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The Essential Guide to Summer Jobs for Students

Written by The Leap on 03 / 11 / 2013

Gap Year Advice

Whilst your first instinct might be to head off on a sun-filled adventure, summer is the perfect time to get a job and save money.

Adventures cost money, as does living life to the max at university, but jobs can seem hard to find at the moment. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to earn extra cash, we’ve have come up with no fewer than 16 really easy summer jobs to help you kick start those savings.


This is great as it can be done by word of mouth, or putting an ad up in the local newsagent, primary school or village hall. Easy work which looks great on your CV.

Top Tip: Maybe consider getting first aid training. Believe me, after that parents will feel very confident with you around!

Dog Walker

Love animals? Need a bit of exercise yourself? Walking dogs for friends, family and people who live close by is a great little money spinner and fills a need for many households. Because it’s possible to walk more than one dog at a time, you could be quids in.

Pet Sitting

Not dissimilar to the last suggestion, this summer job obviously requires a love of animals. With summer holidays kicking off, many dog owners head off on non-doggy vacations and would much rather leave their pooch with a trusted pal or have someone come into their home to spend time with their dog than shell out on expensive kennel services. Find out what the kennels in your area charge and offer less – you’ll be amazed at the response!

Paperboy / Papergirl

Not just for spotty pre-teens, delivering papers to houses around your area is a great way to get your hands on some dollar – especially as the normal paper boy may be heading off on his holidays! Pay usually depends on the number of houses you deliver to, and it’s a great way to get some exercise as usually a bike or walking is the best and most efficient way to get around.

Be warned: it is quite an early wake up. Then again, maybe that makes it a good way to kick start your day!

Painting Jobs

This is a great job because it's suitable for basically any age group, and you don't need much training as long as you’re relatively neat and tidy. Find out if any neighbours are planning to redecorate their interiors or paint the outside of their house over the summer and offer to help out with the legwork. It will be cheaper for them to employ a student than pay for professional decorators to come in.

More complicated inside jobs may need some training, but once learned you can charge more for more complicated projects.

Car Washing

This age old fund raiser is one of the easiest summer jobs around, requiring little to no investment from you. Create a flyer to promote yourself and get neighbours to text you if they want your services, or simply head off and knock on doors.

No training is needed for this one, just a determined and thorough attitude. Even better - you’ll end up with an enviable tan working outside all summer!

Personal Shopper

We all know an elderly person who lives close by and might not be as mobile as they used to. Why don’t you offer your services to go shopping for their groceries for a small fee? I'm sure they would appreciate it, and it won't take more than a couple of hours out of your day at the very most.

Become a Tutor

If you've just finished school and are looking for a little bit of extra cash to fund your gap year or university, then why not place an ad in the paper to tutor kids over their summer holidays?

All that information will be fresh in your mind, and it’s a great way to learn how to communicate and teach with different age groups. Parents are desperate to make sure their kids keep up with study over the long holidays and some may need help with homework. Make an ad for community notice boards, ask around or check out Tutorhut to find opportunities in your area.


Move over Hasslehoff, there’s a new lifeguard in town (and it could be you). If you’re a good swimmer and don’t mind listening to squeals all day, this could be the perfect summer job. Most pools need additional lifeguards during the summer months and are willing to train you up – a qualification which will make it much easier to find work in the future. Simply search and apply at local pools, beaches or resorts and get ready to be the object of young swimmers affections!

Bar Work

They say you haven’t really lived until you’ve pulled a pint (not really sure who ‘they’ are), and this is a skill which will bag you work anywhere. So it’s well worth finding pub or bar work over the summer to get you started.

Head down to pubs at the start of the summer when extra staff will be in short supply and offer your services out there. It’s a great way to kill time, work as a team and also learn how to run a bar or wait tables in the process.

What's more, if you're really desperate for cash then this is the perfect summer job. Bar work usually involves night shifts, making it easy to get another job during the day or meet up with friends. The tips are helpful too!

Make and Sell Jewellery

If you have arty credentials, why not get creative and make jewellery (or anything else!) to sell. If you need ideas then hit the web and google crafts and gift stores - with a bit of flair you should be able to recreate some of the gems you find online or dream up something of your own.

Once you have one or two items, get yourself set up on a craft selling website like Etsy, open an eBay account, or go to shops and see if they can sell it for you (be warned: they will want a cut of the profits!). You never know where you talents will take you.

Catering companies

Summer is wedding season and that means catering companies recruit like crazy! If you’re a presentable people person, drive a car, and are happy to sacrifice weekends then give this some serious thought.

Although some companies require basic training, others are happy to teach you on the job. Events can range from weddings to 21sts, which means they're usually quite interesting and you'll find that time passes quickly.

Hit google to find caterers in your local area or apply for work with a national caterer like At Your Service.

Festival Worker

Summer is also festival season and tickets for top events can set you back a small fortune. But sign up for security agency work and you could earn yourself a pretty penny whilst enjoying the festivities in your time off. The shifts can be long, but the reward is great.

And if you fancy doing something less labourious - and with more time off - consider volunteering to work at a festival. You usually have meals and a free ticket included, and whilst you wont come home richer in pocket you’ll be richer in lots of other ways!

Golf Caddy

…bear with me! This may sound like the most niche and obscure summer job going, but ask at any golf club in your area and they may be taking on caddies. It doesn’t take a genius to caddy (although a passion for golf helps) and if you get in the right circles caddies can be a very well paid, with some very generous tips to boot.

Working at Camps

This summer job is fantastic if you love being outdoors, working as part of a team, or want work experience with children. It's usually best if you like children, but if you have patience you can get through anything!

The are plenty of summer camp staff opportunities here, if you're interested.

And Finally... Office Jobs

Of course, it's much better to have really organised this in advance. Bosses love to see organisation and initiative, and asking for a summer job two weeks before your holidays begin doesn’t show off those skills fully! At least a few weeks before the summer term ends, be sure to put your CV together and put any personal contacts you have to good use.

What Will You Do?

Hopefully this list has set you on your way to finding yourself a summer job and getting those pennies to roll in. Now all you need to do is go out there and get ‘em! And remember all the jobs listed above will look great on your CV and give you vital funds to enjoy yourself next term, or head off on your world travels!

What do you do for work over the summer? Let us know in the comments below.

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