- Featured in:
Top Summer Jobs for College Students
We’ve compiled a list of 20 of the best summer jobs college students can find; either as a side-hustle or a career-building block:
1. Accounting intern
If you’re studying accounting or anything related to the business field, it will benefit you to devote a summer of your work to open future doors. Learning and networking opportunities abound in the world of internships. Be sure to emphasize your self-motivation, willingness to work hard and learn from your potential hiring manager.
2. Engineer intern
If you’re studying some form of engineering, be it mechanical, structural, industrial or biomedical, no doubt there’s a summer internship available for your specialization. Getting experience while you’re still in college will give you an advantage when it comes to getting hired after graduation. So, be sure to highlight your attention to detail, passion for the subject and any relevant coursework you may have recently taken.
3. Food server
Life is bustling with outdoor dining and events in the summer, so there’s plenty of opportunity in food service. Being a server can be lucrative, especially at busy places with a lot of volume. Emphasize your ability to multitask, be aware of food allergies and keep a positive attitude with assisting patrons.
4. Golf caddy
Being a golf caddy is the perfect excuse to be outside, catch some sun and get paid –– but it helps if you’re interested in the sport. Caddies can get tipped out well if they prove extra helpful to the people whose gear they carry. It will help you get hired to show your dedication, knowledge of golf equipment and physical stamina.
5. Graphic design intern
If you’re studying for a degree in the arts, it will help you to gain some experience working in graphic design. Graphic designers use computers, photographs and advanced manipulation techniques to create cutting-edge work for clients on demand. To land one of these roles, show that you are humble, eager to learn and open to feedback and criticism.
6. Hotel front desk agent
For many hotels, summer is the busy season, so it’s a great time to find work as a hotel front desk agent. It requires that you have an upbeat personality, are informative and care about people’s experiences. Plus, any previous experience you’ve had interacting with customers or patrons may help you win the job!
7. House painter
For those not afraid of ladders, heights or dirty work, house painting is reliable short-term work. After all, people often work on the exteriors of their homes in the summer. The job requires physical stamina, attention to detail and work ethic –– training, namely in safety, should be provided by an employer.
8. Landscape laborer
Summertime is the prime season when many lawns and gardens need the most care –– it’s a sure source of seasonal employment. For anyone studying landscape architecture, ecological restoration or water conservation, this role is essential for learning the best practices. Be ready for it; this job requires intense physical labor, heavy lifting and a good sense of teamwork.
9. Legal intern
Even if you’re still working on your undergraduate degree, if the law is something you’re interested in studying, be sure to gain experience now! Internships might not pay now, but in the network and job connections they can provide, they’ll pay off later! Legal internships can be competitive, and you’ll have to distinguish yourself as a very dedicated, hardworking and eager-to-please candidate.
Many beaches and outdoor pools only need seasonal summer employment, making it an excellent fit for college students. It’s not all fun in the sun, though –– since you’re protecting people’s lives, your responsibility, swimming ability and safety training are the biggest factors that will help you land a job.
11. Marketing intern
Even if marketing or advertising aren’t your majors, a summer internship in a marketing firm could give a background that would make you attractive to many business roles. To land an internship with a firm, you want to show that you’re eager to please, a quick learner and ready to get tasks done on deadline. It wouldn’t hurt to showcase a portfolio of your marketing work either!
12. Office intern
There are so many large companies and corporations that accept interns for various office-based tasks. These opportunities can give you a much-needed background and experience in administrative functions that will help make you employable oafter graduation. You could gain familiarity using office equipment or industry-specific software programs that would give you an edge to develop a career.
13. Parking lot attendant
Whether it’s at summer sporting events, busy restaurants or festivals, there’s a lot of extra work for parking lot attendants in the summers. That’s why it’s a good fit for seasonal employment for many college students. Being trustworthy and having a valid driver’s license will be your greatest assets to get hired.
14. Pet sitter
Many families take extended vacations during the summer and need someone responsible to watch their pets back home. Being a pet sitter is a great low-key job, especially if you like animals. To land one, you’re going to want to present yourself as trustworthy, caring and attentive. After all, people trust you with their home and cherished animals.
15. Pool cleaner
Working as a pool cleaner is another classic seasonal job because most people close up their pools by labor day when you’ll be back in class. The position will require attention to detail, patience and following directions. The employer should give you training on how to use the treatment chemicals.
16. Ride operator
Summer is prime time for fairs, carnivals and most amusement parks –– so there’s a temporary need for ride operators. Be sure that ensuring everyone’s safety is a serious matter. You will need to have good attention to detail, be cautious, and be a clear communicator to get hired.
17. Summer camp counselor
Camp counselors are responsible for organizing and facilitating the memories that will last campers a lifetime. The role requires maturity and some leadership and public speaking skills. It may help you appeal to a hiring manager if you have your own summer camp experience as an attendee!
18. Swimming instructor
Whether working with adults or children, there is a greater need for swimming instructors when outdoor pools and beaches are open in the summer. As with any education role, being a swimming instructor requires that you are a clear communicator, empathetic and know CPR, just in case. While some jobs may provide first-aid training, it will certainly help you land the gig if you already have it.
19. Uber driver
Being a driver for apps like Uber or Lyft is a great summer gig because it’s so flexible: you can set your own hours, and it’s easy just to cut back on how much you drive when school starts again. The main requirements for getting hired as a driver are having a clean driving record and a newish car in good working condition.
Whether working at the local farmer’s market, pop-up fairs or local sporting events, summer is the most active season for vendors. Many sellers need responsible people to help them sell their products. It can be an easy way to get cash handling and customer service experience, in addition to the fact that it’s the perfect gig for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Best Job Search Sites
First and foremost, here’s a super helpful page for you: best job search sites. On it, we outline some of the top sites for locating solid job leads and the strengths and weaknesses of each one.
Furthermore, if you’re looking for entry-level jobs, one of the internet’s long-standing resources is Craigslist. It’s more or less just an online version of the classified ads.
It’s free for employers to post ads on Craigslist, so many local businesses use it.
Unlike more sites geared more towards professionals, like LinkedIn, it requires the user to sign up for an account and fill out a profile. With Craigslist, you usually send off your resume and cover letter to an email address provided in the post.
Unfortunately, this lack of authentication means that some of the posts you encounter may not be real or valid.
So, use caution on Craigslist. If anything seems too good to be true, or they’re providing strange links or requesting additional personal information or photos, it may well be a scam.