12 Best Jobs For College Students

Whether you’re putting yourself through school or you’re on a tight allowance and want some “fun” money at some point you may need a job.

What are the best jobs for college students and ways to earn a few extra bucks to help you get through your college years?

Below you’ll find some of the best jobs for college students who want to work off-campus:

Off Campus Jobs

  • Babysitter/Nanny

The hours are usually flexible, the work isn’t too strenuous and you get to take home every penny you make!  Sometimes you can even catch up on your studies while your working. If you’re far from home and missing your family you may welcome another family connection.

  • Barista

Some barista establishments offer impressive employee training programs and once you’re a trained and valued employee you may have flexibility to move to other affiliated stores. I bet there are employee discounts and what busy college student doesn’t drink coffee?

  • Grocery Store Clerk

Let’s face it- everyone needs to buy groceries. This is another job working with the public but also a way to learn transferable skills like checking or bagging.  Most grocery store establishments offer their employees flexible hours and opportunities for advancement.  You can even get your grocery shopping done after work!

  • Retail Sales Clerk

This type of job offers you experience working with people, learning the important lesson that “the customer is always right” and gives you tools working with sometimes demanding, dissatisfied or difficult people.

  • Tutor

Some people say teaching is the best way to learn, so why not reteach your subjects of expertise?  Your schedule is typically completely in your control.  This business is perpetuated by word of mouth, so if you do a good job your client base will likely grow, especially in difficult subjects such as math, science and foreign language.

  • Student Assistant

There are both on and off campus student assistant positions. Since these positions require you to be a student they are “student friendly” by nature. Some require you to be pursuing a degree in a specific area of study such as engineering or accounting but others are more general.  You can get paid while gaining applicable work experience. Like internships, student assistant positions are great resume builders and may help you make connections with others in your field.

  • Waiter/Waitress

Most often there are a large number of eateries within close proximity to campus and students who have the resources to eat out frequently.  This leads to a demand for labor and opportunities for college students. You can typically get scheduled to work a standard shift whether it’s the lunch rush, nights or weekends. Some restaurants may allow you to purchase discounted meals or even give you a free meal for every shift worked. If you develop your skills you may get work in a finer establishment that pays tips as well as hourly wages.

On-Campus Jobs

There are also many job opportunities on campus for students.  Jobs on campus often allow you to fit in work hours between classes since there is no commute and you typically don’t have to dress to impress. Be aware that students who qualify for work-study financial aid are often given priority, but this shouldn’t stop you from pursuing on campus employment.

Here are some the best jobs for college students on-campus:

  • Bookstore

What better way to get a jump on purchasing the used books you need for your courses?  There also may be opportunities to work year around if you want to stay in town for the summer.

  • Food Services

Most campuses offer a variety of eating establishments ranging from dormitory dining commons to coffee shops to specialty food stations. For certain it takes a larger number of students to keep the food coming. You may work as a cashier, menu planner, cook or busing tables. Most often employees are allowed to purchase discounted food, saving you both time and money.

  • Lab Assistant

If you’re interested in science and want to gain more hands-on experience then a lab assistant position may fit the bill.  You can refine your lab skills and possibly help others while making connections with professors.

  • Library Aid

If you love to read and want to find your way around your campus library then this may be the job for you. There may even be opportunities to do school work after you catch up on your scheduled duties.

  • Peer Advisor

Most Deans’ offices offer jobs for students fulfilling duties such as advising peers, doing presentations in the dorms, and general office tasks.  Working here will help you understand the administrative processes of your college, a perk that will definitely help you and others make their way through college.  This position usually has flexible hours, is great for connecting with upper level staff members at your college and looks great on a resume.

Although having a few extra dollars to spend on leisure activities can do no harm, I recommend not working in college if you don’t have to.  We all have the rest of our lives to work; so don’t bombard yourself with the need to be financially successful in college.  This may be the last time in your life when you cannot be!

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Heidi Meier

Heidi Meier

Heidi Meier is a junior at the University of California, Davis pursuing degrees in communication and psychology. At school, Heidi can be found participating in psychology experiments or lounging on the quad. Outside of school, she enjoys exploring new cities, adventuring with friends, and playing with her puppy, Pancake.
Heidi Meier

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