Student Loans Got You Down? Best Student Summer Jobs

Summer is the perfect time for college students to acquire a little real world experience – not to mention some extra money for expenses or fall tuition. Depending on how far you are in your college process, a summer job can also be a good way to start saving for your student loan payments that will come due about six months or so after you graduate, in most cases. Unfortunately, Summer jobs for college students aren’t easy to find these days. You’re not only competing with fellow college students, but other job seekers willing to take any job. On the positive side, there are still some summer jobs that are better suited to college students. The competitive job market just means you have to start looking sooner.


Being a lifeguard for the summer is an old standby, but still a viable solution to tackling some of your student debt. Many pools – usually public pools, but some private pools will hire student lifeguards too – start hiring a few weeks before Memorial Day. Public pools are required by law to have a lifeguard on duty, so this is one job that is recession-proof. You’ll likely need CPR training and have to go through a training period, but most college students can meet these requirements. The job is ideal since it usually ends around Labor Day just as fall classes are getting ready to start up again.

Hotels and Resorts

Many hotels and resorts are looking for extra help in the summer, traditionally their busiest time. Many of these places will let you enjoy their luxurious amenities for free when you’re not on the clock. It’s a great way to earn some money in the summer and enjoy some of the perks of a summer vacation without having to pay for it. As an added bonus, some hotels and resorts allow you to accept tips. You’re not limited to resorts and hotels near you, some will pay your travel expenses and allow you to stay on the premises while you work there.

Fast Food Restaurants

Working at a fast food restaurant isn’t the most glamorous summer job, but it is one of the easiest to find. If you’re stuck for something that starts right away, this is a viable option. Some fast food places give employee discounts or let you take home what’s left at the end of the day. Again, not the coolest of summer jobs – but it will give you some extra cash.

Babysitting/House Sitting/ Pet Sitting

Just to make it easier, let’s combine all the “sitting” jobs together. Babysitting is another old standby. You might actually earn more pay as a college student babysitting than you did as a high school student. Parents tend to look for more mature sitters who can be more responsible – and some are willing to pay a little extra for the better service. Many pet lovers don’t want to leave their animals alone. If you’re an animal lover, this is an ideal summer jobs. Some pet owners will pay more if you develop a reputation for doing a good job. You’ll also get a little exercise too when you walk little Precious. House sitter is another option. The pay varies widely, but typical perks include free food and a place to relax and get some studying done if you’re taking summer courses while you work. You can usually find listings for any of these sitting jobs in local or online classifieds.


If you’re not done with your college courses just yet, consider a summer internship or apprenticeship. You not only earn a little money – if you focus on paid internships only – but you gain practical experience related to your major. Some internships even lead to permanent job offers. Companies don’t usually advertise internship or apprenticeship opportunities since they usually have very specific requirements. The best way to track down these opportunities is directly through your school. Another option is to contact companies you are looking to work for after graduation. Some companies are willing to offer internships or even hire students expected to graduate soon.

Whether you are looking to save up to start paying off your student loans or just looking to earn some extra cash for the summer, there are plenty of opportunities available. Besides the ones already mentioned, summer employment opportunities include theme parks, non-profit organizations and local shops and businesses. If you are an IT major, some colleges and universities may offer you a summer job as part of the school’s IT team. You’re not gonna receive the same pay as the full-time IT staff, but you’ll gain valuable real-work work experience while earning some cash. With a little persistence and determination, you have pretty good odds of finding something for the summer.