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Jobs & Careers

8 best student jobs you probably haven’t considered

Forget retail and bar jobs. There are plenty of great part-time jobs out there for students that probably haven't even crossed your mind... yet.

Woman thinking next to a movie clapperboard, baby bottle and notebook and pencil

Credit: WAYHOME studio, vladwel, Inspiring, Kamelia.C – Shutterstock

Working a part-time job while you're at uni is a great way to boost your CV, meet new people and (most importantly) earn some extra cash. According to our National Student Money Survey, 56% of students work part-time.

But entering the competitive world of the part-time job hunt can be super daunting. Every student and their dog is looking for a way to supplement their Student Loan, which often barely covers rent.

Instead, why not increase your chances of landing something great by looking where others don't? Here are some part-time job ideas for students you probably haven't considered yet.

The hardest part of working during term time is juggling shifts with your studies. That's why most universities recommend you work no more than 15 hours per week. Our guide on how to balance a job and university can help.

8 best jobs for students

Here are some of the best jobs for university students:

  1. Student brand ambassador

    Working in PR is a perfect option if you're an outgoing, enthusiastic and social person. A lot of brands are interested in hiring student ambassadors (or 'Student Brand Managers' as they're also called) to promote them online.

    As a student, you have something totally invaluable to brands: access to the student market.

    What does a student brand ambassador do?

    Often brands will ask you to post about them on your social media accounts to generate interest from your friends. Or, they'll ask you to spread the word in exchange for a bit of commission.

    Doing PR for clubs and student nights (where you get paid a small commission for every person you get into the club) is also a popular option for students. This can be as easy as creating a Facebook event and inviting everyone in your halls, or flyering on campus.

    While it can look like easy money, promoting events for clubs is a late-night job. It's important not to let it interfere with your lectures the next day.

    Most companies will ask to see your social media profiles when you apply. PR is all about knowing people. So, if you can, start working on growing your friend list and online following.

    This kind of work is particularly useful to students who are interested in a career in marketing. It's also a great way to build contacts.

    But beware – companies hiring student brand ambassadors will often promise freebies and prizes or sell the job as "valuable experience" instead of paying you an actual salary. Only get on board if the company is paying minimum wage. You wouldn't wait tables for "the experience", would you?

    How to get started: Try searching for 'student brand manager' or 'student brand ambassador jobs' online. Or, you can look directly on the websites of your favourite brands to see if they are actively looking to hire brand ambassadors.

  2. Personal tutor

    tutor session materials

    Credit: Indypendenz – Shutterstock

    Parents will pay big money to help their kids get decent grades. If you're confident in your subject, that money could find its way straight into your pocket.

    Private tutoring not only makes good money, but it's also an ideal job to do remotely as you can teach on video calls.

    What skills do you need to be a tutor?

    You'll need top grades, patience and a fair amount of confidence working with young people to be good a good tutor.

    Working as a language tutor is a fantastic way to boost your CV. It also opens doors for you to teach abroad in the summer (although teaching English is also perfect to land you a TEFL job abroad).

    If you like a subject and were always good at it, use your skills to make money and help someone achieve their best. An added perk is that some parents will even give you a bonus if their child gets the grades that they want.

    How to get started: Find out everything you need to know in our guide to making money as a tutor.

  3. Resident assistant

    If you live in student halls and hate the idea of moving out next year, becoming a resident assistant (RA) could be the perfect job for you.

    What do resident assistants do?

    RA roles basically involve being a live-in supervisor for your building. You'll be the person students come to if they have an electrical fault, they've found a wasps' nest by their window or there's a fire in their kitchen.

    But don't worry – you won't have to sort out these issues yourself. RAs simply act as the middleman between student housing companies and students. This saves them from being bombarded with emails on a daily basis.

    While you don't technically get paid for this position, you will get to live in halls free of charge (or at a discounted rate). With housing costs taking up a huge chunk of students' Maintenance Loans, this is sure to save you a lot of money each month.

    As an RA, you might also be required to run some team-building exercises like movie nights and pub crawls, which can be fun.

    How to get started: Contact your university housing provider to see if there are any RA vacancies up for grabs.

  4. Babysitting

    Use your many years of experience bossing around your younger siblings to earn some extra cash.

    Lots of working parents need someone to pick their children up from school or nursery and keep them entertained until they get home. That's where flexible uni timetables come in handy.

    If you're good with kids, this is a great option. The money is usually pretty decent too.

    What skills and experience do you need to be a babysitter?

    Having a driving licence is usually an advantage (but is by no means essential). You can also stick to offering your services at night instead. Admittedly, this will involve less work as you'll spend most of your shift being paid to watch telly while the little ones sleep.

    Getting some informal experience working with children while you are at university might come in handy if you choose to work as an au pair abroad, or move into primary teaching.

    How to get started: By reading our guide on how to make money babysitting. Then, let everyone know that you're looking for gigs. Look out for ads on uni noticeboards too. You can sign up to agencies, but they will take a cut of any money you make.

  5. Working for your university

    queens university belfast building

    Credit: spatialpan - Flickr

    Sometimes the best opportunities are right under your nose. There are lots of different jobs available within universities.

    You could work at your uni, both during term and as a summer job.

    What jobs do universities offer?

    Jobs at student unions are an obvious choice. You'll get to see your friends while you earn some money (although this can also be torture if you're desperate to join in the fun!).

    Lots of universities are keen to hire students to call up alumni and ask for donations. As uncomfortable as this work can be, it does tend to pay well. These shifts are normally in the evenings, so they won't clash with classes.

    Another good option is to work as a student ambassador for your uni, which is quite similar to working as a brand ambassador.

    As a student ambassador, you might be required to visit schools and speak to the general public about how great your uni is in order to bring in new students.

    These positions are paid and tend to be really flexible. This makes it easy to work around your timetable and deadlines.

    How to get started: Check out your uni's website, as most will have a jobs page with different options.

  6. Working as a film or TV extra

    Rather than spending all your time watching Netflix, why not be on Netflix yourself?

    While we can't guarantee that you'll definitely end up on Netflix if you become an extra, there's certainly a chance of it happening. That's good enough for us.

    How do you become an extra?

    In terms of qualifications and experience, you don't actually need any to become an extra. A good work ethic and a patient attitude is all you need.

    The hours can be fairly long, and you'll often be asked to work at fairly short notice. But, depending on the job, you could be earning over £85 a day.

    How to get started: Read our guide to making money as an extra and get signed up with an agency.

  7. Temp work

    Not interested in turning up at the same place every shift? You could sign up to temp agencies that provide staff to businesses looking for an extra pair of hands for the day.

    What are the benefits of temping?

    The good thing about this kind of work is that there's loads of variety in the jobs you do. You'll get to meet lots of new faces and the money is pretty decent.

    You also won't have to deal with the commitment of a permanent job, and you can choose when you're able to work and when you can't.

    The downside of temp work is that you won't be entitled to the same employment rights as part-time workers.

    The most common positions for temp jobs are catering, bar work or hosting at events. From serving drinks at conferences to dressing up as a mascot to promote Pepperamis in the street, this is a good way to make money as and when you really need it.

    Remember that if you do temp work, you'll need to declare your own tax. We've got everything you need to know in our tax guide.

    How to get started: You'll need to sign up to a temping agency for this sort of work (or two, if you're really keen!).

  8. Pet sitter

    You can get paid to spend time with pets! Becoming a pet sitter can be the perfect university student job. Because you can set your own hours, it's easy to balance this job with your university classes, and you could end up earning £40 or more each day.

    What does a pet sitter do?

    You'll simply be looking after someone's pet when you're not able to – if they're at work, for example. This way, owners don't have to use a cattery or kennel. Sometimes, it works out cheaper for them too.

    As a pet sitter, you may be responsible for feeding them, walking them, playing with them and making sure they stay safe.

    If you're unable to commit to a full day (or even overnight stays), you can also consider becoming a dog walker for a few hours per week.

    How to get started: We've got an extended guide on how to get started as a pet sitter for more information.

For ideas on how to earn money quickly, see our guide to making cash online.

Laura Brown

WRITTEN BY Laura Brown

Laura Brown, Head of Editorial at Save the Student, is an award-winning writer with expertise in student money. She project manages influential national student surveys and has presented findings to MPs in Westminster. As an expert on student issues, Laura has been quoted by the BBC, the Guardian, Metro and more.
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