Being a college student is hard work. It involves balancing the needs of attending classes, studying for tests, writing papers, working on group projects, and more. When you add extra-curricular activities and socializing (yes, it’s an important part of the college experience), there isn’t much time left over to work. Whether you see it as a pro or a con, the reality is that close to half of undergraduate students have part-time jobs.
The Benefits of Working Part-Time in College
There are lots of reasons students hold jobs while in school. No matter the reason, there are clear long-term benefits.
The good news is that it isn’t hard to find good jobs for college students. For some, working while going to school is a necessity. College tuition is expensive. When you add other needs like housing, food, and textbooks, the costs pile up quickly. Even for students who rely on loans, family help, or other means of paying for these expenses, there are plenty of reasons to take on part-time work while in school. Immediate advantages include an income to pay for items like cars, clothes, and nights out, but there are long-term benefits as well.
A study conducted by Rutgers University and the City University of New York (CUNY) found that working during college could lead to a $20,000 increase in salary after students graduate. Beyond pay, the pluses of part-time jobs while in college or university include acquiring skills and experience in a field that can be pursued once school is over, building up a resume that makes students stronger candidates post-graduation, and developing a network of professional contacts that can provide references or even future jobs to people who have already proven their abilities.
What are the best part-time jobs for college students?
Opportunities that offer flexible schedules and a chance to learn applicable real-world skills can be beneficial to students while in school and set them up for success after graduation.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the best part-time jobs for college students. Many prefer positions that allow them to have flexible schedules that can change as their time requirements shift each semester or to allow them to go home on weekends or holiday breaks. For some, good part-time jobs for college students are those where they can gain skills and experience working in a field they intend to pursue after school. Others are most interested in making the most money they can with the limited time they have. Whatever your reason, there are jobs to be found. Here are some of the best part-time jobs for students:
Help students improve their understanding of class material, assist with homework, and work to develop positive study habits. Depending on the role, tutors can work with a group of students or provide private sessions for one-on-one assistance. A tutor can work with students of any age and may address several subjects or only focus on one. Some tutors travel to students’ homes, offer services from a tutoring center, or work virtually through an online platform. Tutors may be expected to provide reports and communicate with parents on their student’s progress.
Average pay: $14-$21 per hour
Work in an office performing clerical and administrative functions, greeting guests, answering phones, managing appointment calendars, and performing data entry. Qualifications for a receptionist could include good organization and communication skills, the ability to multitask, attention to detail, customer service skills, and basic computer skills.
Average pay: $11 – $15 per hour
Assist parents with the day-to-day work of caring and raising children. Nannies are responsible for childrens’ well-being and must be supportive of their emotional needs as well as preparing meals, dressing and bathing, arranging playdates, accompanying children to activities, and helping with schoolwork. Depending on the role, hours could be during the day, early in the morning, or into the evening until children go to bed. Many nanny job listings have safety requirements, such as completing a basic CPR and first aid course, and may ask you to pass a background check or be fingerprinted.
Average pay: $11 – $17 per hour
Responsible for transporting passengers or cargo from one location to another. Qualifications include a driver’s license and clean driving record. For operating large vehicles, drivers may need a commercial drivers license (CDL).
Average pay: $9 – $15 per hour
Conduct day-to-day administrative needs of a company or department within a business. Duties vary by organization but can range from answering phone calls and greeting guests to allocating assignments and training new employees. Roles may also require skills in note-taking, bookkeeping, data management, and various other computer skills.
Average pay: $10 – $14 per hour
Provide in-home support such as being a companion, housekeeping, providing assistance with basic needs, cooking, driving clients to appointments, and providing mobility assistance. Qualifications and skills for a caregiver could include a drivers license, access to a car, empathy, people skills, time management expertise, and the ability to lift 50+ pounds.
Average pay: $10 – $14 per hour
Complete administrative duties in a company’s front office. This could include greeting guests, checking emails, and answering phones. The role requires frequent interaction with people, so strong customer service and interpersonal skills are necessary. Time management skills are also key since front desk jobs require multitasking. These jobs may also require the ability to use front office equipment, such as a computer, multi-line phone, and copy machine.
Average pay: $10 – $15 per hour
Work in eateries and sometimes perform other dining-related tasks that may include preparing food, stocking supplies, busing tables, taking payment, doing light cleaning, greeting guests, and answering menu questions. Servers require the stamina to work on their feet throughout a shift and excellent customer service skills. Food server jobs are available at sit-down restaurants, fast food joints, counter-service eateries, and sports or event arenas. Part of the income earned in these roles are based on tips, so making sure customers are satisfied is a primary responsibility.
Average pay: $9 – $13 per hour
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