Top Part-time Jobs for Students in the USA

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Reem Mohamed

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23 March, 2022

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5 mins read

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It’s a fact that university and college fees in the USA are pretty steep. This, along with the cost of living there as an international student adds up to a huge sum. Thus, students tend to look for work so they can earn a little extra cash. However, working as a student shouldn’t only be need-based. You could also get a job just to expand on your experience and build a better CV.

Before delving into the jobs you can get and how much they pay, let us first discuss the conditions under which you, as an international student, can get a job in the USA.

Can You Work A Part-Time Job As An International Student In The USA?

As an international student in the USA, you’re granted an F1 Student Visa after completing the necessary steps and paperwork. Your student visa is specific to students enrolled in US  high schools, colleges, universities, language schools, and other academic institutions. 

When it comes to working as an international student with an F1 Student Visa, you’re allowed to work part-time on your university’s campus for up to 20 hours a week. For off-campus jobs, you need to have completed at least one full academic year of your program of study and have a financial or economic hardship that qualifies for the Department of Homeland Security’s emergent circumstances. In both work cases, on-campus and off-campus, you need to first contact your designated school officer (DSO), who will work on providing you with the part-time jobs that best suits your qualifications and your schedule.

Part-time jobs

On-Campus Part-Time Jobs

Since your student visa already allows international students in the USA to work on-campus while studying; then this should be a great place to start. On-campus employment is not only limited to the campus itself, but it also stretches to cover off-campus locations that are affiliated with the school or university; you could work in a university cafe, bookstore, or other university-related off-campus facilities. Here is a list of on-campus jobs you can work and their estimated wages.

1. Department Assistant 

Responsibilities: As a department assistant, you’ll be responsible for providing administrative and secretarial support for the department you’re working in, as well as handling departmental matters and providing support to specific teams or projects. 

Qualifications: To be a department assistant, you’ll need basic skills, including computer literacy, teamwork, problem-solving skills, and communication skills. 

Average Wage: $16.44

2. Teaching Assistant

Responsibilities: Your responsibilities as a teaching assistant should include supervising classroom activities and working closely with students struggling with their classes.

Qualifications: To acquire a teaching assistant position, you need to have good communication skills, experience working with students, and the ability to lead an explanation. 

Average Wage: $11.85 per hour


3. Receptionist

Responsibilities: You will have to do general office support and administration, as well as customer service, and you’ll have to handle communication with students and staff via phone and emails.

Qualifications: You need to have basic computer and administrative skills, as well as decent communication skills. 

Average Wage: $13.31 per hour

4. Campus Ambassador 

Responsibilities: Your job responsibilities include promoting the university and showing prospective students why they should apply, alongside giving guided tours of the university campus on open days and sharing your own knowledge and university experience. 

Qualifications: You need to have good social and communication skills to do this job with ease. 

Average Wage: $10.94 per hour

5. Barista

Responsibilities: To work as a barista in your university’s on or off-campus cafe, you need to get used to making hot and cold drinks, serving customers, and working as a cashier. The job comes with the benefit of discounted and even free coffee!

Qualifications: You need to have basic communication and social skills, alongside being a fast learner or having experience in similar jobs.

Average Wage: $11.59 per hour

6. Library Assistant

Responsibilities: Your job would require you to be shelving books, helping customers find books and other materials, and making recommendations for useful books students might need. You’ll also be asked to provide administrative support to the librarians and help in organising any events at the library during the academic semester.

Qualifications: You need to have basic organisational skills, administrative skills and knowledge of the library and its contents.

Average Wage: $13.24 per hour

7. Research Study Assistant

Responsibilities: The responsibilities of this position vary according to the department you’ll be working in. However, the main duties to consider will be working on various projects, carrying out research, maintaining lab equipment, and collating results.

Qualifications: You need to have excellent organisational and interpersonal skills, as well as genuine enthusiasm for the field of research in general.

Average Wage: $15.48

Off-Campus Part-Time Jobs

If you finish your first year of studies at your university or college, you might want to check your eligibility for working an off-campus job. If you happen to qualify, here’s a list of off-campus jobs you can consider when looking for work.

1. Fast Food Attendant

Responsibilities: As a fast food attendant, you’ll be expected to take food orders, assemble them, and serve them to customers. You’ll also be responsible for manning the cash register.

Qualifications: You need to have a good sense of numbers, a welcoming attitude, and the ability to work at a fast pace.

Average Wage: $9.21 per hour


2. Server/Waiter

Responsibilities: Servers are supposed to greet customers, take their orders, and serve them. 

Qualifications: If you want to work as a server, you need to be a good communicator, an active listener, and have a pleasant and welcoming demeanour. 

Average Wage: $11.35 per hour (+tips)

3. Grocery Store Bagger

Responsibilities: As a grocery store bagger, your responsibilities will include bagging customers’ purchased items and occasionally helping customers carry their bags out to their cars.

Qualifications: To get this job, you need to be efficient with your work, as well as be good at face to face interactions with others.

Average Wage: $11.66 per hour

4. Valet Parking Attendant

Responsibilities: Valet parking attendants are responsible for parking other people’s cars, as well as keeping track of the cars under their observation with their keys and numbers. 

Qualifications: People working this job should have a valid driver’s license and excellent driving skills.

Average Wage: $12.38 per hour

5. Pet Sitter

Responsibilities: Students who work as pet sitters usually take care of animals while their owners are away. This includes supervising their walks and feedings and ensuring their safety.

Qualifications: You need to have a passion for animals as well as be responsible enough to take care of them in the absence of their owners.

Average Wage: $9 - $15 per hour

6. Tutor

Responsibilities: As a tutor, your duties will include teaching and helping students at various levels of education. You’ll have to walk them through the course material and help them prepare for exams, as well as answer any questions they might have.

Qualifications: A passion for education and teaching is a great quality in students applying for this job. You also need to have good communication skills and a patient personality.

Average Wage: $21.21 per hour

These are only a few of the numerous part-time jobs you could work on and off-campus as an international student in the USA. You can pick from the list of available jobs based on your qualifications, the experience you want to gain, as well as the field you’re interested in and the amount of money you want to make. As a working person in the USA, you’ll also need to open a student bank account to better control and manage your finances, so make sure to look into that! And remember, there’s no wrong choice, it’s all a learning experience and a chance to build a better CV.


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