How to make money in grad school

If you are tired of being broke in graduate school, you may have considered finding ways of making an extra dollar without dropping out of school. 

Getting a full-time job may not be a convenient option, especially if you have a demanding school schedule. However, if you have free time in between classes and in the evenings, you can find flexible part-time opportunities to make money. 

With the right plan and creativity, you can find a way to make money while still attending your classes. Let’s examine some of the best ways to make money in grad school and how you can get started.

8 ways to make money in grad school

Part-time work

You can work various part-time jobs to boost your finances while attending grad school. For example, you can look for jobs in your school offices, coffee shops, or libraries. You can work as an administrative assistant, research assistant, student adviser, or clerical employee.

You can also look for a part-time job in the hospitality industry, which includes pubs, restaurants, and retail stores. A part-time job will not only earn you money but doing something different gives your mental health a boost.


There are a lot of opportunities for online freelancers that you can choose from, including writing, editing, transcription, proofreading, voiceover work, etc. For freelance gigs, you can scour freelance websites, including Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.

Each job requires a given set of skills, and you can do almost every job in the comfort of your room. You’ll need a laptop and an internet connection to get started. Start by signing up on freelance websites, creating a profile showcasing your skills, and bidding for gigs matching your skills.

Sell items online

Selling your items online is one of the easiest and most efficient ways how to make money in grad school. You can sell items you no longer need, such as unused clothes, furniture, electronics, books, pokemon cards, etc. You can also make and sell handmade goods on platforms like Etsy and eBay.

You need to create an account on the online marketplaces, set up a shop, and start selling your items. Take time to declutter your items, then list the items you no longer use or need. This way, you will sell fast and be able to get the money quickly. 


Most grad students make money by tutoring, which is not only a way to earn some extra cash but also another way to gain exposure and experience that will be essential for your future career. You can look for jobs on platforms such as Facebook and Craigslist or sign up for a dedicated tutoring platform such as Chegg

To be a tutor, you must have a good grasp of the subjects you decide to tutor. When you’re a grad school student, your chances of finding self-tutoring jobs are really high. Most parents prefer grad school students to teach their sons/daughters on a part-time basis since they see you as a better role model for their children. 

You can offer one-on-one private tutoring or an online tutoring service, allowing you to work from your place of comfort. You can also look for tutoring programs in your graduate school that are meant to help undergraduate students. 

Teaching Assistant 

Becoming a teaching assistant is another way how to make money in grad school. Many grad schools include working as a teaching assistant as a requirement in their school program. 

You can hunt for opportunities as a teaching assistant from various university departments. Although this role does not always pay well, if you’re fortunate enough to land the right opportunities, they can be a reliable source of money. You should therefore take your time to look for teaching assistant placements with the highest pay rates. 

It will also be a great way to gain valuable experience because you’ll be teaching classes that are relevant to your degree program. As a teaching assistant, you will assist professors with grading papers, developing lecture materials, and even facilitating class discussions.

A teaching assistant job will require less time, usually than a 9 to 5 job, giving you the flexibility to focus on your studies. 

Substitute teacher

When you are a substitute teacher, you can pick your shifts after classes. Most public schools in the USA will require a 2-year college degree to be allowed to sub. 

Additionally, other substitute teacher requirements vary by state. You must check sub-teacher state eligibility requirements and apply if you qualify. You can make up to $100 daily as a substitute teacher in the USA. 

A referee for sports

You’ll not only be having fun, but you can also make good money by referring to recreational sports such as soccer for youth leagues. 

You, however, need a certificate, referee uniform, and registration, which may require you to spend some money upfront. Fortunately, you can get the money back in your first referring game. 

Once certified and approved, you can always pick referring assignments that fit your schedule. You’ll get paid per game or hour by monitoring, ensuring fair play and safety are followed during the game. You can look for referring gigs in your local parks, recreational departments, or sports organizations in your area. 

If you are a basketball fan, you can get paid to be an NFL cheerleader. Unlike becoming a referee, you won’t need any training to become a cheerleader. 

Sign up for surveys.

You can earn extra cash by signing up for surveys. However, it’s not the most consistent job, but you can earn around $25-$50 a week in gift cards. Some surveys include playing games on your phone, doing surveys, or watching videos. 

Most companies will develop such surveys to help improve their product or services. As a result, they will be willing to pay individuals to participate in these projects. Opportunities may also be available right from your university or school. It doesn’t take long to complete surveys. They are simple to accommodate into your schedule. 

Several sites allow you to complete surveys and get paid immediately. To qualify for surveys, survey sites may require you to meet specific requirements, including age, gender, and location. Be sure to review the guidelines before registering on any survey site.


There are many ways to make money in grad school. From getting a part-time job, freelance, selling items on your own online store, or even tutoring other people. 

Some jobs may provide a platform to gain valuable experience and are essential for your future careers. The best part is that such jobs offers flexibility, and requires less time than a traditional 9 to 5 job, giving you the flexibility to focus on your studies. 

While you can make money in several ways, the best way will likely depend on what you are willing to do and your schedule. If you are willing to do a little bit of everything, you will likely have multiple options depending on your desire.

Recent Posts