9 Best Part-Time Jobs for Ph.D. Students

9 Best Part-Time Jobs for Ph.D. Students

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The stipend of Ph.D. students usually depends on fellowship awards and salaries from teaching positions. While some doctoral students are comfortable with their income, the truth is that many Ph.D. students struggle to make ends meet!

Many graduate students are looking for part-time jobs to earn extra money. However, job search for Ph.D. students can be particularly challenging as most graduate education positions are full-time employment.

In this article, we’ve rounded up flexible part-time jobs that fit well into the busy research schedules of doctoral students. To rank these part-time jobs, we considered criteria like salary, academic advancement for Ph.D. students, flexibility, and training time.

1. Teaching Assistant

Salary: $12 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few days.

Workload: at least 10 hours per week.

Teaching assistants support the professor in charge of the classroom. Their responsibilities include: assisting students with homework, test preparation, and other academic duties.

This is a great job opportunity for Ph.D. students who want to further their academic careers. In fact, previous teaching experience is often required to get a professorship or research grant.

Job Information

  • Salary: $12 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few days.
  • Workload: at least 10 hours per week.

Requirements

  • Required: In-depth knowledge about the subject.
  • Preferred: Previous experience as a tutor.
  • Note: Some teaching assistantships require graduate education; this gives Ph.D. students an edge when applying for these positions.

If you want to get an edge over your competition, feel free to read our guide: How to Become a Teaching Assistant in College.

2. Academic Proofreading Jobs

Salary: From $5 to $50 per hour.

Training time: a few hours.

Workload: at least 5 hours per week.

Working as a proofreader might be a good option depending on your area of expertise.

Academic proofreaders ensure that written content reflects the current scientific literature and is free from grammatical errors, including spelling, formatting, and syntax.

Many proofreading jobs are available for Ph.D. students: reviewing articles for medical websites, proofreading finance advice blog posts, helping other students with their undergraduate thesis, etc.

Job Information

  • Salary: From $5 to $50 per hour.
  • Training time: a few hours.
  • Workload: at least 5 hours per week.

Requirements

  • Relevant academic background
  • Attention to detail and ability to identify and maintain the clients’ flow of ideas.

3. Tutor

Salary: $20 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few hours.

Workload: as much as you want.

Tutoring is all about sharing the beauty of a subject with students who have a hard time understanding it.

Doctoral students have the opportunity to tutor high school students, undergraduate students, and some graduate students. Put up notes in your departmental office offering to train undergraduates. For example, if you’re doing a more mathematical degree, you could teach undergraduates struggling with statistics courses.

Private tutoring for high-school students is high in demand. Getting pupils is difficult at first, but once you have your clientele you can expect a regular income.

Job Information

  • Salary: $20 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few hours.
  • Workload: as much as you want.

Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in the subject-matter field is preferred.
  • Recent teaching experience is a plus.

Find tutoring jobs

You can find tutoring jobs on this page: 9 Legitimate Online Tutoring Jobs.

4. Consultant

Salary: $40 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few days.

Workload: at least 15 hours per week.

Many companies seek to hire Ph.D. students to improve their business performance in terms of operations, profitability, management, structure, and strategy.

However, most consulting positions are full-time. However, it is possible to get a job in your areas of study (engineering, economics, management), or scientific research is easily transferable.

The key to landing consulting is your network. Remember that consulting opportunities might not be available to all grad students.

Job Information

  • Salary: $40 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few days.
  • Workload: at least 15 hours per week.

Requirements

  • Required: Extensive knowledge in your field of expertise.

5. Translator

Salary: $25 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few hours.

Workload: at least 10 hours per week.

Many Ph.D. students speak at least two languages fluently.

Some companies hire translators to translate blog posts, legal documents, user guides, etc. These are golden opportunities to make a quick buck on your own schedule.

Job Information

  • Salary: $25 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few hours.
  • Workload: at least 10 hours per week.

Requirements

  • Required: Excellent command of written English.
  • Required: Fluency in at least one other language.
  • Preferred: Understanding of different cultures.

If you want to get an edge over your competition, feel free to read our guide: How to Become a Successful Freelance Translator.

6. Freelance Writer

Salary: between $20 and $100 per 1000 words.

Training time: a few hours.

Workload: as much as you want.

Many freelance writing opportunities are available to Ph.D. students:

  • Web content (blog posts, product descriptions, web pages, etc.)
  • Video and radio scripts (Youtube video scripts, podcast scripts)
  • Emails (marketing emails, newsletters)
  • Press releases (for small businesses and online companies)
  • Magazine articles
  • Newspaper articles

A more advanced writing job that some graduate students may do is grant writing. To acquire a grant, individuals and companies must submit a well-written proposal to one of the governments and non-profits in order to be considered eligible. While you may not realize it, grant writing is necessary for many industries, and if you’re good at writing, you can earn some good income contracting out your skills.

Finally, some editors hire doctoral students to write high-school or college-level books. Publishers pay Ph.D. students to provide exercises with solutions, compilations of admissions tests with answers and comments, specific insight about a topic, etc.

Job Information

  • Salary: between $20 and $100 per 1000 words.
  • Training time: a few hours.
  • Workload: as much as you want.

Requirements

  • A good grasp of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • A portfolio that shows excellent writing and editing skills.

If you want to get an edge over your competition, feel free to read our guide: How to Become a Successful Freelance Writer.

7. Virtual Assistant

Salary: $12 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few days.

Workload: as much as you want.

Virtual assistants are administrative assistants from home.

This remote job involves:

  • Scheduling appointments
  • Making phone calls
  • Responding to emails
  • And more: bookkeeping, writing, marketing services, etc.

This part-time job allows you to work on your own schedule.

Job Information

  • Salary: $12 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few days.
  • Workload: as much as you want.

Requirements

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Preferred: prior experience as an administrative assistant.

8. Babysitter

Salary: $18 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few days.

Workload: as much as you want.

This is a classic part-time job for students. Babysitters are responsible for the safety and well-being of children when their parents are away. Sitters can also take on additional responsibilities (helping with homework, cooking, recreational activities, etc.).

Job Information

  • Salary: $18 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few days.
  • Workload: as much as you want.

Requirements

  • Sometimes required: Child care training and/or experience
  • Preferred: Driver’s license (some parents want you to pick their kids up from school)

9. Administrative Assistant

Salary: $16 per hour (on average).

Training time: a few days.

Workload: at least 10 hours per week.

Administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties. They organize files, prepare documents, update administrative databases, and support other staff.

Job Information

  • Salary: $16 per hour (on average).
  • Training time: a few days.
  • Workload: at least 10 hours per week.

Requirements

More Part-Time Jobs for Ph.D. Students

There are many more job opportunities for graduate students. If you want to expand your job search, I recommend the following article:

Graduate school is very demanding, always make sure you maintain a healthy balance between work, school, and personal life.