Awesome Summer Jobs for College Students
During the school year, your classes and on-campus job might keep you busy, but the summer is an opportunity for you to really expand, honing skills in your desired industry and gaining valuable experience to fill your resume. Whether you're paying your way through school or not, the extra money is also nice!
More than half of all college students have jobs, with some putting this figure as high as 80%. During the summer, those rates drop a bit, but many students still take on summer jobs. As a student, you might not be experienced enough to take on a high-level role in your desired field, but that doesn't mean you have to resort to the same jobs you did in high school.
Summer Jobs on Campus
One of the most common summer job options for students is to stay on campus, working for your college. During the summer, there are not as many job opportunities as you'll find during the school year, but positions are still available in grounds keeping, maintenance, residence life, and research. Some departments, such as human resources or alumni relations, also hire a few students to stay around during the summer, usually from the stock of students that worked in these departments during the school year.
If you work for your college during the summer, you won't get paid much, but there are other perks to consider. First, many departments offer students free room and board for the summer. You might also be offered the chance to take classes while on campus, though you will likely have to pay your own tuition in this case. The biggest perk by far is the sense of camaraderie you'll have with other students who also stay on campus for the summer. It can be a lot of fun to stay on campus when most of the student body isn't around.
Did you know? Many schools host activities in the summer, like luaus and outdoor concerts, just for student who stayed on campus.
Student jobs for the summer are typically given to students who work for the campus year-round, though some exceptions are made if spots are open. If you want to stay on campus (and already work for your school), start by checking with your current manager about summer opportunities. Even if they can't hire you for the summer, they may know of another department on campus where you'd be a good fit. Summer hiring decisions are typically made after spring break every year.
Adventurous Summer Jobs for College Students
Another option if you want to work during the summer, but don't like the idea of living with your family for a few months, is to seek a temporary position away from home and your campus. This is your chance to do something adventurous and out of your comfort zone. Let's look at a few of your options:
- Work Abroad: Through student exchange programs, you can head to a foreign country to participate in an internship or other kind of work exchange program.
- Volunteer Traveling: Volunteers can do everything from faith work in Africa to tutoring inner city kids in Chicago. You won't get paid, but most programs provide free room and board.
- Fishing in Alaska: Alaskan fishing jobs are among the most dangerous in the world, but in just a short few months, you can make lots of money and feed your adventurous spirit.
- Wilderness Guide: You can serve as a guide in the National Park System in Alaska and in other states, leading hikers, white water rafters, and more during the summer months.
If those jobs sound a little too adventurous for you, but you still want to get away from your parents and school for the summer, consider working as a camp counselor. Unless you count mosquito bites, working as a camp counselor isn't any more dangerous than most summer jobs, but you'll still get to travel to somewhere new for a few months.
Camp counselors are typically paid a summer stipend or very low hourly wage, along with the benefit of free room and board for the summer.
Your job at a camp counselor will have your overseeing activities to ensure that all campers are having fun and staying safe. Camps come in all shapes and sizes, from general camps with activities like volleyball and hiking to more specialized camps like fitness camps and sports camps.
Where to Find Summer Jobs for College Students
College students can find summer jobs at some of the same places where you can find permanent jobs...but there are also a few other tricks you can use to find these temporary placements. First, start early. The best jobs fill quickly and employers may not accept applications for long. Along with typical job search resources, like JobMonkey's Job Center, here are other places where you can commonly find openings:
- With Your Student Advisor: Professors often know alumni and community members who are looking for workers. As an added bonus, most are happy to serve as references.
- Campus Bulletin Boards: Most campuses have student activities centers with community bulletin boards where companies can post job openings.
- Company Websites: If there's a company in your area with which you're really like a summer placement, check their website. Often, companies have career pages, but they don't necessarily post elsewhere online.
Keep in mind that even jobs like those you had in high school are good options if you can't find a job that's a better fit. While this might not give you experience in your ultimate desired field, it will allow you to earn money, as well as show responsibility. Let's take a look at some of the summer jobs available for high school students, some of which also make good choices for college students.
- Many colleges hire students to stay on campus and work during the summer.
- Adventurous jobs that allow you to travel are readily available for college students.
- Your student advisor and college bulletin boards, as well as company websites, are great placed to find jobs.