How to Make Money in Canada as a Student

Canada is renowned for its education system and diverse culture. For this reason, many Canadians and international students study in Canada. For higher education, a lot of students must actively work while attending school. This could be to help with finances, but also to gain relevant work experience as they prepare to enter the workforce. Thankfully, there are not many working restrictions for Canadian students pursuing higher education. As a result, there are many ways on how to make money in Canada as a student. Financial independence is a sought-after benefit of higher education. Thus, most students navigate financial freedom as they pursue their studies. Managing expenses and earning money while studying can be a challenging balancing act. But with the right strategies, students can navigate this terrain successfully and be better prepared for the next chapter of their life when school is finished.

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How to Make Money in Canada as a Student

Earning money as a student is a great time to explore co-op programs and internships. This helps students obtain relevant work experience. Students can build connections, network, and get industry exposure. Universities and colleges offer many academic research assistant positions as well which would allow for the same. Furthermore, international students need to keep their visa restrictions in mind. Different visas have varying conditions and restrictions. This can limit the number of hours a student can work in Canada to ensure the international student prioritizes their education. Ready to learn more? Keep reading!

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How much can I earn in Canada as a student?

Earning potential for students in Canada can vary widely. Many factors, including location, type of employment, hours worked, skill set, education (past or in progress) and industry, can affect earning potential. In addition, being on a student visa can limit how much you can earn.

What is the maximum hours a student can work in Canada?

In Canada, international students holding a valid study permit have restrictions on how much they can work. In general, international students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week. This only applies while school is in session. In other words, during the periods when you’re not attending school, you may be able to work more hours. This restriction is in place to ensure that students prioritize their studies. It leaves room for international students to gain work experience and earn some money as well. 

International students may work more on scheduled school breaks. This includes winter and summer holidays. At these times, students are often allowed to work full-time, which is typically around 40 hours per week. With fewer academic commitments, this allows students to earn more money and gain valuable experience without sacrificing their studies.

International students need to be very familiar with their visa conditions. Violations could cause significant problems including loss of status or refusal of future visas in Canada. A school’s international student office should be able to help students understand the requirements of their visa, should you have questions. In addition, you may be able to get special permissions to work more hours through your study permit.

If you’re a local student, not international, generally the same 20 hour limit applies. Further, most students do not have the capacity to work longer than 20 hours per week due to their existing education commitments. However, it depends on your program and course load. Should you have any questions about balancing work and studies, reach out to local resources at your school’s campus.

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What is the minimum wage in Canada?

The minimum wage in Canada varies by province and territory. Here is a table with minimum wages by region, as of November 2023. Additionally, there are links to relevant employment information in each area.

Province/TerritoryCurrent Minimum WageNext Anticipated Increase Date
British Columbia$16.75N/A
New Brunswick$14.75N/A
Newfoundland and Labrador$15.00N/A
Northwest Territories$16.05N/A
Nova Scotia$15.00N/A
Prince Edward Island$15.00April 1st, 2024
Saskatchewan$14.00October 1st, 2024
Yukon$16.77April 1st, 2024

Keep in mind you may be able to earn more money if you work overtime. For instance, in Ontario, if you work more than 44 hours in a week, you are entitled to overtime pay which is 1.5 times the regular rate. This is often called “time and a half”. In other words, every hour over 44 hours you work in a week would be paid at $24.83 ($16.55 x 1.5) if your rate is minimum wage. Of course, you would likely not receive overtime pay during the academic year. But during the summer months, you may want to work longer hours to earn more money.

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How to Make Money in Canada as a Student

Students can earn money in Canada through a variety of employment opportunities. Here is a list of possible ways to gain an income for students:

Part-Time Jobs

Students can find a wide range of part-time work. Often, part-time work provides flexibility to school schedules. The retail and service space has many jobs for students. This includes work in stores, restaurants, or cafes. Furthermore, university and college campuses offer a wide variety of part-time positions. These can be in libraries, administrative offices, or campus events.

Co-op Programs and Internships

Co-op programs and internships offer students relevant, in-industry experience. Gaining work in your related field of study is important. It provides hands-on experience and allows you to build industry connections. The Government of Canada offers extensive support in finding relevant work experience for students. Check out the resources on student employment

Gig Economy

TaskRabbitUberDoorDashInstacart, and GigHound are a small list of all the gig apps you can use to make money. These apps allow you to offer rides, deliver food, perform odd jobs, grocery shop, and much more. Gig economy apps allow students to earn money on their own time, creating no scheduling conflicts with classes. Although, you may need access to a car or bike to participate in the gig economy. For example, a food delivery person needs a car or bike to complete a job.

Research and Academic Opportunities

Universities and colleges offer a wide range of employment opportunities. As research institutions, they need research assistants in many of the faculties. They assist professors or academic departments in research projects. For students pursuing Master’s or Ph.D. programs, this is a great opportunity.

Event Staff or Temporary Work

Sign up with agencies providing temporary event staffing for concerts, sports events, or festivals. This is a great way to earn money while working at a social event. Event and temp work is generally very flexible to your class schedule as well.

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Academic Services

Assisting another student with tutoring, note-taking, and essay writing falls under this category. There are a wide variety of academic services that need to be filled. Institutions may offer these services and hire you to deliver them. Otherwise, you can offer them to students on your own. 

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How to Make Money as a Student in Canada Online

Students can make money in Canada using a variety of online opportunities. Online opportunities provide flexibility and accessibility for students to earn money. This is done while leveraging their skills and interests. Here is a list of possible ways to gain an income online for students:

Freelancing and Online Work

Upwork and Fiverr are freelance platforms that allow you to find work in many fields. This can allow students to use their skills in writing, graphic design, coding, or social media management, among others. There are a variety of freelance work opportunities. The benefit of freelance work is that it is done on your schedule and from the comfort of your home.

Online Tutoring

If you excel in math, science, or any subject, you can tutor others in that subject. You can tutor students younger than yourself, or students your age who are falling behind. Sharing your knowledge is valuable and can be exchanged for money. and Chegg Tutors are great websites to find online clients. 

Virtual Assistant

Many individuals or companies need a virtual assistant to help with scheduling. Virtual assistants can also help with other administration and customer service tasks remotely. It can also include social media management which could involve creating content, and engaging with audiences for businesses.

E-commerce and Selling

Operating an online store can be a very informative and lucrative side hustle for students. E-commerce is more accessible than ever. It can be as simple as selling handmade goods or art on Etsy. Alternatively, reselling items on eBay. Or, it can be as complex as starting your own drop-shipping brand on Shopify

Content Creation

There is a YouTube channel for every niche and interest these days. The best part about this is that new niches and interests are constantly explored. Students can create and monetize a YouTube channel focused on their interests or areas of study. They will find an audience. YouTube content can include tutorials, vlogs, or educational content. Here are YouTube’s monetization policies for more information.

Online Surveys and Market Research

There are many online surveys and market research companies that will pay money. Students can sign up for online surveys, focus groups, or market research studies. SwagbucksSurvey Junkie, and are some of the platforms used to gain money from this pathway.

Web Development and Coding

Many students are knowledgeable in coding, website development or anything to do with computers. Coding languages can be a very lucrative skill set to know — especially in the modern digital age. They allow you to create apps, websites, or software solutions for clients or personal projects. If a student knows how to code, they can sell their services for app and web development.

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Earning Money While in School

Earning money while pursuing education in Canada is often required to keep up with the cost of living and education fees. It helps students manage expenses while gaining necessary work experience. Time management needs to be approached strategically. Education should be your primary focus and work should help facilitate that. Always be willing to explore diverse avenues for income, from part-time jobs to online opportunities, there are many possibilities.

Explore multiple job and income stream avenues. Take the amount of time you have available into consideration. If there are any skills you need to learn to grow in your future field, see if you can find a job that will teach those skills or segue into them.

Working as a student should help you develop skills and task management abilities. These will carry over into any work you do after graduating. You may want to consider your future goals and dreams. Your work as a student could be an excellent stepping stone to accessing future opportunities.

Remember, work as a student is an opportunity to learn, gain experience, and develop skills that will benefit you in the future. Be open to new experiences as there are many ways of how to make money in Canada as a student.

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