Side hustles for college students

By Aubrey Watkins
Staff Writer

One thing all college students need is money, but it can oftentimes be difficult to balance work and school. If you’re looking for something that may be less time-consuming, and easier than a typical nine-five, looking into a side hustle could be a good option. 

A side hustle is an additional job a person takes on to increase their income, but, for college students with loaded schedules, it may be their only source of income.

Used Clothing

One of the easiest gigs you can try from the comfort of your living room or dorm is selling retired clothing. These unwanted garments can be sold through websites like Poshmark, Mercari, Depop, The RealReal, and Facebook Marketplace. While these transactions may take place online, some can be done  in person. For example, Facebook Marketplace and Mercari allows the seller to operate locally and exchange the goods in person. Alternatively, consignment stores will take your items and sell them for you. Plato’s Closet or KT’s Closet are two such examples. 


Photography is also a great way to make money while putting in minimal work. Take pictures of anything and upload them to stock photo websites such as Getty Images or Shutterstock. The more in-demand a type of photo is, the more money you’ll get. For example, an industry that is currently one of the fastest growing markets is Information Technology dealing with computer software and hardware. A computer’s internal hardware makes for a good photo for businesses to market their company.

If you want to put more effort and time into taking photos, you can look into doing portrait or event photography. First, you would need a camera. I would recommend a DSLR Canon camera, but there are cheaper options if you’re just starting out. Then you would need editing software to edit the photos. There are many free apps for mobile and desktop platforms but Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are popular and industry based programs that you can access through a monthly or yearly subscription. While this option would be more expensive starting out, it brings in more profit than selling stock photos. 


Art is another very profitable business, it allows the artist to turn their hobby into a hustle. Uploading your art to different websites allows the artist to sell in the form of digital prints. One website you could easily accomplish this on is Redbubble. Redbubble is a global online marketplace for print-on-demand products from user-submitted artwork. They take your artwork and put it on all kinds of products for people to purchase. After the company downloads your design, they put it on products, including tote bags, stickers, journals, mouse pads, and much more. Redbubble takes 80% of the retail price, leaving you with 20%. Another way to upload your digital art to sell is Etsy. You can sell your digital art, and the buyer can download it from the website after purchase. P

Skills & Talents

There are many ways to make money that don’t involve selling things online. You can do this in your everyday life, using skills you already possess. For example, if you are fluent in another language, you can tutor different people on campus or in town. Some teachers charge anywhere from $20 to $40 an hour and you can teach from your home or office. 

Campus Jobs

Another option is to look for jobs on campus, which saves gas and time. Tutors on the NTCC campus make $10 an hour. However, you need a recommendation from a professor who teaches the subject you want to tutor. Student Services keeps a binder with job postings, updated weekly. 

Mini Business

Another potential side hustle that requires a little more time and effort would be starting your own mini business where you can make whatever you like. Jewelry, food, candles, and soap are some products that are easier to make and quick to sell. Recently, I started a mini business making pins with different kinds of images on them. Some designs are created by me, and some are from the internet. The possibilities are endless when you want to start a business; the biggest problem is getting started.  

Sitting Services

Maybe starting a business is too time-consuming or costly. Instead, you can find a job where you don’t make products but offer services. A great way to do this is through babysitting. To be a babysitter, you must have strong empathy skills and be able to diffuse problems quickly. The average pay for a babysitter is $17.73 per hour for one child, $20.30 for two children, and $21.49 for three children, but this depends on many factors.

But if you’re not big on kids, you can try pet sitting. Pet sitting is when you take care of another person’s pet for some time. Most of the time, pet owners will ask you to stay in their homes with the pet, but some allow the sitter to take the pet to their own home. On average, pet sitters charge $25 per hour, but hourly rates range from $15 to $50.

Many retired people like to travel, so who maintains their house while they’re gone? Housesitting is when a person leaves their home for some time and entrusts it to a “house sitter,” who stays on the property temporarily. While there, you may have a combination of responsibilities to maintain the home/property. Potential tasks include watering plants and cleaning the house. In addition, you might have to do some yard work depending on how long the owners are gone. Housesitters typically charge $25-30 daily and $50 for overnight stays.

The best way to find jobs like babysitting, pet sitting, house sitting, is by advertising yourself. This means spreading the word that you are offering these services. A few ways to do this include making flyers and putting them up at local hotspots such as the local Starbucks, the library, restaurants, post offices, donut shops and churches. You can also promote yourself on social media platforms. Facebook is useful in this regard as young adults through older generations use it. Still, every social media app has the potential for a job offer, so keep your options open.

With so many ways to earn extra money, the only thing stopping you is you. Give your new endeavor the attention and precision it deserves and who knows, maybe one day it may turn into something you love.