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Highest Paying Summer Jobs For College Students

Summer jobs are easy to find, but don't always pay the best. These 9 careers actually pay above minimum wage and can help you save a lot of money this summer!

College students will soon be looking for summer jobs. Most folks are willing to higher students just for a season, but often, those jobs are low paying. If you need to make as much cash as possible, look to these highest paying summer jobs, if you can get them:

1. Computer technology

If you have interest and experience in the world of IT, capitalize on it now! Internet Technology is one of the fastest growing job markets in the world. If you have computer programming or networking skills, you’re in luck.

Many companies will take you on for freelance work. It’s also a great way to build your portfolio and learn the real life skills you will need for a full time position after you graduate. Taking a summer job in the field you plan to go into when you graduate from college helps to build your resume and make contacts in the industry.

The average pay for computer technology work starts well above minimum wage at about $15 per hour. You can also freelance for multiple companies at the same time, make your own hours and keep working through school, depending on your schedule and the needs of the company.

2. Bank teller

The starting wage for a bank teller is above minimum wage. Bank Teller positions usually offer anywhere from $12 to $15 per hour. Working for a bank is a great summer job for college students. The pay is reasonable, the hours are good, and cash handling and customer service are definite resume boosters. Working for a bank says you are trustworthy, and you develop important skills such as money management and customer service experience you can fall back on later in life if necessary.

3. Waiting or bartending

If you are a hard worker and don’t mind a fluid schedule you should consider a summer job in the service industry as a waitperson or bartender. The basic wage for these jobs is low, but tips are usually high.

Because tips will be your primary source of income, target higher-end restaurants and bars. A word to the wise: Declare your tips, and don’t just keep the cash tips in your top drawer. Put your tip money in the bank each week and stick to a budget as it’s easy to overspend if you have a lot of cash.

Being a waiter or a bartender can also be a great secondary source of income. If you work a normal day job in the summer you can pick up a few extra shifts per week at night. A second job greatly increases the amount of money you can earn per week during the summer and makes saving for the school year a lot easier.

4. Child care

A lot of people need child care during the summer months when the kids are not in school. Most parents are willing to pay extra for a responsible college student who has child care experience. The average pay for is anywhere from $12 to $20 an hour, depending on the number of children you care for. Childcare is a great summer job for college students, provided of course that you like spending time with children!

5. Landscaping

If you want to spend your summer outside, landscaping is a lucrative seasonal job. In fact, in northern states, it’s often a job you can only have in a summer.

It’ll consist mostly of mowing lawns, weeding gardens, and trimming hedges. Typically, landscapers make over $12 an hour.

6. Ice cream shops

If you’re looking to make a lot of money easily, work in an ice cream shop. You may only make minimum wage, but you’ll likely make a whole lot in tips—especially if you live in a tourist town.

However, these jobs are hard to come by, since most ice cream shops end up hiring high schoolers.

7. Camp counselor

It may seem a little ridiculous to go back to camp, but counselors make a lot—even over $18 in some places. Plus, you’ll usually get free room and board!

Being a camp counselor does mean wrangling a lot of kids, so if working with children isn’t your thing, you may want to look for something else.

8. Freelance writer

If you’re an English major, Creative Writing major, or just someone who likes to write a lot, being a freelance writer can make you a lot of money, if you know where to look.

You get to work from home (or your local coffee shop), work your own hours, and pick the jobs you want. But, if you’re just starting out, know that it’s a competitive market.

9. Internships

Finally, if you can score a paid internship, that’s amazing! But, there’s a lot to be said for internships even if they’re unpaid.

Internships can help you learn skills in your desired profession, and, most importantly, can help you make contacts with those you might be working with or for in the future.


Summer jobs are easy to find, but don’t always pay the best. These nine ideas are great starting points, but take a look at our list of side hustles for more ideas!

About the author


Emily Cesta

Emily is a writer based out of Portland, Maine who has made contributions to Money Under 30. She is a compulsive traveler who uses those diverse experience to share on topics related to personal finance.

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