Carnegie Mellon University

On-Campus Student Employment

At Carnegie Mellon University, thousands of on-campus student jobs are available to enrolled students each year. By working part-time on campus you can earn money while at school and also develop professional competencies that can aid you in future job searches. For many employers, work experience during college is just as important as grades when hiring students.

On-campus hourly employment opportunities are available to any student who is enrolled at least half-time (18 units) in a degree-granting program at CMU. To qualify to work during the summer session, the student must be admitted to, or continuing in, a degree-granting program at Carnegie Mellon the following semester.

If you are an international student, contact the Office of International Education with any questions you have about on-campus and off-campus work permission, employment authorization, and to fully understand the requirements for on-campus work.

On this page:

Finding Opportunities

Searching on Handshake

The best way to learn about opportunities and current openings is to frequently check Handshake, Carnegie Mellon University's online recruiting platform for students, employers and campus partners. To find available job openings:

  1. Go to cmu.joinhandshake.com. Login with your Andrew ID and password. Make sure all profile fields are completed and have your resume uploaded into Handshake. 
  2. From the top banner select Jobs. At the top right, click All Filters and then select “On-Campus”.  You are now viewing all of the CMU on-campus student employment opportunities available in Handshake.

Keep in mind that student hiring is cyclical, as many part-time student jobs are filled before the semester begins. Depending on the time of year, on Handshake you will find a wide variety of part-time job openings, including these types of positions that are prevalent on our Pittsburgh campus:

Arts Assistant              Campus Tour Guide            Desk Attendant
Events Assistant         Laboratory Attendant         Library Assistant
Office Assistant           Peer Mentor                         Programmer
Researcher                   Residential Assistant          Teaching Assistant

Positions Not Posted on Handshake

If you are interested in an on-campus position that you don't see posted on Handshake, try contacting the department you are interested in working for and ask for an opportunity to schedule an appointment to meet with a staff member. Even if there are no jobs available right now, positions may become available in the future. Also, check the department website. Sometimes positions are posted on the website and applications can be submitted directly.

Many students would like to serve as a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant, and these positions are not always posted on Handshake. Often specific positions are advertised through department email or on bulletin boards. Some professors hire students they already know through class or academic departments. If you are eager to work in a particular field, get to know the faculty in your area of interest. Set up an appointment to talk about your interests and ask them for advice. Let them know you are enthusiastic and available if they need any help.

Another way to find job opportunities is to use CareLink, a service that is available to members of the Carnegie Mellon community in Pittsburgh. CareLink is used to find care givers, share or exchange services, or find a job.  If you want to provide services, you can post your resume and search available jobs. 

Work-Study

Carnegie Mellon participates in the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program, a financial aid program offered to students who demonstrate financial need. If you are eligible for work-study, a dollar amount will appear on your financial aid letter found in SIO. Students who accept their offer of FWS are not guaranteed an on-campus job, but you are encouraged to apply for and secure a job.

Any paid on-campus position can count towards your work-study award, as well as any approved Federal Community Service position. Your Work-Study award then will be used toward your payment for that job. The money you earn goes straight to you; it is not directly applied to your tuition or any other university expenses. For more information about student financial aid, visit the Student Financial Services website.

Please note that Handshake is unable to upload work-study eligibility information from the HUB to student profiles, so your work-study eligiblity will never show in Handshake. You still have work-study if it was awarded to you; and you are eligible to apply for any job listed on Handshake. If an employer asks you to prove your eligibility, we suggest printing out the section of You SIO stat states this information. You may contact the CPDC at career@andrew.cmu.edu if you have any other questions about this issue.

Graduate Students and the On-Campus Job Search

You may have noticed that many of the campus jobs listed in Handshake are posted for undergraduate students only to apply.  Although Handshake will allow you to apply for any job, you should only apply for jobs that are looking for “Master” level students. 

To find a job in your field if you don’t see any posted: 

  • Contact your academic department or advisor.
  • Get to know the faculty/professors in your area of interest. Set up an appointment to talk about your interests and availability.
  • Get advice from your peers who have a campus job.
  • Visit the main office of the department you are interested in working for. Offer to leave your name and contact information even if there are no jobs available right now.
  • Schedule an appointment to meet with your CPDC college career consultant through Handshake to discuss employment options and strategies. 

Applying for Positions

Applying for On-Campus Jobs in Handshake

To apply for an on-campus job posted in Handshake, you will need an updated resume. Some departments also require you to submit a cover letter. It is important that you submit all the required documentation as part of your application. For the best chance of being selected for an interview, be sure to read the job description carefully and tailor your documents to the specific job you are applying to.

You may apply for more than one job. Each campus employer will choose which students they will interview and hire. 

Some jobs are open only to students who are eligible for a work-study award. These jobs will have (Work-Study) in the job title.

For help in preparing your documents and getting ready for an interview, we encourage you to meet with your CPDC Career Consultant. You can schedule an appointment on Handshake

Getting Hired

After you've applied for a position, you may be contacted for a job interview. On-campus interviews may be more informal than interviews for internships or jobs with off-campus employers, but you should take them just as seriousy. You are expected to show up on time, be prepared to discuss your experience and qualifications, and interact in a professional manner.

If you are selected for the position, you will receive a formal offer letter from the hiring manager. This document or email will contain the details of your position including expected hours, dates of employment, and compensation. After you've accepted the position, your supervisor will let you know details about onboarding and training particular to that position.

For information about starting your job, including documentation requirements, payroll and taxes, visit the HR Student Worker Services page or contact them at 412-268-4600.

Developing Career-Ready Competencies

On-campus employment provides a significant opportunity for students to gain on-the-job experience and develop transferable skills that employers value. The CMU-GROW (Guided Reflection on Work)  program supports students in their competency development by helping them make connections between work, academics, and their career development. 

GROW was created by the University of Iowa in 2009 and more than 150 schools use the model with student staff on their campuses. The program provides a framework for brief, structured conversations between students and supervisors that allow students to reflect on their work. During these conversations, supervisors ask their student staff four quick questions:

  1. How is this job fitting in with your academics?
  2. What are you learning here that's helping you in school?
  3. What are you learning in class that you can apply here at work?
  4. What have you learned here that you think you'll use in your chosen profession? 

Students then establish an action plan focused on career-readiness competencies, such as collaboration, communication, data literacy and diversity, equity and inclusion. CMU-GROW is considered to be a high-impact education paractice, as it makes the learning that's occuring on the job more visible to students and gives them valuable practice transferring and applying the skills in different settings, contributing to the student's overall academic growth and success.