Originally Posted: Mar 6, 2012
Last Updated: Apr 19, 2018
Around this time of the school year, students might start feeling like their wallets are a bit lighter than when they started the semester. If this is you, you’re not alone. According to the Institute of Education Sciences, around 40% of full-time students attending a public college or university hold a job while attending class. Whether you need extra spending money, a work-study job, or want a productive way to spend those extra hours during the week, a job might be an essential part of your undergraduate experience. On-campus jobs may be less scarce than you think at your school and there are advantages to working on campus. For one, you won’t have to travel far if you live in the residence halls. Also, you might be able to work out a schedule that allows you to work in between, before, or after class so there’s not a lot of running around. Below are some common on-campus college entities that hire college students.
Large universities often have multiple dining halls, giving students ample opportunities to work. Pros of the jobs include being able to prepare food if you’re interested in culinary arts, seeing familiar faces inside the dining halls, and having easy access to food at meals times. Cons include having to wash dishes, cleaning up messes people leave behind, and the dreaded “dinner rush.”
Many universities have bus systems and shuttles that transport students around campus, to nearby off-campus locations, and student housing. If your school has a transportation system like this and they allow students to be drivers, it can be a higher paying position than other university sponsored jobs. Pros include a good hourly salary and learning the layout of the campus and surrounding geography. Cons include having to operate a large bus through inclement weather and constantly being on the lookout for pedestrians.
Most four-year colleges and universities have on-campus bookstores where you can buy anything from textbooks to collegiate sweatshirts and greeting cards. These stores also provide more work opportunities to students who want to work on-campus. Pros of the job include interacting with customers while helping them with purchases and getting potential discounts on merchandise. Cons include long lines of people trying to buy books at the beginning of the semester.
Some colleges and universities have on-campus daycare centers for students, professors, and university employees with children. If your school has one and they hire student teachers, this is a great opportunity for students wanting to pursue a career in teaching. Pros include getting first-hand experience working with children if this is your chosen field of study and having a career-related part-time job on your résumé. Cons include having the responsibility of taking care of dozens of young kids and being susceptible to any sicknesses they might have.
Library jobs can cover a wide range of positions incorporating many different skills. Some libraries have IT departments that need people who know how to fix computer issues or mechanical problems. There are also jobs stacking books and making sure students can find the books they need. Your library may also have a café inside at which you can provide coffee and snacks to your sleep-deprived student peers. Pros include having the opportunity to work with computers if that is something you’re interested in and being able to work in a quiet environment if that’s more your thing. Cons include a lack of socialization.
On-campus jobs are an excellent alternative to finding work off-campus which often requires the use of a car and typically involves a boss that’s less understanding of your hectic schedule. Check out the list of schools on InsideCollege that have lower tuition but require that students have a job while in class—one of these may be a great match for you. Whether you’re paying for college on your own, need work-study hours, or just need extra spending money, a part-time job could be just the solution to your financial woes!