Check out Dollar Sprout which bases its entire site on the earning mentality instead of frugality.

With all your extra cash, check out how the Honey App can save you money with all your online shopping.

I actually had horrible success with the Honey App years ago, but read about How I gave the Honey App a Second Chance.

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