How to Get a Job On-Campus: What Are Your Options?

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    It’s no secret that going to college is expensive. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t have some extra money to go out with your friends on occasion! 

    Not only do on-campus jobs help cover students’ living expenses throughout the semester, but they also provide undergraduate students with valuable work experiences and even potential job references. It’s also important to mention that, due to visa requirements, for many international students, working on campus may be their only option for employment. 

    Of course, there are lots of ways to find college funding, including applying for financial aid and scholarships. On-campus jobs are a great resource for students who need a little extra money to cover living expenses throughout the semester. 

    In this article, we will review some of the most common jobs for students on campus, as well as the many perks of working on campus. So if you have questions related to student employment, such as “how much do on-campus jobs pay?” and “are on-campus jobs worth it?” read on to find out! 

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    Why on-campus jobs are great for college students

    It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of working on campus versus off campus. That said, what are some of the benefits of working on campus? There are lots of reasons why on-campus jobs are so highly sought after. Let’s take a look at some of them:

    • Short commute
    • More flexible hours
    • Meeting new people on campus
    • The ability to work on homework during downtime
    • Gaining work experience and potential job references

    What does “work-study” mean?

    Your financial aid package may include a “federal work-study ” component. If your college offers work-study positions, this means that your college participates in a program where federal funding is used to pay students’ hourly wages to complete various on-campus jobs. 

    It is important to note that work-study jobs are reserved for students with demonstrated financial need. This is why it is important to understand your financial aid package and whether or not you qualify for work-study positions. 

    How to find an on-campus job

    Now, let’s review how to get a job on campus. Although on-campus jobs are usually pretty competitive, knowing how to apply for an on-campus job is usually pretty straightforward. 

    Most likely, your school will have some sort of online database for student employment. You may also find on-campus jobs for students advertised on good old-fashioned bulletin boards, so keep an eye out! Email or visit the Career Center if student employment opportunities are not explicitly explained to you. Depending on your goals and interests, you may also want to reach out to your professors directly, especially if you are interested in working for a specific academic department.

    One of the most important things to keep in mind about how to get on-campus jobs is that there won’t be any jobs on campus for students mid-semester or mid-year. This is why it’s important to plan ahead and send out your applications early!

    Common on-campus jobs to consider

    So what are on-campus jobs? There are lots of opportunities for student employment on college campuses. Let’s take a look at some common on-campus jobs.


    College is often a caffeine-fueled endeavor, so coffee shops are a must! If you love coffee and are eager to socialize and meet new people, working as a barista might be the gig for you. In addition to being a very social job, baristas often get free drinks — which can be a great way to save money, especially if you’re addicted to coffee. 

    Library attendant

    Library jobs are usually pretty competitive. They provide you with lots of great training and transferable job skills. They are also a great way to get your foot in the door if you are interested in studying library science. Not to mention they offer a great environment for studying during downtime. 

    Administrative assistant

    Administrative assistant jobs offer valuable training and lots of transferable job skills. Check-in with different departments for various student employment opportunities.


    If you excel in a certain subject, you may want to consider academic tutoring. Tutors are often needed in foreign language labs and writing centers. Visit the Career Center to see what opportunities exist at your school.

    Campus tour guide

    Students with stellar communication skills and lots of school spirit tend to do well in this position. Guide prospective students throughout campus while sharing colorful stories and helpful tips and resources. 

    Mail room attendant

    Another fairly social job. Also, a great way to work on homework during downtime!

    Research assistant

    Great for students studying science who are eager to gain research experience. Research assistant positions are more common in grad school but each school is different so be sure to check in and see what opportunities are available to you.

    Gym attendant

    Gym attendants check student IDs and make sure equipment is kept clean and that students don’t wear their “street shoes” into the facilities. If you typically spend a lot of time in the gym, this might be a good way to make some money (and some friends!). 

    Resident assistant (RA)

    Resident assistants organize social activities and offer student support within their dorms in exchange for room and board. If you enjoy helping younger students and are social by nature, this might be the gig for you!

    Event caterer

    Lots of students work for dining services. Sometimes this involves event catering. Not only is this a great way to make money, but it’s also a great experience for students interested in the restaurant industry and event planning.

    Preparing your resume and cover letter

    Many students get their first job in college. Oftentimes this is an on-campus job. This is why it is important to know what to expect, especially during the hiring process. 

    You will need to know how to write an on-campus job cover letter and familiarize yourself with common on-campus job interview questions, in addition to knowing how to write an incredible entry-level resume. You may even consider using a professional resume maker and reviewing several on-campus job resume examples to help you get started. 

    In general, use clear, concise, and professional language — in your resume, cover letter, and job interview. Avoid slang and informal language. Speak (and write) honestly about your strengths and express how the position you are applying for will help you reach your goals for the future. 

    Entry-level job skills to include on your resume

    Here is a list of entry-level job skills you may want to highlight during your job application process, especially if this will be your first experience in the workforce:

    • Time Management
    • Organization Skills
    • Attention to Detail
    • Responsibility
    • Problem-Solving Skills
    • Creativity
    • Critical Thinking Skills
    • Communication skills
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Teamwork
    • Flexibility
    • Leadership
    • Collaboration
    • Active Listening
    • Decision Making

    Key takeaways and moving forward

    Working on campus benefits are pretty extensive. Not only do you enjoy a short commute and flexible working hours, but you also receive valuable work experience, and opportunities to network, and may even gain some job references for your future endeavors. 

    While landing any sort of on-campus job is sure to enrich your college experience, reflect thoughtfully on what positions may help you reach some of your long-term career goals. For instance, if you’re interested in starting your own business, working as an administrative assistant may help you develop stellar planning and organizational skills. Similarly, if you’re interested in becoming a librarian, you may want to seek out a job at the library. 

    Take a moment to reflect on your long-term career goals and ask yourself what sort of skills would help you best succeed. Then seek out employment opportunities that incorporate these skills. Applying for a job for the first time can feel overwhelming. If you feel like you could benefit from professional guidance, reach out to learn more about our services

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