Top 21 Side Hustles For College Students In 2024

I can understand the struggle of balancing studies, social life, and the ever-dreaded ‘empty wallet’ feeling. That’s why I spent the past few weeks researching side hustles for college students, essentially part-time gigs you can do on top of your studies.

From online gigs to in-person services, there’s a side hustle for every skill and interest.

The cool thing about side hustles? They’re super flexible, meaning you can work whenever you have a free moment between classes or studying (because, let’s be real, who studies all the time?).

The earning potential can range from a few extra bucks to denting your tuition fees. So, whether you’re a coding whiz, a wordsmith, or just someone who likes helping people, I am your guide to the coolest side hustles.

I will cover the top options, their earning potential, and how to choose the one that aligns with your skills, interests, and schedule.

Side Hustles For College Students In 2024 (Quick Verdict)

Side hustles come in two groups: Remote & On-site. Both have their perks and limitations and thus, it becomes important to go through them precisely.

There are various side hustles for students online that you can consider without worrying about time and location. Similarly, there are on-site side hustles for college students that provide a better working environment for you.

On that note, I will take you through both part-time gigs with my list of the best side hustles for college students in 2024.

Side Hustle Potential Earnings (Per hour)Time Investment(Per week)Necessary Skills To Get Started
Freelance writing$15 to $45 10-20 hoursWriting, Editing, and Research skills, Ability to meet deadlines
Social media management$14 to $35 5-10 hoursAnalytical, communication, and marketing skills. Understanding of social media platforms
Graphic Designing$15 to $35 10 hoursSoftware proficiency, creativity, and communication skills
Babysitting or Nannying$22.6814 hoursPatience, compassion, and Interpersonal skills
Dog Walking$14 to $197 hoursLove for animals, Reliability, and Responsibility
Pet housing or housesitting$166-14 hoursLove for animals, responsibility, basic house maintenance skills
Driving for Lyft or Uber$15 to $2510-20 hoursValid driver’s license, good driving record, customer service skills
Selling stock photos$205-6 hoursPhotography skills, knowledge of different platforms to sell photos
Part-time photography$25 to $4510-12 hoursStrong photography and editing skills
Tour Guiding
$8 to $1510-15 hoursCommunication and storytelling skills

Now that you know about the best side hustles, I will walk you through each of them further. I will also discuss their start-up cost and profit time to help you compare.

Moreover, I have extended the list to the top 21 side hustles for college students. Right from odd jobs to some technical gigs, you have a lot of options to choose from!

1. Freelance Writing

Start-up costLow (computer, internet)
Time to Profit1-3 months
Necessary resourcesAccess to computer and internet, portfolio (optional)

Freelance writing can be an amazing online side hustle for college students, especially if you’re majoring in fields like English, journalism, and communications.

This side hustle allows you to leverage your writing skills by creating content for various platforms – from blog posts and articles to website copy. The best part? You get to choose your projects and work on your schedule.

You can expect to earn between $15 and $45 per hour as a freelance writer. This translates to a potential income of $150 to $900 weekly if you dedicate 10-20 hours per week to your writing hustle. All you need is a solid foundation in writing, editing, and research skills.

Freelance Writing
Source: Freepik

2. Social Media Management

Start-up costLow (smartphone, internet)
Time to Profit1-2 months
Necessary resourcesUnderstanding of marketing principles, access to a smartphone and internet

As a social media manager, your job is creating content, scheduling posts, and keeping tabs on how things are going online. So, if you love scrolling through Instagram, tweeting your thoughts, or crafting catchy captions, this gig might be for you! 

This side hustle offers flexibility and the potential for good pay. To get started, you can dedicate 5-10 hours per week, working around your class schedule and other commitments. This way, you can make anywhere from $14 to $35 per hour

But how do you get started? You just need to improve your analytical, communication, and marketing skills. Furthermore, it is crucial to understand the different social media platforms and their audiences. 

Social media management
Source: Freepik

3. Graphic Designing

Start-up costLow-Medium (software, hardware optional)
Time to Profit2-4 months
Necessary resourcesStrong design skills, design software (optional), computer (optional)

Graphic design can be an ideal side hustle for college students who love creating visual stuff. It’s like making logos, banners, or cool graphics for social media. However, the beauty of this side hustle lies in its flexibility.

You can dedicate as much or as little time as your schedule allows, making it a perfect fit for the busy life of a college student. Invest around 10 hours per week, and you can start earning an impressive hourly rate of $15 to $35.

However, before starting, you must be in a repo with design software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Even more, you gotta have that spark to come up with creative designs that catch people’s eyes.

Graphic Designing
Source: Freepik

4. Babysitting Or Nannying

Start-up costLow (first aid/CPR certification optional)
Time to ProfitImmediate to 1-month
Necessary resourcesCPR/First-aid certification (optional), reliable transportation (optional)

With potential earnings averaging around $22.68 per hour, babysitting is among the best side hustles for high school students and college students. If you are passionate about childcare, this can be a win-win opportunity.

Typically, you might invest around 14 hours per week. However, you can tweak the schedule to fit around your classes and other commitments.

Beyond the financial benefits, this side hustle also allows you to develop essential skills beyond childcare. You can develop qualities like patience and compassion, which can translate well into various career paths.

Babysitting Or Nannying
Source: Freepik

5. Dog Walking

Start-up costLow (leash, waste bags)
Time to ProfitImmediate to 1-month
Necessary resourcesLeashes, waste bags, Reliable transportation(Optional)

Dog walking is a flexible gig that allows you to spend time outdoors, stay active, and, most importantly, hang out with adorable pups. It offers the potential to earn between $14 and $19 per hour.

Nevertheless, you should aim to dedicate around 7 hours a week, which you can split into shorter walks throughout the week or longer weekend sessions.

The only fundamental skills you need are a love for animals and reliability. In addition, you should have the ability to handle different personalities (just like your college roommates!).

Dog Walking
Source: Freepik

6. Pet Sitting Or Housesitting

Start-up costLow-Medium (insurance coverage recommendation)
Time to ProfitImmediate to 1-month
Necessary resourcesGood communication skills, and basic home maintenance knowledge (optional)

Pet-sitting can be incredibly rewarding if you have a soft spot for dogs, cats, or even more exotic pets. You can earn around $16 per hour, and dedicating 6 to 14 hours a week can boost your income while still leaving room for studies.

Moreover, House-sitting can be a welcome break! You’ll stay comfortably in someone else’s home, often enjoying amenities like a private bedroom, kitchen, and Wi-Fi.

This provides a quiet space to study and allows you to be responsible for maintaining someone else’s space. Think of it as a chance to practice life skills like watering plants, collecting mail, and keeping the house tidy.

7. Driving For Lyft Or Uber

Start-up costMedium (vehicle, insurance, background check)
Time to Profit1-3 months
Necessary resourcesValid driver’s license, reliable car, insurance coverage meeting platform requirements, smartphone

As per ‘Side Hustle for College Students’ online Reddit reviews,’ driving for Lyft or Uber is one of the most discussed gigs. With it, you can earn between $15 and $25 per hour, depending on factors like ride length, peak hours, and bonuses.

However, before you hit the road, you’ll need to meet certain requirements. Firstly, you must have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. Also, good customer service skills are important while interacting with people throughout your shifts.

8. Selling Stock Photos

Start-up costLow (computer, internet)
Time to Profit1-3 months
Necessary resourcesHigh-quality camera, editing software (optional), access to computer and internet

Selling stock photos is a great way to turn your photography hobby into income, all while learning new skills like basic composition and editing. With platforms like Shutterstock, you can showcase your skills and earn a commission for each sale.

The more photos you upload, the more you can earn, estimating around $20 per hour once you establish your. However, to excel in this side hustle, you must have a good grasp of photography skills. 

This includes understanding composition, lighting, and editing techniques to produce high-quality images. Moreover, knowledge of different platforms to sell photos is essential.

9. Part-Time Photography

Start-up costLow-Medium (camera equipment)
Time to Profit2-6 months
Necessary resourcesStrong photography skills, camera equipment, basic editing software (optional)

If you have a talent for capturing moments through photography, consider starting a part-time photography business. More than just selling stock photos, you can advertise your photography services.

With it, you can set your hours and prices, with potential earnings ranging from $25 to $45 per hour. But you need to build a strong portfolio before reaping the profit out of it.

Generally, it may take 2-6 months to establish your successful photography business. All you need is to invest 10-12 hours per week.

Part-Time Photography
Source: Freepik

10. Tour Guiding

Start-up costLow-Medium (training/certification, knowledge)
Time to Profit1-3 months
Necessary resourcesLocal area expertise, training/certification (optional)

Tour guiding can be an excellent way to earn extra money while sharing what you know about your city or town. For that, you can be an expert in some things. Pick something you’re interested in, like local history or famous landmarks.

On average, you might spend around 10 to 15 hours per week on tours and prep work. Furthermore, talking about the green stuff – money! You can earn anywhere from $8 to $15 per hour as a tour guide. 

11. Delivering Food, Groceries, Or Other Items

Start-up costLow (smartphone, reliable transportation)
Time to ProfitImmediate to 1-month
Necessary resourcesReliable vehicle (optional for some platforms), smartphone, valid driver’s license

Delivering food, groceries, or other items can be a great way to earn money. You need to sign up with apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, or Instacart and choose when you want to work. 

Typically, you can dedicate around 10 to 20 hours per week to deliveries, depending on your availability and the demand in your area. As for earnings, you can make anywhere from $10 to $25 per hour, including tips.

Delivering Food, Groceries, Or Other Items
Source: Freepik

12. Shopping For Groceries

Start-up costLow (smartphone, reliable transportation)
Time to ProfitImmediate to 1-month
Necessary resourcesReliable transportation (optional), smartphone

Shopping for groceries on behalf of others is another side hustle that offers convenience. It involves picking up items from grocery stores and delivering them to customers’ homes or designated locations.

So, if you are interested in this gig, you can sign in on Instacart, which connects you with customers who need groceries delivered. You can earn between $10 to $20 per hour, plus potential tips. 

13. Podcasting

Start-up costLow-Medium (equipment, editing software)
Time to Profit3-6 months
Necessary resourcesGood communication skills, basic recording and editing equipment (optional)

Do you desire to share your thoughts and opinions with the world? Then, Podcasting might be the perfect side hustle for you.

Podcasting can fetch you a few dollars to thousands per episode, depending on your audience size and engagement levels. But you must spend 5 to 15 hours per week recording, editing, and promoting your podcast episodes.

To start with, choose a subject you’re passionate about, whether it’s true crime, movie analysis, or even the history of your local coffee shop. Next, invest in a decent microphone, find a quiet recording space, and hit record! 

Podcasting
Source: Freepik

14. Selling Clothes, Books, Electronics, And More

Start-up costLow (online platform fees)
Time to Profit1-3 months
Necessary resourcesItems to sell, access to online selling platforms (e.g., eBay, Facebook Marketplace)

Selling unused belongings online or at consignment shops is a profitable side hustle. You don’t need to be a retail expert to get started; just gather items you no longer need or find unique pieces at thrift stores or garage sales.

Like this, you can earn anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred per sale. But you must invest some time researching the market demand and various platforms. Additionally, you can list items on online marketplaces like eBay, Poshmark, or Facebook Marketplace.

15. Tutoring

Start-up costLow (subject knowledge)
Time to Profit1-3 months
Necessary resourcesStrong knowledge of the subject area, good communication skills

Tutoring offers a rewarding opportunity to share your expertise and help others excel academically. If you are good in math, science, languages, or any other subject, there’s likely a demand for your skills.

So, why not share your expertise? You can prefer a few hours a week or dedicate more time during breaks, earning around $15 to $50 per hour. However, these rates vary based on experience, subject, and location.

16. Working As A Resident Advisor

Start-up costVaries (housing provided)
Time to ProfitImmediate to 1-month
Necessary resourcesApplication process through university housing, specific requirements vary

Working as a Resident Advisor (RA) can be an excellent side hustle if you enjoy supporting your peers. As an RA, your responsibilities may include organizing social events, addressing student concerns, and enforcing residence hall policies.

Well, all these responsibilities come with perks! Being an RA, you will receive free or reduced housing and a stipend, which can significantly reduce your living expenses. But you need to commit at least 10 to 20 hours per week.

17. Selling Course Notes

Start-up costLow-Medium (reputable platform)
Time to Profit1-2 months
Necessary resourcesHigh-quality notes, access to reputable selling platforms (e.g., Course Hero)

Selling course notes could be your ticket if you are looking to turn your class notes into cash. For that, you don’t need to be at the top of the class.  Rather, try to organize and be willing to share your insights.

In college especially, the demand for hand-made notes is higher Thus, this can be a golden chance to earn without any investment. Regarding earnings, you can set your prices with a range varying from $5 to $20 per set.

18. Working As A Lifeguard Or Swim Instructor

Start-up costMedium (certification)
Time to Profit1-2 months
Necessary resourcesStrong swimming skills, lifeguard/swim instructor certification

You can go for being a lifeguard or swim instructor if you are a passionate swimmer. It’s like having leisure time while earning some hard cash easily. With it, you can earn around $10 to $20 per hour while only keeping watch over a pool. So, why not go for this side hustle? 

You can look for gigs within your college, offering you more flexibility and convenience. Also, you can give training lessons outside the university. Just remember to get your certificate before training others!

19. Participating In Research Studies

Start-up costLow-Medium (time commitment)
Time to ProfitImmediate to 1-month
Necessary resourcesTime commitment, eligibility criteria for specific studies

Universities and research institutions often offer opportunities for students to participate in paid studies. And this is the best option for you if you don’t want to deviate from your academics.

To get started, explore the websites of relevant departments at your university. You can also follow the advertisements for open or upcoming studies. This way, you can earn around $5 to $200 for studies lasting around 30 minutes to an hour.

20. Cleaning, Yardwork, And Other Odd Jobs

Start-up costLow (basic tools)
Time to ProfitImmediate to 1-month
Necessary resourcesBasic cleaning supplies/tools (optional), reliable transportation (optional)

If you spend a few hours helping with odd jobs each week, you could pocket anywhere from $10 to $25 per hour. The options are diverse, from yard work and housekeeping to assembling furniture and painting houses. 

These side hustles and good potential earnings can support your physical workout. This is otherwise difficult with the hectic college schedule. Hence, odd jobs can be a great way to supplement your health and wealth together.

21. Working In Retail Or Food Service

Start-up costLow-Medium (uniform costs)
Time to ProfitImmediate to 1-month
Necessary resourcesAvailability, customer service skills, and uniform, if required

Retail and food service jobs, like cashier, barista, or server, are classic side hustle choices for college students. Alongside money, they offer valuable opportunities to hone your customer service and people skills.

Furthermore, this side hustle can help you earn a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and manage your expenses. However, you must consider the seasonal fluctuations that can ultimately impact the potential earnings.

Strategies To Choose A Perfect Side Hustle For College Students

College life keeps you busy, I get it! But managing a side hustle can be a fantastic way to earn some extra cash, build your skills, and explore things you’re passionate about.

Confused about where to start? Here’s how to find the perfect one for you:

1. Align with your strengths and interests: Brainstorm your skills, experiences, and hobbies. What are you naturally good at? What do you enjoy doing? Then, choose something that aligns with your strengths and interests to make it more fun and engaging.

2. Make it worth your hustle: While following your passion is key, remember the financial side. That is why you should research the potential earnings of different hustles and ensure they match your financial goals. 

3. Look for opportunities within your network: Starting within your network can help you gain initial clients without going all-out on marketing immediately. This could be anything from tutoring younger students to helping friends with social media posts.

4. Think about growth potential: Choose a side hustle that can grow over time. You can offer new services, partner with someone who compliments your skills, or explores different online income streams.

5. Consider your lifestyle and schedule: College is already demanding, so be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to your side hustle without feeling overwhelmed. Thus, you must look for flexible classes, study sessions, and social life options.

Conclusion: Are you a Student? If Yes What’s Your Choice?

If you want to keep up with this ever-evolving generation, the above-mentioned college side hustles are your go-to option. Whether writing, babysitting, dog walking, or food delivery, you can pick anything and start your hustle journey today.

However, you must align your interests, lifestyle, and financial needs while choosing a side hustle. In my opinion, Freelance gigs are super cool and, at the same time, sit well in your pocket. 

So, here are the top three side hustles for college students:

  1. Freelance writing- $15 to $45/hour
  2. Social media management- $14 to $35/hour
  3. Graphic designing- $15 to $35/hour

Moreover, it’s better to go for remote side hustles. You can sign up on different platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.

Start your hustle today!

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FAQs

What is the best side hustle for college students?

For college students juggling studies and seeking extra income, freelance writing is the perfect side hustle. With an earning potential of $15 to $45 per hour, it offers flexibility to take care of your expenses.

Is DoorDash a good side hustle for college students?

Delivering food for DoorDash lets college students be their boss with flexible hours. It offers decent pay and is easy to start, making it a good option to earn extra cash, especially during holidays.

How can I make money as a college student?

As a college student, you can earn considerable money by signing into various freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. Plus, you can go for on-site services like Babysitting, Dog-walking, Uber driving, and others.

What is the best side hustle income?

Earning around $20 per hour is the best side hustle income for college students to meet their academic expenses. However, this income can vary as per your skills, time, and investment.

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