How to Find Part Time Jobs in College

How to find part time jobs for college students

Are you wondering how to find part-time jobs in College? The good news is, you have no lack of options! The bad news is, you might not have abundant free time, a flexible schedule, and transportation.

In this guide, we’re here to give you ideas on how to find part-time jobs in college that fit your situation. We’ll be looking at jobs that tick at least a few of these boxes:

  • Jobs where you can study at work
  • On-campus jobs for students without transportation 
  • Jobs with flexible schedules for college students
  • Jobs that will look good on your resume
  • High paying part-time jobs
  • Fun part-time jobs

Which is these factors are most important to you? Thinking about your ideal college job can give you some clarity in what you’re looking for, and how to approach the process. If you can’t think of anything, that’s okay. We’ll list quite a few good ideas throughout this article.

You can also check out the best part-time jobs and employers for tuition assistance, as there are some really competitive packages out there.

The best part-time college jobs develop your resume and skills, or at least give you plenty of down time to do homework.

These great college jobs fall into a few different categories, so the process for finding and landing these jobs will be different. For each category, we’ll take a look at some of the best jobs and how to land them.

How to Find Work-Study Jobs on Your Campus

If you’re not familiar with the federal work-study program, these are on-campus jobs that are subsidized by the federal government, and sometimes the state government chips in too.

Because the government is giving part of the money to colleges to fund these jobs, the requirements are strict and the process is clear.

The cool thing is that work-study jobs are specifically designed to fit with student schedules. A work-study boss is much more likely to understand if you need to take a day off to study for your exam.

As far as the actual work, it can vary a lot. Let’s break down the process of how to find work-study jobs:

1. Fill out the FAFSA and request consideration for the federal work-study program

When you fill out the FAFSA, there is one question that asks, “Are you interested in being considered for work-study?”

You’ll want to select “Yes” and then get your FAFSA in as soon as you can. Selecting “Yes” on the FAFSA doesn’t force you to take a federal work-study job. It just gives you the option.

You’ll hear back several weeks later, with a financial aid award categorized into loans, grants, and work-study. Each of these will have an amount listed next to them. For example, your award may provide for $3,000 in work-study.

Unfortunately, you don’t get this work-study money for free. You still have to work for it and earn the money at an hourly rate—sometimes minimum wage, sometimes a little higher.

2. Find and apply for work-study jobs

How to find part time jobs for college students - work study jobs

In many ways, work-study jobs are just jobs. The main difference is that Uncle Sam is paying for them, but you still have to find and apply for these jobs yourself.

The good news is that you can usually view these jobs from one central location. At bigger schools, all of the jobs will be listed on an online platform. Simply log in, view the available jobs, and apply.

However your specific college handles work-study jobs, make sure to direct any questions about finding work-study jobs to your college. Your college runs its own work-study program, so college staff will know how you can find and apply for work-study jobs.

We should also note that some work-study jobs are actually at other employers in the community. These may be local businesses or non-profits. For example, a non-profit might hire a work-study student to tutor local high school students.

What Are the Best Work-Study Jobs?

The best work-study jobs can vary depending on your major, interests, and personality, but there are a few student favorites.

Once you have a few ideas, it’s also a good idea to connect with students at your college. When it comes to choosing the best work-study jobs, knowledge is power.

All right, let’s get to the list of our favorites:

1. Research Jobs

While a lot of our recommended work-study jobs come with free time, research jobs don’t offer that. Instead, you get to learn, you get prestige, and you get a good-looking job on the resume (for future jobs or grad school).

2. Tutoring Jobs

If you’ve got the academic skills, tutoring jobs have an awful lot going for them. Tutors can:

  • Help fellow students
  • Get to know fellow students and fellow tutors
  • Develop teaching, communication, and field-specific skills
  • Do homework during down-time

It’s not the most chill work-study job, but tutoring offers a great balance of benefits without many cons.

3. Off-Campus Jobs Related to Your Major

Off-campus jobs are less likely to have down time to do homework, but they’re more likely to give you relevant work experience that looks great on a resume. 

If you see something related to your major, this could be a great opportunity to stand out from other job applicants when you graduate.

4. Library Jobs

library work study part-time jobs are very popular with college students
Library work-study jobs often go quickly due to their popularity.

Library work-study jobs are consistently mentioned as some of the nicest and easiest work-study jobs out there. Let’s hear from u/delbin, another Redditor:

“I really loved my library work study. Only worked about [a third] of my shift. The rest was spent studying or playing on the internet.”

5. IT Help Desk Jobs

IT work-study jobs check a lot of boxes.

  • There’s often down-time for homework
  • The jobs are chill and you can meet other students and help them with tech issues
  • IT jobs look good on a resume if you’re in a related major
  • IT jobs sometimes pay (slightly) better than other work-study jobs

With so much going for them, IT jobs like computer lab monitor can be the perfect part-time college job for some students.

6. Anything with “Desk” in the Job Title

The word “desk” is a good sign in work-study job titles and descriptions. Why? Because it means you’re waiting for people to come to you and ask for help.

When people don’t come to you, you may be free to do homework, and there’s something awesome about getting paid to do your own homework.

A Drexel University student on Reddit mentioned one example of these jobs, saying that:

“Desk Assistant in the dorms is a good one. You can study/chill a lot! Swiping and signing people in are your main priorities.”

7. Teaching Assistant Jobs

Being a teaching assistant is a lot more demanding than other work-study jobs listed here, but it comes with distinct advantages.

Specifically, you get to:

  • Spend time learning about topics within your major or professional field
  • Develop communication and teaching skills
  • Help other students at your college
  • Put an impressive job on your resume

We could write another whole article on the pros and cons of being a TA, so take some time to learn and think about whether this is a good fit for you.

8. Security Guard Work-Study Jobs

Again, these are all about the free time, so make sure you understand the job responsibilities clearly. For homework, it’s better to find a job where you’re primarily watching a specific area rather than patrolling.

Said Redditor u/rickrizzle: “I got a job as the security guard for the dance studios. I was able to do homework the whole time, easily switch shifts [with] others and have friends”.

If you don’t qualify for work-study, a similar off-campus job could be working at a self-storage facility.

9. Fitness Center Jobs

how to find part time jobs for college students - fitness center work study jobs can be a great choice

Work-study jobs at the college fitness center also have a lot going for them. You get to meet other students and be involved in athletics at some level. Some desk jobs at the fitness center can also provide a lot of homework time.

10. School Office Jobs

Some school offices (think Honors Office, for example) have pretty cushy work-study jobs. Be careful though, you’ll want to check with other students at your college to see which office jobs have more free time.

11. Admissions or Student Life Jobs

These are recommended more for the fun aspect. Unless your major is related to sales or marketing, these jobs aren’t the best for your resume or for homework time, but they’re generally chill and you get to give campus tours and hang out with people

As you can see, there are a lot of great options just within work study jobs! The strengths of work-study jobs are that:

  • Many jobs have downtime for homework
  • Some jobs develop relevant career skills

The biggest downside is that for the most part, work-study jobs are close to minimum wage.

What are the worst work-study jobs? The worst work-study jobs don’t give you any free time for homework or develop any useful career skills. Think on-campus cafeteria and trash jobs.

The worst-work study jobs are those that don’t give you any free time for homework or develop any useful career skills.

One final benefit of work-study jobs is that “those earnings do not count against you when you complete the FAFSA form” the next year, according to the Department of Education.

How to Find Part Time Jobs in College Off-Campus

Okay, we’re moving on from the federal work-study options, which not everyone qualifies for anyway.

In terms of part-time college jobs, students are often interested in three things:

  • Jobs related to the student’s major or career
  • High paying jobs
  • Fun jobs

Chill jobs where you can do homework are also sought-after, but the bad news is that most of these jobs are work-study jobs.

If you need to find a chill job where you can do homework, something like a security guard (guarding a location, not patrolling) could work.

For the rest of this article though, we’re going to look at how to find part-time jobs in college that either help your career, pay a lot, or both.

How to Find Part Time Jobs in College to Launch Your Career

If your situation allows, finding a part-time college job that matches your major and future career is awesome.

Imagine earning money to do something your interested in while also building a strong resume in your field.

These jobs may not pay much, but you have to think of the increased income potential in the future. As you develop your career skills, you can land better summer internships, a better job after graduation, a better next job after that, etc.

The snowball effect of developing career-relevant skills continues throughout your entire career! And you know what else snowballs with it? Your salary.

As you can see, we think that finding a career-related job in college is the single best option for students who can pull it off. 

Pulling it off is the hard part. To land a great, career-relevant job in college, you need to put time and effort into networking and crafting a great job application.

We’ve broken down the process of how to find part-time jobs in college that are career-relevant into six steps.

1. Brainstorm a List of Potential Jobs

Here you’re looking for jobs that you can work part-time that don’t require a degree. Let’s show you some examples.

If you’re studying information technology, any part-time technical help desk role will be a great start to your career. Most IT professionals start in help-desk roles for at least a couple years, and this experience can help you move up to your chosen specialty (networking, etc.) faster.

It looks great on a resume, and it also develops useful professional and career skills.

If you’re studying something business or marketing, there will be a host of options with local businesses. 

If you’re studying a science, it might be more helpful to look for research, tutoring, or TA jobs with professors.

Whatever your major, brainstorm what entry-level type of jobs exist that you have a chance to land.

2. Prepare a Great Resume and Cover Letter

Landing a good part-time professional job in college is a lot harder than landing a work-study job or unskilled position. It takes work.

Don’t think of that as a downside, but as an opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants and get a head start to your career. As we mentioned, putting in work now has a compounding snowball effect for your entire career!

So what’s the first step? Once you’ve brainstormed the types of jobs you’re interested in, go to student services and have them help you prepare a great resume.

This is a great college resource, and the staff will be very happy to help a student who is proactive in launching his or her career.

It’s also important to have a good resume prepared before taking the next steps.

3. Consider Your Network

The biggest word to consider in your job search is trust. Businesses don’t want to hire immature workers who are going to potentially:

  • Cause drama or problems at work
  • Require excessive supervision
  • Contribute little or nothing to the team

It’s helpful to put your employer hat on and ask, “Why would this business want to hire me?”

To address the worries about drama, problems, and excess supervision at work, it’s really helpful to be introduced and recommended by someone the employer trusts.

Think about your network. Is there a professor, parent, or family friend who can vouch for you and your work? These introductions play a huge role in landing a job.

Not only does this allow an employer to trust you, they also feel like they are doing a favor to the contact who introduced you to them.

For this step, consider and make a list of people you know who might recommend you to their colleagues.

4. Ask for an Introduction

To find a career-launching part-time college job, you'll need to network

Before you get an employer to trust you, you need to get your potential introducer / recommender to trust you. After all, if you’re a bad employee, it will reflect poorly on them, and they don’t want to get embarrassed and look bad.

What we’re saying is, take this interaction seriously. Think about how your parent’s colleague might feel if they get a message from saying:

“Hey so I know you work at Apple and I want to work there part-time this semester. Can you hook me up?”

You get the picture. You need to convey an appropriate level of competence and professionalism even as you ask for an introduction.

In the best case scenario, you could:

  • Ask the contact to meet you for breakfast or coffee
  • Come prepared to concisely explain the type of job you’re looking for and outline your resume
  • State your willingness to show up on time, work hard, and be a humble learner
  • Ask if they know of any roles at their company that might be open to hiring college students

The in-person meeting is going to be a lot better than a phone call or email, but those options can also work.

5. Apply for the Job

Once the opportunity comes up to apply for a job, take the whole process seriously. You’ll want to:

  • Learn all about the company
  • Communicate promptly and professionally
  • Write a good cover letter
  • Prepare for common interview questions
  • Send a thank-you message after the interview

In short, you want this business to treat you like a professional (by hiring you), so you need to convey professionalism throughout the whole process.

The more seriously you take the application process, the more seriously they will consider you.

6. Do It Again

You know what feels bad? Following all these steps, putting in a lot of work, and getting rejected.

You know what feels good? When you get hired on the 2nd, or 5th, or 12th attempt.

And do you know what feels even better? Jump-starting your skills and career so that you benefit from the snowball effect for your entire career, in skills, promotions, and salary.

As we mentioned, it’s a lot of work, so you have to keep the end goal in mind and treat the whole job search process as a job in itself. You can do it!

How to Find Part Time Jobs in College That Pay a Lot (High Paying College Jobs)

Sometimes you can’t wait for that compounding snowball—you need money to survive and stay in college right now!

In this section, we’ll look at how to find part time jobs in college that pay well. These aren’t necessarily fun or relevant to your future career, but they do pay better than those minimum-wage work study positions.

1. Jobs with Tuition Reimbursement

That’s right, we’re gonna put it in bold. Tuition reimbursement is free money for college students! And you’ll also be getting a modest actual paycheck on top.

Employers with good tuition reimbursement programs will be dishing out $2,500 to $5,000 in tuition assistance for part-time employees.

And we’ve got more good news—we already ranked America’s best part-time jobs with tuition reimbursement with detailed descriptions. Seriously, check them out!

When you calculate the money you’re getting between tuition reimbursement and wages, some of these jobs are truly incredible for college students.

2. Paying Co-Ops

If your college has any paying co-ops for your degree, these are the best of all worlds. Your pay will increase with experience, and unlike all the other jobs on this list, it’s all related to your career.

3. Valet

The highest paying part time college jobs include some creative service jobs

Once again, Reddit didn’t disappoint with some great ideas.

“Valet,” said u/OldRetiredDood. “These guys make bank if they work for the right hotel/restaurant, but note, you MUST be able to easily drive a stick transmission. If you stall out a Range Rover or Lambo, you’re fired. Also, if you [annoy] some snooty people, you’re fired.”

4. Waiter / Waitress

Again, it’s all about the tips and the specific restaurant where you work. These jobs won’t respect your school schedule, but the tips can potentially earn you a lot more than minimum wage.

Bartending has similar perks, but you generally have to be 21 and get a license.

Another related gig for the right person is being a DJ.

5. Private Tutoring

Here you’re essentially starting your own business, so you have to figure out what to charge, how to market your services, how to handle scheduling, etc.

It’s a lot of work, but you’ll probably be making $20-$100 an hour depending on the subject, your reputation, etc. That’s a lot more than most work-study gigs.

6. Sports Referee

If you know enough to ref soccer, baseball, basketball, or another sport, you can often pull in at least $20 an hour, and sometimes much more.

There’s also lifeguarding or swimming lessons if that’s more of your thing.

7. Caddie / Cart Driver at a Country Club

The pay isn’t amazing, but you are likely to double or triple minimum wage. For this job, a lot depends on whether you enjoy the actual work of being a caddie.

8. Babysitting

Like tutoring, babysitting is its own business. If you can develop a great reputation in an affluent community, you can expect to make bank.

This will take a lot of work to start up and manage, and getting it off the ground to be a stable income will also take some time.

Petsitting and walking pets are two similar ideas.

9. Mover

There’s a lot more money to be had if you start your own business, but that’s asking a lot of a busy college student.

The pay isn’t bad as an employee if you don’t have time to start your own small business.

10. Photography Gigs

Another idea that involves starting your own small business, photography requires skills and equipment but the pay can be incredible.

There’s a bunch of other great ideas outside of our top ten, so we’ll just list a few more here:

  • Pizza delivery
  • Jobs at banks
  • Jobs in the trades
  • Cellphone and retail sales
  • Higher-paying retail jobs (Costco being one)
  • Office jobs using Excel
  • UPS, FedEx, or USPS (pros and cons)
  • Barista
  • Freelance writer

For transportation gigs like DoorDash or Uber, make sure that you’re taking into account the price of gas and car depreciation.

Also, make sure to get commercial insurance for your vehicle! Personal car insurance often does not cover any accidents while you’re working for one of these companies.


Well, that’s all we’ve got on how to find part-time jobs in college. We hope this has been a helpful guide to decide what sort of job would work best for you, and then to go out and get it!

Of course, jobs are just one way of paying for college. You can also look for little-known local scholarships near you, which often have less competition.

We’ve also written a guide on how to write knockout scholarship essays once you do find some to apply for.

Paying for college is hard, but the right job and a few scholarships can make a world of difference. We wish you the best in your college and career journey!