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Working while you are in college is a way to pay for tuition and living expenses while also getting started in your professional career. Although studies are likely your top priority, there are a variety of jobs for college students with flexible hours that pay above the federal minimum wage.
Top factors to consider in a college student job search
As a college student, here are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind as you search for job opportunities, as well as a list of the top 25 jobs for college students.
In college, your classes are usually scheduled sporadically with some days starting and ending earlier than others. Additionally, you may occasionally need extra time to study before exams. For these reasons, it’s critical you find a job that offers flexible hours and the ability to work around your course schedule.
It’s important that your job doesn’t interfere with your studies. That’s why the best jobs for college students are often low-stress roles that do not require you to commit to excessive hours or spend time checking email outside of work.
You’ll likely include your college job(s) on your resume when applying for opportunities after you graduate. If possible, seek out positions that allow you to build the skills and experience you’ll need in your career. For example, if you’re going to school for fashion merchandising, you may want to consider looking for a job in retail.
25 best jobs for college students
There are many opportunities available to college students across a variety of industries. Here are 25 examples of jobs that can be beneficial while you complete your education:
National average salary: $14.84 per hour
Job duties: Administrative assistants generally handle administrative tasks on behalf of more senior employees. Their duties usually include taking notes during meetings, maintaining files and records, sending and receiving correspondences and distributing memos and other communications to other employees.
National average salary: $11.53 per hour
Job duties: Animal caretakers groom, bathe, feed, water and walk/exercise non-farm animals. Generally, these professionals work in kennels, pet daycares, veterinary clinics, animal shelters, pet stores, zoos and aquariums.
3. Bank teller
National average salary: $12.29 per hour
Job duties: Bank tellers help customers with financial transactions, such as depositing, withdrawing and transferring money, and fulfilling money orders. They also answer phones, greet customers, count cash, file deposit slips, manage ATMs and balance numbers.
National average salary: $10.88 per hour
Job duties: A barista works at a restaurant or coffee shop and greets customers, takes orders and prepares and serves hot and cold beverages such as coffee and tea. They also clean work areas and customer seating areas, sanitize utensils and equipment and manage cash registers.
National average salary: $17.44 per hour
Job duties: Brand ambassadors are employed by companies to help drive publicity and raise brand awareness. They act as representatives of the brand, promoting products within their social circles via social media, providing product samples to retailers, performing product demos, monitoring and addressing customer feedback and building relationships with customers and vendors.
National average salary: $12.68 per hour
Job duties: A customer service representative handles customer questions and concerns via phone, email, chat or in person. They’re generally tasked with offering advice and guidance on products or services, updating customer records and helping customers complete a purchase, return or other transaction.
7. Line cook
National average salary: $12.80 per hour
Job duties: A line cook works in a restaurant kitchen and reports to a chef. Generally, line cooks are responsible for washing and prepping vegetables, and grilling, cooking and plating food. Most kitchens employ multiple line cooks and assign one person to each station or work area.
National average salary: $12.32 per hour
Job duties: A receptionist is responsible for greeting and directing customers, answering customer questions and referring them to other employees. They also answer the phone and assist with administrative duties such as filing and office organization. A receptionist may also screen visitors and issue security badges.
National average salary: $10.17 per hour
Job duties: Servers greet diners, set tables, take food and drink orders, answer menu questions and provide suggestions, communicate orders to kitchen staff and serve them after they’re prepared. A server clears used dinnerware and utensils, issues the check at the end of the meal and collects payment.
National average salary: $11.38 per hour
Job duties: A retail sales associate stocks merchandise, helps maintain display areas, greets customers, answers customer questions and assists them in finding products. They may also be responsible for taking inventory, managing cash registers and recording sales.
National average salary: $11.98 per hour
Job duties: A telemarketer dials customers or receives inbound calls and solicits orders for products and services. Telemarketers are usually responsible for reading from scripts composed by marketing teams to persuade prospective customers to purchase items or sign up for services on behalf of retailers and financial institutions.
National average salary: $13.74 per hour
Job duties: A transcriptionist listens to live or recorded speeches or conversations and transcribes it into readable text with proper syntax, spelling and grammar. Transcriptionists may be employed directly with a company or work for multiple clients as part of a transcription service.
National average salary: $24.11 per hour
Job duties: A tutor travel to student’s home, school, library or other locations to help them improve their academic performance. Tutors may conduct lessons, assist with homework and help students prepare for upcoming tests. They may also work with students virtually through video calls.
National average salary: $11.27 per hour
Job duties: Cashiers are responsible for receiving customers’ payments by cash, credit or debit card, check or vouchers and providing change and receipts. They also issue refunds and credits and count money at the beginning and end of each shift. A cashier may work at a grocery store, bookstore, boutique, campus dining hall or any other retail store.
15. Package handler
National average salary: $13.40 per hour
Job duties: A package handler is responsible for sorting packages for delivery, making sure packaged goods are successfully transferred and delivered to their intended destinations. They may also pick up packages and operate machines such as forklifts and trucks.
16. Swim instructor
National average salary: $17.06 per hour
Job duties: A swim instructor teaches people how to swim and feel comfortable in deep water through demonstrations, simulations and hands-on training. Swim instructors may teach a class of multiple pupils or instruct through private one-on-one lessons.
National average salary: $10.04 per hour
Job duties: Campus booksellers help students find the books they need, offer advice and answer questions, take inventory and stock bookshelves, distribute orders and arrange deliveries. They may also act as cashiers by taking payment for purchases and issuing credits for returns.
National average salary: $12.23 per hour
Job duties: A campus library clerk assists librarians by sorting and shelving books, periodicals, reference materials and other print resources. They also help students locate items they need, assist people in checking out books and help answer phones and email inquiries.
National average salary: $15.27 per hour
Job duties: A nanny provides childcare within a client’s home and is responsible for feeding, bathing and putting children down for naps. They also organize activities, oversee playtime and may be tasked with driving children to and from school or extracurricular activities.
National average salary: $11.39 per hour
Job duties: Lifeguards are responsible for surveillance of public or private pools and surrounding spaces, ensuring all visitors comply with safety rules and providing immediate care, such as CPR, in the event of an emergency.
National average salary: $11.90 per hour
Job duties: A parking attendant greets customers arriving at a parking lot, parking deck or valet stand, and either parks vehicles for customers or provides parking instructions. They may also be responsible for locating and delivering vehicles, keeping parking areas clean and directing traffic into and out of the parking facility.
22. Camp counselor
National average salary: $10.92 per hour
Job duties: A camp counselor may work at a summer camp or after-school program and is tasked with planning, developing and leading programs and experiences for children. They are generally responsible for helping children learn new skills, as well as ensure the well-being of all children under their care.
National average salary: $15.27 per hour
Job duties: Research assistants collect and analyze data and prepare materials for researchers. They may also help submit research to granting agencies and foundations, manage project correspondences and perform administrative tasks for research project leaders.
24. Restaurant host
National average salary: $11.06 per hour
Job duties: Hosts and hostesses greet diners at the door, lead them to their tables, provide menus, share daily specials and answer questions. They are also responsible for managing table sections and waitlist and informing servers when a new table has arrived.
25. Senior caregiver
National average salary: $12.42 per hour
Job duties: A senior caregiver provides care, assistance and companionship within a client’s home. They may help with daily activities such as bathing, feeding, grooming and taking medication. They may also be responsible for light housework and transporting clients to and from doctors appointments.
These are just a few of the best jobs for college students, but there are many additional opportunities that offer the flexibility, skill-building and low-stress experience students need. By maintaining a job while you complete your degree, you can build your resume and develop critical professional abilities you can draw upon when you enter the post-college job market.