Because of the constant increase of expenses attached to completing a college degree, having a part-time job while going to school has become crucial for so many students– whether these jobs will cover their daily expenses, pay for their tuition, secure academic fees, or simply to add an extra allowance. Especially in today’s society, part-time jobs have become as important as college acceptance letters. Many students are finding jobs to pay for their school tuition or support themselves.
However, cash is not the only thing about getting part-time jobs. Research conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, the Journal of College Student Retention, and the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice concluded that those who hold part-time jobs during their college years tend to have better grades. And when coupled with internships, these students are more likely to secure a career within six months after they graduate.
But is it possible for college students to focus on getting the best GPA scores while juggling a part-time job? Although these jobs are major distracting factors, these can still have a positive influence on one’s studying process. It is simply all about prioritizing.
Table of Contents
- Part-Time Jobs Defined
- How Part-Time Jobs Work
- Part-Time Jobs: What It Can Do for You
- Part-Time Jobs in College: The Pros and Cons
- Conquering Part-time Work While in College
The 10 Best Part-Time Job Opportunities for College Students
- Part-Time Academic Tutor
- Part-Time Receptionist
- Part-Time Nanny/Babysitter
- Part-Time Fitness Instructor
- Part-Time Office Assistant
- Part-Time Caregiver
- Part-Time Food Server
- Part-Time Security
- Part-Time Residence Advisors
- Part-Time Driver
- Part-Time Retail Sales Associate
- Part-Time Social Media Assistant
Part-Time Jobs Defined
Identifying whether a job is full-time or part-time largely depends on an organization’s policy. Ideally, no legal guidelines discuss whether an employee is a part-timer or a full-timer. Plus, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the office that sets the legal requisites in the US for hours, wages, and overtime, does not clearly define how many hours each week is considered a part-time job or full-time employment.
However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics considers workers with 35-hour-per-week shifts as full-timers, and those who fall below that figure are considered part-times, although this is just for statistical purposes.
How Part-Time Jobs Work
In general, part-time employees include moms and dads, students, retirees, and others who don’t have the time to commit to a full-time job. Depending on an organization’s company, some part-time jobs can become full-time work. Thus, if you are scouting for a full-time position, it’s sometimes wise to have a part-time job at first. Although non-permanent, this opportunity gives you the experience relevant for a full-time job and demonstrates your commitment to it.
Part-Time Jobs: What It Can Do for You
Perhaps the very reason you are out there looking for a part-time job is simple: the paycheck. But there is so much more to having a part-time job than the cash you get at the end of your shift, although it takes months (or even years) for these results to materialize. In essence, find a part-time job that offers both short-term and long-term benefits.
No, it’s not about health care or those impressive benefits. It’s about the career-building skills and foundational lessons that will help mold you as a professional. In most cases, these developed traits are invaluable and can contribute to the success and longevity of your future career. As you start to scout for jobs, remember these three significant benefits because these will pay you off in the future.
Having a part-time job is a perfect way to enhance your time management skills. It also develops your ability to engage with your clients, customers, or co-workers. It also keeps your self-motivation and self-management skills in check as you prepare for a job you’ll keep for the long haul.
These things are life skills that will not only impact your future career path, but you will see the results immediately. As a student, you need a bit of self-motivation, categorizing, and proper time management. Just imagine yourself spending hours in your classes, keeping close attention to your instructors, taking down notes, plus the long hours in your dorm room or the library so you can translate those notes to your presentations, research papers, or study guides. Overwhelming, isn’t it?
Apart from your academic college life, you will also have to deal with other things like socializing, self-care, and extracurricular activities. Balancing your social and school life is stressful, but you can juggle these things successfully with compartmentalization and proper time management. This is where self-motivation comes into the picture. Just like having a part-time job, you have to support yourself, encourage yourself, and improve yourself.
A part-time job gives you the work experience that post-graduate, college, and even high school graduates need desperately. Why? Because your work experience in your resumé gets the attention of employers quickly, thus giving you a foot forward for an interview. Having a part-time job prepares you for a workplace’s structure, like how you can effectively work with your co-workers and supervisor or remain professional no matter the environment.
Also, your daily experiences while on the job will teach you how to act and think like an employee. Whether it requires you to work behind the scenes or directly with clients, your part-time job will develop fundamental work skills that will come in very handy in the future.
Although the thought of flipping burgers right after you finish college may not sound so interesting, this job will teach you how to effectively work in a fast-paced environment with a team that hopes to succeed together. Or, if you are into the retail industry, the experience there is quite different. You will have a lot of face time with your clients, and this is where you get to learn how to interact with all sorts of clients in different scenarios– from clients that ask for complicated orders to customers that show lousy attitudes towards you.
You may feel like these jobs were not that big of a deal to you while you were working at the time. However, these teach you lessons that will help prepare your professional career.
While still in high school or during the first few months of college, thinking about your post-graduate opportunities may seem premature. But the jobs you have between today and your college graduation are your stepping stones to your first real job. Every skill you learn will matter. How you are as an employee matter. And most often, the type of job you have does matter!
For instance, your very first part-time job can give you invaluable experiences that will prepare you for your first post-graduate career. Your past managers and supervisors can also be references for your work ethic and character. Or, if you’re lucky enough, your first real-world job could be with the organization you’ve been working with during your college years.
College part-time jobs also give you real-life know-hows like paying taxes or managing your finances. If the job comes with other benefits like health care, then you can take advantage of understanding how you can sign up for plans that you think suit best after your college years. These may sound overwhelming and tedious initially, but these will set you up for a successful life in the future.
Part-Time Jobs in College: The Pros and Cons
If you are thinking about getting a part-time job while in college, there are several things you need to consider before finally making a decision. Below are some pros and cons to help you decide.
Stable Income. You are doing a part-time job primarily because of money. A part-time job is a perfect way to start earning your own money. So many students are complaining about their present financial situation, especially when in college, and having a part-time job is the best solution. Should you feel like securing a part-time job, think of this seriously. Understand if you are indeed ready to handle this type of responsibility. Try not to look for employment with the sole intention of earning money. Instead, carefully consider the number of duties you will have. Objectively evaluate your skills as well.
You will learn how to spend your money wisely. When you have a part-time job, you will learn to earn your own money and spend it wisely. It’s very tempting to finally buy all those things you have long wanted to buy now that you are earning on your own. However, it is also wise to start saving. Life is full of surprises, and nobody knows when you need your savings in the future. Be wise to grow your savings rather than buying things that you don’t necessarily need.
Better time management skills. A good employee should practice proper time management. Being late at work is not an excellent characteristic. It is an indication of irresponsibility and disrespect. So many college students think it’s impossible to combine work and classes without sacrificing something. Skipping classes just to get to your job is very tempting. Thus, it’s essential to choose a job that has flexible schedules. Talk to your manager and check if your work shifts are adjusted based on your class schedules. Create a solid study plan and be firm with it.
Valuable Experience. Regardless of the part-time job you have, you will have so many practical experiences that will prepare you for your future careers. The environment of your part-time job can significantly improve your communication skills. Remember, those who can easily find common ground with others are more likely to land a job interview than those who don’t. Your first part-time job will teach you how to resolve conflicts, look for solutions to all types of problems, and most importantly, introduce you to become more responsible. All these characters and qualities are beneficial once you enter into the real world out there.
Better Networking. The people you know as you’re busy with your part-time stint can have lasting impacts on your future professional development. Nobody knows who their lucky tickets are to the business world, so it’s best to remain polite, respectful, and have good relationships with your managers and colleagues. For the most part, it will always be “a friend of a friend” who knows somebody that can arrange a job interview.
Constant Exhaustion. Being a working student means you need to welcome the idea of getting sleep-deprived. Being exhausted most of the time is one of the significant downsides of having a part-time job. No, it’s not because you have poor time management skills. When you commit to working too much, exhaustion is inevitable– both mentally and physically. If you notice that this feeling doesn’t fade away, sit down and think about your health issues. Remember, your health will always be the top priority.
Bureaucracy Issues (for some international students). For international students, getting a part-time job is more complicated. They need to go through more stages before finally getting a job. Extra paperwork proving they are students and that they are qualified to work is usually required. Although international students are generally permitted to secure part-time employment, most of them cannot work in the private business sector. Therefore for international students, some of the very few places to take your chances of getting a job are only in their college.
Lack of Time. One harsh truth about getting a part-time job while in college is your need to decline invitations from your classmates and friends since you have no more time for fun.
Contemplating leaving college. Work and school require a balancing act. It’s a stressful situation that may compel you to give up one and keep the other. More often than not, students would rather leave college than their job because of time management issues. Others feel that a college degree isn’t necessary; they are getting paid without a diploma!
Conquering Part-time Work While in College
Splitting your attention between a full-time college education and a part-time job is easier said than done! But this doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. Numerous professionals these days were once juggling school and work at the same time. How did they do it?
Prioritize Organization. When wearing different hats, it’s easy to lose track of the things and responsibilities you have to juggle being a worker and a student. That’s why it’s crucial to get organized. Now is the time to buy a planner. Planners are handy, but sadly, are not used enough. Planners are divided by hour; thus, it’s easier to track your time and organize your work and school. Of course, there’s also your phone’s planner. Take advantage of it.
Know how to spend your time. When you choose to work and go to school at the same time, it’s like you’re choosing the “path of greatest resistance.” Time is significant, especially when you are trying to balance work and school. With that, remember to be purposeful in how you spend your time. Make time for studying, and set recreation schedules around your work shifts.
The 10 Best Part-Time Job Opportunities for College Students
For college students, getting strapped for cash is expected. That’s why so many students look for part-time job opportunities so they can earn some money without having to compromise their college life. Here are 10 of the best part-time job opportunities you might want to try.
Part-Time Academic Tutor
If there is a class you excel in– calculus, organic chemistry, mathematics, or anything else, take your smarts and rake in some cash by becoming an academic tutor. Create your hourly rate, meet with your student and discuss and establish performance goals, and then meet at a specified schedule until those goals are achieved. However, if you don’t feel comfortable tutoring people your age, you can help high school students, especially those preparing for their ACTs and SATs.
Part-Time Academic Tutor Duties:
- Review curricula or classroom topics and assignments
- Work with students to help them clearly understand vital concepts
- Assist students with their projects, homework, papers, test preparation, research, and other academic tasks
- Teach students how they can improve their academic performances, including note-taking skills, study strategies, and methods to answer test questions
- Develop the best educational practices for specific assignments, including writing skills and research
- Conduct practice tests to check the progress of students, recognize areas of improvement and set goals for exam preparation
- Provide positive and constructive feedback
Salary: $14-$21 per hour (average)
As a part-time receptionist, you will work in an office doing administrative and clerical functions. You’ll greet guests, answer phone calls, manage appointment calendars, and perform data entry. To secure a job as a receptionist, you need to have good communication and organization skills. You have to be a multi-tasker, have an eye for detail, basic computer skills, and customer service skills.
Part-Time Receptionist Duties:
- Answers and directs phone calls politely
- Welcomes visitors warmly
- Maintains the reception and all other common areas clean and neat
- Operates standard office equipment regularly (fax machines, computers, copy machines)
- Keeps a detailed and accurate record of visitor calls and requests
- Take inventory of supplies (and restocks when needed)
- Receive deliveries
- Maintain the general office filing system
Salary: $11-$15 per hour (average)
Nannies or babysitters help parents care for and raise their kids. As a nanny, you are responsible for the emotional needs of the kids. You prepare meals, dress and bathe them, arrange playdates, accompany them to activities, and even help them with their school work. If you have vacant days of the week- no classes, no school activities, and the likes, you can use your spare time to babysit kids while their parents are busy at work.
Part-Time Nanny/Babysitter Duties:
- Create a safe environment for the children
- Bathing, dressing, changing diapers, and potty training (if age appropriate)
- Planning meals, preparing food, and feeding
- Laundering children’s clothes
- Playing indoors and outdoors
- Teaching children some educational activities and crafts
- Reading to kids and helping them with school work
- Organizing bedrooms/toys
- Light housekeeping (grocery shopping, emptying trash, family errands, etc.)
Salary: $11-$17 per hour
Part-Time Fitness Instructor
If you love working out, why not make it a part-time job? As a fitness instructor, you can teach classes in spin, yoga, Zumba, and a lot more– whether in your campus gym or a fitness studio. Present the certifications that a gym requires for part-time employment.
Part-Time Fitness Instructor Duties:
- Recognize the fitness level and health of a client
- Oversee the completion of exercises and routines
- Track physical progress of clients
- Alter exercise plan based on potential injuries or health issues, or needs
- Adopt a holistic training approach
- Create individual or group fitness sessions
- Monitor the use of fitness equipment to ensure each client routine is safe and proper
Salary: $19 per hour
Part-Time Office Assistant
Almost all departments of a college campus will need an office assistant who handles various tasks like scheduling appointments, answering phones, and maintaining files. It sounds like a tedious job, but imagine the skills you will learn! You will develop excellent organizational skills as you continue with a relevant college major and launch a future career.
Part-Time Office Assistant Duties:
- Handling calls and other forms of communication
- Recording information as needed
- Managing filing system
- Greeting visitors and clients
- Maintaining documents, updating paperwork, and word processing
- Performing general office clerk errands and duties
- Organizing and maintaining common office areas
- Coordinating events as necessary
Salary: $10-$14 per hour
As a part-time caregiver, you will provide in-house support like being a companion or a housekeeper. You assist with cooking, basic needs, driving your clients to appointments, or giving mobility assistance. You should have access to a car, a driver’s license, people skills, empathy, time management expertise, and the capacity to lift 50 pounds at the minimum to qualify as a caregiver.
Part-Time Caregiver Duties:
- Serving as a companion to your clients
- Transporting clients to (and from) their errands, activities, appointments
- Preparing meals
- Managing medication
Salary: $10-$14 per hour
As a food server, you can work in eateries or restaurants. Other dining-related functions include stocking supplies, preparing food, taking payments, greeting guests, doing light cleaning, and answering menu questions. Food servers are employed in fast food joints, sit-down restaurants, counter-service eateries, and events or sports areas. Because this work requires you to be on your feet most of the time, you must keep your stamina up and always stay in shape.
Part-Time Server Duties:
- Greet customers and provide them menus
- Give excellent customer services
- Make suggestions based on the client’s preferences
- Up-sell when appropriate
- Take and serve drinks/food orders
- Arrange table settings
- Deliver checks; collect payments
- Keep table tidy and clean all the time
Salary: $9-$13 per hour
You can have a part-time security job working in clubs or bars, although you will need a license for this. Concert halls, sports avenues, and festivals are widespread places and events that require security staff to assist and direct crowds. Today, most universities in the US provide crown management training for interested student volunteers. Joining these can help improve your credibility by the time you apply for jobs. Apartment buildings and office blocks typically need night security guards, so you may want to look at it.
Part-Time Security Duties:
- Patrol and inspect premises regularly.
- Allow entrance of vehicles and people.
- Monitor property entrance
- Report suspicious happenings and behaviors
- Secure all windows, doors, and exits
- Monitor surveillance cameras
- Assist people who need help
- Respond to alarms and must react immediately
Salary: $13-$15 per hour
Also called residence assistance, RAs are trained, college-aged mentors. As an RA, you ensure that a residence building and its residents are safe and follow all the procedures and regulations. You are tasked to keep the residents informed of all the news and policies on the campus and support returning and new residents. To be a successful residence advisor, you need to have many skills and personal attributes like responsibility, approachability, and leadership.
Part-Time Resident Advisors Duties:
- Assist students with academic, personal, and transition concerns
- Help solve group or roommate conflicts that may arise
- Encourage a considerate and cooperative living environment
- Give overall peer leadership to the residents
- Provide peer accountability
- Refer and encourage students to utilize student and academic success resources on campus
Salary: $13.25 per hour average
As a part-time driver, you are responsible for transporting cargo or passengers from one point to another. To qualify, you should have a driver’s license, and your driving record must be clean. If you plan to operate larger vehicles, you need a commercial driver’s license.
Part-Time Driver Duties:
- Transport packages/clients to and from destinations
- Fulfill administrative needs such as office pickups
- Arrive at destinations on time
- Research and plan for construction, traffic, or weather delays
- Interact with clients professional all the time
- Use navigation apps and similar programs to find the best routes
- Arrange for vehicle repairs
- Ensure that the vehicle is fueled always and ready for use
Salary: $9-$15 per hour
Part-Time Retail Sales Associate
As a retail sales associate, it’s your job to help customers find products and buy them in a store. You are there to ensure that the store is stocked with merchandise appropriately, assisting clients as needed, and doing other transactions like sales and returns. To qualify for this job, you should have excellent customer service orientation, and you must quickly build rapport and bond with your customers.
Part-Time Retails Sales Associate Duties:
- Greeting clients when they go to your shop
- Building rapport through
- Honest recommendations and conversations
- Ringing up sales
- Arranging for the pickup or delivery of the client’s order (if needed)
- Encouraging customers to visit your shop’s website for coupons and other “offers” to save money
- Inviting clients to join a loyalty program
- Informing clients of any additional charges (if necessary)
- Assisting in keeping the back stockroom maintained
- Setting up product displays on the shop floor
As a social media assistant, your tasks include scheduling social media posts on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for different companies and brands you’re working for. It is also your job to research competitive markets and brands, develop and execute social media campaigns that boost a business, or make an online image or voice for the customers that will reach the company’s targeted demographic.
Part-Time Social Media Assistant Duties:
- Create and pitch social media campaigns and plans
- Execute campaigns per client brand’s guidelines
- Reply to public figures and customers through brand accounts
- Make fresh content, shareable memes, and engagement opportunities
Salary: $17 per hour
Practice self-care and prioritize your health. Get a good night’s sleep. Something as simple as getting ample sleeping time can make a considerable difference amidst your challenging day-to-day responsibilities. Also, try to have a break to help make you more efficient.
When looking for a part-time job as a college student, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Some students prefer jobs that allow flexible shifts so they can still enjoy the weekends or holiday breaks. Others prefer jobs where they can gain experience and skills despite a tight schedule. And then some wish to work hard so they can make the most money. Regardless of your reason, part-time jobs are everywhere, and they are truly rewarding.