Top 7 Jobs for Working Students

college jobs

Some college students decide to work during their college years to supplement their budget. Studies show that working 10-15 hours per week actually can improve budgeting time more efficiently as well as earning money.  However, working more than 20 hours a week can cut back on your ability to keep up with your studies. You need to find the work-study balance right for you — financially and academically.

When looking for a job, take the time to weigh your options and determine what factors are most important to you — flexible hours, convenient location, transportation requirements, appeal, and hourly wages.

Here are seven part-time jobs college students frequently find:

Research Assistant

While an on-campus job working with a professor may not be a high-paying job, the convenience and experience could pay off in the long run. Working with your professor on research in your field of interest will give you valuable experience. You will probably also have the opportunity for one-on-one time with other professors in your field, which will help when you are looking for recommendations for future jobs and graduate programs. Plus, being right on campus will reduce the distance of your commute to work.


Many college students love their coffee, and often there are quite a few coffee shops on and around campuses. Working as a barista, you can learn a lot about coffee and probably  get an employee discount on your caffeine, too. It’s also a way to improve your customer service and interpersonal communication skills because you will work with and serve many different types of people.

Campus Tour Guide/Ambassador

You chose your school for a reason, so you may find joy in welcoming others to your school’s campus. Not only are you on-campus, which makes it easy to be available to give a tour, you likely will find it very rewarding. While not all colleges pay students to give tours, many do. Interacting with prospective students and their parents will help you develop public speaking skills and build relationships. And all of that will take place at the same time you are encouraging future students to attend your college. This is also a job that can expose you to a lot of important people at your college, building connections that could help you down the line.

Fitness Studio Front Desk Worker

Sometimes it can be hard to stay in shape during college, so a job like this could help motivate you to do so at the same time you motivate others. You’ll get to meet and work with a lot of different people and may even get to take fitness classes at a discount. This job can teach you a lot about customer service, and also help you find a passion for exercise if you don’t already have one.


While this may seem like a job reserved for high school students, there are many benefits to choosing this path in college. College-aged babysitters generally get paid above minimum wage and can manage their own hours. If you are good with kids, this may be a great fit for you. Many college Financial Aid Offices keep a list of students interested in babysitting and, if you sign up, will share your name with families in the community looking for sitters. Keep in mind that professors and campus faculty with kids might prefer hiring a student over a complete stranger.

Resident Assistant or Adviser

Taking on this responsibility can provide you with leadership skills that look great on your resume, while improving your own life and career skills at the same time. To be successful in this job, you need patience, as well as organizational and people skills, all of which are talents future employers look for in potential employees. On top of boosting your resume, you will become an integral part of the college experience for other students, helping them adjust to living away from home and providing guidance in a multitude of situations. If you have ever thought of going into counseling, this job will teach you a lot. Being a resident assistant will leave you better prepared for future situations in which you are interacting with a variety of people with different ideas and situations.


Working in the food service industry is a typical job for college students and it’s popular for a reason. With tips for good service, this job can make you a lot of money in a short amount of time, which is a positive to many students. A lot of times, restaurants will be flexible with your shifts and willing to work with you to plan hours around your class schedule. Given the fast-paced and sometimes stressful environment of working in a restaurant, you get the chance to observe and experience all kinds of customer behavior. This is one of the best opportunities to hone your customer service skills – especially as your service can strongly influence what you earn in tips. These positive customer service skills also can carry over to almost any future positions.

Working while in college can help you learn how to manage time and give you an education you may never receive in the classroom. If you need some extra cash while in college, these part-time options could be a valuable experience in terms of money and skills learned. For more tips on how to earn money while in college, use our scholarship and grant search tool.