Student employees

Student employees must be paid at least the Washington State minimum wage.

Academic student positions are covered by the contract between the UW and the United Auto Workers (UAW). For all other student employment positions, Compensation establishes compensation requirements in accordance with University policy and as described below.

Employment eligibility and monitoring

UW Students: In accordance with UW Employment and Administrative Policies, Chapter 104, a student must be enrolled at the University of Washington and meet the following minimum enrollment requirements (not including correspondence credits) in order to hold a position in a student job profile:

  • Undergraduate students – 6 credits
  • Graduate and professional students – 4 credits
  • Ph.D. candidates working on dissertations – 2 credits
  • Granted “on leave” status

Non-UW Students: Non-UW work study students may be hired into job code 11836 (Student Assistant), and non-UW nursing students may be hired into job code 11835 (Nursing Technician). Non-UW students employed in these job profiles are not subject to the 950-hour limit on temporary employment, and may be eligible to participate in the PERS 2 or PERS 3 retirement plan.

Non-UW students who are not work study eligible or who are not nursing students may be employed as a regular temporary hourly employee using the classified job profile that most closely matches the work to be performed. With the advance approval from HR Operations, it may be appropriate to use Temporary Staff Helper job profile for such positions.

It is the responsibility of the employing department to confirm an individual’s eligibility for a position as a student employee by verifying enrollment with the appropriate registrar’s office. Student employees are responsible for notifying their supervisor if they no longer meet minimum enrollment requirements.

Employment and compensation

The process used to recruit and hire student employees must comply with the University’s nondiscrimination and affirmative action policies (UW Executive Order 31 – See also information from the Equal Opportunity Office). Student employment is also subject to the provisions of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 73.16 regarding the employment and reemployment of veterans. Refer to the UW/UAW Local 4121 Contract for guidance on the employment of academic student employees on an hourly basis.

Student employment job profile and compensation information

Job Code Job Profile Overtime Covered Min ($/hr) Max ($/hr) Usage
10872 Student Assistant Exception Yes $30.36 $70.00 This is an exception pay category requiring approval as described below.
10875 Student Assistant
Calendar Year 2018
Yes $15.45 $30.35 General student employment performing a variety of support tasks (Seattle & Bothell campuses).
10888 Student Assistant, UWT
Calendar Year 2018
Yes $12.00 $30.35 General student employment performing a variety of support tasks (Tacoma campus).
11836 Student Assistant,
Non-UW higher education student
Yes $15.45 $50.00 Only available to employ a non-UW higher education student who is in an authorized work study program at another higher education institution. Duration of position is set by the length of the work study awards.
10884 Nursing Tech, UW Student Yes $15.45 $17.61 Only available to employ UW nursing students who perform selected nursing duties under supervision.
11835 Nursing Tech,
Non-UW Student
Yes $15.45 $17.61 Only available to employ nursing students at other schools who perform selected nursing duties under supervision.
10890 ASUW/Appointee No $1274  /mo $2682 /mo Only available for ASUW positions
Pay determination guidelines

Student employees must be compensated within the assigned salary range for the job profile and in accordance with the pay determination guidelines below.

Appointing departments are responsible for maintaining consistent and equitable pay practices across student positions based on considering factors such as:

  • The range and complexity of the job’s duties;
  • The knowledge and skill requirements necessary to perform the job;
  • Equity, including salary relationships with other student employees in the department or unit;
  • Longevity, merit, market conditions, and/or recruitment difficulty;
  • The appointee’s relevant experience and training.

The department determines the starting wage and subsequent pay increases within the pay range.

Graduate Research Student Assistants (GRSA)

Graduate Research Student Assistants must be compensated based on the Graduate Research Student Assistant (GRSA) salary schedule published on the Graduate School’s TA/RA Salary Schedule web page. GRSA positions are made based upon the position’s responsibilities, longevity, merit, market conditions, or recruitment difficulty. Refer to the UW/UAW Local 4121 Contract for guidance on the hiring and employment of academic student employees on an hourly basis.

Exception to student employee pay rates

Employing units may request an exception to the student employee pay rates when it is necessary to pay a student employee above the maximum pay rate through the Integrated Service Center. Use of the Student Assistant Exception job title (class code 10872) requires advance approval of the of the unit supervisor or administrator and the unit budget authority. The Student Assistant Exception job profile is only used where an exceptional pay rate is warranted. Circumstances warranting the approval of an exceptional pay rate include such factors as competitive market conditions or exceptional job skill requirements (e.g. advance computer programming skills).

Work hour limits

Employment of Minors – Work hours and working conditions for student employees under the age of 18 are covered by the UW Requirements for Employing Minors.

Students 18 years of age and older are limited to working 19.5 hours per week when classes are in session, and may work more than 19.5 hours per week during school breaks or when “on leave”. Students are considered “on leave” as follows:

  • Undergraduates – For one quarter immediately following a quarter in which the student was enrolled for at least 6 academic credits, including summer quarter.
  • Graduate and Professional Students – When the student has applied for and been granted such status by the Dean of the Graduate School.

For student job profiles covered by the contract between the UW and the United Auto Workers (UAW), see Contract Article 16, Leaves of Absence.

Hourly pay requirements, work records and overtime

Student employees are overtime eligible and must be compensated for all hours worked. Hours worked includes all time an employee must be on duty and is permitted to work. Student employees do not receive paid holidays, and holidays for which regular staff are paid are not considered “hours worked” for student employees.

Appointing departments must maintain work/time records for student employees to comply with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) record keeping requirements.


Student employees are covered by mandatory overtime requirements, and they must be compensated at time and a half for all hours worked over 40 hours per workweek. If a student employee has more than one University position, the hours worked in all positions are totaled to determine the total hours worked within the workweek. See also Overtime Eligibility and Compensation for Non-Academic Employees.