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Top Jobs for College Students
If you’re in college and asking yourself, “where should I work?” check out our list of 20 of the best jobs or side-hustles for your student schedule:
1. Administrative assistant
Working as an administrative assistant is a great job for college students because it provides a background that can springboard your career into many wider opportunities. You’ll get experience organizing, planning, using office equipment and common computer programs like MS Office or GSuite. Most jobs will give you extensive training, so you just need a positive attitude, some computer savvy and good communication skills.
2. Animal caretaker
Animal caretaker roles can be ideal for students because they often provide flexibility and sometimes the opportunity to study while you work. Animal caretakers are responsible for feeding, walking and staying overnight with pets. Being trustworthy and reliable are important traits to advertise if you want this job because people will be trusting you with their pets and, in some cases, their homes.
Many coffeehouses need people who can work early shifts, and for many college students, the mornings are the best time to work so that evenings are devoted to studying. So, if you like the idea of working in a fast-paced and social environment, the barista life might be perfect for you. You’d be responsible for assisting guests, handling payments, making beverages and maintaining a clean cafe.
If you’re over 21, bartending may be one of the highest-paying jobs you can land in college. In addition to a friendly personality, the role requires grace under pressure, the ability to deal with — sometimes unruly — patrons, and excellent working knowledge of spirits and drinks. Some employers may even ask you about how many people follow you on social media, hoping that if you’re a popular person, it could attract more regulars to their business.
5. Customer service representative
Customer service is a great entry-level job for college students that will teach you skills in empathy and patience that you can carry on to many different careers! To land a job as a customer care representative, it will require that you have excellent communication skills, can stick to a script and problem solve. Some roles require excellent phone etiquette too.
6. Delivery driver
Whether it’s just as extra help for the holidays, it’s often easy to find companies that need delivery drivers, especially for ever-growing companies like Amazon. So, if you’re a self-motivated person with great attention to detail, delivery work might be an excellent option for you. It will help you land the job if you have a clean driving record or good familiarity with the delivery area.
7. Gym receptionist
In addition to extra spending cash, working at a gym can be an excellent opportunity for college students because it usually comes with usage privileges — which means you can use the equipment to blow off extra steam. Being a good receptionist requires a positive attitude, attention to detail and strong communication skills.
8. Hotel front desk clerk
A hotel front desk clerk’s main role is to be present if a guest needs to check in or requires any additional services. This job is excellent for college students because it provides a lot of downtime — which can be a window for school work — depending on the employer. That said, excellent customer service skills and attention to detail are necessary.
9. Library assistant
What better place to work as a serious student than where all the students go to be the most productive: the library? Working as a library assistant may give you a fuller understanding of how to use your school’s research resources. Keep in mind, it’s going to require excellent organizational and communication skills.
This is a classic college job for many reasons, the main one being that if the children you watch also attend school, the scheduling should be a good fit for you. Nannies need to be attentive, reliable and may also be responsible for feeding or helping to educate children. So, it’s serious work, and you need to market yourself like a mature and trustworthy person to earn a parent’s confidence.
11. Parking attendant
Many parking attendants or valet jobs are great for students because they’re primarily done at night when you’re not in class. The job involves issuing claim tickets, parking and retrieving cars. So, a clean driving record and trustworthiness may be the most significant factors in winning you the job.
Receptionists are an entry-level position that can open many future doors for you, either working in offices, retail or medical environments. The role requires a friendly attitude, good communication and organizational skills. Depending on the role, you may even be permitted to get reading or classwork done in your downtime.
13. Retail clerk
Retail work is a great fit for college students because it’s always in demand and much of it is part-time work, ideal for a student schedule. Being a retail clerk will require assisting customers, handling payments, and keeping the store stocked and tidy. So, it will help you land the job if you have great customer service skills and experience performing financial transactions.
14. Research assistant
This is one of the best jobs for college students because it will strengthen your research skills and make your academic game even more on-point. Being a research assistant requires serious attention to detail, trustworthiness and strong fact-checking skills. It’s also a job where you can highlight your academic experience to impress employers with your resourcefulness, authority and creativity.
15. Restaurant host
Being a host, in general, doesn’t require as long of hours as most restaurant positions, making it pretty great for students. Duties will include greeting and seating guests, overseeing restaurant flow and taking reservations. Organization and a can-do attitude are essential to performing this role well.
16. SAT tutor
If you did well on your SATs to get into college, they could pay off for you in another significant way: getting you a job as a tutor. There are a lot of educational companies that will hire tutors that performed well on these tests to share their skills and experience with soon-to-be test takers. Usually, this job doesn’t require a ton of hours per week, so it’s very adaptable to a student’s schedule.
17. Senior caregiver
Seniors tend to love young people as they remind them of their grandchildren or their own youthfulness. That said, this is a solid avenue for student work because there is always a demand for help. Keep in mind, the role will require good organization, attention to detail, empathy and patience. And in some cases, you may even be running group activities.
Being a server is a wonderful job for students because it tends to be high earning for the number of hours involved; making it manageable for someone with a busy schedule of classes and homework. Servers communicate with guests and the kitchen to make sure food, drinks and fun are delivered in an accurate and timely manner.
19. Uber driver
Being a driver for a ride-share app like Uber or Lyft is a modern student’s dream because the role is very flexible to whatever time you have available. It requires that you’re organized, motivated and have your own up-to-date vehicle. A clean driving record and background check should also be expected.
20. Yoga instructor
If you’re passionate about yoga, then what better next step than to get paid to share your knowledge and love for it? Yoga classes are often perfect for students because they tend to be in the mornings or evenings, leaving your whole day open for taking classes. To get hired, though, most studios will want to ensure that you have a certification to teach.
Rights, rules and benefits
For most college students, there are no limits to the number of hours or when you can work.
However, if you happen to be under 18, that’s different. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the Child Labor Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for Nonagricultural Occupations, workers under 18 years of age can only have jobs that will not jeopardize a teen’s well-being or education.
Otherwise, if you are over 18 years of age, you are entitled to the same payment, benefits and compensation as any full- or part-time employee for a given company.
Best Job Search Sites
JobHero has a helpful page that lists the best job search sites, you’ll find on the internet! We outline a background about each site and its strengths and weaknesses.
Also, for entry-level jobs, one of the internet’s long-standing resources is Craigslist. It’s basically an online version of the classified ads.
It’s location-specific and free for employers to post job ads, so there are usually many local listings.
Unlike more professionally-oriented sites like LinkedIn, applying to jobs doesn’t require you to sign up for anything. In most cases, you only have to respond to an email address.
However, this also means that some of the posts you encounter may not be real or valid.
Use caution: Because Craigslist is free for posting job ads, and users don’t have to sign up, that means that sometimes you deal with spam or scams. If anything seems sketchy or too good to be true, it probably is.
Don’t respond to strange links or requests for personal information or photos.