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ASU student workers have employment options with surprisingly high wages

And not every student worker is a receptionist, either


Photo illustration of a student searching for a job at ASU on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.

ASU offers a wide variety of jobs, and with the right skills, students can earn up to $50 an hour in various competitive positions.

Becoming a student worker can be a challenge — especially those who have never held a job before starting college. Although the feat may seem daunting to some, the University offers several options to help students get a job with the University. 

“ASU has a variety of student worker positions, which require different degrees of skill or experience — providing students a wide range options,” Herminia Rincon, a University spokesperson, said. “Studies show that students who work up to 20 hours per week while attending college do as well or better in school as their classmates who don’t work. Student employment is a resource to not only help pay for college, but gain work experience prior to graduating.”

Although ASU offers many jobs to students, employers on campus are often looking for specific traits and qualities, said Claudia Luna, a nursing sophomore and front desk secretary at the Cronkite School.

“Keeping a professional profile online is definitely something the Cronkite School was looking for,” Luna said. “Carrying ourselves with respect and being able to work well with staff and students is also key to get a job like this. You’re the face of Cronkite.”

Luna said it was relatively easy to find the job. She just clicked on the career services tab on the ASU website. But she said that if students don’t take the job seriously there are definitely consequences.

“Usually there is a three-strike policy, and once it gets past that point you’re definitely going to get let go," she said. "Our supervisors value hard work and won’t settle for less.”

While a front desk job is fairly common in the realm of student employment, ASU also offers some unique jobs that students can choose from if they look in the right places. For example, marketing and communication sophomore Lindsay Cameron is a Sun Devil Storyteller for the ASU Student Life webpage.

“I go around each of the campuses once a week and I profile students and tell their stories,” Cameron said. “It had to do with writing, it had to do with telling peoples stories and marketing, all of which are things I really wanted to do so I thought why not give it a shot.”

Luna and Cameron are both hovering at the same wage of about $10 an hour. This isn’t uncommon for a student wage but, students can snag a few different jobs with a much higher payout.

There are four levels of job placement, according to the ASU student employment page. Under these levels of employment, students can be paid anywhere from $10 to $50. Students in the highest job level can take home almost five times the state minimum wage, which sits at $10.50 an hour.

Information gathered from ASU Student Employment. Graphic published on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.

Mechanical engineering senior Dennis Acuna is a third-level student worker as a technology consultant at the University Technology Office in Tempe

“I have a lot of information I can gain access to,” said Acuna. “As a technology consultant, you’re in charge of helping professors and students in classrooms with software or the computers themselves. These responsibilities require training and they put a lot of trust in you not to screw up.”

Although Acuna is not making the whopping $50 an hour that other jobs in his skillset level may be eligible for, he is making a higher wage than some of his fellow students in lower positions. Positions within the upper employment levels are usually reserved for graduate students, making Acuna unique and giving him experience to set him apart after he finishes his degree. 

“I really want to get into an energy company and explore renewable energy and this job helps me build skills to maybe get that job one day, like with communication, that’s huge with this job,” Acuna said. “Also dealing with technology itself, nowadays being able to know how the back end of how everything works will definitely help in the future.” 

Undergrads shouldn’t feel discouraged when looking for higher paid positions – it’s even possible to become a staff member while still working toward your degree.

Megan Kappus, a broadcast journalism senior, is a broadcast engineer and staff member at ASU, though she's technically considered a Level IV student worker.

“I would love to be full time, but considering I’m a fulltime student at ASU, I have to stay part-time," she said.

Kappus said she enjoys her job and is working in the field she is studying. With a wage of $17.63, she is earning well above most of her student peers. 

“I was told to apply because the engineer team thought I would be a good fit for the job,” Kappus said. “They had been watching me for the past few years and realized I knew what I was doing, just goes to show hard work pays off.” 

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