Free time can be scarce during college, but when expenses pile up quickly, a part-time or flexible schedule job is a good way to offset costs while ensuring there’s enough time left over for both academics and extracurriculars.
If you’re a college student looking for a job, the best place to start your job search is right on campus. There are tons of on-campus part-time job opportunities and, as a student, you’ll automatically be given hiring priority. Plus, on-campus jobs eliminate commuting time and can be a great way to connect with academic and professional resources at your university. Check with your school's career office or student employment office for help finding a campus job. If you receive financial aid, also check on jobs available through your campus work-study program.
Of course, there are opportunities for part-time work off-campus, too. Spend a little time digging for the right kind of part-time job, that leaves you with enough time to get your school work done. Also consider lining up an online job, part-time evening job or flexible gig where you can set your own schedule. You'll be able to up your earnings from the comfort of your dorm room or apartment.
If you're worried you won't have enough time to devote to academics, consider working as a study hall or library monitor.
Responsibilities generally include the supervision of study spaces to ensure a quiet atmosphere. It's a pretty easy job, but one with lots of downtime - which means you'll have plenty of time to catch up on reading, do homework or study for an exam.
If there are no openings as a monitor, consider other positions at the library, too - like working at the print center or checking out books.
How to Land the Job: A lot goes on behind the scenes at college libraries, so inquire at yours to see what positions are available. Also check the job listings for students on your college's website.
If you're an upperclassman, you may be able to work as a teaching assistant for a large freshman seminar class. While "teaching fellows" are usually graduate students, "teaching assistants" have less formal responsibilities, including tasks like handing out assignments or proctoring tests.
How to Land the Job: A good way to start is by checking in with some of your professors from freshman year to ask about opportunities.
If you're a senior, junior or even a sophomore, chances are you know your campus pretty well. Why not take advantage of that knowledge and work for your college's admissions department? Admissions relies on outgoing, friendly students to give group and personal tours, and talk to potential students about all that the college has to offer.
How to Land the Job: Ask your admissions department about openings. Not only is it a job that looks good on your resume, it's also convenient because you don't even have to leave campus to get to work.
Freshman seminar classes (like Statistics 101, for example) can have as many as 500 students enrolled. That's a lot of tests to grade, so professors often employ students within the department to grade tests. Although it's grunt work, the workload is generally spread out based on when the tests are, leaving lots of time in between for academics and extracurricular interests.
How to Land the Job: As with the teaching assistant positions, contacting your former professors is a good starting point.
There are many tutoring opportunities in a college setting, and it's a good choice for part-time work as you can often choose your own hours.
If your university has an educational resource center, there may be a formal tutoring position you can apply for. Also, colleges with strong athletic programs usually recruit tutors to work with athletes.
How to Land the Job: If you're especially strong in subjects where tutors are sought out the most (like organic chemistry, calculus and physics, for example), consider advertising your services. Or, if you performed particularly well in a class, ask the professor about tutoring opportunities within his or her classes.
Can't find the opportunity to tutor in an academic area in which you're particularly strong? If your college has a large population of international students, consider being a conversational tutor for English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students working on their English skills.
Off-campus and online tutoring jobs exist, too. Keep your eye out for positions to tutor middle school or high school students, or to tutor for the SATs and ACTs.
Academic Department Assistant
Head over to your academic department (e.g., if you're an English major, check the English department) and ask about jobs. There's a lot that departments have to do behind the scenes, and sometimes they hire students for part-time office work.
While you aren't limited to your own major, departments generally give priority to students within the field. Plus, if you work within your own department, it's a good chance to make connections and network with professors.
How to Land the Job: Check with your academic department or student employment office for assistant job openings.
Campus Tech Support
If you're computer savvy or majoring in a technical field, look for a job at your college's computer center. Many universities offer tech-support nearly round-the-clock for both students and professors. The hours are usually pretty flexible as there are lots of different shifts that need staffing. During the downtime you can get work done too.
How to Land the Job: Check with your computer support department or student employment office for job openings.
Student Production Assistant
If you aren't quite a techie, there's another option to consider too. Find out if your college has student-run production services. All of those events put on by student organizations - dances, concerts, comedy shows, and plays for example - require a lot of work behind the scenes.
In some cases, the events are staffed by the college's student-run production services. Not only would you get paid, but there's also the opportunity to watch performances for free while you work.
You probably know that there are tons of offices on campuses - residence life, career services, health services, alumni affairs, and even the Dean's office, for example. These are great places to look for part-time jobs as they are right on campus and usually give hiring priority to students.
Also, it's a good way to become familiar with your university. You may find yourself learning about academic or professional opportunities within the department that you didn't know about before.
How to Land the Job: Check with your student employment office or contact the department directly to inquire about job openings.
University Book Store Employee
Most colleges have a central store that sells books for classes, college-themed clothing and school supplies. If your university has a store, ask about job openings. Not only does it come with the convenience of being on campus, but you may even get really useful employee discounts on books, clothes or other supplies.
How to Land the Job: Check with your student employment office or contact the bookstore directly to inquire about job openings.
Don't automatically dismiss the idea of babysitting just because you're in college. Babysitters make good money (usually between $10-$15/hour, and sometimes even $20/hour), and there are lots of different hours you can work, depending on the age of the kids you babysit. Plus, there's the opportunity to get some of your school work done during downtime.
University employees, including professors and administrative staff, usually favor college students when choosing a babysitter; if you like working with kids, keep your eye out for babysitting positions near your college.
How to Land the Job: Check with your career office or student employment office or search online for babysitting jobs.
Most colleges dedicate a lot of their resources to research. Many departments - from biology to chemistry, physics to engineering, psychology to sociology - recruit paid research assistants. Not all research is in hard science. You may be able to find a job doing background research for English, history, psychology, or sociology.
While the positions usually require some background knowledge of the field, if you're majoring in an area that involves research, a research assistant job makes an excellent addition to your resume.
If working as a researcher isn't feasible for you, considering being researched. It may seem a little strange, but research in fields such as sociology, psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, and behavioral biology requires study participants. Sometimes all you have to do is take a test or fill out a questionnaire. If you stop by those departments, you'll usually spot tons of flyers advertising paid opportunities.
While it doesn't guarantee a consistent schedule, being a study participant is a quick, easy and sometimes even a fun way to make extra money. It's safe too - all university-based studies are thoroughly vetted for any risks, and you'll be working with professionals who are legally obligated to make sure you aren't harmed during the research.
How to Land the Job: Check out opportunities at nearby colleges or graduate schools. If your college has a job listing board, you can usually find this type of work listed as "Quickie Jobs" or "One-time Jobs."
While you might slug java to pull an all nighter, working as a barista will teach you a lot about coffee and espresso. You'll probably also be treated to employee discounts that will save you a ton of money on your daily coffee fix.
Plus, campus coffee shops are usually open only during the day, so you won't have to work late night shifts.
How to Land the Job: Stop in and see if you can apply in person or check with your student employment office.
Fitness Center Employee
Are you a fitness junkie who spends a lot of time at your college's fitness center? Consider working there. Gyms usually require a significant number of staff, from receptionists to secretaries, janitors and workout room monitors. You can kill two birds with one stone and schedule your hours around your gym time.
How to Land the Job: Check with your school's fitness center directly or with your student employment office.