Top 5 Jobs With Highest Earning Potential for College Students

high paying college jobs

College is not an easy undertaking.  But even more difficult than the never-ending papers and brutal exams can be the financial woes.  Not only do many students need to be concerned with paying for the tuition, but also for other expenses such as housing and food while they are in school.  While it is a challenge to make decent money without that degree in hand, it’s also hard to find a job that does not interfere with the time needed to devote to classes and studying.  But students need not lose hope, because it is just a matter of finding the right type of job that gives them decent income, along with the flexibility that allows them to maintain good academic standing.

Below is a list of five jobs that are a great fit for a college student.  These jobs can generate good income while at the same time requiring less hours to be worked than many other jobs:

1.) Waiter/Waitress

Waiting tables has a high earning potential if you are willing to hustle.  Even working at a casual pizza restaurant (as opposed to a high-end Italian restaurant) can bring in up to a few hundred dollars in a matter of hours if it is a busy night.  Not only is the money great, most waiters and waitresses work nights and weekends, freeing up days for classes.  And since tips come as immediate cash, there is no waiting for a paycheck. The key to making the most money waiting tables is to be friendly and have a dialogue with restaurant clientele.  According to the New York Daily News, a Pennsylvania waitress reaped the benefits of this to an extreme when an elderly regular at the restaurant left a lofty tip covering her entire nursing school tuition.

2.) Commissioned Sales Jobs

There are many entry-level sales jobs that will give you the opportunity to not only gain experience in the business world, but also take in hefty sums of money.  Some of these jobs offer a base salary, but the real money usually comes from the commissions earned when a sale is made.  If you have good people skills the earning potential skyrockets.  Some sales jobs require you to go door to door, but if that doesn’t get you so excited, there are many other sales jobs that you can do from an office or your own home over the phone.  The hours are flexible, since you are more likely to reach prospects during non-business hours.

3.) Nanny/Babysitter

If you enjoy the company of children and possess a good amount of patience, nannying or babysitting can be a lucrative path to cover expenses while in school. Some nannying jobs are at night, while others are during the day, so if you look around enough, chances are you will find a job that fits your schedule quite well.  Many parents are willing to pay a relatively high hourly rate to someone they really trust to care for their children.  And since there are times during the job where the children will be sleeping or doing other activities, there’s a possibility of getting some studying done while on the clock.  An article on goes into more detail with average pay rates and benefits for nannies.  Childcare can also be great experience for students with majors such as nursing or education.

4.) Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor

For the athletic student busy with classes and studying, it can be difficult to find time to make money, let alone exercise.  But if you work as a personal trainer or fitness instructor, you are killing two birds with one stone.  You can work independently or for a company, and like the other jobs above you can work around your school schedule since people exercise at all different times of the day.  Hourly rates for training sessions can run pretty high, so you have the opportunity to bring in a respectable sum of money in just a few hours.  Not only will you be having a blast, it’s a great way to burn off steam which will lead to better concentration when you are studying.  If you are looking to go into a field such as exercise science or physical therapy, this path will be even more beneficial.

5.) Surveys/Research Studies

There are all kinds of research studies that give an impressive payout.  Some can be done online or over the phone.  Others require you to report to a facility (often at a university or hospital), but will only require one or a few sessions.  It is important to make sure you use only reputable companies that you trust and that give you a good amount of background information on what you will be doing. Yale School of Medicine has numerous categories for research studies, giving you plenty of options to find what will suit you best.  Many of these research studies can be easy, while at the same time interesting and educational.

There is something out there for everyone.  While you are working towards the future, there’s no need to sacrifice the present moment.  If you look hard enough, you will be able to find a job that you enjoy and that covers the bills, even before you have that degree in hand.

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Jessica Cody

Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.

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