Summer and Online Jobs for Teens and College Students


Every parent’s favorite summer activity for their teen or college student is a J-O-B. Nothing like getting them into the real world, collecting a pay check and having taxes deducted from it to help them see the value of their education. A job doing anything whether it is hauling trash, answering phones, entering data, or taking orders at the Burger Barn is a worthwhile experience. It teaches responsibility and gives them references and experience for their future endeavors. However, if a “real” J-O-B has not worked out, here are some ideas for Summer and Online Jobs for Teens and College Students.

The summer of 2020 is still uncertain. Many traditional teen and college student jobs may not be available. Some jobs may be online. Like all of us, the kids are going to have to get creative, keep their ears to the ground, and be ready to pounce when things open up.

Summer and Online Jobs for Teens and College Students

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Try Self Employment:

Self Employment has endless possibilities. Any skill can be marketed to neighbors, friends, and friends’ Facebook contacts.

  • Babysitting: Moms and dads who have been working for months with their kids underfoot are going to be ready for some help. If they do go back into their offices, their usual childcare options may not be available. I predict there will be a LOT of opportunities for teens and college students willing to offer childcare.
  • Lawn mowing: It’s outside and is naturally “socially distanced.”
  • Other yard work
  • Tutoring: Online or in small group settings. If they have an area of expertise, advertise it. Many kids are behind in what they should have learned in the spring of 2020. Being willing to work with kids, teens, and college students to get their knowledge of a subject ready to go back in the fall of 2020 will be invaluable.
  • Computer or other technical skills (One of my sons earned money transferring friends’ old VHS recordings into digital formats. He has now branched into video production, including weddings and promotional videos.)
  • House sitting
  • Pet sitting
  • Providing rides for kids to lessons, camps, the pool, etc. for occupied parents


Look into the “Gig Economy”:

  • Grub Hub, Uber, and other delivery and service jobs are a good option for those who meet the age and other requirements.

Take Classes for Employable Skills:


Online Jobs or “Microjobs”

Online jobs and “Microjobs” are a way to earn a small amount of money or miles or gift cards. They will not make them wealthy, but can give your student something productive to do while binging on “Friends.”

  • Usertesting: Members evaluate websites and receive $10 per site evaluated. I have had my website evaluated several times by usertesting.
  • Survey Police: Listings of survey sites you can join to earn money and other benefits. The site also gives the scoop on each site. Some are not worth your time.
  • Panel Place: A survey site that links you to reliable survey companies.
  • Ibotta: Go through your groceries and take pictures of the bar codes of featured products and the corresponding receipts to earn money towards gift cards. I have an account with ibotta. I don’t use it as much as I should, but I did earn a $25 Amazon gift card in the last 6 months. If you use my link to join, you will receive $10 in your account and I will receive $5 in mine.
  • Music Xray: Music fans get paid to listen to new songs. I have never used this site, but it sounds interesting, and something that could keep a teen busy for hours.



Hire your student:

  • Give your teen or college student a household responsibility, such as the yard, the laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and pay them to do it.

Apply for scholarships:

Take Summer School:

  • Knock out a high school or college graduation requirement. My daughter is going to knock out 9 hours online this summer.


  • Even if they have a job, send them to a hospital, a church, or anywhere that won’t consider it trespassing if your kid hangs around trying to be helpful. Consistent volunteer work is a great college application and resume booster. Organized volunteering in a group setting may not be available this year. Your student can create their own opportunities by making cards and dropping them off at nursing homes and doing other individual service projects.


Summer Internships:

  • For your college kids, summer internships in their chosen field are a must. If you have a connection in that field, then it is not too late to ask if your college student could intern with them for a week or more this summer. This summer may be rough in the internship category and the internship of their dreams may not be available. If they cannot find anything, go to summer school to free up space in their schedule later when internships are available.

  • Most internships are applied for and accepted during the spring, so if one is not available this summer, time spent researching what internships would be possible for the next summer and the application process will pay off.

  • Ask to interview someone in a field of interest about their education and experiences. If a real live human is not available, listen to podcasts or read blogs about the profession.

Read “7 Musts Before Senior Year“:


Plan for College


Attend Camp:

  • Fun, sun, bonding, getting along with others, new skills and adventures. I’ve never heard of a camp that allows the kids to stay up all night, sleep all day, and make a mess of their cabin, so even though their duffle and clothes will be full of dirt, they will have an intact sleep/wake cycle when they return. Most camps will probably not happen in the summer of 2020, which stinks.


Attend Specialized Camps and Classes

  • There are camps and classes for everything: badminton, musical theater, cheerleading, sewing, cooking, tennis, creative writing. Don’t miss the opportunity to improve a skill or acquire a new one. Our church has been conducting online VBS style activities for the kids. I am sure others will as well. Hopefully, prayerfully, our kids can get together in small groups and take online camps and classes.

Test Prep:


Special Projects:

Do you have projects you are “going to get to someday?” Hire your son or daughter to do one. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Organize photos
  • Scan photos
  • Video your house as a home inventory for insurance purposes.
  • Clean out the garage.
  • Clean out a closet.
  • Hold a garage sale with the items they have cleaned out and allow them to keep all or a percentage of the profits.

Bucket List:

  • Make a bucket list for the summer with these parameters: something fun, something to read, something to try for the first time, and somewhere to go.

List their textbooks:

  • Get last semester’s textbooks listed on Amazon. Sell them, mail them, collect the money.

Sell Digital Photos:

Start a blog:

  • Blogs give you a forum for your thoughts, teach you to create a website. (i.e. marketable skill), and sometimes make a little money. To begin you will need a host server and domain name. I use Siteground as my server and WordPress to build my site. WordPress is free. I have a custom theme called “Divi” that I purchased from Elegant Themes. I share more about blogging in this post.

Get ready for the next school year:

  • Read the assigned summer book or books.
  • Clean out backpacks.
  • Clean out dorm stuff and pack up for the next year.


While a job working for someone else is the first choice of most parents for their teen or college student, sometimes that does not work out. But, there are still plenty of ways to make productive use of time and even earn money during the summer. They can free-lance their skills and time, prepare for standardized tests (which can mean money later on), take classes, volunteer, work online, and many other possibilities.

With the summer of 2020 up in the air the best strategy is to ask each teen and college student, how they can best use their time this summer. Our college students are looking at getting in as much school as they can and participating in the gig economy. 


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