The four years you’ll spend at college may very well be the most fun and exciting times of your life. You’ll experience sharp growth in your personality, your commitments to your passions and to the friends, family and associates who stick by you through thick and thin. But you’ll also accrue some fairly significant debts in order to pay for college. Although almost everyone needs to earn a college education in order to thrive in today’s workplace, it has never been more difficult to afford college. Interest rates on student loans are on the rise, as are tuition and room and board expenses. Meanwhile, competition for grants and scholarships is through the roof, and the average American family doesn’t have enough money saved to pay for their child’s full education. You may end up having to get a side job in order to afford the process. So here’s a look at the top five part-time jobs for college students.
Probably tops on the list is working as a bartender. First of all, college towns are awash with busy bars. College students frequently go out four nights a week at minimum, and the local community feeds off of that energy as well. With such a massive amount of people taking advantage, you’ll find perhaps more than a dozen bars that are constantly busy, most of which will be in walking distance of your dorm or apartment. If you’ve got the skills and are at least mildly attractive you’ll make a killing on tips. And since it’s always busiest at night, you won’t have to miss any of your classes. Getting enough sleep is something else entirely.
If you’d like to tap into that market but with slightly better hours, consider working as a server at a restaurant. This is another one of those businesses that is incredibly busy in college towns. You’ve got all of the locals that eat out constantly, and the best restaurants are where students take their parents when visiting from out of town. If you have some experience you’ll have your pick of shifts and positions, and you could make several hundred dollars in a single night. As with bartending this is mostly a cash job, so you’ll have that money on hand immediately to help get you through the week.
Even better hours can be had working in any sort of retail store on or near campus. Any mid-sized or larger college town will have tons of coffee shops, clothing stores, salons, art galleries, bookstores and the like. They’ll all need responsible people to work the register and deal with customers. You might get your start here coming on board during the holidays, and then remain on the team through the rest of the year if you make a good impression. It won’t pay quite as well, but it will be stress free employment that you can certainly handle around the rest of your schedule.
If you’re a dedicated studier and have a strong grade point average you should be able to get work as a tutor. That means either helping other college students achieve their goals, or reaching out into the community to work with younger students in the area. You’ll make a nice wage, and can take on as many or as few students as your schedule permits. If you’re studying to be a teacher, this will also provide some incredible experience for you to reference on a resume.
Finally, use your skills to provide a service online. There are tons of ways you can take this work, and the best part is you don’t have to leave home to get paid. Some people create part-time businesses on eBay. Others connect with a freelancers’ website and get hired to do graphic or web design, or write content for blogs. You can also find tutoring opportunities this way. Check out one of those masters in clinical informatics online programs. They’ll always be looking for assistant professors or tutors to lend a hand. Your skills will determine your pay, and these options will also help you build out your resume for future employment.