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Ideal Job Opportunities for US College Students

Earning some form of income is a big deal for students entering a US college/university as it serves as a means of covering some of the expenses incurred on a regular basis. Luckily in most American universities and colleges, on-campus and online jobs are often available and are a fantastic way for college students to earn money while not missing a beat with their school work. These jobs offer opportunities to build relevant skills and also earn a tidy sum at the end of the month. 


1. Barista: 

A barista pouring milk into an espresso coffee
Courtesy of

It’s quite normal to find two or more coffee shops sited on-campus in virtually any American university and as can be expected, there will be several openings for the role of a barista. A barista is an attendant who works in a specialty coffee shop and the responsibilities of a barista include the preparation of the variety of espresso-based coffee drinks offered in the shop and ensuring that customers know the products and services on offer. Typical rates of a coffee barista range from $10 - $15/hour.

2. Resident Assistant: 

Four resident assistants in Stony Brook University
Courtesy of Stony Brook University

A resident assistant (RA), is a trained peer leader who coordinates activities in residence halls in colleges and universities and ensures student residents, have a safe and enjoyable living environment. This is a highly coveted job position on campus as the position comes with a scholarship that covers accommodation and feeding for as long as the position is held. Responsibilities include assisting in supervising residents and responding to complaints, reports, requests, and emergencies.

3. IT Assistant: 

A college IT assistant troubleshooting the laptop of another student
Courtesy Of Iowa State University

This role is highly suitable for students interested in computer science or information technology as this position allows you to address user concerns, update software, and gain practical experience before graduating. The average base salary for an IT assistant is $15 - $20/hour

4. Teaching Assistant (TA): 

A graduate assistant teaching a class
Courtesy of Daily Express

A teaching assistant is a graduate or undergraduate student who assists a professor with their class. The role of a teaching assistant can vary greatly from school to school as required responsibilities will differ but the general role of a teaching assistant is to support the class teacher to enhance pupils’ learning either in groups or individually. The responsibilities of a teaching assistant can include tutoring, grading assignments, helping the professor prepare for class, responding to student questions and concerns, and even teaching. The median salary for a TA is $15.30/hour.

5. Receptionist/Front Desk Officer: 

An undergraduate student working as front desk receptionist
Courtesy of Bowling Green State University

This is an extremely laid-back position and involves taking calls, receiving mail, scheduling appointments, and assisting visitors. It is perfect for students who have a very busy class schedule and only a few hours to spare for work. The normal hourly rate for this position ranges from $12 - $14.50/hour

6. Peer Tutor: 

A college student tutoring a group of students
Courtesy of

If you have high grades in your classes, peer tutoring could be right up your alley and provide a great way to earn some money. Peer tutoring involves fellow students helping each other learn and grow in their understanding of various subjects or concepts. Peer tutors are paired with students who are struggling academically in an informal and relaxed setting where tutees have the opportunity to interact directly and gain more insight on a course.  Hourly rates for peer tutors in the US typically range between $9 and $15 an hour.

7. Tour Guide: 

A student conducting a college tour for visitors
Courtesy of NerdWallet

College students are often the best people to give an unbiased and informative tour to prospective students looking to get a glimpse of college life and so this role is usually always open for grabs. Tour guides are expected to be sociable and good orators with an engaging personality that can persuade intending students to enroll in the college/university for their desired course. College tour guide rates start at $20.50/hour.


For students with a preference for online jobs, the list below gives possible avenues to generate revenue without the need of being present in a physical location;

1. Freelancing: 

Use your skills to offer services like writing, graphic design, web development, or social media management. Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer and Guru connect freelancers with clients who need their expertise.

2. Virtual Assistant: 

Assist busy professionals with tasks such as scheduling, email management, and data entry. Websites like Indeed and list virtual assistant job opportunities.

3. Online Tutoring: 

Share your knowledge by tutoring students in subjects like math, science, or languages. Platforms like Chegg,, and Wyzant hire college students as online tutors.

4. Content Creation: 

If you enjoy writing, consider blogging, creating YouTube videos, or podcasting. Monetize your content through ads, sponsorships, or affiliate marketing.

5. Transcription: 

Transcribe audio files into written text. Websites like Rev and TranscribeMe offer transcription gigs.

6. Data Entry: 

Input data into spreadsheets or databases. Look for data entry jobs on platforms like FlexJobs and Clickworker.

7. Online Surveys and Market Research: 

Participate in surveys or user testing to earn money. Websites like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and UserTesting offer such opportunities.

8. E-commerce: 

Start an online store on platforms like Etsy, eBay, or Shopify. Sell handmade crafts, vintage items, or digital products.

9. Social Media Management: 

If you’re savvy with social media, manage accounts for businesses or influencers. Check out job listings on LinkedIn or AngelList.

10. Remote Internships: 

Gain practical experience in your field by securing remote internships. Websites like Handshake and WayUp list virtual internship opportunities.

If you are putting off that degree due to a lack of funds, we hope this list provides you with possible ideas and ways of how to earn an income as a student in a US college/university.


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