Summer Job Ideas for College Students
This post is all about the best summer job ideas for college students.
I worked every summer during college. College is expensive, but having a summer job really helps save money for the upcoming school year! Having a summer job is also a good way to build your resume.
My Summer Jobs Experience
I had some pretty crazy summer jobs (including spending the summer after I graduated high school and the summer after my freshman year of college working as an extra for movies and TV shows!)
Then I had two summers working full-time corporate internships, which were super boring but paid extremely well and let me save up a lot of money.
And during my last summer of college, I was able to make blogging my full-time summer job. (The best summer job by far!)
So I have a lot of experience when it comes to summer jobs.
If you’re looking for summer job ideas that you can do during college, I’ve rounded up more than 20 summer jobs for you below.
Summer Job Considerations
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a summer job:
Location: Do you want to stay in the city or town where your college is located? Will you be able to keep living in your college housing over the summer? Or do you want to live back at home over the summer and work close by? Are you okay with a commute? Are you okay with relocating for the summer? All of these are important to keep in mind when searching for a job.
Experience: Do you want to do an internship or summer job that will give you experience related to your major/future career? Or are you just looking for a way to make some extra money? Either is fine, but it’s important to determine what you’re looking for, especially since internships typically require earlier applications than, say, being a server at a restaurant.
Schedule: Do you want a full-time job or part-time job? Are you okay working on the weekends or evenings? What about early mornings? Are there specific dates you’ll need off for things like planned summer vacations? All of these are important to figure out before you start applying for summer jobs.
When to Start Applying for Summer Jobs in College
Summer internships typically have in-depth application and interview processes. Some companies start recruiting for summer internships as early as the fall! There’s also typically an early spring application cycle.
If you want to apply for an internship, it’s a good idea to start looking for opportunities (utilize your university’s career services!) well in advance.
Some other summer jobs, like working as a summer camp counselor, may also have a lengthy application and interview process that you will want to get a head start on as soon as the fall or early spring.
Finally, for many local summer jobs, you can start applying around mid to late spring in order to lock down a job by summer.
The Best Summer Jobs for College Students
Here are the best summer job ideas for college students!
You’ll find ideas for part-time and full-time summer jobs, outdoor and indoor jobs, and jobs that require varying experience, from none to some required.
Babysitting or nannying is a classic summer job idea that has many perks.
It’s typically pretty easy and fun (if you like kids.) You typically get paid in cash under the table, and most parents will give you money for food (or full access to their kitchen) when you’re babysitting.
I babysat plenty during college and it always paid really well too!
Working as a server at a restaurant is a good way to make money over the summer. This is a job that doesn’t require much experience and restaurants are always hiring. Servers can earn a TON of money in tips too.
Paid internships are an awesome summer job. Unpaid internships, on the other hand, are NOT worth it and I personally believe you’re better off doing any “regular” summer job instead of an unpaid internship.
I know in some majors/career fields, paid internships can be hard to come by, but you can always find one if you look hard enough. Be sure to use ALL connections you have (university career center, parents and their friends, neighbors, etc.) when looking for an internship.
If you love water and being outside, then being a lifeguard is the perfect job for you. You need to get certified, but once you are, you can work at a pool, beach, or even a water park as a lifeguard.
5. Camp Counselor
This is something near and dear to my heart because I always wanted to work as a camp counselor at the summer camp where I spent all my summers growing up. Unfortunately, the timing never worked out but this is a great summer job!
While the pay isn’t the best, you get your room and board covered all summer so that’s two expenses you don’t have to worry about at all. This is definitely a job that requires you to love kids and be very active!
If you want a restaurant job but you don’t want to be a server, then being a hostess is another good option.
Hostesses don’t earn tips, but you can still make decent money and it’s arguably a lot easier than being a server.
Another summer job where you can earn great tips is being a bartender.
Depending on where you live, this is a job that you’ll need to be at least 18 to do and in some places over the age of 21.
8. Pet Sitting
Pet sitting is a super easy and flexible part-time summer job. I did it during high school for a neighbor and it was the easiest job ever.
You can generally find the most pet sitting jobs during the summer when people are going out of town on vacation a lot.
9. Golf Course
Working at a golf course is a GREAT summer job.
For girls, you can work as a cart girl and drive around on a golf cart selling food and beverages to golfers out on the course. This is a very fun and laidback job where you can make a lot in tips!
For guys, you can be a caddy, groundskeeper, or cart attendant. My brother and his friends all did this as a summer job in college and they absolutely loved it because they got to play unlimited free golf!
One of my friends in college got a summer job working on a luxury ranch in Montana. She absolutely loved it!
There are many seasonal hospitality positions available. This is a great option if you want to work at the beach or another summer destination. You can work as a hotel receptionist, housekeeper, work with the children’s program (this is what my friend did), instruct classes, etc. So many opportunities!
Retail might not sound too exciting, but it’s one of the easier summer job ideas for college students because it doesn’t require much experience.
Working retail can be more fun if you choose a store you love (like a clothing boutique or a bookstore) and you get an employee discount!
12. Movie Theater
Working in a movie theater always seemed so fun to me. If you want a job that isn’t too intense and allows you to be inside in a cool, dark, air-conditioned environment all summer (ahhhh) then this is the job for you.
13. On Campus Job
If you are staying on your college campus over the summer, look into on campus jobs. Many campus departments (like the library, gym, major departments, financial aid office, etc.) hire student assistants even in the summer.
Most on campus jobs are pretty laidback, and you can get good experience if you’re working in an area related to your major.
14. Rideshare Driver
Have a car? Consider becoming a rideshare driver!
Driving for a rideshare app like Uber of Lyft is extremely flexible because you decide exactly when and how much you want to work.
15. Delivery Driver
If you don’t want to drive strangers around in your car, another option to consider is being a delivery driver for a company like DoorDash or Uber Eats.
You can still set your own schedule, but you don’t have to interact with people as much since you’re just picking up and delivering food.
While this is definitely a summer job that’s more common for the guys, girls can work in landscaping and lawn care too.
If you enjoy being outdoors and don’t mind physical work, this is a great job that pays well and doesn’t require much customer interaction at all.
If you’re looking for a job that will allow you to sit behind a desk in an air-conditioned building all day, becoming a receptionist is a good job idea for you.
Many offices and businesses are looking for receptionists who can help answer the phone, greet and assist visitors, and help out with other office tasks.
I worked as a tutor in high school and it was a fun, well-paying part-time job.
In order to get a tutoring job, you can either work at a tutoring center or find private clients to work with. A lot of parents are looking to hire private tutors for their kids over the summer.
19. Food Service
I know, no one wants to work fast food because it’s not exactly glamorous nor is it known for paying well, but it can be a decent option for a summer job.
You can also get a more “fun” food service job, like working at an ice cream parlor or snow cone place during the summer.
20. Car Wash
Working at a car wash is a low stress summer job idea for college students.
You do have to work mainly outside and it involves physical work, but this is something you can earn pretty good tips from.
21. Theme Park
A lot of theme parks hire seasonal workers for the summer! This is a fun work environment where you will mainly be working with other people your age.
However, you do need to be okay with working outdoors and dealing with big crowds all day long when working at a theme park.
22. Movie Extra
Okay, this is of the most unique summer job ideas for college students for sure.
But I have to include this one on the list since I actually did it! I spent two summers working as an extra for movies and TV shows.
Getting this job is easier than you may think. You don’t have to have any acting experience (I certainly don’t) but you do need to fit the bill for whatever “background actors” (extras) are needed for a shoot.
You also need to live in a city where the film industry has a presence, such as Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, or New Orleans.
23. Start Your Own Business!
My favorite way to make money in college has been by starting my own business. I make over $5,000 a month from blogging and love it! You can learn how to start a blog in my free step-by-step guide.
You can start your own online business (think blogging, web design, freelance writing, etc.) or a physical business like a pool cleaning business and lawn care business. The options are really endless with this!
Summer Job Ideas for College Students
This post showed you the best summer job ideas for college students.
Hopefully you found some ideas for jobs you can do this summer! Whether your work full-time or part-time, having a summer job during college is a great way to save some money and build your resume.
It can also even be fun depending on the job that you get! And even if it’s not… who can complain about the money? 😉
More blog posts about college you may enjoy:
- The Ultimate List of Discounts for College Students
- How to Get Amazon Prime FREE as a College Student