The 20 High-Paying Seasonal Christmas Jobs for College Students

Christmas Gigs - featured image

As the “most wonderful time of the year,” Christmas is a time when students can take a break from all the stress from school. For most colleges, Christmas break lasts for 3 to 4 weeks. You can spend the time enjoying your free time or, if you’re wise enough, you can find a job and make some serious quick cash.

Working over the winter break not only gives you an extra source of income, but, it gives you some solid work experience. Working part-time or full-time, you can earn an hourly rate ranging anywhere from $10 to $25, depending on your position and schedule. 

As the holiday season is around the corner, expect huge demand for workers in numerous opportunities across different fields such as production, retail, operations, and customer service!

20 Best High-Paying Christmas Jobs

Despite these challenging times and the holiday rush, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the experience of working and meeting new people. After all, it’s Christmas: a season to be jolly! Let’s get started!

Sales Associate

sales associate

A highly popular job for college students, a sales associate position in retail stores is the answer to the influx of holiday shoppers. You will find several job openings featuring similar roles.

As a Sales Associate, you will be tending to the shopper’s needs and actively selling products. In addition, you will also be responsible for checking the store’s inventory and merchandise setup. 

You can work on flexible shifts and even do overtime. Best of all, you can earn extra through sales commissions and get an employee discount. Consider checking out local openings from national store chains like Walmart or Target.



The holiday hustle and bustle will leave people wanting their coffee fix! Cafes often hire seasonal baristas to accommodate more customers. 

Generally, barista jobs require some experience but keep an eye out for small cafes that offer training. For the experienced ones, college towns are usually filled with big chain coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. 

Working as a Barista is a great option for college students. Expect to handle some cashier work and a lot of brewing. With this gig, you can earn around $10 per hour and tip shares.

Resort Worker

resort worker

Whether you live near a ski resort or are just a fan of snow, resort work is a fun way to spend your Holidays. Earn extra from visitors and ski-goers during the holidays!  

While working at a ski resort, you can get assigned to various facilities such as the concierge, restaurants, or even on the slopes if you know a thing or two about skiing and snowboarding. Be ready to assist a lot of excited customers.

Your pay varies with the job, but you can expect generous tippers! Some holiday establishments also throw in perks like employee discounts.

Social Media Assistant

social media assistant

Capitalizing on holiday shoppers, many companies are expanding their online reach through different apps and websites. Given the need for social media understanding and creativity, business owners turn to college students most of the time.  

The Social Media Assistant helps in creating and scheduling posts on different platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. You’ll also handle customer engagement and responding to inquiries online.

You can earn as much as $28 per hour in the comfort of your home since this job can be done remotely. It is an excellent opportunity if you’re pursuing the job even after Christmas. 

Baby Sitter

baby sitter

It’s common for busy parents to search for childcare services during the holiday season when their kids are at home while they have to work. Babysitting can be done all year round, but more opportunities arise during Christmas. 

If you love kids or are great with them, being a Nanny is a great way to make money. With frequent social gatherings and office parties, you can also work at night while babysitting during the day.

Find opportunities through SitterCity or NextDoor. As for the pay, this varies according to your setup and location. 

E-commerce Fulfillment Officer

e-commerce fulfillment officer

A significant ship is evident in the way people shop. The popularity of eCommerce has skyrocketed in recent years, with retailers offering services to help customers buy through different platforms and websites. All your needs and wants are at your fingertips.

As an E-commerce Fulfillment Officer, you will be tasked to prepare, pack, and stack merchandise for shipment. You may also be in charge of forwarding orders to the company’s logistics partner.

Due to the increase in orders, seasonal positions are mostly available but vary per company. Gap Inc. offers work flexibility, while Kohl’s offers opportunities in its distribution centers across different states.

Brand Ambassador

brand ambassador

During Christmas, people treat themselves to some excellent gifts or find presents for their loved ones. It is an opportunity for companies to make themselves visible, both in-store and online.

Brand Ambassadors promote products and services across different channels. They post web articles, send out e-mails, or respond to online inquiries from potential customers. Some companies require more direct interaction, such as distributing flyers or product demonstrations. 

The job provides a great opportunity to develop soft skills since you will be interacting with numerous clients. Plus, some companies give out freebies and even sales commissions.

Beauty Consultant

beauty consultant

Christmas involves a lot of social events and get-togethers. There’s a good chance that people are going to splurge on new cosmetics and beauty products. 

Being a Beauty Consultant is perfect for anyone enthusiastic about makeup and making others look beautiful. Although some companies may require sales experience, most companies look for outgoing and friendly applicants to provide a great customer experience.

This job may require you to work on the weekends, as more people flock to the malls during this time. Almost all beauty stores offer employee discounts, so you’ll save money when buying some for your own. 

Security Specialist

security specialist

According to an article, holiday shopping accounts for approximately 30% of retail sales, which translates to getting 30% of foot traffic in one month. Because of this, most companies ensure that they hire enough security personnel and that safety protocols are in order during this busy season.

As a Security Specialist, you will maintain the safety of both the customers and employees through crowd management and crisis response. You will also be responsible for managing store incidents and enforcing theft prevention.

Aside from being vigilant, Security Specialists are also expected to be warm and welcoming, greeting guests upon entry. With this position, you can earn an hourly rate of $14, depending on the establishment and schedule.



For some, the Christmas break is an opportunity to learn more or acquire new skills. Parents take this opportunity to enroll their children who need better subject comprehension and individual attention. This can also be a great time to learn a new language or musical instrument.

Your academic abilities will make you suitable for this job. Tutoring offers many working opportunities, covering multiple subjects, languages, and musical instruments. Tutoring can be conducted both one-on-one and virtually.

You can check out different online platforms such as TakeLessons and StudySoup. Often, the hours are flexible, and the pay is great, with an hourly rate of around $20.



The holiday season attracts a lot of people to go to hotels, resorts, and high-end establishments. As Christmas approaches, parking spaces will surely become scarce, making valet services necessary.

Your job as a valet will involve receiving customers, parking, and retrieving their vehicles. You will have to engage with the arriving guests, answer inquiries, and assist them with their luggage. 

To qualify for this job, you will need a driver’s license or personal car insurance in some cases. It is a fun way to spend your free time and earn more on the side from the usually massive tips!

Graphic Designer

graphic designer

With many companies and start-ups emerging, a company will need to stand out to attract more customers. Graphic design creates a professional image for any business and helps to optimize its marketing efforts in different channels.

With an eye for design and Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator skills, you get access to a wide range of job opportunities. As a Graphic Designer, you will be asked to create content, develop concepts, and design layouts.

Companies offer varying pay levels depending on your output. Generally, rates go as high as $40 per hour! Plus, the work can be done remotely and on flexible hours.



Christmas is a time when both restaurants and bars are likely to be crowded with hungry customers. As a result, restaurant owners usually hire extra staff to take care of the extra work.

As a bartender, expect to take down orders, mix cocktails, and serve drinks. Having a great personality will give you an edge on this job. It’s usually fun working on a busy night, but keep up with the fast pace. 

Age requirement varies per state, so keep in mind that this gig requires you to be 21 years old or older. Bartenders may earn around $12 per night, but great tips are usually given.



The holiday season is filled with a lot of memorable occasions like weddings and family events. Getting a photographer is a sure way to capture these amazing memories on your special day. 

As a photographer, you will be tasked to take pictures of celebrants and guests and capture treasured moments. This gig is perfect for pros to earn extra. Beginners and photography enthusiasts can also take a swing at this, given they have the right equipment.

Be sure to impress potential clients with your portfolio or past experiences. This job is usually project-based, so that payment will depend on the type and duration of the event. 

Uber Driver


Living in a busy city during the Christmas season can be quite challenging, especially with the traffic and long queues, not to mention limited parking. Christmas shoppers usually opt to commute through ride-sharing platforms. 

There are two basic things you need for this job: a working car and a smartphone. Ride-sharing usually entails passenger pick-up and drop-off, in-app reporting, and car maintenance.

Work hours are very flexible, so your earnings will depend on how long you’re on the road. Keep in mind that this job requires drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

House Cleaner

house caretaker

Christmas is usually a time for families to get together, so there’s usually much traveling involved. While away, people often have their neighbors look after their house or hire people to help.

House sitters typically watch over their assigned property, fetching daily mail, watering plants, and maintaining their pool. Some may even require you to take care of their pets, ensuring they are properly fed and bathed.

Working arrangements vary per household, and the pay is around $12 to $14 per hour. For security reasons, homeowners may require you to work full-time, in which case you will have to stay at their place until they get back.

Freelance Writer

freelance writer

To produce more articles and media mileage during the holidays, companies usually hire freelance writers. There is also a growing demand to create online content since more people are online.

In this gig, you may be asked to write articles on various topics such as health, fashion, sports, and even gift ideas. Be ready to do some research, create drafts, and do a lot of proofreading. Be on the lookout for magazines or online publishers who are hiring.

With the recent shift into digital media, expect to be writing in the comforts of your home. You can be on a per-article arrangement or earn as much as $25 at an hourly rate. 

Temporary Receptionist

temporary receptionist

Over the holiday season, some permanent employees are sent home early to get their much-deserved time off. As a result, some businesses hire temporary workers such as receptionists and office staff.

As a receptionist, you will be tasked to answer inquiries, greet visitors, and respond to e-mails. Despite working for a short period, you can still gain valuable experience by being familiar with some office practices and administrative processes. 

A successful candidate is someone organized and has strong interpersonal skills. Look for options near you through the American Staffing Association. You may be asked to work within office hours and render overtime as needed.

Pet Sitter

pet sitter

Another thing to consider during the holidays is getting the right pet care. Some families go on family trips or weekend getaways, which means they have to leave their pets at home. While you’re on your winter break, consider working as a pet sitter or dog walker. 

This is a perfect gig for dog lovers and pet enthusiasts. For dogs, your duties will usually include walking, feeding, and playing with them. Pet owners usually check on their pets, so be ready to take calls and report behavioral issues.

Taking care of pets is quite a responsibility, but it can also be enjoyable. Pay varies per pet and duration, but you can surely earn more by working for multiple owners. 

Restaurant Server

restaurant server

Most people enjoy eating out with family and friends during the holidays. With the festive mood, it’s the time to catch up and celebrate together. Most restaurants will be packed by the end of November, prompting owners to hire extra help.

Working at a restaurant, you will be tasked with taking orders, answering inquiries, and serving food and drinks to the diners. Be prepared to greet customers with a genuine smile and offer suggestions when needed. 

Despite the job being challenging, a lot of college students prefer this job because of great tips. Working hours are flexible and pay can reach up to $11 per hour.

Consider These When Hunting a Holiday Gig

When deciding on a Christmas job, consider these factors:

  • Time/Schedule Getting gigs won’t guarantee you a fixed schedule, so find a job that goes with your available or preferred time. 
  • Pay Employers usually offer to pay per hour of work, but some may offer output-based payment. If you’re getting an hourly rate, what you earn will likely depend on the time you put in. Longer working hours mean higher pay. 
  • Location Find a job that’s accessible to you. See if it’s possible to skip the regular commute. Check out job opportunities in your area first.
  • Experience Getting a job that’s related to your field is a big boost to your resume. However, if job options are limited, you can always try new things and expand your skills. 
Christmas Gigs - fact

Build Your Resume

Whether you’re applying for full-time or seasonal employment, your resume will play a vital role in getting that job. See how you can boost your chances of getting hired with a standout resume: 

  • The Right FitTailor your resume to the job that you are applying for. Highlight your strengths or past work experiences that are relevant to the job description.
  • Keep it Short We all want to include all our experiences to make our resume look impressive. Only include relevant credentials. Less is more. One page will do!
  • Be HonestInstead of making up past experiences or affiliations, be honest with your work experience. Focus on impressing them with your personality instead.

Your Personality Matters

Some openings require a specific skill set. However, most seasonal jobs require less work experience given the short time you will be working. Employers are usually looking for a team player, with a great work attitude and high adaptability. 

For customer-engaging roles, having a positive disposition is a big asset. Employers gravitate to applicants with great communication skills and who can work with less supervision. Some gigs won’t require formal application or interviews, so it’s always good to build connections and be referred.

Win them over with that great personality of yours!

Virtual Hiring

Most companies are offering new ways for job seekers to apply. For safety and ease, applicants will be able to submit their resumes online and conduct interviews over the phone or through video conferencing platforms. Some companies even accept applications through text messaging. 

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor