For students studying in a foreign country, money can be a huge issue. To cover the expenses of tuition, food, utilities and other living costs, most need cash on hand to live and complete their studies. This is where under the table jobs can help international students.
Let’s talk about the basics first.
What is an Under the Table Job?
An under the table job, also known as ‘cash job’, is any work you do that pays you cash directly. The job is ‘off the record’, meaning it’s not recorded anywhere.
You get paid in cash for the work you did instead of a paycheck, so no taxes or social security were taken out. With no reporting going to the IRS,
Although under the table jobs are a great way to save and pay your monthly expenses, It’s important to note that these jobs are considered non-compliant according to the IRS.
It’s on you to decide if you want to take a cash job that’s not reported and be aware of the potential penalties that could arise.
Best Under the Table Jobs for International Students
1. Cleaning Jobs
The best on the list are cleaning jobs. The reason is simple – it’s super easy to find them.
Many people just don’t have time to clean their homes due to busy work or family schedules. Some people just don’t like doing it so they’d rather pay someone cash to clean their homes. The work required is typically vacuuming, washing, etc.
And the best part is that if the house owners like your work, they’ll give you regular work (2-3 times a month).
Painting jobs are always in demand almost everywhere.
You don’t need any advanced training to start earning cash as a painter. Look on Craigslist or Facebook and search for painting jobs.
Once you find a job that you think you can do, contact the owner and negotiate an hourly rate. You can learn the basics on painting from many online resources, such as YouTube tutorials.
Related: 14 Best Online Jobs for Teens (No Experience Required)
Landscaping is one of the most popular under the table jobs. That’s because they don’t require any special skills to complete.
While there are big landscaping companies out there that do professional work, they also cost a lot. That’s why many people turn to students who can do basic landscaping jobs at a reasonable rate.
You won’t be required to have any specialized skills, since the work involved isn’t complicated. Basic tasks like lawn mowing, trimming, raking leaves, and watering plants are what most people will ask you to do.
This is a great way to make money under the table that puts more cash in your pockets.
4. House Sitting
House sitting is one of the easiest cash paying jobs.
Many people pay others to watch their homes while they are away on vacation or extended periods of time. It provides them relief that someone is taking care of things while they’re away.
You’ll do tasks such as basic house cleaning, checking the mail, and just periodically telling homeowners if anything needs attention. It’s quite an easy way to make cash, especially since there are no kids involved.
5. Personal Driver
Even though popular ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are everywhere these days, some people still prefer their own personal driver.
You can find driving jobs on Craigslist or Facebook. People usually need quick rides or for you to pick up their groceries or medicine from nearby stores.
6. Gas Station
Gas stations are always hiring and it’s a pretty easy under the table job. And it’s one of the best ways to earn cash for international students.
The work involved is usually being a cashier, stocking shelves when delivery comes once a week, cleaning, etc.
Gas station jobs usually won’t be found online. I suggest you simply visit the gas stations around your local area and ask if they need any help and are willing to pay cash.
Being a student has its perk – one of them being able to teach others in the subject you’re studying. You can tutor other students in your college or those younger than you, such as middle school or high school students.
And it doesn’t just have to be the subject you’re studying. Many students, especially in high school, need help with topics in math, science, writing, and more.
You can look for ads on Facebook or Craigslist to find tutoring jobs that pay cash, or even offer your services by putting an ad yourself.
Upwork is a great option for finding tutoring jobs – create a profile and offer your services to people looking for help.
8. Pet Sitting / Dog Walker
Like cleaning or house sitting, many people need someone to watch and take care of their pets while they’re away at work or on vacation. If you like animals, this could be a great cash job for you.
Generally, you’ll just be there watching over the pet(s) and make sure they’re fed. You can do this at their home or yours, depending on the owner’s preference.
Some people might just need you to walk their dogs – which can be a fun job! While you can find these jobs on Craigslist or similar sites, apps like Rover make it much easier.
Rover makes it easy to find dog walking jobs where you can choose where to work and who to work for. Signing up for free.
9. Snow Removal
While only available in the winter, snow removal jobs are one of the most common under the table jobs.
It’s one of those tasks that most people just don’t want to bother doing, so they’ll happily pay someone $20-$50 to do it instead.
A shovel is all you need to get started. But if you own a truck and attach a plow to it, you can go after bigger jobs and for local businesses.
You can simply go door to door and offer people to shovel their driveways or walkways, or put up an ad on craigslist or Facebook to get customers.
Babysitting can be quite a profitable under the table job for international students.
This job does require you to be good with kids, since they can be quite a handful. But if you can handle it well, it can become a regular job on nights or weekends. Most people want a trustworthy babysitter watching after their kids, so they likely won’t be switching from one to another – which means there will be regular work for you to earn cash.
11. Car Washing
If you’re only free during the weekends, car washing is a great option.
And you don’t need much to start – all you need is a few buckets, a hose, and soap/rags to get started. You can buy all these for $30 or under.
You can offer your services on online sites or simply put up fliers around your local area.
Another route you can take is to go to a car wash and ask for work – many gas stations will have a car wash available so try there!
Related: 10 Ways to Make Money Delivering Food and Packages
International Students Have A Lot of Options to Find Jobs
Whether you just moved into a new country or planning on it, you’ll have a number of options to find jobs that pay cash under the table as an international student.
Make a list of thing you like to do and the skills you have. This will help you pick the right job for you so you can enjoy doing the work and get paid for it.