It can be difficult to balance school with a work schedule, and that balance is even harder to come by when you factor in the commute to and from work. Jobs on campus, therefore, tend to be a really good fit for college students. For one, on-campus employers tend to be more understanding about academic demands, and are used to accommodating staffing changes based on fluctuations in course load. In addition, you won't have to worry about scrambling from class in order to make it to work on time, and working on campus is a great way to meet new people. You’ll also make valuable connections with faculty and staff at your university.
Think long and hard before shelling out any money: Some work-at-home jobs will require you to purchase materials or equipment to get started, and while that doesn’t mean they’re not legitimate, it should be a red flag. If you are asked to pay for equipment, make sure you understand what you’re buying, and from whom. Also ask about the return policy for your equipment if your new gig doesn’t work out.
How to Get It: Begin with sites like UserTesting.com, YouEye.com and Userlytics.com. Register with multiple companies for opportunities to test as many websites as possible. Once you're in the system, you'll be emailed when testers are needed, and if you're one of the first to respond, expect to spend 15 to 20 minutes completing the test. Many sites require a microphone and/or webcam, which are built into most laptops—but if you need to buy one, they aren't expensive. The tester sites typically pay within a week or two via PayPal.
The second-best student job ranked by PayScale: dental receptionist, with a median pay of $14.10 an hour. This job wouldn’t work for a regular full-time student like my son. How many dental offices want to hire a college student who is likely to take off for the summer? Also students’ schedules change from semester to semester, or quarter to quarter in the case of UCLA, and a dental office may not want to shift shifts as needs change. But for students attending night classes at community college, this could be a great job, and of course ideal for those interested in a dental career.
A wide range of businesses need workers to enter various data into their systems, whether that data are used to track inventory or shipments, create business plans, or measure performance or output. And since a computer and typing skills are the most important requirements for this job, many data entry workers are able to work at home, and on a schedule that fits their lives.
The online application process for these jobs—or perhaps “gigs” is the better word, since they're all for independent contractors—is pretty simple and straightforward with very little required of candidates. Some of these opportunities—like the micro-jobs—you could very well apply and start the same day. And these jobs require very little commitment and can typically be done on your own schedule.