Dear students, when you arrive in America through the Work & Travel program, know that you will enjoy the same rights as Americans. In most cases, you can easily find another part-time job. It is important to know that you have the right to do as many additional jobs as you want (as long as these jobs are reported to the sponsoring agency that takes care of your status during your stay in America), that you will have an agreed hourly rate, tip and overtime compensation. Full-time work usually means 40 hours per week. Employers are legally obliged to pay overtime to their employees, which is 150% of the regular wage rate, for each additional hour over the 40th of the week.

Our advice is to record every working hour you spend at work. It is very important that you have a calendar where you will record your working hours before starting work. Mistakes happen everywhere and to avoid inconveniences, it is important to have a document where you can prove and justify your working hours to the employer.

A very important piece of information about the job offer you receive before going to the United States is the number of weekly working hours. Hourly rates, on a weekly basis, usually range between 32-40 working hours. An important note for this is that these are not the working hours that the employer is obliged to give you but it is the AVERAGE hours that the employer thinks they will be able to give you throughout the entire program. Sometimes you work less than 32 hours a week and sometimes you work up to 50-60 hours a week.

Sometimes jobs with a lower hourly rate are even better because you have the opportunity to do two jobs at the same time.

“TIPS” positions are usually held by returnees to the program, but also by candidates who speak perfect English. These are usually server or bazaar positions in a restaurant, hotel … American culture is such that any guest will leave a tip. Tips usually range from 15-20% of the bill at the table you serve. Sometimes, if guests are extremely keen on your service, they leave you an abnormal tip. For this reason, these earnings are shown as quite small, e.g. $ 2.5 / h + tips.

Note: the amount of the hourly rate mostly depends on the country in which you are and work, and then on the job position you are in.