College shouldn't be about making money, but with the cost of tuition and fees rising 16% to 18% from the 2010-11 to 2020-21 school years, working while in school has become a necessity for many. One problem that college students face is finding a part-time job that fits into a schedule that is non-traditional but frequently changes. On top of that, finding a job that pays enough to make it worth investing the time can be a challenge as well. If you're looking for that perfect part-time college job, here are a few ideas.

Key Takeaways

  • There are plenty of part-time jobs for students in college, ranging from on-campus work study jobs to paid jobs at local businesses.
  • The best part-time jobs for college students are flexible and related to a student's intended area of study, allowing them to both make money and get more experience in their field.
  • Some of the best part-time jobs include being an administrative assistant, babysitting, tutoring, or working as a fitness instructor.

Administrative Assistant

You might think of an administrative assistant as somebody who sits at a desk all day, answers phones, and types letters. While that is true of some administrative roles, some executives are looking for part-time help when their workload is unusually high. Technology even allows administrative assistants to work remotely as virtual assistants. Salaries can be $20 or more per hour, but there is a wide range depending on the type of work needed. A similar on-campus job can include working at the library front desk or help desks, often meaning that simple jobs such as filing books or simply manning one area of the library can allow you to study when there are fewer people around.

Aerobics Instructor

Do some people call you a "gym rat?" If you love fitness and like to teach others, a part-time job as an aerobics instructor or personal trainer may be an ideal part-time job for you. Personal trainers require additional certifications, but teaching a fitness class does not. The average hourly pay for this position is around $21 in 2021 and you receive the added benefit of being paid to work out!

Residence Advisor (RA)

How about making money by saving money? Some colleges and universities offer free or discounted housing to those who will work in their residence hall. Divide the amount of money you would save with free or discounted housing by the number of hours you would have worked at another job to figure out the average hourly rate. The only catch is that these jobs are considered work-study and are not available to all students. Still, if you love meeting others and can see yourself as a friendly face within a college community, the job of an RA may be for you.

Computer Tech

If you're a technology guru, look for a job either on or off-campus as a tech support worker or retail clerk in a computer store. Especially for those pursuing degrees in areas like computer science, tech support can offer valuable insight into the kinds of issues the average computer user encounters. This knowledge is helpful for those who may later develop software applications as well.

Bank Teller

Many bank tellers work on a part-time basis. For those in the finance field, becoming a teller is an entry-level position that may result in an even better position upon graduation. The average salary may only be $14 per hour in 2021, but it's a great way to start a career in the financial industry. Some banks have branch locations on the campuses of local universities, making it a good job for students without a car.


Of all of the jobs here, this may be the lowest-paying job, but you're sure to find a lot of work if you're reliable, trustworthy, and good with children. If you're concerned about getting your homework done, look for parents working second or third shifts. Once the kids go to bed, get to work. Hourly pay can range from $5 to $30 per hour as of 2021, but combining babysitting with tutoring can yield even better rates.

The Bottom Line

Before looking for part-time work while in school, search for a job that is related to your field. Even if it pays little or no money, ask people that you know if they can find work for you, as most people are more comfortable with hiring individuals they know, rather than reading resumes and going through the interview process. By landing a job in your area of study, you can both learn more about your potential career path while making some extra money on the side. An internship or low-paying job in a field related to your future career is likely a better choice than taking a job that provides you with no contacts in your field of choice.