The University 9 to 5

Is a job on campus right for you?

On-Campus Jobs for College-Bound StudentsThe term “starving student” doesn’t have to apply to you. With on-campus positions ranging from computer repair to university security, colleges are working just as hard as you are to find ways to put money in your pockets. Flexible, convenient, and typically low-stress, working for and with your school to create a functioning college community can be both financially and professionally rewarding. Look around; your future career could be just around the corner.

What the Jobs Are

Creating a profile of a typical on-campus position is nearly impossible. Depending on the needs of your school, jobs can be simple or complex, menial or fulfilling. What most on-campus positions have in common is that the vast majority require few hours (typically 20 or fewer), and pay is around or just above minimum wage. What you don’t get in cash, you will get in flexibility. Campus employers understand that you’re a student first, and most will work with your schedule during project or exam time. In some cases, students may bring homework to be completed during the job’s “down time.” Students who qualify for federal work-study aid will be given a job either on or around campus and will be assigned a certain number of hours to work.

Where the Jobs Are

The quick and simple answer is everywhere. Don’t think that being a student employee automatically means flipping burgers in the dining hall. Nearly every single department, academic or otherwise, has a certain amount of paperwork that gets funneled down to student employees, graduate assistants, and work/study program participants. For every program or event, chances are student employees are a vital part of making it happen.

If you have a specific department or job type in mind, inquire with the Human Resources Office as well as with the department head to see what’s available and if you qualify. Most positions are filled weeks, if not months, before the semester begins, so ask early and have a résumé—along with references—on hand. For a full listing of what openings are available, find your campus’ job board (many are online) or contact the Office of Student Affairs.


This article was written by Christina Couch

Christina Couch is a freelance writer based in Richmond, Virginia, and Chicago, Illinois. She is the author of Virginia Colleges 101: The Ultimate Guide for Students of All Ages (Palari Publishing, 2008). Her byline can also be found on,, and, and in Wired Magazine.

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