Being a student is hard. You need the cash to get to and from university, to buy all the necessary resources and books, to pay for your student accommodation, bills and foods AND try to have some sort of social life at the same time. Student loans and grants rarely stretch far enough, and for many students, earning some money through working is essential for survival. However, finding a job that pays enough but is flexible around your lectures, coursework, and exams can sometimes feel impossible. It isn’t though – there are plenty of jobs out there which are perfect for a student, and this is what we are going to cover here.
- Personal Tutor
Lots of parents will pay big money to help their kids get decent grades. If you are confident in your subject and have patience, you could be the one getting that cash straight into your pocket.
You will need pretty decent grades yourself, and oodles of confidence. After all, it can be pretty daunting going into someone’s home and sitting with an often reluctant student to try and get them up to standard. However, it is an excellent way of boosting your C.V., and if you are ever thinking of going into education yourself, perhaps as a teacher, it gives you superb experience.
If you can speak a second language, working as a language tutor is a particularly great option, and paves the way for you to teach abroad in the long summer holidays. It can also help you to land a TEFL qualification, which provides an opportunity for you to travel the world and earn money in the process.
If you spent your formative years watching Baywatch and imagining yourself as one of the lads or ladies in red, running across a beach in slow motion ready to save someone from the perils of the sea, this is one for you. Of course, it is not quite the same here on the U.K. beaches – it is a little colder usually, for starters, but a beach lifeguard course can prepare you and give you the qualifications that you need to save someone’s life potentially. You do need a pretty good fitness level and of course, you need to be a confident swimmer.
If you have younger siblings, or nieces and nephews, you probably have plenty of experience of being in charge of smaller people, so earning money from doing this is a great idea. Parents up and down the country are always looking for someone to look after their kids while they escape for a much needed child-free night out, or to watch the kids on a teacher training day. Some might need the odd school pick up covering. This is why flexible university timetables lend themselves well to babysitting. Nighttime babysitting gigs are especially great – the kids are often in bed, and you just need to be keeping an ear out for them, so you can crack on with your assignments and uni work at the same time, and get paid for the pleasure! Getting some informal experience with children while you are at university might come in handy if you choose to work as an au pair abroad, or move into primary teaching. You can advertise your services in local social media groups, shop windows, leaflets through people’s doors, word of mouth or by joining up to a childcare agency, which helps to arrange it all for you. Be warned that while the latter can help you find work, they also often take a cut of your earnings, or charge a fee for membership.
A driving license can be helpful, especially if you are doing some late nights. Lots of parents like to see an up to date DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate, to prove that there is no reason that you shouldn’t be looking after young children and have no criminal record. This doesn’t cost a lot, but it can be a valuable tool.
- Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
If the thought of looking after someone else’s children fills you with dread, why not look after their furry friends instead? Many working people with pets like to make sure their animals are cared for during the day, whether that’s someone sitting with them in their house all day, in the sitters home or popping in halfway through the day for a quick walk, to use the toilet and to make sure they have not eaten the curtains. You can also offer longer-term pet sitting, maybe if the owners are going on holiday or into the hospital, or provide a dog walking service. This is becoming increasingly popular as people work longer and more demanding hours. The best thing is you don’t need any qualifications – just a love of animals!
Temping tends to work best for students during the long summer break, as you have a few months where you can work. The good thing about temp work is that if you hate somewhere or hate the job, you don’t have to go back, it gives you the chance to try out different jobs for size and meet a load of new people. However, temping doesn’t give you the same employment rights as if you were a permanent member of staff, and there is no guarantee of work from one day to the next.
- Festivals and events
All through the summer, there are festivals, and festivals need plenty of people to be able to run smoothly. Students are ideal for this! Ok, so you can’t drink on the job, but you get to listen to the music and get paid for doing it, so what is not to love? It isn’t just the summer either – Christmas fairs and experiences always need elves and actors and car parking stewards and marshals.
Happy job hunting!
What has been your favourite student job? Let us know in the comments.