Winter break is an excellent time to relax from a tough fall semester and spend time with friends and family. But, it’s also a great time to make a little extra money.
With the average college student graduating with nearly $30,000 in debt in 2020, it’s smart to take advantage of as many money-making opportunities as you can while you’re still in school. And luckily, there are plenty of winter break jobs for college students.
Read on to learn more.
1. Nanny or Babysitter
Between shopping for gifts, throwing holiday parties, and traveling, many families are extra busy during winter break. Because of this, nannies and babysitters are often in high demand during this time of the year, and many families are even willing to pay higher rates than normal.
Often, the best way to find babysitting or nannying gigs is by word of mouth, but you can also create a profile on a nanny job site such as Care.com.
Chances are, there are several families in your neighborhood who need help during the holiday season.
2. Pet/House Sitting
If taking care of children isn’t your thing, then why not try your hand at pet or house sitting? Many people take extended vacations over the winter, meaning they need someone local to look after their pets and home.
Also, many people prefer to stay inside during the colder months, so if you can’t find a pet sitting gig, there are likely plenty of people looking for dog walkers. While being a pet/house sitter comes with a lot of responsibility, this is probably one of the least stressful winter break gigs.
You’ll likely have plenty of downtime while on the job, so you can use your extra time to get ahead for the next semester or catch up on your favorite TV shows.
3. Rideshare Driver
If you’re looking for a gig that lets you set your own hours and comes with plenty of flexibility, then consider working as a rideshare driver. Major rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are always hiring drivers, and all you need to get hired is a clean background check, a driver’s license, and a reliable vehicle.
You don’t even need to schedule shifts ahead of time- all you need to do is log onto the app and say you’re ready to drive. This means you can easily work your ridesharing job around your social schedule.
4. Research Assistant
If you plan to stay on campus over winter break, then consider working as a research assistant. Not only does this job come with a lot of convenience for those living on campus, but you’ll also likely learn a ton. Plus, this gig looks great on your resume.
We suggest checking out your college’s website to see if there are any openings for research assistants over the winter months. If you can’t find anything, don’t be afraid to get in touch directly with your advisor or favorite professor. Chances are, there’s a professor or grad student who could use some extra help over the winter break.
5. Winter Ski Resort Job
Working in a winter ski resort can be a great way to make some extra cash and have a ton of fun over your break. Once autumn hits, winter ski resorts all over the country start posting vacancies for all kinds of positions.
While the obvious route is to work as a ski instructor, there are plenty of other positions available at these resorts. You can work as a lift operator, front desk agent, call center agent, bartender, housekeeper, groundskeeper, or even social media manager.
Many of these resorts are open year-round, so your winter gig could easily become something you work year-round or return to for the summer months.
You can put your subject matter expertise to use by working as a tutor during your winter break. Students of all ages often use winter break to get ahead in their studies or to get some help in subjects that they struggle with.
If you’re going to be on campus for winter break, you can post on your school’s job or bulletin board that you’re available for tutoring. Or, you can get in touch with parents in your area and pick up some work tutoring younger students. In addition to tutoring on specific subjects, you can also find work as an SAT or ACT tutor.
If you speak a second language, you can also find a tutoring job in this area.
7. Snow Remover
If you don’t mind physical labor and cold weather, then working as a snow remover in the winter can be a lucrative gig. You can remove snow from the driveways of families on vacation or those with mobility issues.
If you’re fit, self-motivated, and live in a snowy area, then this is a great option for you. If you have access to a snow blower, then you’ll be able to get a lot of work done in a short period of time. If you’re looking for a way to make more money, you can offer to hang up or take down Christmas decorations for families as well.
8. Sales Associate
It’s no secret that wintertime is one of the biggest shopping times of the year. To deal with an influx of shoppers, many stores hire seasonal sales associates.
If you have a large department store in your area, there’s a good chance they’re looking for some extra help during the holiday season. Some stores that typically hire holiday sales associates include Target, Walmart, Nordstrom, and Macy’s.
For some of these jobs, you’ll need experience working as a cashier. If you don’t have this experience, you can likely still get a job stocking shelves, folding clothes, or working the floors. Additionally, if your local mall or department store has a Santa display, you could get a job working as one of Santa’s helpers.
9. Restaurant Server
More people shopping during the winter months also means that there are more people going out to eat. Many restaurants, especially those connected to shopping centers, are looking for extra help during the winter months.
If you’re friendly and good at multi-tasking, you can make some great tips as a server during your winter break. Without some restaurant experience, you may find it hard to land a serving gig. However, many restaurants are willing to hire entry-level employees to bus tables or host.
You can also contact local catering companies to see if they’re hiring event servers for the holiday season.
10. Delivery Driver
If you have a car and you’re looking for a winter break job that offers tons of flexibility, then working as a delivery driver may be the ticket. Nowadays, there are so many delivery apps to choose from. You could work for GrubHub, Uber Eats, Seamless, or Door Dash, just to name a few.
In addition to getting paid an hourly rate, you’ll also make money in tips. You have the ability to set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want.
11. Gift Wrapper
Are you the person who only needs a few pieces of tape to wrap a Christmas gift? Do your packages always look like someone professionally wrapped them?
If so, consider working as a gift wrapper during your winter break. Most people aren’t the best at wrapping their own gifts, so they head to the gift wrapping counter in the department store to have someone else do it for them. While this job will keep you plenty busy, it’s typically a bit more relaxing than working as a sales associate.
12. Warehouse Associate
Large warehouses like Amazon are typically very busy during the winter months, as it’s the peak season for ordering gift items. These companies tend to hire a lot of seasonal workers, and the pay is typically quite good for college students.
Plus, many of these positions will hire people without any experience. Keep in mind that you’ll have to do a lot of packing, unloading, and other manual labor tasks, so you need to be in good physical shape for the job.
13. Personal Shopper
While some people like to take care of their holiday shopping on their own, others like to leave it to the experts. If you have good style and excellent customer service skills, then you may have a lot of fun working as a personal shopper during the winter months.
There are websites that hire personal shoppers directly, but you could also just ask around in your neighborhood to see if anyone needs some help with their holiday shopping.
With extra time spent on shopping and visiting families, many people find that they don’t have as much time to keep their homes tidy during the holiday season. For this reason, many people will hire housekeepers over the winter break.
You could offer your cleaning services to families once or twice a week, or you could offer to be a cleaner during/after holiday parties.
15. Task Rabbit
If you have any sort of special skill, Task Rabbit is the place to monetize it. Task Rabbit is an app that connects those in need of help with skilled taskers.
When signing up for the app, all you need to do is list the types of jobs you’re available to do and your qualifications. You can pick up gigs assembling furniture, running errands, conducting home repairs, cleaning, and moving. Best of all, you get to set your own rates and schedule.
Saving Money Over Winter Break
In addition to earning more money over winter break, you should also be looking into ways to save money. While it can be tempting to splurge over the holiday season, try to resist by using some of the following savings tips:
Limit Holiday Gift Shopping
The average American spends between $1000 and $2000 on holiday gifts. To cut down on your holiday shopping costs, try going for homemade gifts this year. Or, see if you can get your family to agree to forgo gifts this year. Instead of doing a gift exchange, you can all volunteer together or partake in some sort of free activity together, such as skating or sledding.
Plan Affordable Social Gatherings
When trying to see all of your friends and family members over holiday break, you may find yourself eating out nearly every night of the week. To make sure all of your holiday budget doesn’t go to drinks and food, try planning more affordable social gatherings with your family and friends.
Suggest hosting a game night, ordering in pizza and drinking wine, or hosting a white elephant gift exchange party.
Be Wise About New Year’s
New Year’s Eve can get very expensive for college students. Taxi prices are at an all-time high, bars charge a huge cover to get in, and drink prices can be through the roof.
To avoid spending extra money on New Year’s Eve, talk to your friends about hosting a party at someone’s home instead. This way, you’ll get to avoid the long lines and expensive taxis and still make great memories with your friends.
Winter Break Jobs for College Students: Time to Make Money
Now that you know about the best winter break jobs for college students, it’s time to get out there and make some money. With the above ideas, you’ll be able to head into your spring semester of college with a wallet that’s a little thicker than normal.
If you’re looking for more ways to budget during college, check out our blog.