These Are The Best Summer Jobs for College Students

Photographed by Franey Miller.
For college students, summertime is a chance to let loose and decompress from a long year of hard work. But this also necessitates the need for cash to afford fun activities. And, while any job that brings in some income is a win, summer jobs also are an opportunity to gain relevant work experience and enhance your résumé.
Ahead, we take a look at nine options for summer jobs that are perfect for any college student. No matter what kind of job you get, remember that summer jobs show that you're dedicated, hard-working, and motivated, which will help you in your job searches down the road. Whether you're looking for something low-stress or for something that's a bit more challenging, there's a summer job out there for everyone.

Top Traditional Summer Jobs

Retail Associate

Retail positions are a good way to brush up on customer service, hospitality, and sales skills. Though this is a common summer job, it's also important to remember that many of the qualities you'll learn in this job are relevant to future employers. Salary varies depending on the state, but the average sales associate wage in the U.S. is $10.

Restaurant Server

Working as a restaurant server helps you build social skills, stay on your feet, and learn about different cuisines and restaurant operations. Serving requires the ability to multi-task and be on your feet for several hours at a time. The average national wage for servers is $10 an hour, but because of gratuity systems, tips may add a fair bit of money to this number. Plus, many restaurants offer servers free or discounted meals while they're on shift.

Babysitter or Nanny

Nannying is an ideal cash generator in the summertime, and it's an option if you like working with kids. The average nanny wage in the U.S. is $20 an hour, which is significantly higher than most minimum wages across the country. And many families pay for meals and activities you'll attend while watching their child. Many times, hanging out with a kid is an awesome, fun way to spend the summer.

Top Out-Of-The-Box Summer Jobs

Outdoor Camp Counselor

Tired of sitting in a classroom? Being a camp counselor could give you the opportunity to get outside and decompress in the summer. Your responsibilities could include working with children, teaching students about nature, and partaking in different outdoor activities. Outdoor jobs can also demonstrate a dedication to nature and adjustability to different work environments. Camp counselors make $230 a week, on average, but room and board are generally taken care of.

House Painter

If you have a creative side and want to be out in the sun this summer, you might want to consider house painting. Many home painting businesses are looking for college students and young adults to help paint interiors and exteriors of houses. If you are detail-oriented, like to use your hands, and want a job that allows you to be outside, a summer painting job could be the job for you. The median hourly income for painters is $18.25 an hour.

Dog Walker & Pet Sitter

If you love animals and want to spend your summer on your feet and in the sunshine, then dog walking and pet setting are great options. With apps like Wag and Rover, dog walking is more streamlined than ever. Another option is to check in with dog owners in your community and offer up your services. The benefit to this: you can frame the job as an entrepreneurial effort. Most dog walkers make about $14 an hour.

Top Résumé-Boosting Summer Jobs


Finding a tutoring job that's related to your degree could help you enhance your résumé and make some money. The best part? There are plenty of tutoring options that you can do online, so all you need are your smarts and a computer. The average pay for a tutor is around $18 per hour.

Small Business Owner

Have a brilliant idea for a summer side hustle? Why not make a business out of it? As a college student, you likely have many marketable skills that could become a small business. Do you love to write? Start a blog or do some freelance writing. Do you play an instrument? Why not start a music business? These days, it's easier than ever to be your own boss, so if you have the desire and the skills to work for yourself this summer, then get started. Doing so is sure to wow prospective employers in the future.

Tech Helper

Chances are, you're really handy with computers and technology. If you're interested in going into a tech-related field in the future, start leveraging these skills now so that you can show continuity on your résumé. Whether it's starting your own tech tutoring business for tech-challenged community members, or finding a local tech repair shop to work at, this will boost your résumé — and you'll help people, too.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series