There is no denying that going to college is expensive. Most students rely largely on financial aid to attend school. As helpful as student loans are, students are often afraid of falling deep into debt after they graduate, especially if they cannot find work right away. One of the most effective ways to cut down on student loan costs is by getting a job while you are still in school. Getting a student job is not only limited to students trying to pay off loans. Some students simply want to have spending money while living on campus, or they want to build up their resume for getting work after graduation.
No matter what your reason, balancing work and college life is tricky. Many career options are too demanding or do not have enough flexibility to match your college schedule. Look for a few key factors when assessing a student job. These are location, work schedule, payment and career relevance to your major. While many viable job options are available for students, some of the top choices are covered below.
Nanny and babysitting jobs are sometimes used interchangeably, but the two jobs have different requirements. Both involve taking care of children, but a babysitter typically works less hours and has fewer responsibilities compared to a nanny. Nannies often live with the family they work for and follow a set schedule each day, while babysitters are usually called in advance to cover brief periods where the parents are unavailable. Nannies commonly have other household responsibilities, such as picking up the kids from school, preparing meals or doing housework.
The amount of responsibility you accept with either job is up to you and your client. If you have a demanding schedule, consider a babysitter job over nannying since babysitting has less requirements. If you are more concerned with money, nannying pays more. If you are confident you can handle a nanny job while attending school, save money on room and board by working in a home near your college. In these circumstances, you and your clients must be on the same page with your schedule, otherwise you risk having to leave the job and rush to find student housing.
An excellent job for college students looking to make extra money is rideshare driving. Most rideshare drivers work either for Uber or Lyft, but another program may be available in your area. The biggest advantage of working as a rideshare driver is how much freedom you have over your schedule. Rideshare drivers are entirely self-employed, so you set your own hours. If you need two weeks off to study for finals, you simply choose not to work, then jump right back into your job whenever you are ready.
The amount you earn as a rideshare driver varies depending on where you are located and what hours you work. College campuses are often a popular spot for rideshare drivers, since many students do not have a car on campus. It can be especially lucrative if you attend a college where freshmen and sophomore students are not allowed to have cars since you have a constant pool of customers. If you do not mind working on weekends, there is no shortage of students looking for rides.
One commonly overlooked student job is catering. Working on a catering staff full time is demanding and difficult for students, but plenty of catering staff hire part time workers who specifically work over the weekends. This is normally the busiest time for catering staff since most events take place over the weekends. The downside is you often end up sacrificing your weekend as even part time catering work takes up most of the day. One of the extra perks of working a catering job as a college student is taking home any leftover food, which cuts down on your grocery budget.
Another advantage of working in the catering industry is the chance to network. Depending on where you work, you may end up catering events for influential businesses or individuals in your chosen major. If you do not get a chance to speak with any of the guests directly, you at least learn about possible places to apply once you graduate.
If most of your classes are later in the afternoon, consider working as a stockperson. Stocking shelves requires minimal skills, making it ideal for students without prior work experience. Most stocking jobs take place in the evening after the store has closed for customers. Businesses pay employees more for working late hours. The most common place to work as an evening stockperson is at a grocery store, but other businesses in the area may be hiring as well. Most stores have options for part- or full-time stocking, so it is easier to schedule around your classes.
Several food service jobs are available to students. If you are older, one of the better paying options is bartending. Many bartenders work later in the evening. Even if you only work one or two days a week, you can make hundreds of dollars from tips alone. If you do not want to work so late or you are not old enough to bartend, other options are available as well. If you have cooking experience and an on-campus cafeteria, check to see if any line cook jobs exist. Most colleges are located close to restaurants which is perfect for students who want to work as waiters or hosts. These restaurants commonly hire college students which means the managers are used to working around class schedules.
Another popular food service job is working as a barista. More colleges are opening up their own coffee shops, and popular brand name shops like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are often located near a campus. Barista jobs typically have a better hourly pay than a waiter or hosting job, but you do not get as many tips.
Tutoring is another excellent job choice for students with difficult schedules. As a tutor, you set your own hours. If you are tutoring college students, it is not difficult to find someone with a schedule who matches your own. If you are tutoring local high school students, you are a bit more restricted in your hours as most parents look for someone available right after school. The other downside to working with students outside of campus is you must arrange travel back and forth, which may be tricky depending on where you attend college.
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