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The Best On-Campus Jobs for Making Some Money

By Brendan Conway updated on Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Greenbacks. Bucks. The bacon. The dough. Moolah. Scratch. Bread. The big green. Pecuniary notes.

I'm talking about money here, folks.

If you're a college student, in all likelihood, you don't have much of it. Whether that's because it's going to pay for your college education directly, without even stopping for a visit in your palm, or because you're spending it on any of the cavalcade of other money sinks out there in the college world, it doesn't matter. You're almost certainly going to be looking for ways to get some more clams into your wallet. (Quite an image, isn't it?)

Good news! College campuses are riddled with job opportunities, if you know where to look. Read on to find out about some of the best job opportunities available on college campuses.

Website Manager

You're here, so you already know that the Internet is a cornucopia of valuable writing. That's not likely to change any time soon, and as a result, nearly every organization that wants to have any kind of significant presence needs its own website. If you've got the skills to make one, then you can be of great value to your college, or really to any on-campus organization in need of a website manager. What's more, you can learn how to use content management systems and how to do crazy and wonderful things with a website that'll make you all the more valuable as a potential employee down the road. Huzzah for websites!

Tour Guide

Can you walk backwards like a pro? Can you talk while you walk backwards? Can you smile and make jokes even when it's snowing and you're walking backwards and taking at the same time? Then you've got a perfect campus job waiting for you in tour guiding.  This is an important job, too; if you're a tour guide, you're nothing less than the face of your college or university to prospective students. You've got to convince them that your college is by far the best choice they can make, by showing it off in all its glory. It's a social job, so you have to be up for being charming and talking, but it's good, important work on any campus. 

Library Assistant

At any college or university, there's one building which will be critical to nearly every student: the library. Even if you don't necessarily have to pick up books or do research in the library, the place is still a refuge of silence and solace for studying, and most likely has plenty of computers and printers for use, too. So, your school's library is almost certainly going to need some help. You can get a job at the library, doing things like putting the books back on the shelves, helping your fellow students to find whatever they're looking for, and keeping track of rented out books and other resources. It may  not be terribly glamorous, but it's helpful, doesn't involve a lot of stress, and might even give you resources and skills that you can use when trying to do your own work.

Alumni Center

Every college or university is likely to have some kind of alumni center, to keep in touch with and track alumni and (most importantly) implore them for donations. If you get a job with the alumni center, you'll most likely be calling up alumni and other individuals associated with the college and informing them of important campus news and information, as well as asking them for donations. Sometimes, this job can be pretty stressful, but when you successfully contribute to some major charity project your school is running by getting donations from hundreds of people, then the whole thing will be worth it. 

RA

Everyone living at college has a residential adviser, or a resident assistant. RAs are the students who fill leadership and administrative rolls in and around their dorms. They're the people you go to when something breaks in your dorm room, just as much as they're the people you go to when there's a major emergency and you need immediate help. Being an RA will give you a lot responsibility, but you'll be helping people, and you'll be getting paid for it. Some schools even give RAs a pretty good selection of rooms, at no cost to them.

TAs, SAs, Lab Assistants, and the other RAs
These three sort of go together, due to the similarities in work you'd be doing in any of the three roles. TAs are teaching assistants; SAs are student assistants; and these RAs are research assistants.   Each role is pretty much some form of assistantship position for a faculty member.

Teaching assistants would, as their name suggests, help professors to teach their courses, likely by providing extra sessions to lower-level students, or even teaching classes themselves. Student assistants, depending upon how the role is interpreted, might work similarly to TAs, or they might help professors with their more administrative tasks, like getting books or distributing documents online.

Research assistants would help professors in their own research, focusing likely on specific topics. Lab assistants might help to run labs for when students are performing their own work, or they might help professors in lab work in the same way that research assistants might.

Any of these roles is likely to come with pay and with good, experience-growing work. Plus, you might get to help your professors with important research, or even wind up teaching your peers! How awesome is that!

Writing tutor

Know how to write? Count yourself lucky, because there are plenty of other students out there who don't. If you're feeling magnanimous with your skill, then you can become a writing tutor at your college's writing center. Peer writing tutors help their fellow students with essays, research papers, and more. We're talking about more than just grammatical editing, too; we're talking about the whole shebang. Argument structure, discussion, reasoning, and stylistic choices are all subjects that a writing tutor might help with, among others. So if you've got some skill in writing, lend your fellow students a hand and earn some cash for your efforts by becoming a writing tutor. 

Newspaper writer/editor

Not every college has a newspaper that pays its writers, but plenty do, so if you've got printer's ink in your veins, then there's no better place for you to get a job than at your college newspaper. Obviously, you'll need to know what you're doing, from a writing standpoint, a journalistic standpoint, and an editorial standpoint, but this is one of those jobs that can pay you back in spades if you work hard. If your college paper doesn't pay its writers, you might want to see if there are any administrative roles in or around the paper that might offer up any kind of small-scale payment, too. 

Post Office

Email is replacing the paper letter, sure, but everybody still needs a way to receive packages from Amazon, right? Campuses still have their own post offices, where mail comes in for students and has to be sorted between mailboxes, or distributed in some other fashion. There are plenty of jobs for students looking to earn a few bucks who are willing to help out with the post. Not terribly glamorous, but a good way to make some money on campus without adding too much onto your workload. 

Career Services Assistant

A great many campuses have career centers focused on helping students plan out their career paths. These centers provide advice, assistance, and information year round. If you've got the skills needed to help your fellow students in thinking about their futures, then you could probably secure a position for yourself as a career services assistant. At some colleges, this position might mean directly meeting with students and talking to them about their goals. At others, this might mean just helping out with the more administrative tasks of the career center. Either way, it's a good place to get some experience with giving advice and planning your own career, all while earning some money.

User Assistant or IT Guy

Are you the one that everyone on your dorm floor comes to for technical expertise? Then…uh…could you fix my laptop? It's been showing me this message, "TERMINATE THE HUMANS," ever since Thursday. Oh, also, you could probably get a job as a user assistant or an IT assistant at your college. Most colleges have their own on-campus IT centers, and they probably need all the help they can get, what with the problems students are likely to cause. (Stop that, computer! No, I will not submit to your will!) Working at the IT center will help you hone your own skills and give you some great experience if you want to go into technology. And, of course, you'll make some money, and potentially avert an apocalypse.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think my laptop is trying to steal the nuclear launch codes from the White House. I'm going to apply some brute force repairs to its software. With a hammer.

Do you know of a good on-campus job that's not mentioned here? Spread the wealth! Post a comment on the Peterson's Facebook page!

About the Author

Brendan Conway is the Web Content Editor for Peterson's Interactive and is well-versed in the world of higher education and admissions. He is a graduate of Hamilton College, and has been working in admissions advice, test-prep advice, career planning advice, and similar fields for the majority of his career since graduation. Brendan endeavors to provide the most relevant, useful, and interesting information via Peterson's Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ feeds. Brendan enjoys lexicological oddities and voraciously reading in his free time.

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