6 Summer Jobs That Pay Amazingly Well – and Are Hiring Right Now

Mar 13, 2017

The summer job has evolved.

Yeah, public pools still needs lifeguards. And that stadium snow cone machine isn’t going to scoop itself. But the low-stakes, low-paying gigs that once defined the dog days of summer have some serious competition.

This year, cash-strapped college kids—and others looking to make a little extra cash—will clamor for a range of summer jobs that dole out fat paychecks. By the end of May, 74% of them will be filled.

Here are some of our favorites.

Group of tourists following male tour guide, outdoors
Kelvin Murray—Getty Images

Tour Guide

Average Pay / Week: $1,800

Cities that swell with tourists during the summer months often pay handsomely for locals to show visitors around. The guides at “Free Chicago Walking Tours,” which give tours of famous spots like Michigan Avenue and Lincoln Park, make close to $45 an hour, according to owner Jeff Mikos.

Homebody types can snag a guide gig without ever leaving the house. Brie Weiler Reynolds, a senior career specialist at telecommuting staffing firm FlexJobs, says city guide writing jobs are among the best paid roles on the site. Projects are commissioned by travel and real estate companies, and pay around $50 to $100 for short guides on shopping, transit, and other topics.

New York City Bike Courier
A male bicycle courier rides against the traffic in the bike lane in New York City.Gibson Pictures—Getty Images

Delivery Courier

Average Pay / Week: $700

A highbrow version of a pizza delivery driver, couriers get a fee (and usually a tip) to hand-deliver items from drug stores, malls, and restaurants that don’t deliver. Postmates, probably the best-known bike and car courier network, uses an Uber-like app to link drivers with clients. Earlier this month, Ross Lipschultz, a Chicago-based sports marketing professional, published a Medium post about his experience driving with Postmates for some extra cash. After gas and car-repair expenses, Lipschultz’s take home pay topped $18 an hour. An average work week brought in $700, but Lipschultz says he could have bumped that number up with additional hours. Traditional delivery drivers in his area only make about $8.25 an hour.

silhouette of dancing woman
Getty Images

Motivational Dancer

Average Pay / Week: $1,000

Some entertainment companies hire bonafide party starters to jazz up dance floors at Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, and corporate events. The starting hourly rate is usually around $25, but charismatic dancers with a knack for engaging lifeless crowds can make up to $100 an hour, says Richard O'Malley, owner of the production company the O’Malley Project. Jobs can often be found on the casting call database Backstage.

Making an Appointment
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Appointment Booker

Average Pay / Week: $800

“Lead generation specialists,” or business-to-business telemarketers companies tap to cold call potential clients, make a starting wage of about $3,200 a month, according to FlexJobs’ Weiler Reynolds. Most of these positions can be done from anywhere in the world, and don't list sales experience as a prerequisite, so they tend to attract telecommuting entry level hires.

Crab Fishing
Getty Images

Crab Harvester

Average Pay / Week: $1,625

Alaskan crabbing is a dangerous job. But it pays well! According to the Houston Chronicle, rookie crabbers make about 1.5 to 5% of each harvest, or about $3,000 to $10,000 during the three-month crab season. A warning: the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks crab fishing as one of the deadliest jobs in the country - but don't be afraid to try it if you're in a pinch for some quick cash.

Couple studying together
Getty Images

Mentor

Average Pay / Week: $800

Paid mentoring gigs can be lucrative, particularly for college students. CollegeVine, which connects high school students with tutors and mentors, pays $20 an hour and up for employees to work as application consultants, according to a spokeswoman.

Resume writing is another good option for students, as college campuses offer a steady stream of clients. Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, a professional resume writer, says the starting rate for novice writers is about $50 a resume (and can go up to $400 for those with experience).

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