For many first-year college students working on campus can be both a convenient option for making money and a great way to make friends as you transition on campus. You can gain valuable experience through work study, and test different kinds of on-campus work to see what you like best.
Working on Campus
Working on campus can have a number of benefits that you should consider before taking a job off campus. Not only will your commute to your job on campus likely be much shorter, but you’ll get to see other students, make friends with your peers, and learn valuable skills.
Jobs on campus offer much more than time savings. Scheduling flexibility will be very high in these positions, and you will likely not have trouble arranging your work schedule to fit around your classes.
Each semester your working hours may change in order to accommodate your new class schedule, and frequently the on-campus boss will automatically ask each term if you require any scheduling changes.
If you unexpectedly need to miss a shift to study or accommodate some other unforeseen event, your job may be forgiving and may allow someone else to fill in for you with short notice. While you should not make a habit of missing your scheduled shifts, this added benefit can be very useful in a pinch.
On-Campus Jobs Can Enhance Your Education
You may be able to secure slightly higher pay with an off-campus job; however, it is less likely that your off-campus job will offer the same helpful work experience that is related to your field of study.
Not all on-campus jobs will relate to your field of study, but many can help you improve your skill set, and better prepare you for life after your school career. Gaining valuable professional skills is one of the major benefits of on-campus employment, and your supervisors are more likely to be understanding and helpful as you continue to learn.
Another benefit of working on campus is that you will develop relationships that may spread widely across campus. This can be particularly beneficial for networking with peers and professors, while also providing practical experience in your chosen field.
There may often be times where you can apply what you have learned in the classroom to your on-campus job, and further your learning in ways that are not as readily available with off-campus employment.
What Is Working on Campus Like?
When you work on campus your job will likely be located at a convenient spot on campus that is both easy and quick to get to. Supervisors are more likely to care about their student employees, and you can expect to work in a supportive learning environment.
Students report that working on campus is one of the primary ways that they stay active in their local community, while also learning important skills and preparing for their professional life outside of campus.
Having a job that is flexible and willing to work around your school schedule is another added bonus that may not be offered with off-campus employment. When you work on campus the supervisors will be accustomed to schedule changes, and you may find that changing your schedule and taking time off can be rather easy.
There is also some evidence to suggest that being engaged on campus and active within the student community will help you to be more successful academically, and also smooths the transition into campus life.
Staffing related events, being a resource for your peers, and participating in traditions are just a few of the ways that students can be engaged while working on campus. Your on-campus job may also qualify you for work-study credits towards your degree.
You may also find that your job on campus will not consist of long shifts. Since on-campus jobs are so conveniently located, it is easy to walk to them between classes and cover a short shift before going to your next class. This makes racking up 15-20 hours a week much easier than if you worked 4-8-hour shifts.
What Kind of Jobs Are on Campus?
There will likely be a wide variety of on-campus jobs available but they will also fill up pretty quickly. Consider applying for a number of on-campus jobs if your school doesn’t automatically place you, and be prepared to interview if requested.
Many students believe that they will end up in an on-campus job that is directly related to their field of interest but this may not be true. Even if you apply early, there may be pre-requisites for certain positions, and there are some jobs where students must be enrolled in a particular class.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get your first choice in on-campus work. You will likely have the opportunity to change your job at some point, and in the meantime, you will gain valuable benefits regardless of your position.
On-campus work can range from jobs in food service, to more administrative duties. Teaching assistants and research assistants are examples of on-campus jobs, but may not be available to first-year students.
You may find yourself working as an administrative assistant, mailroom attendant, library attendant, barista, or a lifeguard. Positions like a resident assistant, social media assistant, and campus tour guide may require you to finish a year of schooling first.
Other jobs include teaching fitness classes, event caterer, student production assistant, and campus ambassador. As you consider jobs that you may want to apply for don’t be afraid to ask others how they got their jobs. It may also be useful to brainstorm what you want to do and to polish your resume so it is ready for interviews.
Cork boards in hallways and networking with professors is another way to get great connections for awesome on-campus work. Plenty of people will put up flyers for positions that need to be filled and professors are also great resources for little-known jobs that may come with big perks.
Getting A Tutoring Job
Many students will need tutoring at some point, but may not want to use the resources provided by the school. Frequently, one-on-one tutoring can be a good occupation for a new student that allows for great flexibility and decent pay.
If you have an area where you are highly skilled such as physics, mathematics, literature, or science, consider putting up a poster or flyer of your own to advertise your services. Bilingual tutoring services are frequently in high demand and tutoring can provide some nice added income to help with student expenses.
Career services on campus is another place to check if you are looking for a tutoring job. If you have skills in the right area they will frequently offer you a trial run, or a job, and they can also help with other things like polishing a resume or flyer.
If you know someone who is very successful at providing tutoring services, don’t be afraid to ask them what their tips and tricks are. Often, they will be very willing to share, and may also be able to direct potential clients your way that seek tutoring in a subject that they don’t cover.
Off-campus jobs may require that you have an off-campus work permit which is essentially documentation noting that you will be leaving campus regularly in order to work your job. Many universities have recommendations or rules for how many hours their students can work, and sometimes these jobs can translate into work-study credits towards your degree.
If you choose to have an off-campus job, consider checking with your school to ensure that there isn’t any documentation you need to provide and make sure that you aren’t missing out on any benefits. Each school will vary, but many will offer resources for students that decide to work off campus.
How Much Can You Earn Working on Campus?
On-campus work is typically set at an hourly rate that is competitive in the area. Keep in mind that although you may be making between 8 and 12 dollars an hour, there are other added benefits that can make on-campus employment preferable.
You should not be making less than minimum wage in your state; however, you may find that some of your earnings will go towards paying for tuition and that you may not be able to spend your funds freely all of the time.
Your pay will depend on the kind of on-campus work that you do, your experience level, and the complexity of the tasks that you complete. For many, an active job in food service is preferred, but for others, a job where you primarily sit to work is best.
Although you can choose to work 15-20 hours per week, you may find that you cannot work more than that and many students choose to work less. The number of hours you are able to work will affect your monthly payment, and you may want to figure out in advance how the payment process works at your school.