Best Jobs for College Students
Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts and has counseled both students and corporations on hiring practices. She has given hundreds of interviews on the topic for outlets including The New York Times, BBC News, and LinkedIn. Alison founded CareerToolBelt.com and has been an expert in the field for more than 20 years.
Free time can be scarce during college, but when expenses pile up quickly, a part-time or flexible schedule job is a good way to offset costs while ensuring there’s enough time left over for both academics and extracurriculars.
If you’re a college student looking for a job, the best place to start your job search is right on campus. There are tons of on-campus part-time job opportunities and, as a student, you’ll automatically be given hiring priority. Plus, on-campus jobs eliminate commuting time and can be a great way to connect with academic and professional resources at your university. Check with your school’s career office or student employment office for help finding a campus job. If you receive financial aid, also check on jobs available through your campus work-study program.
Of course, there are opportunities for part-time work off-campus, too. Spend a little time digging for the right kind of part-time job, that leaves you with enough time to get your school work done. Also consider lining up an online job, part-time evening job or flexible gig where you can set your own schedule. You’ll be able to up your earnings from the comfort of your dorm room or apartment.
If you’re a senior, junior or even a sophomore, chances are you know your campus pretty well. Why not take advantage of that knowledge and work for your college’s admissions department? Admissions relies on outgoing, friendly students to give group and personal tours, and talk to potential students about all that the college has to offer.
How to Land the Job: Ask your admissions department about openings. Not only is it a job that looks good on your resume, it’s also convenient because you don’t even have to leave campus to get to work.
Research and Academic Jobs
1. Internet Researcher ($15-19 USD per hour)
Becoming an internet researcher is a great option if you’re tech savvy – which is almost every college student nowadays. Getting paid to surf the web in the comfort of your own home sounds like a dream job, and really can be one, as long as you’re able to stay on task and find the information you’re looking for.
If you find work as an internet researcher, you could be researching for a broad range of industries, from looking for online information for law firms to doing the legwork for university or college departments. There’s really no limit to who you could be working for when you’re an internet researcher.
2. Research Assistant ($7-28 USD per hour)
Working as a research assistant as a part-time job could be the ideal position for any engineering student who wants to get serious about their education, whether it’s to pursue a career in academia or further their education with a masters or doctorate after they graduate.
If you’re looking for a position as a research assistant at your school, there are two main methods students use to get these jobs. Firstly, you could be lucky enough to find and apply for a job posting through your school’s career center or an online job board. Secondly, you could get close to your professors and talk to them before and after class. Let them know you’re looking for a research assistant position in their department – they might have a position for you!
Being a research assistant would be advantageous if you’d like to make connections in the engineering field or if you’d like to spend more time learning about engineering in an academic setting.
3. Teaching Assistant ($8-18 USD per hour)
If you aced one of the classes you took last year, get in touch with your professor and let them know how much you enjoyed taking the class. When you ask about a teaching assistant position, you might be delighted to find they’re looking for someone for the role already.
However, it’s important to know that being a teaching assistant requires a mastery of the course material you’re working with and strong communication skills to help other students. You need to be confident that you fully understand a subject before you apply for a teaching assistant role.
4. High School, College, or University Tutor ($9-22 USD per hour)
If you’re an engineering student who wants to help other people and likes studying, becoming a tutor could be the perfect position for you. Working as a high school, college, or university tutor is an emotionally rewarding part-time job that could yield many benefits for your future career.
The most common ways to get a job as a tutor is to either apply for a position as a private tutor through a job board or apply for a tutoring position at a tutoring company in your local area. Generally speaking, private tutoring can be more lucrative, but it’s also more complicated to set up. Working for a business that hires tutors is easier, but can often pay less than a private gig.
5. ESL Tutor ($12-41 USD per hour)
Working as an ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor is a great option if you enjoy spending time speaking with new people and learning about different cultures. You can work as a private ESL tutor, as well as work as a tutor for an English language school or business in your area.
Don’t speak another language? No problem! While speaking another language is a definite advantage to teaching someone a new language, you may be surprised to learn that you don’t actually have to be bilingual to be an ESL tutor.
To be a great ESL tutor, you’ll need to have interpersonal and communication skills, patience, and an excellent understanding of the English language. However, if you’d like to become a professional ESL teacher, you may require additional certifications to teach in your area.
Creative and Writing Jobs
6. Freelance Writer ($7-90 USD per hour)
Freelancing as a writer can be extremely flexible and remarkably lucrative, as long as you have the time, determination, and knack for writing to make it work. If you’re a talented writer and know how to turn up well paying writing gigs, freelance writing can be an excellent part-time job solution.
There are many benefits to being a freelance writer, such as working wherever you want, making your own hours, setting your own writing fees, and being able to find clients and projects you genuinely care about. Plus, you get to write for a living, which is a dream come true for many people.
On the other hand, freelance writing is a very competitive gig. It can be hard to find clients and projects, and you need to be timely, responsible, communicative, and disciplined to be successful as a freelance writer. Freelance writing isn’t for everyone, but for some engineering students, it’s the perfect fit for a part-time job.
7. Grant Writer ($7-48 USD per hour)
Working as a grant writer is very similar to working as a freelance writer, except that writing grants is a specialized skill that has very clear-cut rules and goals. While the work can be less varied than freelance writing, grant writing allows you to get really good at a very particular type of written work.
Many grant writers work as freelancers to apply for a small amount of different grants, such as being a freelance grant writer for musicians and artists who apply for government and arts council grants. Other grant writers work as employees for companies, businesses, and non-profits.
8. Social Media Coordinator ($12-25 USD per hour)
If you’re an engineering student who’s addicted to posting to Facebook, surfing hashtags on Twitter, or commenting on Instagram, working as a social media coordinator could be the ideal part-time job for you.
The role of a social media coordinator is to create social media campaigns, run advertising budgets, schedule regular social media posts, and monitor and analyze social media data to find trends, engage audiences, and support the marketing team’s efforts.
9. Freelance Photographer ($11-101 USD per hour)
If you answered, “Yes,” to these questions, then working as a freelance photographer could be a great part-time job for you. It might surprise you that many freelance photographers become successful based on practical experience, not formal training or education.
You don’t need a fancy diploma to become a successful freelance photographer, just an amazing photography portfolio, an ability to hustle for clients and gigs, and savvy business sense.