Online Jobs for Students to Earn Money

online jobs for students

Are you looking for online jobs for students to make money from? With many typical student jobs out of action during the pandemic, it makes sense that so many people are heading online to earn some extra cash to support their studies and lifestyle. 

If you normally work part-time in the hospitality or retail sectors, then your options may have been extremely limited during Covid. Around 670,0000 hotel operation jobs and 4 million hospitality roles were cut during 2020, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

The industry isn’t expected to recover in full until 2024. 

online jobs for students

If your job has been affected during your studies, or you’re just looking to make a little extra cash, then why not put your digital skills to use instead? 

How can students make money online? 

Check out this guide to the top online jobs for students to make money from.

You’ll learn: 

  • The benefits of working online as a college student 
  • How to get started online without an investment 
  • The pitfalls of making money online 
  • The best ways for college students to make money online 

The benefits of working online as a college student 

If you’ve been considering online jobs for students to earn money at home then you might be wondering how this type of work will fit in with your lifestyle. 

  • Flexibility

The major advantage to taking on digital work is that it’s exceptionally flexible which is important when you’re already committed to a busy college schedule. 

So long as you have access to wifi via a laptop, a desktop, or even a mobile phone, then you’re able to earn money online in a wide variety of ways.

Whether you want to work in the evenings, at the weekends, or in the middle of the night, there is often a fantastic degree of flexibility for you when you choose online work.

This means that you’ll be able to fit your job around your studies but also your social life.

Need to take on less work during exam season? This is so much easier to arrange when you’re doing online work rather than attending a physical workplace. 

  • Social distancing 

Of course, the restrictions created by the pandemic mean that online jobs are perfectly suited to home working.

In fact, anyone who was previously been doing online work before the pandemic hit probably won’t have noticed as much of a difference to their lifestyle.

Online jobs for students to make money from at home are ideal if you’re isolating or even if you have any other non-Covid related illness or condition that makes home working a better option for you. 

  • Save money 

The great thing about working from home is that you can maximize your take-home pay.

If you work in a physical store or hospitality venue, then you’ll usually have to pay for gas or public transport to get you there.

You might also be tempted to waste your pay on grabbing a bite to eat before or after your shift. 

Other than the cost of your internet connection and the periodic upgrade of your hardware, an online job usually has zero outgoings.

  • Expanding your portfolio 

Work experience is essential as a student because it allows you to pick up valuable skills and knowledge to add to your resume.

This will help to impress future employers down the line.

Even if you’re earning money online in a job you’re already familiar with, you might gain experience with a new type of software or team collaboration tool.

As the working world has shifted permanently to accommodate remote working, new ways for college students to make money online will also add to their overall work experience. 

  • No local restrictions 

If you choose an online job opportunity to fit around your student lifestyle, then there are no geographical boundaries to your earning potential.

You might work for a digital employer in a different state, different time zone, or even across the other side of the world.

In comparison, if you were taking a local hospitality or retail job, then you might prefer to work within a 30-60 minute radius of your home but this can be quite restricting and you’ll also need to factor in your commuting time. 

The challenges of working online jobs for students to make money from 

Although there are plenty of opportunities for students who want to make money online, it would be remiss of us not to discuss the potential pitfalls.

The number one problem with this type of work is that it can be difficult to identify legitimate business opportunities from the scams. 

Unfortunately, internet job boards are awash with remote working scams.

The main aim of these bogus job postings is either to make cash from you or else obtain your personal information to be sold on to untrustworthy third parties. 

If you spot any of these when searching for online jobs for students to earn money at home, then it’s best not to proceed with contact. 

  • Poor grammar, spelling, or syntax 
  • Repeated use of ‘work from home’ throughout the ad to entice more applicants
  • Too good to be true wording including ‘unlimited earning potential’ or ‘immediate hires required’
  • Requests for your bank account information, Social Security number, or direct deposit info
  • Requests for you to fill out ‘background checks’

If you feel that you have been the victim of a remote working scam, then you can report this to the Federal Trade Commission as well as the Internet Crime Complaint Center

What are the best online jobs for students?

Now that you’re aware of the many benefits for students who choose to work online, and are mindful of the potential scams out there, it’s time to check out the best ways for students to make money online. 

Freelance work

One of the best ways to earn money flexibly online is by having no employer and to take on private clients instead.

Freelance work is ideal as you choose how, when, and where you work.

You might specialize in a particular service or else offer a range for your clients to choose from. 

Have you been searching for online jobs for students to earn money at home without investment costs? The great news is that you don’t need any investment to get started as a freelancer. 

You can simply create a profile with a platform such as Upwork and bid on projects that are relevant to your skillset.

Be aware that freelance platforms such as this usually charge a commission fee of the money you earn, so you’ll need to factor this into your rate per project. 

If you’d prefer not to be tied to the terms of a freelance website, then you can always just advertise your services online.

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn are an effective way to network and let your target customer base know about your freelance services. 

Alternatively, you might be interested in setting up your own website to promote through Google.

If you’re a web designer or are comfortable using a web design template such as Wix to get started, then you’ll pay very little for your hosted website.

However, if you need to hire a web design team to create a bespoke set of pages for you, then you could expect to pay a few hundred dollars for this solution, which will eat into your student budget somewhat. 

So, what types of freelance work can students do online? Some popular options include: 

  • Freelance writer – as a student, you’ll be used to stringing words together into meaningful essays, discussions, or articles. That’s all that is needed to become a freelance writer. So long as you are fluent in English, then you can easily get started writing for other people. 

Clients are often looking for content for their own web pages, social media posts, or even script writing.

The topics available are incredibly varied which makes the work quite interesting once you get going.

Of course, to attract the attention of clients and persuade them to hire you, it’s best if you have a portfolio of work to showcase.

This can be difficult if you’re just starting out, but if you’ve ever written for your own blog, or a student platform or magazine, then these are all great examples to put out there.

Student freelance writers might expect to earn around $0.03 per word which will reward you with $15 for a 500-word piece of work.

If you manage to complete a couple of these an hour, then the money can quickly add up.  

  • Freelance editor – if you can write, then you’ll find editing is another good option for your online work as a student freelancer. You might get started by editing essays for your friends or assisting with any campus publications that need your skills. 

Editing can be quite a niche sector to get into. There are professional qualifications available such as proofreading courses you can take.

However, the best way to get started is by branding yourself as an editor and making the right connections online via social media. 

  • Freelance graphic designer – the average hourly rate for a freelance graphic designer is $29.53 according to Payscale. Although not all freelancers will choose to charge by the hour, and many will agree on a per-project rate before beginning the work for a client. This can work out better as you might charge $100 to create a simple logo, which only takes you two hours to complete. 

Graphic design work is an excellent choice for any student who has experience with graphics software programs.

From brand logos or printed marketing materials to putting together images for a website, graphic designers can use a simple program such as Adobe Illustrator to create striking designs. 

graphic designer hourly wage
  • Freelance Web development – you don’t need to be studying Computer Science or any other technology major to become a freelance web developer. However, you will need excellent web design skills if you’re marketing yourself as a freelancer in this field. Luckily, there are plenty of courses available online so you can get to grips with a content management system such as WordPress. 

If you’re new to web development, then you might want to take it slow and start by building simple static page websites for small businesses, rather than jumping in at the deep end with a more complex eCommerce design. 

As with freelance graphic designers, you can choose to charge per hour or per project.

As you gain more experience, you’ll be more likely to gain financially when you charge per project.

However, as unlimited edits are typically expected as part of the project rate, be aware that this will reduce your earning potential if it takes you a while to complete the work at first. 

Teaching and tutoring 

As a college student, you’ll already have achieved enviable grades in high school which can be put to excellent use.

By teaching or tutoring other pupils online, you can help them to achieve their full potential, all from the comfort of your own home.

Here are some of the roles available to you as a freelancer. 

  • Teaching English online – English is the most widely spoken language in the world if you count both native and non-native speakers. With around 1.5 billion speakers worldwide, it’s an extremely popular tongue to learn. For those who are unable to speak English at all, or who would prefer to speak it more fluently, they’re willing to pay between $12 to $25 per hour to anyone who can teach them. 

The level of English they’re hoping to achieve can vary, with some just hoping to improve their conversational skills whilst others want to learn formal grammar or business terms. 

If you’d like to get started as an English teacher, you don’t necessarily need any formal qualifications.

So long as you have a decent internet connection, a good quality webcam and audio, you’re all set. 

  • Teaching a foreign language – of course, language tutoring isn’t just about speaking English. If you speak another language completely fluently, then even better as the pay is often higher. You might expect to earn as much as $35 per hour if you can tutor in another language such as Arabic or Mandarin. 

The amount you can earn usually depends on the language you’re offering, your level of experience, and the current demand. 

teaching a foreign language

Check out language tutoring sites such as VIPKID, iTalki, or Verbling to get started. 

  • Tutoring – remote learning of any subject has been huge business during the pandemic. So, if you’re particularly skilled at math, biology, or even playing the flute, then you can offer online tutoring to students who want to be as impressive as you are! 

You can set your own hours, but be aware that many of your pupils will usually want their sessions to be held in peak times after school and at the weekends.

If that works for you, then you could expect to earn up to $25 per hour. Or more if you’ve already graduated in the subject you’re tutoring. 

Administrative work 

Are you looking for online typing jobs for students to earn money? There are a wealth of virtual admin roles available for students that go beyond typing. 

If you’re looking for typing work, then it’s been a long time since typists were crammed together and hammering out their words in a typing pool from 9 until 5.

Thanks to the internet, it doesn’t really matter where you’re based which makes this the perfect job to fit around your student lifestyle. 

So long as you’re able to type accurately at a rate of 60-100 words per minute, you should be able to earn a decent online income.

In fact, this would be more than you’d expect to make in a typical part-time student job and is heaps more flexible. 

Don’t want to work Mondays? Not a problem. Prefer to sleep in and start later?

Again, your online admin work can fit around you. Here are some of the top admin jobs you could work to earn money. 

  • Audio transcription – this is the skill of turning audio content into meaningful, written content. Computer programs do exist to interpret human speech and translate it into written text, but as yet there is no substitute for human transcribers. 

As a transcriber, you might be required to type out audio of marketing focus groups, court hearings, or business conferences.

Some companies also like to have a text-based version of their popular online videos to support their SEO activities. 

As with many online jobs, there is a considerable breadth of topics involved in audio transcription work.

If you are specialized in a niche area such as medical or legal transcription, then you could expect to become more established and therefore earn more accordingly. 

Beginner audio transcribers might start out on around $0.36 per minute of recording, whilst advanced or specialist transcribers can charge around $0.80-1.10 per minute.

Doing the math for you, if you’re a legal student who is able to transcribe 10 hours of legal audio a week at a rate of $0.80 per minute, then this could bring in $480, which works out at $1,920 per month. That’s worth thinking about, right? 

To get started, you need excellent listening skills, an internet connection, a computer, and a decent typing speed.

Sign up to sites such as Transcription Outsourcing and begin by taking their online assessment. 

  • Virtual Assistant – do you have excellent organizational skills? You could get paid to support people or businesses who are even busier than you!

Virtual assistants carry out work such as answering phone calls, replying to emails, managing diaries, booking appointments, and making travel arrangements.

You won’t need loads of experience to earn money as a digital assistant, but you will need to demonstrate excellent organizational skills to your employer. 

Although the role is online, you may find that your client requires you to be contactable during their own working hours, so make sure you nail down the specific requirements of the role before getting started.

Indeed.com states the average virtual assistant wage in the US is $16 per hour.

However, with experience and the right contacts, some are able to make up to $10k per month. 

This is a great career to get started on whilst in college and perhaps expand into once you have graduated. 

  • Data entry – this type of work is likely to be replaced in the future as AI advances further to convert handwritten text into a digital format. But for now, data entry is still an essential practice for many businesses and therefore a great opportunity if you’re looking for online jobs for students to make money from. 

You will usually be provided with data from one source or format, and then be able to input it into another spreadsheet or document. 

The key with this type of task is to be able to work quickly, accurately and to have excellent attention to detail.

An understanding of spreadsheets is also important, so if you have Microsoft qualifications in Excel, this would be a fantastic asset to a client looking for data entry personnel. 

  • Translation – if you are fluent in another language, either as a mother tongue or have a degree in the subject, then your skills can be extremely useful in the business world. Companies regularly need to translate anything from websites and instruction manuals to business contracts from one language to another, making sure that nothing is ‘lost in translation’. 

This flexible online work for students can pay really well, depending on the complexity of the project. You might expect to earn up to $30 an hour. 

Digital marketing 

If you already spend a lot of time on social media or subscribing to YouTube channels, then you most likely have relevant, current skills you could put to use as a digital marketing professional. 

Digital marketing focuses on helping online brands – whether businesses or individuals – to increase their following and show up in all the right places to entice their target market. 

The type of digital marketing tasks you will perform will depend on the goals of your client. Some common aims include:

  • Getting a website to rank higher in Google 
  • Gaining more web traffic 
  • Improving their web page conversion rate 
  • Making more profits 
  • Boosting the number of followers on social media 
  • Increasing the number of subscribers or signups 

If you’d like to get started in digital marketing, then you don’t need any qualifications.

This type of work is based on building a portfolio of clients and being able to prove your experience in this area. 

If you have your own website, blog, or social media profile that has an impressive web presence then this will help to attract new clients if you can prove your capabilities.

You might include some affiliate marketing ads on your site to help monetize your web pages and earn an excellent passive income as you study.

With affiliate ads, if someone clicks on one of these and leaves your site to make a purchase elsewhere, then you will receive a percentage of the sale.

The more traffic you get, the more commission you’re likely to earn. 

When advertising your availability as a freelance digital marketing professional, you might choose to offer a broad package of services, or else you can choose to specialize in areas such as: 

  • SEO – this means applying on-page and off-page optimization techniques to help a website rank higher for the keywords your client is targeting. There are no quick results with SEO, which makes this a great gig if you’ve been looking for long-term online jobs for students to earn money from. 
  • PPC marketing – it’s free to set up a Google Ads account and try your hand at managing a paid ads campaign for clients who want to pay for advertising in the search engines. 

As a PPC professional, you’ll be in charge of managing the budget for your client’s PPC campaign.

You’ll keep track of the pay-per-click rate for each campaign and know what your client’s competitors are targeting too.

PPC is a highly effective way for brands to quickly establish their web presence. However, it’s also really easy to waste money too if you’re targeting the wrong terms. 

If you’re new to PPC marketing but want to add this string to your digital marketing bow, the best way to gain knowledge is to take a Google Ads certification program.

This is a great way to prove your worth to clients who are interested in hiring you. 

  • Influencer marketing – you can act as the middleman between your client and an influencer who has a healthy volume of engaged followers. By negotiating influencer interaction on your client’s behalf, you can take a cut as your management fee. This role requires quite a lot of research and messaging until you strike upon the perfect client/influencer relationship to work with. 
  • Social media marketing – many businesses can struggle to keep up with the pressures of maintaining an engaging social media presence. By outsourcing to experts like you, a social media marketing service will typically include writing and scheduling regular posts, researching relevant hashtags, starting interesting discussions, and other forms of online engagement which are designed to gain more followers. 
  • YouTube marketing – if your client wants to hire you for YouTube marketing, then you’ll likely be assisting in their video content creation or else optimizing their existing channel to ensure that it’s reaching the right audience. Tagging videos with relevant keywords can also assist a greater SEO campaign if that is your client’s goal. Your client may also need assistance with monetizing their YouTube channel. 

Creative work 

Online jobs may seem more suited to technical work, but actually, there are plenty of creative online jobs for students to earn money at home from too.

Here are some top ideas if you are studying an arts course or are interested in this type of work as a hobby. 

  • Video captioning – this type of work is very similar to audio transcription in that you’re turning the audio from a video into written text, often for subtitles. The syncing between the audio and the text must be aligned, and you’ll usually need to convey any non-conversational sounds as text too. 

The pay for video captioning starts from around $0.45 per minute of video, which is slightly higher than the basic rate for audio transcription work. 

  • Voiceover work – do you have an interesting voice that produces quality narration? Then voiceover work could be the perfect student work for you. Voiceover artists aren’t just for radio or TV ads, they’re also required for instructional guides and digital marketing vids too. 

If you’re completely new to doing voiceover work, then you can create a profile on Fiverr and offer your services there.

You’ll need a quality microphone, headphones, and an audio recording program which is usually included with your desktop.

Once you’ve built up a portfolio you might be able to charge around $25 for an hour’s work, but if your voice is particularly in demand then eventually you could earn a couple of hundred dollars per hour.. 

  • Video editing – video is big business at the moment with 60% of organizations now using video as a marketing tool. Consumers just can’t get enough of video which means there is an enormous demand for skilled video editors in the industry. 

If you’re nifty with using video software programs, then this is an ideal online job for students to make money from.

Need to tighten up those skills first? No problem, as there are no qualifications required for this type of role. 

Advertising on a freelance platform such as Upwork will allow you to bid for projects to which you’re best suited.

As a beginner, you might earn between $20 to $45 per hour as a video editor.

A more established pro could charge $50 or even $75 per hour which is an excellent source of income during your student years. 

  • Photography – assuming that you already enjoy photography as a hobby, then you’ll probably already have some professional equipment. If not, then this is one of the online student roles on our list where you’ll need to invest a little cash into essentials including a quality camera, tripod, lenses, camera bag, and other pro kit. If you’re not able to stump up the cash at this time, then the camera on your iPhone may well be good enough to get started. 

Earning money as a photographer is all about taking an eye-catching shot, then being able to edit it to perfection.

You might upload your photos to stock image websites where you’ll earn money each time they’re downloaded.

Alternatively, you might sell your photos as prints to online buyers on sites such as Etsy.

Although not strictly an online role, if you want to become a professional photographer at events such as weddings, then it’s helpful to establish your online presence as this is where potential clients will check out your portfolio.

If you have a website or a social media profile, make sure you publish a diverse selection of your work that really showcases your artistic talent. 

  • Selling art – You don’t need to sell paintings in a gallery to make money as an artist. The internet has opened up tremendous possibilities for creative types. Customers shop on the internet for a wide variety of artistic designs across a full range of prices. Whether you’re selling your artwork on T-shirts, coffee cups, framed prints, or giant canvases, there’s an audience waiting to purchase your work. 

Building up a portfolio is a must, so the question is where to feature your work so that it attracts the right people.

Having an Instagram account is an important move, as this visual platform is ideal for proudly displaying your art.

From here, you can add a link in your bio back to either your own website where you can take orders using an e-commerce system such as Shopify or just PayPal for taking your payments. 

Alternatively, if you don’t want to be involved with generating your own social followers or web traffic, then using a third-party site such as Etsy is a great way to reach an enormous following of interested buyers.

The platform attracts billions of consumers purchasing from creative entrepreneurs just like you.

Etsy sellers will pay a small listing fee of $0.20, then cough up for transaction, payment processing, and offsite advertising fees when a sale is made.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these online jobs for students to make money from.

Hopefully, you have been inspired by some of the ideas here and recognize that it’s relatively easy to earn money on the internet without investment. 

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