Alternative Summer Jobs


With summer approaching, many high school students are looking for job opportunities to make money. Often most students can find a job that pays at a store paying under $15 an hour and are satisfied. These are not the only options, many students have other methods of earning money that could be better in terms of pay and time. 

One example is pioneered by Samuel Ewing: Goodwill thrifting. As described by Sam, the objective is simple, you go into goodwill and try to find underpriced items and sell them for a profit on eBay. He looks for certain brands of clothing and items with minor damage he can repair to make work again. “One of my most impressive finds was two model plane toy boxes that I was able to resell for a 300% profit.” This method requires some startup money but can be very profitable and expanded into other sectors such as books.

Plasma donations are another profitable method to make money this summer. Donating plasma requires just a few hours of your time and pay stars at $50 minimum per hour. The only requirements are that you pass a standard medical exam and are 18 years old. There is a donation center in Harrisonburg and donations can be done up to twice a week. The only inconvenience for this would be the drive to Harrisonburg and maybe the discomfort of a needle in your arm for an hour, although even with drive time factored in, your hourly earnings by donating plasma are still much better than $15 per hour.

Starting a business is a great way to become your own boss and not have to work for someone else. The risks are not making any money or making much more than you would as an employee. Julia Smith started her own business Jejejewelry this past year and shares her opinions about running a business: “I started my jewelry business out of boredom in freshman year. Everything I sell is and always has been handmade by me. Normally, I sell through Instagram and Etsy, but a couple of times each year I have a trunk show which is super fun because I get to meet/see tons of people and make a little money in the process.” Working as an employee may be the safest way to make money but with some extra time, thought and effort there are plenty of alternatives to earn some cash this summer.