Top 5 Online Jobs for Students in South Africa

by Staff Reporter

If you’re a South African student looking to find an online job, then you’re at the right place. The digital era has made it possible for any student with an Internet connection and the right technology to earn extra cash while studying—all from the comfort of their home. 

Finding an online job is especially ideal if you’re a student looking for flexible hours while you study and want to reap the full benefits of remote work.

Now, you may be wondering: What online jobs are available for students? Let’s take a look! Here are the top 5 online jobs for students in South Africa.

Table of Contents

online jobs

1. Social Media Manager

If you’re someone who spends hours scrolling through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok, you may want to consider capitalising on your skills by becoming an online social media manager

Not only can the job of a social media manager be done entirely online but most jobs are entry-level and provide on-the-job training, meaning your chances of finding a job are fairly high. 

What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

A social media manager is responsible for creating and implementing social media content, collaborating with other team members, staying up-to-date with trends, developing strategies, managing advertising campaigns and more!

To give you a clear idea of what a social media manager does on a day-to-day basis, we’ve outlined some of the specific roles and responsibilities you may be in charge of when fulfilling this type of role:

  • Creating and implementing social media content calendars: You will be responsible for planning and scheduling social media content across various social media platforms. You will need to understand the target audience and create content that aligns with their interests and preferences.
  • Monitoring social media channels: You will need to keep an eye on social media channels and respond to comments and messages in a timely manner. You may also need to track metrics and analyse data to identify trends and improve engagement.
  • Collaborating with other teams: You will work closely with other departments such as marketing, public relations and customer service to ensure a cohesive brand message across all channels.
  • Staying up-to-date with social media trends: As an entry-level social media manager, it’s essential to stay informed about social media trends and updates to platforms to optimise your campaigns.
  • Developing social media strategies: You may be tasked with developing social media strategies for specific campaigns or promotions. You’ll need to be able to think creatively and come up with unique ideas that will resonate with your audience.
  • Creating and managing social media advertising campaigns: You may be responsible for creating and managing paid social media advertising campaigns. This includes setting up ad campaigns, targeting audiences, and monitoring performance.
  • Building relationships with influencers: As a social media manager, you’ll also be responsible for reaching out to influencers and managing influencer partnerships. This involves identifying influencers that align with your brand and negotiating partnerships that benefit both parties.

How to Become an Online Social Media Manager

In order to become an online social media manager, it’s important that you already have a set list of skills that will help you in this career. Having a base knowledge of editing, social media platforms and analytics tools are all necessary to ace your job as a social media manager.

To get started, consider taking online courses or certifications to learn the basics of social media marketing.

Some social media marketing courses to start out with are:

  • HubSpot Social Media Certification: This free social media marketing online course by HubSpot teaches you how to create and implement effective social media strategies, analyse metrics and optimise social media campaigns for maximum impact.
  • Fundamentals of Digital Marketing: This free digital marketing course by Google covers the basics of how to develop a business strategy, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Google Ads, advertising and email best practices.
  • Meta Blueprint Certification: This social media marketing certification program offers courses on a variety of topics related to Facebook and Instagram marketing, including advertising, content creation, and analytics.
  • Social Media Marketing – How to Make Engaging Content FAST: This comprehensive, free social media marketing course by Udemy shows you how to master creating content for blogs, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
  • Coursera Social Media Marketing Specialisation: Free to enrol, this social media marketing course by Coursera will take you through the fundamentals of social media marketing, including content creation, advertising, and analytics, as well as more advanced topics like influencer marketing and social media strategy.

Once you’ve got a certificate or two under your belt, it’s time to start building a portfolio by managing your own social media accounts or helping out friends and family with their accounts. 

As you gain more experience, you can apply for social media management jobs or offer freelancing services to clients.

Social Media Manager Salary

Entry-level social media managers can expect to earn roughly R129 000 per year, which equates to +-R10 700 a month.

If you’re looking to work as a freelance social media manager, you can expect to get paid $14 to $35 per hour (that’s roughly R257 to R641 at the current exchange rate) on freelancing platforms like Upwork.

student working online as an influencer

2. Influencer

If your interest in social media is more on the promotion side of things, then you may want to apply for the role of an influencer. This position is ideal for students who have a fairly large following on social media and know how to strategically use popular social media platforms—such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok—to engage audiences.

However, knowing how to engage audiences on social media isn’t the only thing influencers do. Influencers have quite a few other responsibilities that you should be aware of before taking up the role.

What Does an Influencer Do?

The role of an influencer can be incredibly rewarding (and we’re not just talking about the freebies) as you’ll have loads of flexibility when it comes to your work-life balance. However, it’s important to note that it’s not a job to be taken lightly, as there’s more to it than just posting social media posts about brands and products.

In addition to handling the promotional side of things, other responsibilities of an influencer may include:

  • Creating content: Influencers are responsible for creating engaging and high-quality content for their followers. This may include photos, videos, blog posts, or social media updates.
  • Promoting products or services: Influencers often work with brands to promote their products or services to their followers. They may feature the products in their content or create sponsored posts to advertise them.
  • Building and engaging with their audience: Influencers are responsible for building and maintaining a loyal following on their social media platforms. This includes engaging with their audience, responding to comments and messages and creating a sense of community.
  • Staying up-to-date with trends and changes: As social media platforms and influencer marketing continue to evolve, it’s important for influencers to stay on top of the latest trends and changes. This includes changes to algorithms, new platform features and shifts in consumer behaviour.
  • Being transparent and authentic: Influencers are expected to be transparent and authentic with their followers. This means disclosing sponsored content and being honest about their opinions and experiences with the products or services they promote.
  • Negotiating and managing partnerships: Influencers may need to negotiate and manage partnerships with brands. This includes setting rates, outlining deliverables and ensuring that both parties are satisfied with the collaboration.

How to Become an Influencer

Becoming an influencer in South Africa is a challenging endeavour that requires perseverance and commitment. 

To remain successful, you must consistently engage with your audience while remaining active on social media platforms.

With that said, this is a great role for students looking to make an income online. Here are the steps you can take to become an influencer in South Africa:

Find Your Niche

When becoming an influencer, it’s important that you decide on a specific topic or area of interest that you are passionate about and knowledgeable in, as you’ll be discussing it at length throughout your career. Additionally, having a set niche as an influencer will help you attract a loyal following of like-minded individuals as well as brands.

Partnering with brands that are relevant to your niche can also help to increase the authenticity and credibility of your content. If you’re an influencer who is promoting a product or service that is aligned with a brand’s niche, it’s more likely to be perceived as genuine and trustworthy by your followers.

Build a Strong Social Media Presence

Once you’ve found your niche, it’s time to move on to the next step: Building a strong social media presence. 

To build a strong social media presence as an influencer, you’ll need to create accounts on social media platforms and start sharing content related to your niche. 

Remember to be consistent in your posting and engage with your audience to build a loyal following.

Collaborate with Brands and Influencers

After you’ve built your social media presence, it’s time to start collaborating with other brands and influencers! 

Collaborations are not only a great way to earn an income, but they will also increase your exposure and attract new followers as an influencer.

Be sure to reach out to brands or influencers in your niche and collaborate on content or campaign.

Monetise Your Social Media Platforms

The final step to becoming an influencer is to make that income you’ve been working so hard toward! The best part about being a student influencer is that there are a few ways to earn an income online. 

As your following grows, you can either monetise your platform through sponsored content, affiliate marketing or selling products or services related to your niche.

You can also partner with brands by reaching out to student influencer programmes, such as:

Following the steps outlined above will help you start your online job as an influencer, allowing you to make a flexible living all while living your best life as a student.

Influencer Salary

According to the employment website Indeed, the average salary of an influencer in South Africa is roughly R29 000 per month, or +-R413 000 a year.

Note that your salary may differ pending on your following, the frequency of your content, the brands you’ve collaborated with and industry trends.

Unless you’ve signed a contract with a brand, your income may fluctuate from month to month, so be sure to set out a solid student budget to ensure all your expenses are accounted for.

student working online as an online english teacher

3. Online English Teacher

If you have an excellent command of the English language, and enjoy working with others, then you may consider becoming an online English teacher

Although this job is not just for teachers, online English teaching is an excellent opportunity for aspiring educators to gain experience in teaching while working with students from around the world.

The best part about teaching English online is that any student can become an online English teacher, no matter which degree or diploma they are studying toward. 

With that said, you do still need to have the right certifications and will have to meet the criteria set out by the online English teaching company you are looking to apply to. 

Some general requirements for becoming an online English teacher are:

What Does An Online English Teacher Do?

Online English teachers provide English language instruction to students of all ages, primarily through video conferencing. Students range from young children (ages 3 to 12), teenagers (13 to 17) and adults (18+).

Depending on the company they work for, you may need to create lesson plans and materials to help students improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. However, most companies do offer the materials for you, meaning no extra preparation is required!

How to Become an Online English Teacher

To become an online English teacher, you’ll need to be a native English speaker, or have a near-native level of English proficiency. As mentioned above, you also need to have an English teaching certificate, such as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification.

There are several places in South Africa where you can complete your TEFL or TESOL certificate, including, but not limited to:

Once you have your teaching qualification, you can start looking for online English teaching jobs. There are many companies that hire online English teachers, including popular companies like Preply, EF Education First and Cambly.

Online English Teacher Salary

The salary of an online English Teacher largely depends on the company you’re working for and how many hours you put in. However, on average, online English teachers working full-time can earn up to roughly R21 000 per month.

Most online English teachers, however, work on a part-time contract and do not have a passive income, with their income being calculated at an hourly rate. 

With that said, depending on where you work, your income will be paid in American dollars, meaning there’s a possibility that you’ll need to register as a provisional taxpayer and will have to submit taxes to SARS on an individual basis.

student working online as a freelance web developer

4. Freelance Web Developer

Becoming a freelance web developer is a great choice if you’re a computer whiz looking to get into the field of Information Technology (IT) while making extra cash on the side. 

As a freelance web developer, you can work on a variety of projects for clients all over the world, from building websites for small businesses to developing complex web applications for large corporations.

What Does a Freelance Web Developer Do?

Freelance web developers are responsible for building and maintaining websites and web applications. This includes everything from designing the layout and user interface of a website to writing the code that makes it all work.

As a freelance web developer, you’ll work with clients to understand their needs and develop customised solutions for them. You’ll use programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build websites and web applications, and you’ll also need to have an understanding of web development frameworks like React and Angular.

How to Become a Freelance Web Developer

If you’d like to become an architect in South Africa, then you’ll need to get your bachelor’s degree at a higher education institution as well as undergo additional training to get you there. 

Note that becoming an architect takes a minimum of 7 years, so you’ll need to go through the following stages of academic and professional training:

Freelance Web Developer Salary

Freelance web developers in South Africa can earn an average of R17 000 per month at an entry level. However, this can vary depending on the specific project and the client you’re working with.

Overall, becoming a freelance web developer is an excellent way for students in South Africa to make money on the side while developing valuable skills that can lead to a successful career in the tech industry.

student working online as a video editor

5. Freelance Video Editor

If you’re a student in South Africa who has a passion for film and production—and are looking to enter the field of video editing—then becoming a freelance video editor might be a great way for you to get some awesome experience while earning a salary. 

As a freelance video editor, you can work on a variety of projects for clients all over the world— from editing wedding videos to creating promotional content for businesses. However, that’s not all freelance video editors do. 

What Does a Freelance Video Editor Do?

Freelance video editors are responsible for taking raw footage and turning it into a polished, finished video product. This includes everything from cutting together footage to adding sound effects and music to colour grading the final product.

As a freelance video editor, you’ll work with clients to understand their needs and develop customised solutions for them. You’ll use video editing software to edit the footage and create a final product that meets the client’s specifications.

How to Become a Freelance Video Editor

To become a freelance video editor in South Africa, you’ll need to have a strong background in video editing. This typically means having experience with video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple’s Final Cut Pro, as well as a strong understanding of video production and storytelling.

You’ll also need to have a portfolio of projects that you’ve worked on in the past so that potential clients can see your work and get a sense of your skills and experience.

To find freelance video editing work, you can use online marketplaces like Upwork and Freelancer, which connect clients with freelancers who have the skills they need. You can also network with other video editors and potential clients on social media and other online platforms.

Freelance Video Editor Salary

On average, freelance video editors in South Africa can earn an average of R246 per hour or R186 00 a year. However, this can vary depending on your level of experience, the complexity of the projects you’re working on and the amount of time you’re able to devote to your work.

Fund Your Studies with Fundi

In conclusion, getting an online job is a flexible and convenient way to earn an income while studying at college or university. Many students find it necessary to get a job, as it allows them to pay off any educational costs or fees they may have.

However, getting extra income from an online job isn’t the only way to pay off your tuition fees! There are awesome finance specialists—such as Fundi—that offer study loans to students to help them achieve their academic goals.

Fundi study loans cover a range of educational costs, such as tuition fees, accommodation, device loans and more!

Find out if you qualify for a Fundi study loan by using the Fundi Loan Calculator and start paying off your student loan today!

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