Student life can be tough when it comes to your finances, especially if you discover your government loans aren’t enough to cover the cost of living. According to Save The Student’s National Student Money Survey, 74% of those at UK universities rely on part-time work to ensure they have enough cash to pay for things like rent, food and nights out.
Working while you study is a great way to gain some experience to boost your CV, meet new people and, most importantly, earn some money. While entering the student job market can be competitive, there are vast opportunities. Why not earn some cash before next term with one of these five part-time student jobs this summer?
1. Pet sitting
Do you love animals? Are you missing your pets while you study away from home? If so, pet sitting is the perfect job for you. This could involve anything from walking dogs to house sitting for a cat owner who’s gone on holiday.
This role gives you control of your own time, allowing you to arrange your pet sitting duties around your study schedule and potentially earn £40+ a day depending on the task. No qualifications are needed, just a love of animals, as well as excellent time management and organisational skills which will enable you to secure work.
The only formal requirement we would recommend is pet sitting insurance. It’s not a legal necessity, but pet owners will appreciate that you’re responsible and protected should anything unpredictable occur. For example, as pet sitting insurance providers at Tradesman Saver note: “This protects you if one of your canines charges, escapes his leash and bites another member of the public. These sort of claims can cost a small fortune.” With insurance, you won’t be left out of pocket if someone takes legal action against you.
The best way to start securing work as a pet sitter is to ask family and friends if they know anybody who needs one. You could also create a Facebook page, advertising your services and detailing your experience, while Gumtree is another useful platform. There are also specific sites you can sign up to for pet sitting, including Care.com which caters to pretty much any animal, Tailster for dog sitting, and Cat in a Flat for cat sitting.
2. Working as an extra
Have you ever wanted to be one of the people casually walking down the street in your favourite TV show or play a dead person in an action movie? Working as an extra in TV or film can be a nice little earner for you as a student. It pays well with daily rates starting at around £70, and food and travel are taken care of too. You could also get paid extra for things like overtime, being cast in multiple episodes of a TV show, or if you have any valuable skills such as the ability to drive or play an instrument.
This role offers great flexibility, so it is easy to fit around your degree. You don’t need any qualifications although you do need to be professional, organised and have a good work ethic. However, bear in mind that while it is exciting and fun, it’s also tiring work.
To become an extra, register with an agency like Uni-versalEXTRAS, Casting Collective and Extra People, as they can put you forward for any suitable roles. Twitter can be great for finding work too — simply search the hashtags #extra and #extraswanted.
3. Event staff
This is perhaps one of the most enjoyable ways of earning money as a student, and event planners are always seeking staff to help them out — whether that’s catering, bar work, or supervising. If you’re lucky, you might even get to enjoy your favourite artists, sports teams, and so on for free! For this customer-oriented role, you need to be energetic, friendly, and punctual. But be aware that it may not be ideal for someone who isn’t a fan of large crowds or loud noise.
The pay rate is minimum wage but requires no experience. In terms of how it may interfere with your studies, try and look for weekend events. You can apply for these roles easily through the designated website, where applications are normally accepted around five months before the day. However, you need to be quick as these roles are highly-competitive among students.
4. Freelance writer
If you’ve got a knack for writing, taking on a few freelance jobs might be the perfect solution to your money worries. Often these are pay-by-post gigs, paying an average hourly rate of £8.20. From blog posts and newsletters to digital campaigns and articles, there are many routes to follow. This is an amazing opportunity to earn money on the side, and even better if your career plans involve writing as this experience may help you secure a graduate job.
To become a freelance writer, all you really need is a laptop and the ability to write well. You’ll have to be creative, well-organised, and prepared to deal with deadlines. You don’t need any experience but will have to provide examples of previously written work to potential clients. To get started, try writing a blog, guest posting, and networking with other writers. Have a look at job boards, use social media, or even have a go at cold pitching if you’re confident enough.
5. Tour guide
Being a tour guide is another fun way of earning money part-time. If you live in a well-known city, you’ll know that there are always tours on offer — even more so if you happen to live in a historical haven like Bath or York.
Tour companies in popular student towns are normally happy for you to work on and off whenever it suits your schedule. The average pay is £11.25 per hour, but you can also receive tips. You don’t need any qualifications, just the right attitude and personality. Interest and knowledge of history are also beneficial as you’ll spend your working days guiding groups around monuments and other areas of cultural interest while providing detailed information.
To become a tour guide, you can either apply to a tour company or try your luck directly at a place of interest. This could be a historical house, a museum, art gallery, or even a botanical garden.