5 Part Time Jobs That Pay Over $8/hour for Fresh Grads Who are Still Job Hunting

By Joanne Poh

So the job market isn’t exactly a big party right now, or if it is, nobody invited you. Just your luck to be graduating during the economic downturn.

Now, finding a job in Singapore per se is not difficult at all—just ask the thousands of foreigners who’ve gotten off the boat here precisely because it’s easier to get a job in Singapore than in their home country.

If you’re content to earn $1,500 with your honours degree in a dead end job for an SME that sees you as cheap fresh grad labour, there are plenty of such positions for the taking.

But what happens when you’re holding out for that dream job, but just haven’t been able to get it yet?

Your parents have probably cut off your allowance, and your friends who’ve found jobs are inflating their lifestyles like crazy, making things very expensive for a jobless fresh grad.

If you’re not content to take on a bottom-of-the-barrel job, here are some part-time options to tide you through this period.

Private tutor

There’s no way around it—private tutoring is far and away the most lucrative part-time job there is out there, and the easiest to get into—no months of training or shoring up certifications. That means that just by teaching a few hours a week, you can easily make enough to cover your basic expenses.

If you’re a university graduate, you might be able to command more than $50/hour, especially for A level or IB subjects. That’s more than you’ll be earning per hour in your first real job, and you’ll free up lots of time for actual job hunting.

I have several friends who started giving tuition after graduating, fully expecting to get an office job or further their studies in a few months, but ended up becoming full-time tutors because the money and flexibility were too attractive to relinquish.

Banquet waiter

If you’re looking for a part-time job in F&B that pays a little more, consider becoming a banquet waiter. You’ll earn at least $8 to $10 an hour. The work is fast-paced and intense, as you’ll be working at weddings, corporate dinners and other such stressful gigs.

Now that you’re in your twenties, there’s also a good chance you’ll bump into people you know at one of these functions.

If all that’s not enough to put you off, becoming a banquet waiter is a decent way to earn an okay amount of cash. Just watch out for the dry ice at weddings, that stuff can be deadly when you’re trying to balance eleven bowls of shark’s fin soup on one arm.


Brewing coffee for chicly-attired customers paints an idyllic picture of a young graduate working towards their dreams… in New York, maybe. In reality, though, nobody wants to earn $6 an hour—and now it looks like you don’t have to.

Lots of “indie cafes” are now willing to pay above market rate for good waitstaff and baristas, often in the region of $8 to $8.50 an hour.

The catch is that you’re expected to give better service than you would expect at a run of the mill eatery in a heartland mall, but seriously, that’s a pretty low bar.

Promoter at Roadshows/Expos

Shopping malls are always buzzing with super-noisy roadshows, hawking everything from food to questionable-looking massage devices.

Retailers at these events usually hire roadshow promoters or demonstrators on an ad hoc basis, and the pay is pretty decent, too—you can expect at least $9 to $10 an hour.

If the job involves additional tasks like collecting name cards from visitors or registering guests using the computer system (as is common at expos), you might be able to earn around $12 to $15.

But the real gold is in the fact that shifts are long—you’re often given the chance to work an entire day, which means you earn more.


If you’re a cosplay freak, have always dreamed of working at Disneyland or simply want a job that won’t get you recognised by acquaintances on the street, sign up to be a mascot.

Some mascot jobs will have you wearing an actual putrid costume, mask and all, which after the novelty of having kids run towards you wears off, puts you in real danger of dying of heatstroke.

Other mascot jobs are a little less uncomfortable—Japanese or Korean food retailers sometimes hire people to don a kimono or hanbok at roadshows for instance.

On the upside, mascot assignments pay quite handsomely considering all you have to do is stand around, smile and try not to faint. At the very least, you can expect to earn $8-10/hour, but on the higher end of the scale you can earn up to $25 an hour.

This article was first published over at MoneySmart blog on 15 February 2016. It is reproduced with permission.

About The Author (Joanne Poh)

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.


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