Jun 22, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

The average college grad takes about six months to land a job after college, depending on factors ranging from the field of work to the current job market, according to The Balance. Unfortunately, you’ll still have to eat and have a roof over your head during this time, a predicament which can be both stressful and scary -- particularly as your bank account balance creeps closer and closer to zero.

However, just because you haven’t landed your dream job yet doesn’t mean you can’t earn enough to support yourself while you look. In fact, a number of part-time and decent-paying side gigs are out there, including the following six picks:


1. Interpreter/Translator

The benefits of speaking multiple languages are many. Here’s one more to add to the list: You can work as an interpreter (converting spoken or sign language) or translator (converting written language) and earn decent money doing so. 

Given our increasingly global society, demand for people with these skills continues to grow. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of growth for translators and interpreters is 29 percent -- significantly faster than the average. And while some jobs in this area will have experience requirements, others will offer short-term or on-the-job training if your language skills meet their needs.

If you’re looking for flexibility, meanwhile, you can’t go wrong working in this up-and-coming field. Says the BLS, “Interpreters work in schools, hospitals, courtrooms, and conference centers. Some work for translation companies or individual organizations, and many translators also work from home. Self-employed interpreters and translators frequently have variable work schedules. Most interpreters and translators work full time during regular business hours.”


2. Copy Editor

Have a way with the written word? If so, copy writing may be the perfect fit for your part-time needs. So what do copy editors do, exactly? Explains Houston Chronicle, “A copy editor is responsible for an initial round of proofreading to ensure that written text is concise, consistent and both grammatically and factually correct. Those in this position also ensure that each sentence is easy to read and that concepts expressed are in a logical, sequential manner. The position typically involves working at a magazine, newspaper, website, corporate communications department or advertising agency. It is a key part of an editorial team comprised of writers and editors that may also include proofreaders and fact-checkers.”

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, you’ll also need a solid grasp of grammar and knowledge of one or more accepted style guides, depending on the industry in which you’re working.

An added bonus? At an hourly rate of just over $18, copy editing landed a spot on Business Insider’s roundup of highest-paying side gigs for in-between times.


3. Tutor

At $17.28/hour, tutoring also claims a spot on BI’s list of best-paying side jobs, and just so happens to be right up the recent college grad’s alley: After all, you’re sporting all that newly acquired knowledge, why not put it to work? As one recent English Lit grad and current law student told The Guardian of her tutoring work, “It’s a really good earner and perfect if you’re doing a time intensive course as you earn more than you would per hour doing something like waitressing.” 

Concludes The Guardian of this part-time path, “The tutoring industry is expanding and the student body -- with its expensive education, free time and typically empty bank accounts -- is a rich source for potential new tutors.”

Meanwhile, online tutoring has opened up new opportunities for aspiring tutors regardless of where you live.


4. Tour Guide

Know your city inside and out? If so, there are plenty of opportunities to share your local love by working as a tour guide. Check out Tours By Locals, Vayable, and Shiroube, companies which connect locals with travelers looking for more authentic experiences while on the road. Weekend work is plentiful in this field, meaning you’ll have plenty of free time on weekdays for interviews and other job hunting-related tasks.


5. Recreation Work

Love the performing arts? Working with kids? Hiking, skiing, kayaking and other adventures in the great outdoors? If so, consider recreation work. This job sector is incredibly versatile, with lots of opportunities for both part-time and seasonal employment.

Community centers, recreation departments, resorts, ski mountains, and other tourist destinations - many of which are facing worker shortages due to tightened immigration policies -- are great places to inquire about work opportunities.

One last thing to keep in mind? If you don’t feel like doing the legwork yourself and you aren’t choosy about the time of work you’ll be doing, signing on with a temp agency can yield surprisingly satisfying work -- both of the short-term and contract variety. In addition to helping you pay your bills, temp work can also lead to the development of new, resume-friendly skills. In some cases, temping can even lead to a permanent position.

Which brings us to our next point: Even if a job is temporary, the impression you make is permanent. Your takeaway? Always put in your best effort. Aside from the fulfillment that comes from a job well done, you’ll be glad you did when you need a reference or if the perfect full-time position opens up.



Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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