Jobs in College – Res Life

Are you looking for the best jobs in college? It’s hard to say which one is the best job in college, but it is clear that having a job in college has its benefits as I discussed two weeks ago. Every job in college is as “normal” as an office job in college. In fact, I am going to be discussing a radically different type of job in college: Resident Assistants. For those of you who don’t know, this is part of the Thursday series that I am writing now on jobs in college.

What is a Resident Assistant?

When I say resident assistant, do you know what that is? If you have been away from college for some time now, you may not be that familiar with the term. A residential assistant is student job working for the office of residential life. This job consists of working in the dormitories. Typically a Resident Assistant, also known as RA, will live and work on the same floor in his/her dorm. An RA is charged with keeping the peace, making sure no major damage is done to the property or furnishings, and some administrative tasks.

What are the Benefits of RA’s?

Considering that college students can be a rowdy group of people, why would anyone want this type of job in college? What kind of benefits would make this worth the demands of a RA? As it turns out, RA’s are often paid by getting free room and board. That’s right – in exchange for the pressures that they have to put up with, RA’s get free housing and often part of their meal plan. This isn’t that bad considering that housing costs are increasing each and every year.

The task of being a RA also provides much personal development. As a RA, you are expected to resolve conflicts among your residents. That’s right – when one resident has a problem with another, it is often the RA that is expected to step in or help create a resolution. This can be difficult at times, but being an RA means that you have been trained to deal with these type of situations. Resident Assistants often go through training at the beginning of the semester and given the skills to handle what can be very serious issues.

Between learning conflict resolution and getting free housing, being an Resident Assistant or more generally, working for Residential life, can be a legitimate option for a college student looking for a job while in college. If you play your cards right, you may even set yourself up for a professional position after graduation.

featured image provided by o5com via flickr

Did you ever consider being a resident assistant? Do you think this is the best option for college students?


4 Responses to Jobs in College – Res Life

  1. I know somebody who turned his job as a RA into a job after college. I considered doing the RA thing because the pay, consisting of the money saved on housing and food, is about as good as you will find. I ultimately decided I would not enjoy the job enough to justify the benefits. When I was going over the options students have for housing I realized it was probably the best though.

  2. Being an RA is hard work, mainly because you have work extra hard to make sure people don’t hate you. Like Matt said, it’s your job to enforce the rules and most college kids living in dorms don’t like rules. Ergo, they don’t like you. But if you have a thick enough skin, it’s a great way to make money and have your room and board paid for (at least that’s how it was at my school).

  3. Id have to say being an RA is definitely not worth the free room. Like Jana said, you’ll have to commit to extra hours just to ensure people dont hate you. Plus that usually means turning your back on things you maybe shouldn’t, which could get you in trouble with the University. My school just gave you a free room if you were the RA, but I know some schools offer more. If they sweetened the pot with some actual money or even a food card, then maybe its worth it.