After college acceptance and positive news about financial aid, college students can be just as eager to find the perfect part-time job.
Let’s face it — not everyone will be fortunate enough to get a full ride through college. Some students may find that they have to fund their education entirely on their own. And even with financial aid available, it’s not always feasible.
Being a working student is one of many ways college students support their studies. Good part-time jobs for college students can help lessen the financial burden of college and give students a little extra cash to spend on their needs. Beyond the obvious monetary benefits, a job can also help students add extra experience to their CVs.
Students can find work on or off campus. They can even become freelancers or start small businesses. However, the best part-time jobs for college students are those that allow flexibility while paying fairly.
If you’re unsure whether you should get a job during your studies or if you’re looking for job ideas for college students, you’re in the right place. In this article, we answer all your questions and show you a few of the best jobs to have while in college. Let’s get to it!
Should You Get a Job During College?
Although we can give you plenty of advice on this matter, the short answer is that only you can decide whether a job is the right choice for your particular situation.
That said, some jobs are better suited to college students than others. There are many easy part-time jobs for college students. And by easy, we mean that these jobs allow you to work with your schedule — and they won’t be so challenging that you’ll be too exhausted to do your coursework afterward.
If you think you can balance the commitments of studying and working simultaneously, go for it! A job can provide plenty of benefits and help you feel more financially secure.
It’s still a good idea to weigh the pros and cons to help you decide. And if you aren’t in dire straits or prefer not to deal with balancing everything precariously, you might want to find work during the holidays or summer breaks instead.
Benefits of Getting a Job During College
There are many benefits to getting a job during your college years. Of course, one of the biggest ones is that you’ll earn some extra spending money to help you pay rent or put food on the table. Or, you know, buy what you want.
Beyond the financial benefit, you’ll also gain work experience in the real world. If you get lucky and find a job related to the field you’re studying, you may be able to add the experience to your resume/CV. Some schools may even allow you to get credit toward your degree in some situations.
And finally, the best part-time jobs for students may help you figure out an interest or passion you never knew you had. Many students discover career paths they want to pursue from jobs they had during college.
Disadvantages of Getting a Job During College
Of course, just as there are benefits, there are also some disadvantages. The main disadvantage would be that your work may interfere with your studies. Some employers may lure you in with the promise of flexible hours, only to switch it up on you when you sign on.
Another disadvantage is that you may have difficulty finding jobs for college students that pay well because you don’t have your degree yet.
Best Part-Time Jobs for College Students in 2023
Median Hourly Rate: $13.94 + tips
Coffee is practically the lifeblood of busy college students, which is why you’ll see so many chain and small coffee shops all around a college campus. As a barista, you’ll often take orders from customers, then make and serve their beverages.
Median Hourly Rate: $15
If you’re comfortable working in a kitchen, becoming a line cook is a good option if you’re a college student looking for a job. Plus, you won’t have to deal with cranky customers!
Median Hourly Rate: $10 + tips
Restaurant server positions aren’t always the best, but they’re easy jobs for college students. If you have the patience to deal with customers, this is a good option to consider — especially if you regularly manage to get great tips.
Median Hourly Rate: $12-16
If you’re trustworthy and handy with numbers, becoming a cashier might be a great way for you to earn a bit during college.
Median Hourly Rate: $16 for dog walkers; varies for pet sitters
Animal care is easily one of the best job for college students who love animals. You can become a dog walker or pet sitter, and it might feel more like having friends at work if you love spending time with furry friends!
Median Hourly Rate: $16
Not everyone likes children. In fact, some people downright can’t stand them. But if you have an innate parent instinct or are great with kids, childcare may be a field you could flourish in. Babysitting is something you can do flexibly, and it can pay decently if you are able to find good clients. You can also become a part-time nanny — ZipRecruiter states that the median hourly rate for this position is $16.
Median Hourly Rate: Varies depending on the client
House sitting is one of the best jobs for college students — beyond taking care of the house and performing related tasks daily, you get a lot of spare time to study and do your schoolwork. House sitting can be sporadic work, but if you can regularly find work, you’ll be in a good spot.
If you have a vehicle, you can consider becoming a rideshare driver or finding work within the gig economy apps. You hold your own time in your hands and can determine your work schedule, so there’s next to no chance of this job interfering with your studies.
Median Hourly Rate: $26.22 (though you may not be able to earn this much if you do not have some qualifications)
If you’re a fitness buff and know your stuff, you can become a fitness trainer. Fitness trainers earn a decent hourly wage, but you’ll need some qualifications to command higher rates. At the very least, you can enjoy working with clients and helping to motivate them during their journey.
Median Hourly Rate: $18.67
As a nursing assistant, you’ll be responsible for caring for patients in various settings including hospitals, aged care homes, doctors’ practices, and patients’ homes. However, you won’t be able to do any medical-related care as a non-certified nursing assistant. Thus, you may not be able to earn as much as a CNA.
Median Hourly Rate: $18
Do you have a knack for social media? If you have what it takes to build a following and run social media accounts, you can consider becoming a social media assistant. Individuals and brands need them to help run their presence on various platforms. With enough skills, you can command a great hourly rate!
Median Hourly Rate: $21
Virtual assistants are like secretaries or personal assistants — but online. If you are an organized person who doesn’t mind being told what to do, this job might be good for you.
Median Hourly Rate: $24-30
Without a lot of experience to back you up, you may not be able to earn as much as the median hourly rate. However, it’s likely you’ll find an IT support job that can pay you better than many of the other positions on this list — provided you’re qualified and know your stuff, that is.
Freelance Graphic Design
Median Hourly Rate: More information here
If you have creative inclinations and some graphic design skills, freelance graphic design might be right up your alley. Provided you have a portfolio of previous designs, you can secure clients as a freelance designer, allowing you the flexibility to balance work and school.
Median Hourly Rate: $33 for experienced writers; as a college student, you’ll likely earn much less, around $12-20
Freelance writing involves working with clients to create the pieces they need. It could be content for a website, an article, a blog post, copy for their ad or email newsletter, and more. It may benefit you to learn more about different kinds of writing (and practice!) to help you land more lucrative projects.
Median Hourly Rate: $14.70 for college tutoring, $10-20 for ESL tutoring
As a tutor, you’re responsible for helping your clients understand their schoolwork, preparing them for exams, helping with homework, and more. You can also consider becoming an ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor for clients on other continents if you can figure out a schedule that works for you.
If you are able to secure a job on campus, go for it! As a student, you can work on campus as an administrative assistant, teaching assistant, research assistant, library associate, resident assistant, and more. The positions may not pay too well, but there’s a good chance you can get a partial tuition waiver to reduce your college costs.
Where Can You Get Flexible Jobs for College Students?
As a college student, you may be wondering where you should start looking for a job. There are many industries you can work in, but the first place you should always begin is right on campus. You can look at campus job boards or go to student services to see if they have any openings available. On-campus jobs generally go to students that fit a school’s criteria, but you never know — you might be able to find a job!
If you can’t find work on campus, don’t fret — you can find the best jobs for students practically everywhere. Of course, you’ll be limited by your qualifications (so don’t expect to get jobs for people with MBAs), but that doesn’t mean you won’t find employment.
Here are some suggestions:
- Check local businesses for job openings
- Find work via word-of-mouth
- Look at freelancing job boards
- Find something on social media
- If you’re confident enough, try cold emailing
Establish Your Criteria Before You Accept a Position
Before you accept a job, or ideally before you even start looking for one, it’s a good idea to establish your criteria regarding the best part-time job for students. In particular, figure out what constitutes a good job for you. Consider the steps below:
- Negotiate your schedule or hours. The best college student jobs allow students to balance work and their studies more easily. Do your best to negotiate hours that will work around your schedule.
- Be realistic. If you haven’t earned a degree yet, you may struggle to find high-paying jobs for college students. It’s a good idea to remain realistic about how much you can earn and the types of jobs you can do.
- Consider location. It makes no sense to have to spend hours commuting between work, school, and home. Take a job that’s close enough by to not waste your time!
This next piece of advice is just a suggestion: if it’s possible, find work that you’ll enjoy (or you think you’ll enjoy)!
Top Tips for Balancing Work and School
If you’re heavily considering finding a job during college, you’ll need to learn how to balance work and school. Here are some top tips to help you out!
- Follow the tips above. Negotiating your schedule and considering location is vital to balancing work and school.
- Set up a routine. Routines make it possible to reduce the number of decisions you make each day. This can lead to less decision fatigue by mid-day and help reduce stress.
- Set up a study schedule. Study schedules can help you stay on track with school while leaving you with some free time.
- Bring your schoolwork to do during breaks. If you have a ton of schoolwork or studying to do, it may benefit you to bring it along to study during your breaks or commute. It’s also quite handy to have your coursework with you if you find yourself with some free time on your hands all of a sudden.
- Remember your “why.” Knowing your reasons for going to school and working can help you stay motivated. Keeping this in the back of your mind can help you get through days when all you want to do is stay in bed.
- Don’t overdo it; be kind to yourself. It’s easy to punish yourself for not being as productive as you’d like to be, but some days you need a break.
- Take care of your health. Be sure that you get enough sleep, eat a somewhat balanced diet, and get some movement in each day. When you’re busy, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself — and if you don’t, keeping things balanced can get much more challenging.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are part-time jobs good for students?
Employment can benefit students who need a little extra money during their studies. A job can help students meet the budgetary shortfalls left behind after receiving financial aid. There are many jobs to do while in college that can accommodate a student’s busy schedule — consider the job ideas listed above, for example.
Are there online part-time jobs for students?
Yes! There are many online part-time jobs available for students. In fact, online jobs make great jobs for college students because of the flexibility they often afford. If you are a creative with design or video editing skills, you can look for freelance work in that field. You can also try freelance writing. If neither appeal to you, you can try data entry jobs or online tutoring.
The best part-time jobs for college students are ones that allow students the flexibility they need to work despite their college schedules. Of course, it’d be nice to see those jobs pay well, too, but to find work like that, you may need a bit of luck.
There’s always the opportunity to earn money outside of employment. For example, you can take art commissions, sell some of your handmade work, start a small business, start a digital store, and so on. However, ventures like these can take a lot of time and energy for not much payoff — so take that into consideration.
In the end, the best job for you will be one that will allow you to work and study at the same time with little conflict, though we suggest you find something that you at least somewhat enjoy!
If you need a little help along the way, check out our guide on staying focused during your job hunt.