40+ Best Summer Job Ideas for High School & College Students 🌞

Looking for great summer job ideas? Whether you're still in high school, a college student, or recent graduate, this article has some of the best ideas for summer jobs around!

For high school and college students, with the summer season come great weather, sunshine, and a much-deserved break from your academic activities.

Also, summer jobs.

Whether you’re looking to spend time outdoors, make use of your extra spare time, or simply earn a bit of cash before school is back in session, we’ve got a list of the best ideas for summer jobs available. And, after that, we’ll walk you through exactly how to get summer jobs you’re looking for, quickly, easily, and effectively.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

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Here are the best summer job ideas for high school and college students:

40+ Great Ideas for Summer Jobs

1. Summer Camp Counselor

Probably one of the most popular summer job ideas for high school graduates and college students, summer camp counseling is pretty close to a dream gig.

In most cases, you’ll get to journey outside of your hometown, so you’ll get your travel on. You’ll lead fun outdoor activities, so you’ll get your dose of sunshine. And you’ll build all kinds of useful talents, from leadership skills to communication skills to tree climbing skills (for when you want to peacefully protest deforestation and fight climate change, of course!).

2. Babysitter or Nanny

Summertime is a great season to stop sitting, but babysitting doesn’t count. Nannies and babysitters are in much higher demand during the warmer months, as many parents don’t have the benefit of preschools open. And, you don’t have to sit inside all day, either. You can take your charge out for the day, around the neighborhood, through the park, or for a lengthy stroll about town, meaning you’ll enjoy the summer weather, have a buddy by your side, and get paid for doing it!

3. Gardener or Landscaper

If you love flowers and plants, gardening or landscaping could be the ideal summer jobs for you. In the summer months, green things are often at their peak heights and blooms, which means they’ll need some trimming and TLC.

For you high school students and college-goers without a green thumb, consider lawn mowing. As one of the most popular summer job ideas, you still get to beautify the neighborhood and work with greenery without having to be hired as a full-time employee anywhere.

Related Read: 75+ Best First Job Ideas for High School & College Students

4. Summer Intern

Internships are one of the best ways for students and young professionals to get valuable experience and their foot in the doors of top companies. Summer internships are available almost everywhere at medium and large companies, even though many internships are online at the moment due to the coronavirus crisis. 

With a summer internship, you’ll build crucial skills, add impressive experience to your resume, and make important connections with peers and mentors. If you want to learn more about internships, read our guides: 

5. Bartender

Bartending is a great summertime job opportunity for university students, as many more places open up during the warmer months. Entry-level candidates can get a job with no experience at a bar to bulk up their cover letters and resumes, and you’ll earn some money for paying off your student loans at the same time. 

6. Tutor

Your studies might be on a hiatus during your summer break, but not everyone pauses learning. For one of the most rewarding summer jobs available, consider tutoring. Many younger students in high school and middle school may have struggled to end this school year and could be quite unprepared for the upcoming semester. Give them a hand by tutoring them on specific subjects you’re well-versed in, such as math, history, science, or English. 

Related Read: 7 Reasons to Research a Company Before & After Applying for a Job

7. Lifeguard

Being a lifeguard is basically having the quintessential summer job. While you get the chance to help the injured or drowning once in a blue moon (hopefully not more than that!), you’ll also be getting paid to get some rays and build a nice tan. Whether you choose a community pool or the ocean beach, lifeguarding is definitely one of the best summer jobs out there.

And, to top it off, you’ll look great well into the colder months to come once your gig is over!

8. Restaurant Server

As many restaurants are opening back up and restaurant patios and street-side seating become available, there’s going to be a huge need for restaurant workers in the summer. As a restaurant server (waiter or waitress), you’ll be able to have a regular job you can carry over even after the summer ends. Plus, you’ll develop some crucial job skills, as well, such as customer service skills, communication skills, and teamwork.

9. House Sitter

You could sit around all summer while school’s out, or you could sit around in someone else’s home and get paid for it!

House sitting is one of the best summer jobs. It’s easy, low-stress, and you can feel good about allowing someone else to feel comfortable while they’re out on their summer vacation. While you’re there, you can water their plants, dust shelves, receive mail and packages, and just relax during the downtime. Just don’t throw any wild parties à la 90s American comedy movies!

Related Read: What Is a Career? The Definition of Career & What It Means to Have One

10. Dog Walker or Pet Sitter

As a dog walker or pet sitter, you’ll have one of the funnest jobs for summer in your peer group. As you help out an elderly dog owner or a family on holiday, you get to walk around your neighborhood and enjoy the warm weather with a cute little buddy beside you, while earning some money. What more can you ask for?

If you like animals but can’t manage to get your foot in the door of the cut-throat dog walking game, help out at the local animal shelter. These creatures are some of the neediest among us, as they’re without homes, so you can earn a few bucks while showering these furry friends with love.

11. Summer Farmhand

Want to work up a sweat, get an enviable tan, and help out a local business. Try helping out as a farmworker during the summer. 

As a farmworker, you can help out with any of a number of tasks, from picking ripe fruits to maintaining crops to helping out with deliveries. And, especially after the coronavirus crisis, small farms around the world will surely need an extra hand with all the work!

12. Handyperson

Are you mechanically inclined and competent with tools? During the summertime, many people like to take on larger home projects, such as painting fences, building decks, or simply cleaning up brush from yards and fields. Other tasks include washing cars, cleaning windows, fixing plumbing issues, repairing bikes, troubleshooting computer problems, and installing kitchen appliances. As a handyperson, you can work either part-time or full-time, choosing the tasks which fit your schedule and knowledge level.

Related Read: What to Bring to an Interview? 10+ Things to Take for Your Big Meeting

13. Gym Employee

We often make ambitious new year’s resolutions in January, but it takes until the summer comes around (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is) for many of us to finally build up the motivation to attend a gym regularly. With many people wanting to look great for low-cut clothing and beachwear, gyms need extra help during the summer months, for the most part. And, as a bonus, you’ll likely get access to the gym and premium fitness classes for free as an employee!

14. Golf Course Caddy

In wealthier suburban areas, a golf course caddy may be one of the best summer job ideas. While you’ll need to understand a bit of the game of golf before applying, you’ll spend hours each day walking around lugging golf club bags. You’ll lose weight, get toned, and get some much-needed vitamin D, perfect for the post-COVID-19 lockdown!

15. More Great Summer Jobs

The above jobs are some of the most popular summer job ideas out there, but they’re not all of them, by far. Here are a few more great ideas for summer employment:

  1. Grassroots campaigner
  2. Retail sales associate
  3. Sports coach
  4. Pool cleaner
  5. Zoo employee
  6. Cashier
  7. Fast food employee
  8. Theme park attendant (Disney, anyone?)
  9. Event helper or planner
  10. Food delivery person 
  11. Signholder 
  12. Busperson
  13. Barista
  14. Cleaner or housekeeper
  15. Caregiver
  16. Movie theater worker
  17. Uber driver
  18. Parking attendant or valet
  19. Photographer
  20. Ice cream shop employee
  21. Freelance writer or designer
  22. Hotel receptionist
  23. Newspaper delivery person
  24. Car wash attendant
  25. Dishwasher
  26. Country club staff member
  27. Cruise ship attendant

Related Read: Job vs Career: What is the Difference Between a Job and a Career?

How to Get Summer Jobs

Okay, great, you’ve found the summer job of your dreams.

Now what?

To get the job you’re looking for, check out the best job search portals online.

After that, ready your documents using our cover letter tips and resume hacks

Next, prepare for your interview with our top interview advice.

Finally, have fun, because it is summer, after all!

Related Read: How to Use Goodwall’s Web Profile to Land a Job or Internship Opportunity

Well, that’s our guide on the best summer job ideas for students on summer vacation, and we hope it helps you find just the right fit for you! Got any questions, feedback, or other great ideas for summer work to add to our list? Let us know down in the comment section below, and thanks for reading!

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Christian Eilers
Written By Christian Eilers
is a writer and expert on the topics of education, entrepreneurship, career advice, travel, and culture. On the Goodwall Blog, he covers topics including self-improvement, social impact, college preparation, career development, climate action, and more. Christian is originally from New York City and now resides in Kyiv, Ukraine after living in Warsaw, Poland for the past 4 years. At his desk, you're sure to find Pickwick, his Devon Rex cat, either attacking his fingers as he types or the monitor as the mouse pointer moves around.

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  1. I love this list of summer job ideas for high school and college students! I’m definitely going to check out a few of them!

  2. Great ideas! I’m a high school student myself and I’m always looking for new opportunities to make some money. I’ll definitely be checking some of these out!

    1. Hi Glaicharel, thanks for writing in! Working as a hotel receptionist sounds like one of the best summer jobs for me 🙂 I love travel, but if I can’t do it at the moment, it’s nice to be around people who are!

      I’ve been a cashier before, both at a restaurant and in retail (Target), and it’s a great job during the summer, although you might find you have more competition as more high school and college students will be applying then too. I remember cashier jobs in retail make great winter jobs, with the holiday season and the shortage of available workers.