What Are Good Summer Jobs for College Students?

College students often get summer jobs so they can earn extra money during their breaks from school. These short-term opportunities might help students not only make money but build their resumes and sense of responsibility as well. Read on to learn about some good summer jobs for college students.

Places to Look for Summer Jobs

College students often find temporary jobs during their summer break to save up money to spend during the school year. For this article, 'good' jobs are defined as those that are commonly available to college students during the summer and pay better than minimum wage. The positions listed below are common options that college students choose for summer jobs:

  • Waiting tables
  • Retail
  • Internships
  • Babysitting

Important Facts About Some Popular Summer Jobs

Restaurant Server Retail Sales Worker Childcare Worker
Median Hourly Wage (2014) $9.01; total pay may combine direct wage and tips $10.42 $9.48
Required Education No specific requirements No specific requirements No requirements for babysitters; high school diploma for other positions
On-the-Job Training Training usually provided Training usually provided Level of training varies by employer
Working Environment Working on your feet in a restaurant with long or odd hours Standing at a register or on sales floor in clothing or clothing accessories stores, general merchandise stores, motor vehicle and parts dealers, building material and garden equipment dealers or sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores Work may be at the employer's home, daycare center, church or school, with infants to older children

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Waiting Tables

College students on their summer breaks often choose to wait tables in restaurants for extra money. The work can be stressful, especially for people who don't like being on their feet for several hours at once, but waitpersons have the opportunity to make good money. The flexible hours and potential to earn cash tips from customers makes waiting tables an attractive summer job option for many students.

Retail Sales

A large number of college students elect to work in retail sales as a summer job. Retail salespeople work relatively flexible hours in malls or shopping centers selling clothes and other items. Many retail salespeople work on commission and get a certain percentage of each sale that they make, providing motivation to college students to give full effort.


Many career-minded students look for internships in their field of study for their summer jobs. For example, students who want to become lawyers often intern at law firms. Many professions look for temporary summer help, and students who work at these internships gain real-world work experience and make networking connections they can use after graduation.


For working parents, summer months could present a challenge when it comes to young children. Many might welcome a responsible college student who can spend the day watching their kids while they work. These parents can have peace of mind knowing their kids are at home and college students can have a steady income throughout the summer. Depending on how many hours a day the student will be needed, good money can be earned with this type of summer job. Students might also expand their services to offer dog sitting and even house sitting for vacationers.

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