Working While Studying in the USA


As an international student, you are legally eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours during the regular semester (Fall / Spring) and 40 hours during the summer semester provided you have registered for classes in that semester. Usually, students working on-campus are called as Student Assistants.

International students can work off-campus through internship programs such as Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), or Academic Training (AT). Please refer our Career section for more information about these programs.

In the following section, we address the various questions regarding working while studying in the US:

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When should I apply for on-campus jobs?

Most of the openings for on-campus jobs are available at the beginning of the semester. So, you should start looking for on-campus jobs much before the semester begins. Typically, students work at a particular job for the entire semester.


What are the documents required for applying for on-campus jobs?

In most cases you just need to provide a resume (CV) for applying to the on-campus job. For more specific jobs such as maintaining a computer lab, you may have to show prior experience working with computers. Some jobs may also require you to provide recommendation letter(s) along with your application.


Can I work on-campus at more than one place?

Yes, you can work on-campus at more than one place provided that the total hours you are working per week is no more than 20 hours in the Fall and Spring semester and 40 hours in the Summer semester. Please note that some universities limit working in the Summer semester to only 30 hours.


What kind of jobs do students do while working on-campus?

While working on-campus, students get to do all kind of jobs such as working in the library, labs, cafeteria, parking lots, dining services, computer lab assistants, tutors, trainers, administrative assistants, etc.


How much can I earn by working on-campus?

Student assistants are entitled for certain amount of salary. Typically students assistants earn about $5.50 and above per hour. The amount of salary depends on the type of job that you do, the department, and the university. In most cases you will be paid on an hourly basis. However, you cannot expect so much out of student assistant’s salary as it will be close to the minimum hourly state salary. Nonetheless, it will help you cover some of your expenses.


How do I find information about job that is available on-campus?

In most cases, you will be able to find advertisements for an on-campus job in the career section or student employment section of your university web site. You might also find it in the campus bulletin, campus ad-boards and the campus newspaper.


As an international student, can I work off-campus?

You can only work off-campus if you get an approval from the USCIS / your International Student Office / your Financial Aid Responsible Officer, depending on the type of your visa and the type of work that you will be doing off-campus. Please visit our career section - work authorization for more detail.

If you work off-campus without a proper employment authorization, your will be considered as working illegaly in the US, and you might face deportation. Therefore, it is highly advisable that you do not do so.



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