When you’re in college, you should be paying attention to your studies and getting your school work done, but not everyone can do that.
Instead, some students choose to work while they’re in college because they want extra cash. Other students work because they need the income to pay the bills.
Regardless of the situation you’re in, here is some advice on helping you figure out what kind of job you want as well as a list of some of the best jobs for college students you can find.
Find and Keep a Balance
Being a college student has its own ups and downs. You want to be able to go out and be social with friends, but you also need to get enough sleep so you don’t burn out.
Beyond those parts of your life, you also need to have enough time to get your school stuff done, as well as getting in the hours that you committed to working. How do you make it all fit in the course of a day?
Finding the answer to that is easier than you realize. There are some key things you need to consider in order to find your balance when deciding on how to choose the best job for your situation.
If you know when you’ll be available ahead of time, then the jobs you need to look for have to be willing to work around the schedule you keep. You’ll also need to decide what shift you’re willing to work.
Some jobs have night shifts, also called third shift, that requires you to work overnight or into the early morning hours. Other jobs have early morning shifts or afternoon shifts. Yet other jobs have standard business hours.
Before you decide to pursue a job, make sure the schedule they have is going to work with what you need. If you’re going to take classes in the morning, then you don’t want to go after a job that requires you at that time of the day.
Know the Location
It might seem fairly obvious, but jobs that are closer to where you live are going to be better options for you. There’s a reason for this – convenience tends to indicate greater reliability.
In other words, if you don’t have a car but find a job across town, you’re probably going to have difficulty getting there on time, if at all. If you find a job that is within walking distance, you’re more likely to get there when you’re scheduled.
When you’re a college student, you often have the luxury of deciding to work if you want to and love what you’re doing. If you’re working because you enjoy the job, you may be willing to settle for lesser pay.
On the other hand, many college students have to work to pay for tuition, rent, or other various bills. These college students don’t have the choice – they have to work and get a decent wage for their hours. In an instance like that, you may not enjoy what you’re doing, but you’ll deal with the work environment because you need the paycheck.
When you’re looking for a job, you may want to consider whether or not the job you’re applying for is relevant to your career. For college students that want to get experience in the field of their choice, the job may actually be an unpaid internship that is more beneficial to future career choices.
On the other hand, you may be fortunate enough to find a job that will pay you decently enough that also serves as a foothold into the industry you intend to pursue.
If you’re just in need of any job that gives a paycheck, then relevant experience may not be your focus. Instead, getting that paycheck may be the driving factor in your job decision.
Best Jobs for College Students Needing Flexibility
Ideally, when you start thinking about a college job, you’re going to want something that is not going to interfere too much with your studies. Here is an excellent place to start looking at what you can do to put cash in your wallet.
1. Dental Receptionist
Did you ever consider working as a dental receptionist while you’re in college? Believe it or not, it’s actually one of the best jobs for college students because dental offices are typically very accommodating for part-time hours. When you’re a college student, you need that kind of flexibility. Additionally, you’ll earn a decent wage working for a dentist.
As a perk, you may even accidentally discover that you love working with dentists and dental assistants. If you stumble across work that you enjoy, this is a great way to get your foot in the door to work in that field.
These days, nannies and babysitters command top dollar for their services. It’s not unusual to see nannies and sitters charging upwards of $15-$20 per hour. If you love kids, this can be a lucrative gig.
One of the best things about being a nanny or a sitter is that you get to choose your own hours and availability. If you’re not available, you don’t have to take the job. If you need more cash, you respond to more opportunities.
Beware, though, that you need to be conscious of your market. You can’t demand high prices as a nanny or a sitter if the area you’re in won’t support that kind of expenditure.
3. Massage Therapist
If you’re willing or able to put in a little extra work, you could become a massage therapist while you’re in school. It does require a little bit of an investment up front in the form of training and a proper table, but once you’ve completed everything, you can earn as much as $20 per hour.
Much like nannying, you can set your own hours. If you don’t want to take on a particular client, then you can tell them no without feeling guilty. If you need to increase your hours, you can do so at the drop of a hat. Flexibility like that is priceless when you’re a college student.
If you are good with numbers, then you will be a perfect fit to be a bookkeeper. It generally makes decent money for being a college job.
In fact, landing a bookkeeping job is a great way to get to know the ins and outs of business administration. If you’re pursuing a business degree and you like math, not only would this kind of job provide you with the cash you’re after, but you’ll also gain invaluable experience that can help push you forward after college.
5. Bank Teller
In the same vein as a bookkeeper, being a bank teller is great for someone who is also good with math. As a college student, not only will you make decent money, but you’ll also have the flexibility of part-time hours if you need them.
You’ll also get to know a variety of people as they walk through the doors. They come from all walks of life, so being a bank teller can also give you the opportunity to start networking for your after-college job.
Current college students make the best tutors when it comes to getting to know various subjects better. If you’re a biology major, you will probably have a lot to offer a high school student who is struggling in the subject that is near and dear to your heart.
Tutors can also set their own schedules, which means you control how many hours you’re going to make yourself available. Thanks to technology, you may also be able to provide tutoring from the comfort of your own home via the internet. You can make good money doing it, too.
7. Bike Shop Mechanic
Plenty of college campuses are full of students who use bicycles to get everywhere. As a result, there is often a need for bike shop mechanics that are willing to earn a decent wage.
If you love to go bike riding, you may be a perfect fit for this particular job. Even if you don’t have any experience, you may be able to get some on-the-job training and learn some new skills along the way.
This may be a position that is only open seasonally, but that may be all that you need. It’s certainly not unheard of for college students to work full-time hours all summer to save up money so as to not have to work the following school year.
As a bonus, if you’re a certified lifeguard, you can also pick up other gigs along the way if you’re only scheduled to work for the summer. During the school year, you can work for a local rec center, or even go freelance and offer your services to youth groups like those involved in scouting. These youth programs demand a lifeguard at all water-related events as part of their safety requirements.
Being a lifeguard also provides you with some life-saving skills that you may have to use someday. You never know, but you could be a hero to someone at some time in the future just because you have what it takes to be a lifeguard.
9. Food Service Industry
This is a category all by itself because there are so many different jobs that are perfect for college students within the food industry.
You could be a host or a server in a restaurant. This is a great option if you want quick cash because you’ll get tips on a regular basis if you’re good at your job.
You can also be a barista or a bartender while you’re in college. There tends to be tons of both coffee shops and bars around college campuses, so this could very well be an easy gig to find. Plus, you’ll be able to socialize at both and get to know students from all over campus.
You may be able to find work-study positions on-campus, too. These types of jobs are wonderful for college students because you can fulfill your responsibilities to the job and work on school assignments in many cases.
If you are interested, you could check into what it would take to be a library assistant, which would be convenient to you as a student due to the job’s location and the possibility of combining study time with work time.
You can also see what it would take to be a resident assistant or security monitor. These jobs are great for students who are night owls and prefer studying the later it gets. It also provides you with another opportunity to earn money and keep up with your school work.
There are many other work-study positions available on college campuses. They vary, so ask your counselors where you need to go to apply for these.
Finding the Best Jobs for College Students
There are so many more jobs out there that are just waiting to be discovered. If you love animals, be a pet sitter. If you want to work in a hospital setting, apply to be an orderly.
The positions are there, but you’ll have to search for them. If you need help finding a job, reach out to your counselor or academic advisor to get suggestions on where to look.
Enjoy the job hunt!