“I am a college student, and I need money.”
The struggle is real for college students. This has been the case too often in Canada and the rest of the world.
Making money while studying is crucial if you want to pay for tuition and other college-related costs.
Even if you have a financial aid package, it pays to know how to make money as a student in Canada.
There are numerous ways to earn income in college, and you can do so even without a job, specifically through reliable side hustles that let you earn extra cash.
This article will teach you how to make money while going to school full-time.
How to Make Money in College Without a Job
Even if you are jobless or broke, it is still possible for you to earn money for your college life. Here are some ways to make money in college without a full-time job.
1. Deliver Food
Delivering food helps you earn a few extra bucks while in college. Uber Eats and DoorDash offer such opportunities to college students.
Sign up for free at one of their apps and choose what time you want to work each week. You must be at least 18 years old, have an eligible mode of transportation, and have a valid driver’s license.
The average salary of a food delivery driver in Canada is $17 an hour.
Related: Uber Eats vs. DoorDash.
2. Sell Items For Cash
Selling items for cash can also help you earn extra for your financial needs in college. Talk to students and find out their needs.
Sell different things at the beginning to determine what products your buyers will patronize. For example, you can sell entrance tickets to clubs for student parties.
How much you earn depends on what you sell and your markup. If you buy tickets for $10 and sell them for $15, you can earn $250 for 50 tickets.
3. Pet Sitting
Pet sitting involves taking care of pets in your home or the pet owner’s home. The work requires you to feed, groom and exercise pets.
There are no specific requirements to become a pet sitter. It is an advantage, however, if you know animal behaviour.
The average salary for a pet sitter in Canada is $25 per hour.
4. Dog Walking
Dog walking is another way to earn extra money to pay bills or student loans. No formal training or educational qualifications are necessary to find work as a dog walker.
Download dog walking apps like Rover or Wag! and register for an account to find dog walking jobs. Provide your daily rate, availability and other pertinent details.
The average salary of a dog walker is $15 per hour. You can earn more if you are experienced and have relevant qualifications.
Many students need help understanding their lessons. You can provide remedial support to your fellow college students or help younger pupils improve their grades.
To work as a student tutor, ask anyone you know who works in educational institutions to help you connect with students who can benefit from your services.
If you have previous teaching or coaching experience, you can use it to provide freelance services. Hourly rates for student tutors in Canada start at $14 an hour.
6. Be a Campus Ambassador
Campus ambassadors are on-campus advocates who help organize recruitment events and conduct campus tours while developing interpersonal and leadership skills.
Applying for a campus ambassador position can vary from one institution to another but will often require you to fill out an online application form.
The average salary of a campus ambassador in Canada is $16 per hour. You will also learn event organization, team management, and public speaking.
7. Find a Job On Campus
On-campus work refers to university-related activities in the school, library, hospital, or campus-associated research facilities.
Start finding a job on campus by introducing yourself to the Human Resources department and asking what departments are hiring. You must be eligible and hold a Social Insurance Number.
The average salary of a student in Canada is $19 per hour.
8. Be a Tasker
A Tasker delivers various kinds of work, from personal assistance to delivery services, general cleaning, home repairs, and heavy lifting.
Being a Tasker lets you choose the type of work and the hours you render. You must be 19 years old to register. Find Tasker jobs via task apps like TaskRabbit.
Tasker earnings depend on the tasks you do, your location, and how long you work. A Personal Assistant can earn $21 hourly, while Moving Help can make $40 per hour.
Bartending is one of the most popular jobs for college students. You can do it at night or during weekends, giving you ample time to focus on your academics.
Working as a bartender requires you to be at least 18 years old. Bartending work involves mixing and serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, maintaining inventory, and cleaning.
The average salary of a bartender is $15.22 per hour.
10. Be a Barista
Working at a coffee shop is a great way to earn money while studying at the university. It is also ideal for squeezing a shift before the start of your class.
The job involves taking orders, brewing and serving drinks (coffee, tea, and specialty beverages), and taking payments.
A barista in Canada can earn an average of $15.05 per hour.
11. Be a Food and Beverage Server
Working as a server in a restaurant can help with your food expenses. Some restaurants provide discounted food, while others offer free food to their employees.
On-the-job training is usually provided.
Earnings of food and beverage servers in Canada depend on location. In the Northwest Territories, servers earn $16.50 per hour, while those in Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec earn up to $25 an hour.
If you have a four-door vehicle (model 2014 or newer), you can sign up to provide rideshare services with ride-hailing services like Uber, clocking in and out whenever you want to.
You must meet the minimum age to drive, have a valid driver’s license, driving experience, an eligible car, insurance, proof of residency in your location, and pass a background check.
The average salary of an Uber driver in Canada is $20.01 per hour. You can earn more when you drive for these services during peak hours.
Related: Uber Driver Canada review.
13. Be a Teacher’s Assistant
If you have teaching experience or if you want to work in the educational field, consider applying to be a teacher’s assistant. You can help tutor students, facilitate classes, check paper works, or create lesson plans.
Requirements include completion of secondary school and a 10-month college program in teaching assistance. Some require minimal experience, while others prefer excellent organizational and communication skills.
The average salary of a teaching assistant in Canada is $25.27 per hour.
If you have writing skills, you can make a side hustle proofreading and editing your classmates’ work and sign up to provide such services to other students in the world.
Set a fee per page and advertise your services in your classes and your dorm. Sign up at editing and proofreading sites like Scribendi and EssayEdge to get more clients.
The average salary of proofreaders in Canada is $23.40 per hour. At Scribendi, a freelance editor earns $25 an hour, while the hourly rate of an editor is $35.
You can take the Proofread Anywhere Course and learn how to make money by providing proofreading services.
15. House Sitting
House sitting is a popular service for homeowners who need someone to look after their house and pets. The duration varies from a few days to months.
To find house-sitting jobs, register and create a house-sitter profile at sites like TrustedHouseSitters, Nomador.com and MindMyHouse.com. Start building your references by doing short, local, and trial-run house sits.
House sitter earnings in Canada range from $20 to $100 per day, depending on factors like how much work it entails and the number of pets that need care.
16. Proctoring Tests
Testing is big business, as all schools and colleges conduct various tests. In proctoring tests, you prepare a testing room, distribute test materials, and monitor students during the testing period.
Most proctoring positions do not need a degree in education but usually prefer communication skills and attention to detail. For proctoring opportunities, contact your local school, offer your services to your university department heads, or search online.
Exam proctors in Canada earn an average of $19.28 per hour.
17. Offer Music Lessons
If you are a Music major, offering music lessons to children and your fellow college students can be a lucrative side hustle that will help pay for your degree.
Start with family, friends and schoolmates and ask for referrals. Create business cards and distribute them. Advertise your services online such as on Google My Business.
A music teacher in Canada earns an average of $24 per hour.
18. Be a Tour Guide
Giving tour guides is a good gig, especially if you have extensive knowledge of local history and excellent communication skills.
To become a tour guide, you must have safety training and, preferably, tour guide certification. You can find tour guide jobs at travel agencies, state tourism agencies, and job search websites.
A tour guide in Canada can earn $17.88 per hour.
How to Make Money in College Online
The internet provides a lucrative venue for students who want to know how to make money in college online.
With creativity, you can earn extra cash without leaving your room by taking advantage of these methods that teach you how to make money in school as a student.
1. Take Surveys
Share your views by taking online surveys for about 30-45 minutes in exchange for actual cash or gift cards that you can use towards your expenses.
To join, create an account on online survey sites like Swagbucks or Survey Junkie, answer basic questions, and choose the surveys you want to take.
How much you earn depends on the site you joined and how many surveys you completed. In general, you can make $40 to $250 per month.
Here are the best survey sites in Canada.
2. Find Freelance Work
Freelancing is another way to make money for college, where you can accept work on your own time and earn lucrative pay. It includes writing, editing, programming, designing, and web development.
Working as a freelancer in Canada may require an open- or closed work permit, which allows you to work for a specific client only.
The average base salary of a freelancer is $24.50 per hour, depending on the type of freelance work.
Related: Upwork review for freelancers.
3. Sign Up For Cash Back Apps
Cash back apps such as Swagbucks or Rakuten let you earn cash back or rewards on your purchases when shopping online or in stores.
Start by downloading the available legit apps, registering, confirming your details, and linking your payment cards. You can deposit your earnings to your PayPal account or receive gift cards.
Depending on the cashback app and the offer, you can earn between 0.5 and 15% cash back on your purchase.
You can also use a cash back app like KOHO to earn rewards every time you shop.
4. Teach English Online
Online companies such as SkimaTalk and Open English let you earn money teaching English without a degree or while still in college.
To teach English online, you need to be a native or near-native English speaker with a solid Internet connection, a webcam and microphone, and a quiet workplace. With some companies, you may need to produce a TEFL certificate.
At SkimaTalk, online teachers can earn up to $1,000 a month, while Open English pays its online teachers $15 per hour.
5. Be a Virtual Bookkeeper
If you are studying bookkeeping, you can work as a virtual bookkeeper for small businesses that need home-based bookkeepers to manage their finances.
A virtual bookkeeper must have in-depth knowledge of digital accounting software, bookkeeping and data entry skills, preparing financial reports, and other related proficiencies.
Hourly rates of virtual bookkeepers in Canada range from $15 to $35 an hour.
6. Do Data Entry Jobs
Data entry is about turning handwritten documents into digital copies. It involves taking data from a source and transcribing it into a spreadsheet or a database management system.
The skills you need to find data entry work are fluency in English, typing skills, and knowledge of using spreadsheets. You can find data entry gigs at Fiverr or Upwork.
The average pay for this job is $15 per hour. If you are more experienced, you can make twice the standard hourly rate.
7. Sell Stock Photos
If you are into photography, selling stock photos to websites and designers is one way to earn money while doing something you love.
Use a third-party microstock website or stock agency to sell your photos quickly and easily. Review their guidelines to find the most ideal setup for you.
Stock photographers’ earnings vary from $0.02 per image per month to an average of $0.32 per sale of a royalty-free license. Some sites let you keep 100% of the profit from all photo sales.
8. Write Content
If writing is your passion, write for blogs and businesses. Content writing is one of the most in-demand skills and something you can do to earn a decent income.
Build a portfolio by starting a blog and establishing authority. Create social media profiles to market your services. Find content writing gigs at freelance writing sites like Contena or Upwork.
You can work as a freelance content writer and earn as much as $28 per hour.
9. Be a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants (VAs) provide different services depending on client needs. Tasks can be administrative, such as handling calls or emails, while specialized ones require marketing, blogging, or bookkeeping skills.
To work as a VA, consider enrolling in related courses and acquiring certifications. You can find VA jobs by browsing freelancing websites.
Independent virtual assistants in Canada charge $25 to $50 an hour, depending on the tasks that need completion.
10. Be a Web Designer
If you have experience in web design, you can earn income from it, as businesses need web designers to establish branding and usability through functional and visually-appealing websites.
Join freelance websites such as Upwork and FlexJobs to find web design jobs that do not require a college degree.
The average salary of a web designer in Canada is $28.76 per hour. At Upwork, the median hourly rate for web developers is $20 per hour, while hourly rates range from $15 to $30.
11. Be a Video Editor
Video content is vastly popular today, with many creators needing technical skills to fix their content. If you have video editing skills, use them to create professional videos.
You need to be knowledgeable in tools like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro and have an eye for storytelling and visual elements. You can find video editing gigs on Upwork, Fiverr, Glassdoor, and social media platforms.
Video editors in Canada earn an average of $25 per hour.
12. Do Captioning Jobs
If you have excellent typing skills, captioning may be a good side hustle for you. A closed captioner writes subtitles and captions for recorded audio and video files and live events.
Requirements include excellent typing skills and captioning equipment (including software and pedals that connect to your computer and headset). You can find closed captioner jobs at Happy Scribe and job search websites like Indeed.
The national average salary for a captioner in Canada is $20 per hour.
13. Be a Customer Service Assistant
Customer service assistants (CSA) are popular jobs because they help businesses retain customers by answering queries, handling complaints, and processing orders.
For this job, you need superior customer service and communication skills, can work under pressure and possess sensitivity and understanding. You can find CSA jobs on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed.
The average hourly rate for customer service assistants in Canada is $17.95.
14. Transcribe Audios
Transcription involves listening to audio files and converting them into a text format or document. Materials include audio files of interviews, meetings, or any audio material.
A college degree is unnecessary, with most employers not requiring formal transcription experience or training. Transcription jobs are available at sites like Happy Scribe and GoTranscript.
Transcriptionists in Canada earn an average of $22 per hour.
15. Be a Social Media Manager
Companies today need social media managers to handle their social media presence. If you are well-versed in social media, you can play a crucial role within an organization.
Get in touch with local businesses and inform them you can help boost their business by managing their social media accounts. Hirings for this position are also available on freelance and job search sites.
A social media manager in Canada earns an average of $25.64 per hour.
16. Be a Website and App Tester
Website and app testing are necessary to assess the usability of a website or mobile applications, get user feedback, and resolve issues before their final launch.
To participate, sign up at sites like Usertesting and Ferpection. You must meet their requirements, including age, reliable Internet access, recent computer or smartphone with a camera and a microphone.
The average hourly rate of website testers is $26.23 an hour. Depending on the website testing platform, you can earn $5 to $10 for completed 20-minute videos.
17. Join Clickworker
Clickworker offers a way to earn a little extra money by doing simple tasks, which include text creation, copy editing, proofreading, research, photo capturing, and research.
Sign up at Clickworker and fill out your user profile. Answer short assessments and process your jobs online. For this side hustle, you only need a computer or a mobile device and an Internet connection.
Clickworkers can earn $8 to $11 an hour doing simple tasks.
How to Find a Job In College
Getting a job while in college will help sustain your college career while boosting your resume. But being without experience – and being broke most of the time – can make it tough to find a job.
Fortunately, there are proven ways that help you find a job while in university.
- Check your school for resources on finding employment. On the school’s website, look for Career Center or Career Services, where you can find information about student employment.
- Go online to find job search websites that provide information on jobs that allow you to work at your preferred time.
- Attend job fairs hosted by your school, where you can find employers willing to work with your schedule.
Related: Highest paying jobs for students in Canada.
Pros and Cons of Having a Job in College
As a student, your main priority is getting the best grades and learning everything about the industry you plan to work in after graduating.
But earning extra income when you can is also recommendable because it teaches you discipline and valuable real-life experience.
That said, below are the pros and cons of having a job in college.
- Additional/steady income
- Beneficial for resume-building
- Professional, career-related experience
- Improved time management skills
- Increased independence
- Can graduate with less student debt
- Lack of time
- Physical and mental exhaustion
- Can affect grades
- Low retention rates
- Less time for homework and other school tasks
- No free time
- Higher rates of absenteeism
- Thoughts of leaving college
A college student needs to earn $39 a day for 260 (working) days to make $10,000 a year.
You can make more than that by doing various part-time jobs and by participating in online money-making tasks and paid internships.
You can grow your money as a student by opening a high-yield savings account or CD, investing in mutual funds and bonds, buying exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and using a free or low-cost broker.
Being a freelancer is the highest-paying job in college. Depending on the type of freelancer work, rates can range from $25 to $35 an hour.
Earning $1,000 a day does not happen overnight, but a student can combine income opportunities with money-generating methods for wealth growth. These include keeping a job that pays a decent hourly rate, finding side hustles that generate extra income, and making wise investments.