The demands of graduate school can be overwhelming. It might feel like you don’t have any extra time to balance a job, but working part-time not only has financial benefits, it also has professional benefits that can be helpful for your future job search. While your tuition might be covered, you could need additional money for the basics like rent and groceries. Finding the right type of job or side-gig while pursuing your advanced degree can be fulfilling and help you earn some extra cash.
There are many part-time jobs that are a perfect fit for graduate student life, both on and off-campus. The ideal job isn’t one size fits all but should meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Jobs that boost your professional experience – Gaining experience in your desired profession can be helpful in your future job search. Jobs that align with your career goals can lead to rewarding opportunities and can make you more competitive in your field.
- Jobs that offer flexibility – Grad school can be overwhelming, and it can feel like your schedule doesn’t allow for typical 9 to 5 work. Jobs that offer flexible hours and schedules can help you maintain your school-life balance.
- Jobs that make use of your knowledge and skills – With your undergraduate degree under your belt, you’re likely to have had valuable experiences. Be sure to look for opportunities that make use of that knowledge like tutoring, research or teaching.
With these factors in mind, the following list contains part-time jobs that are available for grad students:
On-Campus Part-time Jobs
1. Resident Advisor or Resident Assistant (RA)
You may want to consider becoming a resident advisor. As a resident advisor, you provide support to students living in the dorm. Your responsibilities usually range from organizing community events to ensuring policies and guidelines are communicated and followed by dorm residents. A major perk is that RA’s typically get free room and board, along with a stipend.
Average pay: $15/hour
2. Teaching Assistant (TA)
Depending on your program, you may have the option to fulfill teaching assistant requirements before graduation. A teaching assistant typically helps professors teach undergraduate classes. This may include lesson planning, lecturing, holding office hours, and grading papers or exams. Depending on your area of study, you may have an opportunity to meet more professors in your department and help with larger projects.
Average pay: $13/hour
3. Library Assistant
Library assistants work at the main desk, find answers to questions, organize shelves, or take care of admin work during downtime. The organizational and service skills you pick up can be beneficial to many employers. Plus, talking to so many students is a great way to practice your networking skills and it’s a great way to find extra time for schoolwork too since there will be plenty of quiet time for you to focus.
Average pay: $15/hour
4. Research Assistant
You might want to think about becoming a research assistant. Research assistants build, plan, and execute research projects led by professors or instructors. Some graduate programs require students to fulfill research assistant hours as part of their graduation requirements. Other times, you can opt to work as a paid research assistant as a part-time job. Either way, you’ll have the chance to work directly with leaders at your school and gain valuable experience in your field.
Average pay: $21/hour
Off-Campus Part-Time Jobs
A popular part-time job for many college students, tutoring is a great way to earn extra money that demonstrates your communication skills and subject matter expertise. Grad students can usually charge extra for their field of study since they have expertise in a particular area. If you are already a teaching assistant, you may have an opportunity to tutor students outside of class. Many schools even have online forums for tutoring, which makes it easy to communicate and find new clients who may be looking for help.
Average pay: $24/hour
6. Grant Writer
You can work for your department or another organization (like a nonprofit) as a grant writer. Grant writers build research proposals that request funding from other organizations. Many companies look for students who have strong writing skills and attention to detail who can handle the important job of writing grants. Look for an organization that does the type of work you’re interested in pursuing after graduation. That way, you’ll have a head start on your connections and experience.
Average pay: $26/hour
7. Translator or Interpreter
Many employers view speaking more than one language as a valuable skill, especially companies with an international workforce or industries that frequently cross borders. Working as a translator can add valuable skills to your resume. Many universities and companies are looking for bilingual people to help customers or build out new programs that are more accessible. Look for part-time translation jobs that you can do from home–that way, you’ll have plenty of flexibility and plenty of extra cash.
Average pay: $37/hour
8. Freelance Writer
Freelance writing is a great part-time job for grad students as many employers value strong writing skills. Not only can assignments help expand your knowledge base it can also be lucrative. There are many opportunities online for writing assignments; be sure to look for specific topics that relate to your area of study so you can turn it around quickly and easily. Sites like UpWork or Freelancer.com offer great job postings to help get you started.
Average pay: $33/hour
Consulting is a good option for grad students with areas of expertise. Companies are always looking for expert opinions to help them grow their business and solve specific problems. Plus, it’s a good way to get your foot in the door and meet new people in and beyond your field.
Average pay: $44/hour
10. Test Prep
Preparing high school students for the SAT is a flexible way to supplement income for both undergrads and graduate students and shows your ability to explain complex problems. Not only have you already taken that test (maybe multiple times), but you’ve prepared for and taken many more exams in the meantime. Whether you tutor privately or enroll as a certified SAT instructor, it’s easy to build your own schedule so that it fits in with your coursework during the year.
Average pay: $70/hour
There are plenty of part-time jobs for grad students. You can choose whether on-campus or off-campus work best for your schedule or find a gig that’s online. But don’t just go for the first one that you find. Be sure to find a job that boosts your resume and will introduce you to professionals in your area of study or field. If you’re just starting to consider grad school and how to pay for it, College Ave can help you with a graduate school loan.