University is an expensive time for students and the summer months can be a great way to generate some much-needed cash to fund your studies and evenings in the student bar.

A report by the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) at Loughborough University found that students need an average of £18,600 per year and £21,774 in London – on top of tuition fees – to fund a minimum living standard to cover costs such as rent, food and going out.

However, the maximum maintenance loan, if you are eligible, is £13,022 – leaving students with a shortfall to pay the bills.

The end of the academic year provides a great opportunity to fill the financial gap by finding a summer job, with plenty of employers seeking to fill temporary roles before the new university term starts.

Student jobs website Unitemps is currently listing more than 150 temporary vacancies, with more expected at the end of this month, while Employment for Students (E4S) has around 2,800 holiday roles.

We asked experts in the student sector and jobs market for their recommendations on where to find summer work.

Retail and bars

Retail, catering and bar work may be obvious places to look for summer jobs but Chris Rea, of careers guidance website Prospects, says they can be particularly useful if you are interested in a career in those areas.

Dan Roberts, managing director of, suggests bar work can be a great summer or ongoing part-time job for university students, especially if you’re highly sociable, while it can also build confidence.

“Depending on the bar, it’s likely no former experience will be needed, however, it will help if you have experience in customer-facing roles, not to mention the ability to deal with tipsy and sometimes difficult customers,” adds Roberts.

You could earn up to £60 a night, not including tips, depending where you work.

Summer festivals

The summer is a great time to enjoy music festivals as well as comedy and cultural events such as the Edinburgh Fringe.

But you could also get some earnings out of your enjoyment.

“Festivals and events take place during summer across the UK and they need temporary staff,” adds Rea.

“Checking tickets, selling merchandise or working as part of the crew building sets are just some of the options. Some events take applications direct, others you need to go through agencies that staff events. If you want a career in event management or sound engineering, this experience is spot on. Ask about payment as some roles are paid with an entry ticket.”

Research by flexible job ad platform Indeed Flex suggests staff could earn £12.62 per hour from temporary bar jobs in Edinburgh during the Fringe, which could even help if you are planning your own show.

Fringe performers who work just four four-hour shifts per week could earn £807.68 in August, helping them offset their living expenses throughout the month.

Pet sitter

Pet ownership has been on the rise since the pandemic and that means plenty of families will need someone to look after their furry friend if they are going on holiday this summer.

Roberts explains that you can set your own hours and fees and even take your laptop with you to do any university prep work.

You can setup a profile on websites such as Pawshake, Rover and BorrowMyDoggy. Earnings could hit up to £40 per day.

You don’t need any formal qualifications to become a pet sitter although you will need a licence and insurance if you are looking after a dog in your own home overnight and providing boarding services.

Au pair

It is not just dogs that families need help with over the summer.

You could become a summer au pair and help parents seeking childcare support when schools are closed.

A summer au pair provides short-term childcare services to families.

Families from Spain, Italy and France are particularly interested in hiring a summer au pair at the moment, according to Aupair World.

Similar to a full-time au pair role, you would be helping to look after children and some light housework, plus you get to travel and spend time on your studies.

Your accommodation and bills are usually covered and au pairs are typically paid a set rate of “pocket money” per week, usually defined in law to ensure people are treated fairly.

For example, au pairs in Spain have to receive a minimum of €70 per week.


Charlotte Davies, career expert for LinkedIn, suggests turning your skills into paid opportunities.

One route could be using the knowledge you are gaining at university or learned at school to provide tutoring services.

“Conventional student job opportunities might have more competition and the level of flexibility varies so consider other opportunities which play to your strength,” she says.

“If you’re gifted in a specific subject area, consider tutoring.”

The average rate for a private tutor session is between £30 and £42 per hour but can be lower if you are just starting out.

You can sign up on websites such as First Tutors and Tutorful.

Where to look for work

Student job websites such as Unitemps and 34S regularly display flexible and temporary job listings.

The busy period for vacancies is typically the end of this month when exam season has finishes.

Rea says the key to all of this is being proactive.

“Applying early can help,” he says.

“Hand out CVs to retailers, bars or restaurants. Look at the websites and social media of companies that you’re interested in, phone them to introduce yourself and find out what they may have on offer.”

Davies suggests some students may want to use the opportunity to find roles that give them relevant experience in their desired field, for example, taking on an administrative role for a company that aligns with their career goals.

Others may simply be looking for some form of temporary employment but whatever the case, she says it’s important to consider your own schedule, what is feasible for you and ensure your studies take priority.

“Take advantage of the career-based support on campus by utilising university career centres and societies, but also consider how you can network off-campus,” she says.

“For example, try making a list of relevant companies and reach out to hiring managers on LinkedIn to see if they offer any paid summer internships or any other available opportunities.”

Watch out for scams

Fraudsters may try to take advantage of those looking for work by setting up fake job ads that ask for payment for interviews or your bank details before you have even secured a role

You can report concerns about job scams and find out about others at JobsAware.

“Fake job ads are not always obvious, but there are red flags such as unusually high salaries or promises of easy or quick returns,” adds Rea.

“Genuine companies put effort into their ads, so look out for spelling mistakes, poor grammar or vague company information.

“Check out potential employers online – if you can’t find basic information like location or staff then consider looking elsewhere. Remember that you shouldn’t have to pay for a job or interview and bank account details are only usually needed once you accept an employer’s offer and start work.”

By qhfmb

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