Work-Study Jobs: What Are They? | 10 Most Popular Work-Study Jobs

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Work-study job is a common phrase among college kids. The reason is not far-fetched. These jobs given by the federal work study program have overtime provided the much-needed financial aid that has kept student loan debt at bay.

Statistics show that over 309,900 work students are currently employed in the United States. This goes to show just how much the federal aid program engages young people.

Hence, the scramble for work-study jobs in universities is bound to continue over the years, as experience is another key factor why students have a need for it.

This article seeks to expose you to work-study, the most popular work-study jobs, and the perks. Therefore, if you are keen on garnering this information, this article is just for you.

While considering part-time jobs, this article has all you need to know about it; 20 Best Part-Time Jobs that pay $15 an hour | 2022

What is Work-Study?

Also referred to as federal work-study, it is a federal program that helps undergraduate and graduate students earn money by working part-time.

In other words, the programs see to it that students can combine working part-time and schooling to fend for themselves.

To illustrate, this job is given to college student who do not have the financial ability to foot their bills.

So, as college student who fall within this category, all you have to do is to apply for a particular job that is related to your course of study and be sure to be employed.

Those who read this article end up reading; 24 Great Jobs That Pay $25 an hour with no experience | 2022

How Does Work-Study Jobs Work?

Undergraduate and graduate students apply through Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In other words, they don’t apply directly at their school since it is a federal program.

Most importantly, this program is based on your financial need. In addition, your eligibility status will be confirmed after applying.

You can apply for jobs through your school (Student employment office) after confirming that work-study is included in your financial aid package.

If you find this article helpful, also consider: 20 Best Part-Time Jobs that pay $15 an hour | 2022

Pros of federal work-study

The following are the pros of federal work-study jobs:

  • Experience: This is a major advantage of such positions. Landing a work-study job will add value to your work experience. It will help you pick up skills relevant for future positions.
  • Flexibility: These positions help in balancing classes and work. Hence, students will learn how to effectively plan and manage time.
  • Competition: Work-study jobs give room for little or no competition among students seeking a position.
  • Student Loan: With this job in hand, it reduces the potential for you to accrue student loan debt.

Before you rush off to see how to make money online as a study abroad student, check out: 25 Under The Table Jobs that Pay Cash Only | 2022

Cons of federal work-study

  • Meager pay: While several students struggle to get these jobs, the pay is low. Federal work-study jobs pay at least a minimum, you could get better pay elsewhere.
  • Little time for study: If not properly managed, these positions can negatively affect your studies. Consequently, you may have little time to study which is detrimental to the very reason why you enrolled in school in the first place.
  • Choice of job: Sadly, you may not get your choice of job. The position may have no relationship whatsoever with your major or career choice.
  • Limited hours: These jobs work with limited time. Therefore, if you want to earn more by putting in more hours, you will be disappointed.

See Other High Paying Jobs in 2022; 25 Best Jobs That Pay $10 an Hour | 2022

How much does a work-study job pay?

Work-study positions pay $7.25 per hour, which is the same as the current federal minimum wage.

Those who read this, also read; How Much Do Astronauts Get Paid?

Where are Most work-Study Jobs Typically Located?

This is one vital question students ask. While some work-study are located off campus, most work-study jobs are typically located on campus.

Don’t fail to read; 32 Best Under the Table Jobs that Pay Cash Directly

Is Federal Work-Study Worth it?

While it may be worth it to one, it might not be to the next person. Hence, you should make certain considerations before applying for the program.

It is important for you to weigh the pros and cons of work-study jobs based on your peculiar situation. In other words, if the pros outweigh the cons, it is worth it, and vice versa.

Are Work Study Jobs On-campus or Off-Campus?

It can work both ways. If you work on campus, you’ll almost always be employed by your institution.

On the other hand, if you work off-campus, you will most likely work for a private nonprofit organization or a government agency. In addition, the work you do or the services you render must be in the interest of the public.

Where to Find a Work-Study Job

There are three major places or options available for finding these jobs. They include:

University portal

The university portal always has current information on work-study jobs on campus. Hence, it should be your first point of call.

You can also contact your financial advisor or the student employment office directly to get more options for work-study jobs on campus.

Department Heads and Professors

Since most work-study jobs are typically located on campus, getting in touch with your department heads and professors will help you source for these jobs. You are bound to find positions like tutoring, research assistantship, or teaching assistantship when you inquire about them.

On the flip side, you have to have a great understanding of the subject before you can be considered.

Job Search Boards

Looking up job search boards such as Glassdoor,, and LinkedIn is another great way of finding work-study jobs.

You can search using your university and position of interest. If found, you will need to double-check if the position falls under your work-study category.

How to Get a High-Paying Work-Study Job

Observing certain rules will aid you in securing high-paying work-study jobs. You may want to observe the following guide:

Research This Financial Aid Program

Inquiring about all of your student employment and federal government financial aid options is the first step toward landing a high-paying work-study position.

The Federal Campus-Based Programs Data Book from the US Department of Education is an excellent research source for determining which colleges receive the most federal monies.

Hence, start by searching the list for universities that participate in this financial aid award program. After that, you can narrow down your choices and apply to the universities that provide the finest work-study opportunities.

Consider the University’s Eligible Campus and Off-Campus Job Opportunities

Check into all of the work-study options offered by the institution if you want to secure the best part-time employment with the best pay.

In addition, you can look at off-campus work-study opportunities that pay well. However, you should consider the cost of transportation.

Since most work-study jobs are typically located on campus, transportation cost is not a source of worry. Hence, most students prefer these jobs on campus.

Organize Your Schedule

You should brace yourself for the work-study job by organizing your schedule in line with the maximum of 20 hours of work per week.

See Other High Paying Jobs; 20 Highest Paying Jobs In The Apparel/Fashion Industry | 2022

How to apply for federal work-study

Choose the box on the FAFSA that says you want to be considered for work-study when you fill out the application. This selection is not an assurance that you will be included in the financial aid.

In addition, you are not obligated to accept the offer when given.

You’ll receive a financial aid award within a few weeks or months of submitting the application. The award will contain details of the amounts of loans, grants, and work-study you’re qualified for.

Is a Work-Study Job For Me?

As long as you need financial assistance as a student to cover tuition and other students’ expenses, then it is ideal for you. It provides you with the opportunity to learn and earn while garnering vital experience for future purposes.

To add, work-study flexibility helps you manage time between classes and work.

How Will I Be Paid?

The payment method will be determined by your program. As an undergraduate student, you will be paid hourly.

On the other hand, as a graduate student, you can be paid hourly or be given a salary based on the work you do.

Can I work as many hours as I want?

You can only work within the allotted 20 hours per week. In other words, you can’t earn more than your total federal work-study stipend.

See Also: How Many Hours Is a Part-Time Job? | 2022

Skills Required to Get Your First Work-Study Job

Certain skills will aid you in securing your first work-study job. They include:

  • Communication skills
  • Administrative skills
  • Teaching skills

In looking forward to applying and securing a work-study job, you have to first identify these jobs. Therefore, inquiring about these work-study jobs will further aid your search and selection process.

An idea about the most popular work-study jobs available will help narrow your search. Yearning to know about the most popular work-study jobs?

Here they are:

1. University Tutor

Working as a university tutor as a work-study job is cool. You might want to consider this position if you have great teaching skills. In addition, your GPA in your subject will also determine whether you can secure this position.

2. Student Research Assistant

A research assistant is another great work-study job. You can apply for this position if you have a passion for researching.

A major advantage of this work-study job is the professional experience it affords you. Also, if you desire a major in STEM, this position is suitable for you.

3. Residential Advisor

These students are responsible for organizing activities in the dormitories and providing assistance to dorm residents. Additionally, they act as liaison officers between college students and the school’s residential administrators.

Working as a residential advisor has its perks. It helps in striking off accommodation from your worry chart. In other words, the school provides you with free housing and meals. However, some universities don’t add salaries to the job compensations.

4. Library Assistant

Library assistants assist other students and patrons in locating materials of interest. Also, they offer help on how to use the library’s resources as well as check in and out books.

Therefore, you will be required to have a hang on the operations of the library. You will also need to be able to identify library resources of value and ways to use them.

5. Student Tour Guide

Being a tour guide can be refreshing. It provides an excellent opportunity for you to meet and interact with people while showing off your school to prospective students.

While at this, you need to enlighten these prospective students and their parents about strategic places on campus.
However, you need to possess great communication skills.

Conclusively, you must have a thorough awareness of the school’s culture, academic curriculum, and other admissions-related facts in order to function effectively on the job.

While looking forward to securing work-study jobs, you may want to know about interns and how much they are paid: Do Interns Get Paid? How Much Do Interns Get Paid?

6. Fitness Trainer

This is another work-study job you can consider. If you love exercising or working in the gym, you may have a spot in there.

In taking up this position, you will train and work with students and the university’s staff alike.

7. Computer Lab Assistant

A computer lab assistant provides IT assistance to students and staff. This assistance includes login, computer hardware, and software issues.

As a computer science major, securing a work-study job as a computer lab assistant will look good on your resume.

8. University Book Clerk

Working as a university bookstore clerk can be exciting if you love books and organization. You will be responsible for selling books and other university customized items.

Also, you will be required to sort out books students placed orders for online. To add, customer service is vital for this position.

9. Student Server

A student server position is a good work-study job that pays well. Every semester, job opportunities in university cafeterias, coffee shops, and catering departments spring up.

The perks of such a position include flexible and stable work hours and a salary increase every semester.

10. Writing Center Assistant

The benefit of taking up a writing center assistant as a work-study job is enormous. Working as a writing center assistant will further sharpen your writing skills.

This job will provide the opportunity for you to read and criticize materials written by your peers. This will in return help them become better writers.

However, this job is most suitable for students who love to write and have a strong hold on grammar.

Top Universities That Hire for Work-Study Jobs

Providing a list of the most popular work-study might leave you wondering about universities that hire for such jobs.

The following are top universities that hire for work-study jobs:

  • The University of Michigan
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • Harvard University
  • The University of Oklahoma
  • The University of Houston

What Are The Alternatives to Work-Study Jobs?

A lot of students seem to wonder about alternatives to work-study jobs as a result of their eligibility status. Remember, not every job on campus is a work-study job.

Other than these jobs, you can consider securing part-time jobs. You can get a part-time job through your school’s student employment office or through a department’s hiring process.

Also, you can secure an off-campus job. In addition, an online job may be ideal for you if you have a thing for flexibility and convenience.


What are some examples of work study jobs?

The following are examples of work-study jobs:

  • Library Assistant
  • Office Assistant
  • Tour Guide
  • Marketer
  • Art Department Assistant
  • Tutor
  • Research Assistant
  • Fitness Center Assistant

Where are most work study jobs typically located?

Most work-study jobs are located on the student’s college campuses.

What is the least amount of money a student should receive when doing work study?

The least amount of money a student can receive when doing work-study is the federal minimum wage ($7.25) an hour.

What are the disadvantages of work study?

The following are the disadvantages of work-study jobs:

  • Low pay
  • Little time for study
  • Limited hours
  • Finding your desired job is hard

Does work studies look good on a resume?

Work-study jobs look good on a resume. If your work-study job is related to your major, it adds valuable work experience an employer may consider.

On the other hand, if it is outside your major or scope of study, it can add transferrable skills to your personality which are essential for employees. These transferable skills include customer service, leadership, communications skills, and teamwork.

Either way, it is valuable to your resume.

What's the difference between work-study and a regular job?

Work-study jobs come through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by your institution.

On the other hand, a part-time job is a job outside the school’s campus.


Work-study jobs not only provide financial aid to undergraduate and graduate students, but it also enriches them with relevant experience.

Considering all you stand to gain from securing work-study jobs, you can start the application process and pursue the federal aid.

In addition, you can look through the listed popular work-study jobs and settle for any that meets your preference.

We hope this article enlightened you on work-study jobs and all there is to know about them. For comments and feedback, reach us through the comment section or @



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