Best Summer Jobs For College Students

Best Summer Jobs For College Students in 2024


Last Updated on July 11, 2024 by II Editor

Summer break is a time for students to relax and recharge between school semesters. However, it can also be a great opportunity to gain valuable work experience and earn some extra cash before the next term. With so many options available, choosing the ideal summer job that fits your skills, interests, and career goals can be tough. This guide will explore some of the top options for summer employment that are well-suited for college students. By the end, you’ll be well-equipped to land the perfect position to boost your resume and bank account.

Camp Counselor

For students who love working with kids, being a camp counsellor provides an extremely rewarding summer experience. Camps hire thousands of college students each year to serve as role models and oversee activities for children. Duties typically include leading arts and crafts, sports, games, and trips. Previous experience with children is beneficial but not always required since camps provide training.


The camp environment allows you to improve leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. It’s also a fun way to spend your summer outdoors. Most camps run from early June through August and provide housing and meals on-site at no additional cost. Seek positions close to your school or home to avoid long commute times. Starting pay averages $2,500-$4,000 for the summer depending on the location and your qualifications.


If you enjoy being active and responsible for safety, lifeguarding lets you work outside while getting paid to stay in shape. With so many pools, waterparks, and beaches, there is high demand for qualified guards. Requirements include certification in CPR/First Aid and lifeguard training, which employers may help arrange.

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Shifts run for 7-8 hours and include rotating posts for constant surveillance of swimmers. It’s a job with busy periods but also downtime for catching up on homework. Pay usually ranges from $10-15 per hour depending on location and experience. Perks may include free entrance to the facility for friends and family. Lifeguard positions are a great way for students to earn money while maintaining a fun summer routine.

Retail & Restaurant Work

Many part-time and summer-only positions open up every year in retail stores, restaurants, and shops. Retail jobs keep you on your feet assisting customers, stocking shelves, and operating cash registers. Restaurant work like being a server, host, or barista involves excellent customer service and multi-tasking skills.


The flexibility of these jobs allows you to create a schedule that works around your summer classes or travel plans. While the pay is decent at $10-13 per hour, you’ll gain valuable “soft skills” coveted by employers. Networking opportunities also abound since you’ll meet new people daily. Look for openings at busy tourist locations for maximum hours and tips. Retail and food service roles are great general options to have a reliable income.


Internships allow you to sample a potential career field while earning college credit. Most run during the summer break and many are paid positions. Common intern fields for undergrads include marketing, public relations, communications, engineering, business, law, healthcare and more.

You’ll gain hands-on experience, make valuable industry connections, and add impressive experience to your résumé. Employers love interns who perform well and may extend a full-time job offer. Look for internships that align with your major and long-term goals. Reach out to professors, career centres, and industry contacts to find opportunities. While unpaid internships exist, focus your search on paid roles that provide a living wage for the summer.

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Personal Trainer

If you’re in great shape and enjoy motivating others, becoming a certified personal trainer lets you earn money by helping clients reach their fitness goals. Requirements vary by certification but generally involve coursework in exercise science, kinesiology, nutrition and more. Popular certs include ACE, NSCA-CPT, and ACSM.

As a trainer, you’ll design customized workout programs, demonstrate proper form, monitor improvement and provide encouragement. Flexible schedules let you train people during mornings, after work or weekends. Pay averages $20-$30 per hour depending on your experience level, services offered and clientele. Free gym access is another perk of many trainer jobs. The certification process takes time but opens doors to an in-demand career field.

Summer Research Assistant

For science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors, assisting professors with ongoing research projects delivers incredible hands-on learning. Duties may involve lab work, data collection and analysis, literature reviews and more. Positions are usually unpaid but provide an inside look at potential graduate work.

You’ll gain specialised skills, produce work for your resume and portfolio, and form one-on-one mentoring relationships. Professors often write glowing recommendation letters for outstanding assistants. Inquire within your department or browse faculty websites for posted summer research roles. The experience, knowledge and connections you gain are invaluable for your academic and career advancement in STEM fields.

Summer Tutoring

If you excel in key subjects like math, science, languages or standardized test prep, consider sharing your skills as a private tutor. Advertise your services locally on community bulletin boards, Facebook tutoring groups or education websites like Wyzant. Create a simple one-page profile listing your credentials, subjects offered hourly rates and contact details.

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Students age 12 often need extra help to maintain skills over the summer or prepare for important exams. Tutoring just a few hours per week at $15-30 per hour adds up quickly. You can be flexible in setting your schedule and work whenever is convenient between other commitments. While starting solo may be intimidating, tutoring experience demonstrates leadership, responsibility and teaching ability to future employers.

The Right Fit

By now, you should have a good idea of the many potentially rewarding summer job options open to college students. Consider your skills, interests, location and desired earnings when choosing which roles to pursue. Don’t limit yourself – you never know what unexpected opportunities may come your way too.

While the summer now seems far off, take time now to research postings, certifications required and application deadlines. Ask around for leads from existing student employees or utilize school career advising services. With early preparation, focused applications and interview practice, you’ll be well-equipped to land the ideal position to boost your experience and wallet before the fall semester. Have a wonderful summer!


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