20 Most Common Jobs for College Students

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As the price of attending college has increased, so has the total number of college students working part-time and even full-time jobs. In addition to tuition payments, you have to account for the cost of living – or the price of having fun. After all, those nightly trips to the bar cost money. But there are more benefits than just the financial reward. A good job can provide opportunities to expand your social circle, network, build self-discipline, learn new skills and enhance your resume. These 20 common jobs for college students each have their own pluses and minuses, but they’re all staples of college student employment.

  1. Waiter/Waitress
    College towns are filled with restaurants that are almost entirely staffed by local college students. It’s a popular job for the group because of the flexible hours, immediate pay through tips and social opportunities – we all know about the escapades that can occur among restaurant coworkers. Waitering and waitressing is stressful yet fun, and the job is relatively easy to get.
  2. Busser
    Although the position isn’t quite as “glamorous” (term used loosely) as waitering and waitressing, bussing is an excellent way to earn quick cash and work flexible hours. Bussers or busboys – the less-politically correct title – are responsible for cleaning tables, transferring dirty dishes to the dishwasher and other miscellaneous duties requested by the manager.
  3. Host/Hostess
    Hosts and hostesses meet and greet patrons who enter their restaurants and show them to their seats. More often than not, they’re required to dress sharply, especially if they work in a nicer restaurant. In order to be a host, you must be sociable, patient and willing to undertake various other tasks as needed.
  4. Bartender
    College campuses are surrounded by a variety of bars that cater to different crowds, and college students tend to have an unquenchable thirst for alcohol. If you have an engaging personality and the energy to constantly multitask, bartending can be a fun and lucrative endeavor.
  5. Tourism/Travel
    Hotel and resort work is perfect for the summer and winter breaks when students are out of class and looking to have a bit of fun while earning extra money. You can find employment as a desk clerk, for example, at a beach or ski resort.
  6. Camp Counselor
    If you find a camp counseling job that enables you to do what you love, then you’ll be in for a fun summer. There are many different types of summer camps based around varying themes, including religion and sports. It won’t feel like work, and you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people.
  7. Babysitting
    Sitting has long been a go-to job for college students. Parents tend to prefer their services because of their maturity, responsibility and flexible schedule. Sitters advertise their services by posting signs around campus and posting ads on sites like craigslist.com and sittercity.com.
  8. Daycare
    Working at a daycare center is another way for people who love children to interact with them regularly. Many colleges have daycare centers that serve its professors and staff while providing jobs to students. It’s an excellent way to prepare for becoming a kindergarten or elementary school teacher.
  9. Tutor
    A student with a high aptitude for a particular subject can offer their tutoring services to fellow students on campus, or elementary, junior high and high school students. If you’re pursuing your bachelor’s degree in math, for example, then tutor subjects like algebra and geometry.
  10. Bank Teller
    There are numerous banks located on and around college campuses, so students who want a comfy part-time job and enjoy working with money – like accounting and finance majors – find work as tellers. They pay is good when compared to other jobs college students typically hold.
  11. Telemarketer
    Telemarketing gigs aren’t difficult to come by because of the high turnover rates, and they offer solid earning potential because of commission. Of course, not every college student has the inherent ability to be a good salesperson, so this job isn’t for everyone.
  12. Nonprofit Agency
    Nonprofit agencies located in college towns typically welcome the services of college students who are seeking employment. Working for a good cause not only builds character, but it’s also a resume enhancer. Future employers value selfless individuals who put the needs of others first.
  13. Residential Adviser
    Although residential advisers aren’t usually paid for their services monetarily, they may be compensated with free room and board, which is never cheap. Real world skills are learned on the job, including mediation and leadership. A major benefit is that you don’t have to commute – you don’t even need to leave the building in which you live.
  14. Research Assistant
    Students who wish to gain additional in-depth knowledge about the subjects they love seek research assistant positions. Some departments offer credit in exchange for a specific number of hours worked per week. This is another job that provides experience that’s appealing to employers and graduate schools.
  15. Computer Lab Assistant
    These tech-savvy individuals help their fellow students understand various software programs and troubleshoot computer-related problems. Computer lab assistants must possess excellent presentation and interpersonal skills.
  16. Library Assistant
    Being a library assistant may be boring – shelving and organizing books and swiping student IDs for several hours per day isn’t exactly fun – but it’s a convenient on-campus job that enables you to balance a busy schedule.
  17. Campus Bookstore
    Given the size of most campus bookstores, it’s no surprise they provide an abundance of job opportunities for the schools they serve. During the beginning of the semester, business is at its peak as students purchase textbooks en masse. At the end of the semester, employees determine which books to buy back and how much they’ll pay for each one.
  18. Student Worker in Major Dept
    Student workers who serve the departments in which they’re majoring often perform administrative and clerical task, or other duties as assigned by their superiors. Sometimes, student workers organize and implement orientation programs and oversee other events sponsored by the department.
  19. College TV/Radio/Newspaper
    Aspiring journalists, writers and DJs are encouraged to join their campus media outlets, which pay students to report the news, voice their opinions and entertain their peers. It’s a fun gig, and the first step to breaking into the field.
  20. Paid Internship in Prospective Field
    Internships provide real world work experience in the field you wish to enter after graduation. You build skills, learn about the function of the workplace and make connections. The pay is just the cherry on the sundae.
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