The 9 Best Summer Jobs for College Kids

You may be excited about summertime because you finally get a break from those mind-numbing classes, sadistic professors, and hours of studying, but your parents might see things a little bit differently. To them, this break is the perfect time for you to stop living footloose and fancy-free and actually make a buck or two. They’re not made of money, you know! Whether you want a job so you’ll have something to do, so you can earn a little scratchola, or so your parents will get off your back, these are some of the best jobs out there for college students.

  1. Nanny:

    The summer poses a problem for many working parents: they can’t stay home full-time with their kids, but daycare is expensive and inconvenient. Many of them turn to college kids who they trust to take care of their kids but who don’t charge insane rates. If the children are younger, some nannying jobs may require sticking to a certain schedule, but many just require hanging out and playing with children at their home. And depending on your negotiating skills (and the family), you could end up with a nice chunk of change by the end of the break.

  2. Country club worker:

    Think of all those nice, rich people chumming around at country clubs during the summer. They could be paying you! Country clubs have a wide variety of positions open in the summer, so you’re sure to find something, whether it’s in the kitchen, at a restaurant, or out on the golf course. If you know a lot about the game, being a caddy is a fun way to spend a summer while earning some cash and learning even more. Beverage cart girls enjoy the freedom of being outside, get to wear a comfortable uniform, and typically earn large tips.

  3. Camp counselor:

    One of the best parts of college is getting to hang out with all your friends all the time and have adventures. So why not extend that fun through your summer vacation? College kids who spend their summers as camp counselors often go back year after year because they enjoy the job, kids, and activities so much. You earn money, don’t have to worry about room and board (or living with your parents!), and are surrounded by other fun-loving college kids. Just don’t take this job your last summer of college; you’ll be heart-broken that you can’t come back the next year!

  4. Waiter:

    Waiting tables isn’t a job full of recognition, glory, or even great pay, but there are so many jobs available, it’s a good place to start when looking for summer work. If you do a good job, you could even pick up shifts during other school breaks if you want some extra money. Waiters and waitresses deal with crabby customers and sometimes get stiffed on the tips, but they also learn valuable people and problem-solving skills that will help them later in life. And believe it or not, most of them look back on their time waiting tables fondly, saying they learned a lot and believe everyone should have to work in food service at least once in their lives.

  5. Housekeeper:

    People may not think of housekeeping as a glamorous job, but it can be great for a summer and even for a resume. If you’re interested in a career in hospitality, being a housekeeper in a hotel is a great place to start. It’s a smart first step for those who want to work their way up into hotel management and shows initiative and interest in the field. And if you’re business-savvy, why not start your own housekeeping service for the summer? Many people will pay well for a clean-up once or twice a week, and if you get a few clients in your schedule, your time spent cleaning will definitely be worth it.

  6. Sales associate:

    Whether you just work in a retail store you love or you find a sales position where you can work on commission, this is a job full of opportunities. Do it well, and you could land a full-time position after college or have a serious resume booster. If you’re a people person and can motivate yourself, you could make some serious money in a sales job this summer — and don’t forget the discounts you’ll get at the store.

  7. Resort employee:

    Somewhere between country club jobs and camp jobs is the role of the resort employee. You can get away to a beautiful destination without having to pay the resort price, and get customer service experience at the same time. Jobs can range from kitchen staff to childcare to outdoor guides depending on the location, so you’re sure to find something that suits your interests. Just don’t expect it to be like Dirty Dancing; that kind of thing really only happens to Patrick Swayze.

  8. Farm worker:

    Summer is the busy season for the agriculture industry, and local farms are going to need all hands on deck. Perfect for people who love organic, locally grown food, these jobs give you the opportunity to see where your food comes from and give fresh produce to the community. Farmers don’t always have the resources to pay well, but most workers have the chance to take home some of what they help grow and receive room and board. It’s the perfect chance to get back to nature and take a break from studying.

  9. Intern:

    OK, this isn’t a traditional “job,” but it can’t be emphasized enough how much an internship can help you when you graduate. You could be lucky and find an internship in your field that pays, but even one that gives you college credit or just something awesome to put on your resume is totally worth the time. If you can get away with not earning money during the summer, this experience will pay off for you when you start to hunt for a job. You’ll make contacts, use the things you’ve learned in class, and find out whether you’re following the right career path for you.

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