Top 10 Summer Jobs for College Students
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By Aimee Hosler | Mar 7, 2011
If trading in your summer vacation for a plastic nametag sounds like a losing deal, it's time to shift your perspective. Scoring a summer job can also help you boost your bank account while earning valuable work experience. Here are 10 excellent ideas for meaningful, profitable, and often fun summer work.
10 Summer Jobs You Won't Regret
1. Work on campus.
Want a summer job that can really help you manage your education costs? Thanks to programs like the Federal Work-Study Program, college students can earn financial aid with part-time work. How much you earn depends on your financial need. Don't have a campus? No sweat! Even online colleges can have phone- or Web-based opportunities.
2. Be a camp or youth program counselor.
Relive the awkward social dynamics, bugs, and unforgettable fun that dominated your own camp experiences, only this time you get to wear the whistle.
3. Get your hands dirty at a local farm or CSA program.
The farm-to-table and local movements have created a number of summer jobs at farms, farmer's market, and within community share agriculture (CSA) programs.
4. Make a difference.
Programs like Habitat for Humanity provide valuable work and team building experience while providing much needed services to those in need. Many of these programs offer paid positions in addition to volunteer opportunities.
5. Be a lifeguard or swim instructor.
Who wouldn't want to get paid for lounging by the pool? This type of work is seasonal, fun, and may even help you save a life.
6. Wait tables.
It might not sound as exciting as other jobs making our list, but waiting tables is an excellent summer job, particularly at nicer establishments with excellent tip potential. Serving also sharpens your organizational and multi-tasking skills and keeps you on the move.
7. Find an internship.
Landing a summer internship, particularly one related to your major, boosts your resume while establishing skills you can actually use down the line. Some internships are unpaid, however, so ensure potential positions meet your financial needs before applying.
8. Resorts or summer attractions.
Spend your summer on the islands or working at a theme park. Summer resorts and attractions provide excellent seasonal work for high-energy college students who want to get away or just have fun with their jobs. Some employers even provide housing as part of your compensation.
9. Be a nanny.
Busy parents are willing to pay good money for reliable childcare while their kiddos are out of school for the summer. Some families provide food and housing.
10. Become an entrepreneur.
Summer is an excellent time to launch your own seasonal business -- a venture that hones your marketing, financial, and general people skills. Mow lawns, clean pools, or walk dogs, just be sure you're doing something that you love.
Need Long-Term Work?
Many of these jobs offer part-time, year-round opportunities to those who need to work beyond summer break. Those who must work full time to make ends meet might benefit from attending online colleges, which usually accommodate even the busiest schedules.