24 Jobs College Kids Can Find Near Campus


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Young woman working at a coffee shop
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Between the summers of 1978 and 2016, the percentage of American teens seeking summer work declined by almost half, mostly due to increased focus on schoolwork. But the good news is that there are many jobs close to campus that can help defray expenses without distracting from classes. The following are some of the best and most common jobs undergrads can get, based on pay grade, scheduling flexibility, and proximity to campuses across the nation.

Young man working in a college library
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Many colleges have work-study programs that give students (especially those with financial need) discounts on tuition in addition to an hourly wage. These positions could include general office work, library administration, or something more relevant to one's major, like equipment rental for film students or research assistance for science experiments.
Young female massage therapist
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It takes time and experience to become a massage therapist, but those who meet their state's specific requirements can get a median hourly wage of $22 and flexible hours, whether working with private clients or as part of an established fitness center. Students may even be able to find employment as a massage therapist at their university, as many now have their own clinics.
Young male dental assistant
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Most dental receptionists have only a high school diploma or GED and receive on-the-job training that can be broadly applied to other office administration positions. These positions are often part-time and earn an average of $14.10 per hour, and as the demand for cosmetic dentistry is projected to keep increasing, there should be no shortage of job openings in the future.
Young office clerk
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Gain broad administrative experience manning the front desk for a business, such as a hospital, government office, or even college. Such positions require little experience but offer lots of on-the-job training and a median hourly wage of $15.14, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2017 report.
Young barista making coffee
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College students need plenty of coffee, which is why Starbucks and other cafes abound near the nation's universities. These can be a good source of steady employment for students without previous work experience, offering flexible hours and valuable skills. The downside is that baristas don't make much, in 2015 earning a median wage of $9.24 per hour, not including tips.
Thrift store employee assisting a woman
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Vintage shops and thrift stores often cluster in college towns, and thus can be another viable option for undergrad employment. Since many are nonprofit, they offer a more relaxed and flexible work environment than other retail positions, which altogether earn a mean wage of $12.67 per hour.
Young woman babysitting a little boy and reading him a book
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Babysitting isn't just a high school job—it's also an option for college students, offering $10 to $20 an hour and flexible hours with built-in study time once the kids have fallen asleep. It's easier than ever to start babysitting even in a new city, thanks to websites that connect parents and part-time nannies such as Sittercity, UrbanSitter, and Care.com.
Woman pet sitting a dog
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Animal lovers might consider taking care of people's pets while they're out of town. Animal care workers earn a median wage of $11.13 an hour, and they can make their own hours depending on clients' needs. Beyond pet sitting, those with an interest in pursuing a career in animal care, might consider looking for part-time positions at veterinary clinics, zoos, animal shelters, stables and shelters near campus.

Young man assisting a senior man at a nursing home
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Students with good interpersonal skills and an interest in medicine can earn cash caring for the elderly at senior centers or private residences. These positions often emphasize morning and night hours and may require an up-to-date caregiver certification, earning on average $11.12 per hour.
Young man sitting at an office desk
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Many companies hire part-time bookkeepers or night auditors to review and organize their financial reports and receipts, typically requiring employees to have some college experience and/or certification through relevant programs, some offered at universities. The mean salary ranges from $10 to $12.74 an hour.
Hospital orderly moving a woman in a wheelchair
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Many medical professionals begin their careers with part-time work as an orderly responsible for performing housekeeping tasks and bathing or transporting patients, often during the night-shift. Orderlies usually receive on-the-job training and earned a median of $13.23 per hour in 2017.
Young female bank teller
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As a bank teller, help customers open accounts and complete transactions while earning a median hourly wage of $13.52. Unfortunately, employment in this field is projected to continue its decline due to online banking and automation technologies, so it may not remain viable for much longer.
Young woman tutoring a student
Photo credit: Steve Debenport/istockphoto


Many colleges will hire student tutors through their educational resource centers, or you can seek work tutoring high school or middle schools students in specific subjects or for standardized tests—again, it's easier than ever to connect with students and parents through hiring sites like Care.com.
Female waitress holding a tray with glasses
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Many teens find their first job in food service, beginning as fast food cashiers or restaurant hosts. Since work hours are concentrated around evenings and weekends, they're easy to schedule around classwork. Though the positions don't pay much (median $10.57 per hour), there's the potential for promotion to wait staff.
Bookstore employee handing a book to a woman
Photo credit: JackF/istockphoto


Most colleges have an on-campus bookstore. Check for openings through the student employment office or by doing a walk-in at independent locations. The job is often a relatively laidback position with potential discounts on class supplies. The median wage for retail salespersons at book, sporting goods, and other hobby shops is admittedly modest, at $11.57 per hour.
Young woman driving a car
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Students might consider becoming a driver for on-demand ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber. This app-driven employment option lets frivers work as much or as little as they like for a median pay rate just under $12 per hour. Anyone with a driver's license and basic interpersonal skills can give it a shot — just be prepared to ferry around drunken classmates occasionally.
Hotel receptionist handing keys to a guest
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Most universities will have some accommodation options for parents and other visitors where students can work as motel or hotel desk clerks. Responsibilities include recordkeeping and checking guests in and out for a median hourly wage of $11.66. Luckily, there can be a lot of downtime for studying, and the part-time position could easily transition to full-time in summer.
College tour guide
Photo credit: Steve Debenport/istockphoto


Becoming a camp counselor or tour guide in a college town or elsewhere can be a modest-paying yet rewarding way for students to spend the summer between semesters. The job allows students to share what they love about the university to potential students and their parents while gaining valuable interpersonal skills that look good on a resume.
Young tech support employee
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Professors and administrators need help figuring out technology just like anyone else, so most universities have tech support to keep the system running smoothly. For the computer-savvy student, this is a good way to find employment and gain tech experience to apply to more lucrative jobs down the line.
Gym receptionist talking to a young woman
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Every university has its fitness junkies, and if you're one of them, you could try turning an obsession with your favorite on- or off-campus gym into a part-time career. Positions range from janitors and receptionists to workout instructors. Translate your exercise expertise into being a personal trainer, defining your own hours with clients to help them perfect their workouts.
Group of students in a computer lab
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For the student who truly has no free time and just needs to make a few extra bucks, there's always the option of signing up as a test subject for studies being run by your university's psychology, sociology, or behavioral biology departments. Study participants don't get much insight into what's being studied, but will get paid a good amount for tasks like filling out a questionnaire or participating in a short game.
Young man on a laptop wearing headphones
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Got fast fingers? Become a transcriber, a typist hired by courts, hospitals, and independent businesses to type dialogue into text. There are numerous companies that hire online freelancers to transcribe audio recordings on their own time, but more ambitious students can gain experience in the legal or medical sides of the field for a chance at positions that pay a median hourly wage of $26.50 and $16.95, respectively.

Woman shopping in a store
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Mystery shoppers work for marketing research companies as independent contractors, paid on a per-assignment basis to go into shops, eateries, or other service companies posing as a regular customer to gather impressions, maybe snap some photos, and report back. Unfortunately, mystery shopping can be a difficult way to make money compared tp a more consistent part-time job.

Woman standing in a kitchen with cleaning supplies
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Cleaners and maids employed by housekeeping companies make a median hourly wage of $11.84. Can't find such a service near your campus? The modern sharing economy has made it easier than ever to start finding clients — maybe even off-campus classmates — for a solo cleaning business.

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