4 answers

Higher paying jobs for current college students?

Updated Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

So I'm 20 and a community college student. I've been working since I was 15, and have done it all. I've worked retail, restaurants, and manual labor. I also fix houses with my uncle as a 2nd job. But I'm getting tired. Tired of working strenuous jobs for $8.50/hour. I'm looking for a job that doesn't require a degree. I'm in community college right now. I'm looking for a job that isnt physically demanding. Office work is what I'm looking for. also something that pays at least 25,000 a year, or $14/hour. Does anyone have an job ideas? What kind of job sounds right for me? I'm really interested in working as a paralegal, or something in data entry. Any advice? #job #college #office #job-search

4 answers

Jenna’s Answer

What is your current course of study at Community College? As Kim mentioned, being a paralegal isn't "easy" and does require at least a certification or Associate's Degree. It may be possible to get some kind of paying internship or job through one of your professors, if you are in fact working on paralegal studies at CC. Unfortunately, PA's minimum wage is still staggeringly low, so you may be stuck with this as you work your way towards a degree. Jobs that are more physically demanding are the ones now that you can make more money at, as the trades are in demand. They usually don't require a degree, but do require training or an apprenticeship, however most of this training is paid.

If you qualify, there are programs (many offered on community college campuses) that help assist students with job training, tax preparation and emergency food/housing if you feel this might be necessary. Check out Single Stop and see if you qualify, or if there is an office near you: https://singlestopusa.org/

Good luck!

Jenna recommends the following next steps:

  • Try to match what job/experience you are looking for with what you are studying at Community College
  • Decide whether your work needs to be higher paying (i.e. to pay the bills) or experiential (possibly unpaid, but related to your field of study).

Maggie’s Answer

Updated Dallas, Texas

Tyler, if you're looking for a temporary job while you finish up your degree, then I highly recommend becoming a tutor in a subject that you excel at. There is often a need for tutors for elementary, middle, or high school kids and the pay for certain subjects can be pretty well, depending on whether you're charging on your own or working for a tutoring company. I tutored calculus in high school and was able to charge $20/hour. This may not be something where you can find a full 40 hours of work per week, but it can be great money while requiring low labor.

There are also some secretarial positions or other admin jobs that may not require a degree and could provide a wide range of work instead of only data entry. I think that these jobs would require great communication skills as well as attention to detail. If you can exemplify these characteristics on your resume, then I think you would be a great candidate for one of these jobs that would hopefully suit your school schedule.

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas


First off, let's talk about pay. $14/hr equates to $29,120 annually. $25,000 annually equates to $12.02 hourly. The key figure is "2080." There are 2080 work-hours in a year (52 weeks x 40 hrs per week). Also, if a position pays monthly, you will want to first multiply that by 12 months, then divide by 2080 to get the hourly rate.

Salaries are up, due to the unemployment rate being down. So, that is good news! I am surprise you are still working for $8.50. Most entry level jobs in San Antonio are paying $10/hr.

There is a big difference between paralegal and data entry. Paralegal is a very difficult job, often working for very demanding bosses. Everything has to be perfect. There are no excuses for missing deadlines, etc. If you are serious about this, it usually requires a Paralegal Certification or at least an Associates Degree. If you want more information, let me know. There is a huge difference in some of the available programs and how well they do in getting you a job. Also, just my opinion, from having done physical labor as well. . . being physically exhausted is much better than the mental exhaustion you get from doing legal work (which, I have also done).

I don't know about elsewhere, but here in San Antonio many people make good careers out of working in call centers. They work for companies such as banks, insurance companies, mail-order pharmacies, etc. They have to learn a lot about company policies and products offered. It might be something to consider. You could also think about working in the hotel industry. Do you like customer service? Or go into medical billing and coding (specialized data entry) which will require some schooling but not a lot.

Let me know if you have more questions, and I will do my best to help you!


Nilla’s Answer


Depending on your specific skill set, you could consider working as a resume writer, web developer/designer, virtual assistant, or transcriber. Web development/design is typically the highest-paying out of those four, and it could require even just a few months online training — a lot of which you can get for free. For the rest, you can certainly get your foot in the door if you spend ample time on your resume, outlining your extensive work experience and any relevant coursework and skills. If none of these sound right, try networking with fellow students, past professors, and any family members who may be able to recommend/refer you to inside employment opportunities.

Good luck with your endeavors!