The Top 15 Online Jobs for Students

The Top 15 Online Jobs for Students

Many college students know the struggle of balancing classes, homework, and extracurriculars all too well. While adding a part-time job to the mix may feel overwhelming, it’s a solid way to bring in extra cash and build work experience that you can add to your resume after graduation.

The good news is that part-time jobs are no longer limited to in-store retail or waitressing. There are now plenty of online jobs that allow you to work from home while setting your own schedule and building skills that will transfer to your chosen career path.

Throughout this article, we’ll explore the 15 best online jobs for earning extra money while you pursue anything from a bachelor’s degree to a Ph.D.

Top online jobs for students:

  1. Social media manager
  2. Online tutor
  3. Virtual assistant
  4. Freelance writer
  5. Transcriptionist
  6. Graphic designer
  7. Web designer
  8. Video editor
  9. Proofreader
  10. Photo editor
  11. Translator
  12. Data entry
  13. Photographer
  14. Affiliate marketer
  15. Voiceover artist

1. Social media manager

If your parents ever scolded you for spending too much time on social media platforms in high school, then we’ve got some great news for you! You can turn your knowledge of platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok into a profitable side hustle, even if you’re not an influencer.

In 2023, the number of social media users worldwide hit 4.95 billion and was predicted to hit nearly 6 billion by 2027. That these numbers have caught the attention of businesses in nearly every industry is no surprise.

If you’re majoring in a field such as marketing, graphic design, or communications, then social media management could be the part-time job for you. Social media management can involve creating and posting content on a client’s social media accounts, analyzing engagement, communicating with readers, and more.

While each client has their own unique needs, starting with smaller businesses and building your way up can be a great way to build a solid resume. The average social media manager can earn anywhere from $14 to $35 per hour on Upwork.

2. Online tutor

Remote tutoring can make a great part-time job for instructors of all backgrounds and skill levels. If you happen to be majoring in education, then online tutoring can be a great introduction to working with students from grade school to high school.

But keep in mind that not all tutoring jobs involve working with children. Adult learners also often hire tutors to teach them about anything from finance to website development.

You can also sign up to be an English tutor to ESL learners on sites like Preply and Cambly, even if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree or any previous teaching experience. No matter what you’re an expert in, online tutoring is an excellent way to earn extra money by sharing your knowledge.

Online tutoring offers a flexible pay scale depending on the platform you select to find clients. Sites like Upwork and Preply allow tutors to set their own rates.

3. Virtual assistant

Whether you have skills in marketing, data entry, finance, or customer service, you can put them to work as a virtual assistant. Much like in-office assistants, remote assistants come from a wide range of skill sets and experience levels.

A client might hire an entry-level virtual assistant to handle anything from research and data entry to interacting with customers on Amazon or LinkedIn. Intermediate and expert-level virtual assistants might be hired to help with marketing campaigns, lead generation, analysis, or content writing.

You can also find virtual assistant job posts from clients who are looking for candidates with knowledge of their industry, in anything from real estate to e-commerce. These opportunities can be an excellent way to begin networking with professionals in your chosen industry while also getting in on the ground floor of your chosen career path.

Virtual assistants on Upwork can earn an average of anywhere from $18 to $35 per hour.

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4. Freelance writer

If you’re pursuing a major like English, journalism, or marketing, then you’ll find plenty of opportunities to put your skills to use as a freelance writer. Content writers enjoy a wide range of remote work opportunities, from YouTube and TikTok scripts to articles, sales copy, and posts for bloggers.

Freelance writing jobs also tend to offer a great deal of flexibility. As long as you meet your deadlines, you’re free to complete projects on your own schedule.

You’ll also enjoy networking opportunities with clients in multiple industries and the opportunity to develop a professional resume. Depending on their specialty and experience, freelance writers on Upwork regularly earn between $15 and $40 per hour.

5. Transcriptionist

If you’ve got a knack for typing, then you should consider looking into remote jobs as a transcriptionist. Simply put, transcription involves turning an audio recording into a written document.

Beginners might find transcription work that involves typing out meeting minutes for a business or closed captioning subtitles for a media producer. If you find that you enjoy transcription work, you might even consider getting certified to become a legal or medical transcriptionist.

While these specialized transcription jobs often require certification, they also tend to offer higher pay rates. They can also be an excellent way to gain extra familiarity with a field you hope to go into yourself.

Transcriptionists on Upwork generally earn an average of between $17 to $22 per hour.

6. Graphic designer

If you’re a graphic design major with a strong knowledge of Canva or Adobe Creative Suite tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, then why not get a head start on your career path?

From logos and promotional materials to print work and digital content creation, clients in nearly every industry depend on graphic designers for a wide range of needs.

Taking on remote jobs while you’re still in college is a great way to earn money while enhancing your education with real-world experience. Don’t hesitate to start off with smaller projects you’re confident you can master. This will ensure you’re able to build a solid list of network connections alongside your portfolio.

Depending on experience, graphic designers on Upwork can expect to make an average of $40 to $75 per hour.

7. Web designer

These days, the need for a high-quality website has become a given for nearly any business owner. If you’re skilled in the art of web design, you should have no problem finding freelance jobs that will help you flex your skillset.

Web design is a wide and varied industry packed with professionals who use tools ranging from Adobe Creative Suite to HTML5. Some are web developers who specialize in UI/UX design or coding, while others use their skills to build WordPress pages or responsive websites.

Seeking out various freelance jobs while still in school can be a helpful way to hone in on the specializations you’re drawn to the most. Not to mention that class will get a lot more interesting when you can earn money from the skills you learn on a daily basis!

Depending on experience, web designers on Upwork make an average of $15 to $30 per hour.

8. Video editor

According to a recent report by HubSpot, short-form video is one of the most popular and fastest-growing trends among marketers today. Whether you plan to pursue video editing as a full-time career path or simply know your way around popular editing tools like Adobe After Effects or Premiere Pro, there’s plenty of remote work out there for you.

Clients in multiple industries are searching for video editors who can create anything from digital content to commercials or films. If you’ve got the knowledge and technical skills needed for the job, be sure to check out Upwork’s video editing job posts.

Freelance video editors regularly make anywhere from $15 to $30 per hour on Upwork.

9. Proofreader

From journalism and print to product copy, typos are the stuff of nightmares for professionals in countless industries. That’s why many are always on the hunt for proofreaders who can keep spelling and grammar mistakes from making their way into a final copy.

Whether you’re an English major or just have a keen eye for detail, freelance proofreading can be a great part-time side hustle. As AI-generated content continues to rise in popularity, so does the demand for reliable proofreaders who can point out any errors that affect readability.

Proofreading pros on Upwork can expect to bring in an average of between $18 and $35 per hour.

10. Photo editor

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but for many professionals, a well-edited photo is priceless. Photo editors use their skills to do everything from touching up photos to completely transforming them to suit a client’s needs.

Many also use tools like Photoshop to blend and edit photos for social media, marketing campaigns, or other advertisements. If you’re pursuing a degree in a major like graphic design, fine arts, or photography, then freelance photo editing could be a great part-time job for you.

That said, Upwork is home to clients from a variety of industries who are in search of photo editors of all levels. As long as you’re familiar with the tools needed to get the job done, don’t be afraid to apply for freelance photo editing jobs regardless of your area of study.

You can expect to work flexible hours while earning as much as $10 to $25 per hour.

11. Translator

Whether you’re majoring in language studies or simply happen to speak two or more languages, all you need is an internet connection to turn your skills into a part-time job. Today’s global economy has created a high demand for translators who can reliably translate English into a wide variety of different languages.

Whether you’re fluent in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, or any of dozens of other languages, Upwork is home to plenty of well-paying translation clients. Just make sure you only apply for jobs involving languages you speak fluently, and you’ll enjoy plenty of remote work on your own schedule.

Translators on Upwork generally make an average of between $15 to $30 per hour.

12. Data entry

Data entry jobs involve entering data into a computer or data management system. One example might be retyping a series of scanned JPG documents as Word files that can be edited. Or a client might ask you to collect certain survey responses from multiple forms and record them on an Excel spreadsheet. Many data entry jobs aren’t particularly difficult in terms of specialized skills but do require a great deal of speed and accuracy.

If you’re interested in computers and familiar with basic online tools like Google Docs and Microsoft Suite, be sure to check out the many remote data entry job posts on Upwork. Data entry can be a great way to make extra cash while enjoying a very flexible schedule.

Data entry jobs on Upwork tend to pay an average of between $10 to $20 per hour.

13. Photographer

If you have access to high-quality camera equipment (or can rent it from your school’s photography department), then remote photography may be a great part-time job for you. Some photographers specialize in live local events such as weddings or graduations.

Others get paid to take food photos for restaurant menus or to photograph products for Amazon or Shopify listings. If you have any friends who happen to be studying fields like copywriting, marketing, or graphic design, you might even consider teaming up to start your own online business.

While the pay scale can vary widely depending on the project, photographers on Upwork bring in an average of $25 to $45 per hour.

14. Affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketing involves earning a commission by referring an online audience to various products or services. You’ll often see this tactic used by influencers who post links to products they recommend. Every time one of their followers clicks the link and purchases the product, the influencer gets a cut of the profits.

If you have a large online following, then you may be interested in trying out affiliate marketing for yourself. If not, you might consider finding remote work as an affiliate marketing consultant.

These types of online jobs involve helping businesses or influencers set up their blogs or social media platforms with affiliate links. In some cases, clients will also hire you to create new content or use search engine optimization to help get their links in front of a larger audience.

Affiliate marketers on Upwork charge a wide range of rates depending on expertise and skill set. Beginners tend to make an average of around $25 per hour, while intermediate to expert affiliate marketers often charge anywhere from between $60 to $115 per hour.

15. Voiceover artist

If you’re a theater or communications major, then a part-time job as a voiceover artist may be right up your alley. Clients hire voiceover actors to produce audio tracks for social media videos, commercials, video games, and a wide range of other projects.

While not all clients require you to have your own recording equipment, you may be able to charge higher rates if you do. You’ll want to start out by creating a demo reel that features sample readings so that potential clients can get a feel for your unique voice and talents.

Voiceover artists on Upwork set their own rates, which can vary widely depending on the length and scope of the work as well as the artist’s skills and experience.

Start an online job for a successful career path

Online jobs are often a great fit for college students, as many come with the opportunity to gain real-world skills without having to work around the schedule of a traditional employer. If you’re new to freelancing, check out Upwork’s resources to learn more about a typical day in the life of a freelancer.

We also have plenty of tips available on how to stay productive while working from home. No matter your skills, interests, or abilities, as long as you have a reliable internet connection, you can find an online job that works for you.

Visit Upwork to learn more about the hundreds of different freelance jobs available to college students and remote professionals.

Author Spotlight

The Top 15 Online Jobs for Students
The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

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