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Best Online Jobs for College Students

College is a busy time. With classes, studying, and socializing, it’s hard to juggle having a part-time job in between. And with today’s economy, living expenses seem to be costlier and costlier every month. So, how can one lighten their workload but still afford to spend on their whims and necessities? Online jobs, of course. Just ask other college students with online jobs.

The beauty in having an online job is that it doesn’t require much of your time, unlike when having a physical job. Wherein traditional jobs require you to be in its physical location, online jobs can be done in any place most accessible to you. All you need is an internet connection and a laptop to work on. 

Furthermore, online jobs tend to be time-flexible. This means you are in charge of your own time, giving you the ability to work around your schedule. Also, you don’t have to stress about traffic or wasted time when commuting. 

Online jobs could not only help you offset the living costs as a college student, but having one before graduating can even help with your career once you’re looking for a steady full-time job.

What to Look Out for When Online Job Hunting

The online world can be a sketchy place. There are a lot of scams posing as a legitimate job listing. That said, you shouldn’t sacrifice security just to find a flexible job. Thoroughly vet the employer before sending out anything, and make sure that the job listing is the perfect match for you, as well. 

Jobs vs. Gigs

Although it seems like they’re the same, online gigs are quite different from online jobs. The latter often requires consistent work hours, and they pay per hour. They also subscribe to payroll taxes and come with certain benefits. 

Online gigs, on the other hand, are more flexible. It entails a contract indicating the agreement between you and your client. In this arrangement, you are considered a contractor, therefore you are responsible for your own taxes.

Check for their Work Hour Requirements

Before responding to a job listing, first check out the work hours the employer requires of the applicant. You could also message them if working hours are flexible or if you could set your hours depending on your schedule. 

Look for Reviews from Previous Employees

If you’re looking at listings on third-party job sites, such as Upwork or Fiverr, you could look up reviews from the employer’s previous employees. This would tell you its legitimacy and whether or not they are a good fit for you.

If there are no reviews available, you could research about the company or message them to ask for references. What’s important is to be sure of the company’s legitimacy.

Application Fee is a Red Flag

If the company is asking you to send money, it’s most definitely a scam and you should probably block or stop communications with them. This goes the same with employers telling you there is a process for getting hired, wherein you would need to either buy an equipment or pay for training. 

Also, if they’re requiring you to send any personal information, such as bank accounts, birth certificate, and the likes, it raises a red flag. 

Refrain from the “Quick Money” Job Listings

Ads like “Get money quick” are too good to be true, and are most likely a scam. Job listings that guarantee unreasonably high compensation and instant financial success prey on the gullible and desperate. No matter how promising the job listing may be, it is not worth it to risk your safety.

Tips for Applying for an Online Job

Applying for online jobs as college students isn’t as easy as one may think. Just like traditional jobs, it has a process wherein someone would check your credentials and review whether or not you’re the perfect fit for their company. 

Here are some tips to help you land that online job.

Your Portfolio is Your Ticket

Just like you are cautious of whether or not the job posting is legitimate, employers are also wary of the legitimacy of the person they’re hiring. They would want to know if the candidate is as good as they say on their profile, and if they could deliver. So, aside from your online resume, your portfolio is just as important—if not more.

Track your Applications 

When applying online, make sure that you’ve been tracking your applications. Often, companies post their listings on multiple job sites, so make sure that you have the name of the company or the employer when applying to avoid duplication.

Have a Stable Connection

More than anything, having a stable internet connection and a working computer is requisite to having an online job. Make sure that you have access to high-speed internet wherever you’re working, as well as a computer or laptop device that won’t quit on you to ensure quality work. 

Communication is Key

With you working remotely, it’s important to stay in constant contact with your employer. Make sure you report to your superiors at least once a week, and update them with you work progress. If there are any misunderstandings or miscommunications, ensure quick settlement over this. 

Polish Your Online Profile

As an online freelancer or employee, your reputation is as good as your online profile, especially if you’re looking for jobs on third-party job sites. So, it’s important to take time to refine your online profile. This includes having good feedback from previous clients or employers, so make sure to have a good standing with them throughout your stint. 

Online Jobs for College Students 

Now that you know more about the intricacies of looking for online jobs, here are some of the best online jobs for college students.

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is probably one of the most flexible online jobs you could get as a college student, and it pays really well. It is often the bread and butter of most college students, and a lot of writers from known publications have started from being a freelance writer.

Most companies or employers assign their writers what to write about. Other times, the writer could pitch in on stories or topics to be approved by their editors. This depends on your arrangement with your employer.

How to Get Started

Writing takes a creative mind and a flair for grammar. These are all you need to get started on being a freelance writer if you don’t have a portfolio to show for. 

Having a blog or a website to showcase your written works is valuable if you want to easily get gigs as a freelance writer. It gives future clients a peek at your experience and mastery in writing, and shows your professionalism. More often than not, employers prefer applicants who have a portfolio to show for.

Estimated Pay

If you’re just starting out, you could charge $50 per 1,500 words. As you gain more experience, you could charge $150 and more for the same word length. 

Freelance Editing and Proofreading

If you have a flair for grammar and have high attention to detail, then freelance editing and proofreading may be the right online job for you. These are two different jobs, wherein the latter entails looking for grammatical, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. Meanwhile, editing is more on restructuring and giving inputs on the written work. You could offer both these services and, in turn, price them at a reasonable rate. 

This type of job is very broad; you could do editing and proofreading, from articles to books. Depending on your schedule and capability, you could either pick a focus or you could do both.

How to Get Started

The easiest way to build up your portfolio is by editing your friends’ written works. If you’re joined in the school magazine or paper, then you could put this in your portfolio, as well. Make it is linked with your profile so, when you apply, employers could see your previous work.

Estimated Pay

Book editing could be priced at $300 to $500 per project, if you’re an inexperienced editor. Meanwhile, article editing and proofreading could be priced from $10 to $50 per hour.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistance is similar to the workload of an in-office assistant. Although the tasks would vary depending on the employer, you would most often be assigned administrative tasks that entail the knowledge of working on spreadsheets and word documents. Reading and responding to emails, and creating a weekly schedule are also in line with the tasks of a Virtual Assistant.

How to Get Started

There are a lot of job listings on Upwork and Fiverr, and you could also join a VA agency like Zirtual. All you need is to polish your online profile for future employers to look at. Basic organization and communication skills are important in this line of work.

Estimated Pay

For beginners without prior experience in virtual assisting, you could charge $10 per hour, then increase your rate as you gather skills and experience. Applicants with specialized skills, such as marketing or copywriting, can charge higher even as a beginner.

Graphic Design

There is a demand for online graphic designers, especially from small businesses. If you’re an art student, being a freelance graphic designer can help in building your art portfolio. Projects you take may vary—from making logos to creating blog arts. 

This online job is very flexible, as you could set your own deadlines. You could also think of it as being paid to enhance your skills! 

How to Get Started

You need to have creativity, an eye for art, and an Illustrator software to fit the job. If you haven’t worked or collaborated with others before, you could show a portfolio of your personal projects. Once you’ve set up your online portfolio, you could search for gigs on Upwork or you could look through social media. 

Estimated Pay

You could choose whether you want to charge by the hour or by the project. Average hourly rate, according to Payscale, is $30. Meanwhile, you could charge for as low as $150 for a whole project. 

Web Development

Just like there is demand in graphic designers, web developers are also sought after. If you have knowledge and mastery in building a website–even just developing a good one out of WordPress–then you could charge for your services at a reasonable amount. 

And, if you acquire a more advanced mastery and skillset in web development, or if you’re an IT student focusing on this field, then it’s all the more reason to apply for this kind of online job and set a higher rate. 

How to Get Started

Having a website you’ve created for a project would be a great enough portfolio to showcase future clients. While you don’t need to be studying computer science, you do need to have the skillset needed to be a web developer, and there are a lot of online courses you could take to learn basic web development.

If you’re just starting out, it would be better to take in smaller projects online before venturing to high-bidding job listings.

Estimated Pay

According to Glassdoor, the average rate for a web developer is $36 per hour. However, depending on your skillset, you could charge from $25 to $75 per hour. If you’re confident and skilled enough, however, you could charge for as low as $1,000 for the whole project.

Audio Transcription

Audio transcription is a pretty flexible way to earn money. All you need is a pair of good ears that could transcribe with 98 percent accuracy and an above average word-per-minute (WPM) rate. 

Transcriptionists are often sought after in the medical and legal fields to collate audio dictations and turn them into written words. This kind of job is suitable for any college student, but this is most especially recommended for those in the medical or legal studies. 

How to Get Started

You could sign up at Rev, and search for job listings in need of audio transcriptionists. Usually, you would have to pass through an assessment test to figure out your WPM and hearing accuracy. 

Estimated Pay

Charging for this varies. Some sites and employers would pay by the audio minute, while some can charge by the audio hour. Usually, the rate is $15 to $25 per audio hour

Video Captioning

Just as what is done when transcribing audios, video captioners turn audios of a video–including any other sounds–into written words. They would also need to time the captions with the video, so the work it entails is more detailed.

How to Get Started

You could look up job listings on Rev or Upwork. Just like when applying for audio transcription, there would be a captioning assessment before you could be hired. 

Estimated Pay

Rev usually pays $1 per video minute. So, if you’ve captioned five hours of video in a week, you could get about $300!

Virtual Teaching

If you’re good at teaching or tutoring, or if you excel at a certain school subject, you could try out virtual teaching. There are a lot of platforms wherein you could apply as a teacher or tutor. If you’re skilled in languages, there is also a demand for language teachers. Although it requires a consistent schedule, it won’t take up much of your time, and you’re still the one to set the schedule.

How to Get Started

There are sites you could sign up at, such as iTalki and VIPKid, which hire online teachers and tutors. All you need are credentials, and you’re good to go.

Estimated Pay

The pay varies on the subject or language you’re teaching. Usually, online teachers earn from $10 to $25 per hour.

Data Entry

Data entry jobs are probably the easiest online work you could look for. It requires neither special skills nor experience. The task entails for you to basically transfer data from one source to another. 

How to Get Started

There are a lot of job listings that look for remote data entry personnel. All you need is to be fluent in English and have knowledge on how spreadsheets work. Being detail-oriented is also an advantage.

Estimated Pay

Data entry workers usually earn $9 to $17 per hour.

Resume Writing

There are a lot of people who need help when it comes to their resumes. Most of them are either fresh out of college or changing new careers, and are in need of help in making themselves appealing to recruiters. 

How to Get Started

Before trying out online, you could perhaps build a portfolio and help out some friends or fellow college students who are either looking for an internship or are about to graduate. When you have at least two resumes to showcase to future online clients, you could look at listings at job sites.

Estimated Pay

You could charge either by the hour or by the project. Per hour rate is $10 to $25, or you could charge a fixed price of $50 to $75 per resume.

Search Engine Evaluation

Search engine evaluation is basically checking if the search engine results are accurate. If not, the evaluator would then give feedback regarding the result.

How to Get Started

You could find search engine evaluation jobs through sites like Google, Appen, and Lionbridge.

Estimated Pay

Search engine evaluators are paid around $12 to $15 per hour, and requires around 10 to 30 working hours.

Online Selling

If you find yourself acquiring an excessive amount of items, perhaps you could sell online. May they be clothes, books, or furniture, there is a big market for secondhand or thrifted items.  

How to Get Started

All you need are sellable items you don’t need or want anymore. You could set up shop on Instagram, and invite your followers and friends. There are also online selling sites you could sign up in, like Ebay, Etsy, and Poshmark, just to name a few.

Estimated Pay

How much you would earn depends on you. Make sure the items you would sell are reasonably priced, so it would be fair for both you and the buyer. 

Social Media Management

With social media being the main source of marketing platform, a lot of small businesses and brands look for Social Media Managers to boost their online presence. This job entails for you to be a social media aficionado, and have the creative eye when it comes to curating posts. Social Media Managers are responsible for connecting and building relationships with the brand’s market, as well as potential ambassadors. 

How to Get Started

You could either do it old school, and approach your favorite small business establishment—may it be a local coffee shop, a yoga studio, or gallery. Alternatively, you could sign up at job sites, and look for listings looking for a social media manager.

Estimated Pay

The standard compensation for this is around $20 to $25 per hour. However, if you have enough experience and have garnered a huge amount of following, you could price higher, up to $40 per hour.


You don’t have to wait for graduation to earn money. What’s more is that you don’t have to go through the hassles of commuting to go to work, and think about the wasted time. With the availability of online jobs, college students could work in the comfort of their own apartments or dorms at their own schedule. Now, you could have the time to hustle amidst the magnanimity of college life. 

And, while it’s still early, getting a part-time online job while still in college is beneficial for you. Not only would you profit from your side hustles as early as now, but you would also gain more experience that could be valuable for your future career.

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