There are many ways college students can make money from home, even with no experience. Here we outline some of the best online jobs for college students that require no investment or prior knowledge.
At the end of a hard day’s study, the last thing you want to do is begin an eight-hour shift in a store or call center – even if you really need the money. Thankfully it’s 2019 and there are lots of online jobs for college students at home, even if you have no experience. We find the most significant factor that plays a big part when looking for online jobs as a student is flexibility and money.
How to choose your online job
First, work out what your biggest need is. If it’s flexibility — the ability to do one or two hours of work whenever you have a spare moment — then self-led, project-based work will suit you. But if your priority is making a fixed amount of money each day, you would be best looking for work that pays an hourly rate, like customer service shifts that require people to log-on for a certain number of hours and guarantees a certain salary.
Online degrees such as those offered by UoPeople give students more freedom and flexibility to work around their studies, so they can earn good money while studying. You might also want to do a part-time job that will help you make contacts and gain experience in your chosen field. So in this case, your key requirement would be a job that opens doors for the future. Once you’ve worked out your priorities and your deal-breakers when it comes to part-time work, check out our list of ideas below. You might just find something that fits you perfectly.
Types of Jobs
1. Become a survey research panellist
It’s always nice to be asked your opinion on something, whether it’s a new TV show or the beta version of an app your friend is creating. Now you can get paid for your opinion too, by becoming a survey research panellist via a company such as PineCone Research, Earning Station, Survey Junkie, or Ipsos i-Say.
Once you register with one of these companies, they’ll send you an email notification when there’s a survey available to take. You log on, complete the survey and once you’ve submitted it, they’ll credit your account with points, which you can either redeem as a gift, like a movie ticket, or as cash. Rewards vary but you can expect around $10 per survey and many companies pay via check or PayPal, making it easy for you to access the money without any fuss.
2. Customer service call reviewer
If you ever called a company and came across the “This call is being recorded for training and monitoring purposes” message, you’ll know that someone, somewhere is poring through call logs to help make customer service better. Well this could be you!
Working as a call reviewer with a company like Humanatic requires you to listen to calls and categorize them with tags. You can log-in and review as little or as much as you like at times that best suit your schedule. It’s an online job that’s pretty flexible and is open to applicants worldwide. You can make anywhere from $1 to $4.50 an hour depending on your skill and accuracy.
3. Blogging and Vlogging
Make like a millennial and start your own blog — you could find yourself extremely wealthy at the end of it. Salaries for bloggers are not guaranteed (so as outlined above, this isn’t for you if your key requirement is a fixed amount of pay per day of work) but bloggers and vloggers like Zoella, Perez Hilton and Pete Cashmore, founder of Mashable.com, all started their websites from scratch and now make millions of dollars per year.
Experts recommend that you start a blog on a subject you’re passionate about — if you’re studying for an MBA, for example, you could blog about the business world from your own unique perspective as a student. Or if sports are your thing, come up with a catchy blog title and talk about the highs and lows of your favorite sports team.
It’s also advisable to post every day or as regularly as possible so that readers aren’t disappointed by seeing articles they’ve already read on your homepage. Even a two-paragraph post is enough, or a photo with a great caption, linked to your social media accounts and indexed with the right Google keywords and Instagram hashtags. Over time, people will find your blog when searching for relevant content and advertising agencies may ask to place adverts on your site. Relevant brands might ask you to create ‘sponsored content’ – that’s content that throws a spotlight on their product – and often they’ll pay hundreds of dollars for this kind of exposure on a popular blog. This avenue could also help you make inroads in your chosen career, because you’ll have a body of work to show future employers.
4. Website testing
Imagine being asked to test an early version of Facebook, Twitter, AirBnb, Spotify or Amazon. You’d be helping to shape the future of the internet. Well the next generation of superstar websites needs to be tested and developers need you!
Companies that hire website testers include Whatusersdo, TrymyUI and Loop11. Register, then wait for the test invitation email to arrive. Check the small-print before you sign up, but if it appeals, it could be a convenient way to make money while making the web a better place. Salaries start from around $5 per test and can go up to $34 as the work becomes more advanced, and this would be a great part-time job to add to your resume if you dream of being a QA Tester in the future; that’s a role that has a typical salary of $68,000 per year.
5. Research Tester
This is different from taking surveys or testing websites. Research testers get paid to answer questions that other people need answering. Typical requests include explaining a trend or phenomenon or answering questions like “How much time does the average person spend browsing Netflix before deciding what to watch?”
The answers will be good pub-quiz trivia, but this knowledge could also help you hit on your next big business idea. To get started, you have to demonstrate your research skills via a simple online quiz and complete a trial assignment. If you find you really enjoy the work, you might want to apply for more specialist roles as a freelance data analyst.
Salaries depend on the company, but according to Indeed, data analyst salaries for people who work from home average at just under $70,000 per year.
Journalists, academics, law firms, and many other kinds of businesses often need interviews to be transcribed by other people, so their time can be freed up to work on the next element of their job. This sort of work is good for accurate touch-typists and good listeners. It will suit you if you’re self-motivated and looking for something flexible.
Pay depends on the budget for each project. transcribe.me, for example, hires people from all over the world: all you need is a computer, a reliable internet connection, and the ability to transcribe audio and video in any of the languages that they support. They claim that earnings start at $15-$22 per audio hour and top monthly earnings are at $2,200 (average monthly earnings are $250). Transcriptionists with specialised backgrounds in medical & legal are paid a higher rate.
7. Freelance Writing
Every company needs a website that explains what they can offer in a succinct, enticing way. If you’re studying marketing, for example, apply your increasingly expert knowledge in a practical way, by setting yourself up as a freelance marketing copywriter. Build yourself a portfolio via a free platform such as Wix and register with a freelance writing recruitment site such as writers.work.
Pay depends on the project and company but freelance writers can earn anything from $20-$65+/hr (based on skill level). So get Googling and find a platform that suits you!
8. Customer service shift work
Global companies need customer service assistants in all corners of the globe, to help them maintain their “24/7, 365 days per year” promise. As long as you can provide a fast internet connection, a home office space, and are willing to work unsociable hours, companies will train you and provide you with all the expert knowledge you need to succeed.
Typical salaries depend on minimum wage requirements in your country, but you could expect to earn around $20,000 per year plus many employer benefits, such as holiday allowance and pension. Search for opportunities on Google or consult recruitment companies in your area. Or, even better, check out the websites of companies and apps you love using to see if they are looking for extra team members.
9. Virtual Assistant
Forget The Devil Wear’s Prada — you don’t have to spend a month’s salary on clothing to look sharp as a virtual assistant. Companies such as Timeetc offer guaranteed, fixed hourly pay rates and regular, ongoing work from clients they know and trust. Your schedule would be quite flexible and you’d be taking on different tasks like admin work, email management, and scheduling appointments. The company hires in the US, and could be a fantastic part-time job for students. It’s also possible to find lots of VA jobs on sites such as Upwork.
How to get started
Give yourself your best chance of success by designing a resume that highlights all your practical skills; from your typing word-per-minute to your experience with programs like Excel and Word.
Work out which sort of job you’d be most interested in and then try to find an online recruitment site where you can upload your resume so employers can find you. LinkedIn is also important: build a profile and use the site to search for relevant roles. Google is your best friend here, too. Use the search engine to search for specific jobs you’re interested in, like “Customer service shift work for tech companies, from home,” and go through the results carefully, applying to any that match your skill-set.
Some online jobs pay more than others and it can take time to build up a good reputation with your employer. But once you’ve done a few trial projects, work will be offered to you more regularly, and your hourly rate should increase. Online jobs can be fantastic if you need flexibility and you’re a self-starter, and you want to avoid getting into debt.
So forget the daily commute and enjoy working in your pajamas instead!