Part-Time Job Options in the USA for International Students


Subhashri Roy
Updated on Jun 15, 2023 12:33 PM IST

Want to earn while you study in the USA? Here's a guide to working part-time in the US. You can go through details related to part-time jobs in USA along with information on pay-scale offered to international students working part-time in the US.

Part-Time Jobs in the USA for International Students

If you are an international student and looking to gain practical experience or earn some extra bucks, then part-time jobs in USA offer flexibility and a chance to pursue your interests while earning money. The United States job market provides a plethora of options for part-time work across various industries, making it easier for you to find suitable employment based on your skills, preferences and availability.

These part-time job positions not only provide flexible working hours but also allow individuals to develop valuable interpersonal skills and gain firsthand experience across sectors. Many companies now offer remote work arrangements, allowing individuals to work part-time from the comfort of their own homes.

This flexibility enables individuals to pursue their passion for technology while enjoying a flexible work schedule. However, students must adhere to the rules and regulations laid down by the US government for working part-time in the country. In this article, we will delve deeply into the various part-time jobs in USA for international students and the various rules regarding it. 

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Job Regulations for International Students in the US

Part-time work in the US for international students deals with two broad categories or options. Let us have a quick look at before diving into the most popular part-time job opportunities:

Working On-Campus With An F-1 Visa

This is, with no doubt, the easiest option for any international student in the US who is looking for part-time work to earn some extra money and it is the only way to work during your first academic year in the country. What working on-campus refers to is work performed within the university premises. However, it may also be a different location other than the main campus only if it is affiliated with the university. Rules pertaining to on-campus employment in the US, as of 2021, are as follows:

  • Must maintain valid F-1 status

  • During the school term, you would be restricted to only 20 hours per week.

  • Will be allowed full-time on campus, leading to 40 hours of work per week, during holidays and vacations.

Working Off-Campus With An F-1 Visa

This is for you if you have completed your first academic year in the US and have a valid F-1 visa. Under this, you can explore three options including:

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

The OPT program lets you work in your area of study which could either be a job or an internship. Under this, you will be permitted to work during and after the completion of your degree. OPT rules are established by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service which may change from time to time. General OPT requirements and details are as follows:

  • You may apply for OPT after having been enrolled in the course for at least nine months although you cannot start working until you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS and have completed a year of study.

  • The job should be directly related to your major.

  • Must maintain lawful F-1 visa status.

  • Should NOT have engaged in full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) in the last 12 months or more.

  • Full-time OPT is allowed for up to 12 months in total.

  • Part-time OPT reduces available full-time OPT by half.

  • OPT before completion of the degree would require you to be enrolled full-time, work only 20 hours a week, work full-time only during holidays, and work full-time after completion of all coursework.

  • OPT after completion of the degree will let you work full-time, which should be completed within 14 months of graduating. Applications should go only through USCIS before graduating.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension

Some F-1 students who have completed STEM courses (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) may be eligible for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT). These extensions are offered to those who have a work offer from a US company or a college admission letter with the option to stay in the US after completing their STEM degree programme.

To be eligible for the 24-month extension, the candidate must meet the following requirements:

  • Have been given OPT and are currently in an OPT period.
  • Have a bachelor's, masters or doctorate degree from an institution accredited by the US. When the candidate submits his STEM OPT extension application, he must use an accrediting agency recognised by the Department of Education and be certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

  • The student's employer must be engaged in USCIS's E-Verify employment eligibility verification programme if he is pursuing a STEM OPT extension.

  • Should be employed by a company that meets all of the conditions outlined in the STEM OPT Employer Responsibilities section.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Here, an international student can work off-campus only when the degree programme that they have enrolled on demands it or practical training is an important part of the curriculum. Here are the rules related to CPT:

  • Must be enrolled full-time for one year on valid F-1 visa status (excluding those whose courses require immediate CPT).

  • Must have received a relevant job offer before submitting the CPT authorisation request.

  • The job offer should be related to your field of study.

  • There is no limit to work hours in CPT, be it part-time or full-time. However, your authorisation will have the work hours mentioned.

  • During school, you will be approved for only part-time CPT.

Severe Economic Hardship

Under this, an international student holding an F-1 visa and facing "severe economic hardship" according to USCIS will be considered eligible to work off-campus while school is in session and full-time during holidays.

  • Must hold a valid F-1 visa for at least one academic year.

  • Must have a good academic history.

  • Must provide evidence of economic hardship.

  • Make sure on-campus similar employment opportunities are not available at the time being.

Have Queries About Working Part-Time in the US?

Where to Find Part Time Jobs in US for International Students?

As an international student, finding a part-time job in the US can be difficult and will need lots of effort. It is even tougher as you do not have any professional network that would make you aware of the availability of jobs. In such cases, you can find part-time jobs through the following sources:

  • The International Guidance and Student Support Cells at your university provide information regarding current and upcoming vacancies in the vicinity. They also provide the necessary training and guidance to grab the job. 

  •  Advertisements are published in local newspapers, magazines, social networking site-based groups and other community websites. 

  • You can also take help from online platforms like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Simply Hired and several such websites that post such jobs. It is a wonderful way of connecting with people and getting recommendations. 

On-Campus Part Time Jobs in US for International Students

Given below are the top on-campus job options for international students in the US:

  • Research Study Assistant: Almost every US university would have an opening for a research study assistant with excellent interpersonal and organisational skills. The job duties of a research study assistant include working on multiple projects, contacting new participants, explaining the purpose of a research study, maintaining lab equipment and lab space, and assisting in the preparation of material for disseminating research results, among other things.
  • Teaching Assistant: What a teaching assistant does is supervise activities in the classroom, work on a one-to-one basis with special children, help to develop programmes, motivate students, help with school events, and more. Higher-level teaching assistants may be asked to take classes on their own and manage to learn support staff.
  • Catering Assistant and Food Runner: The job of a catering assistant or a food runner is to help in the kitchen and deliver the food to customers. Some of the major responsibilities and duties of a catering assistant or a food runner are serving food, upholding sanitation and food safety standards, check-in with customers, assisting in setting up tables and more.
  • Library Page: The job of a library page is to keep the library running smoothly, with responsibilities such as shelving library material, making recommendations to customers and helping them to locate books, making books, and more. In addition, library pages need to provide administrative support to assistants, librarians, and technicians and also organise events at the library.
  • University Campus Tour Guide: The profile of a campus tour guide ideally suits someone that possesses skills including good communication skills, is well-informed about the university/ institute, leadership skills, among others. Campus tour guides are required to be as straightforward as possible in informing prospective students and their parents about the concerned institution. Sometimes, they might also need to find places for families and students to take selfies.
  • Department Assistant: A department assistant is responsible for providing administrative and secretarial support for an entire department. He/she should handle a variety of matters concerning the department apart from assisting in specific project teams or divisions. A department assistant should have skills such as problem-solving, computer skills, teamwork, time management and communication skills.
  • Computer Lab Technician: A computer lab technician is given the responsibility to maintain and operate computer labs. They also provide support to lab users who face computer-related issues such as trouble-shooting equipment problems, creating user log-on accounts and passwords, and using other lab equipment including copiers, printers and more.
  • Barista: You can also work as a barista at the college cafe and get your daily caffeine for free apart from your regular work. Your responsibilities as a barista include working as a cashier, making coffee and serving customers, cleaning and maintaining proper sanitation in work areas, and more. Besides, there is always an added advantage - meeting new people.
  • Peer Tutor: A peer tutor is more a friend than a teacher, as he/she is teaching someone who is also a student. The major role of a peer tutor is to provide individualized content, create and maintain a tutoring schedule, maintain confidentiality with the tutee, provide study material, and more. A peer tutor may also be asked to make appropriate student referrals to college offices, whenever necessary.
  • Production Assistant: A production assistant at a college or university is likely to work for the conduct of events, comedy shows, dance productions, and many more on campus. From managing technical services and assisting others who are in charge of the same, a production assistant will be responsible to organise any kind of event on the campus.
  • Campus Ambassador: Also known as student ambassadors, campus ambassadors can be found at every university, advertising/ informing about a product or service available on campus. This could be a fun experience for someone who likes to meet and interact with new people.

Off-Campus Part Time Jobs in US for International Students

Most foreign students in the US usually prefer on-campus jobs to off-campus work when it comes to part-time jobs. Having said that, many find working off-campus more comfortable and advantageous. Here are a few off-campus part-time job options for international students in the US:

  • Customer Support Representative: A customer support representative provides information about the products and services of the organisation that has employed him/ her. He/ she must also resolve the problems faced by customers related to the products and services, along with letting them know of better products and services available to them.
  • Store Associate: From cleaning the store to carrying out store administrative tasks and helping out customers, a store associate needs to do it all to keep a store functioning. Store associates may also be asked to upsell to customers through recommendations, whenever required. A store manager, under whom a store associate usually works, might ask a store associate to schedule his/ her work in shifts.
  • Translator: The prime job of a translator is to translate one language into another, in such a way that it means exactly what the original written material said. To do that, a translator must keep the original structure in mind along with the original ideas and facts and most importantly the tone of the original text.
  • Tour Guide: A tour guide is usually required by travel agencies. He/ she would be responsible to guide the visitors, be thoroughly informed about the tour and the place that they are visiting. He/ she would generally work under a Senior tour guide, who would guide him/ her through everything.
  • Babysitter: Often self-employed, babysitters mostly work under a short-term verbal contract. A babysitter is responsible to take care of the children and providing supervision in the absence of his parents/ guardians.

Pay-Scale For Part Time Jobs in US for International Students

Part-time jobs in the US are mostly in the service and sales industries, which are entry-level jobs paying minimum wage. Nevertheless, these entry-level jobs pay approximately USD 7 to USD 9 per hour, although a high-skilled job would pay USD 10 or more per hour.

Currently, an international student in the US may earn an average salary of USD 34,737/Year depending on the profile, organisation, and other relevant factors. In the US, the type of job will depend on not just your prior experience (if any) but also the school curriculum, skills, academic background, English language proficiency, and more.

Let us witness the pay scale of some of the most popular part time jobs in US for international students:

Part Time Job Roles

Average Estimated Pay in USD (Per Hour)

Campus Ambassador




Teaching Assistant


Library Assistant




Research Study Assistant


Department Assistant


Food Runner or Catering Assistant


Sales Assistant


Tutor or Peer Mentor


Taxes for International Students in US

Every international student in the US, whether working while studying or not, is required to file a tax return as a condition for their visa. However, they are entitled to certain benefits and exemptions. Also, as long as international students file a proper tax here in the US, the country will not tax their income from their home country.

To prepare a tax return, an international student should have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security Number (SSN). With that, one will be able to file their tax return by filling in a W-7 form.

Popular US Universities for International Students

Here are some of the popular universities in the US for students coming from outside of the US:

Name of the University


Tuition Fees (INR)

University of Illinois, Chicago

Illinois, Chicago

 21-26.5 Lakh

Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

17.4-23 Lakh

American University

Washington, DC

18-34 Lakh

University of Massachusetts, Boston

Massachusetts Boston,

18-24 Lakh

Suffolk University, Boston

Boston, Massachusetts

25-33 Lakh

Texas A & M University

Corpus Christi, Texas

10-27 Lakh

University of Vermont

Burlington, VT

27 Lakh

University of New Hampshire

Durham, New Hampshire

9-30 Lakh

University of Idaho

Moscow, Idaho

14-19 Lakh

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

19-20 Lakh

The United States offers a myriad of part-time job options suitable for individuals from diverse backgrounds and with varying interests. Whether it's working in retail, the food service industry, or pursuing freelance opportunities in the digital realm, part-time jobs provide flexibility and a chance to earn income while accommodating personal commitments. With careful consideration of skills, preferences and availability, individuals can find fulfilling part-time employment that aligns with their interests and long-term goals. These opportunities not only provide financial stability but also serve as a platform for personal growth, skill development and networking.

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What are some of the highest paying part time jobs for international students in the USA?

Some of the highest paying part time jobs for international students in the USA are campus ambassador, barista, teaching assistant, library assistant, receptionist, research study assistant, department assistant, food runner or catering assistant, tutor, baby sitter, sales assistant and more.

Can an international student do a part time job in USA?

Yes, international students can do a part time in USA while studying, but there are some restrictions that students must adhere to and follow. International students with an F-1 or M-1 visa may work on campus and in specific training programs. During their first academic year, students are not permitted to work off-campus.

Can I work part time on an F-1 visa?

Yes, you can work part time if you have an F1 visa to study in the USA. To work on campus, you must follow a number of rules and regulations. You must keep your F-1 status valid; you may not displace (take a job away from) a US student; and you may work up to 20 hours per week (part-time), or full-time during holidays and vacation times.

What limitations are there for international students who are doing part time jobs in the USA?

There may be a number of limitations for international students who are doing part time jobs in the USA. An F1 visa is awarded to any international student enrolled in an academic or English language program at a US institution or university. The most essential thing to remember while looking for work is that students on F1 visas can normally only work on-campus at their university for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time. During the holidays, this increases to 40 hours per week.

How much can an international student earn doing part-time jobs in the USA?

Although the federal minimum wage is currently USD 7.25 per hour, each state establishes its own wage rules. This means that where you study will have a significant impact on how much you can make. However, depending on your level of relevant work experience, you may expect to earn at least USD 7.25-USD 10 per hour, with more highly skilled occupations paying even more.

Can F-1 students become part-time Uber drivers in the USA?

No, F-1 students cannot work as part-time Uber drivers in the USA. You cannot drive for Uber because your F1 student visa does not allow you to work. Furthermore, F1 students are not automatically eligible for an SSN, which is one of the required prerequisites for driving for Uber.

Is it easy to get an on-campus job in the USA?

Yes, it is relatively easier to apply or get on-campus part-time jobs at universities in the USA. Furthermore, these occupations are designed in such a way that they will comply with all visa requirements. Some of the most common on-campus occupations available at American universities include Library Monitor, Teaching Assistant, Peer Tutor, and Academic Department Assistant. 

Apart from the USA, which country is best for part-time jobs for international students?

Apart from the USA, the countries best for part-time jobs for international students are Sweden, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and more. These countries allow international students to study and work (of course laying some restrictions too) which is indeed a great advantage for international students to study abroad. 

How can I get a part time job fast in the USA?

Here are the most effective ways to get a part time job fast in the USA:

  • Look for part-time jobs on campus or near your neighbourhood
  • Write a brilliant CV if required 
  • Approach the job giver and tell them that you are suitable for the job
  • Be enthusiastic as a job applicant
  • Be active on job portals and social media 

Are Indian students getting part-time jobs in the USA?

Yes, Indian students do get part-time work in the USA. Working on campus is a common option for overseas students. Work can be done in cafeterias, computer centres, libraries, university offices, and so on. Working as a research or teaching assistant is another option. During the academic year, one can work up to 20 hours per week.

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