Jobs you can get as an international student in the UK

Toluwani Omotesho


As an international student, there are many factors to consider during your application process, such as the application and tuition fees, availability of financial aid, visa requirements, postgraduate opportunities, and more importantly, the cost of living.

Many students have to take on part-time jobs to help cover their living expenses; in this post, we’ll give you a list of some high paying jobs you can get as an international student in the UK.

But first, here are some general rules and limitations around working as an international student in the UK:

  1. Eligibility: you need to be enrolled in a full-time course and have a student visa to be eligible to work. You’ll also need to apply for a National Insurance Number (NIN), which allows you to work and receive payment legally in the UK.
  2. Hours: International students enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or postgraduate degree program are limited to working a maximum of 20 hours weekly. You can, however, work full-time for up to 40 hours weekly during holidays or outside of term-time.
  3. Types of work: international students can work on-campus or off-campus, but you must be given a formal contract of employment to show your employment status. Also, some jobs are restricted for international students. These include: professional sportsperson, e.g., a sports coach (paid or unpaid), self-employment, working as an entertainer, full-time permanent roles and freelance jobs

The best part-time jobs in the UK for international students are:

  • Tutoring: you can earn extra income and make an impact from tutoring, especially if you excel in that subject. You’ll need good communication skills as a tutor, and because it pays relatively well, around £20 per hour, many tutoring positions require previous teaching experience. There are many options for working as a tutor, such as non-profit and after-school programs where you’d get to tutor children, teenagers, first-year undergraduates, or people with special education needs (SEN).
  • Retail: this is a popular part-time job for international students in the UK. As a retail worker, you’ll take inventory, provide customer service, and process transactions. There’s usually a demand for retail workers during the holidays across different stores, such as pet stores, book stores, clothing, or tech stores. Some employers offer benefits like staff commission and discounts. To work in retail, you need to have patience, initiative, and strong communication skills. The average hourly pay for retail jobs in the UK is £8 to £10.
  • Customer service: Customer service representatives are always in demand especially in the hospitality and care industry. The average hourly pay is £10, and it’s an excellent choice for international students because it is flexible and requires minimal work experience.
  • Library assistant: you can apply for this role at public and university libraries across the UK; and it provides you with a calm and engaging environment to work in. Library assistants are responsible for shelving and reshelving books, data entry and reporting, finding books and other materials, and answering questions on library policies, services, and resources. Library assistants earn an average of £10 to £15 hourly.

Also read: How to Send Money to Nigeria from the UK.

  • Research Assistant: This on-campus role involves assisting professors and lecturers with various academic tasks. These include data collection and interpretation, organizing and preparing research materials, identifying and summarizing key findings from data analysis, and writing research reports. As a research assistant, you must have strong analytical and excellent oral and written communication skills. The pay varies depending on the university and course, but research assistants typically earn £9 to £14 per hour or a monthly salary.
  • Dog walking: this is the ideal part-time job for you if you’re a dog lover. As a dog walker, you’ll need to take the dog on walks, ensuring they get the necessary physical and mental stimulation, for example, trying different routes and playing games. But beyond this, you must keep the dog safe during these walks and ensure their cleanliness and hygiene. Dog walkers earn around £10 to £15 hourly.
  • Translation services: working as a translator is a great opportunity for bilingual or multilingual international students to earn a decent living in the UK. Your responsibilities would typically include translating written articles, research, websites, or spoken content from one language to another. The average pay for translation services ranges from £20 to £30 per hour.

Also read: Here’s How to Pay Your UK School Fees from Nigeria

Wrapping up

As an international student in the UK, working part-time is an excellent way to network and gain valuable work experience. Jobs are usually listed for undergraduate and postgraduate students on online job portals or university job boards. Open a virtual GBP account on Grey today to make receiving and sending payments easy.

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