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5 Great Summer Jobs for College and Grad Students

Summertime and the living is easier and cheaper — that is, if you’re not enrolled in summer semester classes and if you’re living back home or subletting on campus. So if you need to earn some money this summer, here are some of the best jobs in terms of pay and/or experience.

  1. Carpenter or skilled craftsperson. If you like working with your hands, these are among the very best summer jobs. They pay very well and you have the opportunity to use your manual and artistic skills to build and create things that last.
     
  2. Fitness trainer/instructor. Had your fill of sitting in classes and lecture halls all day? If you’re a fitness enthusiast or attend the gym on a regular basis, why not get paid to work out? Of course, you would also be helping other people get in shape. Also, keep in mind that being a personal trainer and teaching private lessons can pay nearly twice the hourly wage you’d get teaching big classes.
     
  3. Customer service rep. If you became proficient at sitting in school, consider being a customer service representative. Good phone skills are a must, as is the patience necessary to deal with demanding customers.
     
  4. House-sitter. One of the easiest jobs of all times. If you’re trustworthy, people will pay you in the neighborhood of $100 a day to stay in their homes while they’re away. You may have a short list of tasks to perform — like bringing in the mail, watering the plants, feeding the cat — but, hey, you’re living rent-free (at least for a short period of time). Sometimes you even have a vehicle at your disposal! To find a house-sitting gig, post flyers around town, use social media or check out one of the house-sitting websites, such as TrustedHousesitters.com or HousesittersAmerica.com. Once you become a sitter, treat the house with the greatest respect, returning it to the homeowners in good, or even better, shape than when they left.
     
  5. Intriguing internships. If the idea of toiling for something as crass as cash just doesn’t do it for you, take advantage of an opportunity to intern for an exciting organization. You can gain invaluable work experience, have a great time and maybe make a difference in the world. Here’s a short list of companies and organizations offering internships to college and grad school students: NASA, Facebook, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Disney, Time Inc., Doctors Without Borders, Big Ten Network and the United Nations Foundation.