Campus job pay rates: a guide to making money at the College

October 19, 2016 by Meklit Tesfaye, Contributing Writer

The College allows students to work up to 10 hours a week at their campus jobs. Making the most of those hours requires finding the highest-paying jobs, though those can sometimes come with the trade-off of being more demanding or less flexible.

The College places jobs into six categories, known as grades, which describe the general conditions of the jobs classified within each group. This article breaks down what jobs fall into which grades and how job requirements affect their wages.

Some students qualify for the Federal Work-Study Program, which provides students with jobs to earn money to help pay for college expenses. These students have high-priority status for getting hired by the College, while those not qualified for that program are still able to get jobs but with low-priority status.

Route 2 provides a list of various jobs available both on and off campus. Some currently available positions include working as a Paresky Bake Shop assistant, writing for Sports Information or serving as an event assistant for events hosted by the music department.

Grade A jobs: These jobs assign students one specific responsibility. Students working these jobs, such as monitors, are not expected to perform other tasks, and can study while working as long as they meet their singular obligation. Grade A jobs have a wage of $10.00 an hour.

Grade B jobs: These jobs require students to work as monitors and perform additional duties requested by their supervisors. Students may also study while working grade B jobs as long as their responsibilities are met. Jobs in this grade include assistants of any kind, except for teaching assistants. These jobs’ wages range from $10.25–$10.50 an hour depending on how many years one has worked.

Grade C jobs: While students working in grade C jobs are also assistants, unlike jobs in grades A and B, students who work in these jobs are fully occupied during work hours and are not permitted to study or participate in other activities unrelated to their jobs. Wages for grade C jobs vary from $10.75-$11.00 an hour.

Grade D jobs: Students employed in grade D jobs are known as supervisors. Their primary responsibility is to oversee the scheduling and performances of other students, such as head tour guides. These jobs are only open to returning students, and require approval from the Student Employment Manager. The undergraduate supervisors who fall into this category are paid $11.50 per hour, whereas the A/V tech positions in this grade pay $13.00 per hour.

The human resources website lists A/V tech positions in Grade E, but “our A/V techs are hired at the regular C paygrade, for jobs open to [undergraduates] that don’t allow for studying time,” Jonathan Morgan-Leamon, director of instructional techonology for the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) said.

“OIT actually hires for six different positions — working for us in the video studio, running the 3D printers in the Makerspace, staffing the help desk, supporting faculty and students using media software and helping with the network infrastructure, in addition to the A/V students who monitor and support the campus’ electronic classrooms — but all those positions pay at the regular C or D rates.”

Grade E jobs: Jobs in grade E include being a host or server. These jobs are the second-highest paying, at $13.00 per hour.

Grade K jobs: This job grade is limited to student models for the art department. It is the highest paying job on campus at $14.00 an hour. Keep in mind, however, that you may be asked to get naked (“Students liven drawing classes by undressing the nudity taboo,” March 11, 2009).

Grade Y jobs: All of the dining services jobs fall under this pay grade. However, there is an element of seniority in wages: first-year workers receive $11.00 per hour, after which there is a $0.50 raise for each year they return with $12.00 as the maximum wage rate for those students that work in Dining Services for at least three years.

While the type of job is important, how often student workers get paid is also important. Student pay periods are two weeks long, starting on a Friday and closing after the second Thursday for a total of fourteen days.

Teaching assistants (TAs), on the other hand, are paid semesterly stipends. These stipends are distributed in biweekly payments throughout the semester. The amounts are equally dispersed over seven pay periods during each semester and total to $1,400 for a full-time TA position.

The distinct classifications and pay rates are used to promote job equity across campus. Some students receive raises to encourage them to remain with the same department during the following academic year.

The listed wage rates will be adjusted in accordance with the new Massachusetts minimum wage increase on Jan. 1. Every job will receive an hourly wage rate increase of $1.

Student workers are essential to the operations of the College. Employment at the College allows students the opportunity to acquire workplace skills, knowledge and experiences by working in a wide variety of positions; whether one is working with children at the Williamstown Youth Center or swiping student ID cards at a dining hall, campus jobs provide great opportunities for students to learn outside of the classroom and make some money in the process.

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