Top part-time jobs for students in Canada (2023)

Expat life
30 May 2023
8 mins read
Written by Team Instarem

In 2023, Canada received a total inflow of 753,000 international Students.

Canadian student visas require you to have at least CA$ 10,000 (~US$8,100) apart from your tuition fees, you’ll likely need much more than this for your living expenses.

Your living costs will vary considerably depending on your location and spending habits, with large cities generally more expensive to live in.

The Université de Montréal estimates that students need a total of CA$ 14,126 per year including housing, food, accommodation, books and course supplies, phone costs and miscellaneous expenses.

The University of British Columbia estimates living costs of CA$ 24,526 per year, not including mandatory health insurance, which is CA$ 900 per year under the BC Health Plan.

This is possibly the primary reason for international students to seek part-time jobs during the course of their studies. 

Do you need a permit to work as a student in Canada?

A Canadian Student Visa allows you to work up to a maximum of 20 hours a week in the course of the term under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) work programs for students. A student can work in Canada during the course of study under the following categories:

  • On campus without a Work Permit
  • Off campus with a Work Permit
  • In Co-op and Internship Programs, where work experience is part of the curriculum, with a Work Permit.

In addition to this, spouses or common-law partners of foreign students are eligible for a work permit for the duration of the study permit. Just remember, you’ve got to abide by these laws and lingo to hustle legally in Canada.

What kind of part-time jobs in Canada are available for students?

Work off-campus:

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, study permit holders in Canada may work off-campus during the course of their study. International students are permitted to work off-campus without a work permit, if:

  1. they are full-time students having a valid study permit;
  2. they are enrolled at a designated learning institution* for post-secondary studies or studying a secondary-level vocational programme in Quebec; or
  3. they are studying an academic, vocational or professional training programme of at least six months in duration that will earn them a degree, diploma or certificate.

*Designated Learning Institution is a school in Canada where a student must be accepted before they can qualify for a study permit.

Here are some examples of places where international students can work off-campus:

  • Companies in their field of study as interns, research assistants or coordinators
  • Banks as tellers, customer service representatives
  • Restaurants as servers, hosts, cooks
  • Stores as customer service representatives, cashiers, designers of store displays, etc.
Work on campus:

Working on campus is a very convenient way of earning while studying and makes for a perfect option for a student resident who has extra time after classes.

Here are just some of the great places where students can work on campus:

  • Administrative offices of universities – Students can be hired as interns, assistants or receptionists
  • Stores and restaurants
  • Bookstores in Campus
  • University libraries
  • Coffee shops

Work as a co-op student or intern

Some academic programmes mandate work experience as part of the curriculum. In such cases, it becomes easier for international students to explore work opportunities, as the CIC allows foreign students studying such courses to go for a co-op or paid internship programme. But for such programs, they will have to apply for both a work permit and a study permit.

How many hours are students allowed to work in Canada?

In Canada, once you have completed six months of studies, you can get a permit to work part-time, off-campus for up to 20 hours a week. During semester breaks, you can work full-time. However, you are free to work a lesser number of hours.

Students who have enrolled for intensive courses or difficult courses, work for a maximum of 12 hours a week, as recommended by the universities so that their work-study-life balances seamlessly and their studies are not affected.

What if you work for more than 20 hours in Canada?

If you’re putting in more than 20 hours a week at your gig, you could be jeopardizing your status as a student. Bummer, right? And to make matters worse, you might not score that sweet work permit you’ve been dreaming of.

So let’s be real here: don’t be greedy with your time. Stick to the hours you’re supposed to work and don’t mess with the system. Your future self will thank you.

How much do part-time student jobs pay in Canada?

Alright, let’s talk some dough! The average part time job salary in Canada is CA$42,565 per year or CA$22 per hour.

Students are usually paid by hours for part-time jobs which is about CA$10 an hour.

But you know what they say, money talks! Tutors, freelancers and teaching assistants are the highest paying part time jobs in Canada for international students.

Tutor – (CA$15-CA$20/hr)

Time to put that big brain of yours to good use and become a tutor! Whether you’re a whiz at the university level or can handle those pesky elementary school questions, you can make some serious cash by tutoring in the top subjects – Math and Science.

And let’s be real, if you can tackle those tough topics, you can earn up to $50 an hour!

Freelancer – (CA$25.60/hr)

Freelancing lets you focus on building your skills, and you’ll be raking in the cha-ching (Seriously, you might be earning much more than the average part time salary in Canada)!

Teacher’s Assistant – (CA$15.65/hr)

So you think you’re a genius? Well, listen up smarty pants, your professors may need your help! That’s right, many teachers in Canada are on the hunt for teaching assistants to lighten their workload and make their life a little easier.

That means you could be the one helping them prepare the syllabus, mark the grades, and update paperwork. So, if you’re ready to ditch the books and jump into the real world of teaching, ask your professors if you’ve got what it takes for the job.

Part time jobs in Canada for students 

Here is a list of the top 5 cities in Canada that are most frequented by international students and the kind of jobs and wages offered there.

Bottomline is when it comes to finding the best part time jobs in Canada, there are loads of factors to consider.

But the good news is, you have the power to choose your own adventure! So, why not go ahead and base your job search on your own killer preferences?

Benefits of part time jobs in Canada

Let’s face it, being a student is exhausting. But throw in a part-time job and suddenly you feel like a hamster on a wheel. But hold up, don’t throw in the towel just yet! Part-time gigs can actually boost your skills and make you a more well-rounded human. So, go ahead and embrace the hustle…just maybe drink a little extra coffee.

Earn your own pocket money

Let’s be real, stretching out your budget is a struggle. But what if I told you there’s a magical solution that involves having more cash? Sure, per hour salary in Canada for students might not be the most impressive but think about how much extra money you can save for all the important things: food, essentials, and even a little something-something for your wants. So, don’t be shy – let’s get that cash flow going!

Learn some life skills

Want to learn some valuable life skills? Then why not get a part-time job in Canada? You’ll pick up some seriously transferable skills like independence, time management, and confidence. Trust us, you’ll be a pro at adulting in no time!

Build your own network

The reality is you get to expand your social circle while making some extra cash.

Who knows, maybe one of your co-workers could be your future BFF or even an awesome job lead.

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*Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.