We see a lot of engineering students looking for engineering internships (around 9,400 a month in the US), but why look for non-paid engineering position when you could get a suitable gig that actually pays?
When it comes to finding part-time jobs for engineering students, job hunting prospects might look pretty dreary at first glance. However, despite what you may think at first, it’s not all work and no pay out there!
Here’s the key, just because you’re an engineering student, you don’t have to work directly in engineering to get transferable skills and experience.
No matter what you’re looking for in a gig, there are definitely jobs out there that will fit a busy engineering student’s schedule and qualifications. From tutor to analyst, and from writer to auditor, there are plenty of options out there for every type of engineering student looking for a little extra cash.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to finding the right job is getting a quality, flexible part-time position that will help build your career credibility for the future.
While fulfilling all those prerequisites in a part-time job may sound impossible, it’s really not that hard to find. That is, as long as you know three main things: (1) how to write a great engineering resume (with resume samples), (2) how to hunt for a job, and (3) where to look to find jobs for engineers.
Here are 15 part-time jobs for engineering students that don’t suck (with salaries).
Research and Academic Jobs
1. Internet Researcher ($15-19 USD per hour)
Becoming an internet researcher is a great option if you’re tech savvy – which is almost every college student nowadays. Getting paid to surf the web in the comfort of your own home sounds like a dream job, and really can be one, as long as you’re able to stay on task and find the information you’re looking for.
If you find work as an internet researcher, you could be researching for a broad range of industries, from looking for online information for law firms to doing the legwork for university or college departments. There’s really no limit to who you could be working for when you’re an internet researcher.
Elance, Upwork, Indeed, Resume.com, and Craigslist are all great options for job boards to look for internet researcher gigs, whether you’d like to work on a case by case basis or find steady work online.
2. Research Assistant ($7-28 USD per hour)
Working as a research assistant as a part-time job could be the ideal position for any engineering student who wants to get serious about their education, whether it’s to pursue a career in academia or further their education with a masters or doctorate after they graduate.
If you’re looking for a position as a research assistant at your school, there are two main methods students use to get these jobs. Firstly, you could be lucky enough to find and apply for a job posting through your school’s career center or an online job board. Secondly, you could get close to your professors and talk to them before and after class. Let them know you’re looking for a research assistant position in their department – they might have a position for you!
Being a research assistant would be advantageous if you’d like to make connections in the engineering field or if you’d like to spend more time learning about engineering in an academic setting.
3. Teaching Assistant ($8-18 USD per hour)
Teaching assistant positions are great options for academically-inclined students who like working with other people and don’t mind a little bit of paperwork.
If you aced one of the classes you took last year, get in touch with your professor and let them know how much you enjoyed taking the class. When you ask about a teaching assistant position, you might be delighted to find they’re looking for someone for the role already.
However, it’s important to know that being a teaching assistant requires a mastery of the course material you’re working with and strong communication skills to help other students. You need to be confident that you fully understand a subject before you apply for a teaching assistant role.
4. High School, College, or University Tutor ($9-22 USD per hour)
If you’re an engineering student who wants to help other people and likes studying, becoming a tutor could be the perfect position for you. Working as a high school, college, or university tutor is an emotionally rewarding part-time job that could yield many benefits for your future career.
The most common ways to get a job as a tutor is to either apply for a position as a private tutor through a job board or apply for a tutoring position at a tutoring company in your local area. Generally speaking, private tutoring can be more lucrative, but it’s also more complicated to set up. Working for a business that hires tutors is easier, but can often pay less than a private gig.
5. ESL Tutor ($12-41 USD per hour)
Working as an ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor is a great option if you enjoy spending time speaking with new people and learning about different cultures. You can work as a private ESL tutor, as well as work as a tutor for an English language school or business in your area.
Don’t speak another language? No problem! While speaking another language is a definite advantage to teaching someone a new language, you may be surprised to learn that you don’t actually have to be bilingual to be an ESL tutor.
To be a great ESL tutor, you’ll need to have interpersonal and communication skills, patience, and an excellent understanding of the English language. However, if you’d like to become a professional ESL teacher, you may require additional certifications to teach in your area.
Creative and Writing Jobs
6. Freelance Writer ($7-90 USD per hour)
Freelancing as a writer can be extremely flexible and remarkably lucrative, as long as you have the time, determination, and knack for writing to make it work. If you’re a talented writer and know how to turn up well paying writing gigs, freelance writing can be an excellent part-time job solution.
There are many benefits to being a freelance writer, such as working wherever you want, making your own hours, setting your own writing fees, and being able to find clients and projects you genuinely care about. Plus, you get to write for a living, which is a dream come true for many people.
On the other hand, freelance writing is a very competitive gig. It can be hard to find clients and projects, and you need to be timely, responsible, communicative, and disciplined to be successful as a freelance writer. Freelance writing isn’t for everyone, but for some engineering students, it’s the perfect fit for a part-time job.
7. Grant Writer ($7-48 USD per hour)
Working as a grant writer is very similar to working as a freelance writer, except that writing grants is a specialized skill that has very clear-cut rules and goals. While the work can be less varied than freelance writing, grant writing allows you to get really good at a very particular type of written work.
Many grant writers work as freelancers to apply for a small amount of different grants, such as being a freelance grant writer for musicians and artists who apply for government and arts council grants. Other grant writers work as employees for companies, businesses, and non-profits.
If you enjoy writing, but find the freelance writing industry too cluttered and variable, then grant writing might be the best fit for you.
8. Social Media Coordinator ($12-25 USD per hour)
If you’re an engineering student who’s addicted to posting to Facebook, surfing hashtags on Twitter, or commenting on Instagram, working as a social media coordinator could be the ideal part-time job for you.
The role of a social media coordinator is to create social media campaigns, run advertising budgets, schedule regular social media posts, and monitor and analyze social media data to find trends, engage audiences, and support the marketing team’s efforts.
Social media coordinators tend to be detail oriented, organized, and knowledgeable about cutting-edge social media and culture trends.
9. Freelance Photographer ($11-101 USD per hour)
Are you always playing with photography gadgets and snapping photos on your DSLR or vintage film camera? Do you love editing photos using the latest apps and software?
If you answered, “Yes,” to these questions, then working as a freelance photographer could be a great part-time job for you. It might surprise you that many freelance photographers become successful based on practical experience, not formal training or education.
You don’t need a fancy diploma to become a successful freelance photographer, just an amazing photography portfolio, an ability to hustle for clients and gigs, and savvy business sense.
More Part-Time Jobs for Engineering Students
10. Data Entry Clerk ($7-27 USD per hour)
Data entry clerk positions aren’t just limited to plugging numbers away onto a computer screen, though that could be a large portion of your day to day tasks. Data clerks are responsible for inputting all kinds of information into computer software, from real estate listings to dental labs.
If you’re an accurate, efficient, analytical person who enjoys completing small, similar tasks, then working as a data entry clerk could be a terrific part-time job for you.
11. Night Auditor ($7-20 USD per hour)
Night auditors can work in many different types of industries, such as at hospitals, hotels, and government institutions. Some daily tasks that you could be responsible for could include balancing day shift reports, answer phones, and balance cash and receipt drawers.
If you’re a night owl with experience in the hospitality, healthcare, or administrative industry and have strong math and communication skills, but don’t like working closely with lots of people, being a night auditor might be a great fit for you.
12. School Bus Driver ($11-21 USD per hour)
Working as a school bus driver is a good part-time job option for engineering students who enjoy driving and spending time with children. They’re responsible for driving school children between their homes and their schools.
School bus drivers must be excellent drivers with an upgraded license to allow them to drive buses. They must obey all traffic laws while maintaining a safe environment for children inside the bus, as well as help children get on and off the bus, if necessary.
13. Filing Clerk ($7-19 USD per hour)
Filing clerk positions are similar to data entry positions in that filing clerks are responsible for sorting information for businesses and institutions who have a large amount of files and data to store. However, filing clerks are usually responsible for putting away and finding that information later.
Filing clerks tend to be analytical people who excel at detail-oriented tasks, organizing, prioritizing, and have good customer service skills.
14. Receptionist ($7-22 USD per hour)
Receptionists are responsible for managing the front counter or front desk of businesses, organizations, and institutions that have in-person or phone interactions with clients and other businesses. Typical daily responsibilities include greeting guests and clients, answering the phone and recording messages, filing, scheduling meetings, and making travel arrangements.
Receptionists are usually organized multitaskers who are great with details and people. They should type relatively quickly and have a working knowledge of computers and common software for the industry they’re working in.
15. Grant Analyst ($23-29 USD per hour)
If you’d like to be employed as a grant analyst, you’re probably an analytical person who enjoys detail-oriented work, evaluating, and problem solving. Grant analysts work in a wide range of industries, such as the federal government and educational institutions.
Though your daily tasks will vary depending on the business you work for, you’ll likely spend a significant period of time reading proposals and analyzing budgets and spreadsheets.