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The 5 Best Jobs for College Students


Attending college is astronomically expensive. Gone are the days when you could work part-time and over the summers, and come away with enough money to float your tuition and fees out-of-pocket. Still, even if you’re paying for your education with loans and grants, extra money comes in handy when you’re in school. The challenge is to find jobs that line your pockets without interfering with your studies. As part of PayScale’s data report, The Best Jobs for You, we looked at a few of the best part-time jobs for people who don’t yet have a degree, but are working toward one.


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The full list is here, but these are the top five:

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1. Massage Therapist

If you’re willing to invest in a short certificate course, massage therapy can reap big dividends. In addition to earning a median hourly wage of $22, massage therapists have flexible schedules – easy enough to plan yours around classes, while still earning more than you would waiting tables or working retail. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your job really helps people.

2. Dental Receptionist

Dental receptionists earn a median of $14 an hour, and typically work part-time – great for a college student. With all that flexibility, however, comes a hefty dose of responsibility. If you’re not a super organized person and willing to deal with the intricacies of insurance information, this might not be the job for you. For the right person, though, this is a great job.

3. Nanny

Love kids and want more than the occasional babysitting gig? Nannies earn a median of $12 an hour, and describe themselves as having a high level of job satisfaction, according to respondents who took PayScale’s Salary Survey. Find the right family, and it can feel like you’re part of the clan – and if you get kids who actually nap, you might even get some work done.

4. Bookkeeper

Budding accountants and finance types, take note: you don’t need to have a degree in hand to get started on your career. Bookkeepers (without a degree) earn a median hourly wage of $12.70 while practicing those math, Excel, and QuickBooks skills that will take their careers to great heights after graduation.

5. (tie) Orderly

Orderlies earn a median hourly wage of $10 while doing important work – hospitals literally couldn’t function without them. If you’re considering a career in medicine, and need flexible hours including evenings and nights, this job might be for you.

5. (tie) Bank Teller

Bank tellers typically earn an hourly wage of $10.80, and describe themselves as “highly satisfied” with their work. A high school diploma or GED is the minimum prerequisite for this job, and most financial institutions provide the necessary additional training to be up-to-date on policies and regulations. This is another job for the detail-oriented: tellers must keep their drawers balanced and perform quick calculations accurately, often while dealing with customers who are less than patient.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the best job you ever had when you were in college? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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