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Andrew Arkley|March 27, 2024

Best Jobs For Students: Our Guide To Jobs For University Students

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Want to know what the best jobs for students are – work that’s well paid, while still giving you ample time to study hard and get the best degree possible?

You’re certainly not alone. Last year was the first time on record where the majority of students in the UK – 55% – also worked part-time, according to the HEPI Student Academic Experience Survey.

The previous year, 45% of students worked alongside studying, so it’s been a rapid rise in just 12 months.

In this guide we’ll explore everything you need to know about student jobs. How many hours a week can you work, what could you earn and where do you go to get a student job?

How many hours per week can I work in a student job?

First of all, you must make sure your university or higher education institution doesn’t have any restrictions on taking on a part-time job during your studies.

Then, check for that institution’s rules on how many hours you can devote to a job as a student alongside your course.

Often, the rule is that full-time degree students can work up to 20 hours per week during terms.

For example, Newcastle University permits 20 hours per week as a maximum during term time. During the holidays, that cap increases to 48 hours per week.

But other universities’ rules vary – the University of Liverpool recommends only 15 hours per week.

International students wanting to work a part-time job in the UK need a Student visa (this was previously called Tier 4), letting you study and work. Your visa may impose restrictions on working hours depending on the course you are enrolled in and your sponsor. 

Again, working hours during term time cannot exceed 20 hours per week – that’s according to the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

Best jobs for students (UK)

Here are some of the most popular student jobs, some of which can pay very well:

  • On-campus jobs: Most universities offer some on-campus roles, working in anything from library work to events support.
  • Bar work: A popular on-campus job, why not try your hand as a barista? Off-campus you could find vacancies at a nearby pub, club or hotel.
  • Other hospitality / events: This could involve anything from reception work to waiting on tables and organising events, to catering and cleaning. In the summer, look out for opportunities to work at festivals!
  • Temp work: Administration, sales, and customer service roles often require temp workers. It’s a great way to get some work experience in an office environment. The tasks could involve anything from answering phones to data entry and sales.

Learn about the art of writing a great hospitality CV in our dedicated guide. Also, here is our advice when writing a CV for temporary jobs.

Some more of the best student jobs include:

  • Retail assistant
  • Receptionist
  • Customer service
  • Data entry clerk
  • Food delivery driver
  • Home care worker
  • Theatre usher
  • Store checkout assistant
  • Warehouse worker
  • Dog walking

Looking for more? Here is our guide to part-time jobs in the UK, whether you’re seeking university student jobs or not.

Perhaps the most lucrative student job is tutoring. For example, if you’ve already passed your A-Level maths with flying colours, who better than you to tutor a GCSE student?

How much can I earn in a student job?

So, let’s stay with tutoring as we look at how much you could earn in a student job.

The average rate for a private tutoring session in the UK is between £30 and £42 per hour, according to Prospects. And your rate could increase to £50 per hour or more when you gain more experience and build up a reputation.

In any student job, from 1 April 2024, as specified by UK Parliament, if aged 21 or older you are entitled to the National Living Wage.

So that works out as £11.44 per hour. For students aged 18 to 20 it’s £8.60 and for apprentices or  under 18s, it’s only £6.40.

Of course, if you’re highly entrepreneurial and create your own part-time job during your studies, then there’s no limit to how much you could earn!

For example, one student claimed last year to earn £10,000 through her own sustainable fashion market.

Where can I find a student job?

Keep an eye on their website or any notice boards around your institution to find out when new roles come up.

We also recommend visiting the career centre at your university, they may be able to help you find both on or off campus jobs.

There are also several job portals online, including:

  • StudentJob
  • Save the Student
  • E4S (Employment For Students)
  • Student Circus

These portals feature lots of jobs for students. The latter, Student Circus, is for international students seeking work in the UK.

Don’t worry about writing a CV with no experience. You’re still a student and many of your peers will be in the same situation.

We recommend identifying several different jobs and applying to all of them, tailoring your application to the job description. You’ll then need to pass an interview, but don’t let that scare you off… 

Read more about how to be confident in a job interview! Also, find out how long it takes to hear back after an interview.

Final thoughts: Best jobs for uni students

We hope this guide has helped you learn more about the best part-time jobs for students in the UK.

If you’re applying for an off-campus job, make sure you do your homework! Check out our blog.

Whether you want to know how to write a customer service CV or need to learn about the different types of interview, we’ve got you covered. Our website is full of advice for those seeking good jobs for students. 

We also offer plenty of non-student specific tips. Recently we covered why it’s never a good idea to try the so-called white fonting CV trick.

Need some help writing a CV? We can help – the PurpleCV team has helped lots of students with their job applications – please contact us for more information.

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