Best Paying Hourly Jobs for College Students

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Whether you are getting a head start on your student loan repayments or you just need a regular paycheck to pad your budget, finding a job while in school is necessary for some. However, it isn’t as easy as it looks; college students may have unstable hourly demands. But with a good résumé in hand and a positive attitude, landing one of these best paying hourly jobs can be big for both your wallet and your work experience.

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1.   Daycare Assistant

For many states, there are restrictions on who can work in a licensed daycare. Luckily, for those studying to be teachers or those who have credit hours in early childhood development, your college experience and coursework allows you to work in most daycare centers. Daycares are in high demand during the summer months, making it a perfect time to boost your teaching résumé and find a high paying temporary job in a field you enjoy.

2.   Camp Counselor

Just like a daycare assistant, camp counselors with children experience are in high demand. Most of these positions open up in early to mid-Spring so be on the lookout for opportunities, even if they require travel. The camp counselor position will pay you handsomely in addition to covering your room, board, and possibly even your excursion costs. Not bad for a summer’s worth of work!

3.   Freelancer

A freelancer is not exactly an hourly job in terms of a solid, weekly paycheck. But for those with the passion and drive to be their own boss, a freelance gig can pay off big. The trick is deciding what skill you have that sells. It may be in writing, designing, or even freelance translating. Many small businesses love hiring college students to tackle their bigger projects such as marketing a new product or updating websites.

4.   IT Specialist/Consultant

Small businesses are also perfect places to build your on-the-job experience. For those studying computer science, data analysis, informational technology, etc., there are plenty of high paying, low stress opportunities with businesses and companies needing an extra boost in the IT department. Paid internships in this field are even easier to come by and can pay off huge in getting credit for a good day’s paycheck.

5.   Restaurant Server

There is a reason why so many college students like to work in restaurants. It’s a flexible job with hours that can work around a hectic class schedule. But more importantly, most servers work on tips which can mean a larger, immediate take home pay off — perfect for cash strapped students or those saving up for vacations or a tuition payment.

6.   Testing Tutor

You may remember the pain and anxiety you suffered when taking your SAT or ACT exams. However, you survived to tell your tale and can now put your first hand knowledge to work as a testing tutor for high school students. Parents and testing companies pay out huge to college students who prove their merit by either attending Ivy League quality schools or those who have scored high on their exams. Tutoring in specific subject areas is also a great way to make a bit of money.

What hourly jobs did you take while in college? Was it worth the payoff and the experience? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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5 Ways to Make Money Freelance Writing

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Writing can seem like a hassle to some, but others who have the talent and the energy to put pen to paper (or type on the screen) can actually make a decent amount of money from their efforts. Freelance writing, or writing without having a job contract, is becoming more and more popular among college students, especially during summer vacations. Ready to get your thoughts down on paper? Stay productive and make some cash at the same time! Here are five ways to find freelance writing opportunities.

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1.   Build an Online Portfolio

Getting discovered is the number one frustration for freelance writers. There are just so many hopefuls out there that making yourself known over the scene can take time and energy. Stay on top of the pack by creating a free online portfolio that highlights your past and present work. This portfolio could include your research papers (check your university’s policies on papers first), samples of fiction writing, or examples of your experience writing for marketing or business purposes.

When you apply, use the online portfolio as an added resume. It will give prospective clients something to consider outside of a list of your past published pieces. Having an online presence will also keep your name out there on search engines, which gives you credibility and can help you be found rather than be on the hunt.

2.   Offer Your Services Locally

The summer time is a great time to pick up local writing work. Businesses like smaller newspapers or mom and pop shops are always on the hunt for eager writers who can take on small pieces at the last minute. Your freelance writing tasks may include covering a regional baseball game for little leagues or editing social media pages for boutique.

While it may not be top-tier journalism, this will get your name out there, and build a portfolio up enough to where you can take on more challenging pieces. It will also assist you in getting credible recommendations for your resume.

3.   Take Advantage of Freelance Sites

Living in a larger city or not having a competitive edge can limit your real world experiences on the local freelance writing scene. That is why many businesses looking for writers have taken their jobs online instead of going through the hiring process. Sites like Elance, Freelancer, or Fiverr may pay you less per article or hour, but it will give you more quantity of work to pick from.

Many writers can also pick up long-term pieces or assignments from building online relationships through these sites. However, it is important to remember that you must be a good salesperson, a constant professional, and have a good eye for detail to succeed in the online freelance writing business.

4.   Concentrate Your Specialties

What makes your writing unique? Is it your sassy voice, your interest in underground music, or your knowledge of basic psychology? All of these pay off big with finding freelance writing opportunities. Having a specialty will help you stick out in the number of “general” writers vying for the same job. But if you can claim expertise or even just comfort level in one area, you will ultimately be in higher demand with clients who will pay more for your work. Every part of your uniqueness may pay off with freelance writing pieces down the line.

5.   Consider an Internship

Finally, while payment for your writing is the ultimate goal, sometimes it takes a boost up from an unpaid assignment to get you on the right track. Internships are a great starting point. Just be sure you understand what you sign up for. You should be offered writer’s credit with your name, picture, and a link to your social media page or email address. If you are not offered this, that internship may just be a scam to get free writing out of you.

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Freelance writing is a great way to make some cash, build up your writing experience, and express your creative side. Finding freelance jobs can be frustrating, but with a great portfolio and a willingness to sell your talent and interests can open doors. Just stay open-minded to every piece that comes your way and trust your gut to avoid freelance writing scams. Have you had experience in finding freelance writing work? What are some tips you would offer to students searching for writing gigs? Offer your insights in the comments section below!

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4 Ways to Be Productive This Summer

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Now that the World Cup is over, you don’t have to keep up with winning and losing brackets and suddenly your lunch breaks at work are back to their normal boring selves. How will you spend all of your suddenly abundant free time?
1. Update LinkedIn– Make sure your resume, jobs, schooling, and connections are up to date. This will be a huge boost to your visibility on a network that is made to help you build your professional connections and land a job.

2. Look for jobs for next summer– It’s never too early to start looking for jobs. While many that you will come across will not have applications available yet, you can make a list to apply to as they come up. Keeping track of each opportunity and application due-date will save you some serious stress while you’re taking classes and looking for employment.
3. Make a budget and stick to it– A good, balanced budget will help you to save for things you really need during the school year so you won’t have a second thought when you drop your laptop and need to get a new one in time for finals. This is a good way to see where you spend most of your money and help you to cut back on the unnecessary splurges.
4. Volunteer at a local organization that you care about– There’s no way that contributing to the community can be bad. Boost your self-esteem and take the opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, and add a valuable line to your resume. These opportunities may just lead to something a little higher paying than the free labor you’re offering as a volunteer….
Sitting on the couch and lounging by the pool are fun for a while, but they aren’t productive and won’t impress your friends as you are in the dorm swapping stories about your summer. Take these productivity ideas, get ahead, and make your summer count!