Students’ Workforce

Work for students in the USA: on campusjob

In general, a student has two opportunities to legally work in the United States. The first is work at the university (on campus). It’s called “on-campusjob”. The second is paid internships for ORT and CPT. If you live in Charlottesville, Virginia, you are welcome to address vec workforce.


Work as an assistant. It is a type of employment at the university. This is the work of an assistant teacher, professor or department. The assistant engagement has many advantages:

  • this is an official and authorized work;
  • gaining experience (especially teaching or experience working on a scientific project);
  • various benefits and incentives from the university.

But it is not so easy to get this part-time job. Competition is high not only among international students, but also among Americans. In addition, to be hired for an assistant position, you must have a good academic record and demonstrate the need for such a job.

The downside is that most of the vacancies of assistants are available for already postgraduate students, that is, for graduate and postgraduate students.


At each stage of training, a student can undergo a paid ORT or CPT internship. The pros are:

  • official job for an American company;
  • gaining practical experience related to the specialty and subject of study in college;
  • higher income compared to working on campus and others.

But there are also disadvantages. Firstly, you will have to look for an employer yourself, and having a permit for an internship does not mean getting a place. Secondly, only 12 months of internship are eligible for each level of study. This means that you can work on CPT or ORT for four years of study but in a bachelor’s degree only for a year. The next such opportunity will be presented already in the Graduate Courses (ORT only) and also for only 12 months.

Other options according to vec workforce connection

Almost any department of any university has offered jobs. The larger the university, the more developed its structure and the more vacancies it can offer. But there will also be more competition among job seekers.

So, who else can you work in your university as a student? For example, this could be a library, cafeteria, gym, parking lot, bookstore, and so on. Jobs can be found in various departments, offices, centers and laboratories: Student Life Office, International Student Office, University Information Center, Financial Aid Office, Computer Lab, and so on.

How to get a job on campus?

To get any college position, including an assistant, you need to start your search well in advance.

To find any job anywhere, you need an application. It should be short but informative. It is better if it will be no more than one page in length. It must include all information about education and work experience, if any. It will also be useful to demonstrate other skills (for example, working with a computer), social activity and leadership qualities (for example, membership in a community), volunteer experience, achievements (sports, academic), and so on.

Then you should contact the Career Center and International Student Office and find out if there are any open positions. Leave your aplication there and fill in all the proposed documents. Even if there are no vacancies at the time of applying, the student can be put on a waiting list or in a queue for a job.

Do not wait for a response from the Job Center. It is better to take the initiative yourself and go directly to any department, ask if there is free space, if an employee is required, if new positions are planned for which employees will be recruited. And be sure to leave your application.

Job for students on campus implies employment of no more than 20 hours per week during the study period and up to 40 hours during vacations. The average paycheck (except for ORT and CPT) is $ 7-15 per hour. All these types of work activities do not require a work permit.

Work for students in the USA: off-campus job

Everything that has not been described above falls under this definition. Any work outside the college walls (except for ORT and CPT) requires a work permit, an SSN (Social Security Number) and is illegal if there is no permission. Large employers will not agree to accept a foreign employee without the necessary documents, so in most cases, all that a foreign student can count on is unskilled handyman labor with cash wages per hour. That is, a janitor, a loader, a dishwasher in a restaurant, a car washer, a gas station employee, and so on. Babysitting and dog walking services are very popular.

Most likely, even such work will require an SSN (Social Security Number). If the student has already had experience of work on the campus or internships of ORT and CPT, then he already has SSN, since this document is drawn up by the employer.