Holding down a job as a student can be difficult whether you’re in high school or college. While earning money is a great motivator, it can be hard to find a job that’s flexible enough to work with your class schedule and busy life. Whether you’re looking to earn some pocket money in high school or minimize your student debt through college, here are some flexible options to consider in your job search.
If you excel in one or more academic areas, tutoring could be a good job for you. Not only does it pay well— typically between $15–$20 per hour—but it offers you almost unheard-of flexibility. After all, you’re the one providing the service, so you get to set a schedule for your clients. Another added benefit is the extra practice you’ll gain. Whether you’re a high school senior tutoring younger students for the SAT or AP exams or a college student offering tutoring for higher level courses, once you establish yourself as a reliable tutor, you’re sure to have plenty of business. The hardest part about this part-time job is getting started and finding people to tutor, but with a little networking and time, you should have a solid source of income.
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Childcare comes with a wide range of possibilities, from nanny or after-school worker to babysitter or extracurricular instructor. Working with children can be both flexible and lucrative. And, if you enjoy being around kids, it’s also rewarding. If you’re working with children over the ages of four or five, they’ll be in school for most of the day, meaning your hours won’t begin until at least 3:00 pm, likely after your own classes have concluded for the day. Plus, some babysitting may even allow you time to get homework done as children nap or play with each other. Getting into the industry can take on a lot of forms. You can find positions by word-of-mouth, applying at a childcare center, or marketing yourself online through services such as Care.com. You may also want to consider taking a child safety class and getting your First Aid and CPR certification. While pay rates vary by the specifics of your responsibilities, childcare is typically one of the more profitable industries, especially if you can establish yourself as a dependable and responsible caregiver.
3. Coffee shop barista
While a barista’s schedule is harder to control than some other jobs, it’s still far more flexible than many entry-level hourly positions. In my experience, most shifts are shorter than the average fast-food restaurant. Coffee shops also open early in the morning, giving you the chance to get in a four- or five-hour shift before your classes start in college (if you’re a morning person). If you’re in high school, you can work after school or on the weekends potentially until close; chains such as Starbucks don’t typically close their doors until 8:00 pm. Keep in mind that wages vary widely based on what coffee shop you work for and whether it’s a chain or local business. A perk of this job is you’ll likely receive tips (and free coffee); not to mention, some coffee chains offer tuition assistance and other student-friendly programs. A lot of students pursue these jobs, which should mean managers are familiar with the flexibility you’ll need.
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4. Freelance Delivery Driver
DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Instacart are always looking for reliable delivery drivers, and the good news is that they all have very flexible hours! You can apply to be a freelance driver and choose when you can pick up and deliver orders in your spare time. While DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats mainly specialize in picking up takeout orders from restaurants, Instacart workers are responsible for shopping for groceries and delivering them. All four options provide hassle-free flexibility and high-demand evening hours that tend to line up with a student’s free time. Of course, this does require you to have a driver’s license and access to a car. If you’re a high school student, check with your parents before jetting across town as a delivery driver, especially if you’re using their car.
5. Fitness instructor, referee, or coach
If athletics are your thing, you may enjoy working as a fitness instructor, referee, or coach. Whether you dream of leading Zumba a few nights a week or coaching little league soccer, these jobs offer the flexible evening and weekends hours many students look for. Consider becoming certified to referee YMCA games and enjoy making a few bucks while getting to be active and watch sports. Although some level of certification is usually required to teach or coach, most sports academies will help you get certified for minimal expense and time. One of the biggest benefits of choosing an athletics-based job is you can roll your work and exercise time into one!
Related: Student Fitness: How to Get Moving in High School and College
These are just a handful of part-time jobs that may work well with your schedule as a student; in reality, your options are endless. Find an area of work you’re at least somewhat interested in and search for part-time jobs with decent pay that work with your schedule. Although you’ll be busy, working a part-time job as a student will help you hone your real-world skills, build your résumé, and prepare you for the world ahead.
For even more advice on finding great flexible gigs, check out our article on Part-Time Jobs and Money-Making Ideas for Students.