7 unusual jobs for college students
It can be tough finding a job that fits into your schedule when you are a full-time college student. Yes, there are on-campus jobs, but many go to students on work-study programs or those within a specific degree field. I guess you could rent out your body and mind to researchers for testing, but the thought of being plugged into electrical cords or taking unknown medication never sat too well with me; being a human guinea pig is not my idea of fun. Thankfully, there are other ways to make a few bucks while you are in college that don’t take up a lot of your time or require you to become a pin cushion. These seven career opportunities may be a little odd, but they offer the flexibility that a busy student can certainly appreciate.
If you have a creative spirit, dance skills or a good sense of humor, you may want to look into the entertainment industry for a good part-time gig. Some possible careers include playing piano at a local bar or hotel, working birthday parties as a clown or magician, and hosting a karaoke or trivia night at a local pub or restaurant. Most of these jobs require only one or two nights a week, which leaves you plenty of time for classes and studying.
2. Secret Shopper
You won’t get rich becoming a secret shopper, but you could score some free meals and even gifts. Most assignments pay around $20 and you have the option of taking as many as you desire. Best of all, you don’t need any experience to become a shopper and most companies will hire students who are 18 or older. Be sure to use a firm that does not require you to pay to participate or promises to send you a large check upfront for your services, as it may be a scam. Secret Shopper and BestMark are good places to start.
3. Professional Sports
Many large cities have professional teams, such as baseball, basketball and football. When these teams are in town for games, the venues need a lot of help behind the scenes. For instance, you may be able to get a job as a mascot or cheerleader, participate as part of the on-field activities crew, work concessions or help in the fan services booth. Since most teams do not play at home every week, you won’t be bogged down with a ton of hours, but you will still earn a decent paycheck for your time.
4. Online Surveys
If you are looking for a job that you can do in your pajamas, this is the one for you. You won’t make a ton of money, but you can earn cash and gift cards for your time. Each survey company is different, so you’ll need to read the fine print to understand their cash out process and how to score points. It’s a perfect part-time gig if you have crazy hours or limited access to transportation.
5. Mobile Car Wash
If you have a vehicle and a little bit of spunk, you may want to consider starting a mobile car wash business. Hit up local business complexes or stake out a spot at a local shopping plaza (ask property management first!) to build up a steady clientele. You could even hold Car Wash Wednesdays on campus, if the administration approves, and charge a small fee to wash cars for other students. The more motivated you are, the bigger your return.
6. Delivery Services
Many students get fast food cravings late at night, especially during finals. This is where having a car can come in handy; offer to make those midnight runs, for a reasonable fee, and deliver food to others on campus. You can also create a grocery staples menu and make weekly runs for those without transportation. Just be sure to create some business cards with your delivery services listed, so everyone will know who to call when their stomach starts to grumble!
7. Personal Services
Do you get compliments all the time about your nails, makeup or hair? Are you good with a needle and thread? Parlay those talents into income. Let others on campus know that you offer manicures and makeup sessions for special occasions, as well as clothing alterations. Turn what you love doing into cold, hard cash!
You don’t have to relegate yourself to fast food and retail jobs just because you are a college student. There really are an abundance of other opportunities; you just have to have a little creativity, some motivation and a desire to make some money. Check the student union and online career sites for job notices, as well as any place you spend considerable time. You never know who may be looking for some help, unless you ask!