As spring buds in D.C. some students may find that their money trees have come and gone faster than the cherry blossoms.
The good news is that while GW students may have to wait an entire year to catch another glimpse of the cherry blossoms, they can replenish their money tree right away by finding a job. D.C. is not just a city run on unpaid interns. There are plenty of jobs available that pay in cash rather than experience.
D.C. is a hotbed for restaurants, bars and clubs, and anyone who has ever eaten out knows that many of these places are not cheap. A pricey check translates into a hefty tip for wait staff, which often consists of local college students. At a 15 percent gratuity rate, a party’s $100 check often means a $15 tip for less than an hour’s work.
A server’s salary depends heavily on tips, so charismatic and outgoing personalities lend to good customer service and a lot of cash. Jobs in bartending and promotions for local clubs work the same way. It is hard to predict what servers make each night because tips vary, but a typical week-night dinner shift could earn students anywhere from $60 to more than $100. Weekend tips, especially for dinner shifts, usually total $100 to $200 a night, depending on the restaurant.
Hosting jobs offer a much more stable and predictable salary, usually from $8 to $10 an hour.
The classified section of a local newspaper often tells which restaurants, bars and clubs are hiring for these positions.
Classified ads also call attention to jobs in childcare. Some of these jobs may be more ideal for full-time summer employment, but others ask for part-time help and could be done during the semester. Many childcare ads list the salary as “negotiable,” but a few offer stipends ranging from $300 to $500 a week, depending on the number of hours required. A lot of times these jobs require individuals with cars. Parents sometimes give a babysitter access to his or her car to drive the children to parks, practices and lessons. Babysitting and childcare jobs are perfect for those who enjoy children and want to get away from campus for a while.
Retail is another booming job market in D.C., offering salaries that start from $6.50 to $8 an hour. Retail jobs are almost always available, require little to no experience and offer the chance to work with other students. Hours are generally flexible because most stores open early in the morning and remain open until at least 9 p.m. Students who worked at national retail stores such as the GAP or Express in their hometowns may get referred to work in the company’s D.C. stores. Georgetown, Union Station, and The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City are good places to look for retail jobs.