8 Popular Jobs For International Students In USA

When studying as an international student in USA, there is a lot to consider.

It doesn’t come cheap. From rent, groceries, course fees, and other living costs, we know how expensive it is to study abroad.

Having a part-time job helps immensely to pay off bills and support your leisure activities. It’s also a great way to meet new people and upgrade your skills to enhance your portfolio. It’ll be a great asset once job-hunting season begins!

Without further ado, let’s jump right in. Here are 8 popular jobs that international students in USA can apply for:


International students in USA treat sleep as a luxury. With so many of them dependent on coffee, high chances are there will be a café or a coffee bar on campus.

If you are a huge coffee fan yourself, work as a barista and take this opportunity to meet new people on campus. Not only will you learn how to make drinks, but learn a great deal about espresso, tea, latte, and other drinks, which can come in handy for Culinary students! The best thing about working as a barista is that you basically get unlimited student discounts, not to mention free coffee!

An international student in USA working as a barista.

Your days will be packed with juggling classes and working as a barista, but if you enjoy the fast-paced life, then this job is the perfect hustle for you.

Average wage per hour: $12.58

Tour Guide 

Campus tours are a popular activity that is held every few months whenever a new enrolment opens. US universities are huge in size with a lot of cultural and historic significance attached to each building, so the Admissions Department is often on the lookout for students who can help show prospective students and parents around.

As a tour guide, you’ll need to be friendly and open to socializing with new people. You’ll also have to promote the campus occasionally, so make sure you’re well-acquainted with campus knowledge of the best spots beforehand!

Average wage per hour: $11

Peer Tutor

If you excel in a particular subject and have free time between classes, you can try working part-time as a tutor or peer mentor. It involves helping your fellow students to understand the course content, study for exams, or tackle a difficult chapter they are struggling with. Colleges with athletic programs place a lot of importance on this role as they need tutors to mentor school athletes who don’t have enough time to study.

International student in USA mentoring a college athlete.

A perk of this job is that you can choose your own work hours, which helps international students to keep a flexible schedule.

Average wage per hour: $15.19

Research Study Assistant

If you prefer to work indoors, there’s options for that too. You can work as a research assistant on campus, collect information on various projects, and assist professors with their findings. Depending on the department, your job scope might change.

However, it is generally a job that requires excellent organizational skills, since you will be conducting research and collecting results. And if you are passionate about the topics of research, that’s a big plus!

Average wage per hour: $18.38

Library Assistant

Working as a library assistant is perfect for international students in USA who want to devote extra time to their studies and earn some cash.

A girl arranging books on the shelf. 

Job responsibilities include shelving books, maintaining quiet and order around the library, and recommending books to customers. If you’re an ardent reader, this is the perfect opportunity for you to catch up on some reading and discover new books. All without slacking off on the job, of course!

Average wage per hour: $13.25

Department Assistant 

A department assistant is one of the best jobs you can get as an international student in USA, because it offers relevant experience for your CV. You will be providing administrative assistance to the department, such as answering calls, ensuring academic records are up to date and managing various schedules.

You will need good communication skills and demonstrate strong teamwork attributes. Department assistants typically work in an office, so you’ll also need to have a grasp of basic computer literacy.

To apply, you can ask your Head of Department for a referral. Departments usually give priority to students within their field, so we recommend that you work within your own department. It’s also a good chance for you to network with your lecturers, make connections and gain a stronger understanding of how the department works.

Average wage per hour: $16.52

Teaching Assistant 

Do you count yourself as a bit of a teacher’s pet? Can you relate as one of those students that always raise their hands first because they’ve got the perfect answer?

 College students raising their hand in class.

Hey, no hate. If your grades are stellar, you could make this job work. A teaching assistant helps out their lecturer or professor with minor tasks like handing out assignments, supervising the classroom when they’re away, and working closely with students who are struggling.

There usually aren’t any formal openings for this post, so ask your professor if you can help them with their duties in the classroom. Chances are they’ll say yes, because they’re often swamped with work and papers to grade.

Average wage per hour: $12

Campus Tech Support 

If you’re not so much of a people person and prefer working by yourself, you can check out the IT Support department for job openings. They usually have positions that require you to work when a technical request or emergency comes in, so you won’t be occupied all the time.

All US universities offer technical support to classrooms, laboratories, and event halls, so it’s a pretty important job. Some of the duties include providing tech support for conferences, classrooms, handling repair work, and maintenance for technical equipment, such as printers and desktops.

Did I mention that if you’re studying in an IT field, this is a great way to grow your computer skills?

Average wage per hour: $20

So, there you have it: 8 popular part-time jobs to choose from with different benefits, fun, and of course, opportunities for your future career. Whichever it is, I’m sure you’ll have a great time (and lotsa hard-earned cash) studying in the US!

Contact our counselors at [email protected] for more information about studying abroad. They’ll be happy to help!

Hey, check out these articles while you’re here!

Tee May

Tee May

Teemay is a content writer who relishes telling a good story as much as she enjoys reading one. A fan of fantasy and time travel lore, she indulges herself with quaint daydreams of living in a vintage cottage settled deep in the woods. She hopes to achieve this one day, or may just settle with a treehouse instead. In her free time, she practices amateur astrology and interprets birth charts. These started out as a hobby for ‘fun’, but they come close to being obsessions these days.

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