5 Types of Part-Time Jobs for College Students

Written by Coursera • Updated on

The best part-time jobs for college students are flexible, convenient, and pay well depending on the position. To choose a part-time job to help pay for college, consider also your school schedule and any experience that can help you get hired.

[Featured image] A college student working part-time in a cafe wears an apron and holds a menu.

The best part-time jobs for college students are jobs that are flexible, convenient, and work with your school schedule in a way that doesn’t affect your ability to maintain satisfactory academic status. If you’re thinking about working while in college, look for options like on-campus jobs, paid internships, or freelance jobs that allow you to work around your own schedule. 

Learn more: How to Get Your First Job: A Guide

5 part-time jobs for college students

Find an employer who is understanding of your status as a college student. Look for a part-time job that can fit your college schedule and bring you experience and income as you complete your college education. 

*Salary data represents average hourly pay rates according to Indeed (March 2022) [1].

1. On-campus positions 

Working in an on-campus position can give you the chance to work alongside your peers, allowing you to build professional relationships and networks for your career. With an on-campus job, you will be in a more flexible position to change your working times since they will strictly depend on your class schedule. 

  • Library associate: $13.24 

  • Tutor: $21.31  

  • Teaching assistant: $11.85

  • Campus ambassador: $10.94

  • Resident assistant: $13.24 

  • Campus tour guide: $13.37

Landing a job on your campus can also provide you with work-study credit to help pay your education expenses. 

2. Retail and marketing positions  

Retail jobs include local boutiques, e-commerce, and social media. Working in a brick-and-mortar shop can provide you with valuable human and workplace skills that can be used later in your professional career. Likewise, working in an online position will equip you with technical skills like business analysis that can enhance your resume and gain an advantage over your competitors when applying for a job in your preferred field.

Many brands rely on social media to garner business and recognition and are outsourcing this work to online candidates. If you have social media skills like content creation on YouTube or Instagram, apply for part-time social media management roles. 

If you enjoy getting in front of a camera to promote certain products, submit your resume for brand ambassador positions to increase brand awareness and sales revenue during your own time. This role averages about $17.23 an hour and presents an excellent opportunity to start a career in marketing, entrepreneurship, or advertising [1]. 

Additionally, if you have an impressive social media presence of your own, reach out to different companies’ marketing or advertising teams to offer them your content creation services and rates. This approach requires more time and effort on your part, but it can greatly help you generate income and build your online reputation. 

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Learn more: Social Media Jobs: 6 Roles to Explore

3. Food-service jobs 

With a job in the food-service industry, which is made up of restaurants, cafeterias, and catering companies among other businesses, you can generate tips in addition to an hourly pay. This is especially helpful during peak hours and holidays because your income could be higher than usual. 

  • Barista: $11.59 per hour 

  • Restaurant server: $10.17 per hour 

  • Restaurant host: $11.06 per hour 

  • Bartender: $11.74 per hour (including tips)

4. Paid internships 

Make the most out of your part-time college job with a paid internship that can help build your resume with relevant experiences. Most paid internships are worked during the summer, so it can complement your regular part-time job and help sustain you for the remainder of the school year. 

In a paid internship, you may be able to benefit from: quality references for your resume, possible future full-time employment opportunities, a higher paying job after graduating college, and a new skill set to take with you into your career. Paid internships also show initiative and drive, which are highly valued by many employers. 

Some companies, particularly in tech, use internships as part of their hiring pipeline. Perks also include the pay. A 2021 report by Glassdoor found that some internships are paying as much as $8,800 a month [2]. The top companies of 2021 with the highest paying salaries for interns include tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe. 

You can find other paid internships outside the computer and technology industries with local businesses, financial institutions, and the government. They will each help you expand your skill set and resume while making extra cash to pay for college expenses. 

Get involved: How to Get a Cybersecurity Internship: 2022 Guide

5. Freelancing 

The current “gig economy,” as some people call it, works to your advantage as a college student seeking part-time jobs. From babysitting to opening your own online shop on sites like Etsy, it’s highly convenient if you want to work during your own, flexible hours. If you have a talent like painting or knitting, sell your work at local artists’ markets and online. If you have experience babysitting, cleaning, or pet sitting, monetize it by opening your own small business.  

  • Rideshare driver: $19.00 (varies by drive times, locations, etc.)

  • Babysitter: $16.13 (varies by number of children and duties) 

  • Private tutor: $21.31

  • Pet sitter/dog walker: $15.23

Note that these estimated incomes can vary by your location, expertise, and schedule. 

Starting a small business can be a rewarding process for people who value being in charge of their workplace and enjoy turning their business visions into a reality.

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Outline your criteria before choosing a part-time job.  

Before looking for a part-time job, establish your criteria so the employer will know exactly what you’re willing to do and under which conditions. If you have an established school schedule, determine how many free hours you’ll have each week for work. Avoid overextending yourself. Set clear expectations and boundaries around your working and studying hours and your curriculum schedule to maintain a healthy work-life synergy

Negotiate your hours.

During your job interviewing process, communicate that your schedule will likely change based on your curriculum. And don’t forget to make time for your social life in your weekly projected schedule, which is essential in keeping a good work-life balance. Discuss your personal time off, or PTO, while considering holidays, school projects, and other important events. It’s helpful and shows respect when you notify employers early about any anticipated time off. 

Read more: How to Prepare for an Interview

Set realistic expectations for pay and benefits.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for the part-time college student jobs category in the United States was $36,824 a year, as of March 2022 [3]. This breaks down to $17.70 an hour, $708 a week, or $3,069 a month.

Many part-time jobs will be entry level and will require little to no experience. However, you can negotiate a higher salary or hourly pay rate if you have relevant experience.

Be sure to ask the employers about benefits like health insurance and paid sick leave. Laws that require employers to offer benefits to part-time employees vary by state and local laws. Check the laws in your area to find out what benefits may be applicable to you. 

Be conscious about location. 

Consider a part-time job that is close to your home to prevent long commutes while you’re enrolled in classes. Seek on-campus positions that are within a few minutes drive for your convenience. If you drive a car to campus, you’ll have more flexibility to move around town as often as you please, but if you take a bus or ride a bike, a job near your home or campus will save you time and energy.

Do something you enjoy. 

To have a satisfying time between college and work, match your interests or field of study to your job. If you’re in school earning a degree in business, take your resume to locally owned businesses. This will help you gain real-world experience that will complement your long-term career goals. You’ll develop valuable technical and human skills in the process.

Learn more: 21 Side Hustle Ideas and How to Get Started

Benefits of holding a part-time job in college 

Being employed in a part-time job while enrolled in college shows that you are a hard worker. It will help you build a skill set that you’ll bring into your career and beyond the workforce. These skills include time management, communication, and problem-solving, among others. Take this time to explore your interests and fully prepare for your career, and expand your resume and your character while taking charge of your finances. 

Read more: Jobs to Pay for College: 2022 Guide

Next steps 

As you consider which part-time job is a good fit for you, prepare your resume and perfect your interviewing skills. Research resume templates, interview etiquette tips, and the most commonly asked interview questions for your preferred field of work. By doing so, you will be more likely to answer the interviewer correctly and increase your chances of landing the job. 

Want to pursue your education on a flexible schedule? Complete an online bachelor’s degree on your own terms, at your pace, and from anywhere in the world. Coursera provides access to a variety of affordable degrees in technology, science, and health, among other majors, offered by institutions like the University of London, the University of Michigan, and the University of North Texas. 

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Article sources

1. Indeed. “Highest Paying Jobs for College Students, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/high-paying-jobs-for-college-students.” Accessed March 8, 2022.

2. Glassdoor. “25 Highest Paying Internships for 2021, https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/highest-paying-internships/.” Accessed March 8, 2022.

3. ZipRecruiter. “Part Time College Student Salary, https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Part-Time-College-Student-Salary.” Accessed March 8, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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