The USA is home to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities globally. The quality of education and global exposure that these educational institutions offer attract millions of students from across the globe every year. However, attending college in the USA demands you have deep pockets or seek funding from banks. In both cases, it is common among international students to engage in part-time jobs in the US to recover some of the costs they bear daily.
Job Regulations for International Students in the USA
A US degree is amongst the best and hence the most expensive in the world. The estimated cost of living for an international student in the US is about $18,000 per annum, averaging about $1500 a month. Considering such considerable expenses to be borne, students often find themselves in situations where they are required to take up part-time jobs to sustain themselves comfortably. The country has a strict set of rules and policies that apply regarding the part-time jobs for international students in the USA working on their student visas. One must keep in mind that the country takes working illegally quite seriously. Breaking these rules will jeopardize your status as a student, and you may even get deported.
Let’s look at the things to remember while looking for part-time jobs.
1. Working hours limitation
If you have gained an F1 visa, you may take up part-time jobs for students in the US and work 20 hours a week. This ensures that you align with their rule and lets you divide your time efficiently between your education and work.
2. Consult your DSO
Once all your documents are in place and you have gained your visa, get in touch with your Designated School Official (DSO). Provided you have an excellent academic record and are in line with their general discipline, your DSO will give you choices and references for part-time work.
3. On-campus jobs only
Students can only take up part-time employment on their college campus. To get employed at other locations, an international student must finish one year of their course and gain specific training.
How to find part time jobs for students in the USA
Working part-time while attending college in the US will add to your resume. It will also ease your burden of bearing the massive expense that the courses demand. With the help of the internet, you can search and filter all sorts of opportunities and scope of work even before they arrive in the country. This way, students can plan their funding and work towards their goals with a clear mind.
Here are some ways you can find part-time jobs while studying:
Many universities in the US have an online employment site for their students to browse and apply on. This gives students clarity about how they can get by and foresight about their future on campus.
Your university’s career services office is another excellent source to acquire leads about part-time jobs for Indian students in the US. Make an appointment, discuss your areas of interest, and find a suitable fit.
Be proactive in reaching out to the university’s student community online, on Facebook, etc., and network vigorously. Making these connections in a comparatively informal social media setup will help establish a rapport and give you a chance at a good job once you arrive at the university.
Besides these approaches, you can check out this list of 7 best part-time job portals:
Type of Part-Time Jobs in the USA and the Minimum Wages
Besides the long list of part-time jobs for students in the US, which we shall discuss in detail in the article, these employment programs are also planned explicitly for international students.
1. Optional Practical Training (OPT)-
This allows students to temporarily work for up to 12 months while or after they are in college.
2. STEM OPT-
Similar to the OPT, students pursuing courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) can opt for this temporary employment for another 12 months after the first year.
3. Circular Practical Training-
This program allows students to directly gain work experience in their specific field of interest through paid internships or employment.
There is a range of student-oriented part-time jobs to help them comfortably get through their years abroad. These jobs are tailored to abide by all visa guidelines and are not hard to find. You will often find designated officials on campus to mentor you in choosing the right fit for you.
Here are some of the jobs that international students can take up while studying in the US:
1. Library Monitor-
A library monitor must maintain a university library’s basic decorum and peaceful atmosphere. The perk of this job includes ample quiet time for yourself to catch up on your course material and or prepare for an exam.
2. Teaching Assistant-
Another job that helps your cause — being a teaching assistant will let you network with your faculty, which gives you a better chance of attaining positive reference letters that you will need after graduating.
3. Tour Guide-
It is a common practice for applicants to get a guided tour of the campus along with their parents before they make their final entrance into a course. Being a Tour Guide is one of the more exciting jobs in US universities.
4. Peer Tutor-
If you are one to excel in your academics, you might find a job tutoring your classmates or juniors. If your university has an education resource center, you might be able to apply formally through them.
5. Academic Department Assistant-
Primarily a clerical job, this entails a lot of paperwork and document sorting. Students within the department are naturally given a preference, and this job also helps you build a lot of connections with professors and department heads.
6. Campus Tech Support-
Your computer support department can guide you in securing this job. If you have an aptitude for tech-related tasks, you’ll find it easy to do this job, which is necessary as all US universities are tech-driven.
7. Production Assistant-
The US education system emphasizes extracurricular activities, and an academic year comprises several shows, plays, and concerts. There are always spots needing students to work backstage or provide technical support. These are great opportunities to be a part of the local culture and take in the essence of campus life.
8. University Bookstore Assistant-
Bookstores are present across all universities selling course materials and other genres of books. These stores are always in need of diligent, intelligent students who will organize the stock, make sales and look after the general upkeep. Additionally, they provide generous employee discounts, which are a great plus point for students on a budget.
9. Research Study Assistant-
You will find several professors willing to hire assistants for their research projects. Your job will help collect and organize data and provide essential assistance on the subject.
Slightly out of the ordinary, but many campus employees, professors, and researchers need to hire babysitters while they work. And students from the university, with their validated background check done, are highly preferred for the job.
11. Servers and Barista –
Many students like to indulge in coffee and snacks on the menu in the campus cafes. So, if you have a knack for coffee or hospitality in general, working in these cafes will fetch you a good amount of experience besides a discount on their food and beverage.
Minimum Wages for Part-Time Jobs in USA
Now, coming to the minimum wage, the USA has one of the most lucrative wages globally for part-timers. Most of the jobs offered to students need to meet the state stipulated minimum hourly wage; hence the number is heavily influenced by the particular state the university is based. It can vary from $8 to $15.
The average on-campus job will fetch you anything between $640 and $1,200 a month, considering you work 20 hours a week.
Some of the highest paying part-time jobs in the USA, where students can earn more than the minimum wages, are as follows:
Academic Tutor- $17-$18 per hour.
Freelance Web Designer- $59 per hour.
Editor or Blogger- $15-$85 per hour.
Babysitter- $10 per hour.
Bank Teller- $20 per hour.
Earning money should not be the only reason for you to seek a part-time job in the US as working while you study instills a sense of professionalism that will be of great value to you once you graduate. These jobs are also a fantastic way of incorporating yourself into the local community and learning their work ethics and customs. You will be able to build a network with people from across nations and experience the true meaning of campus life. The US is a country that has no discrimination against labour, and you too will learn to appreciate that school of thought once you have worked there. There are all sorts of roles in the student part-time job market and every job you take will definitely increase your experience.
Online Part-time Jobs in the USA for Indian Students
Besides working part-time, Indian students can also opt for online part-time jobs. There are many profiles and online part-time jobs in the USA that Indian students can choose from. Some of them are:
Social Media Management
Data Entry Agent
Taxes for International Students in the USA
International students in the US are taxed equally as non-residents for US federal income tax purposes. It implies that the international students who work part-time or full-time will be taxed only on their US-source income. Every student present in the country during the previous calendar year and has earned some income needs to file their tax.
The students with an F-1 visa must pay tax on the following incomes:
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are part-time jobs available while studying in the USA?
Yes, part-time jobs are available for students on an F1 visa. Students can work on campus under various departments and offices to earn extra cash to sustain themselves in the country.
Is it easy to get a part-time job in the USA?
Most US universities have a Designated School Official who helps students get part-time jobs. If all your documents are in place and you have an excellent academic record, it shouldn’t be tough to find a suitable job.
Do freshers get jobs in the USA?
Yes, freshers can get part-time jobs; once they have settled in, they can seek out the Designated School Official and apply for a job. Alternatively, once students have gained admission and have secured an F1 visa, they can look for part-time jobs on the university’s employment website.
How much can a student earn working part-time in the US?
Employers are required to pay students the legal minimum wages, so the state in which a particular university is located decides the average income of a student employee. It can range anywhere between $8 to $15 an hour, and considering a student on an F1 visa is allowed to work 20 hours a week, one can expect to make an average of $640 to $1200 a month.
Can I cover my study expenses through part-time jobs in the USA?
Although it might be next to impossible to cover a US college education expense with a part-time job that only allows international students to work for 20 hours a week at a minimum wages rate of $10 an hour, it is entirely possible to reduce your living cost on campus substantially. Besides the extra income you’ll be bagging, many places that hire students on campus provide discounts and loyalty programs for their employees, which help you save a lot depending on where you are working. For example — a bookstore discount will reduce your cost of study material while working at a restaurant takes care of your meal expenditure.
How many hours per week an international student is allowed to work in the USA?
The US has stringent policies for working hours. International students with a valid F-1 visa can work for up to 20 hours per week during the class session and up to 40 hours/week during holidays and breaks.
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