The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Looking for $20 an Hour? Here are 5 Jobs that Pay Decent Wages for Students


Community college and university students are often unable to cover all of their financial needs. But without higher education, there is practically no opportunity for students to live comfortably and enjoy their student years.

For this reason, learning about the kinds of jobs that pay the highest wages can help students make the most use of their time as they seek to balance work and study.

One student trying to do this is Jessi Gomez, a 21-year-old sophomore majoring in nursing at Diablo Valley College. Gomez is currently employed at One Toyota of Oakland as a sales and finance manager, and said it’s a hard job for a student since the schedule isn’t stable.

“Most sales managers work [at minimum] 45 hours weekly,” Gomez told The Inquirer. “From my experience with school I know full-time students spend roughly that amount of time studying, doing homework and showing up for classes and meetings.”

On the other hand, he said, successful sales and finance managers can make up to $250,000 a year — covering all student expenses and then some. But the time-for-money tradeoff, and the added stress of the job, make it more of an extreme choice than many other opportunities out there, he said. 

“I think students should get paid anywhere from $20 to $25 an hour in order to buy books and pay for food and rent,” said Gomez.

Following Gomez’s suggestion, The Inquirer did research into some of the best types of jobs available to students — ones that pay well enough to afford rent and most living expenses. Here is a sampling of what we found:

Apple Retail Specialist

In the words of the company itself: “Apple welcomes applications for Apple Retail Specialists where you’ll… help create the energy and excitement around Apple products, providing the right solutions and getting products into customers’ hands.”

Working as an Apple Retail Specialist represents a suitable part-time job for or full-time students. People employed at the company receive a discount of about 25 percent off any Apple product, which additionally helps cover study and technology costs.

Hourly wages at Apple start at $25 in the Bay Area. When applying for the position, you will have to go through several interviews before managers make a decision.


Taking care of children is one of the most difficult but well-paid jobs for students. You can get a job as a babysitter by asking your friends and people you know, but you can also find many vacancies on job search sites.

If you have younger siblings or have had experience working with children, the likelihood of getting a job is high. The starting rate is usually around $20 an hour depending on parent or company requirements.

Dealership Service Porter

This vacancy is available in many car dealerships where there is a service department, and students often work in this position. The main criteria is having a driver’s license.

In most cases, the porter must deliver cars to clients once they have been serviced. The starting rate averages $20 an hour.

Medical Receptionist

If you’re comfortable using a computer, printer and similar devices, then a medical receptionist job could be for you. This position requires special attention and concentration, and starting salaries can range from $17 to $20 an hour.

After gaining experience in your first medical receptionist job, you could have the opportunity to get a better-paid job at the reception. This is a good opportunity for students to increase their income by working part-time.

Cat Care Specialist

This job is suitable for pet lovers. Your clients will be the owners of cats, who are left at home in your company and who require care according to their owners’ instructions.

Visits may take varying amounts of time, and a nice bonus can add to the hourly payment for this work. You can earn about $30 an hour as a cat care specialist, allowing you to have a free schedule and manage your own time.

You can apply for the above-mentioned jobs, and many more, on Indeed.

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About the Contributor
Yelyzaveta Voronina, Staff Writer

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