Can I get paid to do homework?
March 10, 2010 8:14 PM   Subscribe

JobFilter: I need an easy job, preferably one in which I get paid to do homework.

I currently work at a hotel front desk, and when I did this in undergrad it was perfect. I was able to work close to 40 hours a week and was able to do a ton of homework. Before that, I worked in my dorm front desk and again, was able to do a ton of homework. Flash forward to today, and I work at a SUPER busy hotel where I have almost zero time for homework. I am allowed to work when I can, but like I said, there is very little time. I'm staring into the next 9 months or so, and my program is going to get even more demanding, and it doesn't look like the hotel is going to get any less busy. I need a job that is relatively flexible with hours, due to class schedules, and hopefully not too many night/evening hours. So where can I work close to full-time and be able to do as much homework as possible?

Details- I checked the job boards at all three universities in town, but none of them are offering anything more than 15-20 hour positions. I can try finding a job a less busy hotel, and considering that I'm only making 8.75/hr, taking a job at minimum wage in IL (8.00/hr) isn't a huge step down. Is there anywhere else I might be able to just occupy space for 6-8 hours a day and get paid for it? Am I asking too much?
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith to Work & Money (24 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Night watchman? Pretty sure you'd just need to pass a criminal background check.
posted by bardic at 8:18 PM on March 10, 2010

Parking lot/ramp attendant. These jobs are usually in demand because you get so much slack time, yet they tend to pay pretty darned well. Check with your school's parking department, as well as the city.
posted by scarykarrey at 8:19 PM on March 10, 2010

If you're a capable, hardy-looking person, maybe you can (wo)man the front desk of a commercial building. I paid my way through college by babysitting infants (they took frequent naps during the day, were immensely entertained when I read Foucault in the voice of Cookie Monster, and I was paid significantly more than most of my friends who worked desk jobs).
posted by zoomorphic at 8:23 PM on March 10, 2010 [4 favorites]

I don't know if this was just a rare case or what . . . but when I was a teenager my elderly grandfather lived with us. He needed 'round the clock care, but not necessarily specialized care . . . really just some one there to help him to the bathroom, get him food when needed, help him get ready for bed, etc. Basically someone to look after him. We hired nurse's aides. One of the nurse's aids was in a master's program, iirc and spent the insane amounts of downtime studying. Same with the night nurse's aide. Worth looking into.
posted by Sassyfras at 8:27 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

I worked graveyard shift at the Motel 6 front desk. An eight hour shift was 2 hours of work and 6 hours of reading and homework. It was right off a freeway exit, and if I had a lot of homework I would always think about turning on the "no vacancy" sign.
posted by Crotalus at 8:43 PM on March 10, 2010

Does your school have a student computer lab? You could staff that. You don't really have to do that much, aside from answering people's questions, refilling the printer with paper, stuff like that. Half the time the staff is just watching YouTube or checking Facebook. The biggest problem you'll face is a jammed printer, or something.

Did you check other receptionist/front desk jobs at places other than hotels? For instance, companies and offices of all kinds typically have front desks to greet visitors.
posted by joyeuxamelie at 8:43 PM on March 10, 2010

I did reception at a yoga/massage studio in high school. I usually had about 1.5 hours of actual work to do per 5 hour shift.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:46 PM on March 10, 2010

Seconding school computer labs. Also, if your writing is strong, the writing center at your school. I've worked in two, and both paid over ten dollars an hour and had plenty of downtime, except for during finals.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:46 PM on March 10, 2010

My sister put herself through school as a morgue attendant on the night shift at the county coroner's office. It's not for everyone, but she was able to do homework and also sleep sometimes.
posted by elmay at 9:24 PM on March 10, 2010

I recently asked a question a bit like yours. The first half is more specific towards my goals, but the second half has some good ideas like all-night fitness center attendant and internal operator.
posted by niles at 9:48 PM on March 10, 2010

In college, I worked evenings and weekends in a music library, and was able to read and listen to records nonstop.
posted by aquafortis at 9:49 PM on March 10, 2010

Most of the suggestions so far are good, but they won't be of use to you if you're looking for full-time work. If you're passing on jobs because of this:

...but none of them are offering anything more than 15-20 hour positions.

you're going to have trouble finding jobs at which you get paid to do homework.

Why not find two 15-20 hour jobs? If you'll be doing homework at them anyway, presumably it wouldn't be that stressful to switch between them.
posted by voltairemodern at 10:09 PM on March 10, 2010

My eldest brother put himself through college working the night shift as a security guard. Lots of quiet time for studies.
posted by trinity8-director at 10:10 PM on March 10, 2010

You're going to have a lot more luck getting the kind of job that basically pays you just to BE there during downtime if you're open to working overnight. Working in the daytime and not having to do much work AND getting 40 hours a week is a pretty rare situation.
posted by srrh at 2:02 AM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

I worked the graveyard shift at a restaurant one summer. If I'd had homework there would have been plenty of time to do it. The tips can kind of suck, but they had me on Florida minimum wage while I was training and never took me off of that, so I was getting about $7/hour plus tips. Roughly $1500 for 2-3 months of working a couple nights a week.

If you have any craft-y things you can make then just selling those could be an option. I have a flea market by me that charges $25 for a table if you go up and get one the day you want it. My wife and I are currently in the process of building up an inventory of items to sell there. We've heard from a few people we know there that the craft people come away with a nice chunk of change.
posted by theichibun at 4:14 AM on March 11, 2010

My sister worked full-time in the laundry room at a nursing home. She worked second shift and only worked about three hours out of eight. Apparently first shift was somewhat busier but still pretty slack.
posted by christinetheslp at 4:21 AM on March 11, 2010

I worked as a darkroom attendant at my college and did way more homework (and movie-watching) than actual work. You'd probably have to have some photo experience (or chemistry?), because the little work it entails involves mixing and handling chemicals.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:07 AM on March 11, 2010

Airport long-term parking attendant. No idea how it pays, though.
posted by joshrholloway at 5:11 AM on March 11, 2010

I worked as a woodshop monitor, which required that I monitor people using the equipment, make sure no one cuts their hand off, answer questions, etc, and it left me plenty of time to do homework. Also paid absurdly well, though I put in few hours.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 5:34 AM on March 11, 2010

Library assistant work can sometimes be like this, if you work the info/reference desk during dead times or end up at the right library.
posted by hought20 at 5:38 AM on March 11, 2010

Seconding school computer lab.
posted by xiaolongbao at 5:49 AM on March 11, 2010

If you're pursuing any kind of liberal arts degree - art gallery attendant is a good gig for homework, especially if it's a quiet regional museum.
posted by jennyhead at 6:34 AM on March 11, 2010

2 out of 3 senior software development jobs I've had, paying 70-85k salary, I was idle for 4 out of 5 days. If you're smart and efficient and can get the work done fast, lots of time left for either killing time trying to look busy, or like I finally did and said screw it and either read or worked on my own projects. Tried asking for more work on multiple occasions, just not enough to go around when you've already done the work you were hired for, and no new projects required. Yet kept on payroll just in case something pops-up from upper management.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 7:40 AM on March 11, 2010

Can you transfer to the night shift or night auditor position with your current employer? I know you prefer no nights but that's when things are slowest.

I believe night auditor usually pays higher than regular front desk, but if you can get all your work done fast it leaves you with most of your shift free to do what you want.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:12 PM on March 11, 2010

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