Side Jobs For Extra Income: Past College Jobs

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Now that my classes are over for this term, I want to spend some time thinking about how to make some side money while going to school full-time. This got me thinking about jobs that I’ve done before when I was studying for undergraduate. There has been a good variety. Let’s see what we got, from lowest paying to highest:

Drive-Through Cashier, $6/hour – A mom and pop fast-food type restuarant. Took orders for drive-through, made drinks, cashier stuff.

University Security Escort, ~$7/hour – Walked people home at night from the library to their dormitory or off-campus housing. It was nice, you get to work at night and meet a lot of new people. I actually met my wife this way!

Restaurant Host/Cashier, ~$8/hour – Another mom and pop, but a sit-down restaurant. Took reservations, handled to-go orders, sat people at tables, provided silverware and water, cashier stuff, counted money and receipts at the end of the day.

Parking Attendant – $10/hour – Worked football games and basketball games. Stood around, talked on CB radio, and sold parking permits. Boring, but good pay considering the full-time parking people made less than we did (but got benefits). Working one football game would get you $75, and you’d be done by 2pm. Very easy to pick up shifts when you need some extra dough (say, for a date)

Math/Science Tutor – $10-14/hour – As a university-employed tutor. I love teaching and working with people, so tutoring was great. Pretty flexible hours.

Research Monkey, $12/hour – Ran tests and collected data for a professor during the summer. Terribly mind-numbingly boring.

Research Monkey #2, $12/hour – Used Microsoft Word’s Equation Editor to convert handwritten formulas into fancy-looking formulas. For antoher professor. Even more boring.

Private Tutoring, $15-$25/hour – This is where the money is at. You also get paid cash, and have to deal with the tax issues yourself. When you build up a good reference list, you can pretty much set up your own hours and charge what you think people will pay. Helps to have a car for high school students. But for college students it’s pretty easy. This is the only job I’m considering starting again next term.

There may be more that I forgot. Note that I never did any real food service. I just know that I would’ve lost a finger or something if I had to deal with knives or cooking or frying.

Of course in retrospect, it might have been better to try and start my own business like Napster or Google, but I was pretty much just looking to buy food and toys at the time. What are some interesting jobs you all have done to make some money?

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  1. Movie extra, – $12-25/hour. Don’t need an agent. Your on a movie set. You go when you have down time. And sometimes you meet cool celebrities. The only con is most of the day they make you sit and do nothing but wait for the cast and crew to be ready for a shot. But bring a laptop or a book and you’re good to go. Oh, and of course, there’s probably a bunch more extra work here in Hollywood than on location anywhere else. But try hitting the next feature that rolls on by.

  2. Neat idea – when I visited UCLA last they were filming The Nutty Professor and were looking for extras too.

    I forgot add Psychology Trials – Answer some questions, attach yourself to some equipment, make $10 an hour. Can even manage to do it in between classes. Try walking around the Psych department for flyers.

  3. I prefer to take part in medical experiments. Who cares if you have a few less brain cells when you’re done? It’s easy money!

  4. Liquor surveys. Get paid to taste test the newest flavored vodka, rum, wine cooler, etc. You get paid a flat rate… $10, 20, 30 per PLUS you have to have a designated driver and that person gets like $5 for each person that they drive. Easy, mindless, interesting to see the marketing process. Not sure where you find them locally, I got my name on someone’s list and they call me from time to time.

  5. I always had computer-related students jobs in college. The best was being a computing assistant. Part of the job consisted of sitting in a computer lab answering questions. Most of the time, there were no questions, so I could just sit there and do my homework. When I quit, I was making around $15/hr.

  6. I have found a way to make some easy money, but I am unsure if its even legal. So maybe you can review this and determine if it is legal or illegal. I have done this successfully once, but stopped for fear violating laws.

    The whole idea is to earn interest from paypal’s money market with your credit cards limits, but also refunding back the money that was charged. You simply create a bill using paypal’s merchants tools, send the bill to one of your email addresses (the email cannot be the same that was used to set up your paypal account) pay that bill with your credit card. Then the money will be deposited into your paypal account. Leave the money in the Paypal account for 31 days so interest can accrued. Then the next day after 31 days, go to your paypal account and proceed to refund the money that was charged to your credit card. The money that’s left, is the money you earned from interest with your credit card’s credit lmit.

    This is a great way to earn some extra money, but you should also check to see if it violates any federal, state, or local laws. This method takes time, and will take lots of credit limit to make it worth while.

    Things you need to get started.
    1. Two (2) email addresses
    2. PayPal account, with money market
    3. credit card(s), the more credit limit, the more merrier.

    First step. You will need to create a Paypal account that earns interest from their money market. Use only one email address to set this account up.

    Second step. Create a new email address. Using yahoo’s free email services is just fine. If you have a second email, then skip to third step.

    Third step. Create a billing charge by using paypal’s merchants tools. You should create a bill for the amount you would like to charge to your credit card, and the amount to be deposited into your paypal account. Please note, when charging to your cards full credit limit, it may hurt your credit/score. So it may be best to have multiple credit cards, or a extremely high credit limit.

    Fourth step. email that bill to your secondary email. Once you recieve it, proceed to pay it with your credit card. (you may create multiple bills for multiple credit cards) Money will then be deposited instantly to your paypal account.

    Fifth step. Let the money stay in your account for 31 days, this insures you’ll earn interest from the money.

    Sixth step. the day after the 31st day, go to paypal account and refund the money back to your credit card. All paypal and credit card usage fees will be refunded as well. The only money that should be left behind, is the interest accrueded while the money was in the account.

  7. Considering that paypal can freeze your account at any time, FOR ANY REASON, this is not a good idea. Also, your money in the paypal MM fund is NOT FDIC insurred.

    Like you said, you would need a substantial ammount of money to make this worthwhile, and I would be VERY warry of giving paypal any significant sum of money.

    Is it legal? Don’t have a clue.

  8. Hey Jon, great idea for a post, I wrote one up too: link

  9. I dont know about you, but the security escort meet sounds like it was from the movies.

    are you a big guy? just curious what was their selection process for someone doing that in college. lol.

  10. I did the securtiy escort job too, but it was volunteer and the ‘wages’ went to whatever campus organization you were a part of. And to Cap’s question, I was not big at all–they weren’t worried about it since having at least two people instead of a solitary female was considered a deterrent. I did run a lot in college, so it was a great way for me to get in a few cross-campus jogs.

  11. I was a computer lab assistant too- greatest job ever. I made $8 an hour, which is pretty good when you are just doing your homework. I tried to get the same job at the lab on our satellite campus, but since I already hold down a full-time day job, they wouldn’t let me work there (I was filling out paperwork and tax forms when they finally realized it! DOH!). I loved it b/c you can pick up a couple hours late at night when you have nothing but homework to do. Pick a quiet lab and you’re set.

  12. I worked at sports arenas during college. I would serve food in the Club level, wages were minimum, but I’d leave a hockey game with $100 in tips, and I got to see most of the game. I did this with baseball and basketball as well, would make $50-60 for those, but this was for 4 hours of work in the evenings and you got to watch the games. Loved it, almost wish I could go back.

  13. Jeff Paul internet Business Ideas says

    I was so happy to find the real legitimate opportunities which guaranteed money from the comfort of my home. As there are so many scams on the web which are bogus.

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