10 Best Summer Jobs For College Students In 2022

Article Summary:

Summer jobs are a great way for college students to earn extra money while learning skills that they will need when entering the workforce. First, students must decide if they can handle a part-time, full-time, or on-demand job. Then they must weigh the pay they want to earn versus the experience they want to gain. Ideal jobs range from a career-focused accounting or banking position to more income-focused jobs like a barista, Uber driver, or dog walker.

Between studying, going to class, partying, and various other activities, college students may also want to squeeze in a summer job. Working while you are in college and enjoying summer vacation is an ideal way to continue your studies while attending the “University of Real Life.”

Firstly, summer jobs help you earn money, either to help fund your college tuition or help pay for your general spending (rent, car payment, late-night pizza). Secondly, if you want experience in a field that coincides with your degree, then this can be an important next step before you graduate. Not only do you get to learn more about how your field of study is applied in the real world, but you could also make valuable connections that will allow you to transition more easily into your future career.

Best summer jobs for college students

There is an incredible variety of jobs available for college students. Here we break down 10 of the best jobs, noting work commitment times and related degrees.

Intern for Big Four accounting firms

Type of job: full-time job/paid internship

Related degrees: finance, economics, and accounting

For those unfamiliar with the term “Big Four,” it refers to the top accounting firms globally: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and KPMG. They handle the most important transactions in economics, finance, and trade around the globe. All four accounting firms offer between $20-$30 for paid interns. Luckily, the summer months are not the busy season for accounting firms. If you didn’t know how to use Excel before, trust us, you will be able to use it better than ever after one of these internships.

Bank sales associate

Type of job: full-time job/paid internship

Related degrees: finance, economics, sociology, and accounting

There are both internships and summer jobs available at retail banks, such as Wells Fargo and Chase. Working for a retail bank will allow you to learn about the administrative processes of the bank as well as sharpen your customer service skills. Those studying subjects like sociology and psychology can start to understand how humans interact with each other. Sales associate jobs at retail banks are also the perfect summer jobs for those that want to understand how corporate and retail sales work in the banking industry.

Lifeguard

Type of job: full-time or part-time job

Related degrees: medical

You don’t need a degree to be a lifeguard, but you do need to know how to swim. A summer lifeguard job is a great way to earn some money, either full time or part time, while soaking up all the Vitamin D the sun has to offer. According to Indeed.com, the average pay for a lifeguard in the United States is around $14 an hour, and most pools will hire college students.

Camp counselor

Type of job: full-time or part-time job

Related degrees: teaching, sociology, child psychology

Everyone loves summer camp, particularly the parents who get to ship their kids off for a few weeks. A camp counselor is a great job for those who like to interact with kids and do outdoor activities. Furthermore, if you are considering teaching or child psychology, a counseling job is a great way to gain some insight into how children operate and the best ways for them to receive instruction.

Health care assistant

Type of job: full-time job/paid internship

Related degrees: biology, chemistry, various health care-related sciences

The role of a health care assistant can be valuable for anyone looking to utilize a degree in the health care field. There are many types of assistant roles, which may be relevant to your degree. Johnson & Johnson offers a summer internship with their health care research and development program. This could be beneficial in understanding how pharmaceutical companies interact with health care providers. Kettering Health in Ohio, for example, offers a nursing assistant job that is great for people who want to put their degrees in biology or chemistry to work in real life.

Mover (house and furniture)

Type of job: full-time job

Related degrees: interior design, real estate

If earning as much money as possible is your primary concern when looking for a summer job, look no further than being a mover. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a mover is around $18 an hour. However, if you are involved in international moves, moving furniture into shipping containers to be sent overseas, the job can get more lucrative. Although you need to work long hours and put stress on your back, it might be worth the pain for one summer.

Auto repair technician

Type of job: full-time job

Related degrees: physics, engineering, various sciences

People always need their cars repaired, right? Working in auto repair will allow you to get experience working with the nitty gritty of cars and learning how they operate. This can be particularly beneficial for those with physics or other science majors. For example, if you are studying to be an industrial engineer, having experience putting cars together and understanding the physics of how they work can be a huge plus.

Uber or Lyft driver

Type of job: on-demand job

Related degrees: psychology

With the rise of the gig economy, on-demand work is incredibly prevalent. There is no more classic gig job than driving for a service like Uber or Lyft. Driving an Uber is an easy way to earn some cash if you have a qualifying vehicle. For those pursuing a degree in psychology, there is no better way to understand the current state of the human condition than chatting up random people in your Uber.

Waiter/waitress or barista

Type of job: full-time or part-time job

Related degrees: sociology, psychology, business

Working in the service industry can give you more appreciation for the difficult role that servers and baristas have to play. Although you might get paid minimum wage or below on an hourly basis, the tips can more than make up for it. For those studying human interactions and an understanding of how people think, being a waiter/waitress or barista can be a great learning experience. For those looking at how small businesses work, a job at a local restaurant can be more valuable than your actual business degree.

Dog walker

Type of job: part-time or on-demand job

Related degrees: exercise science, veterinary

Taking dogs, or many dogs, for a walk at the same time can be an interesting experience. How do you manage that cocker spaniel who keeps growling at the German shepherd to his left? People who love animals might want to consider a summer gig as a dog walker. You can interact with plenty of dogs and get lots of exercise while you earn some money on the side.

Why get a summer job?

Here are some of the reasons you should consider putting on a uniform and working over the summer.

Earning money

The price for college is borderline extortionist these days at upwards of $100,000 for a four-year degree at an out-of-state public college. According to recent data gathered by U.S. News & World Report:

“The average cost of tuition and fees to attend a ranked public college in state is about 73% less than the average sticker price at a private college, at $10,388 for the 2021-2022 year compared with $38,185, respectively. The average cost for out-of-state students at public colleges comes to $22,698 for the same year.”

There are many ways to help pay for college, such as a 529 plan or taking out student loans. However, earning money during the summer can help you pay for your tuition and expenses while avoiding taking on more debt. If you need spending money for the upcoming year, you can work hard during the summers and save a good amount.

Experience

Summer jobs help you gain experience in two ways. First, if you have no work experience in your field of study, a summer job is a perfect way to find out how your degree is applied in the real world. Let’s say that you study economics. Although you understand everything in class, you aren’t sure exactly how that knowledge applies outside of your university. Getting an internship or an entry-level part-time job at a fund or a bank can be a great way to learn.

Second, college students need to realize that life might get more difficult after they graduate. Dealing with unreasonable bosses, long hours, and complaining customers are real-world experiences that you won’t learn about in a college class.

Pro Tip

If you are currently in college and having second thoughts about your degree, getting a difficult job involving manual labor might be a smart option. Not only can you learn skills like moving furniture or chopping wood but you might realize that sitting behind a desk is a better fit for you.

What to consider when looking for a summer job

Before you submit your applications, make sure you look at the details of your potential summer job.

Pay

You need to consider how much you want or need to earn with a summer job. Are you trying to earn a few bucks for beer money or do you need several thousand dollars to pay your tuition or buy a car? If earning potential is your primary reason for getting a job, then you might opt to pass on an unpaid or low-paying internship in favor of a higher-paying job that’s unrelated to your chosen field. Of course, internships may pay just as well, depending on the field.

Work schedule

What type of work schedule are you looking for? If you can comfortably work full time, then go for it. If you are taking courses during the summer or don’t want to spend all of your precious time off working, then you might want to consider a part-time job.

Experience

One of the great benefits of going to college and working is that you can gain valuable experience related to your degree. If experience is the No. 1 reason for you taking a summer job, then you might let money take a backseat. Instead, you can get a jumpstart on the kind of work you’ll be doing once you graduate and get a job in that industry.

Network

Sometimes people are able to snag the best jobs based solely on who they know. Expanding your professional network by taking a summer job is a great way to accomplish this. If the job is related to your degree, then your colleagues and bosses will know other people in the industry that might be hiring once you graduate. Even if your summer job is not related to your degree at all, you can still meet people that could further your career in the future. You never know what might come of who you meet, and thus, building your professional network in any capacity is crucial to getting ahead.

Find a job

Ready to start your summer job search? Peruse our reviews of side jobs that can help you earn some extra money.

FAQ

What is the best summer job for a college student?

It really depends on what the college student wants. If they just want to earn money, they could become a mover, driver, server, or dog walker. If they are looking for career-related experience, it might be best to opt for a paid internship with a bank or accounting firm.

How can a college student make a lot of money in the summer?

They can choose a job that pays a high hourly rate or work a lot of hours at an on-demand job. They might not get any experience, however, if money is the priority.

What is the highest-paying summer job?

Jobs like moving furniture or driving an Uber can earn you a significant amount of money, depending on how much you work. Other jobs, such as a server job in a busy vacation town or a full-time nannying gig, could pay more than a typical minimum-wage job.

How much money should a college student make in a summer?

They should make enough to reflect their goals. If their goal was to knock $5,000 off their student debt, they should try to facilitate that. If their goal is experience, they shouldn’t focus on the money at all.

Key takeaways

  • Summer jobs are a great way for college students to earn money for tuition or fun while gaining experience in their chosen field.
  • When considering a summer job, a college student must first define whether the primary purpose of the job is to earn money or gain career experience.
  • Next, college students will need to look at what their commitment level is, and what type of job they would like to have (full time, part time, or on demand).
  • Some of the best summer jobs for college students include: accounting intern, bank sales associate, lifeguard, camp counselor, health care assistant, mover, auto repair technician, driver, waiter/waitress or barista, and dog walker.
View Article Sources
  1. See the Average College Tuition in 2021-2022 – U.S. News & World Report
  2. How Much Do Big 4 Accounting Interns Make? – Zippia
  3. Retail Banking Summer Intern Program – ONET
  4. Health Care Assistant Jobs – ZipRecruiter
  5. Mover Salaries – Indeed
  6. 14 Cool Job Ideas for Kids of All Ages – SuperMoney