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16 of the best jobs for college students

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Learn about 16 of the best jobs for college students, whether you want to work remotely, on campus or off campus. (iStock)

It’s no secret that college is costly, and getting more expensive every year. During the 2018-19 academic year, the average annual cost of attending a public institution and living on campus was $18,383, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Meanwhile, the average cost for private nonprofit schools was $47,419.

Even if you take out student loans, you may still need a job to help you pay for school. While it can be challenging to balance both classes and work, a job can provide valuable life skills that you can apply after graduation. Here are 16 of the best jobs for college students.

Credible can help you compare student loan rates to find the best one for you.

What to consider during your job search

Choosing the right college job for you depends on many personal factors. For example, an on-campus job can be convenient if you live on campus. And if you’re a full-time student with a busy course load, a part-time or remote job may be the best fit.

Some factors to consider when looking for a new job include your flexibility and any skills you want to develop. Also, be honest with yourself about your stress level. Is your current schedule overwhelming? How many shifts can you take on while still staying on top of your studies? Ask yourself these questions during your job search.

College internships vs. jobs

In college, you may have the option of taking on an internship. If you don’t have enough time in your schedule to take on a job and an internship, you may have to decide which one to pursue. While your responsibilities and the time commitment may be similar, college internships and jobs have some key differences.

First, not all college internships are paid. While the U.S. Department of Labor requires most private-sector, for-profit companies to pay interns at least minimum wage, many public-sector or nonprofit organizations don’t have the same requirement. If you’re mainly interested in an internship for the pay, make sure a wage is offered before you apply.

Beyond the pay, the benefit of internships is the experience and skill-building they can provide in your desired field. Whether you should pursue an internship or a traditional job depends on your available time, goals and your income needs.

16 of the best jobs for college students

You have many job options when you’re a college student. In addition to a variety of types of work, you can choose to work remotely, on campus or off campus. Here are some of the best jobs for college students to consider.

7 remote jobs

Opting for an online or remote job can be a great way to earn money on your own schedule. You typically won’t have to leave your dorm room or apartment, and you can even work in between classes from your laptop. 

Virtual assistant

Average hourly rate: $19.36

The specific job duties of virtual assistants vary by company but may include scheduling appointments, handling travel arrangements and creating posts on social media platforms. Virtual assistants typically must pay for their own internet connection and have their own work space, but the remote nature of the job makes it convenient if you don’t have much time to commute to and from work.

Data entry clerk

Average hourly rate: $18.36

Data entry services may include adding information to documents and spreadsheets, combing through records, verifying document accuracy and putting customer or transaction data into a company’s online database. 

Freelance writer

Average hourly rate: $30.39

If you enjoy writing, or even editing, being a freelance writer or editor can be a great way to earn extra money in your spare time. If you’re knowledgeable about specific topics or areas of interest, that’s even better. 

Audio transcriptionist

Average hourly rate: $15.11 

There’s strong demand for audio transcriptionists these days. In this role, you’ll convert audio files — such as podcasts, videos or phone interviews — into readable documents. This job can pay well depending on the client and complexity of the audio file. You may be paid by the hour or, in some cases, by the word.

Online tutor

Average hourly rate: $18.30 

Working as an online tutor can be a great way to earn extra money while helping kids or adults with a variety of subjects. Choose an area you’re strong in — such as math or science — and help someone else gain an understanding of the topic. 

Social media manager

Average hourly rate: $20 

Do you enjoy social media? Are you well-versed in what does (and doesn’t) work for certain platforms’ algorithms? Can you curate a photo feed? Then working as a social media manager might be perfect for you. Small businesses and corporations alike need social media talent that’s up to speed on the latest trends and can help them gain customer engagement. 

Blogger

Average hourly rate: $18.48

Between affiliate marketing, sponsored posts and pay-per-click ads, being a blogger can be quite lucrative, and it’s something you can do whenever you have time. You can blog about almost anything, and you can find platforms that’ll let you host your own website for free.

With Credible, you can compare student loan rates from various lenders in minutes.

6 on-campus jobs

Working on campus can be a good choice if you don’t have transportation, or have a demanding class schedule. Many on-campus jobs can also be part of work-study programs through your college, which may be tied to need-based financial aid.

Tutor

Average hourly rate: $14.25

If you’re proficient in a certain subject, you can tutor other students on campus. Many colleges have learning centers where tutors can meet with other students and offer lessons. You can enjoy a fair amount of flexibility and don’t have to commute anywhere.

Resident assistant

Average hourly rate: $12.91

A resident assistant is usually an upperclassman or graduate student who supervises other residents in the dorms. This can be a great way to earn money and even (in some cases) get free or discounted housing. Just be prepared to deal with many different types of conflicts.

Campus bookstore clerk

Average hourly rate: $12.46

Most colleges and universities have a campus bookstore where students and staff can purchase or rent books, buy school merchandise and more. This retail position can be fun and student-facing, while also potentially offering discounts on your own store purchases. 

Library assistant

Average hourly rate: $11.18

If you want to work somewhere that’s quiet, organized and even offers the opportunity to study during your downtime, becoming a library assistant could be perfect for you. This job involves checking books in and out, directing students to resources, organizing shelves and managing study room reservations. 

School tour guide

Average hourly rate: $13.37

Do you love your school? Want to show prospective students and their parents around, and get them excited about enrolling, too? Then becoming a campus tour guide can be a great choice. You can do this job on the weekends or during the school day. Plus, it can help you get your steps in!

Mailroom attendant

Average hourly rate: $20

Colleges typically have thousands of students enrolled and a healthy staff roster, so it’s no surprise that a college mailroom can get quite busy. Being a mailroom attendant can be a great job if you’re looking for a part-time on-campus job, especially if sorting, alphabetizing and attention to detail are your strengths.

3 off-campus jobs

Working off campus is another great option, especially if you’re hoping to make a bit more money or just want a break from being at school for a few hours. Here are some off-campus jobs you may want to consider.

Nanny

Average hourly rate: $15.30

If you enjoy spending time with kids and have a consistent schedule, nannying can be pretty lucrative. You can nanny before school, after school or on the weekends. Depending on your area, rates can be quite high.

Barista

Average hourly rate: $11.07

If you want a job where you meet many people each day, including fellow students, consider being a barista. The bonus? You’ll get to drink plenty of coffee and tea to help keep you awake in your classes.

Pet sitter

Average hourly rate: $15.75+

Getting a pet is a huge undertaking. If you’re in classes all day or aren’t allowed to have a pet because you live in the dorms, pet sitting may be a great way to be around animals. Many pet owners need help, from dog walking to in-home pet sitting, and you can set your own hours and rates.

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