10 side gigs for the overachieving student

10 side gigs for the overachieving student
10 side gigs for the overachieving student

Being a student is an endurance test.  You are not only working towards a qualification that will set the entire path of your career, but you are living away from home for the first time while trying to support yourself by working some low-life job and attempting to have a social life.

Let’s be honest, generally speaking, the money students receive simply isn’t enough to support even the average lifestyle.

To compensate for the shortfall, many turn to a side hustle to put a little more money in their pockets.

How do I decide what to do?

The good news is that there are side hustles to suit absolutely everyone.

The first step towards figuring out what to do is to think about your talents and skills. What are you good at? Writing, graphics, websites, people managing?

Then, consider what it is about your abilities that you enjoy most.

Remember, this is a side job, there is no boss telling you what to do and when.

It is completely up to you to get motivated, do the work and earn the money.  By choosing something you enjoy, you’re much more likely to succeed.

Don’t worry if nothing immediately springs to mind – it may take some time to determine the perfect business venture.

To help you out, we’ve come up with 10 great side gigs that are almost always winners for earning extra cash. 

Consider becoming a…


Tutoring is probably the best way to not only earn some extra money but hone your skills and revise them, too. 

Make sure to choose a subject in which  you feel really confident, then start advertising yourself.

It’s best to do a little introductory offer at first to bring in some clients.  Then, as word gets around that you are great at what you do, you can easily raise your prices to be in line with the rest of the industry.

The average math tutor charges around $40 per hour, so this job is a great little money maker. 


It’s not the most glamorous of jobs, but if you’re a bit of a clean freak, housekeeping may be the perfect way to go.

It’s oh-so therapeutic and relaxing, too, meaning that while you’re scrubbing away at someone’s windows, you’re probably scrubbing away some stress and negative thoughts, too.

Plus, cleaning makes for a great workout. Share Care claims that the average person can burn anything between 100 and 300 calories an hour while doing housework.

Earning money that doubles up as a great workout without heading to the gym? We’re in. 


This is some people’s idea of hell, but if you enjoy spending time with children, then becoming a babysitter is both good pay and practice for later in life.

Obviously, people need to trust you to leave you alone with their kids. So it’s good to have references available; consider joining an agency to build up your reputation.. 

You also need to pass criminal record checks and show them as additional proof of your trustworthiness to potential clients. 

Once you’re all set up legally, all you need is a good amount of patience and a craft box.

Babysitters get paid as much as $16.25 an hour, according to Care.com’s 2019 Cost of Care survey.


If you love taking photos as a hobby and people love your work, then why not start charging for it? After all, creative people really should be paid for their work as much as people who work average office jobs.

Start by approaching people for collaborations on headshots or even just make artsy Instagram posts to boost your following, then go from there.

The best photographers are often known for capturing moments that others may shy away from, such as wildlife, weddings, proposals, or even very private moments such as childbirth.

Affiliate marketer

10 side gigs for the overachieving student
10 side gigs for the overachieving student

Affiliate marketing is a great way to go if you want to make easy money online. If you’re not sure what an affiliate marketer does, they help retailers to make sales and receive a commission for every customer who visits retailers through their links.

This might mean producing articles, posting Facebook content, or creating Instagram stories. 

At the moment, one of the best industries for this kind of work is casinos and online gambling.

Websites such as OCG use affiliate links as a really clever way to get people to not only visit their site for great bonuses and offers but also to earn a profit from the content they produce.


Translating is a big business. If you have a second, third, or even fourth language that you don’t get to speak nearly half as much as you’d like, then this may be the job for you.

People are always looking for translators, whether for work on manuscripts, letters, or even just conversations. 

Translators tend to earn around $20 an hour, however, some companies pay per word. Whatever you do, though, do not undersell yourself.

Doing so will only make you resent the work, and the quality of the work you do will only get worse with time.

Make sure to discuss pricings and contracts before taking on any work, and don’t allow freelance websites to take advantage of your skills.

Dog walker

Who doesn’t want to mix their love of dogs with their job? Dog walking is fantastic for the soul – it gets you out walking, spending time with nature, and earns you money. 

It’s a good idea to check out some dog walking sites such as Wag!, which is a little like Uber for finding dog walkers.

Once you’ve built up a portfolio and good reviews, you could charge up to $25 per hour. Yes – $25 per hour to spend time with dogs. Sounds amazing, right?


Although the influencer market is currently very saturated, it is still possible to break through if you have a great personality and a unique way of living life.

It might be that you take part in a unique sport that no one else seems to represent, you own a small business that people will take interest in or even if you just have really cool tattoos.

Whatever makes you stick out, it is possible to make money from it by using social media.

You will need patience to build a following, but once you have built that, it won’t be long before brands start to approach you to promote their products.

Not only will you make money from this, but you will also be able to try out some pretty cool stuff for free. 

Money made by influencers is pretty varied, but VOX has reported that for the big boys, it can be as much as $100,000 per post.

Freelance writer

Being a good writer can open up many doors. Whether you want to write a book, become a magazine columnist, or write for newspapers, selling your work on a freelance basis is a great way to get more money flowing into your bank and practice your skills.

Working as a freelancer rather than for a publication also gives you more freedom to brainstorm, pitch, and chase your own ideas.

It’s the creative freedom that people love the most. 

Freelance websites can be a great way to bring in clients, but they can also take large fees away from you for your hard work.

After you have built up a good client base, it is a good idea to move from the site encourage your clients to deal with you personally. 

It is completely up to you how much you charge, as long as it is reasonable and your work reflects the price. 

Uber or Lyft drivers

If you’re a bit of a motorhead, then driving for a company such as Uber or Lyft is a really fun way to make money.

Not only do you get to drive all over your area, but you will also meet some great new people and hear perspectives from all different walks of life. 

You could even incorporate cab-driving into your day-to-day schedule, such as working through your lunch or picking people up on your way to work. 

The best thing about this is you are completely your own boss, and you decide when you work and for how long. 

The average Uber driver tends to make between $8 and $11 per hour, so although it isn’t very highly-paid work, it’s still fun and interesting.


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