The Benefits of Working While Attending High School or College

As a student, whether in high school or college, taking on a part-time job can bring about various advantages. It can help you acquire valuable experience in a particular field, augment your savings, or cover your living expenses. Earning money through work is an excellent way for students to support themselves.

However, sometimes it can be challenging to find a job, particularly if you lack reliable transportation or have limited availability due to classes. The key to landing a job is to search for one that best suits your situation. For example, if you don’t own a car, look for a job that is within walking distance or easily accessible by public transportation. Furthermore, ensure that the job offers you the experience you desire.

Holding a job while in high school or college can be advantageous, as it affords you the chance to gain experience in a field that piques your interest and enhance your resume. It demonstrates your ability to work before completing your education and embarking on a professional career.

According to Daniel Douglas, co-author of a 2019 paper by the Rutgers Education and Employment Research Center and visiting assistant professor of educational studies and social science research methods at Trinity College in Connecticut, “The more you work during your first year of college, the more you earn after college.”

Working during high school and college can yield numerous benefits later in life, including a more extensive professional network, higher earnings, and a more impressive resume. Hence, there is a compelling incentive to work during this time.

Job opportunities for students include:

Food Service

The food service industry offers a plethora of job opportunities, encompassing restaurants, fast food joints, coffee shops, and grocery stores. Despite the challenges involved in handling food, it provides an excellent chance to hone your customer service and culinary skills. If you enjoy cooking, you can even venture into selling homemade sweet delights.


If you work in retail, you could be selling a variety of products ranging from clothing and home goods to pet food and essential oils. This industry is an excellent opportunity to develop skills in providing top-quality customer service and enjoy fantastic discounts on products as an employee.


Despite the less-than-ideal conditions of working outdoors in the Florida heat and humidity, it presents an excellent chance to enhance your skills in lawn care, animal husbandry, and customer service.


If you’re interested in tutoring, there are many options available to you. You could work at a tutoring center or freelance. Additionally, there are a wide variety of subjects and skills that you could offer tutoring services in. This experience can be especially helpful if you’re considering a career in teaching or academia.

Babysitting or Petsitting 

If you have experience in taking care of young children or pets, offering sitting services can be a great way to supplement your income. You can provide invaluable support to parents or pet owners who need someone trustworthy and reliable to look after their loved ones while they are away. Not only can you earn extra money, but you can also build meaningful relationships with the families and pets you care for.


In addition to the more traditional employment options, individuals seeking work may also find promising opportunities at bowling alleys or movie theaters. These establishments often require staff to manage operations, interact with customers, and maintain a clean and enjoyable environment. Working in these roles can provide valuable experience in customer service and teamwork, as well as a chance to work flexible hours that may accommodate other commitments.


Consider exploring non-traditional sources of income, such as selling art or offering photography services. These avenues can be quite profitable. If you’re inclined, try offering graduation photography services or selling your handmade art at farmers’ markets. Don’t be afraid to give it a try!

Social Media/Brand Ambassador 

In today’s world of social media, it’s possible to pursue careers as a social media manager, blogger, influencer, or YouTuber. These roles offer the chance to collaborate with brands and companies for mutually beneficial partnerships. However, it’s important to keep in mind that content creation requires significant effort and preparation, so it’s wise to conduct thorough research before diving in.


If you have a passion for science and enjoy working in a laboratory or field, then research may be the perfect career path for you. While in college, there are usually many opportunities available to work within labs. However, it’s never too early to start gaining work experience by reaching out to local universities and inquiring about high school work experience.

Applying for Jobs

When looking for a job, it’s smart to make use of the career resources available on campus and popular job websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, and Google Jobs. You can also consider reaching out to people you know, like friends, family, teachers, or professors, as they may know of job openings. You might find some great job opportunities within the campus community, nearby research labs, or local stores and businesses. Remember to submit your application with a professional resume that highlights your experience and passion for the job you’re applying for. Finally, don’t be afraid to think outside the box when considering what kind of work you could do.



Olivia Zugay, virtual assistant and editor at UF/IFAS Extension Indian River County
Posted: August 11, 2023

Category: 4-H & Youth, Professional Development, , Work & Life
Tags: College Employment, Financials, High School Employment, Jobs, Work Experience

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