Attending graduate school is a massive accomplishment and it can be one of the best investments you can make.
However, it does come with a cost. The average cost of attending graduate school is around $66,340 which is a large investment in your future.
Having student loans can make managing your finances much more difficult. That's where starting a side hustle can help.
Imagine not having to stress about your keeping your bills paid, or affording your next meal. It sounds nice, and it's completely possible!
A side hustle can provide some much-needed financial relief and help you stay on top of your studies.
In this post, I'll explore some of the best side hustles for grad students, how much money you can make, and much more. Let's get started!
Why Students Need a Side Hustle
Starting a side hustle can be advantageous for many reasons, especially as a student.
With student loan debt increasing at an unprecedented rate, it's essential to tackle these debts as soon as possible when starting your career.
Starting a side hustle can allow you to do this by providing some extra income each month.
In addition, a side hustle can help you develop important skills and network with professionals in your field.
This can be extremely beneficial when it comes time to look for a job after graduation.
Best Side Hustles for Grad Students
Below are some of the best side hustles for graduate students looking to make extra money. Try a few to see which ones work for you!
Make Money with Doordash
Doordash is a great way to make money if you're looking for a flexible side hustle.
You can make your own schedule and deliver food from local restaurants to customers in your area.
You can earn up to $25 an hour delivering food, and there's no minimum hours required. Plus, you get to keep 100% of your tips!
Food delivery is a great side hustle if you live in a college town because there are so many students looking for food.
To get started, simply sign up below and start taking orders in your area. Learn how to make $500 a week with Doordash here!
Earn Money with Instacart
The amount of money you can make will depend on your area but it's possible to earn over $25 per hour in some locations.
Be sure to check out these Instacart hacks to make more money before getting started!
Tutoring is an excellent way to make extra cash while attending graduate school. There are sure to be plenty of students who need help in your area of expertise.
Not only will you be able to make some extra money, but you'll also be able to learn more about a subject yourself.
The amount of money you can make tutoring will depend on the subject you're teaching and your level of expertise.
Some tutors can make over $60 an hour for their time which is a great income for any grad student!
To find work, try posting your services on social media or browse online marketplaces like Craigslist.
If you're looking for a side hustle you can start with no money, this is for you!
Work as a Virtual Assistant
Working as a virtual assistant is a great side hustle for many people in grad school because of the flexibility it provides.
For many VAs, you can work nights or weekends which is perfect if you have a busy school schedule.
You might be wondering what a VA is. In simplest terms, a virtual assistant will complete tasks for you that are relatively simple. This could include things like posting on social media, updating website content, or sending and responding to emails.
VAs are typically hired by online business owners or entrepreneurs who need assistance with the day-to-day tasks of running their business.
The pay will depend on your skills and qualifications, but some virtual assistants can make over $20 per hour for their time.
To find work, you can browse freelance sites and Facebook groups or connect directly with online business owners or bloggers to see if they need help.
Take Online Surveys
Taking online surveys is a great way to make money online for graduate students because you can do it whenever you have time, like between classes or during your commute.
Taking surveys isn't going to make you rich by any means, but it's a good way to earn a few bucks for your time.
As a bonus, many of these apps will give your free money just for creating a new account.
Some of my favorite survey sites that pay cash include:
👉 Nielsen Panel - Get $50 free!
👉 OpinionOutpost - Earn up to $25 per survey!
👉 Survey Junkie - Make $150 for select focus groups you complete!
👉 Swagbucks - Get a $5 bonus instantly!
👉 RewardSurvey - Get a $30 reward when completing your profile!
👉 InboxDollars - Get a $5 bonus when you register today!
👉 Pinecone Research - Earn fast money taking surveys
👉 Survey Voices - Make money taking online surveys
Pet Sit with Rover
Dog sitting is a simple way to make money from the comfort of your own home. Some people would consider this a passive side hustle because you don't really need to do much work at all to earn money.
By using a platform like Rover you can easily find pet sitting jobs in your area.
The amount of money you can make will depend on your city and the number of animals you're watching.
For some pet sitters, it's possible to make over $50 a day! Create your free account below to get started!
Become a Freelance Writer
Freelance writing is a great way to make money while attending graduate school.
Working as a freelance writer will allow you to work on your own time and complete assignments when it's convenient for you, making it an attractive side hustle for students in a graduate program.
There are many different kinds of freelance writing you can do. For example, writing promotional copy might be shorter assignments but they can pay a higher hourly rate.
Another option is writing blog posts for blogs and other businesses. For these jobs, you can earn over $.15 per word for beginners writers or over $1 per work for those will more experience writing.
To find work, you can use freelance sites like Upwork and Fiverr or you can try connecting directly with business owners and businesses who might need your services.
If you have some extra time and want to earn some extra cash, working as a freelance writer can be a great option.
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Work as a Research Assistant
As a graduate student, you likely have a lot of knowledge and research experience in your field of study.
This knowledge can be valuable to other researchers who might need help with their own projects.
Working as a research assistant is a great way to use your skills and knowledge to earn money on the side.
Work as a TA
Teaching assistantships are a great way for graduate students to earn money while also getting experience in the classroom.
TA positions are usually available through your school's department of education. You can check with your department or search online for open TA positions.
The pay for TA positions will vary depending on the school and the position, but you can expect to earn at least $20 per hour for your time.
Teach English Online
If you don't want to tutor a certain subject but you love helping other students, teaching English can be a good way to make extra cash on the side.
Whether you're a PhD student or you're getting a Masters degree, you can teach English online whenever you have a few hours on week nights or weekends.
The amount of money you can make will depend on the company you work for, but most companies will pay between $10 and $25 per hour.
Get Paid to Shop with Ibotta
Want to make extra cash without having to work? Using Ibotta to get paid to shop can be one of the easiest side hustle ideas for any graduate student.
With this side hustle you just need to download the free app and shop as you normally would.
You'll rack up money by shopping both online and in stores. Simply upload your receipts after your next trip to the grocery to start earning.
This side hustle requires no special skills so anyone can do it. While the pay isn't extraordinary, you won't have to do any extra work so it's basically free money!
Download the Ibotta app below to claim a welcome bonus and get started!
Start a Blog
Blogging is a fun and lucrative way to make money online for anyone in grad school. With this digital side hustle, you'll need to create a website and share your thoughts or experiences on a particular topic.
Starting a blog doesn't cost much and in many cases can cost less than $100 a year.
You can then monetize your blog through display advertising, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and more.
Some bloggers are capable of making over $10,000 every month from their website making it a great way to make money while in school.
Become a Podcaster
Podcasting can be a fun way to earn money while working on your graduate degree.
When it comes to podcasting, you'll need to do some work upfront to get started but you can make enough money with this side hustle to justify the effort.
To get started, you'll need some basic equipment like a microphone, audio editing software, and a computer.
Next, you'll want to determine the format of your show. Will you have guests? Or will your show be produced solely by yourself?
Either way, it's important to find what works for you.
Next, it's time to hit record and start taping your episodes before uploading them to popular podcasting platforms.
Once your podcast is live, it's all about promoting your show to gain listeners. While this can be difficult, it's also an essential step to becoming profitable.
Once your show has a certain number of listeners, you can monetize it by offer show sponsorships and using affiliate marketing.
Check out the video below for more help!
Looking for a side hustle that pays well and you can do from anywhere?
Making money building websites can be a lucrative side hustle option for many PhD students looking to work on their own hours.
With this side hustle, you'll need to be familiar with web development and coding languages as well as some basic graphic design elements.
You can find a number of online courses that can teach you the basics of web development and coding but if you're taking computer science classes this one will be a breeze.
Once you have the skills, you can start offering your services to small businesses or entrepreneurs who need a new website.
If you want to make more money, consider offering digital marketing services like scheduling social media posts, running Facebook ads, or conducting SEO audits.
Building a website can take less than a week to complete and you can earn a few thousand dollars for each site you build.
Sell Your Old Notes
If you're in a PhD program or obtaining your Masters degree, there's a good chance your class notes can be very valuable for some future students.
If you want to make some cash on the side, start selling your notes online!
There are a number of websites that allow you to sell your notes, including Notesale and Studynote.
The amount of money you'll make will depend on how popular your notes are as well as the price you set. Some people can make a few hundred dollars each year with this side hustle!
Pick Up a Part Time Job
Part time jobs can be some of the quickest ways for graduate students to make extra cash.
While it's not the most fun way to make money, it can be a great option to pay the bills.
There are plenty of part time jobs available if you spend some time searching. If you live in a college town, many employers can offer flexible schedules built around your classes.
The amount of money you can make will vary but there are many jobs that pay $30 an hour or more.
House sitting is just like pet sitting with the lack of one thing: animals!
With house sitting, homeowners will pay you to watch over their house while they are away vacationing or traveling for work.
Most homeowners will want someone they can trust so this side hustle may require some references.
But once you get started, house sitting can be a great way to make money while getting free rent!
The amount of money you can make will depend on your city but it's possible to earn a few hundred dollars each week with this side hustle.
Complete Odd Jobs
There are plenty of odd jobs you can do to make money while attending college or university.
Between yard work, cleaning houses, and helping people move, there are plenty of opportunities to make some extra cash.
You can browse an app like Neighbor to find odd jobs in your area. The amount of money you can make will depend on the job but most tasks will pay $10-25 an hour.
Passive Income for Grad Students
If you're in grad school and want to make passive income, give these options a try!
Invest in Real Estate with Fundrise
Investing in real estate is a great method to earn passive income for any grad student.
By using a platform like Fundrise, you can take the hassle out of investing so you can get started quickly.
For a limited time, Fundrise is offering new account holders $10 to invest in real estate completely free – making it a no brainer. Create your free account below to get started!
Invest in the Stock Market with Acorns.
Investing in the stock market is another excellent option to make passive income and grow your money.
If you want to reach financial freedom, using the stock market is a simple way to build your compound interest so you can live life on your own terms.
With Acorns you can invest in a variety of stock market assets like index funds, dividend stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and more.
As a bonus, they're giving new customers $10 completely free so create your account below to get started!
Not sure which investments to make? Check out these investments to make money daily!
Sell an Online Course
Selling online courses can be a great passive income source to make money while you sleep.
With this side hustle, you'll create a course on a topic you're passionate about and sell it to people online.
It can take some time to create a quality course but once it's live, you can make money each time someone buys it.
The amount of money you can make will depend on the price of your course and how many sales you can generate but some course creators are capable of making 6-figures from their business.
Final Thoughts on Making Money While in Grad School
There are plenty of side hustles for grad students to make a little extra cash in their free time.
Between managing social media accounts and other freelance work or starting a blog, the options are out there to grow your income.
If you're seeking passive income, investing in real estate or starting a vending machine side hustle can be great options.
Attending grad school can be very difficult and you should certainly focus on your studies, but if you want to make some extra income to cover your living expenses, starting a side hustle is a great option. So what are you waiting for?? Find your side hustle and get started!
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