student in a library finding a part time job in college

College Success

Top 20 Part-Time Jobs For College Students

02.19.2022 • 13 min read

Nick Griffin

Subject Matter Expert

This article provides a list of the best part-time jobs for college students and how to combine a job with college responsibilities.

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In This Article

  1. How to Find a Job as a College Student

  2. 20 Best Part-Time Jobs for College Students

  3. Extra Tips to Find the Best Fit

  4. What if I Get Burned Out?

Finding a job while going to school full time can be a stressful endeavor.

With the rigors of a college course load – reading, studying, writing papers – it’s no wonder that many college students don’t even know where a job would fit in.

Of course, college is much more than this. Students need to find time for social connection, exercise, and time to participate in activities that bring joy to life. Without these, life becomes monotonous and leads to academic burnout.

As a current or prospective student, you may feel quite overwhelmed by having so much on your plate, but also want the financial freedom that having a full-time job in college provides.

Figuring out how to work full time and go to school full-time may not be an option for you. It may work better for you to jumpstart your college degree by working while taking a semester of classes through Outlier’s College Foundation. That way, you’re saving money before starting in-person classes.

It is a fact that having a job in college helps people become better students. Even if they are just looking to make some extra cash. Creating a healthy work/life balance facilitates opportunities for growth in many areas of life and fosters a sense of purpose – increasing well-being.

How to Find a Job as a College Student

How to get a job while in college is possible. There are many jobs out there that will cater nicely to your busy college schedule. In addition, having a college job will help you develop key skills to boost your CV while providing you with greater life satisfaction.

Consider these key factors when looking for part-time work in college:

  • How many hours do you need per week to get all your schoolwork taken care of?

  • Where can you fit in a social life and the extracurricular activities that you enjoy?

  • How many hours are left for work at a new job?

  • What type of work experience would you like to develop at your job?

  • How much money do you need to make each week?

  • What type of work atmosphere best suits your personality?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can begin your part-time job search. When you know what you are looking for, you can then narrow the list down to those jobs that will work well for you to balance work and studying.

As you know already, not every job is a perfect fit – there is give and take. Make sure to consider how much you are willing to give so that you don’t back yourself into a corner and work too much.

Our list of good jobs for college students is a comprehensive list of jobs that have worked well for many student job seekers. You are a unique individual though. While reading, take note of those jobs that would particularly work well for you.

20 Best Part-Time Jobs for College Students

Campus Jobs

Your college offers many flexible jobs and work-study opportunities for college students that are readily available and accessible. Campus jobs offer great benefits that would help reduce your dependency on student loans. Find the campus career center to see several on-campus job postings including:

1. School Library Assistant

College libraries employ several students who manage the circulation desk, shelve books, maintain resources, and help other students find the materials they need. Working in the college library would mean that you become familiar with faculty, employees, and students on campus.

Library assistants learn how to be well-organized and work with a wide variety of people. Since the library is open long into the evening, there should be available shifts that fit your schedule.

2. Campus Rec Center Support

The on-campus recreation center is filled with opportunities for student employment. These jobs vary greatly. Students can work at the rec center reception desk or can be more involved in the instruction of skills, such as teaching classes or managing the climbing wall.

Similar to the library, the hours of the rec center run throughout the day, ensuring there will be flexible hours to fit with your schedule. This job will get you on your feet and interact with others in a positive work environment.

3. Dorm Resident Advisor

Resident Advisors, or RAs, are spread throughout the on-campus dormitories. These students are responsible for a wide range of duties, including organizing events and helping students with housing-related issues. Part of the responsibilities of an RA includes managing the check-in desk and being on-call when certain issues arise.

RA jobs have a lot of responsibility but lack a consistent schedule. Meaning that when you’re on-call you can be getting paid to do your homework. Often this position comes with a housing stipend to reduce your living costs as well.

4. Teaching Assistant

Being a teaching assistant (TA) on campus means getting personal access to core campus faculty in the field you are studying. These students help teachers with a wide variety of tasks from organization, grading, and tutoring other students.

TAs or GAs (graduate student assistant) learn key interpersonal skills and how to work as a part of a team. Often, this position lends itself to finding quality employment post-graduation with highly reputable references.

5. Campus Bookstore Associate

Students who choose to work in the campus bookstore gain experience similar to that of retail positions – organization, customer service, money management – while remaining on campus.

Working in the bookstore allows students to pick up shifts that fit within a busy class schedule. Having the perks of a discount on books and materials is a huge benefit when it comes to reducing your college expenses.

6. Student Tutor

If you are a skilled student in a certain discipline or have great organizational skills, being a tutor could be a perfect position. Colleges employ tutors to work with students who are struggling in their courses.

Through a tutoring relationship, students learn difficult concepts and how to create better study habits. Being a tutor allows you a very flexible schedule and the experience of making a big difference in the lives of others.

7. Campus Cafeteria Employee

The campus cafeteria employs many students on campus working in a variety of roles. By working in the cafeteria, you will have a set schedule you can rely on and build relationships with other students.

Cafeteria jobs include food prep and cooking as well as managing a register to check out diners. This job usually comes with a meal stipend, allowing you to cut college living costs dramatically.

8. Maintenance Crew/Landscaper

Getting to work outside and on your feet is a big perk to working in maintenance. By getting a job in the maintenance department, you will be directly responsible for the aesthetics of the campus.

Many schools offer landscape maintenance jobs to students throughout the year, but especially in the summer. By working for the school maintenance crew in the summer, you can save up money and spend more time focusing on your schoolwork during your busiest semesters.

Local Business Jobs

As a college student, you have marketable time management skills and communication skills that would be an asset to businesses in your college town. Consider work as a:

9. Substitute Teacher

School districts are in desperate need of responsible and caring substitute teachers. Being a substitute teacher means facilitating lesson plans prepared by the regular teacher to their students.

Substitutes gain many desirable skills like classroom management, public speaking, and leadership qualities. Most schools now run an online platform where substitutes can pick ‌the days and classes they wish to sub for. This ensures that your time for doing schoolwork of your own remains in place.

10. Bank or Credit Union Teller

Working at a professional job during school, like at a bank, allows you to build many professional relationships. This position on a CV will tell a future employer that you are responsible and have career experience.

Banks and credit unions need quality employees who can show up on time, follow a system, and be friendly with members as well as fellow employees. This makes a great stepping stone to a professional career.

11. Bookstore Associate

Working at a bookstore in the community allows you to build connections with others with whom you are not going to school. This builds both a social network and strong references.

Bookstores offer great perks to their employees, such as super discounted books and learning materials. Being part of a bookstore team will give you a wide perspective of the world and ensure interesting conversations.

12. Grocery Store Stocker or Clerk

If you have worked in retail sales in the past, consider working at a grocery store. You could work as either a stocker or a clerk, managing the register. Besides getting great discounts on food while you are in school, this position allows you to work a very flexible schedule and serve a wide range of clientele.

13. Coffee Shop Barista

Putting your interpersonal skills to your benefit may make working at a coffee shop a great position for you. The friendlier baristas are with customers, the more money they make in tips.

This job will keep you on your feet and your toes while making specialty drinks and sparking up interesting conversations. Not only are the tips good, but there are also plenty of diverse schedules to fit your college needs.

14. Restaurant Host or Server

Another great way to make money through interacting with clientele is through the restaurant business. Being personal and polite makes the hourly pay of a host or server skyrocket, providing funds to pay those crucial college bills.

With shifts running all morning and night in some cases, working at a restaurant will make being organized and kindly pay off.

15. Non-Profit Employee

There are probably many non-profit organizations in your area that are looking for passionate and responsible help. Most of these organizations are filling a desperate need in the community to provide services to vulnerable populations.

These types of jobs would allow you to spend your time doing something rewarding and meaningful while gaining top-notch skills and reliable income.

16. Event Caterer

Working weekends or holidays as an event caterer keeps your class days free to study. With weddings, conferences, and special events, these jobs provide you with a diverse setting and range of opportunities.

Being able to work one full day per week may serve you well by keeping you active and on your feet. The large spectrum of skills you learn as a caterer will pay off financially, since part of your wages are usually based on tips.

Online Jobs

In our technologically connected world, there are many job opportunities for college students that are both flexible and help you gain marketable skills. Think about one of these online jobs:

17. Online English Teacher

Many organizations are looking for dedicated students to teach English to other students around the world. Being a native English speaker is a huge advantage in both education and business. Companies providing this service are serving a large clientele that spans from professionals learning business English to elementary students needing to practice speaking English.

For just a couple of hours a day, you can get paid to help open a world of opportunity to people in other countries.

18. Online Tutor

Being a tutor online is a great way to work within any college schedule. Spend an hour between classes helping someone understand difficult concepts and getting paid well.

Many tutoring platforms have employees, or contractors build a portfolio that states your interests and specialty subjects. Students can enroll in the service and choose a tutor that best fits their needs. It is then up to the student and tutor to pick a time that works to meet.

19. Freelance Writer

Freelance writing has been around for a long time and is quite popular on most internet websites you visit. There are countless platforms where companies can find quality writers to write content for them at an agreed-upon rate.

The beauty of this work is that you can do the writing when you have time available. You can also write about subjects that you are interested in.

20. Editor/Proofreader

Many companies out there who produce content are in need of proofreaders or editors to look it over and make suggestions for improvement. No matter what the content is, companies want to ensure its quality before their consumers read it.

This is typically a contract position, and you can work as many hours as you would like to. The rate per word or per article is set prior to the editing process, and companies often have as much work as you would want. There are also platforms to help find clients for editing that are easy to set up a profile on and get started.

Extra Tips to Find the Best Fit

Figuring out which part-time job will fit your schedule is not an easy endeavor. Students would be wise to have a firm grasp of what they are looking for prior to beginning their search so that they don’t accept the first job that sounds promising.

Consider these helpful tips to ensure that your part-time college job will be a good fit for you:

  1. Create a current weekly schedule of your courses and mark the times you will devote to studying and doing homework throughout the week.

  2. Set aside time in your schedule for exercising and socializing. These are vitally important for your health and well-being, especially while in college.

  3. Figure out a good budget for a college student including financial aid. Determine what the dollar amount is that you need to make per month and then per week.

  4. Look for jobs that fit within your schedule and offer the income you are looking for. Be flexible, but not too much. Make sure to be 100% honest with prospective employers from the beginning about what your needs are.

  5. Talk to people you know and on social media about jobs they are doing that they enjoy. Finding a job that fits what you are looking for and having a personal reference who works there will lead to greater work satisfaction.

  6. Apply for only the jobs that you know you could do for a while. Moving from one job to the next reflects poorly on your resume and the lack of consistency will pay a toll on your mental health.

  7. Focus on the positive aspects of the job you decide on. Build relationships with your boss and co-workers while at work to make it more enjoyable. When your schedule changes and you need more or fewer hours, communicate that right away.

What if I Get Burned Out?

Going to school full-time is a big commitment whether you are right out of high school or moving down a new career path. It is this commitment that is going to pay dividends for your future in both your career and life satisfaction. Remember that there is not a part-time job that is worth sacrificing your education.

This being said, most students who have a part-time job in college report being happier and feeling more fulfilled than those who do not.

Take the time to find the right job to fit your schedule. It won’t be perfect, and it doesn’t need to be. As long as you can earn some extra money, give plenty of attention to your schoolwork, and make the time for things you enjoy, you will find success. Be honest with yourself about what you need.

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