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5 Easy Ways to Earn Money as a Student

by Didi Onwu

If your parents are like mine, and worry about whether or not your academics will suffer, it’s time to prove them wrong. Take a look at our top five part-time jobs for students.

During university time is scarce, and because of that, very precious.  At the same time your expenses keep piling up every month and you’re strapped for cash. The good thing is you shouldn’t have to wait to get your degree to be earning some money. The best thing you could do for yourself and your CV, is to have some experience and skill in managing your time, developing your talents and discovering what it is you actually want to do after school.


1. Working at the Library


The best place to start your job search is right on campus. Consider working in the library as a library assistant or monitor. This job eliminates commuting time because it is on campus and you have access to your academic resources. Each university library job varies, but some general responsibilities include the supervision of study space to ensure quiet is maintained. Working at the front desks helping to sign out books and also providing general information about the library to students and staff. There is a lot of downtime – which means you’ll have time to catch up on some study time, that nagging essay or tutorial. So, enquire at your library to see what opportunities are available.

2. Lab Monitors


Some say this might be the crème de la crème of on-campus part-time jobs. Why? Free INTERNET! All you have to do is monitor a quiet space, make sure the students are not going on to any illegal sites and make sure there is ink in the printer. You’re free to do work and you’re left with hours of surfing the web. The only downfall with this job is that your hours won’t always be spectacular. Be prepared to work late shifts.

3. Tutoring


Academic Tutor

There are many opportunities for tutoring on campus especially for students in their final year and postgraduate years. Find out if your university has a tutoring system then there may be a job for you. If you’re especially strong in specific subjects or courses then this is of great benefit. Or if you performed well in certain classes approach your lecturer about tutoring opportunities. You often have set hours for this kind of tutoring so it becomes easier for you to plan your work and academic schedule and the pay is not too bad. Pay rates differ for every university, so check out the tutoring section online for your University’s rate.

Private Tutor

If you can’t find the right tutoring job on campus you might need to venture out privately. Off-campus tutoring jobs exist too. Although we sometimes never want to look back to our high school years, private tutoring might require us to go back to our yester years. So, venture back to request for students who need tutoring in popular problematic subjects (Mathematics, English, Physical Science, Biology etc.) What’s great about this is you can set your own charge. R120 is a good standard price but it is also a very individual process. What you should consider when asking for a price is your transport cost, the family and your previous experience as a tutor. The more experience you have, the higher you can set your rate. You can also tutor online with First Tutors. It’s practical and easy. Just create your tutor profile online and start your tutor journey from there.

Agency Tutoring

So maybe don’t have the time to look for tutoring jobs yourself? Don’t worry! Why don’t you go through a tutoring agency such as Teach me 2. Just as their website says “it’s simple really – earn extra cash by tutoring learners in their home”, the more tutoring jobs you have, the more you earn! Tutoring rates vary depending on the type and level of the subject. Generally speaking the earning potential of a Teach me 2 tutor ranges between R100 and R170 per hour. They do take a commission of 45% of whatever is earned. Visit their website and find out more.

“It’s rewarding. I don’t like dealing with parents, so that’s the one pro with working with an agency”– Ali

4. Babysitting


Don’t dismiss this option outright! Yes, this job is not for the feint hearted because it involves children. But if you love working with kids then this a good part-time job for you. Pay is above average, and you’ll most likely be able to squeeze in study time, especially if you babysit kids at night. There are a lot of hours that you can schedule to fit with your timetable. University staff usually favour students when choosing a babysitter. Ask family, friends or that not-so-creepy neighbour to look after their rugrats. A good asking price, especially if you have experience, is R80 and above per hour. If you’re a rookie and this is a first time for you, between R50-R70 is a good asking price. Plus, you never know what type of children you’re going to get so you need a little insurance in what you make. Everything is negotiable, so work it out with the families and enjoy the experience.

“It’s not always easy because kids are quite temperamental. But once I put them down, I can chill and do my work”– Kirsty

5. Waitressing


Waitressing has been a go to for students who need to earn some extra money.  Local coffee shops, cafés or restaurants are always looking for a helping hand. Yes, this job is not always glorious or glamorous but hey at least you have some money coming in. Some restaurants only work on tips and some on a standard commission basis. Stop in and see if you can apply in person. Don’t forget to keep smiling if you do consider waitressing. The customer is always right!

“It pays half my bills,” says one of Didi’s friends.  

EduConnect 2Cents

University is all about exploring different avenues and having a  job is one way to not only experience new things, but to earn your own money and start building your independence. Yes, it’s going to be difficult because academics always comes first, but with the right balance you can do it! Have fun and find the job that best suits your personality and work schedule.

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