Part-Time Jobs in the USA for International Students

Posted 12 December 2023 Working and Employment

While studying in the USA, part-time jobs offer international students valuable work experience and the opportunity to improve their language skills and cultural understanding. Networking opportunities often arise, connecting international students with professionals in their field and potentially leading to internships aligned with their studies. Part-time jobs contribute to personal growth by instilling independence and responsibility, teaching effective time management, and preparing students for future career challenges. Part-time jobs can be essential to the international student experience in the USA.

Learn more about the types of part-time jobs available in the US for international students, as well as 10 reason you should consider working while studying.

part-time jobs usa international students

10 Benefits of a Part-Time Job in the USA

Part-time jobs in the USA offer several benefits for individuals, including international students seeking employment while pursuing other commitments.

1. Financial Support

Part-time jobs provide individuals with a source of income to cover living expenses, educational costs, and other personal financial needs. This is especially valuable for students who may need more resources.

2. Skill Development

Part-time work allows individuals to develop and enhance various skills, including communication, time management, teamwork, problem-solving, and customer service. These skills are transferable and valuable in multiple professional settings.

3. Work Experience

Part-time jobs offer practical work experience, which can be beneficial for building a solid resume. This experience is precious for those entering the job market for the first time or transitioning into a new career.

4. Networking Opportunities

Part-time work provides networking opportunities with professionals in a specific industry or field. Building a professional network can open doors to future job opportunities and career advancement.

5. Flexibility

Part-time positions often offer more flexible work schedules compared to full-time roles. This flexibility can benefit individuals balancing work with other commitments, such as education, family responsibilities, or personal pursuits.

6. Industry Exposure

Part-time jobs allow individuals to gain exposure to different industries and roles. This can help them explore their interests, identify potential career paths, and make informed decisions about their long-term professional goals.

7. Supplemental Experience for Students

For students, part-time jobs can complement academic studies, providing real-world context to theoretical knowledge. This integration of theory and practice can enhance the overall learning experience.

8. Career Path Exploration

Part-time work allows individuals to explore different career paths and industries before committing to a full-time position. This exploration can be particularly beneficial for those who are undecided about their long-term career goals.

9. Increased Confidence

Successfully managing a part-time job builds confidence and a sense of accomplishment. This boost in self-esteem can positively impact other areas of life and contribute to personal development.

10. Diversity of Experience

Working part-time in various roles or industries can contribute to a diverse and well-rounded professional background. This diversity of experience can make individuals more adaptable and versatile in the job market.

Different Types of Part-Time Job

Many universities have job boards and career centers that post part-time job openings specifically for students. On-campus jobs are often the best option because they are close to your classes, and the employers are usually more flexible with scheduling around your academic commitments.

Another option is to look for off-campus jobs in the community. Retail, food service and hospitality industries are often hiring, especially in college towns. It's important to remember that as an international student, there may be restrictions on how many hours students can work per week. Here are some typical part-time jobs for international students, along with average pay estimates:

Part-Time Jobs 

Average Pay

Library Assistant

$10 - $15 per hour

Marketing/Advertising Internships

$12 - $20 per hour

Server/Waitstaff (Hospitality)

$8 - $15 per hour (plus tips)

Freelance (Content Writing)

$10 - $25 per hour

Language Tutor

$20 - $40 per hour

Promotional Events

$12 - $20 per hour

Eligibility to Work

The eligibility criteria for part-time jobs for international students in the USA depend on the type of job and the student's visa status. Here's a general overview.

On-Campus Jobs

International students on an F-1 visa are generally eligible for on-campus employment. However, there may be restrictions on the number of hours they can work during the academic term. 

Off-Campus Jobs (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) program allows F-1 students to work in their field of study for up to 12 months after graduation. To be eligible, students must have completed one academic year and apply for OPT before completing their program. They need approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Retail and Hospitality

For off-campus employment, including retail and hospitality, F-1 students may be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) during their academic program. CPT allows for off-campus work related to the student's field of study.

Freelance/Remote Work

The eligibility for freelance or remote work depends on the visa type and the nature of the work. F-1 students should ensure that the work aligns with their program of study and that they comply with visa regulations.


On-campus tutoring positions are often available to international students. Some universities may have specific requirements or prefer students with expertise in certain subjects.

Campus Ambassador/Brand Ambassador

These positions are often considered on-campus jobs and may be available to international students. Requirements may include good communication skills and a willingness to represent a brand or organization on campus.

Top Cities in the USA to Work

The best city to work in in the USA depends on various factors, including industry, job opportunities, cost of living, and lifestyle preferences. Here are some cities that are often considered top destinations for employment in the USA:

Study in the USA

Are you interested in studying in the USA at a university or college? Contact SI-USA today for a free consultation on your future.

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