42 Best Summer Jobs for College Students

Find the Right College Student Summer Job for You

Last Updated: December 11, 2015

Get your feet wet during summer vacation, not by hitting the beach but by exploring potential career paths with a college summer job.

Sure, the summer is filled with a lot of opportunities to sit back and relax, but it also happens to be one of the best times to build your resume and increase your job prospects post-graduation.

There are a number of student-friendly summer positions to choose from that provide real world experience and give you a leg up on your fellow students and future competition when you hit the job market.

Quickly navigate through Land Your Life’s extensive guide using the below menu, or read through on your own.

Camp Counselor

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $235-$350 per week; Day camp counselors earn more than overnight counselors
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full time at overnight camps and part time at day camps
  • Best For: Education, Healthcare, and Social Sciences Majors

Sign on as a camp counselor and get paid to relive your own carefree days running in the summer sun when you were a child. Nostalgia aside, you’ll get to plan and participate in activities and lead fun-filled events all while acting as a role model to a horde of enthusiastic campers.

Counselors at overnight camps can expect to earn less than their day-camp counterparts, but keep in mind, 24/7 counselors also get room and board in addition to their hourly rate. On average, seasonal camp counselors earn about $300 per week.

Students looking for work in education, healthcare or social services post-graduation will get tons of practical experience in just one summer jam-packed with group activities and one-on-one interactions with school-age children.

Local YMCAs and city-owned parks begin accepting applications for summer camp counselors in the early spring. Most overnight camps welcome applications year round since they have much lengthier hiring and onboarding processes.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $60.00 per bag carried, plus tips
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

Hit the links, or at least traverse them with golf bag in tow, as a seasonal golf course caddy. In the world of golf, caddies play the important role of guide, motivator, and club handler all rolled into one polo-wearing assistant.

Non-pro caddies can expect to earn an average of $60.00 per carried bag, plus tips. Try to find work at high-end country clubs and pricey private courses since, as a general rule of thumb, golfers tip caddies 40 to 50 percent of the cost of the green fee.

Caddies act as on-green advisors and player confidant, so you’ll need a level head and ability to think on your feet. Students looking to enter financial, business or legal fields post-graduation will benefit from the quick decision making and interpersonal skills developed in a summer on the green.

A love of the outdoors is a must as is being able to tell the difference between an iron, wood, and putter. Caddies put in a lot of hard work but are rewarded for their efforts, especially when they help golfers play a particularly good game.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $500 per week on average
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time & Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

Try your hand at concocting cocktails and pulling drafts as a summertime bartender. Restaurants need seasonal employees during busy summer months and to help fill in when their non-seasonal staff goes on vacation.

Making drinks to order, keeping track of patrons and theirs tabs all while maintaining a neat and orderly bar are just some of the things you’ll do on any given night. Bartenders also step in to help out busy servers and keep the peace on rowdier nights.

It takes a certain type of personality to make it as a bartender. Not only do you have to be a people person, you need to have a thick skin when working with the general public at such a high volume night after night.

Bartenders can earn hundreds of dollars in tips on one good, albeit long, shift. If you’re an extrovert and night owl, bartending can help you pass your summer nights while giving you plenty of time off to enjoy your summer days.

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Tour Guide

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $250.00 per week
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: Cultural Studies, History, Visual and Performing Arts

Spend your summer discussing general points of interests and fun facts when you work as a tour guide. Museums and other attractions need all hands on deck in the summer months when schools are out and family vacations are at an all-time high.

Tour guides at museums, aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens and similar attractions earn more than those working at amusement parks. For seasonal guides, hourly rates tend to hover right around the $10.00 mark.

If you are interested in history, art, horticulture, or marine life, you’ll get to share your enthusiasm with others and meet some valuable contacts along the way. No matter your interests or projected career path, one summer as a tour guide will improve your public speaking and leadership skills as you address and direct thousands of guests in the span of three short months.

Stop in at nearby attractions, museums, and landmarks to inquire about any seasonal tour guide positions. A local chamber of commerce will also be able to point you in the right direction.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $9.25 an hour on average
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: Healthcare Majors

Keep a watchful eye on pool patrons or beachgoers and take charge of swim safety as a seasonal lifeguard. Pools opening for the season and beaches lined with vacationers make the summer months an especially busy time for lifeguards.

You will need to complete training before taking your post, which will set you back anywhere from $200 to $500 and take about 30 hours to complete. The Red Cross Lifeguard Training is the industry standard prerequisite for becoming an aquatic professional and, once complete, gets you certified in CPR, first aid, and lifeguarding.

The CPR and first aid certifications needed to become a lifeguard look great on your resume if you plan on entering the healthcare field post-graduation. Lifeguarding also builds your interpersonal skills and demonstrates your ability to exercise sound judgment and remain calm in emergency situations.

Summertime lifeguards earn an average of $9.25 an hour, but can expect to see pay increases if they return to the same post each summer. Beaches, lakes, aquatic facilities, waterparks, and swim centers all ramp up their hiring efforts for the busy summer months.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $9.00 an hour, plus tips
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

Aside from parking vehicles that are entrusted to their care, a valet must keep track of hundreds of cars on any given night. The logistics that goes into parking and retrieving so many vehicles based on a ticketing system is actually pretty impressive.

Base pay for valets hits right at $9.00 an hour on average. Valets also earn tips which, at about $2 to $5 per car, can boost hourly pay by as much as 50 percent.

Valets can find work at high-end restaurants, resorts, casinos, nightclubs, country clubs, and even large shopping malls. Many of these facilities see extra guests and visitors in the summer months, so seasonal workers are needed to help manage the extra activity.

To be a valet you don’t necessarily need to be a car buff, but you will need to be comfortable driving all kinds of vehicles including those with manual transmissions. Most of your shift will be spent outdoors even when inclement weather strikes, so being able to handle the elements all while providing five-star customer service are also a must.

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Theme Park Worker

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $8.00 an hour on average
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time & Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Character & park actor positions are especially beneficial for performance arts majors

Adrenaline junkies, performers, and all around fun-seekers will thoroughly enjoy a summer working one of many jobs available at theme parks. From ticket-taker to ride operator and even on-stage or in-costume actor, there are no shortages of fun and memorable seasonal jobs to be had.

Cedar Point, Disney, Six Flags, and Universal are known for their summer seasonal jobs and paid internships, but small local theme parks need extra help during the busy summer season, too.

The pay rate will vary quite a bit depending on what your role within the park is. Concession workers and clean-up crews can expect to earn less than character actors and ride operators.

On average, theme park employees earn about $8.00 an hour, but keep in mind there are some pretty notable benefits that come with working at a theme park. Besides getting a behind-the-scenes look at how they operate, most theme park employees receive free passes, occasional after-hours ride opportunities, merchandise discounts, and employee-only parties.

A summer job at a theme park is an opportunity to learn from some of the most successful companies in business while also having plenty of time for fun.

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Give Music or Voice Lessons

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $50.00 to $100.00 per lesson
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: Performance Arts, Theatre, Education, Music Majors

Kids are out of school and parents are actively seeking ways to keep them busy during the long summer days. Offering music or voice lessons during the summer is a clever way to share your passion with others while getting paid.

As a seasonal private-lesson instructor, you can charge anywhere from $50.00 to $100.00 for a one-hour lesson. If you can book just a few students each week you can earn a pretty decent part-time income doing something you love.

To find clients, ask friends and family who may be interested in your services or know of someone who is. Posting flyers at rec centers and on church bulletin boards can generate some leads as can advertising in local papers and on social media.

Depending on the instruments you play and your comfort level with teaching, you can offer beginner, intermediate, or advanced lessons tailored to each student. If you are an education, music, or performance arts major, you will gain practical experience while you continue to perfect your own craft when you spend your summer teaching music to others.

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Prep Cook

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $10.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial for culinary students and hospitality majors

Hone your culinary creativity and sharpen your knife skills as a prep cook over the summer. Prep cooks are responsible for setting up line cooks and chefs for a successful lunch or dinner shift by preparing ingredients well in advance.

Chopping vegetables, cleaning meat, weighing out portions, and par baking are typical responsibilities of a prep cook. This is an entry-level kitchen position that is suitable for anyone with an interest in cooking, but may be especially beneficial to aspiring chefs and those interested in pursuing a career in the fast-paced hospitality industry.

Prep cooks can expect to earn about $10.00 an hour and typically work part time during early morning hours before restaurants open their doors for lunch or dinner services.

A summer as a prep cook gives you an insider’s look at how a restaurant operates day in and day out, gives you an opportunity to flex your culinary muscle, and is also an exercise in time management.

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Nanny / Au Pair / Babysitter

  • How Much Can You Earn?: Upwards of $600/week for nannies and au pairs; $9.00 an hour for babysitters
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full time for nannies and au pairs; Part time for babysitters
  • Best For: Human Services, Healthcare, Education, Social Science Majors

You may have dabbled in a little babysitting while in high school and already know what it takes to successfully take charge of little ones. If not, know that it is a great summer job option that is a huge responsibility, but also one that is rewarding and a lot of fun.

Nannies, au pairs, and babysitters look after children and ensure their safety, but their roles in doing that vary quite a bit. Nannies and au pairs take on full-time roles and may live in or out of the household while babysitters step in every so often for a few hours here and there.

Whether you decide to take care of little ones full time or offer your services for short stints, you will gain a lot of hands-on experience teaching and guiding small children. If you are pursuing a career in education, human services, or healthcare this is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate your ability to guide children and also build up a list of references.

The amount you earn will depend on whether you work full time or part time, in-house or live-out. On average, full time nannies earn $600 a week and babysitters can charge a rate of about $9.00 an hour.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $12.00 to $15.00 an hour, plus small tips
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial for hospitality and public relations students

Weddings, reunions, backyard barbecues, and other outdoor get-togethers are all summertime staples.  These coordinated seasonal events need the help of hired hands in the form of caterers to make things go as smoothly as possible.

A caterer will help set up and tear down an event as well as handle food, pass hors d’oeuvres, and top off beverages. To do this well, you need to be personable while acting with a sense of urgency.

Caterers are typically paid a higher hourly wage, somewhere in the neighborhood of $12.00 to $15.00 an hour or so, since their income is not largely based on tips. When a tip is offered, it is meant to be divided up among all staff working an event, so it’s not necessarily something worth counting on.

While this is a great option for just about anyone with enough stamina to make it through a long event, working as a caterer is especially beneficial for individuals considering a career in hospitality or public relations.

Caterers get a crash course of sorts in how to work with the public, learn how to handle the unexpected during an event, and otherwise remain cool, calm, and collected no matter what is going on behind the scenes.

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Retail Merchandiser

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $10.00
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time & Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial for sales, marketing, and advertising majors

With tons of summer promotions being advertised, retail stores constantly change their displays and other in-store advertisements with the season. Retail merchandisers are the ones responsible for making a product’s presence visually appealing while also keeping plenty of items in stock.

Merchandisers typically work as independent contractors and are assigned a chain of stores on a set route that they must visit on a weekly basis.

Greeting card companies, magazine distributors, and big names in the beverage industry often employ retail merchandisers to help them keep products on shelves while also attracting customers to their items with eye-catching displays.

A seasonal merchandiser can expect to earn $10.00 an hour and may even be reimbursed a certain amount for the mileage logged while visiting the stores on their route.

Students thinking about entering marketing and advertising careers post-graduation can gain a real world feel of how the right product placement or in-store advertisement can account for an increase in sales.

Start looking for seasonal positions in the spring from retail merchandising companies and not the retails stores themselves as merchandising is typically contracted out. There isn’t a lot of training involved, but you will likely need to pass a background check which will take some time to complete.

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Campus Ambassador

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $9.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

You may not need to look any further than your own school for a summertime job. During the summer months, high school students hit the road to visit college campuses to see whether or not it’s a place they can see themselves attending for four or more years.

Colleges and universities will turn to those who know the campus best in order to show off its features and highlight points of interest: current students.

As a campus ambassador, you will be a representative of the campus and are often the first impression visitors have of your school. You won’t have a set schedule, but will need to commit to a minimum number of tours each week since

Check with the admissions office at your school for current ambassador openings. Sometimes this can even be considered a Federal Work-Study position that you can carry over into the new school year.

Anyone can benefit from the public speaking skills you’ll hone as a campus tour guide. Plus, working closely with administrative staff at your school quickly builds your list of references.

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Charter Boat Deckhand

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $13.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial for wildlife and fisheries majors

If a summer spent on the water sounds ideal, consider signing on as a charter boat deckhand. Fishing enthusiasts rent chartered boats so they can enjoy the day while a crew takes care of all the details.

As a charter boat deckhand, you will act as on-board customer service representative and make sure guests are having a good time. You will also take care of equipment, make sure the boat is clean, and help guests bait hooks, cast-off, and reel-in catches as needed.

States bordering the Gulf of Mexico have plenty of work available during the busy summer fishing season. Walk down local piers and docks, introduce yourself, and ask around about open positions since most hiring is done by word of mouth referrals.

For this summer job, you will need to know your way around a boat. Being an angler yourself is not only helpful but highly recommended as you will spend most of your days helping others learn how to fish.

Pay rates vary depending on how large of a fishing vessel you work on, but expect to earn somewhere around $13.00 an hour. There may even be opportunities for tips and end-of-the-season bonuses for a job well done.

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Freelance Writer

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $0.01 to $0.05 per word
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial for English & journalism Majors

Take on work as a writer to help build your resume and keep your writing skills sharp during the summer break. Writers with degrees in progress are welcome on a freelance basis for both print and online publications.

English and journalism majors will benefit the most from the practical experience gained working alongside editors and pitching story ideas, but just about any student can enjoy the flexibility of working as freelance writer while also establishing themselves as a soon-to-be expert in their field.

Sending your resume to local newspapers, magazines, and alternative weekly papers can lead to in-house reporting and writing gigs. If you prefer to write on a particular subject, head online and find websites within that niche for an opportunity to voice your opinion in an area you’re passionate about.

Freelance writers are typically paid on a per word or article basis. It is standard, as a student, to encounter writing gigs that pay anywhere from $0.01 to $.05 per word.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $8.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

Check tickets and help guests find their seats as a summertime usher. This customer service oriented position can also play a bit of a security role as you make sure guests get and stay seated where they should be during a concert or game.

As an usher, you can find work at a facility that suits your interests while also introducing you to valuable contacts. Stadiums, arenas, concert halls, and theatres are all options for summertime usher work.

Ushers earn an average of $8.00 an hour. Those working for pro sports teams will usually earn a flat rate per game since there’s no telling how long a sporting event will last, especially if it goes into overtime.

Depending on the venue, a summer job as an usher can be a valuable addition to the resume of students of multiple majors. Working at a music hall or theatre would be best for a performance arts or music major while an arena or stadium may be a better fit for an aspiring sports writer, broadcaster, or agent.

No matter what, this summer job option works on your your interpersonal skills and, as a bonus, gives you an opportunity to take in a few concerts or games at the same time.

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Mailroom Clerk

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $13.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial for Business Majors

Gain exposure to the inner workings of a large corporation when you work for the summer as a mailroom clerk. Companies with hundreds of employees in one building get thousands of pieces of mail on any given day and the assistance of mailroom clerks are needed to sort and distribute every letter, postcard, and package that comes through the doors.

This is a part record-keeping and part distribution role as you will document mail as it comes in the door and where it ultimately gets delivered. You will need a lot of stamina to keep up with the high-volume of work, be organized, and be an effective communicator to ensure mails gets where it needs to go.

With all these responsibilities, mailroom clerks earn an average of $13.00 an hour. Typically, there is enough work to keep clerks busy for full eight-hour days.

Working as a mailroom clerk for the summer gives you plenty of opportunities to interact with many different positions within an organization. After three short months, you’ll have met a lot of contacts and will leave your post with a very good understanding of how companies are structured.

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Event Photographer

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $15.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: Photography/Film/Video Majors

For aspiring pros or even hobbyist shutterbugs, a summer as an event photographer gives you an opportunity to fill your portfolio with actual paying gigs while also attending some fun summer events.

An event photographer may be called upon to capture weddings, corporate events, reunions, parades, trade shows or any occasion that needs to be documented through a lens. This may mean setting up staged shots with a professional eye for detail or simply capturing beautiful candid moments that otherwise would never be seen by others.

Event photographers, with little experience, can earn about $15.00 an hour when completing work on a freelance basis. You may even need to negotiate rates to include the costs of developing film and presenting prints in albums or frames.

Although you are working behind the camera, you will always need to have a focus on customer service when working an event. As an event photographer you need to delight guests, be able to bring out some photo-worthy moments, and direct people as necessary to create picture perfect moments.

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Library Technician

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $13.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time
  • Best For: Library and Information Science Majors

If a summer spent indoors in a quiet setting sounds perfect to you, consider being a library technician. You can help librarians catalogue books, organize materials, and work the checkout counter all while being exposed to tons of your favorite literature.

Some librarian technicians may find themselves working in the children’s section planning story times and events while others take on more of a technical role helping to catalogue thousands of resources and source new material.

On average, a library technician or assistant earns about $13.00 an hour. Since most libraries are not open full days, you can expect to log part-time hours over the summer.

Aspiring librarians will benefit the most working as an assistant, but students within English and writing majors can also learn a lot from their coworkers while meeting valuable contacts. It can even lead to job opportunities for following summers and during winter and spring breaks when libraries see an increase in visitors.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $2.13 an hour, plus tips; $400-$500 a week on average
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time & Full Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial for hospitality majors

Put on an apron and spend your summers meeting tons of new people and helping them have an enjoyable dining experience when you work as a server. Servers are also responsible for maintaining restaurant cleanliness, answering telephones, taking to-go orders, and keeping tables and storage rooms fully stocked.

Being a server is more than taking food and drink orders and running trays to tables. As a server, you work on interpersonal skills as part of a large restaurant team, sharpen your public speaking abilities as you present specials to tables, and become a master of time management as you determine how and when to get things done in order to keep multiple tables and guests happy.

It is industry standard that servers make a low hourly wage, usually $2.13, which is then supplemented with tips. During a good week, servers can make between $400 and $500 working part time hours.

Local restaurants aren’t the only source of server work. You can also stop by country clubs, assisted living facilities, and banquet halls to find work on a seasonal basis.

This is a tried and true summer option for outgoing students who do some of their best work engaging with others in a setting that lets their personality shine.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $10.00 to $15.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial for education majors

The summertime may not be synonymous with schoolwork, but it happens to be one of the most in-demand times for tutors. From school-age kids needing help catching up in a subject to high school students prepping for SATs, PSATs, and ACTs, there’s plenty of tutoring work to go around.

Tutors can work privately in a one-on-one setting or may run classes as part of a large study group. There are even online tutoring services that connect tutors with students from around the world.

Working as a tutor allows education majors to develop their leadership skills while following a lesson plan. This is also a summertime job that helps all majors strengthen their subject matter expertise, no matter what that may be.

Pay rates can vary quite a bit depending on where tutors work and in what kind of setting. In general, college students seeking summertime work as a tutor can expect to earn $10.00 to $15.00 an hour.

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Youth Group Worker

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $7.25 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: Humanities, Theology, Religious Studies Majors

Different than a youth group leader or pastor, a youth group worker serves as guide and role model to young kids all while learning more about their own spiritual paths.

During the summer months, churches ramp up their youth group offerings by hosting day camps, get-togethers, and other events aimed at giving school-age children fun and safe summertime activities. Youth group workers step in to help support youth pastors with spiritual outreach and assist with supervising large groups of kids.

Students studying theology and religious studies will enjoy working a summer job that allows them to share their passion with others while exploring a career in youth ministry. The average pay hovers right around $7.25 an hour.

Local churches and ministries always welcome inquiries from students who are thinking about spending their summer within the church, so be sure to stop by the next time you’re in town to say hello and ask about taking on a supervisory role within the church during the summer.

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Government Aide

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $10.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time & Part Time
  • Best For: Political Science, Legal, & Law Enforcement Majors

You don’t have to spend your summer on Capitol Hill to find a rewarding job as a government aide. While there are certainly plenty of opportunities at our nation’s capital to work within a number of departments and agencies, local government offices welcome summer students, too.

Students thinking of entering the legal field may prefer summer employment within the Justice Department while a future law enforcement officer may choose to work with the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Competition for summer jobs in almost all government offices and agencies is fierce. The lengthy application process typically starts in the fall with strict deadlines that need to be met along the way.

As a seasonal aide, you will get to apply theory learned in school to real world situations, explore potential careers, and make valuable contacts along the way. The pay rate averages $10.00 an hour, but is second to the networking opportunities you will have in one short summer.

Political science majors will gain the most practical experience as a government aide, although students looking to enter social services, law enforcement, and legal fields can also gain valuable insight into the administrative side of their career.

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National Park Services

  • How Much Can You Earn?: Stipend of $1,000 to $6,000
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

A summer spent working within the National Park Services isn’t just for aspiring park rangers. There are hundreds of job opportunities here that are just waiting to be explored.

Botanist, historian, geologist, and biologist are just a few of the positions summer students can try first-hand at one of the more than 400 parks across the United States.

National Park Services jobs can be found by checking a park’s website directly or by visiting USAJobs and searching for available student positions.

Students are typically paid a stipend to cover expenses related to their three-month stint as a National Park Services employee. Depending on the post you take and nature of your responsibilities, you could be paid anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 for the entire summer.

If you’d like to call the great outdoors your office over the summer, the National Park Services is the perfect place to really get your hands dirty.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $9.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time & Full Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

A summer spent in a retail setting doesn’t necessarily mean cashiering for three months straight. Retails stores need employees to stock shelves, tidy up, unload trucks, run in-store cafes, and work customer service desks, to name a few.

Working retail gives you a chance to see how a business is ran from an insider’s perspective. It also gives you an opportunity to work as part of a team, interact with the general public, and learn the ins and outs of merchandising.

If you choose a store that is in any way related to your field, you can even further your own industry knowledge. Home goods, toys, sports and outdoors, clothing, pets, and office supply are just some of the niche retail stores out there that can relate to specific majors.

Seasonal retail workers can expect to earn slightly less than year-round employees. On average, summer staff makes $9.00 an hour, plus the opportunity for merchandise discounts.

Whether you ring up purchases or keep shelves stocked, summer employment in a retail setting is a steady summer job option that works well for any student or field of study.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $12.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time
  • Best For: Botany, Agriculture, Horticulture Majors

Few things scream summer more than the sound of lawn mowers and the site of lush lawns. Summer is the season for tending to all the things that sprouted in the spring and the busiest time of year for landscapers.

If you enjoy the outdoors and have somewhat of a green thumb, a seasonal job as a groundskeeper gives you an opportunity to flex your landscaping muscle while getting plenty of fresh air.

Groundskeepers may work at apartment complexes, business, or parks and work to keep outside areas green and healthy. Landscapers tend to focus on residential areas and help homeowners maintain their yard’s curb appeal.

Mowing grass, trimming hedges and trees, fertilizing, planting, and tending to flowers, plants, and grass are the basic responsibilities of groundskeepers. Keeping all your equipment clean and in working order is also expected.

Aspiring botanists, horticulturists, and arborists are prime candidates for seasonal landscaping work since they can apply what they’ve learned in school to real world situations and discover new techniques along the way.

Groundskeepers earn about $12.00 an hour and may be expected to work long days in order to get all the things done on their to-do list.

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In-Store Demonstrator

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $9.00 to $12.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: Sales & Marketing

Put your sales skills on full display as a summertime in-store demonstrator. During the summer months, in-store demonstrators help retailers boost sales and increase overall customer experience.

A retail demonstrator engages with customers by offering samples and by inviting them to test out products. To be successful, you need a little bit of showmanship and a whole lot of sales skills.

Demo pros get paid an hourly rate, usually between $9.00 and $12.00 an hour. There are opportunities for sales-based incentives and other bonuses, too.

Any student thinking of entering a sales or marketing field will learn a thing or two about brand awareness in one summer of product demoing. But students of all majors will gain valuable customer service and sales skills that look great on any resume.

If you know what it takes to make a good first impression and enjoy interacting with people, combine the two with a summertime job as an in-store demonstrator that allows you to add value to a product and create a buzz about brands.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $9.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: Political Science Majors

Collect information and spread the word of worthy causes as a summertime canvasser. As a canvasser, you might work busy street corners passing out flyers, collect signatures on petitions, or initiate impromptu interviews and document answers.

Canvassers are usually employed by nonprofits, grassroots initiatives, political organizations, and government agencies. They’re a combination of interviewer and salesperson rolled into one.

Tasks range from soliciting donations to persuading people to support a cause. To do this well, you need tons of professionalism and a thick enough skin to push through even after you’ve been turned down.

Students contemplating a career in government or politics will get a chance to see how campaigns and causes are funded at the ground-level as a summertime canvasser for a government agency or political candidate.

The average pay is somewhere around $9.00 an hour with the potential for performance-based bonuses.

If you are a people person and consider yourself to be persuasive, put your skills to good use while promoting a cause you believe in as a canvasser for the summer.

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Fitness Instructor

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $20-$30 for each class taught
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: Nutrition, Sports Medicine, Physical Education Majors

Recreational facilities and fitness centers see an increase in activity in the summer months and need more staff and instructors to help whip members into shape. If you consider yourself a bit of a fitness buff, and love to help others lead healthier lives, consider spending your summer at the gym as a fitness instructor.

As a fitness instructor, you will lead group classes and help keep everyone motivated until the very end. While you won’t be providing one-on-one instruction to gym goers, you will still play an important role in helping others achieve their fitness goals.

Students studying nutrition, physical therapy, sports medicine, and physical education will benefit the most from a summer as a fitness instructor, but any student that loves breaking a sweat can learn a lot about leadership while coaching others at the gym.

Fitness instructors are usually paid a rate for each class that they teach. This rate can range from $10 to $50 for each class taught, but most instructors can expect to earn $20-$30 for each group they lead, no matter how many participants there are.

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Construction Worker

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $14.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full time with overtime likely
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial for architects and engineers

The summer season is the busiest time of year for the construction industry. Although most of the seasonal work you’ll find falls under the laborer category, it is still a valuable opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience and build their resumes.

Engineers and architects may gain the most out of a summer construction job, but future developers, lenders, and real estate agents can also learn a thing or two while strengthening their industry knowledge.

A seasonal construction worker can earn about $14.00 an hour while working full time. Since this time of year is so busy for the industry, there are often overtime opportunities which can amount to a pretty impressive paycheck each week.

A lot of construction workers are hired on by word-of-mouth, so be sure to introduce  yourself and ask around to developers, contractors, and subcontractors if they or anyone they know is looking for summer help.

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, a summertime construction job offers plenty of steady work and gives you practical experience.

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Virtual Assistant

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $9.00 to $12.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial for Business Majors

If you are great at getting things done and can tackle a to-do list a mile long without ever breaking a sweat, consider helping others do the same as a virtual assistant.

This isn’t your typical summertime job, but it does come with some notable benefits. For starters, you can work wherever there’s an internet connection and have the flexibility to set your own hours.

Thanks to technology that makes it just as easy to get things done remotely as in person, becoming a virtual assistant is a practical way to gain administrative experience without ever having to step foot in an office.

A quick Google search will return many virtual assistant companies that always welcome applications from interested candidates. Pay rates can range from $9.00 to $12.00 an hour.

Working as a virtual assistant gives you an opportunity to work with busy professionals and entrepreneurs by helping them manage their day-to-day calendar and responsibilities. In doing so, you’ll get a chance to see all that goes into being successful and learn a trick or two to add to your own repertoire.

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Swim Instructor

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $10.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

Spend your days in the pool teaching others basic strokes and overall water safety as a summer swim instructor. This summertime job is ideal for active students who will enjoy teaching others a lifelong skill.

If a summer as a swim instructor sounds perfect, start preparing for the role well in advance. To work as a swim teacher, you will need to take and pass a series of courses and get trained in CPR before you ever hit the water.

Classes and certifications will take about 20 hours to complete and can set you back a couple hundred dollars in total. But having safety and first aid certifications not only helps you land a summertime job, it looks great on your resume, too.

Students wanting to teach post-graduation can learn how to effectively guide students one-on-one and in a group setting as a swim instructor.

Local YMCAs and aquatic centers regularly hire seasonal swim instructors. The pay rate runs about $10.00 an hour for this fun and rewarding summertime job.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $12.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

You don’t need any special training or certifications to work for the summer as a general transcriptionist. With hundreds of online transcription companies, there is plenty of work available in some really interesting fields.

A transcriptionist listens to recorded audio and types out what is being said into an easily-referenced and searchable document.  Audio recordings you listen to can include things like sermons, lectures, interviews, conference calls, depositions, and even police interrogations.

Most transcriptionists work from home and contract with one or more companies, so your best bet to find a steady source of work quickly is to go online.

Typists are typically paid by the audio minute, so typing speed plays a huge factor in how much you can earn. On average, you can expect to earn somewhere around $12.00 an hour to start.

A summer job as a transcriptionist offers a lot of flexibility and the ability to learn something new with each recording you listen to.

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Cruise Line Worker

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $12.00-$15.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial for hospitality majors

Getting paid to travel is a dream job for many, and a summer stint as a cruise line worker is one way to fulfill that dream.

Cruise lines are especially busy in the summer months and welcome the extra hands of seasonal employees to help with all the added guests. You can go out to sea and live onboard a luxury liner or stay local with daily riverboat or short weekend tours.

Cruise ships offer all the amenities of a hotel on the water, so there are all sorts of positions to consider. Housekeeping, servers, entertainers, customer service, and attendant jobs are readily available for seasonal workers.

One summer on a cruise ship will give you plenty of experience working as part of a tight-knit team while getting an opportunity to take in some beautiful sites and scenery.

Pay rates will vary depending on the cruise company you work for and the role you assume, but on average, cruise line workers earn $12.00-$15.00 an hour plus room and board if you stay on the ship.

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Pet Sitter

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $20.00-$30.00 per pet
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial to business majors

If you prefer the companionship of canines and cats, consider taking on work as a pet sitter over the summer. A pet caretaker steps in for owners when they’re at work or out of town in order to give their pet some much needed time outside and provide fresh food and water.

As a pet sitter, you get to run your own show and market your services directly to clients. There are even entire websites dedicated to helping families connect with pet sitters that you can set up a profile on to increase your chances of being found.

A summer as a pet sitter gives you a crash course in business since you will be in charge of advertising and marketing efforts, sales, customer service, and pricing.

Most pet sitters’ fees are charged on a daily per pet rate, so the more pets you’re watching, the more you make. To be competitive, your prices should be $20-$30 a day for each pet.

Not just for aspiring vets or animal workers, a summer as a pet sitter is a chance to try your hand at business while enjoying the company of furry companions.

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Sign Spinning

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $8.00 to $10.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial to performance arts majors

Put your showmanship on full display over the summer as a sign spinner. Sometimes called human billboards, sign spinners are tasked with drawing attention to stores, sales, and other specials.

Sign spinners are a popular and effective way for businesses to promote summer sales or simply remind customers about a service. As a sign spinner, you are expected to put on a bit of a show so that you catch the eye of motorists and pedestrians walking by.

Being outgoing and a natural performer are a must as is being able to manage an entire shift outside in the summer sun.

Sign spinners can expect to earn $8.00 to $10.00 an hour and work part time. You can find work at apartment complexes, restaurant, and retail stores.

Sign spinning can be a fun summertime job for the right students. Those interested in pursuing a career in performance arts will benefit the most from this job that lets you take center stage.

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Watersport Rental

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $8.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

Boat, jet skis, canoe, and kayak rentals soar in the summer months. Students living anywhere near the water can find plenty of seasonal work at these businesses that open their doors in the warmer months.

You’ll spend most of your days outside and will need to be comfortable around the water. Aside from assisting people with their rentals, you will make sure equipment is in good working order and check for any safety hazards.

Students working seasonal jobs at watersport rental facilities will take charge of the day-to-day operations and get plenty of opportunities to practice their customer service skills. You can expect to earn about $8.00 an hour as a seasonal worker and may even get the opportunity to hit the water for free on your days off.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: Possibly unpaid
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

An internship is one tried and true way to gain plenty of work experience relevant to your industry over the course of a summer.

While you can gain plenty of practical experience and get an opportunity to apply what you’ve learned so far in school to everyday situations, an internship doesn’t always pay.

Keep in mind, even an unpaid internship offers the ability to explore a career you are interested in, introduces you to valuable connections along the way, and gives you an industry-specific entry on your resume. So, lack of pay may very well be secondary to the tons of experience gained in one short summer as an intern.

Start inquiring about internship opportunities in the fall as most companies prepare well in advance for summer interns. If you have your heart set on working for a company that doesn’t readily advertise internships, don’t be afraid to ask.

While many companies post summer internship opportunities, many more are receptive to the idea if approached by an interested student who can demonstrate that they’d be a valuable addition to the company for the summer.

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Resort Worker

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $10.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial to hospitality majors

Resorts are different than hotels in that they offer all-inclusive services that allow guests to enjoy their stay without ever having to go offsite.

All these onsite amenities mean plenty of job opportunities for students looking for seasonal summertime work. Guest services, food service, and housekeeping positions are readily available at resorts year round, but even more so during the busy summer months.

Students wanting to explore a career in hospitality post-graduation will gain the most out of a summer stint as a resort worker, but all students will benefit from the customer service skills learned in one summer spent working closely with guests on a daily basis.

Resort workers are paid a wage of about $10.00 an hour and can expect enough work to keep them busy full time.

A summer spent working at a resort gives you an opportunity to see how a large corporation operates behind the scenes all while building up a network of contacts.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: $13.00 an hour
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Full Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

Especially popular in large cities and metropolitan areas, couriers and messengers are responsible for hand-delivering mail and packages with a focus on speed and security.

As a seasonal messenger, you can find work for a delivery company that employs a fleet of couriers or for a large corporation that has a lot of time-sensitive deliveries that need to be made on a daily basis.

Local messengers and deliverers can earn about $13.00 an hour on average when working a full-time schedule. To be successful, you need to be able to work with a sense of urgency while remaining highly organized.

A summer as a courier will demonstrate to future employers that you have what it takes to meet daily deadlines and can responsibly handle sensitive and confidential documents. It also gives you a chance to brush up on your customer service skills as you will spend a good deal of time interacting with others.

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Delivery Driver

  • How Much Can You Earn?: $9.00 an hour, plus tips
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors

Pizza joints and restaurants offer hand delivery options to customers who are willing to pay a little extra for the convenience of not having to leave the house. So, if you enjoy driving and know your surroundings really well, consider working the summer as a delivery driver.

Most delivery drivers earn about $9.00 an hour and may receive a tip for each delivery they make. Today’s delivery drivers average a two-dollar tip at each stop which means, on a busy shift, you can earn as much as $50.00 in tips alone.

Working as a delivery driver is fast-paced and is best suited to students that can remain calm under pressure and can act with a sense of urgency while always keeping customer service as their number one priority.

Keep in mind that drivers use their own cars to make deliveries, so having a vehicle with insurance is a must. But, if you enjoy being on the road and want to sharpen your customer service and time management skills, working as a delivery driver is the perfect summertime job option.

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  • How Much Can You Earn?: Endless opportunities to earn
  • Full or Part Time Work?: Part Time & Full Time
  • Best For: All Students & All Majors; Especially beneficial to business majors

If you can’t decide what you want to do with your time over the summer or all the opportunities available just don’t seem to be a good fit, why not create your own job?

Being an entrepreneur, even for the summer, will give you the chance to develop your business skills and demonstrates to future employers that you have the drive to succeed. It is also opens up endless networking opportunities as you market your services around town and meet plenty of people along the way.

To develop a successful summertime business or service, look around your community for inspiration. You may find that a landscape or lawn care service is needed or that offering your services as a courier, tutor, or sitter is where the most opportunities lie.

There are endless possibilities to finding and developing an in-demand summertime business that lets you take full charge of your earning potential.

Students contemplating a career in business will get a firsthand chance to see how they can turn an idea into a money-making opportunity while learning a lot from their successes and failures. Plus, it’s one of the best entries you can place on your resumes to show future employers that you’ve got the tenacity to take an idea and run with it as far as you can.

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Making the Most of Your Summer Break

Although school may not be in session, it doesn’t mean you can’t carry on learning into the summer. A summer job not only gives you an opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in school to real world situations, it also helps you develop new skills.

From exploring potential career paths to giving your resume a little boost, working for the summer offers a lot of benefits outside of earning a paycheck.

So, before you resign yourself to a summer of leisure or toiling away at just any job, consider all the opportunities available to you. With a little thought and determination, you can land a summer job that lets you enjoy the season while giving you an edge when you hit the post-graduation job market.

2016-06-03T10:31:14-05:00 By |Guides|0 Comments

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