15 Ways to Earn Money as a Student

1st December 2021
A student at a desk putting money in a piggy bank.

The average student will owe quite a bit of money by the time they graduate, and student years are hardly a time of plenty. Yet, if you can come up with a legitimate side hustle to earn a bit more, student life can be made a little more comfortable.

Notice we said ‘legitimate side hustle’. There are lots of ways to earn money but not all of them are reliable, safe or legal.

We’re going to concentrate on those that are reliable, safe and legal.

Innovative ways a student can earn some extra money without burning the candle at both ends or spending every waking moment either studying or working. We want you to still enjoy those years, after all!

Here are a few smart ways to earn money as a student that won’t break your back.

Ways to make money as a student

Some of these will require investments in time and effort but should reward you with at least a little income.

Start a YouTube channel

Not everyone who starts a YouTube channel will earn anything from it. But, if you’re confident in front of a camera, are passionate about something or can make people laugh, you could do it.

Billions of people use YouTube every day and if you can come up with a unique pitch or viewpoint, you could capture some of that audience and monetise them.

Start a blog or website

Again, not everyone who launches a blog or website is going to make money, but plenty of people do. You’ll need the same level of effort and energy as YouTube to create a blog, good quality content and build an audience.

You can then use Google AdSense and a range of other monetisation options such as sponsorships, merch and more to make cash.

Create and sell an app

If you have a great idea that you could turn into an app, you could make money from it.

You don’t need to be a developer to make apps, there are cloud platforms for that. Come up with an idea, play around with one of those platforms and you could launch the next TikTok.

Teach online

If you’re learning lots of cool stuff on your course, you could help teach others online. There are lots of online learning systems and portals where you can create and sell courses.

Creating a course takes time and effort but once done, you can resell it many hundreds of times with very little effort. It’s a definite investment in time but one that could repay you many times over if you’re any good.


Are you a good writer? Can you speak multiple languages? Can you spot spelling errors easily? All are sought-after skills on freelance marketplaces and good ways to make money as a student.

Take the gigs you want at times you want. Just remember to always deliver what you promise and never let the client down and this could be a lucrative and long-lasting side hustle.

Take online surveys

Taking online surveys will never make you rich but it can be an interesting way to spend a little time.

We would suggest setting up a separate email for them as they can come with spam. Otherwise, search for online surveys, register and complete as many as you want.

Become a user tester

If you’re a web user, and what student isn’t, you could get paid to test websites, products and services.

UserTesting.com is one of many websites out there that will pay you for testing all kinds of stuff, mainly websites or apps and leaving feedback. You’ll sometimes need to be detailed in that feedback, but you can get paid for every five minutes you spend doing it.

Be a TV extra

Studying near a TV studio or popular filming location? You could be a TV extra and get paid for being on screen.

There are a few websites out there that deal in extras. You’ll need a good photo for your profile but you could then get paid for sitting in the background of TV shows and movies.

Mystery shopping

If you like a little retail therapy, being a mystery shopper can be cool. They are either online or in person and require you to have a little cash to begin with.

You buy a specific item from a specific retailer and then report on the experience. Your report will need to be detailed and address specific points. In return, you’ll be paid for the item you had to buy and your time.

Selling stock images

If you’re interested in photography and have a good eye, you could sell stock photography.

Stock photography is bought by website designers, graphic artists, brands and anyone who needs an image for content. As long as your images are high quality, you could make money taking pictures.

Part-time jobs

Let’s not forget the good old part-time job washing dishes, tending bar, serving coffee, stacking shelves and the like.

There’s a real shortage of workers right now so you could be able to earn decent income working part-time in many types of establishments. Many local companies are looking for reliable staff. That could be you.


No, not that kind. Clothed modelling, hand or foot models and other legitimate modelling opportunities could be just what you’re looking for.

There are lots of modelling agencies but check them with the British Fashion Model Agents Association to make sure they aren’t a scam before you invest too much time or energy.


If you’re the creative type, you could write a book or graphic novel to sell on Amazon or elsewhere.

Self-publishing is cheap and could provide a half decent income if your work is good enough. This is another of those opportunities that require effort on your part but could continue generating income long after you publish.

Tour guide

Studying history? Are you a knowledge sponge? Working as a tour guide at a local landmark could be an interesting way to earn.

Working at a castle, country house, local landmark or even hosting tours of your university can be a lucrative way to earn a little extra money. You’ll need to know everything and be able to answer questions politely no matter how dumb, but otherwise it’s an excellent way to earn.

Delivery rider

If you’re comfortable on two wheels, being a delivery rider is another way to make money as a student. We all know the apps and all of them require riders or drivers at some point.

If you don’t mind unsocial hours or working weekends, this could be a simple way to earn money while keeping you fit and outdoors at the same time.

Those are just a few ways to make money as a student. We’re sure you can think of others that pay at least half decently and won’t take up too much of your time!