College students are often broke.
It’s not a secret. Whether you’re paying your college expenses yourself or you have student loans to help you foot the bills, there’s a good chance that you don’t have enough money to make use of.
Getting a part-time job while in school is a great way to make an income while studying. Apart from financial benefits, working a job will help you improve your time management skills and become more responsible.
Depending on your interests and schedule, there are many different part-time jobs you can work as a college student.
In this piece, we’ll cover some factors you should consider when choosing a part-time job and the best part-time jobs for college students.
Factors to consider when choosing a part-time job
If you want to work a part-time job, you have to understand that you’ll be working while taking classes and other extracurricular activities. This means that you have to balance both school and work.
So here are a few factors to consider when choosing a part-time job:
- Location: To increase how reliable you are at a job, it’s best that you choose a job that is located close to campus or where you live. If you have a car, you might not need to consider location as closely. But if you don’t, try to work at a place that is easily accessible to you.
- Pay: When choosing a job, it’s important that you pick something that you love doing. At the same time, you should also pick a job that pays well. After all, you’d have to pay living expenses, college expenses (even if you have a student loan), save for the future, and buy personal items for yourself.
- Schedule: Check for jobs that allow you to work at the times that you’re available. Some jobs require early morning shifts, night shifts, weekends, or even holidays. Figure out the times that work best for you so that you can commit to the shifts the job requires.
- Career relevance: If you want to get experience working in an industry you want to build a career in, you might have to sacrifice your salary by working as an intern in a local business or startup. That said, there are many internship positions that also pay interns, but these will likely be found in big companies.
Six best part-time jobs for college students
Now that you know the factors to consider when searching for a part-time job, let’s see some of the best part-time jobs that are perfect for college students.
Hourly pay: $20 – $75 (depending on experience and students’ needs)
When searching for good and flexible part-time jobs, you’ll likely come across some tutoring job listings. This is great because you get to use what you’re learning in college to make money.
If you excel in a particular subject or discipline, such as biology or calculus, you can tutor your fellow college students at times of your own choosing to help them pass those courses with flying colors.
As a tutor, your duties include:
- helping students with homework
- discussing and reviewing lessons and assignments
- coaching students on how to write good essays
- preparing students for tests and exams, etc.
You can choose to tutor students at any time that’s convenient for all parties involved. It could be on weekends, after school lets out or during breaks.
You can find tutoring jobs in peer programs at the University, online job boards or private firms. Whatever way you get a tutoring job, you will definitely find a lot of flexibility and fulfillment from this job.
Hourly pay: $10 – $17
If you are outgoing and bubbly, and love coffee, you might want to become a barista.
Many colleges hire students to work at campus cafes. As a barista, you spend your time mixing top-notch coffee drinks, and talking with students and professors who stop by to grab a cup or two.
A great thing about being a campus barista is that you’ll learn valuable skills that might help you land jobs in the service industry when you graduate college.
Also, since your job is offered through your school, you’ll be able to work hours that integrate well with your schedule.
You can find on-campus barista jobs on your college’s website. You might need to get on a wait-list, though, because being a barista is one of the most competitive jobs you can apply for.
Hourly pay: $12 – $18
If you prefer to work online, rather than physically, you can become a virtual assistant. It’s the same as a personal assistant, but you work virtually for your client(s).
As a virtual assistant, you help busy professionals with tasks like scheduling, IT, appointment bookings, research, social media management, and more.
This is a great job for college students who are organized, computer literate and have previous administrative experience.
Hourly pay: $50 – $500 per assignment (can be more as you get experience and build a portfolio)
If you’re an English major, journalist or you just love writing, you may want to become a freelance writer.
There are always businesses that need freelance writers. All you have to do is find a topic that interests you, learn as much as you can about it, and search for opportunities.
Freelance writing is great for many reasons.
First, it is flexible. Normally, employers only give you deadlines to turn in each piece of work. This way, you can choose when and where to work.
Second, it looks great on resumes. Employers are always looking for people who are great at writing and communicating. Having some freelance writing experience can help you snag a full-time job after college, if that’s the route you want to take.
Apart from writing for companies, you can also help your fellow students write their papers. You can learn how to craft a thesis statement, build outlines and master APA, MLA or Chicago Manual styles from your school’s writing center(s).
Hourly pay: $10 – $20
When parents need to leave their children to go out, they usually hire a babysitter to care for the children till they get back. This usually consists of feeding, entertaining and tucking the kids into bed.
If you think babysitting is just for teenagers, think again. You could make some serious cash as a babysitter. If you have some days where there are no classes, you could use them to babysit kids while their parents are at work or a function/event.
You could even offer to be their tutor. That’s killing two birds with one stone.
The website, Care.com, is great for finding families near you that need a babysitter.
Dog walker/pet sitter
Hourly pay: $15 – $40
If you’re an animal lover or have experience handling animals, becoming a dog walker or pet sitter is just about the perfect best part-time job you can land.
You get to hang out with cute dogs and pets all day! This job is flexible and depends on when the clients are away from home or are indisposed. You also get to spend time outside, do some exercise, and if you’re dog-sitting during weekends, you can catch up on homework too.
This job, however, has some downsides. Sometimes, you have to walk many pets at once and they might not all be friends. You also have to clean up after the pets, and walk them even if the weather isn’t favorable.
The easiest way to become a dog walker/pet sitter is to apply through websites like Wag or Rover. They offer employment options that can fit into any schedule.
After applying and scaling through the interview process, you’ll be contacted by people near you who want to hire you to take care of their pets.
Wrapping It Up
Part-time jobs are a great way to make some extra cash when you’re in college.
However, before looking for one of these part-time jobs (except tutoring), search for a job that is related to your field. It could be an internship or apprenticeship.
By getting a job in your field of study, you can learn more about your career path and make some valuable contacts, while earning some extra cash at the side.