In my first semester of college, I was introduced to the age-old triangle of college life: the triangle of good grades, social life, and enough sleep. The crux of the joke (which is not very funny, in reality) is that you can only choose two of these.
This triangle should really be a square for a majority of students who have to work during college. A job isn’t even considered in this triangle, so what are people who need the extra income to do?
Working while in college can be tough, but choosing the right part-time job for you can make all the difference.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a part-time job amidst your class schedule and other extracurriculars.
Location: Finding a job that is easily accessible to you will greatly influence your reliability as a worker. If you have a car, you have a wider range of possibilities, but most college towns offer plenty of part-time jobs that are close to campus.
Schedule: Be sure to check out jobs with preferred availability during the times you can work. Some positions will require night shifts, early morning shifts, weekends, or holidays. Be sure you can commit to the shifts that the business needs before taking on the job.
Pay: Are you working for passion or pay? Some jobs may have both, but the range of pay in part-time jobs is wide. Aim to find a job that is both enjoyable and offers the income that you need.
Career-relevance: If you are looking to gain experience in an industry of your interest, you might find yourself sacrificing pay. Working as an intern for a startup, local business or a big company may be more beneficial for your dream career after graduation.
Related experience: Having the necessary experience required to work at some part-time jobs is important to note. Find jobs that you are qualified for and save yourself some application time.
Now that you have the factors to consider when choosing a part-time job, it’s time to jump on the job hunt! Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here’s a list of 37 part-time jobs that are great for college students.
Local Business Jobs:
Boutique jobs are perfect for the fashionistas out there. Some may require sales experience, but many are just looking for the right personality (friendly, outgoing, stylish).
Expect to work afternoons and weekends. You’ll save money on clothing and accessories, as most boutiques offer employee discounts.
Believe it or not, paper books are not dead yet. Local bookstores are making a resurgence, especially in college towns. Many book shops will be close to campus and offer some of the books required for courses, lessening your costs for school books with employee discounts.
If you love bike riding, this is the perfect job to turn your passion into cash. No experience actually fixing bikes? Check to see if there’s a local co-op or volunteer bike club on your campus that can teach you the basics.
If you have a nice DSLR and an eye for capturing beautiful moments, reach out to local photographers and see if they need an assistant. This job is great if you need a flexible schedule because you'll often work at events on nights and weekends
Another good option: start your own photography business by photographing your friends for special events or professional headshots.
If you love fitness and can motivate people to exercise, this is the job for you. You won’t need much experience and will save money here as well. Most places offer their employees free classes — a great way to stay active in college!
When it comes to working as a part-time teacher or tutor, the options are endless. You can work at a nonprofit after-school program, tutor for a family near campus, or sign up for one of the new gig economy tutoring/teaching sites like Chegg Tutors, TakeLessons, Maestro, StudySoup, and Skillshare. The pay is usually high and the hours are often flexible.
If you’re willing to get trained and certified, lifeguarding can be very rewarding. Spend your days by the pool and help promote safety in the water. You’re likely to have mostly young co-workers and a fun work environment.
Food Service Jobs:
This will be a sweet job (pun intended) for those of you who are looking for a social job. Enjoy life outside of college as ice cream shops usually attract people of all ages. Little to no experience needed is also a plus!
Although you may have to settle for minimum wage as a sales associate, this is your opportunity to find a truly unique and local place to work. Find a food shop whose mission and way of business inspires you and take advantage of working there.
Learn about running a business through observation as you are likely to work close to the owners.
This is the go-to job for those looking to earn fast cash and gain valuable experience in the food industry. Whether your aim is to own a restaurant, work as a chef, or simply pay your way through college, this is the job for go-getters.
You’ll be on your feet for most of the shift, but the extra income gained from tips will be a great benefit to your bank account.
Juicing is all the rage these days. Get in on the action by working at the new juice shops popping up in your neighborhood. This is a great job for those with a passion for produce and healthy lifestyle. A huge perk is that most smoothie places close relatively early, leaving your nights free.
Although most of these jobs require barista experience, they are a wonderful option for college students. Cafes cluster around campus, so you will meet tons of students while also getting to know some of the locals. Be prepared for some very early or late shifts, as many cafes cater to student’s study hours.
If you have the training (and the age) necessary to work as a bartender, take advantage of it in college. This job will have a cool social scene, likely be close to campus, and offer high pay depending on where you work. Night owls will thrive as shifts will generally peak after dark.
14. Catering Staff
This is a great job for those who want a flexible, on-call position with decent pay. Previous experience in food service is a plus. There will likely be different locations for each event, offering an escape from your typical routine.
15. Food Truck Staff
Depending on where you live, food trucks are the growing local business trend. Take the chance to work for a cool new business with a fun culture. You will also gain some customer service experience, food prep experience, and the chance to travel while you work.
This position is great because it requires little to no experience, offers flexible hours (depending on the place), and is readily available in most college towns. Don't be fooled by the title: you'll likely do some food prep as well.
Think you've been wasting your time on Snapchat and Instagram? You've actually been gaining useful skills. Put those skills to good use by running the social media accounts for a local business or startup. Some of these positions can also be done remotely, which is great for the busy college student who is good at multi-tasking.
Working as an Administrative Assistant is a great way to gain experience in the "real" world. Choose a company you'd like to work for after you graduate and get connected to the business. You are likely to work with an older crowd of graduates here, offering a look into your potential career.
This is a great one to boost your resume and gain valuable professional skills. Plus you'll make connections that will help you when you graduate. Although you sacrifice a higher paying position for experience, internships are an investment in your future.
Many businesses hire bloggers to create attractive and relatable content for their websites. You don't have to limit your job search to local businesses for this one, as the work is generally remote and submitted online. You can even be proactive and reach out to your favorite blogs to see if they are looking for contributors.
21. Graphic Designer
If you have an excellent design sense and know how to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, there are endless job possibilities for you. Work as a freelance designer, create content for local businesses or find an internship at a local marketing agency.
The pay range is wide depending on the company, but hours can be flexible and the work can be remote.
If you have the skills to work as a software engineering intern, startup companies consider you a hot commodity. Take advantage of the high demand and gain experience in college so that you can be prepared to tackle the engineering world when you graduate.
23. Brand Ambassador
If you are friendly, energetic, outgoing, and self-motivated, work as a brand ambassador for a local startup or business. This position is great for those who want to gain experience in a number of roles.
You will likely participate in cold calling, email marketing, social media, flyering, and attending events to represent your company. There can also be an opportunity to grow within the company.
Library jobs are one of the most convenient jobs to have as a student because of their relatively high pay and on-campus location. This position will give you plenty of customer service practice and the chance to interact with college students for most of your shift. Best of all, there is usually plenty of time to do your homework.
This job is perfect for students who love to study late at night. Most dorm receptionist jobs begin after sunset and can go as late as 3AM. One of the biggest perks is that you are usually allowed to do homework during your shift.
Make money and get ahead in your studies, while simultaneously welcoming students into their homes. It's a win-win-win situation.
Are you undeniably passionate about your campus? Put it to good use as a paid campus tour guide. This will give you public speaking practice, exercise, and a chance to convince prospective students to attend your university.
This job is simple and fun as long as you are prepared to be moving for the entirety of the tour.
Gain experience in your field of interest by working as a Research Assistant for one of your professors. Many paid positions will have a high wage. Another plus? Since the research is usually conducted on campus, these positions are very conveniently located.
Work on the other side of the research by participating in paid research studies. Although this is not an official position, these act as paid gigs that students can pick up based on their availability.
Check with your school's Psych department to see what research studies are looking for participants. These are simple, non-committal, and flexible for your schedule.
This isn’t a paid position, but the chance to have free room & board during your college years will save you as much cash as you would make in a traditional part-time job. You will get the chance to closely interact, mentor, and bond with hundreds of college students a year and give back to your university in a highly influential way.
30. Cafeteria Worker
Working in your university’s dining areas will require little to no experience and have a higher pay than other restaurant jobs. It may not be the most glamorous work, but it will earn you money and free meals, saving you a significant amount of food-prep time and money.
Sharing Economy Jobs:
From ridesharing to carsharing to delivery drivers, there is no shortage of options in this category. Uber and Lyft are the modern day taxi services. Tripda is an app that allows you to offer rides to people on trips that you are already taking. Getaround lets you rent out your car any day of the week.
You can also become a delivery driver for a local restaurant or find positions through Postmates, Doordash, Grubhub, Sprig...the list goes on.
Have a special talent or craft that you want to share with the world? Make money off your handmade goods on websites like Etsy and Amazon’s Handmade. Prepare homemade meals for people using Feastly or Josephine. Don't limit your customer base to the internet—you can also try selling your artisan foods and crafts at local boutiques, holiday markets and even in your college dorm.
Got an extra room in your apartment? Websites like Homestay, Airbnb, and FlipKey allow you to rent out your homes to vacationers and travelers. Put your room on the market during Thanksgiving or Christmas break, when demand (and rates) are highest.
This is a great way to earn cash without having to spend time at a job. Note: if you live in a frat house, this probably isn't the right option for you.
Websites like SitterCity and UrbanSitter make it easy to find nanny and babysitting opportunities near you. You can also try posting a message on NextDoor to offer your babysitting services to local families.
Care.com is perfect if you want to work in adult and senior care. The ability to control your work hours and the relatively high pay make these jobs ideal for college students.
35. Pet Care
Animal lovers rejoice: now you can get paid to spend time with your furry friends. Dog-sitting websites like DogVacay and Rover offer boarding, cleaning, walking, daycare, and more for pups.
If you're interested in caring for cats, Holidog offers services for both dogs and cats. This is well suited for people with limited, inconsistent schedules who need to earn a small amount of extra cash.
These jobs won't be a big asset on your resume, but they can be a great way to earn extra cash. Here are a few sites to choose from:
- JobRunners offers home cleaning, delivery, admin support, and handyman work to the public
- Handy offers services focused on home cleaners and handymen
- TaskRabbit offers everything from moving to event and party planning.
If you’re an aspiring creative professional, get a head start on your career and work as a freelancer during school. Fiverr and Upwork are massive marketplaces for all types of freelance work. BlogMutt helps bloggers gain gigs within the professional world. Freelancer is a space to advertise your skills and get hired from professionals.
That's it, folks. It’s time to get inspired, find a job, and live outside the triangle of typical college life.