College Students Only Earn $20 per Hour Working Part-Time

College Students Only Earn $20 per Hour Working Part-Time

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According to a Georgetown University study, around 70% of all college students work at least one part-time job. With so many students relying on their employment, this begs the question of how much they’re actually making. 

According to our survey conducted on LinkedIn, college students make $19.8 per hour and about $4,250 per year from part-time jobs. However, these estimations don’t include the Federal Work-Study program, which accounts for a median of $1,788 of income per student.

Let’s discuss how minimum wage and part-time student jobs tie into each other, the work habits of college students, and other aspects of earning money while pursuing higher education.

Minimum Wage for Student Jobs

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, the current federal minimum wage sits at $7.25 per hour for covered non-exempt employees. A non-exempt employee is someone entitled to the federal minimum wage, most college students fall into this category. 

States also have their own minimum wage, but these will vary depending on the state in which you live/work. Like Ohio, New York, and California, some states have a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum. However, some states, like Georgia, have a minimum wage lower than the federal minimum. 

The Department of Labor has a helpful map that shows each state’s minimum wage in relation to the federal minimum. 

Unfortunately, Many Students Work Multiple Part-Time Jobs to Make Ends Meet

Many college students have two or more jobs during their studies. It’s becoming increasingly common for students to need more than one income as tuition costs keep rising and other expenses, like books and rent, pop up.

Unfortunately, surviving usually means sacrificing a letter grade or two in the process. One study conducted at Georgetown University found that students that worked while also going to school were far more likely to do poorly in their classes and eventually drop out as a result. 

As a general rule, it’s recommended students work no more than 15 hours per week. With that said, 15 hours isn’t feasible for students who come from low-income families. 

Now, pair that information with the fact that now, more than ever, students of color and students from low-income families are enrolling in two and four-year public colleges and universities. Now you have many students who may be struggling to balance work and life responsibilities with academic responsibilities

To help ease some of that burden, many colleges and universities have counselors and success coaches whose sole purpose in their position is to guide you throughout your college experience. 

The Bottom Line

College students can make anywhere from minimum wage to at least double that, depending on their job. Now double or triple that number for many students who work multiple jobs while also going to school despite the research saying students with jobs tend to fall behind in classes.

The stress from a part-time job or two has led many students to lean closer to generating passive income than a typical part-time job. Regardless of how students choose to make an income during their college career, the amount of money earned varies from student to student.

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About The Author

Nathan Brunner
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Nathan Brunner is a labor market expert. He is a mathematician who graduated from EPFL.

He is the owner of Salarship, a job search engine where less-skilled candidates can find accessible employment opportunities.