As summer arrives, it’s a perfect time to think about earning some extra cash before the next academic year kicks off.
Whether you’re looking to save up for the year ahead, gain new skills, or simply keep busy, there’s a variety of ways to pad your wallet during this period. Plus, some of these summer jobs could even evolve into a steady source of income or valuable work experience.
Here are some easy ways to make money over the summer.
Crafts and baking
Are you a crafty person? Do you love painting, drawing or making things? If so, you could be generating an income from your skills.
Etsy is a great place to sell your crafts. And because it’s a global marketplace, your store and products can be accessed by shoppers from around the world. Before starting up your own store, take a moment to do a little homework and check out other Etsy sellers to see how they market, photograph and price their products. Some of Australia’s most experienced Etsy sellers have shared their top tips to help you get off to a flying start.
Similarly, if you’re a whiz in the kitchen and know how to bake amazing cakes, you can easily make money online. Flaunt your skills on Instagram and TikTok and you could be baking your way to earning an income. You could even head down to your local markets and set up a stall to sell your baked goods.
There are many ways you can monetise your passion for photography or art. Set up an eBay or Esty account to sell online or create a virtual platform that showcases your work.
If you love travelling and photography, a blog is a great opportunity to show off your skills and sell your photography online. There are lots of blogging platforms out there, so be sure do to some research, compare your options and figure out which platform best suits you.
Instagram is another excellent platform for displaying your photography skills. Just make sure your profile is public and use the right hashtags to get your work seen! You can even link your blog and online shop in your bio to direct people to your other platforms.
Airtasker is a fantastic way to earn money. It allows members to post tasks they need to be completed, and then others have the chance to earn money by completing them. There are thousands of tasks posted every month, ranging from dog walking, babysitting, grocery shopping and deliveries to cleaning, gardening, admin work and so much more. Payment is organised by Airtasker Pay, so you’re guaranteed to be paid once the task has wrapped up.
Summer in Australia brings a flurry of festivals and local events, and they often need extra hands. Working as event staff at these festivals can be a fun and flexible way to make money. Roles vary from ticketing, and customer service, to helping with event setup and merchandise sales.
Websites like SEEK, Indeed and Jora frequently list these event-related job openings. Additionally, you can check out specialised event staffing agencies like Spark Event Group or Pinnacle People, which often recruit for major events. If you know of a specific event that you’d like to work at, you can usually apply directly through their website. Remember to apply early, as these positions are highly sought after!
Are you an animal lover? If so, you can make money from pet sitting! There are several websites you can join as a pet sitter. Based on your preferences, owners can choose to have their pets stay with you while they are away or have you walk their dogs or feed their pets regularly.
On your profile, you can set your own prices and choose which services you offer and for which animals. Then, you can organise your own schedule and work as much or as little as you like. Every job is booked through the website and covered by insurance, and customer service staff are available to help if you have any issues.
If you have a car or bicycle, you can get paid to deliver food and groceries to people. Check out Uber Eats, DoorDash, Menulog or other food delivery services. You can choose your own hours and work on weekends or during times that suit you. Before starting, make sure you are confident in understanding Australian road rules and bike safety.
Australia’s agriculture sector is currently facing a significant labour shortage, so now is a great time to consider farm work, such as fruit picking. The Harvest Trail is a government initiative to connect workers with employers in agricultural regions across Australia.
To help you stay safe while undertaking farm work, the Fair Work Ombudsman outlines a few principles for workplace health and safety to ensure that the work is safe and upholds your rights. Wondering how much you should be paid for farm work? The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay Calculator can help you figure out whether you’re getting the right wage. This page also contains information about minimum wage, taxes and superannuation.
Do you have a specific skill set you could monetise, such as writing, editing, graphic design, videography or photography? Perhaps you’re really good at certain subjects and you have an interest in tutoring? Or maybe you love music and would like to be a freelance DJ? You can pretty much be certain that someone somewhere is willing to pay you for your skills.
The best way to start your freelance business is to spread the word through social media and your social circle or check out freelancing platforms like Freelancer or Upwork. In terms of pricing, have a look at various freelancing websites to see what others are charging and use that as a starting point to figure out how much to quote for your services. You get to decide whether to charge hourly or per project.
The Fair Work Ombudsman also offers information on working in the gig economy so you can do so lawfully and safely.
If you decide to start your own business or become a freelancer, make sure to check out our guide first. It covers all the necessary steps you’ll need to take, including how to set up an Australian Business Number (ABN).
Originally published in 2020, authored by Varsha Devi.