As university students, you don’t have it easy: you’re expected to juggle several classes at once, participate in extracurricular activities, maintain a healthy social life, and still work your way through college. Sometimes, a minimum wage job just isn’t enough. Long hours, an unpredictable schedule, and low wages just won’t cut it. Thankfully, there are several easy ways to make money while in school (and start knocking out some of those student loans early).
Each of these five jobs offer three key things: flexibility, skill enhancement, and money. Ditch your low-paying job and take the plunge to work for yourself with one of these options:
1.) Drive for a ride sharing app like Uber or Lyft. One of the main perks of driving for a ride sharing company is setting your own schedule, and working when the time is best for you. Having complete control over your work hours allows you to ultimately decide how much money you can pocket each week — and this easily adds up. In 2014, Uber claimed its New York drivers made an average of $90,000 per year, not including gas and car maintenance. And while New York earnings are on the higher end, rural areas with longer rides can make great money, as well.
2.) Buy and resell text books. This may sound ludicrous, but if done right, it can work wonderfully. This job requires a little upfront payment for the books, but the focus is the end profit. And let’s face it. Every student needs a textbook, and your target audience is right outside your dorm window.
Buy textbooks online from sites like eBay (and in some cases, Amazon) and resell them on sites like BookFinder or BookScouter. Before you purchase the textbook, check out its worth. Additionally, go for books required by many students on campus. While profit margins aren’t huge with textbooks, it can be an easy way for you to make a few extra hundred bucks per month.
3.) Start freelancing. Being a freelancer offers many benefits and is open to a wide variety of skills and interests. Websites like UpWork, Freelancer, and Fiverr provide a platform for writers, graphic designers, and even producers to get paid for their talent. As with other options listed here, how much work you take on is entirely up to you. Profiles on these sites build over time; the more work you do, the more positive reviews you receive and the more money you can charge clients.
More and more businesses are looking at the benefits of hiring freelancers. This creates further job opportunities for students. These platforms also offer ample opportunity to continue working freelance post-college.
4.) Become a transcriber. Transcribing is tedious, but it pays well, it’s simple, and there is a constant flow of work available. Generally, pay can be between $15 and $25 an hour. In addition to the many transcription jobs available in the freelance sites mentioned above, there are also transcription-specific services like TranscribeMe, Tigerfish, Rev, and QuickTate. These platforms allow students to choose their own projects and offer weekly payouts. And even better: you’re typing speed per minute will grow exponentially. Make money and write papers faster.
5.) Consider working for a multi level marketing company. Many people have strong opinions about MLM businesses, but the fact remains that people have succeeded, both short term and long-term, with such businesses (think: Avon, Herbalife, Rodan + Fields). If you’re a student with savvy sales skills, this may just be a good chance to put those skills to good use. And in a digital sharing economy, spreading the word is easier than ever.
The MLM model allows the seller to make money from both the products they sell and the people they sign on to sell products as well.
“Instead of making sales calls in person, the Rodan + Fields consultant is more likely to use Facebook and Instagram, posting before-and-after skin selfies and offers for free products,” wrote Allure magazine. Ultimately, MLM businesses give students the opportunity to carve their own identity within an existing brand, and if anything else, leaves them with communication and speech skills they can use for the rest of their lives.