5 Part-Time Jobs for Community College Students in Need of Flexibility

by Chad Agrawal

Working while you're in school can certainly be a drag, especially with all of the obstacles presented by the college experience (mainly a schedule that changes from one semester to the next). But many college students need the income to supplement whatever they get from parents, scholarships, and student loans. So here are just a few part-time options that will work with your hectic schedule and net you a little extra cash during your tenure in community college.

Waiting tables. This certainly doesn't sound like a great part-time job, and the truth is that it can be both physically and mentally demanding (not necessarily a good combo for the average college student). But here's what you will get out of it: flexible shifts that work with your school schedule, tips in addition to your wages, and often, discounted or even free meals. So although you have to be on your feet and deal with the public, this could just be one of the best part-time jobs available to the student population. Also popular (for similar reasons) are positions like bartender and barista.

IT. If you happen to have a brain that understands computers (and/or plenty of experience tinkering with technology), then you can keep your cash flow positive during your stint at community college by offering your services on campus. Considering that every student has either a computer or a laptop (or in many cases both), and very few people know how to deal with problems like spyware, viruses, or other issues on their own, you could make a killing by addressing their issues for less than, say, the Geek Squad. And if you're a real whiz kid you could even market yourself to teachers and other campus entities. The skillset required for such a job is not easy to acquire, so you might as well use it to pay your way through college.

Blogging. You probably didn't even know you could make money doing this. And it's not exactly easy to earn a livable wage doing it. But there are a couple of ways that a student with strong writing skills and a well-developed voice can bring home the bacon through blogging. The first option is to monetize your own blog, although this could take several months or even more than a year of work to start showing returns (through advertising and affiliates). But you might also submit work to sites like about.com, examiner.com, or brighthub.com (which pay by the article, although some will also share small percentages of advertising revenue based on the amount of work you submit). And of course, there are sites like Textbroker (that cater exclusively to freelance writers) and Problogger (that target bloggers in particular) to consider.

Freelance graphic design. Anyone who's handy with graphics software and has a portfolio of projects already available for perusal can start seeking work in a freelance capacity. You can certainly use popular freelance sites like ODesk and Elance to find such jobs, but you might be better off looking for sites that work specifically with graphic designers. Crowdsourcing graphics site 99Designs lets artists compete for paying gigs by presenting mockups for job postings. And options like Dice and Coroflot offer tech and artistic jobs, respectively.

Tutoring. For a job that pays pretty well and doesn't take up too much of your time, tutoring could be a great option. The only real drawback to this avenue of earning is that you will have to be able to deliver results, which means you need to be an expert in whatever subjects you tutor and have a knack for helping other students to understand the material they're struggling with. Also, you're going to have to find clients in the first place. Luckily, you have options. You can elect to tutor a variety of age groups, from elementary up to collegiate level. And if you have trouble finding clients you might consider signing up with a group like The Princeton Review (which offers test prep) or even seeking hire with an online tutoring website like tutor.com or smartthinking.com. Whether you're getting your general education out of the way at community college so you can pursue an undergrad degree in biology or a masters in criminal justice down the road, tutoring can help to solidify your foundational learning while bringing in some cash to pay for your own education.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

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