Studying and working simultaneously may not be easy, it adds a lot of pressure and hustle into one’s life. Yet, according to a recent research, as many as 14 million college students in the U.S. work either part or full time while also pursuing their degree. When doing so, they may be guided by a number of reasons.

Why Work?

The majority of students choose to work because they want to benefit financially. Work them gives a chance to set off a student loan, support their family, gain financial independence or build up funds. Some people love their job and don’t want to give up on it while studying. For high-school students who earn their first money while working part-time, the feeling of achievement and completion becomes a bonus.

Whatever the reasons are, people who work while studying, get something more valuable than just a paycheck: the ability to apply their knowledge to real-life situations, gain practical skills and see their working perspectives more clearly.

So, How Many Hours Should I Work in College?

According to FLSA, out of age employees in the USA may not be employed for over 40 hours a week, and must be paid at least the average minimum wage; they also should be paid for overtime working hours and leaves. However, these rules differ for the US students.

In many colleges throughout the US, it is recommended that students study at least two hours out of their classroom (doing homework and preparing themselves for the tests) for every contact hour spent at school. In order to help US students gain the right balance between their studying and work life, the government regulates the amount of time a student can spend working per week. The restrictions depend upon a person’s age, the form of their studies (undergraduate/PhD) and a number of other factors. The working limits may also depend upon a state or a particular college or a university. Keep reading our article to find out which rules apply to you.

How Many Hours Should a Full Time College Student Work?

For those students who ask themselves this question the answer will be as follows: undergraduate students in the USA may not work more than 20 hours a week during their semester, and not more than 40 hours a week during winter or summer holidays.

While 80% of full-time students agree that being employed for several hours a day aside from studying keeps them more organized and motivated, the excessive amount of working time reportedly diminishes chances of the students to obtain their degree, due to extra stress and pressure.

How Many Hours Should a Part Time Student Work?

The typical limitation of maximum 20 hours per week during the semester (and 40 hours during holidays) applies to the part-time students as well. For the students who attend multiple part-time jobs, the overall amount of working time should still be equal to 20 hours a week (not 20 hours per one position), and the total number of positions they uphold should not exceed three.

Studying part-time has such advantages as flexible work/study time, the ability to choose the most convenient work shift, and concentrate on particular subjects while also having more time to study out of the classroom.

How Many Hours Can an International Exchange Student Work?

Those students who become part of the international exchange programs can not only study but also work in the US, gaining more experience and practical skills.

Any international exchange student should make sure he or she does not work more than 20 hours per week, in order to not violate their legal status regulation, and not to lose their right to work in the US.

How Many Hours Should a HighSchool Student Work?

A part-time job for high school students has a number of advantages, such as gaining first work experience, looking into career perspectives, improving one’s self-esteem, learning to organize their free time, as well as learning to earn money and manage it wisely.

High school students should remember about the FLSA limitations to their employment: the times, days, and hours, minor workers (those under the age of 18) can work are regulated by this law. Basically, students should be at least 14 years old to work (this limitation applies to all non-agricultural works). Besides, teenagers can’t be involved in any occupations that are deemed hazardous (e.g., mining). These are the working hour limitations for minor workers, based on their age:

  • 14-15 y.o. students – the total of 18 hours during a child’s school week, with maximum of 3 hours a day. 8 hours on any non-school day, and the total of 40 working hours per week on non-school weeks or during holidays. Besides, teens are only allowed to work between 7 am and 7 pm.
  • 16-17 y.o. students (until they reach 18) can work for an unlimited amount of hours per week/day.

How Many Hours a PhD Student Should Work?

For most of the students, acquiring a doctorate degree requires months of hard work and commitment. This especially refers to older students who may already have their own families or/and are building their career. The amount of time a PhD student can spend working is always individual and depends on their academic workload in the first place.

Generally, all postgraduate students are allowed to work no more than 28 hours per week.

Despite all the difficulties, managing your academia and working life develops a stronger character, and paves the road to your future success.