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These 26 Part-Time Jobs Will Help You Stop Being Broke

College students are known for being, in a word, broke.

Since most of your time during college goes to studying and socializing, it can feel like there’s little time left to earn money. Combine this with the fact that most college students don’t have a lot of work experience or skills, and it’s easy to see why your bank account is so empty.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are dozens of ways to make money in college, ranging from freelance work to DJ-ing parties.

The classic method, however, is to get a part-time job on campus. While not as sexy as, say, starting your own business, part-time jobs are a way to earn extra money while still having time to focus on your classes.

In this guide, I’ll cover some of the best part-time jobs for college students. All of these jobs (or some variation of them) are available on most college campuses. So if you’re sitting around at the start of a new semester wondering how to earn some extra money, this guide is for you.

26 Best Part-Time Jobs for College Students

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and that’s a good thing! I’ve covered some of the most common part-time jobs, but your own university has some I could never even dream of.

So don’t take this list as the only jobs available to college students. Instead, use it as a jumping-off point for your own job search.

Looking for ways to make money off-campus or online? Check out our list of 100+ ways to make money in college.

Campus Food Service

If you live on campus, there’s a good chance you eat most of your meals at one of the many campus dining locations. But have you ever considered serving the food instead of just eating it?

When you work for campus food service, you’ll do things that range from preparing the food to serving it to hungry students. Food service isn’t the most glamorous work, but it will teach you how to work hard and deal with all kinds of people.

How to get the job:

  • Generally, all you have to do is submit a resume and cover letter to the person in charge of hiring.
  • Food service experience helps, but it usually isn’t required.

Campus Barista

Whether it helps you survive your 8 AM calculus class or fuels a 1 AM study session, a steady flow of coffee is essential to many college students’ lives. Therefore, most campuses have at least one coffee shop where you can get your caffeine fix.

If you like making latte art and pulling shots of spro, then working as a campus barista could be a great job. Plus, you’ll get lots of free coffee and a marketable skill.

How to get the job:

  • Usually, you just need a cover letter and resume.
  • Food service or barista experience help, but you can learn most of these skills on the job.
  • While not required, it’s traditional that you be either a philosophy or English major 🙂

Campus Custodial

For whatever reason, people make messes. And someone has to clean those messes up. Enter campus custodial, the job in which you clean everything from bathrooms to boardrooms.

As with food service, it isn’t the most glorious job, but it’s absolutely necessary. Plus, a lot of my friends in college who did custodial work used the time to listen to podcasts and audiobooks, adding tons of productive time to their days.

How to get the job:

  • Submitting a resume and cover letter are usually all you have to do.
  • As long as you can sweep, mop, vacuum, and work hard, you shouldn’t need any other qualifications.

Research Assistant

My college professors were some of the most disorganized people I knew. But most people would never know that, as college professors have a secret organizational weapon: research assistants.

Research assistants do everything from editing scholarly papers to simulating earthquakes. It’s a great job if you’re interested in academia or want to get more hands-on experience related to your major. These jobs also tend to pay slightly more than the average campus job, which is a nice bonus.

How to get the job:

  • You’ll need to submit a cover letter and resume.
  • However, the best way to get a research assistant position is to get to know the professor you want to work for. To do this, take some of their classes and go to their office hours.
  • This way, when it comes time to apply, the professor is already familiar with your character and work ethic.
  • Strong organizational and written communication skills are a must. And, obviously, research skills are helpful, too.

Department Assistant

While research assistants help professors with their specific research work, there’s another rank of unsung heroes who keep the college running: office assistants.

Also called “department assistants” or “administrative assistants,” these are the people that make the copies, fix the printer, and remind the department chair how to make a PowerPoint.

I spent my senior year as one of the English department assistants, and the number one thing it taught me was patience. Plus, the job came with plenty of dead time for me to spend working on articles like these.

How to get the job:

  • A cover letter and resume are usually required.
  • Great organizational skills are a must, as are written communication skills.
  • Making friends with the department chair is the easiest way to get this job.

Campus IT

If you’ve been binge-watching The IT Crowd and long for the romance of a musty basement office, then campus IT could be the job for you.

Seriously, though, this is one of the best part-time jobs to get if you want to learn marketable skills. Heck, that’s how Thomas learned many of the skills he used to build the first version of this website.

When you work for campus IT, you’ll do everything from installing new IT infrastructure to explaining (for what feels like the thousandth time) how to connect to the WiFi. You’ll also tend to earn more than the typical campus job,.

How to get the job:

  • Besides submitting a resume and cover letter, the job application will likely require an interview in which you demonstrate basic IT knowledge.
  • You don’t have to be a computer genius or even a computer science major, but you do need basic computer literacy.
  • Certifications such as A+ are helpful, but usually not required for entry-level positions.

Front Desk Worker

For every “official” sort of building on campus, there’s likely a front desk that serves to help people with questions and control access to the building. My own college had one in the student center, and most larger universities also have such desks in the dorms.

Working front desk is great if you just want a “warm body” job where you can spend most of your time doing homework or personal projects (such as creating a website). And then, occasionally, you’ll have to answer a few questions or let in a student who got locked out.

How to get the job:

  • This position requires little to no experience, making the cover letter and resume portion quite easy.
  • Knowing people who work for facilities management or residence life can help, but it isn’t necessary.

Resident Assistant (RA)

Moving up from front desk workers, we have the people who actually manage the dorms. The job of a resident assistant isn’t easy, but it can be a great way to gain leadership and conflict resolution skills. Plus, you tend to get free or discounted housing.

How to get the job:

  • Getting an RA job requires more steps than most of the positions on this list.
  • To start, you’ll attend a variety of orientation sessions. Then, there will generally be an interview (or possibly several rounds of interviews).
  • Once you’ve gotten the job, you’ll undergo extensive training in leadership, safety, and university rules.

Teaching Assistant (TA)

Some college classes can get big. Like, 800 people big. This makes certain classes impractical for a professor to teach on their own, which is why they’ll hire a teaching assistant.

As a TA, you’ll help the professor with any number of things. Usually, this means having office hours or seminars where you can help students understand the material in smaller groups. But it could even mean giving lectures or grading assignments (though these duties are more common for graduate student TAs).

How to get the job:

  • You’ll usually need a minimum GPA in the subject you’ll be TA-ing, and some positions may also require you to be majoring in the subject.
  • Strong organizational skills are also crucial here, as well as the ability to explain complex topics.
  • The best way to get a TA job is to take the course you want to TA and get really good grades in it. In such cases, the professor will often invite you to apply for the position.

Grader

The lines between a grader and a TA can blur in some situations, but they are different jobs. While a TA usually attends classes and provides one-on-one help, the job of the grader is to score homework, exams, and other assignments.

Graders tend to work for professors who give large volumes of homework (i.e., most STEM classes). It’s not unheard of for humanities professors to have graders, but it’s certainly less common.

How to get the job:

  • A strong understanding of the course material is a must. You need to know not only how to evaluate whether or not an answer is correct, but also how to correct the work a student used to arrive at the answer.
  • Knowing the department chair or professor you want to work for is immensely helpful.

Fitness Center Attendant

This job is a subset of “front desk worker,” though a bit more active. Fitness center attendants are in charge of cleaning the fitness equipment, answering questions about how to use the equipment, and ensuring that everyone stays safe while working out.

How to get the job:

  • All you generally need are a resume and cover letter.
  • Being a fit person yourself is helpful, though usually not required.

Groundskeeper

The physical appearance of a campus is one of a university’s most powerful marketing tools.

To keep the campus grounds looking pristine, most colleges employe a fleet of groundskeeper staff. Many of these positions are open to students, and they’re great jobs to get if you enjoy spending time outside.

How to get the job:

  • Gardening and landscaping experience are helpful, but usually not required.
  • As part of the job, you may have to get training in how to drive golf carts, vans, or even box trucks.

Campus Maintenance

Things eventually break, due to entropy or some such cosmic force. But at the earthly level, someone has to fix all this broken stuff. This is the job of campus maintenance, who fix everything from overflowing toilets to hissing radiators.

How to get the job:

  • These positions usually require nothing more than a cover letter and resume.
  • Being “handy” is a plus, but generally not required.

Campus Post Office

Even in the digital era, the humble post office remains crucial for ensuring the steady flow of Amazon orders and care packages. I spent almost two years working at my college’s post office, and it remains one of my favorite part-time jobs.

Besides getting to see all the crazy things people order, working at the campus post office is a great balance of physical work and downtime to do homework. Plus, you usually get your packages early.

How to get the job:

  • Just submit a resume and cover letter to the person in charge of the post office.
  • You don’t need any specific work experience, though organizational and people skills are helpful.

Campus Transportation Driver

Goods need to be transported around campus, and someone has to drive them. This is the essence of working for campus transportation.

Often, this job means driving box trucks to move equipment and materials to the departments that need them, though it could also involve driving around visiting VIPs in a regular old car.

How to get the job:

  • You need to be a skilled driver with a clean driving record.
  • Beyond this, you’ll need to undergo training in how to safely operate campus vehicles.

Campus Bookstore

Even though we recommend you buy your books online to save money, campus bookstores continue to exist as the most convenient spot for purchasing textbooks and other class supplies. If you like organizing books and folding shirts, this is a job worth looking into.

How to get the job:

  • Usually, you just need to submit a cover letter or resume.
  • Retail/bookstore experience is helpful, but usually not required.

Library

Even with the rise of online databases and ebooks, the campus library remains a valuable resource for doing research or just finding a quiet place to study.

If you like hanging out with books, then the library can be a wonderful place to work. Library jobs can be as simple as working the circulation desk or as complex as interning in the special collections library.

How to get the job:

  • For basic circulation job desks, you usually just need to submit a resume and cover letter.
  • More complex jobs such as those in special collections usually require more work experience and sometimes special training in conservation.

Music Librarian

While the main campus library houses books and other research materials, many campus music departments have a dedicated library that houses important recordings and sheet music. If you have some music knowledge and also like library work, this is a position to consider.

How to get the job:

  • Being a music major isn’t usually required, though it certainly helps.
  • At the least, you need enough music knowledge to assist people looking for particular materials or doing music research.

Tutor

While office hours are a great way to get extra help from professors, professors have a finite amount of time. For students who need additional one-on-one help, many departments will employ tutors.

Tutors help students master subject material by assisting with homework or exam preparation. If you’re interested in being a teacher, working as a tutor is an excellent way to get experience.

How to get the job:

  • Most tutoring positions require a minimum GPA in the relevant subject, as well as some training in how to be an effective tutor.
  • You don’t usually have to major in the subject you’re tutoring, though it may be required if you’re tutoring more advanced or specialized material.
  • Making friends with the department chair or tutoring center coordinator makes getting this job much easier.

Campus Bartender

Not all college campuses have bars; some are “dry,” in fact. But for those campuses that do have bars, someone has to pour the beer and clean the floors. If state law allows it, this means that most students age 18 and older are eligible to work at the campus bar.

How to get the job:

  • Strong people skills are essential, as well as skills in conflict resolution.
  • You may need to get a certification that allows you to serve alcohol (this will vary based on state and local laws).

Campus Security

College campuses are generally pretty safe places, but there still need to be people who can respond to incidents that do occur. This is the job of campus security, and it could be your job too if you choose to apply.

As a campus security worker, you’ll spend a lot of your time either “on patrol” or sitting in an office waiting for a call to come in. It’s not the most exciting job in the world, but it will teach you a lot about people.

How to get the job:

  • Usually, you need to submit a resume and cover letter.
  • Besides this, you’ll need to pass a background check and undergo a fair amount of training.

Study Abroad Office

Studying abroad can change your life, but the process of getting ready to study abroad can make you hate your life a little bit.

To help students cut through the confusion, most college study abroad offices employ student “advisors.” These are students who have studied abroad before and are qualified to answer the host of “How do I…?” questions that prospective study abroad-ers have.

How to get the job:

  • First, you need to study abroad.
  • From there, you’ll need to submit a resume and cover letter.
  • Having lots of patience helps (you’ll be answering the same basic questions over and over).

Tour Guide

Tours are how colleges sell themselves to prospective students and their parents. But admissions staff don’t have time to give every tour themselves. To help out, they recruit student tour guides.

If you love talking about your college and want to hone your public speaking skills, then working as a tour guide is an excellent opportunity. Plus, you get to carry a gigantic umbrella when it rains.

How to get the job:

  • You really need to love your college and know a decent amount about it.
  • Besides a resume and cover letter, the interview process usually culminates in giving a mock tour to admissions staff.

Office of Giving/Advancement

If you haven’t graduated from college, then you don’t know the joy of receiving phone calls from your alma mater asking for donations. I’ve received plenty of these calls over the years, and someone has to make them.

Usually, this falls to ranks of students who sit in a big room and dial the number of every alum in history. So if you see a posting for a student position in the office of giving or advancement, making phone calls will likely be your job.

How to get the job:

  • Normally, all you need to submit are a resume and cover letter.
  • Experience working in a call center is very helpful but not required.
  • You also need to be comfortable with rejection (and if you aren’t, this job will teach you).

Campus Graphic Design

Your college puts out all kinds of brochures, signs, and other printed material, as well as the many graphics on their website. Someone has to design all of this stuff, and that task generally falls to the campus graphic design team.

In certain cases, colleges will hire qualified students to work as “design interns” or something similar. Similar to research positions, the pay for these jobs tends to be higher than average. Plus, you get real work experience.

How to get the job:

  • You’ll need to submit a portfolio of your design work, and it helps immensely if you’re majoring in graphic design or another relevant field.
  • Besides this, the standard resume and cover letter will likely be required.
  • You may also need to provide references (a professor familiar with your work is ideal).

Need help creating an impressive online portfolio for your application? Check out our guide.

Create Your Own Position

This final job isn’t a specific position, but rather an invitation to think outside the box. If there’s a position that you want but that doesn’t exist, take the initiative to create it.

This could be as simple as offering to be an assistant to a busy professor or as involved as creating an internship for yourself. The point is that, if you see a need for a job and you’re qualified to do it, you can make that job a reality.

Don’t like the positions available on campus? Try one of these 23 online jobs that don’t require a degree.

That Job Won’t Get Itself

If you want a part-time job on campus, you have to go out there and get it. I hope this list has given you some inspiration, but you still have to take the steps to apply, interview, and get the job.

If you need help with your job application and interview, I recommend checking out these additional resources:

Happy job hunting!

Image Credits: espresso machine