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Part-time Jobs in the USA for International Students

Chapter 1


Before we jump into discussing the best part-time jobs for international students in the USA, I figured it would be more prudent to discuss the ongoing minimum wage hikes that have been a result of protests and strikes. As an international student who has an interest, or already has prospects lined up for studying in the USA, it is important that you are brought up to speed on recent developments regarding part-time jobs and minimum wages. 

As of 2021, as many as 24 states’ state legislatures in the USA have approved a hike in wages for minimum wage workers. This comes in the light of the predicaments faced by thousands of people in the COVID-19 pandemic, with economics hardships, and mental health crises. President Joe Biden is also in talks to increase the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour in an effort to combat the economic crisis that the pandemic caused, and improve the lives of thousands of workers. 

For more details regarding the minimum wage offered by various states in the USA, click here

Onto part-time jobs. Part-time jobs serve as an excellent means of financial input, particularly for students who are dealt with expensive college fees and living expenses. These jobs also serve as a wonderful opportunity to interact with other students and people, which leads to plenty of exposure to various cultures (you meet people from all over the world), the development of key service skills in your resume, and sense of experiencing student culture. 

As an international student, you will be issued with an F1 VISA, which allows you to work up to 20 hours per week on-campus during your semester, and 40 hours per week on-campus during holiday seasons. You are also allowed to work off-campus provided the place or organisation you work for is affiliated to the university you are studying in. 

Generally, you will not be allowed to work true off-campus jobs in your first year. After your first year, you will need to speak to your Designated School Official or DSO, who will determine if you can be classified as someone suffering from economic hardship and help you find jobs off-campus. You might need to undergo training and liaison with the Department of Homeland Security to obtain a social security number, which will allow to work off-campus under these special conditions. 

Due to the size and nature of most campuses, there are plenty of fast-food chains, cafes, printing shops, libraries, and receptions to work in (on-campus). You may also be a research assistant or a teaching assistant, which depends on the department you are studying in and of course, your skills and knowledge as an assistant.

Let us now look deeper into the best part-time jobs in the USA for International Students. 

Chapter 2

Part-time Jobs in the USA for International Students

In most universities, it is perfectly fine to work up to 20 hours per week on campus, in whatever job you wish to work in. However, it is illegal to work outside campus, if you are an international student. This is where the USA differs from Canada and European nations, where there are more job opportunities available on a student VISA. 

Here are some of the job opportunities available part-time, on-campus during your UG or PG degree in the USA. 

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Catering Assistants

 If your university has cafes and on-site restaurants, then you can work as a catering assistant there. This involves working as either a server or a waiter in these places, maintain sanitation and food safety, and setting up tables. This is a job in the hospitality sector, and it provides you with an opportunity to meet new people. Apart from this, you can choose the shifts or hours to work in. this flexibility is ideal for international students studying in the USA.

Average hourly wages: $14/hour. 


Similar to the above job, this is another job in the hospitality sector, which gives you the chance to experience student culture and meet new people. Most college students practically live on caffeine, and spend long hours working or socializing in cafes. This job involves making drinks at the café for them, while also working as a cashier. Additional benefits include discounted or free coffee! 

Average hourly wages: $11/hour. 

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Research Study Assistant:

This depends on the department you are studying in, and the kinds of research they are conducting. Research isn’t limited to the Sciences alone, and are a crucial part of business and humanities streams as well. You will need to demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills and a passion for research to thrive in this job. You will be involved in the collection of data, researching articles and information in relevant research journals, and will learn a great deal from your professors about the field you are working in. In scientific research, you might also assist in laboratory procedures. This job is one of the most well-paid on-campus jobs, and is perfect for someone who is deeply interesting in the subject.  

Average hourly wages: $15/hour.

Teaching Assistant:

Although this job isn’t the most openly available one, if you demonstrate skill and knowledge in academia, your professor may allow you to work as a teaching assistant. You will oversee certain class activities, aid students who are struggling, and assist the professor in what they require. You might also be involved in helping to develop programmes and school events.  This is ideal for someone who wants to pursue a career as a lecturer or professor in the future. 

Average hourly wages – $12/hour.

University Campus Tour Guide/Ambassador:

You will need to possess excellent communication skills, leadership qualities, and be well-informed about the university. This job involves providing all the relevant information about the university and its programs, promoting the university, and providing reasons as to why students should apply to the university. You will also be asked to guide parents and students on tours of the campus, and share intriguing facts about the university. This is a good job for those who are slightly more experienced and have studied in the university for at least a year.

Average hourly wages: $11/hour.

Computer Lab Technician

This is mostly limited to computer science majors who are inclined towards tech. It involves support and maintenance for tech support for classrooms, labs, and libraries. You will also be required to solve computer-related issues, troubleshoot errors, create student accounts and even operate printers. This is enormously beneficial for those students who are skilled in hardware and software operations. 

Average hourly wages: $15/hour.

Production Assistant

A lot of universities have tons of extra-curricular activities, intra and inter college fests, and events involving theatre, comedy shows, seminars, concerts, and performances. As a production assistant, you will be involved with the technical and backstage work. This is a great option for meeting new people, and experiencing the best of student culture. 

Average hourly wages: $13/hour.


Although most people in the USA prefer babysitters from their local neighbourhoods or babysitting agencies, professors, staff, and school employees on-campus are always on the lookout for babysitters who can take care of their child while they work. This job requires you to handle the child with the utmost level of care. Your student employment office will have various openings for you to get to work, so definitely look into that. Also, this role is definitely not applicable to those who haven’t handled kids before.  

Average hourly wages: $14/hour. 

University Store Associate

Many universities sell their branded backpacks, hoodies, and stationery. A lot of universities also have their own bookstores, with various academic texts, fiction and non-fiction books, and stationery items. As an associate, you will be required to help students find the books or items they are looking for, act as a cashier, and help in the management and maintenance of the store. You might also get some discounts on books and stationery, plus knowing where all the academic books are puts you in an advantageous position if you need to learn about a particular subject. Of course, there is always the university library as well. 

Average hourly wages: vary widely among different universities but generally $15/hour. 

Some off-campus jobs that can become available after your first year, with proof of economic hardship are:

Customer Support/Service Representative

As a CSR, you will be involved in providing support and information about the services and products offered by your company, solve and resolve issues and complaints given by the customers about these services and products, and try to upsell products if needed. This job role is a good opportunity for those with excellent communication skills, and also provides the opportunity to work from home/your campus room.

Average hourly wages: $14/hour. 

Store Associate:

Similar to the university store assistant role, this job may involve helping customers find the right items, provide them with information about the products, and even acting as a cashier in a local grocery store or supermarket that is near your campus. This work may also involve cleaning the store and upselling to customers. It is usually on a shift basis, and you will need to report to the store manager for your tasks. 

Average hourly wages – $15/hour. 

Other jobs include potentially working as a translator, where you will intermediate between two parties and ensure smooth communication and understand, and a tour guide, where you will guide groups in a resort, park, or any other tourist attraction. Being a translator requires you to have proper certification in the language, and working as a tour guide requires you to have proper knowledge of the attraction or place. These jobs are usually taken up by USA citizens and not by international students, but if you happen to land one of these jobs, then go for it. 


So, there we have it. These are some of the best part-time job options that are available to international students studying in the USA. Working in a part-time job will help cover your expenses, provide you with work experience, build new skills, and experience new cultures all the time. If you are choosing to stay, work and live in the USA after your studies, then your part-time job will give you a sense of what it means to live in that particular state of the USA. 

All the very best for your endeavours. If you wish to look up MS in Computer Science programs in the USA and learn about the best universities in the USA for the same, click here! 

Hope this blog helped you! Written by Saahil R Bhatt.

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