How to find student part-time jobs in USA?

International students are often on the look-out for part-time jobs to help support their expenses. The trend of working for a few hours a week along with pursuing education is becoming increasingly popular. This article has all the information that you need while looking for a part-time job in USA.

9 points to remember with regard to student part-time jobs in USA:

1. F-1 visa holders are permitted to work off-campus in the second year of study as per USCIS. Students can work on campus in the first year of study.
2. Students having M-1 visa are not permitted to take up employment for reasons other than practical training.
3. Off campus employment for both F-1 and M-1 students needs to be related to their respective area of study. Authorization by designated school official is also a mandate.
4. A survey reveals that 80% students work part-time or full time in USA.
5. 41% of those surveyed said that they relied on financial aid while 18% and 16% relied on jobs and scholarships respectively.
6. About 45% of students aged between 16 and 24 work part-time.
7. Nearly 8% full-time undergraduate students work in excess of 35 hours per week.
8. Faculty members suggest working 10 to 15 hours per week while pursuing studies.
9. Modest working hours show greater retention of students, as per research.


Where to hunt for on-campus part-time jobs for students:

Working on campus is extremely popular among international students, especially in countries like USA where working within the campus is the only option available. You could work in the campus cafeteria, computer centre or even as a part of the students’ union. If you work within the campus, you get a better opportunity to meet new people and acquire new skills. However, paid jobs within the University are often limited and thus the competition could be intense.

As per the  USCIS regulations, regulations, on-campus employment is the most freely permitted category of student employment. F-1 visa provides opportunities for on-campus employment. Such opportunities are, however, limited and may not be in relation to your courses of study. Given below are the rules that an F-1 student must pay attention to while seeking job opportunities:
1. You need to maintain valid F-1 visa status
2. Permissible work hours are 20 per week during sessions
3. You are permitted to work full time during vacation periods, on campus, if you register for the coming academic semester.
4. The employment must not take a job away from any U.S. citizen.

Before you set out to look for a suitable part-time job, make sure you take note of the following:

1. You must have a concise and crisp one-page Resume
2. Have sufficient knowledge of appropriate places and portals to look for jobs
3. Enquire about the right person to contact for a specific job
4. Interact with seniors working part-time and seek tips and meaningful pointers, and possibly even references
5. Be alert and proactive while searching for a job

On-Campus jobs would require students to aid university operations. Examples are:

1. Working in libraries, arranging shelves
2. Working in computer centers and labs
3. Working in the canteens or university mess
4. Receptionist
5. Handling office affairs by being a part of admin


On campus jobs are always in high demand due to convenience of working and must be targeted since the very beginning. While you get paid for most of these jobs, some of them may even let you waiver a percentage of your tuition fee. Working for Research Assistantships or teaching assistantships could get you this waiver.
The compensation that you are paid for your on-campus job is widely dependent on the minimum wage as per state and also classification of job as per University. Students easily earn 7 to 12 dollars per hour. This amount may, however, vary from state to state. Even if you earn $7 per hour, which is the state minimum, and work for 20 hours a week, calculations show that you will make $560 a month. This is a good enough amount to take care of your expenses.
In case an F-1 student is facing “Severe economic hardship” according to USCIS norms, he can work for 20 hours per week outside the campus during sessions and full time while on break.

Criteria for being eligible for “severe economic hardship”:

1. Student must possess valid F-1 status for at least 9 months i.e. one academic year
2. Student must be academically stable
3. Student must be able to prove circumstances beyond his control
4. Student must prove that on-campus employment is insufficient and unavailable
5. Student must make an earnest endeavor to find employment on campus

How to look for off-campus part-time jobs for students?

Warning: Working off campus is illegal for students with F-1 Visa.
Students authorized to work off-campus can work at gas stations, as cashiers at stores, as a receptionist at a motel, waiters or waitresses at McDonald’s or other eateries etc. Apart from these options, students could also explore the below mentioned avenues:
1. Bars and Restaurants:
University areas are often surrounded by various bars, cafes and restaurants. Such places are always looking for people who can lend a hand in doing daily chores. Depending on your interests and skills, you could work as a waiter, bartender or chef. This would help develop communication and inter-personal skills while letting you earn extra money. Working in bars could, however, be exhausting due to odd working hours.
2. Call Centers:
If you have good communication skills and are looking for an opportunity to make some money, you could easily seek employment in call centers. Customer care executives are often paid well, unlike other part time employees. They also have the convenience of working from the office which makes the job relatively less exhausting physically. All that you require would be a sound knowledge of products and services offered by the company.
3. Internship:
Finding an internship that offers a role relevant to your area of study could also be a possible part-time option. This way, you could also land an opportunity to work with the company full time if it decides to hire you post completion of course. Getting shortlisted for paid-internships could be a challenge.

As far as the amount that can be earned off-campus is concerned, students are usually paid between 5 to 10 dollars depending on the type of job. Working off campus for students who are not authorized to do so may prove to be catastrophic as they may even be deported.


You can find vacancies in local newspapers, online portals, websites and even pamphlets and brochures. Given below are a few popular websites for job-hunting:
FlexJobs.com: This website offers flexible working and charges a premium of $14.95 a month. If you were to believe me, very penny is worth the investment.
Working from Home can be done while pursuing studies. Jobs can be found through websites like Ratracerebellion.com  and Directselling411.com 
Off campus jobs can also be found through social media websites like LinkedIn and Facebook.

Given below are 10 popular employment groups on Facebook, there exists hundreds more:

  1. Certified Employment Group
  2. Professional Employment Group
  3. Orion Group – Employment Agency – Jobs Worldwide
  4. Job Search Focus Group
  5. State Farm Careers
  6. Coast-to-Coast Career Fairs
  7. Job Search Essentials
  8. National Career Fairs

Employment with an international organization:
Students with F-1 visa can be employed in any listed organization such as Red cross, World Health Organization etc.

Criteria for working in an international organization are as given below:

1. The student must have an offer from any one of the “recognized international organizations”.
2. Offer should be within field of study of student
3. Student must be good in academics
4. Student must have F-1 visa valid for at least one academic year

Conclusion:

Working and studying simultaneously is becoming increasingly popular. While there exist a host of employment opportunities to choose from, it is important to be selective in choosing a part-time job according to one’s need and skill-set. It is also extremely important to abide by the law and take due care while applying to a job, when pursuing education in an international University.

Being a devout academician Audrey has published research papers in many academic journals. Audrey has completed over 2000+ assignments dabbling in subjects like Teaching , Academics , Sociology and Psychology.