How to Get a Job in College

From tuition to books to room and board, college is expensive. A job is a great way to earn money, gain professional experience, learn time management skills, and even get better grades. Yep, you read it correctly. A Bureau of Labor Statistics study found that students who work 15-20 hours a week had a 3.13 average GPA, compared to 3.04 for non-working students.

Juggling working during college is challenging. But once you decide you are up for the task, you need to know how to get a job in college. 

What to Consider When Getting a Job in College

Before you start applying for jobs, you’ll want to consider what you need to look for in a position. You’ll have some unique job requirements since your first job is being a student. We’ve outlined some things to consider below.


Trying to fit a job into your schedule can be a lot like putting together a puzzle. In college, class start times typically change depending on the day of the week. Additionally, you may need extra time for group projects, studying, or holiday breaks. For these reasons, you’ll want a job that offers flexible hours and a willingness to work around your school schedule. A good college job offers flexible hours and maybe even allows you to get studying done during downtime. 


You want to find a job that doesn’t interfere too much with your studies. Adding a workload while balancing school can be tricky. You’ll want to balance the hours you commit to the job. 

Remember The Bureau of Labor Statistics findings that students who worked 15 to 20 hours per week reported a higher GPA than those who didn’t work? Well, there’s a catch. The same study found that students working more than 20 hours per week have a lower GPA — 2.95 on average. 

It’s important to find a job that doesn’t impact your grades negatively. 

Career Relevance

A college job can be a great way to start building your professional resume. Seek out positions that allow you to build on the experience you’ll need in your career. Studying to become a teacher? Consider a role at a daycare center or after-school program. Majoring in communication? Apply for on-campus tour guide positions at your college.

Even if your college job isn’t related to career goals, it will provide real-world experience to help you after college. You’ll gain knowledge of the application process, interview skills, and time management. And if you do a good job, it will provide you with professional references.


If you have a vehicle at school, you’ll have more options when looking for a job. But most college towns have plenty of part-time jobs within walking or bus distance to campus.

If commuting to work isn’t an option, consider a job on campus. The university athletic center, library, dining hall, mailroom, and admissions office typically need student workers. You may even want to consider tutoring if you are strong in a particular subject. Your university has an entire process set up to help students find work on campus. It’s typically in the human resources or student affairs offices.


A college student's boss explains something to him while he is working at a call center part-time


How to Get a Job in College

So now that you know what to look for in a job, how do you get a job in college? We’ve outlined the steps below.

1. Check Your School’s Website

Most colleges have online databases for student job openings. Some have a specific section dedicated to on-campus jobs. Once on the site, look for the “Career Services” or “Career Center” section. Again, these offices are likely under human resources or student affairs.

2. Visit Your University’s Financial Aid Office

Your college likely offers paid on-campus employment as well as federal work-study positions. The federal government funds federal work-study jobs. The government program gives part-time jobs to college students who have financial needs. Unlike other jobs on-campus, you apply for the program through the federal government, which approves you in advance.

3. Look for Seasonal Opportunities

Instead of working while going to school full time, consider ways to make money during university breaks. Apply for a seasonal job during winter and summer breaks. Seasonal work makes it easier to balance studies since school is out. 

Many businesses, especially retail, look for help during the busy holiday season. And summer is a great time to apply for landscaping, lifeguarding, childcare, or camp counselor positions. 

4. Network

Ask classmates with jobs if their employer is hiring. Talk to your parents, friends’ parents, and professors who may know of jobs in your area of study. Take to your social media accounts to inquire about openings.

5. Consider an Internship

Internships are a great way to gain valuable work experience and explore a career path. A paid internship can help develop your skills while networking with professionals in the field. Colleges often offer credits for internships. Internships are a wonderful way to gain professional experience, network, build your resume, and secure your future in your industry.

6. Check Online Resources

There are a ton of online job boards to help you find a job in college. LinkedIn is the most secure way to find a legitimate job online. Post your profile, connect with your network, and search for open positions.

Depositing Your Paychecks from Your College Job

Once you have a job, you need a place to deposit your paychecks. Focus Federal Credit Union offers student checking and savings accounts. 

Focus Federal savings accounts have benefits, including establishing membership and building your savings. A $5 deposit qualifies you for an account with the credit union.

For college students, Focus Federal’s checking accounts have no minimum balance required or monthly fees. You’ll also receive a free debit card and unlimited transactions. Online and mobile banking, eStatements, and direct deposit options make it easy to bank while at school. 

As a Focus Federal member, you can access additional benefits, including financial literacy training and scholarship drawings.

Are you ready to get a college job? Contact Focus Federal to help set up a savings or checking account today. Working and going to college may be challenging, but our direct deposit options make banking easy.