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7 great jobs for college students

Getting a college education costs a lot of money, and we don't just mean tuition. As a college freshman, you're probably taking your first steps out of the nest, and with that newfound independence comes newfound responsibility. For many of you, this is the first time in your life when you're making financial decisions on your own. And if you want to afford meals other than the cafeteria's offerings or your roommate's coffee-pot ramen, you'll need to earn an income. A college degree might qualify you for a great job in four years, but many college students need money now.

The perks of getting a part-time job

Getting a part-time job is one of the best ways for college students to earn some extra money. Whether you pick up a campus job as a tour guide or look beyond your college or university to find work, a part-time job will help you gain work experience while you get an education. A resume with both work history and education is more impressive to most hiring managers than a resume with only schooling, giving you a head start on your fellow students.

In class, you'll learn lessons you'll carry with you throughout your career; at a part-time job, you'll learn resume skills, which have become the most important factor in hiring, and get an understanding of workplace dynamics that only comes from direct experience. In the future, when a job interviewer asks you how you've accomplished professional tasks, you can share a real-world example from your work history.

7 of the best part-time jobs for college students

The flexibility of part-time work makes it a great option for college students, particularly if they offer remote work. You can squeeze shifts into the gaps in your schedule and still have enough time for class and your social life. And depending on your major, you could be in especially high demand in specialized industries like information technology, marketing or health care.

Finding the right part-time job will take dedication, patience and a little help from your friends at CareerBuilder. Below, we'll examine 10 great part-time jobs for college students that you should consider in your job search, all of which have higher average national salaries than the federal minimum wage. Plus, the flexible schedules they offer are great for students.

We'll go through the resume skills these jobs can teach you, the average pay for each position and the effects they could have on your eventual career path. The part-time job you accept now could help you find the full-time job you want after school.

If you're willing to put in some hard work to earn your degree and a paycheck at the same time, one of these part-time jobs could be right for you.

Customer service representative

Average pay for customer service representatives: $17 per hour

Customer service is a great field for starting your career during your college years. Assisting customers with transactions and addressing their needs and concerns — whether over phone calls, online or in person — teaches you things that will serve you wherever your career takes you. You'll also gain experience in basic marketing. After all, working in customer service is a bit like being a brand ambassador. You're the face of the company that customers and clients see.

Here are a few of the customer service skills that will help you land a job, regardless of where your future career leads:

  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Time management
  • Problem solving
  • Collaboration
  • Multitasking
  • Professionalism

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Retail sales associate

Average pay for retail sales associates: $17 per hour

If you see a future for yourself in the world of shopping, an entry-level retail jobs could be a perfect fit for you. These professionals hone strong communication skills from interacting with customers and coworkers, and build exceptional organizational skills as they develop a deep understanding of the products their company offers. Retail is a versatile industry that could lead to a wide range of opportunities, but it's particularly ideal for business-minded, outgoing students seeking careers that connect them with people.

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Food service worker

Average pay for food service workers: $17 per hour

This field isn't just for aspiring chefs. Workers in every sector have forged their first professional skills in restaurants, bars, cafes and cafeterias. Whether you're working at the counter or in the kitchen, a fast-paced food service role will teach you everything you could possibly need to know about time management and organization.

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Average pay for tutors: $18 per hour

What better way to make use of your college education than to lend a hand to young people? Whether you're getting high school students ready to ace the ACT or SAT, working in general college prep, tutoring other college students in the specific subjects you enjoy or even working with elementary or middle school students, a tutoring job will allow you to share your knowledge — and maybe even learn a little something, yourself. Tutoring is ideal for anyone with specialized expertise to impart, but it's especially great for aspiring educators. And if you're the bookish type, you could also apply for jobs as a library assistant.

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Information technology specialist

Average pay for IT specialists: $26 per hour

Here's a great job for all you computer science majors out there. As an IT specialist, you'll learn how to apply all your technical expertise in a workplace setting. This could be a great start for aspiring software developers, web developers or information security professionals.

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Nursing assistant

Average pay for nursing assistants: $19 per hour

This is the perfect opportunity for aspiring registered nurses or other healthcare professionals. As a nursing assistant, you'll report to an RN at a hospital, nursing facility or other healthcare institution, assisting patients with moving, cleaning, eating and other basic tasks.

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Virtual assistant

Average pay for virtual assistants: $20 per hour

Working as a virtual assistant will give you an up-close view of how executives do their jobs. You'll work closely with a high-level professional, assisting them with scheduling, clerical work and general office tasks. That proximity to someone in a job you might want in the future will give you invaluable insight and help you take the next step toward your ultimate career goals.

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5 more jobs that are great for college students

Delivery driver

Average pay for delivery drivers: $21

This popular job is a great way to pick up some extra cash in your free time, provided you have a ship-shape car and impeccable skills behind the wheel. Some delivery drivers work for particular businesses, but you can also find contract work through Uber or Lyft, which allow you to set your own work schedule.

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Sales associate

Average pay for sales associates: $18 per hour

Calling all business majors! Start your career in sales and you'll be climbing the corporate ladder in no time. You might even earn yourself a commission. Sales is the second most in-demand skill that business owners want to see on your resume, so a background in an entry-level sales position can set you up for major success. You'll learn communication skills, leadership skills, professionalism, business tactics and much more.

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Data entry specialist

Average pay for data entry specialists: $18 per hour

If you see stories where others see spreadsheets, you'll enjoy a part-time data entry job. Working with numbers will prepare you for positions that require deeper statistical analysis. You might become a marketing analyst, for example, or a bookkeeper or accountant. The possibilities to excel are endless.

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Average pay for receptionists: $16 per hour

Receptionists work in offices across a variety of industries, helping complete clerical work and connect visitors and customers with the right people. As a receptionist, you'll learn time management and organization by maintaining schedules, and you'll brush up on your communication skills be interacting with customers.

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Average pay for babysitters: $13 per hour

A classic for responsible college students, this is the perfect position for people who like to work with kids. It teaches you responsibility, professionalism, time management and organization, and is particularly great for students pursuing careers in education. Many babysitters find clients locally through friends and family, but you can also find work through online platforms like Care.com, UrbanSitter and Bambino. If you'd prefer to care for clients of the four-legged variety, check out Rover.com.

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More tips for job seekers

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