How Many Hours Should a College Student Work?

How Many Hours Should a College Student Work?

College can be a demanding experience, with a seemingly infinite list of responsibilities. For many, the question of how many hours should a college student work can be an overwhelming one.

In this blog post, we will explore the various factors to consider when deciding how many hours a college student should work.

Students in college should aim to work approximately 15-20 hours a week in order to cover costs such as housing, tuition, food, clothing, transportation, and other necessities. 

Working this amount of hours can even help a student to save up some extra money for recreational purposes.

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Jobs For College Students

Are you a college student looking for a job? You’re not alone. In this increasingly difficult economy, many college students are turning to jobs to supplement their education and help them pay for the rising costs of college. 

Fortunately, there are a variety of jobs available to college students that can help them make extra money, gain valuable experience, and even get a jumpstart on their career paths. 

If you’re considering a job while in college, here are some of the best options to consider:

  • On-Campus Jobs
  • Freelance Work
  • Internships
  • Part-Time Jobs
  • Full-Time Jobs

On-Campus Jobs

One of the best types of jobs for college students is an on-campus job. On-campus jobs often offer flexible hours that fit around classes, and they’re usually very close to where you live. 

Many colleges have their own on campus job boards where you can find job openings, or you can ask around your department or in the student union. 

Freelance Work

Freelancer work is another great option for college students. You can take on freelance jobs in a variety of fields, such as writing, graphic design, web development, and more. 

These jobs are often flexible and allow you to make your own hours, so you can work around your class schedule. It’s also a great way to get some portfolio-building experience in your chosen field.

Part-Time Jobs

Part-time jobs are another great option for college students. These jobs usually involve fewer hours than a full-time job, so you have more flexibility to work around your classes. 

Many part-time jobs also offer opportunities for on-the-job training, which can help you develop valuable skills that could help you land a full-time job after graduation.

Full-Time Jobs

Full-time jobs for college students can be a great way to gain professional experience, make money, and gain valuable skills while still in college. 

Many employers offer part-time or full-time jobs specifically for college students, allowing them to work around their class schedules. These jobs can include working in retail, restaurants, or even on campus. 


Internships are another great option for college students. Internships provide an opportunity to gain valuable real-world experience in a variety of fields, and many offer college credit or even a stipend to help with expenses. 

It’s a great way to explore potential career paths and make professional connections that can last a lifetime. Different internships have different work hours.

How Many Hours a Week Should a College Student Work?

Weighing up the pros and cons is key when it comes to working while studying. Deciding how many hours of work each week is best for you is a crucial part of this. 

For some students, financial necessity may mean they need to work as many hours as possible. However, if you have more flexibility, a recent report may help inform your decision.

Data from the Department of Education reveals that those who work 12 hours or fewer per week tend to have higher grades, likely due to the discipline and time management abilities gained from working.

Those who work more than 15 hours a week are more likely to discontinue their studies as a result of having to manage both work and school.

Full-Time Students

As a full-time student, you’re no stranger to juggling a hectic schedule. You’re used to taking on multiple responsibilities, and you’re always striving to make the most of your education. 

When it comes to succeeding in school, full-time students know that it requires a unique kind of focus and dedication.

The benefits of being a full-time student are numerous. You get to experience the full college experience, from taking classes to meeting new people. 

You have access to a larger range of courses and professors, and you can take advantage of the convenience of having all your classes in one place. Plus, full-time students are eligible to receive financial aid and scholarships.

Part-Time Students

According to a report published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part-time students make up a significant portion of the college student population. In fact, the number of part-time students enrolled in college has grown steadily over the past two decades.

Part-time students are people who choose to take fewer than 12 credits per semester. These students may be balancing school and other life commitments, such as a full-time job or a family. 

Part-time students often enroll in classes to earn credits for their degree, or to fulfill prerequisites for more advanced classes.

The challenges of being a part-time student can be considerable. These students often juggle their schoolwork with the demands of their jobs and other commitments. In addition, part-time students may have limited access to resources such as academic advisors and financial aid.

Some Benefits And Negatives Of College Students Doing Jobs


  • College students doing jobs can gain valuable work experience as well as earn an extra income. 
  • Working during college can help students develop skills such as communication and problem-solving. 
  • Having a job can give college students a sense of responsibility, and a better appreciation for the value of money.


  • Juggling a job and college can be difficult and can take away time from studying. 
  • College students may have to take jobs that are lower paying and don’t offer the same benefits as regular employees. 
  • Working while in college can be stressful and could cause burnout if not managed properly.


Before making a decision to work during college, it’s important to do an honest self-assessment. Consider carefully your ability to multitask, manage competing responsibilities and prioritize your time.

Be mindful that the demands of college can shift from one semester to the next, and that job requirements, personal relationships and other factors can add to the stress. 

Above all else, remember that graduating with a college degree and getting a quality education should be your priority. Don’t let the responsibilities of a job come at the expense of your future.

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Frequently Asked Questions About How Many Hours Should a College Student Work

It depends on your individual situation and goals. Generally, it is recommended to work no more than 20 hours per week while in college.

Many employers understand the demands of college and offer flexible scheduling options. Look for jobs that accommodate your school schedule or allow you to work during off-hours, like early mornings, evenings, or weekends.

Effective time management is key to balancing work and school responsibilities. Prioritize tasks and set realistic goals for yourself. Make sure to plan ahead, including scheduling in time for breaks, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Yes, there are many job opportunities specifically for college students. Internships, fellowships, and volunteer roles can provide valuable experience, while also offering flexible hours. Additionally, many companies offer summer jobs, part-time jobs, and jobs for recent graduates.

Yes, working can help college students gain valuable experience, develop important skills, and supplement their income. However, it is important to make sure that work does not take away from academic success.

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By Alex

Alex is one of the industry's most highly-regarded career experts with many years of experience in career development, human resources, job hunting strategies, workplace success, and hiring. Alex is the founder of also writes about job searching and careers for The Business Beaster.