Whether you qualify for a work-study or are just looking to make some extra spending money, an on-campus job is a great fit for any college student.
On-campus jobs are conveniently located, flexible with your class schedule, and give you the opportunity to interact with university faculty.
If you want to get a job on campus this semester, this article contains tips on how to find an on-campus job, as well as 7 on-campus jobs you can get at any school as a starting place for your job search.
Things to Consider When Looking for an On-Campus Job:
- Experience. Gaining valuable skills and experience from a job is important, especially if you want to get a good internship later on.
- Hours. Some jobs are during the day while others are at night, so check the hours to make sure it will fit in your schedule. A typical on-campus job will want you to work 6-10 hours a week.
- Involvement. Different jobs have different levels of involvement. For some jobs you have to have your full attention, while others will let you do your homework when it’s not busy.
- Pay. Most on-campus jobs are minimum wage positions. Luckily, the low pay is made up through convenience, flexibility, and experience.
How to Find an On-Campus Job
Check Your School’s Job Board
When looking for an on-campus job, the first place to check is your school’s job board. Although this may not contain all the employment options for students, it is a good place to start.
The job board will likely contain many assistant or front desk jobs, as university-sponsored offices always need new students to operate those positions.
If you don’t find a job you like on the job board, don’t worry, those jobs are not the best jobs, only the most accessible. Also, since the job board is the easiest place for students to find employment, jobs listed there will be more competitive.
Talk to Your Professors
If you’re interested in getting a research-related job, your professors are the first ones to ask. As part of their career in academia, almost all professors are involved in some sort of research. Professors are always eager to talk to students about their research, so simply ask if you want to get involved.
Professors also have other involvements on campus beyond their teaching duties. For example, multiple finance professors at my school are involved in a global investing institute sponsored by the university.
All this is to say, networking with professors is super helpful when looking for an on-campus job, as they have further connections and knowledge about available positions.
Ask Your Peers
If you’re a freshman, it’s always a good idea to ask upperclassmen for advice. This could be an RA, a classmate, or even one a friend’s older siblings. Upperclassmen are much more knowledgable when it comes to the ins and outs of campus life—after all, they’ve been through it before.
Otherwise, asking your peers, such as class friends who you’re not as close with, what they do for employment can be a great way to find jobs you don’t already know about. This is how I’ve found out about multiple great on-campus job opportunities.
Read Your Emails
College students get tons of emails through their .edu email address. My school sends out a weekly email that, I have to confess, I rarely read. However, if you’re in the market for an on-campus job, these types of emails are to your advantage.
You should automatically be added to your department’s mailing list, through which they send out all sorts of information about jobs (and internships) that are geared specifically towards students in your major.
If you see an employment opportunity sent through email, make sure to reply ASAP. Literally, it’s okay to reply a minute after you receive it. These types of job opportunities are usually first come, first serve, so the sooner you reply, the more likely you are to land the position.
7 On-Campus Jobs You Can Get at Any University
Being a note-taker is one of the best on-campus jobs because you get paid for something you’re already doing—taking notes! And if you don’t take a lot of notes, being a note-taker is a good way to motivate yourself to pay attention in class and take more detailed notes.
Basically, people with disabilities that interfere with classroom learning can request a note-taker for a certain class. The assigned note-taker is another student in the class who uploads their own notes after each lecture or class meeting.
At my school, note-takers get paid an hourly wage for the time they sit in class combined with the time it takes to type up the notes (if necessary). At other schools, I’ve seen note-takers get paid a certain amount of money per semester-long class, usually upwards of $300.
If you’re interested in being a note-taker at your school, contact the office of disability services to see if anyone in your classes has requested notes.
If you get good grades in your college classes, you should consider being a peer tutor. If you’re in your first semester of college, you may be eligible to tutor classes you have AP credit in.
The best part about being a tutor is that your hours are completely flexible. You are the one responsible for setting appointments, so you can make them whenever it’s convenient for you.
There are multiple places to get hired as a tutor in college. My school offers tutoring for student-athletes, freshman, and high-schoolers in the community all through separate offices.
The other option is to get hired as a private tutor. This job is harder to get, but much more lucrative, as you can make $20-30 an hour as a private tutor. Contact the department you want to tutor in (such as the chemistry department) and ask if they have a list of private tutors you can be added to. That list will then be requested by any student who wishes to have a private tutor.
3. Library Assistant
College students already spend a ton of time in the library, so being a library assistant is super convenient. An entry-level library assistant would mainly be operating the front desk and helping students with conducting library searches.
This job is perfect for any college student because it doesn’t require a lot of attention, so it allows you to do your homework while getting paid. The hours are also very flexible as the library is open basically all-day, every day of the week.
If you’re interested in getting a job as a library assistant, check your school’s library website to see if there are any open positions.
Grading is a super easy on-campus job that you can do in your free time. Being a grader is different from being a TA because you have no interaction with students or any responsibilities beyond simply grading.
A grader gets paid hourly to grade either homework or exams for a certain class. The professor will give you the answer key so all you need to do is mark it right or wrong. Grading is especially common for math classes that consistently have problems sets due.
This is probably the most flexible job you can get on campus because you can do it wherever you want, whenever you want. A grader typically gets a week to grade a stack of papers, during which they can distribute the time however they wish.
To get hired as a grader for a certain class you need to have already taken that class. Simply contact your old professor and ask if a grader is needed. Usually getting a good grade in the class helps your prospects for getting hired as a grader.
If you were a swimmer in high school, lifeguarding is the job for you! If not, you can definitely still be a lifeguard at one of your school’s pools. Most universities have at least two pools, one for the aquatic sports teams and one for general recreational use.
Anytime there’s someone in the pool, there needs to be a lifeguard. This could be at 5:30 in the morning for swim practice, or on weekend afternoons. The hours are decently flexible, but you’ll probably have to commit to shifts.
Lifeguarding is a fairly easy on-campus job that pays a little more than some others, depending on the training and experience you have. Check out the rec center website for more information on being a lifeguard at your school.
What would a college campus be without coffee? Get hired as a barista at one of your school’s coffee shops to make some extra cash and get a discount on your daily cup of joe.
Being a barista, although sometimes hectic, is a fun job where you can meet lots of new people. You’ll start to notice the same people coming in every day, and get to know their faces, names, and even coffee orders.
Next time you go to Starbucks (or whatever coffee shop you have on campus), make sure to ask if they are hiring!
7. Tour Guide
A tour guide is one of the most sought-after jobs at a given university. Being a tour guide is exciting because it gives you a chance to show prospective students what you love about your school.
Being a tour guide is a great on-campus job for extroverted people. You need to be loud and willing to talk to others at length.
To be a tour guide you’ll have to be very knowledgable about your school. When giving tours, people will ask lots of questions about campus life, classes, and more. You may even have to memorize a book of facts about your school prior to being hired as a tour guide.