Top 9 Side Hustles for a College Student

Attending college is expensive. Most students need to work part-time during their school years to afford their basic living costs, tuition, and things like textbooks. If you are short on funds, these nine side hustles for a college student will help ease your financial stress. 

Many side hustles work well with a student’s schedule. The best ones are pet sitting and dog walking, tutoring, freelancing, Rideshare driving, babysitting or nannying, delivering food, photography, flipping items, and seasonal work.

Let us learn more about how you, as a college student, can make the most of these effective side hustles and how much money you can bring in with each one.

Pet Sitting and Dog Walking

Pet sitting is a popular side hustle for students because it is a small amount of time commitment. It is like house sitting; you will live in someone else’s home for a set period – from a day or two to a couple of weeks or more.

Your responsibilities are minimal and include feeding and watering the dog or cat, taking the dog for daily walks, providing medications, and simply being company for the animal while its owners are gone. Sometimes the homeowners may also ask you to collect their mail, water their plants, or receive a package for them while they are away. 

If uncomfortable staying in someone’s home, you can offer dog walking services. This may be a better option for some students since they will stay in their residence and can go out with friends, attend classes, and visit family without accommodating the pet’s schedule.

Students can make great money with these pet services. On average, pet sitting pays between $30 and $75 per day/night depending on the time of year (increased earnings over holidays), number of pets, age of pets, and whether you’re sitting for the day or staying overnights as well. Dog walking usually pays $10-$25 for a 30-minute walk. 


Tutoring is another top side hustle for students since you can charge hourly rates and work with multiple students at once to increase your earnings, and it can be done from a location of your choice (or online!). In addition, you can tutor any subject and choose which grade levels you tutor, from kindergarten to fellow college students.

Most tutors can make decent money with just a few hours per week. The average pay scale for private tutoring lessons ranges from $15 to $50 per hour, depending on experience and the number of students per lesson.


Freelancing is an excellent way to pad your wallet as a full-time student. You can work on an online project whenever you have a spare hour or two. Sites like UpWork and Fiverr are easy to sign up for and give you access to thousands of clients looking for every type of skill imaginable.

Whether you are a good writer or are skilled with photoshop, you can put your skills to use as a freelancer. Freelancing is one of those side hustles with an extensive income range. Most people earn hundreds of dollars per week, though this depends on how complex the job is and your specific skill.

Rideshare Driving

Rideshare driving has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and it is a great side hustle for college students. Rideshare drivers can set their hours and decide how long they want to work each shift. Students with a car can make a quick buck by driving for an hour or two in the evenings whenever they have free time.

Uber and Lyft pay an average of $15.68 and $17.50, respectively, which is a lucrative hourly wage for students.

Babysitting or Nannying

Many people may start working at 12 or 13 by babysitting, whether for younger siblings, neighbors, or family friends. But, of course, babysitting can be an equally appealing side hustle for a college student.

Nannying is more lucrative for students since nannies tend to live at the residence where they provide childcare. Their meals are also usually paid for, and students would not need to worry about too many bills. 

This is a great side hustle for students because they usually have most of the evening to study or work on assignments while the children sleep.

The earnings are fantastic regardless of the type of childcare you would prefer. Babysitters average about $20 per hour, while nannies bring home between $700 and $900 per week, depending on whether they are live-in or live-out nannies.

Delivering Food

Food delivery is another great option for students with a reliable vehicle. There are many options, from takeout delivery like Uber Eats to grocery delivery like Instacart. Again, this side hustle appeals to college students since they can customize their hours each shift, day, and week to balance their earning time with their studies.

This side hustle might not pay as well as others on our list, but the national average is $16 per hour. 


You can make money putting your photography skills to the test if you are skilled behind a lens. Even just by using a smartphone, you can earn money selling pictures to stock image websites. They accept every image of decent quality, though you can also take on projects requiring specific pictures to earn more.

Stock photo sellers earn just a few cents per image, but their photos will be purchased repeatedly, so they’ll continue making money in the future. This side hustle is excellent for people with a backlog of photos they can sell since their photos become a passive income source.

Flipping Items

Furniture flipping can be one of our lists ‘ more exciting side hustles. Students with little knowledge about the practice can quickly profit from each item they flip.

Furniture flipping is the most popular choice since there is an excellent market for dressers, end tables, dining tables, chairs, and more. In addition, most projects can be completed with only a few supplies, so your costs will be manageable.

If you are not skilled in the craftsmanship of furniture flipping but need to learn how to sew, you can choose to flip clothing instead. There are amazing deals to be found at thrift stores, and with a few minutes of work using your sewing machine and creativity; you can create stunning pieces out of old, out-of-style clothing pieces.

The profits of flipping vary since every item is so different. Hobbyists typically bring in upwards of $500 per month. However, it depends on your choice of furniture pieces or clothing. You will want to choose items that are in high demand to make the best profit. 

Seasonal Work

Another excellent side hustle for students is seasonal work. In the warm months, you can offer landscaping services to homes, businesses, or institutions in your area. Help with mowing the lawn, gardening, planting trees, clearing out overgrown yards, and other landscaping. In the winter months, you can shovel snow.

On average, people who mow lawns earn about $1 per minute. However, the total price you will earn will depend on the size of the property, how overgrown it is, and whether additional services are requested. Those who remove snow can earn between $30 and $100 per job, depending on the size of the driveway/walkways.

Tips for College Students Running a Side Hustle

  • Keep detailed records of your earnings since you will need to report the income when you do your taxes.
  • Do your research. You want to save time entering an already over-saturated market. Whether you can specialize in a niche subject when tutoring or flip only antique furniture to appeal to collectors, find a way to make your skill more valuable to earn you more.
  • Make sure you understand the time commitment before getting involved. Your schooling should always come first, and you want to avoid getting into a tricky situation by agreeing too much.
  • If you already have a part-time job, ensure your side hustle will not interfere with your pre-existing commitments.
  • Ensure you understand the legalities of the side hustle you are participating in. Every state has different requirements for declaring income, charging taxes, and registering as a small business.

Final Thoughts

College students can earn the extra income they need by engaging in one of these top nine side hustles. However, if these do not appeal to you, there are dozens more ways to earn a little extra money by using unique skills or talents.

These side hustles are the best options since they have flexible hours, do not require much – if any – startup costs, and are easy to get started with. So no matter how much extra income you need, these side hustles can help.

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