How New College Students Are Earning Money In The Gig Economy – Forbes
College students are in an excellent position to use the gig economy to their advantage- they’re… [+]
We’re living in a thriving gig economy, where temporary, flexible jobs are on the rise for contractors, freelancers and part-time employees. When some hear that more than 44 million Americans have side jobs in this economy, they immediately envision an older office employee who works part-time retail or customer service in the evening.
Side jobs are merely defined as a job performed in one’s spare time, according to FlexJobs. With this explanation, it’s no wonder the people most likely to have a side job are those aged 18-26, older members of generation Z and younger millennials working side jobs to pay for their education. This is the case for over half of college students, who on average work a minimum of 27 weeks a year.
College students are in an excellent position to use the gig economy to their advantage- they’re comfortable with using technology to improve their job performance, have flexible schedules and don’t have the personal expenses of older professionals. The most significant advantage for this group lies in the fact that many side jobs in the gig economy do not require a college degree to qualify.
There are roles within the real estate industry that allow professionals to have a flexible schedule, such as underwriters and real estate agents. But there is one role within the industry that is resonating with college students: Notary signing agent. A common side job, Notary signing agents facilitate loan closings for the mortgage finance industry but are not required to have undergraduate degrees. They guide loan borrowers through a set of loan documents when they purchase or refinance their home. Before notarizing, loan signing agents also ensure that the borrower has filled out the forms properly, signed, and dated the documents accurately. Notary signing agents also typically work in the evenings and on weekends.
According to the National Notary Association, signing agents must be a Notary Public, certified and background screened, but CEO and Founder of Loan Signing System and member of the Forbes Real Estate Council Mark Wills says there are low startup costs and loan signing skills can be learned quickly.
Wills is one of the highest producing notary loan signing agents in the country, having performed over 10,000 loan signings and overseeing a team of over 1,000 notary signing agents. He became a notary shortly after college and often receives inquiries from college students on how to become a notary signing agent. The National Notary Association recommends taking a training course to become familiar with the additional duties of a signing agent and the different documents included in a loan package. Wills offers such a class, and his youngest student is 19 years old.
‘There isn’t a set schedule that gets in the way of studies or other activities,’ Wills says. ‘Signing agents are texted job opportunities, and if they want them, they just reply to accept them.’
Most younger signing agents earn up to $100 per loan signing, and a loan signing appointment takes about an hour. Older members of generation Z and younger millennials interested in becoming a notary signing agent should first explore becoming a Notary Public, for which requirements and restrictions vary from state to state.