Working during college is a great way to help you to cover living expenses or even avoid taking out student loans. Additionally, having previous work history can help you develop job-ready skills and secure jobs in your career field after college. Knowing the best jobs to pay for college can help you narrow your job search so that you make the best career choices. In this article, we list 15 jobs that are great choices to help in paying for college.
What are the best jobs to pay for college?
As a student about to go to college or a current university student, it's important to set and maintain a healthy work-life balance to ensure you make time for academic, professional and personal commitments. There are many types of jobs that may help you achieve this balance while saving money for college or working to pay for your studies while in school. The most common include the following characteristics:
- Part-time work
- Entry-level roles with simpler duties
- Flexible schedules, especially with full-time roles
- Manageable number of hours with a school workload
- Freelance work with the ability to set your own schedule
What is tuition reimbursement?
Tuition reimbursement is an employment benefit in which an employer agrees to put a fixed amount of money toward college coursework or continuing education credits for qualifying employees. Some companies provide their employees with tuition reimbursement to help pay for all or part of their education. These programs can help you advance your current career by gaining additional credentials or build a brand new career. Only specific companies offer these benefits, so research a variety of companies to find jobs with these benefits.
Jobs that commonly offer tuition reimbursement
Here are some positions that are commonly worked by individuals who are seeking tuition reimbursement opportunities. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on each salary link below:
National average salary: $11.32 per hour
Primary duties: Sales associates work in the retail industry selling various items such as clothing, appliances and equipment. They help customers find what they are looking for and ensure that the sales transaction goes smoothly. Many major companies in the retail industry offer generous tuition reimbursement programs and scholarships.
Related: Learn About Being a Sales Associate
National average salary: $11.46 per hour
Primary duties: Gas station attendants operate a cash register, manage pump service and provide additional service to customers when they need help. It is an entry-level position and usually only requires a high school diploma. Some major oil companies offer tuition reimbursement programs for full-time workers.
National average salary: $11.78 per hour
Primary duties: Foodservice workers take orders, prepare food and offer good customer service. They also ensure the food preparation, cash register and dining areas are clean and welcoming. Many major corporations in the foodservice sector offer tuition reimbursement and scholarships to their employees. Often, these benefits are available to both full-time and part-time workers.
4. Bank teller
National average salary: $14.01 per hour
Primary duties: Bank tellers are financial service professionals who communicate directly with customers to help them with various money transactions. In addition to helping customers manage accounts, deposit and withdraw money and apply for bank products, they are also trained to identify counterfeit money and prevent fraud. This is an entry-level position and usually only requires a high school diploma and some experience handling money. Many major banks offer tuition reimbursement programs for full-time employees.
Related: Learn About Being a Bank Teller
National average salary: $29,220 per year
Primary duties: Flight attendants provide care and services to travelers on airplanes. They educate people on safety practices and ensure that everyone is comfortable and calm. Many major airline companies provide tuition reimbursement for a variety of employees. Additionally, flight attendant positions often come with other benefits, such as healthcare and paid leave.
Related: Learn About Being a Flight Attendant
Best jobs to pay for college
Here are jobs that can help you to pay for college. In general, they are flexible, entry-level and manageable with your workload. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on each salary link below:
National average salary: $11.64 per hour
Primary duties: Bartenders make cocktails and other beverages for customers at bars, clubs and restaurants. These professionals earn a base hourly rate in addition to tips from customers. Popular and higher-end bars, clubs and restaurants have more opportunities to earn larger tips. Some shifts, such as "happy hour" or other late-night shifts may also offer higher tips. In many states, this job requires special licensing and training.
Related: Learn About Being a Bartender
2. Food server
National average salary: $11.72 per hour
Primary duties: Waitstaff positions involve providing a welcoming and comfortable dining experience to restaurant patrons. They are responsible for taking food and drink orders, delivering meals and ensuring diners are satisfied with their visit. This role earns a base hourly rate in addition to tips. Certain types of dining establishments–such as high-end restaurants–and work shifts—like the dinner rush—provide higher earning opportunities. Some roles may not require previous relevant experience and train new hires on the job, while roles at high-end establishments may require previous restaurant or customer service experience.
Related: Learn About Being a Food Server
National average salary: $25,524 per year
Primary duties: A call center representative answers incoming calls from customers and offers support or transfers the call to another specialized department when necessary. They are responsible for providing excellent customer service by answering customer questions, providing technical support or completing a sale. Call center representative positions are entry-level. Additionally, many major companies offer tuition reimbursement benefits for call center representatives. Some roles may offer evening or night shifts, which may be suitable for those who go to school during the day.
National average salary: $13.92 per hour
Primary duties: Transcriptionists listen to audio files and type out what they hear, creating text documents from audio. Their transcriptions use tools like a foot pedal to rewind or pause the audio to create readable material based on audio such as interviews, meetings and speeches. These professionals must have excellent listening and typing skills. This position is entry-level and can offer a flexible schedule. Additionally, transcriptionists can find companies that offer remote work options.
National average salary: $16.25 per hour
Primary duties: Delivery people bring people items to customers by car or bike. These customer service professionals deliver a variety of products including restaurant meals, groceries and alcohol among many other goods. Usually, a delivery person's work schedule is flexible, so college students can work around their around classes. Some employers offer to pay for their delivery drivers' fuel. Delivery jobs can even be found in college towns with students who frequently use delivery services for food and other goods.
National average salary: $16.70 per hour
Primary duties: Babysitters provide assistance with taking care of children or infants when parents are away from their homes. They may be responsible for preparing meals, helping with homework and playing with children. These caretaking professionals get to choose when they work and how much they charge for their services. Babysitters can often find work on the weekends or overnights, which may be ideal for those working around classes. Some in this role may have the freedom to finish homework while still looking after the children.
Related: Learn About Being a Babysitter
7. Dog walker
National average salary: $39,058 per year
Primary duties: Dog walkers provide care, companionship and exercise by scheduling appointments to walk dogs and other walkable pets for their clients. Some pet care professionals provide longer-term care by offering pet sitting services where they provide shelter and care for dogs or other pets when their owners are busy. Many dog walkers and pet sitters advertise their services while others go through companies where they can set up a profile and be connect with prospective clients. Also, dog walkers get to set the days and times they are available to work.
Related: How To Become a Dog Walker
National average salary: $21.75 per hour
Primary duties: Tutors develop lesson plans to teach adults or children in a variety of subjects. They help students to retain information, improve study habits and engage in their school work. Tutors can work with a tutoring center, school, university or as a freelance tutor. Tutors usually work part-time and during nights and weekends when students are not in school. This schedule can be ideal for college students who take classes during the day. Usually, they are paid an hourly wage that varies depending on education and experience.
Related: Learn About Being a Tutor
National average salary: $45,869 per year
Primary duties: Ride-share drivers provide rides to clients using ride-sharing apps. They use these apps to be connected to clients in the area, pick them up and bring them to their destination. Depending on the ride-share company's regulations, drivers must be 21 years or older, have a valid driver's license for a certain number of years and a clean driving record. There are also requirements for the age of the car, and the car must pass an inspection by the employer. Ride-share drivers can choose their own schedule and earn tips for providing excellent service. Drivers can find work in college towns where students frequently use ride-sharing to get around campus.
National average salary: $22.37 per hour
Primary duties: Freelance writers and editors offer their writing and proofreading services to a variety of clients. Sometimes, they create their own business, brand or blog to build their reputation. These freelance professionals can work for a variety of organizations including businesses, blogs, magazines and nonprofits. College students can find writing and editing clients by advertising around campus and online.