Hiring a Student Worker

Co-op Students

Co-op student appointments are different from other student appointments due to the formal academic aspect. Students need to apply and meet program requirements before being accepted into the Co-op program.

To be eligible, students must be enrolled in a Co-op program from a Canadian institution. Once accepted into a Co-op program, international students must apply for an off-campus work permit and obtain their work permit prior to accepting a Co-op position.

Note: Before offering a Co-op position to a foreign student, confirm with the Co-op office that the student is lawfully allowed to work for UBC and review the student’s permit information if applicable.

Co-op positions are advertised through the Co-op Offices. For information about how to advertise a Co-op position or additional information about hiring Co-op students, contact the respective Co-op Office. If departments need assistance with the Co-op job description, the Co-op Office can provide support.

Note: Upon confirmation from the department, the Co-op Office will make the verbal offer to the student. Once the student accepts the Co-op student appointment, the department will need to formalize the contract in a letter and deliver the student appointment form to Payroll.

Once hired, the supervisor needs to have performance reviews/discussions with the Co-op student as the student needs to meet his/her learning objectives and goals. The Co-op Coordinator will meet with both the supervisor and Co-op student together midway through the appointment to review how things are going and if the student is on-track to meeting those objectives. If any issues and/or concerns arise, the Co-op Coordinator is the contact person and resource for both students and departments.

Eligibility for Student Appointments (Excluding Co-op)

For undergraduate students: To be eligible for a student appointment, a student must be currently enrolled in a Canadian institution and maintain a minimum of 18 credits in the Winter session (September – April) and a minimum of 9 credits in the Summer session (May – August). If the student does not meet these requirements, then they must be hired as a staff member instead. The department is responsible for confirming the minimum credits as outlined above. If a student drops or withdraws from courses causing the number of credits to fall below the minimum credit requirement, the department must terminate the student’s appointment. It is also the department’s responsibility to ensure a student is not on academic probation in order for the student to maintain his/her student appointment.

For graduate students: To be eligible for a student appointment, a full-time graduate student is not required to fulfill the minimum credit criteria noted above. For more information, visit the Student Services website or the Graduate School website.

Note: A student is no longer considered a student after his/her convocation date. However, as a practice, students have been allowed to continue working until the end of the term. For example, if Fred’s convocation is in November, Fred can continue his student appointment until the end of December.

International students studying at UBC who are in possession of a valid student visa are eligible for student work opportunities at UBC. They do not require further permission from the federal government to work on campus. If an international student is studying at another Canadian institution, he/she must have an off-campus work permit in order to work for UBC.

All students, whether international students or not, must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) before they can be paid by UBC. A SIN is not an employment authorization. It registers the student with Revenue Canada so that statutory deductions will be recorded properly.

Advertising a Student Position

CUPE 2278 positions for the fall (September to April) period are required to be posted by the preceding March 31 in accordance with Article 13.01 of the CUPE 2278 collective agreement. For more information, refer to the CUPE 2278 collective agreement.

Other student positions do not require posting. You may choose to advertise on your department’s website. UBC departments may post UBC jobs for free on the UBC Career Services website. Refer to the Career Services website for details.

Searching & Selecting (the Interview Process)

It is strongly recommended that departments interview applicants and conduct two to three supervisory reference checks on your top candidate, including a reference from their current supervisor. 

During the interview, the department should ask the student whether they currently hold any other active student appointments. It is beneficial to both the student and the department to address this topic prior to making an offer, not only to determine if the student’s hours per week exceed the maximum under the guidelines, but also to assess whether the student can reasonably meet the commitments required to successfully perform the role.

It is important to consult collective agreements for unionized CUPE 2278 positions, as certain positions will have recall rights. For instance, once an individual has held a TA appointment, it is expected (barring unsatisfactory evaluations) that they will be reappointed. See Article 13.03, Criteria of Reappointment, of the CUPE 2278 collective agreement.

Making an Offer

Remember that a verbal offer is legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your Department Administrator/HR Manager and/or UBC HR prior to making a verbal offer.

Positions requiring access to children or vulnerable adults require a Criminal Records Check. In such cases, the offer of employment must be conditional on acquiring a favourable Criminal Records Check. For more information on criminal records checks, see Criminal Records Checks at UBC.

Departments are responsible for creating student offer letters, except for Miscellaneous jobs. You must ensure the offer letter expressly states that the terms and conditions of employment are subject to the provisions of the Employment Standards Act. If you need assistance drafting the offer letter, contact UBC HR. Download the offer letter template here. Offer letters for Miscellaneous jobs are sent to the department by UBC HR.

Note: Ensure that you retain a copy of the student’s offer letter for your departmental files. Ensure that the student’s position, wage (hourly or monthly), and dates of employment are included in the letter and the letter is on department letterhead with the appropriate signatures.


Generally, student appointment forms are sent directly to UBC Payroll for processing once the form has been signed by your department’s signing authority. However, appointments comprising CUPE 2950, CUPE 116, and Miscellaneous job codes must be sent to Advisory Services in UBC Human Resources for review.

Have student workers complete the required finance forms, TD1 and BC TD1 tax forms and the direct deposit form, and send the completed finance forms to Payroll directly.


Student workers must complete and submit their timesheets to the department. It is the department’s responsibility to ensure the student knows the deadline for submitting timesheets and to forward the timesheets to Payroll. Students may obtain their paystubs online via the CWL Self-Service Portal.

Note: Student workers are not eligible for honorariums.

Common Types of Student Appointments

Type Affiliation HRMS Earnings Code Examples of typical duties When it is appropriate to hire

Undergraduate Academic Assistant (UAA) and Graduate Academic Assistant (GAA)

Must comply with the Employment Standards Act.
Wages considered 100% regular earnings. Wages, when paid monthly, include vacation pay.
1.0 REG




Performs work:

  • Not academic in nature
  • Not performed by a TA
  • Not directly related to students’ field of study

E.g. Performing research for a faculty member that is not of direct benefit to student’s academic field of study.

Hire a UAA/GAA for work related to the faculty’s area of research.
Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) 100% fellowship (subject to WCB but not income tax, CPP, EI, or holiday pay)
Wages, when paid monthly include vacation pay.
1.0 FEL Conducts research integral to the student’s graduate requirements. Hire a GRA when the student’s project relates to the faculty’s research area to help subsidize their degree.
Graduate Teaching Assistant 1 (TA1) Must comply with CUPE 2278 Collective Agreement.
Salary for all TAs is 80% regular earnings and 20% fellowship earnings.
0.8 REG

0.2 FEL

Duties include: lab instruction; discussion; tutorials and lectures; marking of exams, tests and assignments; invigilation duties; academic assistance during office hours. TAs holding a Master’s degree and/or registered in a Doctorate degree program at UBC.
Graduate Teaching Assistant II (TA2) Same as above. 0.8 REG

0.2 FEL

Same as above. TAs holding a Bachelor degree and enrolled in a Master’s program at UBC.
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) Wages considered 100% regular earnings. 1.0 REG Same as above. UTA registered in a Bachelor degree program at UBC.
Marker Same as above. 1.0 REG Marks exams, tests or assignments that require only objective marking. Hire a Marker when only marking is necessary.
CUPE 2950 Student Assistant
(Article 3.07)
Full-time students working no more than 10 hours per week.
Certain exceptions apply to hours of work. Contact your HR Advisor for further direction.
Performs duties normally done by bargaining unit employees, paid at the base rate.
Shall not displace members of the bargaining unit.
Are outside of the certification.
Hire when only clerical, library or other bargaining unit work is required.
Work Learn (Vancouver)
Must comply with the Work Learn position classification guide (listed on the Work Learn website).
Program subsidizes wages by $8/hour. Department pays the rest + benefits (which is approximately 11.48%).
1.0 REG Duties fall under various categories including: clerical, research, project, and daycare assistant. Apply for funding when hiring a student part-time during the school year, or full time during the summer. See the Work Learn website for information regarding details.
IUOE 115 Student Employees
(Article 3.02)
Can be assigned full-time or part-time work.
Collective Agreement applies with certain exceptions.
Performs work within the bargaining unit as “supernumeraries” to the crew.
Paid hourly at no less than $16.50/hr.
Hire for a maximum of 4 months in any 12 month period.
Canada Summer Jobs Must comply with the Employment Standards Act and any UBC collective agreement and/or handbook.
Public and private-sector employers (which include most UBC faculties & departments) are eligible to receive a subsidy for up to 50% of the provincial minimum wage.
Not-for-profit employers on campus are eligible for a subsidy of up to 100%.
Duties depend on the type of position.
Positions should provide career-related experience or early work experience.
Apply for funding when hiring a student full-time (30-40 hours/week)
Six to 16 weeks in duration during the summer months.
Note: applications accepted in January and finalized in March/April.
For more information, see the Canada Summer Jobs page.
CUPE 116 Aquatic Staff Must comply with CUPE 116 Aquatic Centre collective agreement.
Winter: may work a maximum of 20 hours per week.
Summer: may work up to 8 hours per day 34 hours per week (or up to 40 hours per week with Union approval).
Duties fall under the classifications of Lifeguard/Instructor, Shift Supervisor, and Cashier Attendant. Full time undergraduate or graduate student hired for work in the UBC Aquatic Centre.
Normally permitted to work one four-month semester period immediately following graduation.
NSERC Student Research Awards Typically 16 weeks of full-time employment.

Minimum pay is $7,571.20 over 16 weeks and NSERC will reimburse $4,500.

1.0 FEL Students should be engaged in research projects that are in the natural sciences or engineering. When an undergraduate student receives an NSERC award. Visit the NSERC USRA page for information about deadlines.
Miscellaneous Job Codes Non-union.
Three-month probation period.
Contact UBC HR. Contact UBC HR.
Sports Instructors Non-union. Performs work pertaining to fitness instruction. When the position provides fitness instruction.
Access and Diversity Student Assistants Can only work the hours assigned by Access and Diversity
Maximum 10 hours per week.
Student positions are advertised on UBC CareersOnline.
Typically include:
Alternate Format Production Assistant – Level 1 and 2, Exam Assistants and Invigilators (note that Exam Invigilators are only open to registered UBC graduate students who are not currently taking courses with exams), Library Access Assistant 1 and 2, Mobility Assistant, Note Taker, Scribe, Peer Tutor.
For more information regarding the student appointments in the above, see Centre for Accessibility website
See Centre for Accessibility website for more information.
Student Development Summer Student Positions Summer positions for student workers.
10 – 35 hours per week.
Salary for full-time work (35 hours per week) ranges from $8,000 – $10,500 for the summer.
Typically includes:
Orientation and Transition Coordinators, Centre for Student Involvement and Peer Programs Assistant, Student Development Assistants – Science, Terry Project Student Assistants, Chapman Learning Commons Assistants.
For more information about the student appointments in the above, see Student Development’s website.
See Student Development’s website.