10 of the best freelance jobs for college students

Are you looking to kickstart your career after college… but not getting far? Here are 10 freelance jobs to consider.

When students are still in a college or university, they are often promised a bright future and successful career. But is that so in reality?

Unfortunately, 53% of college and university graduates remain unemployed or underemployed. So, you can study as hard as you can, but it doesn’t guarantee employment opportunities once you graduate. 

So, what can you do? Take matters into your own hands and try freelancing!

For college students, freelancing is a perfect way to practice skills and get job experience. Besides, you’ll be able to work at your own pace. But which freelance job option should you choose? Here are 10 suggestions. 

1) Tutor

Average weekly pay– $861

We all know that schools rarely offer opportunities to practice knowledge. So, you end up graduating with the baggage of information in your head, not knowing how to actually apply it. 

Tutorship is a perfect solution for those who want to bring theory to practice, even if your future career is not connected to teaching. You can become a tutor in any subject and even coach younger students from your university via special programs that exist on campus. Besides, you’ll get a perfect opportunity to advance your knowledge.

2) Virtual assistant

Average weekly pay– $924

If you would like to do some organizational work, you can try the position of a freelance virtual assistant. This job involves a wide variety of responsibilities:

  • email management
  • itinerary management
  • website maintenance

The virtual assistant responsibilities will vary depending on the job or project. So, evaluate your skills and talents, and think which project would best suit your abilities. It’s a perfect way to practice your skills while also gaining some hands-on knowledge. 

3) Graphic designer

Average weekly pay– $1,070

All graphic design students can start their careers while still in college by working on freelance projects. You can start small – create a logo for a small business, work as a story maker creating content for a brand’s Instagram page, or craft engaging PowerPoint presentations. 

However, sometimes companies ask graphic designers for a portfolio. If you don’t have any works to show yet, you can add your college works or start personal graphic design projects, which you can later add to make your portfolio richer. 

4) Computer engineer

Average weekly pay– $2,293

Much like graphic designers, future computer engineers should also look for job opportunities to start practicing their skills as early as possible. Luckily, there’s no shortage of programming projects. 

As a beginner in computer engineering, you’ll mostly have to write code. Once you get more experienced, you’ll also participate in designing software and testing it. And, as your knowledge of code improves, you’ll also be able to learn new programming languages, which will benefit your future career. 

5) Data entry assistant

Average weekly pay– $649

Although data entry is often a responsibility of a virtual assistant, some projects deal with so much data they need to hire additional data entry assistants. 

On the face of it, you might think that a data entry job is not difficult. However, this job requires you to be extremely attentive to detail, have great research skills, and know-how to categorize data properly. 

6) Freelance content writer

Average weekly pay– $1,215

This is one of the most popular and well-paid freelance jobs any student can apply for. If you have great analytical and writing skills, you can try your talents as a content writer for a bunch of projects.

However, some projects may require skills outside writing. For example, Mark Blackwood, a writer and reviewer at Let’s Grade It, says he hires freelance content writers who also have SEO skills to write optimized articles.

Freelancing as a content writer is not just beneficial for future journalists. Regardless of your major, you can try yourself as a content writer to improve your writing skills and advance your knowledge on a given subject. 

7) Contributing editor

Average weekly pay– $1,338

If you don’t want to write but still want to work with texts, you can consider a freelance position as an editor. Many projects that hire freelance content writers also employ editors to double-check the content. If you’re attentive to details, this job can be perfect for you. 

You can become a contributing editor to any brand, an essay writer service, or even to a newspaper or magazine. Choose your editing projects depending on the industry you want to work in later. For instance, if you’re going to work in data science, pick an online resource that writes content on this topic and ask if it needs editors.

8) Translator

Average weekly pay– $1,144

If you’re studying foreign languages or speak one as a bilingual, you can try earning some experience by working as a freelance translator. Your most basic responsibilities will include:

  • translating a written or narrated text from one language to another
  • translating and subtitling visuals, such as videos, photos, and presentations
  • creating vocabularies with terminology

Translation projects are often limited to a specific niche – healthcare, technology, education, etc. So, pick the niche that you would like to learn more about when choosing a translation project.

9) Customer service representative

Average weekly pay– $681

Another popular job among freelancers is customer support. Many companies outsource customer servicebecause it can be quite expensive to keep one in-house, especially if the company is big and sells a lot of products daily. 

As a customer support representative, you’ll mostly deal with different queries, for which you’ll already have a pre-written script. This job requires patience, empathy, and attention to detail. Also, be ready that some companies may ask you to work during night shifts, for which they often pay double. 

10) Video and photo editor

Average weekly pay– $1,100

If your future job will be connected with video production or photography, it’s always a great idea to start getting work experience while you’re still studying. There are many freelance video and photo editor positions from brands that use this content for marketing purposes. 

Here, your main obstacle is the knowledge of photo and video editing software, which should be advanced enough to perform the tasks required by the freelance projects. So, if you feel that you can’t operate this software well enough yet, give yourself projects first. Once your skills get better, you can apply for a freelance project and get work experience. 

What’s the right freelance job for you?

A university degree definitely opens the door to a brighter future, but it’s not the guarantee of a successful career start. Many employers will ask you for real-life job experience, and you can get that while still studying by doing some freelance work. 

As you can see, there are plenty of freelance job opportunities for you, from tutoring to video editing. Pick the project that will benefit your future career and allow you to practice the necessary skills. And, keep learning – it’s the only way to pave a path to an awesome career. 

Mark Blackwood is a professional writer and editor. He’s been working as a freelancer for over seven years, working on projects for different brands from around the globe.