The 7 best student jobs

Amy White |
Categories: Searching

On campus or off campus? Evenings or weekends? Here’s our advice for student job hunters: look for a job with perks. We don’t just mean free uniform shirts or a 50% burrito discount. The best student jobs offer you a little something extra, like the ability to get your friends into sold-out concerts or the chance to party with the basketball team. Here are our picks for seven great student jobs.

#7 best student job: Tour guide

"We're walking, we're walking..." If you can recite the history of Old Memorial Hall while walking backward and smiling, you'd make a great tour guide. Tour guide jobs for students involve showing visitors around, helping out at major events and acting as an ambassador for your school. You may even get the chance to accompany celebrities who visit the campus. Perks include flexible hours, free college-logo clothes and invitations to campus events.

What's the catch? Tour guide student jobs are often competitive. You must be outgoing and well-groomed - if you're still wearing the shirt you spilled wing sauce on last night, prospective students won't be impressed.

#6 best student job: Fitness instructor/personal trainer

Every college needs instructors for fitness classes, gym attendants and personal trainers. These are great jobs for students because they're usually well-paid ($10 to $15 per hour), the hours are flexible, and you stay in fantastic shape.

What's the catch? You have to be certified to teach most fitness classes, and you may also need CPR or first aid certification. These student jobs may also require you to be available evenings and weekends.

#5 best student job: Waiter or waitress

Why is waiting tables one of the best student jobs? Tips, baby, tips! There's nothing like that feeling of walking home with a wad of $20 bills in your pocket. Server jobs for students are also a great way to learn the fundamentals of customer service and sales. You can also pick a job that matches your schedule. Just remember, you'll earn a lot more working Friday night at an upscale restaurant than you will taking the breakfast shift at a quiet cafe.

What's the catch? Waiting tables is a physically and mentally demanding student job. You have to stay upbeat and keep smiling, even when your feet hurt and customers complain that there isn't enough shrimp in their scampi.

#4 best student job: Caregiver

Working as a non-medical caregiver for someone who is elderly or disabled is becoming a popular job for students at many universities. Contrary to what many people think, these jobs don't involve personal care (like bathing, etc.); instead, you're helping clients stay in their homes by offering your companionship and help with light housekeeping and errands. Companies like Home Instead Senior Care will connect students with clients whose needs match their schedules. If you prefer working with kids, sign up with a babysitting service like Sittercity.

What's the catch? Unlike some student jobs, when you work as a caregiver it's essential that you not miss a shift. If you can't make it to work, you must find someone to cover you - otherwise your client will be left alone.

#3 best student job: Athletic team assistant

If you like sports but aren't quite varsity material, you might enjoy a student job with one of your college's athletic teams. Many teams, from gymnastics to football, need managers and assistants to help out at practice, supervise the bench area and collect uniforms and equipment. You get to travel with the team - and help them celebrate the championship.

What's the catch? This is a demanding student job that may require your time in the early morning, at night or over weekends.

#2 best student job: Tutor

You don't have to be a genius to be a tutor. You just have to have a knack for one subject, whether that's Spanish or biochemistry. Tutoring is one of the best-paid student jobs. Tutors are always in demand on college campuses and get the ability to set their own hours. You can sign up with your university's student help center or use a referral service. If you’d rather work with little kids, get a job as a daycare teacher or teacher assistant.

What's the catch? Tutors must be patient and supportive but also tough. Your clients may beg you to write their term paper for them - don't do it!

#1 best student job: Ticket taker or usher

Working in admissions or events for your university can be a glamorous job for students. The duties are easy: taking tickets, crowd control, security. The perks are huge! Hear famous speakers. Get your friends into sold-out concerts. Catch every big game. You might even get to meet some celebrities.

What's the catch? You don't get to pick which events you work - so you may end up taking tickets at the Yanni concert instead of the Black Eyed Peas.