Assorted books on shelf inside building.jpg

As a college student, your day is probably filled with classes, meetings and other academic activities, so you probably don’t have much time for a day job. If you need an income, you may want to consider applying for a night job. Night jobs are popular around college campuses, so you shouldn’t have too many problems finding somewhere to apply to.

Night Desk

Most colleges have a 24-hour night desk in the dorms. Some colleges also have a 24-hour student center with available night desk positions. The positions are usually reserved for students only, so there’s less competition than if you would apply for other jobs outside of the campus. Night desk positions typically come with a few basic requirements, such as maintaining status as a full- or part-time student and maintaining a certain GPA. Night desk workers are usually paid either minimum wage or slightly above minimum wage, but the lack of activity at night allows students to study while working.

Restaurant Server

Not all restaurants are 24-hour establishments, although some are. The ones that aren’t, however, may stay open until around 10 p.m. Many restaurants, especially those close to a college campus, hire college students on for part-time or even full-time positions, and are willing to work with varying school schedules. As a server, you can expect to take home money every night, because of tips. The downside of a server occupation is that the wage rate can be considerably lower than minimum wage, because of anticipated tips. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS, food servers earned a median wage of $8.28 per hour in 2009. That figure includes tips.


Variety is the upside of retail jobs. You can opt to apply for cashier, stocking, sales and food preparation positions. Some retail stores are open 24 hours. Retail stores that are not open 24 hours still need workers to stock the shelves during closing hours. Retail jobs typically do not pay much higher than minimum wage, at least to start out. For example, according to the BLS, cashiers earned a median hourly wage of $8.57 in 2009.

Security Guard

Security guards are often needed all around campus, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding an opening. You generally won’t have any problem meeting the requirements, either. According to the BLS, unarmed security guard positions usually require only a high school diploma or GED. Although security guards work different shifts, you can request to work only the night shift. The job is inherently dangerous, however. The pay is usually higher than retail, server and night desk positions, with the BLS reporting a median hourly wage of $11.45 in 2009.

2016 Salary Information for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers earned a median annual salary of $25,830 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, security guards and gaming surveillance officers earned a 25th percentile salary of $21,340, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $34,680, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,134,000 people were employed in the U.S. as security guards and gaming surveillance officers.