Earn while you learn: 10 best part-time jobs for college students
1. Barista. Starbucks offers more than an extra caffeine boost for sleep-deprived college workers. Part-timers (part-time usually comes near 20 hours per week at the shops) receive a variety of benefits. Depending on workers' personal situations and specific job descriptions, these bonuses include perks such as medical, prescription drugs, dental and vision coverage. Starbucks baristas make between $6 and $13 per hour, depending on location and experience.
2. Whole Foods staff. Get paid while you head to the tropics for spring break. At Whole Foods, both part-time and full time employees receive paid time off that's based on the amount of hours worked. Whole Foods came in at number 15 in Fortune Magazine's list of the top 100 companies to work for. Benefits, such as health and dental insurance, are offered after you've worked anywhere from 400 to 800 hours. According to Glassdoor.com, the average team member makes almost $11 an hour.
3. School library services. Get some studying done on the clock. Many colleges offer library jobs through work study. The downside is that work study sets a limit on the total amount of money students can make throughout the year. On the other hand, the perks of working at school include ample study time, a shorter commute and the boss' understanding of the crazy schedule that comes with your student status. Work study jobs usually pay around minimum wage, which varies from state to state.
4. Car dealership receptionist. Former Maplewood Imports employee Keri Trudell and current worker Jenna Whitcomb agree that working as a receptionist at a car dealership is the ideal part-time job for students. Both women started at around $10 an hour working for the Minnesota dealership and enjoyed downtime during shifts. The free time allows plenty of extra hours to devote to papers and reading. "Not everyone's eligible for work study so this is a great alternative," said Whitcomb, who attends the University of Minnesota. "Plus, I don't have a cutoff of earnings like I would if I had a work study job."
5. Computer store worker. Be the first to hear about the latest gadgets by working at a computer store. Apple stores even offer tuition assistance, depending on the position, location and time spent with Apple. The generous discount on computers, iPhones, iPads and iPods doesn't hurt either.
6. Arts instructor. Turn your hobby into a paycheck. That's what Annika Nynas did when she started working as a dance instructor at Red River Dance and Performing Company in Fargo, N.D. She makes $15 an hour at the studio, but devotes hours of her own time to choreographing pieces. "I don't get paid a ton, but since I've always been passionate about dance, the time flies when I'm teaching," said Nynas, who attends Minnesota State University, Moorhead. "It's really rewarding to watch my girls improve. I'm so lucky to love my job."
7. College bar tending/serving. The hours may be late, but talk friends into visiting to brighten up a dull shift. Familiar faces of fellow students lend to laughs and more understanding customers. Although most serving and bar tending jobs pay minimum wage, generous tips often double the pay.
8. Residence advisor. Many universities offer free or discounted rooms for residence assistants (also called residence advisors). Rachel Conley, a student at Evergreen State College in Washington, loves working as an RA because, as an out-of-state tuition payer, school costs are high. Working in the dorms eliminates rent from her long list of student bills. Most, but not all, RA jobs qualify as work study so not every student is necessarily an eligible applicant.
9. Home painting. Manage a paint team with College Works Painting. Control your own branch of painters and clients. This means that you get paid a percentage of each job's profit rather than an hourly wage. According to the company's site, a branch manager can make anywhere between $5,000 to $36,000 per year depending on the team's performance. The company even awards bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 to some above-average workers.
10. Paid internships. Kill two birds with one stone by tracking down a paid internship. Most schools will knock off a few credits if the internship fulfills the university's requirements. Internships provide experience in your specific field, which usually piques interns' interest and beefs up resumes. Although tough to come by in the current job market, paid internships essentially pay you to learn. Some don't pay at all, but in financial and business areas, interns often make $10 to $15 per hour.
Abby Wise, a Loyola University Chicago senior, pays her way through school as the Money College 2010-2011 intern.