All You Need to Know about On-Campus and Off-Campus Jobs in Canada

Getting a degree from abroad can take a huge toll on your finances. Especially, since, as an international student, you have to bear your living expenses too. You may time to time find yourself overwhelmed with this. That is why international students are often seen to look for jobs either on-campus or off-campus while they are studying. If you are studying or planning to study in a Canadian University, you would get plenty of opportunities to manage your expenditure as you can always find a suitable on-campus or off-campus job in Canada.

On-Campus Jobs in Canada

As the name suggests, on-campus jobs are such which can be found within the premise of your college or university campus. There are usually a lot of jobs available for students within the territory of the campus. It can range from working as a waiter at the university cafeteria or an assistant librarian at the university library to working as a teaching assistant or research assistant. On-campus jobs are usually hard to find since the number of jobs are limited and also most students prefer an on-campus job. The reason behind the on-campus jobs being preferable among students are because these jobs come with a lot of perks. Since you have to work within campus, you do not have to spend much time on commuting. Thus, you can save a lot of time and easily divide your time between study and work. 

However, there are certain rule and regulations to these jobs. They are-

  • You have to be a full-time student.
  • You have to have a valid study permit.
  • You should have a Social Insurance Number ((SIN).
  • You cannot start doing an on-campus job until your study program starts.  
  • You must stop working when your study program ends or your study permit expires. 
  • You cannot work on-campus if you are on an authorized leave from your studies.
  • If you are switching schools and not currently studying.


For on-campus jobs, there isn’t any limit to how many hours you can work. That means you can work as many hours as you want unless it is not clashing with your academic schedule. However, some employers may fix the hours for you. As for the payment, you can earn approximately CA$22 per hour or CA$42,565 per year while doing an on-campus job. 

Off-Campus Jobs in Canada

If you are planning to work in an off-campus job, you will find a wide range of jobs to choose from. Unlike on-campus jobs, off-campus jobs are better in number and variety. It can give you a lot of options to explore and you can decide what kind of jobs you prefer to do. It can also help you to get familiar with the region you’re in and the people you deal with. You can work as a waiter, receptionist, data analyst, marketing researcher, clerk, tutor and the list goes on. However, just like on-campus jobs, off-campus jobs also have a list of rule and regulations that you must follow-

  • You must have a valid study permit and the study permit must authorize you to work while studying.
  • You have to be a full-time student at Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and enrolled under secondary level vocational training program (offered in Quebec only) or, post-secondary vocational, academic or professional programs.
  • You cannot start working until your studies start.
  • You must be enrolled for a degree, certificate or diploma program which is at least six months long.
  • You should have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  •  You have to stop working when your program ends or study permit expires and you don’t get a work permit.
  • You cannot work while you’re in an authorized leave or currently not studying. 


Moreover, you cannot apply for an off-campus job if you’re taking only general interest courses or courses that are to be accepted into a full-time program. Furthermore, it is also not possible for you to apply if you’re enrolled in only English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program. The rules for off-campus jobs are pretty strict. If you don’t follow them wholeheartedly, you may be asked to leave Canada.

In off-campus jobs you can work for not more than 20 hours per week. However, you can work full time during vacations or scheduled leaves.

You can also consider co-operative education or co-op education instead of regular off campus jobs. Almost all post-secondary institutions offer co-op option along with other academic programs. This program can give you a real life work experience in an industry which is related to your study field. Usually, you get to experience working in new industry in each semester as a part of co-op program. It is indeed a great way to enhance a student’s employability. 

Canada has kept the option of part-time jobs open for the international students. It is a matter of huge relief for students since they don’t have to worry about the expenses too much now. Studying in Canada may turn out to be one of your cherished dreams. Make sure to try your hardest to bring this dream to reality with the help of the jobs that the country has to offer.

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