The USA is home to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the world. 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 a common practice among international students to engage in part-time jobs in the US to recover some of the cost they bear on a daily basis.
Rules in the USA to get part-time Jobs
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, which averages to about $1500 a month. Considering such huge expenses to be borne, students often find themselves in situations where they are required to take up part-time jobs to comfortably sustain themselves. That being said, 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 visa. One must keep in mind that the country takes working illegally quite seriously and breaking these rules will definitely jeopardize your status as a student and may even lead to getting deported.
Let’s take a 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 for a maximum of 20 hours a week. This not only ensures that you are in alignment with their rule but also 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 a good academic record, and are in line with their general discipline, your DSO will provide you with choices and references for part-time work.
3. On-campus jobs only
Students are allowed to take up part-time employment in their college campus only. To be able to get employed at other locations, an international students must finish one year of their course, gain specific training.
How to find part time jobs for students in the USA
Working part time while you attend college in the US is going to add substantially to your resume, not to mention ease your burden of bearing the huge expense that the courses demand. Thanks to the internet, today one 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 goal with a clear mind.
Here are some ways you can find part-time jobs while studying:
1. 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.
2. Another great source to acquire leads about part-time jobs for Indian students in the US is your university’s career services office. Make an appointment and discuss your areas of interest and find a suitable fit for you.
3. 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 setup of social media will help establish a rapport and in turn 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, there are also these employment programs specifically planned 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 an extension of 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 internship or employment.
There is a whole range of part-time jobs that are student-oriented, to help them get through their years abroad comfortably. 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 is required to maintain the basic decorum and peaceful atmosphere in a university library. 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 in turn gives you a better chance at 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 definitely one of the more interesting jobs that you can find in the 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 considered important as all US universities are tech driven.
7. Production Assistant
The US education system is known to put a great deal of emphasis on 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, smart students who will take up organizing the stock, make sales and look after the general upkeep of the place. 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 in their research projects. Your job will be to help collect and organize data and provide basic assistance on the subject.
Slightly out of the ordinary, but a large number of 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
Most students claim to survive on coffee and other things 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.
Now, coming to the minimum wage, the USA has one of the most lucrative ones in the world. 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 out of. It can vary from $8 to $15.
The average on-campus job will fetch you anything between $640 and $1200 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:
1. Academic Tutor- $17-$18 per hour.
2. Freelance Web Designer- $59 per hour.
3. Editor or Blogger- $15-$85 per hour.
4. Babysitter- $10 per hour.
5. 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. US is a country that has no discrimination of labor, 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.
Part-Time Jobs in USA – FAQs
Q1. 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 some extra cash to sustain themselves in the country.
Q2. 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 a good academic record, it shouldn’t be a tough task in finding a suitable job for yourself.
Q3. 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 admissions and have secured an F1 visa, they can look for part-time jobs on the university’s employment website.
Q4. 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.
Q5. 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 substantially reduce your living cost on campus. Besides the extra income you’ll be bagging, a lot of the 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.