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Great jobs for full-time students

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Great Jobs for Full-time Students

Many people remember their student years as the most exciting and challenging of their life. Among the biggest challenges: staying afloat financially while pursuing academic and career goals.

Working while in school can be a great way to offset costs. Even if the money you make as a barista or sales clerk doesn't cover your tuition, it can help you meet critical short-term expenses.

Among the nation's roughly 14.4 million full-time college students, about a third work part time, and an additional 13 percent hold down full-time jobs, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Census.

That's understandable considering how much school costs these days. The average yearly bill from a private non-profit four-year college will run you $27,293, according to the College Board. Public four-year schools are cheaper, ringing in at an average $7,605 for in-state students and $11,990 for out-of-staters. 

So chipping away at expenses is often a smart move, though it can be tricky to find a job that doesn't distract too much from academics. Many hourly jobs fill the bill: customer service representative, nurse's aid, hairstylist or security guard, to name just a few examples. The jobs listed below are tried-and-true routes for many full-time students who don't have specialized training or long resumes.

Administrative assistant ($15-$29 per hour)*: A part-time administrative job in an industry you hope to join is often a good way to get a foot in the door. And you'll gain important real-world skills that will give you a leg up when you're ready to start looking for full-time work after graduation.

Tutor ($13-$30)*: As a full-time student, you spend most of your time on academics. Tutoring can be a good way to capitalize on the many hours you pour into your studies. Certified teachers or teachers-in-training tend to snag the highest paychecks.

Child care worker ($10-$17)*: Caring for children is often a viable option for students who need to work atypical hours. Daytime child care won't afford you many breaks, but babysitting at night means you'll have time to do your homework after the kids go to bed. The amount you make varies widely by region and your level of experience: a day care worker in a small town will hit the low end of the pay scale, while a professional nanny in New York City will tip the upper end.

Retail sales clerk ($9-$17)*: Retail offers flexible hours, interaction with customers and, at some businesses, discounts on cool stuff. And chances are high that these jobs will be available near your school, since students are also consumers. Who could get through college without textbooks or a T-shirt or two?

Wait staff or food service worker ($9-$16)*: It's a well-trodden path for many students, and can put quick cash in your pocket if you're working for tips. To get through a busy shift takes stamina and quick thinking--and thick skin when customers are especially demanding. But for many students the hours and pay can't be beat.

*Estimations of hourly pay come from

Last Updated: 01/03/2011 - 7:04 PM

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