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15 great ways for students to make money


How to make money as a student


Making money as a student is not just about covering daily expenses, it's also an opportunity to learn the value of money, gain financial independence and develop a work ethic that will be beneficial throughout life. Whether you're looking to save for the future, reduce your student loans, or simply afford the occasional night out, this guide will provide actionable tips to make money as a student while also potentially starting a business too.



Why students might need to make money


The life of a student is often a balancing act between academics and personal responsibilities, with financial challenges adding an extra layer of complexity. Learning how to make money easily can help make life as a student easier.


For many students, the primary motivation to earn money is the need to cover basic living expenses. Tuition fees, textbooks, housing, food and transportation can amount to a significant sum. Part-time business ideas or business ideas for students can alleviate this financial burden and help reduce student loan amounts.


Beyond financial necessity, working while studying offers a valuable opportunity to gain practical work experience. Employers increasingly look for candidates with real-world experience and early exposure to the workforce can set a student apart from their peers. Jobs related to a student's field of study can be particularly beneficial, providing a clearer understanding of their chosen industry and potentially opening doors to future career opportunities.


Finally, earning money during college or university isn't just about meeting immediate financial needs, it's also about planning for the future. Whether it's saving for post-graduate studies, a dream vacation, or a safety net for after graduation, having a consistent source of income can help students set financial goals and develop saving habits that will benefit them throughout their lives. It also teaches the importance of budgeting and financial planning, skills that are essential in the adult world.



15 ways to make money as a student


Finding the right job that fits into a student's busy schedule can be a game-changer. Here are 15 ways to make money as a student, each with a brief description, pros and cons and tips on how to get started.




01. Online tutoring


For many students online tutoring is a great way to make money, as it allows you to apply your expertise and learning to a way to make money that can be done easily from home or online. It takes minimal resources to set it up and if you’re teaching something you love, it can also be rewarding too.


You may be able to naturally find students to tutor from your classes, faculty or college. Or your school may already have a platform set up in order to connect students offering tutoring services with those who need help. Whether you’re studying IT, a language, literature or art and design, there are ample opportunities to use those skills and knowledge to tutor others.


Pros: High demand, good pay and you reinforce your own knowledge at the same time as making money. It's also a great idea for students studying to be teachers, to gain practical teaching experience.


Cons: Can require certification or proof of proficiency. You’ll also often need to navigate parental demands and communication as well.



02. Freelance writing


If you have a way with words, freelance writing can be a lucrative way to make money as a student. This can include writing for online publications, blogs, businesses or agencies looking for writers for web content. Consider creating a portfolio website in order to showcase and market your writing skills and experience.


Be inspired by these creatives using online portfolios (made on Wix) to showcase their work:



Pros: You can work from anywhere and choose topics you're passionate about. Many freelance writers write in or on a niche that interests them. From creative writing, to writing for tech businesses to freelancing for lifestyle magazines or similar, there’s no limit to the writing opportunities available to students looking to make money online.


Cons: It can be difficult and competitive to find writing opportunities and to keep them. You’ll need to create high-quality work to stand out.


To learn more:



03. Graphic design


If you’re studying graphic design or have some design skills you can make money creating logos, marketing materials or website graphics for clients. Many businesses look for third parties or freelancers to help them design their websites and other online materials.


Pros: This can be a creative way to make money as a student with the potential for high pay.


Cons: You’ll need great design skills, in order to stand out and potentially advanced software knowledge depending on what design tools your client has access to. Plus consider making a website to showcase your own graphic design skills and win clients.



04. Part-time retail


This involves working in a store, helping customers and managing stock. The benefits of making money this way as a student, include a steady income and potential employee discounts.


Pros: Regular income, discounts and customer service experience. Some stores, especially the bigger brands, also have management training programs for students which can lead to longer-term career opportunities.


Cons: Hours tend to be less flexible than working from home or online and you’ll always need to be present in person which may involve traveling. This might make it harder to arrange around studying and other college commitments.



05. Selling handmade crafts


Make money as a student by turning your hobby into a business by selling handmade crafts or art online. Other examples include: making and selling candles, starting a jewelry business, woodwork or knitted goods.


These homemade shoes by Taller Dya are great inspiration for anyone looking to start a craft business or a clothing venture. If you’re feeling ambitious, these handmade furniture examples are a creative way to make money with a craft business. There’s really no limit to how you can apply your creativity and crafting skills to make money as a student, as this craft business example, Tiny Paper Things, proves.


Pros: Selling crafts online can be a great way to monetize a creative passion and is one of the best businesses to start with little money. It might also lead to a business that you can scale post-graduation too.


Cons: This can be a time-consuming way to make money as you’ll need to spend time making your crafts or handmade goods and then market and sell them. You’ll also need to invest in crafting supplies as well, as well as a website and other ways to market your products.

Create an eCommerce website to get your craft business off the ground.


Learn more:



06. Participating in research studies


Universities often pay for participation in research studies, which can be a quick way to earn money as a student. You’ll need to check with your own College for what studies are available and if you meet the criteria to join.


Pros: These studies generally require little time commitment and take place on campus, making it convenient to work around classes and studies.

Cons: Most research studies have quite stringent requirements for who can participate. You might not always meet these and so income from studies might not be regular or something to be counted on long term.



07. Baby or pet sitting


A popular way to make money as a student is to offer your services to busy parents or pet owners who need help with their children or pets. College towns are often popular with young families and professionals, which should create significant demand for both types of services.

Pros: Baby or pet sitting is usually easy to fit around studies and college commitments and most of the time will be regular and consistent, leading to income you can rely on.


Cons: Making money with pet or child care, requires a great deal of commitment and responsibility. It’s best for someone who already has experience with taking care of children or pets.


Learn more:



08. College social influencer


Consider making money as a student by working with brands to promote their products on campus or online to a target student audience. This might include everyday items, like toiletries or clothes. You’ll probably need to show that you have a strong social media presence and following.


To do this you’ll first need to start a social media account and build it up with content and followers. Potential ideas include an account sharing your college experiences, humorous content about what it means to be a student or quick tips for navigating life at college or university.


Pros: This can be a great way to gain marketing experience and understand how to work with large brands. It can also lead to a brand relationship that could last for years and be lucrative at the same time.


Cons: It can take a lot of time and work to build up a strong social media following and maintaining it can take as much effort as a full-time job.



09. Social media management


If you’re studying digital marketing and have social media experience you can make money as a student by helping businesses or influencers manage their social media presence. You can work across multiple social media platforms or choose one to specialize in, like Instagram for example. Perhaps start by volunteering to help manage your college social media or start one if they don’t have one.


For more inspiration:



Pros: There are many businesses looking for help building and managing their social media accounts. This is also a great way to make money, without needing to leave home as it can be done from anywhere, you just need a computer and an internet connection. For more inspiration, the digital marketing agency, Valr Tech, is a good place to start.


Cons: You’ll need social media experience and knowledge of social media trends and analytics in order to start a marketing business.



10. Virtual assistant


A virtual assistant performs administrative tasks for businesses or entrepreneurs online. For a student looking to make money, it can be a flexible way to earn income and new skills.


Pros: Generally the work can be varied and involve learning new skills, whether crucial life ones like time management or specific business skills like accounting or bookkeeping.


Cons: Making money as a virtual assistant may require considerable multitasking and organizational skills. You’ll have to work to deadlines and other clear goals so it’s important to make sure working as a virtual assistant can be managed along with school commitments.



11. Content creation


Looking to make money as a student? Consider creating videos, blogs or podcasts on topics you're passionate about and then monetize your content through ads or sponsorships.


One potential idea is starting a blog where you share your experiences as a student and all the different aspects of your life at College. Blogs such as Navigating Exam Stress, How to Balance Studies and a Small Business, or How to Build a Community Around You, should all appeal to a student body. You can provide useful tips and advice for other students and partner with brands who might then want to offer services or products for your audience.


You could also go for something completely different and create content around what you love. A great example of that is this fashion blog, Style Stories by Rachel Norstrom.


Get started with your own blog, with the Wix blog maker.


Pros: Creating content means a great deal of creative freedom and if done consistently, passive income, which can help you make money as you study.


Cons: This can be a time-consuming way to make money, which might be tricky to organize when you’re a student with different competing commitments. It can also take time to build up a blog or podcast to the point where it can be monetized - you’ll need a consistent readership or audience of listeners to start and then you’ll need to keep creating content to maintain your followers.


Learn more:



12. Translation services


If you're fluent in another language, offering translation services for documents or content can be a good way to make money as a student.


Pros: Due to the high demand for certain languages, translation can often mean good pay for consistent work.


Cons: You’ll need fluency in a language and sometimes certification to prove it.



13. Fitness instruction


Leading fitness classes or personal training sessions, if you're knowledgeable and passionate about fitness, can be a healthy and fun way to make money as a student. You can tap into your school’s student body for your first clients in order to start your own fitness business.


Alpine Fitness is a great example of a fitness business and how you can create a website to showcase and manage your business.


Pros: There’s plenty of potential for flexible working hours that can be organized around your own classes. You can also run training online or in-person depending on your schedule and location.


Cons: To run a fitness business you may require certification and personal liability insurance. It’s best to check the requirements in your local state or region.



14. Event planning


Colleges can be a great location to make money as a student event planner, as there are always social events ongoing throughout the year. You might also choose to extend your services into the local town or state as well. Event planning can range from organizing children’s birthday parties to casual after-work cocktails or formal occasions and weddings. A good way to get started is by volunteering to help plan college and local events.


Pros: Event planning is interesting and dynamic work especially if you have a flair and love for it. It’s also something that can become a long-term business even once school is done.


Cons: It can involve irregular hours, deadlines and stress. All of which need to be juggled alongside studying and exams. You’ll also need to be good at or committed to networking, to build clients.



15. IT support or web development


If you’re studying tech at college, why not make money by providing tech support or building websites for individuals or small businesses with a website builder or fully coded.


An example of this is Potterton Creative which offers web and blog design services as well as ongoing website management. Or Keords which offers website creation and marketing services,


Pros: This way of making money as a student can help you develop your own IT and web design or development skills, all of which should help you build a successful career later on. It can be a great way to build a client base or network for future employment opportunities in the field.


Cons: You’ll need a certain amount of technical knowledge, networking skills and ability to run a business on top of your website creation and design expertise.



What defines a good way to make money for a student


When students look for ways to earn money, not every job will suit their unique circumstances. A good student job is one that strikes a balance between providing income, offering flexibility and contributing to their overall personal development.



Flexibility


The most crucial aspect of a student job is its flexibility. Academic commitments can be demanding and unpredictable, so positions that offer flexible hours or the ability to choose shifts can be incredibly valuable. Jobs that accommodate exam periods and school breaks are particularly beneficial, as they allow students to prioritize their studies when necessary.



Relevance to studies


A job that complements a student's area of study can provide a competitive edge in the job market upon graduation. It can serve as a platform for applying theoretical knowledge in a practical setting, enhancing learning and making the educational experience more holistic. Moreover, it can help in building a professional network within the industry, which could be advantageous for future career prospects.



Decent pay


While flexibility and relevance are important, the pay rate is also a significant factor. A good student job should offer a fair wage that reflects the value of the work being done. It should help students meet their financial goals without requiring excessive hours that could detract from their academic performance. Decent pay means that students can work fewer hours for the same financial benefit, allowing them to maintain a healthy work-study-life balance.



Tips for how to make money as a student


Embarking on the path to earning money while studying can seem daunting when you first start. However, with the right approach and resources, you can find a way to make money as a student that not only fits your schedule but also contributes to your professional growth. Here's how to get started:


  • Choose your business idea: Begin by exploring job boards specifically designed for students, such as your university's career center or websites like Indeed, Glassdoor and LinkedIn.This can be a great way to assess what demand there is and for which services. This demand might inspire your business idea. Networking can also be incredibly powerful, reaching out to family, friends and professors who might know of opportunities for jobs or a small business idea. Don't forget to leverage social media platforms to connect with potential clients or to inspire your student venture.


  • Build a professional profile: Creating a professional profile is crucial in today's job market. Start by crafting a compelling online resume that highlights your skills, experiences and academic achievements. For freelance work, consider putting together a portfolio that showcases your best work. Use a website builder to get started.

  • Balance work and study: The key to successfully managing work alongside your studies is organization and time management. Be realistic about how many hours you can commit to working without compromising your academic performance. Making sure to maintain open communication with your employer about your availability and study needs is also essential to maintaining a healthy work-study balance.



Other ways to make money you might want to consider


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