Have the Summer Off From College? 4 Side Hustles to Look At

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  • If you're not going to take classes this summer, it pays to earn some money.
  • There are a number of summer side hustles you can do that allow you to enjoy the outdoors while getting paid, such as helping with landscaping or working at a summer camp.
  • You could also put your academic skills to good use by tutoring.

Attending college can be stressful, so by the time the summer break comes along, you may want nothing more than to kick back, relax, and decompress. Some people opt to take classes during the summer so they can get their degrees sooner. But if that's not your plan, then it pays to use the summer months to earn some money -- even if you'd rather spend most of it lounging by the pool.

Not only could extra cash help you cover your tuition, but it could also serve as a nice cushion in your savings account. And if you've racked up any credit card debt in the course of previous college semesters, a summertime side hustle could be your ticket to paying it off before all of that interest really gets out of control. Here are a few jobs to consider this summer.

1. Camp counselor

When you have the entire summer off, there's the potential to stay pretty busy by working as a camp counselor. You could work at a day camp, a sleepaway camp, or a specialty camp (for example, a band camp if you have musical skills).

Salary.com says the average hourly wage for a camp counselor is $25, but the wages you earn as a camp counselor will hinge largely on the type of role you end up with. But if you want to work as a camp counselor, get your application in as soon as possible. Many camps need to be fully staffed well ahead of the summer so employees can attend training and get up to speed.

2. Tutor

Many parents use the summer months to help their children get up to speed for the coming school year. If there's a subject you're great at, you could try rounding up tutoring gigs.

Payscale says that tutors make an average of $19.37 an hour. However, the rate you're able to command will depend on different factors, such as the subject you're tutoring, your geographic area, and whether you're willing to travel to your clients' homes (in that case, you may be able to command a higher rate than you would for tutoring out of your own home).

3. Pet-sitter/dog-walker

Love animals? Plenty of families go away during the summer and need people to care for their pets in their absence. You could sign up to be a pet sitter and fill that need. You could also try signing up to walk dogs, which might provide a more steady income during your summer break.

The amount you can earn as a pet sitter or dog walker will depend on where you live and the animals you're caring for. If you're able to find clients yourself, you won't lose a portion of your income to fees. But if you use a service like Rover, it'll take 20% of your earnings. However, you might need a service to connect you with people who need care for their pets.

4. Landscaping assistant

You could try to get a temp job at an office during the summer. But let's be real -- you'd probably rather get to enjoy the outdoors rather than stay cooped up. That's why it could pay to find a local landscaping company that needs workers for tasks like mowing lawns and maintaining shrubs and gardens.

As of April 30, 2023, the average hourly pay for a landscaper was $15.50 an hour, says ZipRecruiter. You might earn more or less, depending on where you live and the experience you have.

Getting a side hustle this summer could make the upcoming year at college a lot less financially stressful. It pays to see if any of these gigs are a good fit for you.

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