How to find a job during college: Part 2

Posted on June 16th, 2014

In Part 1 of our series on finding jobs during college, Jordan Goldman of explained how to choose a job during college and why on-campus jobs tend to be better than off-campus ones.

There are good jobs all over the place, he says, but they’re usually not advertised on job posting boards, so you have to be persistent in asking and finding out about them.

The best jobs for college students

So now that you know to look on-campus first, where to start?

Here’s his list of the top on-campus jobs and what they have to offer:

1. Library Assistant: Libraries tend to have a lot of open jobs and longer hours than other campus buildings. As an assistant, you have the opportunity to build your research skills as you help other students, and it’s pretty easy to get your own work done when you’re not busy.
2. Campus Tour Guide: If you like working with people and learning about history, this is the job for you. It provides lots of opportunities to network with alumni and important figures on campus, and it helps you gain an appreciation for the school you attend.
3. Notetaker: Many students don’t realize that colleges will hire notetakers to take notes for students with disabilities. Goldman says to go to your school’s disabilities office to find out if this job is available. Essentially, you’re paid to take good notes in the classes you already attend–something that’s extremely beneficial to you as a student..
4. Fitness Instructor: Are you a fitness fanatic or have special skills like yoga, dance or karate? Most colleges offer fitness classes through the campus rec center, and they may need instructors in one of these areas–or be willing to offer a class if you have the skills and you can show there’s enough interest.

Teaching a fitness class in college can be a great way to earn money while avoiding the freshman 15.

Teaching a fitness class in college can be a great way to earn money while avoiding the freshman 15. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

5. Post Office Worker: As a campus postal worker, you’ll get to know people in all different departments, meet students and faculty, and get some exercise at the same time.
6. Research Assistant: If you’re interested in graduate school (or even if you just want to get yourself a good recommendation for after college and build your research skills), this is one of the best jobs you can have. Find a professor you admire and want to study under and ask if they have any projects they need help with. If you take the initative and they need help, they can often ask the department to find funding.
7. Campus Recreation Worker: Sports junkies and/or aspiring medical professionals will love working with the sports teams on campus. As a rec worker, you have the chance to get to know the athletes, help with different sports each month and attend sporting events you may otherwise need tickets for.
8. Food Service Worker: While the media tend to portray the dining hall as the last place you’d want to work, it’s actually got some pretty good perks. These workers tend to stay all 4 years of college, so you can build great friendships while bonding over last night’s casserole. Meals are usually included with shifts, so you can save major dough on a meal plan. And since dining centers are run as a restaurant-style environment, students have the opportunity to go through the entire management process during their 4 years and become managers when they’re seniors. That’s some pretty valuable professional experience, especially for students interested in a career in business.

How to make money in college

If you can’t find an on-campus job right away, don’t fret. Be sure to keep checking on-campus throughout the semester and in the semesters following.

In the meantime, check out online opportunities to make money, such as writing for, offering your skills on a freelance site like, taking surveys on SurveyScout, or user testing companies’ websites. While they won’t make you rich, these sites are a great way to earn some extra cash on your own schedule during college.

If you like kids or animals, ask faculty if they’re looking for babysitters, pet-sitters or house-sitters (we recommend choosing a professor whose class you excel in). If there’s a local high school or college prep center, find out if they need tutors or after-school workers.

Finding the right job for you

Working during college doesn’t have to be boring or stressful. There are opportunities for all types of students and schedules.

The key is to be persistent and creative in your search, and don’t assume jobs don’t exist just because they’re not posted somewhere.

And when all else fails, think of a way you can be useful to a person or department on campus. Even if you have to volunteer at first, if you’re providing a valuable service then they’ll find a way to get you paid.

In the meantime, you’ll be building your résumé and skill set while meeting new people who can, hopefully, help you find a good paid job–during or even after college.

Share your college working experiences

Have something to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below.

Tell us about your experience working during college–what challenges did you face, and how did you manage your time? What are the best places to work on your campus? How did you get the job?

Comment or share your stories with us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to pass along your wisdom to other students looking for ways to save money on college.

Category: College Costs

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