On-Campus vs Off-Campus Jobs in US Universities. Pay in On campus & Off campus Jobs

Once you come to US, we always find ways to support ourselves. We try not to ask parents for money either it is for fees or expenses. Typically students do two kinds of Jobs. One is legal and other is illegal on F1 visa. Let me explain you the differences.

On Campus Job:

As the name says, you work “On Campus ” part time. There is a cap of 20 hrs per week if you are a full time international student and working beyond 20 hrs is against the rule. You can only work more than 20 hrs in Summer when you are not taking any classes. You can work up to 40 hrs in summers.

So, what kind of On campus jobs do you get to do ?

Jobs like working in library shelving books, working in Computer Labs taking care of printers, terminals, etc. Working in cafeterias, receptionist in an office, Admin kind of stuff in several offices like international students office or academic affairs office. There are tons of jobs in a typical campus and you should be able to get one. Working on Campus is legal and allowed by immigration law. For some of these jobs you do get tuition waivers and it only depends on school and type of job. I will talk about Teaching assistantships and Research assistantships in other post, they are on campus employment with some additional benefits.

How much do you make in On-Campus  Job :

You can get paid around 7 dollars. It depends on the state minimum and varies by state. So, you get to make on an average ( if you work 20 hrs ) per month 20 x 4 x 7 = $560
Check this article on How to Get an on Campus Jobs

Off Campus Jobs :

Unlike above, you do not work on campus. You work outside of campus. Anything that is not affiliated with University is called Off campus Job. It is ILLEGAL to work off campus if you are on F1 Visa. But, many students do off campus job because they do not have a choice to support themselves.

What are the kinds of Off-campus  jobs ?

Typically, working in a Gas station as cashier and doing other work ( this is what people talk about students back in India, saying he was cleaning floor and stuff filling petrol ) , working in a Motel as front desk person to handle customers ( just like lodge in India working at front desk ), working in different stores in Malls, Working at Desi restaurants ( Food is free, may people do this ) or anything like Mc Donald or Subways which are owned by Desis, Working in Desi stores, etc…

How much do you make Off Campus :

You can get paid anywhere from 5 to 10 dollars. It depends on the type of job, it is up to your boss to decide. But, most of the times Desi owners are good and they pay around 6 to 7 dollars at least. Some good students get carried away by the money they see in off campus and ruin their education. So, it has to be watched out carefully.

Working Off Campus is ILLEGAL and I DO NOT Recommend anyone to do that ! I have just posted this for your information based on my knowledge. Consequences of working off campus  can be very bad.,  if you are found or caught working illegal, you can be potentially deported too. Be careful

Any questions, post a comment ! I will reply.

11 comments… add one

  • Amit Feb 27, 2015 Reply

    I am planing to go to US but don’t have much Idea about it please help me out
    Looking for better prospect in US
    Even I am planing to do Off campus Job for an time been

    Please help me out

  • Shubham Dec 20, 2014 Reply

    Hello sir,
    In india after BE i.e. BS ,students are allowed to teach at diploma level student ….can we do such things in us ,,,is there any such diploma degree?

  • sameer gupta Sep 29, 2013 Reply

    Gr8 post. very helpful. Had a question!

    What about working online from within the campus? where i can take online assignment and all the deliverables as well are online?
    would it be counted legal?

    appreciate your help.

  • Raass Feb 11, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for the information and service you are providing. Its a great help to many!

    I am in a strange situation and am unsure what to do. I am finishing undergrad and have an employer sponsoring for h1b authorization soon. Few summers back, I worked for a short period at a US company for internship. But I didn’t know about needing CPT auth. and employer also didn’t seem to be aware, so no action taken. I got some minor income and filed tax return also. My question, will this impact getting h1b and whether i should do anything now? I am doubtful to tell school now, since i heard other colleges make problem. should i tell attorney filing petition for company, about this?

    Please, kindly give some info/advice on what i should do… should i just not bring it up, and remove exp from CV? I don’t know whom to ask without starting problems. Please help!

    • Saurabh Feb 11, 2012 Reply

      IMO, you should at least let the attorney know about it, so that they can provide you the right guidance and be aware of any possible RFEs that USCIS may issue b/c of this. You can also talk to an independent attorney if you feel concerned approaching H-1 employer’s attorney.

  • IndianGuy Feb 15, 2011 Reply

    Hey Guys,

    Firstly, very nice website and Kudos to Kumar!
    Is working from Home allowed, I mean, having a job where you work at home and deliverables are completely online? So there is no physical interaction with anyone, just online and the money also comes in to the Bank Account or Paypal …

  • D D Apr 30, 2010 Reply

    When in a foreign country, be it the United States or anywhere else, try and stay away from 3 types of issues: (1) police/security issues (2) legal (immigration-related) issues and (3) medical issues; and you’ll be all fine. Of course, medical issues is something you cannot actively control, but surely stay away from issues# 1 and 2.

    • Zidan Mar 22, 2015 Reply

      Sir I am planning to go for mbbs degree in USA , so how much would be my average expanse In a month , where I prefer normal accomadation near to the main city and proper fooding ? PleAse help sir

  • D D Apr 30, 2010 Reply

    It is foolish to work off-campus. Find and get a job on-campus and try to work 20 hours/week. Beyond that, if you want to work off-campus, ask yourself whether you have come here on student visa or work permit. With the heavy course load and homeworks, midterms and other activities, 20 hours/week or TA/RA itself feels burdensome… Taking a risk by working off-campus illegally and not focusing on your studies is not worth it. (1) Work conditions at these places can be harsh and you cannot complain to anyone. (2) Also, at gas stations and other places, there is a slight risk involved and if a security issue arises and the police arrive, they will immediately grab hold of you since you are working illegally, although you might not be at fault. When you undergo background checks at companies for jobs, file for H1-B or green card later, you need to fill out if you were ever convicted in any police case… You are just ruining your chances of a good job/H1-B/green card for earning some meagre salary by working off-campus. I’d say: Not worth it!

    • Darshan Oct 12, 2010 Reply

      i did not intend to work off campus but unaware of the fact that the enterprise was off-campus, started working there. I worked there for 16 hrs and as soon as i came to know that it is off campus i left it. But now the college is thinking of legal action against me and punishing me. Please advise asap.

      • Kumar Oct 13, 2010 Reply

        Darshan, as replied on Facebook, please talk to your International student advisors and Dean of students. Accept your mistake and say you were not aware of it… They will be willing to help you as you were ignorant. Good Luck buddy ! Do NOT panic.

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