College is one of the most memorable experiences for many people. It gives you the chance to expand your worldview, develop your skills, and make lifelong friends. At the same time, college can be very expensive. You have to pay for tuition, rent, books, food, and social activities. Unless you have a reliable source of income, it can be hard to live comfortably during college.
Luckily, there is a wide range of jobs for college students that pay well and are available on a full-time or part-time basis. These jobs can also provide valuable experience, networking, and skill development opportunities. In this article, we’ll be talking about the best jobs for college students that you can pursue during your four-year degree.
How Much Does a College Job Pay?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average part-time college student salary is $36,834 per year or $18 per hour. However, how much you earn will depend on the type of job and your previous experience, skills, and interests.
How to Get a High-Paying College Job
Looking to get a high-paying job during college? It’s important to take a strategic approach to find high-paying opportunities so you can work while pursuing your college education. You’ll want a job with a decent salary and flexible hours so you can focus on your education. Here are some tips to help you get a high-paying college job.
Step 1: Expand Your Skillset
The first step to getting a high-paying college job is to cultivate skills that align with your career goals. For instance, students looking to become part-time administrative assistants should learn how to perform general office tasks. Likewise, students interested in becoming freelance writers should level up their content creation skills.
The more skills you have, the more job roles you can qualify for. By improving your skills before you look for a college job that pays well, you have a higher chance of landing a job with good benefits.
Step 2: Check Job Listings
The next step is to consult job listings and job boards to find available openings. Students can check their school career service centers for vacancies both on or off-campus. Many potential employers also post job openings on online job boards such as CareerRookie, College Central, College Helpers, and My First Paycheck.
Step 3: Tailor Your Resume and Apply
Once you see a job that piques your interest or seems like the best fit for you, you’ll need to get ready to apply. To have the best chances of landing the job, it is best to prepare an up-to-date resume tailored specifically to the role. Make sure to do some research on the company and position and highlight the specific skills that make you a great fit.
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What College Jobs Pay the Most? The Highest-Paying College Jobs You Should Consider
Now that you know a few tips to land a college job, we can go over some options for you to consider. Below is a list of the highest-paying college jobs to help you on your search.
Freelance Graphic Designer
Graphic designers develop visual designs by combining art and technology. They use digital illustrations and computer software to create advertisements, magazines, reports, and brochures.
If you have a passion for graphic design or plan to pursue a graphic design career, working as a freelance graphic designer during your college years can help you make some money while gaining practical experience in your field and providing you with pieces you can use in your portfolio.
Social Media Manager
If you become a social media manager, you’ll help companies and brands grow their online communities and social media presences. You’ll utilize analytics tools to monitor social media trends and discover what is being said about the brand or the company you’re working for.
If you’re interested in marketing or communications as a career path, gaining experience as a part-time social media manager will provide you with experience and portfolio pieces that will aid you in your future career.
- Average salary: $43,620
- Job growth: 32%
- Companies hiring: Massage Envy, Zeel, Elements Massage, Massage Heights
Massage therapists offer physical therapy treatments to manipulate the muscles, tissues, ligaments, and joints to improve circulation, relieve stress, alleviate pain, and maintain good health. Their job description involves communicating with clients on physical conditions, selecting the most suitable massage techniques, and maintaining clients’ records.
You’ll need to complete a postsecondary education program to become a massage therapist and obtain a working license. It is an excellent part-time job if you want to go into the medical, chiropractic, or nursing fields.
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- Average salary: $42,500
- Job growth: -7%
- Companies hiring: 3Play Media, Acusis, AlphaSights, AQuity Solutions
Transcribers listen to audio files and type out what they hear. Transcribing is pretty straightforward and requires no special skills. You also stand a chance to land better offers if you learn medical or legal transcription. It can be a little tedious but the transcribing job role is pretty flexible, meaning you can take on projects even with a busy class schedule.
- Average salary: $41,572
- Job growth: -7%
- Companies hiring: Beacon Hill Staffing Group, BELAY, Boldly, CSI Companies
Virtual assistants are administrative assistants that work from the comfort of their homes. This job role is perfect for college students who want to work remotely. Virtual assistants perform administrative, clerical, and bookkeeping tasks. Their job description involves scheduling, managing emails, providing support to other staff members, and preparing presentations.
- Average salary: $41,506
- Job growth: 6%
- Companies hiring: Carnegie Mellon University, Bringham Young University, MIT, Cornell University
If you love research, then you should look for research assistant openings in your college. Professors and scientists who conduct research projects at universities often require the services of research assistants to help them with their studies. Research assistants work in teams to perform experiments, gather data, and perform administrative duties.
- Average salary: $40,000
- Job growth: 9%
- Companies hiring: BuzzFeed, Investopedia, Lifewire, ScreenRant
Freelance writers create editorial content, marketing materials, and blog articles. They usually work for a wide range of clients based on available job opportunities, as well as their interests and areas of expertise.
College students with a penchant for writing can look for paid writing gigs on freelancing sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, and LinkedIn. You do not need any special education to land freelance writing positions, but you must be able to prove your writing skills and experience.
- Average salary: $38,974
- Job growth: -3%
- Companies hiring: Intuit, HEB, Express Employment Professionals, Barnes & Noble
If you are working towards an accounting degree, then a junior bookkeeper job role may interest you. A junior bookkeeper handles day-to-day accounting tasks such as recording transaction details, preparing reports, and proofreading balance sheets.
You may also be tasked with using bookkeeping software, spreadsheets, and databases. This is an excellent avenue to gain valuable experience for your future accounting job role.
- Average salary: $38,219
- Job growth: 32%
- Companies hiring: Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott International, Omni Hotels
Bartenders work in bars, hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs. They take orders from guests and prepare and serve drinks and food. This is one of the jobs where you can make a lot of money in addition to the standard pay. You can earn a lot of tips if you have good customer service skills. However, this can be a hectic and stressful job during festive periods and weekends.
- Average salary: $36,524
- Job growth: 9%
- Companies hiring: Amplify Education, ArborBridge, CareerFoundry, Crimson Education
If you are interested in teaching children or helping fellow students with their coursework, you may want to look for tutoring jobs. There are numerous opportunities for tutors, especially in college.
You’ll have to prepare a tutoring schedule, organize assignments, review performance, and explain complex topics to students. You’ll also have to draft learning strategies and create an ideal learning environment to help your students ace their tests.
Best College Jobs: Top Companies that Hire for College Jobs
Many top companies hire the services of undergraduate students in their day-to-day operations. If you perform well and add value to the organization with your work, you might even be offered a permanent position upon graduation. Here are some of the companies that hire college students.
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- IBM: IBM offers a wide range of paid internship positions in different departments such as business, technology, human resources, and software development. Undergraduates can earn well and enjoy employee bonuses.
- Amazon: Amazon hires college students for internships and full-time job opportunities in a wide variety of roles. You can do meaningful work while gaining valuable experience that will help propel your career forward.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co: JPMorgan Chase offers undergraduate and graduate students job opportunities to kickstart their careers. Students gain the chance to be part of a work environment that helps them to develop skills and gain hands-on experience.
- Goldman Sachs: You can apply for a wide range of programs and internship positions at Goldman Sachs. You’ll get trained and learn about the world of finance by working with industry professionals.
- Starbucks: Starbucks offers undergraduate and graduate job openings to students in finance, supply chain, and technology.
Where to Find a College Job
If you’ve decided to take on a job to support yourself through college, you’ll need to hunt for the perfect role that allows you to earn well while still prioritizing your studies. Luckily for you, there are many ways to go about your search. Below are some resources to help you find the perfect college job.
Before you go searching high and low on the Internet, you should start with some popular job boards. Job boards contain a list of available openings for college students that you can filter according to location, interest, and skills. Websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, SimplyHired, CareerRookie, and College Central can be helpful in your job search.
Company Career Pages
If you have a particular company that you wish to work for, you can check their career page to look for openings that you may be eligible for. An organization’s career page also contains valuable information about the application process and role requirements, which is useful when tailoring your resume. Make sure to also check their social media, as sometimes openings will be listed there.
You’ll find many communities on the internet dedicated to sharing information on college job openings. Your college may even have a college job resource to connect students with available job openings. Make sure to take advantage of them as you search for the right role.
Skills Required to Land Your First College Job
Like all other jobs, your college job should be taken seriously. Your resume will need to list valuable skills to qualify you for a job interview. It is crucial to have the right mix of soft skills and job-related expertise to thrive in any position. Here are some of the skills required to land your first college job.
Many college jobs, such as barista, waiter, bartender, or part-time social media manager, require you to have top-level communication skills. This is why many employers place great emphasis on your interpersonal skills. You should have good writing skills and be able to interact and communicate effectively with your supervisors, colleagues, and customers.
College jobs are often entry-level or junior-level roles, and as such, you’ll likely be placed under the supervision of an expert. You might have to work in teams alongside other employees. Interviewers for college jobs will want you to prove your ability to work well with others, be open to learning, and make meaningful contributions to the team.
No matter the role, job seekers must prove that they possess an impressive work ethic for employers to even consider them for the job. For college jobs, interviewers will want to know that you’ll be able to balance your studies with your job responsibilities and not fail to accomplish your duties.
Is a College Job For Me?
If you’re a student in need of some extra income to support yourself while you finish your degree, a college job is a great option for you. College jobs are a great way to earn extra cash while adding valuable, real-world experience to your resume and portfolio. When searching for a college job, your best bet is to find something related to your studies to help you build relevant skills.
College Jobs that Pay Well FAQ
What college jobs pay the most?
The answer to this question will depend on your location, experience level, and skillset. Social media managers, research assistants, virtual assistants, and all other job roles listed above will allow you to make a decent income while still giving you time to focus on your studies. However, you shouldn’t choose a job solely based on the pay. You should also consider your long-term career goals and school schedule.
What should I look out for in a college job?
Before signing on for a college job, you should consider schedule flexibility, relevance to your field of study, and specific job demands. You want a job that provides an ideal work-school balance and contributes to your resume.
What questions should you ask yourself before searching for a job in college?
How many hours a week can I realistically devote to a job? How important is it to find a job that is relevant to my career path? Can I balance a particular job role and school? These self-reflective questions provide clarity about your capability and circumstances and will help you make choose the right job according to your needs.
How can I find college jobs that pay well?
Job boards, online communities, and company websites and social media accounts can provide you with the necessary information about high-paying jobs for college students.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.