Graduate students have a unique set of challenges when it comes to making ends meet. Balancing classes, research, and internships or part-time jobs can make it difficult for them to find time for extra income opportunities. Fortunately, with the gig economy booming, there are now plenty of ways for grad students to make money on the side – without sacrificing too much time or energy. In this article, we look at a few side hustles for graduate students that can help supplement income, cover living expenses, and even pay down student loans.

27 Best Side Hustles for Grad Students

Here are some side hustles suitable for grad students that can be started without affecting their studies:

Freelance Writing

With the right skills, freelance writers can make money by creating content for businesses and websites in need of written material. Writing projects range from blog posts and articles to copywriting and product descriptions, so there’s something available for almost any writer. 

The key to successful freelance writing is to have a well-rounded portfolio and understand the needs of your clients. You’ll also need to market yourself and build relationships with potential customers. Remember, it’s important to negotiate fees upfront – both for your time and the project itself – so you don’t end up working for free.

Tutoring

You can make great money tutoring students in your area of expertise. There are plenty of private tutoring opportunities, but you can also find gigs at local colleges or universities. You can even tutor online if you don’t have the time to meet the students in person. Most tutoring positions pay by the hour and require a minimum commitment.

Teach English as a Second Language (ESL)

More and more people are turning to online tutoring to learn English as a second language. You can make great money as an ESL tutor – all you need is a reliable internet connection and the right qualifications. You can find gigs through online job boards or word-of-mouth connections.

Blogging

If you’re passionate about writing and have something valuable to share, then blogging may be a great side hustle for you. You can create your own blog or write for established sites, and there are plenty of opportunities to make money through affiliate marketing or sponsored content. With the right strategies in place, you can even make blogging a full-time job.

Ride Sharing

Driving for Uber or Lyft is a great way to make money on your own terms. You can set your own hours, make extra cash during peak times, and even get tips from passengers. It’s also a great way to meet interesting people and learn about the city you’re living in.

Virtual Bookkeeper

If you have a knack for numbers, you can make great money working as a virtual bookkeeper. Working with small businesses or nonprofits, you can help them manage their finances and keep their books organized. You can find jobs through online job boards or word-of-mouth connections. With the right qualifications and experience, you may even be able to start your own virtual bookkeeping business.

If you earn $600 or more through virtual bookkeeping, you will receive a 1099 form. At this stage, it is recommended to establish an LLC  to deduct equipment and materials cost incurred in assisting your clients.

Social Media Manager

If you’re a social media whiz, you can make money managing social media accounts for businesses and organizations. You’ll be in charge of growing their presence online, engaging with customers and fans, and creating content that resonates with their target audience. You can find gigs through online job boards or word-of-mouth connections.

Event Planning

If you’re a social butterfly and have the organizational skills to match, event planning could be a great side hustle for you. You can help plan everything from small private parties to large corporate events, and you’ll get to work with a variety of vendors in the process. You can find gigs through online job boards or word-of-mouth connections.

Photography

If you have an eye for detail and a knack for capturing special moments, then photography could be the perfect side hustle for you. You can offer your services to families, couples, and businesses, or even take on freelance projects. You’ll be able to show off your skills and make money in the process.

Sell Arts and Crafts

Selling your handmade items is an excellent way to make money while also honing your creative skills. You can sell your creations online through websites like Etsy or at local craft fairs or markets. It’s a great way to show off your talent and make some extra money in the process.

Personal Chef

If you have a passion for cooking and enjoy creating delicious meals, then becoming a personal chef could be the perfect side hustle for you. You can find gigs through online job boards or word-of-mouth connections. With the right qualifications and experience, you may even be able to start your own catering business.

Graphic Design

If you have an eye for design and a knack for creating visually appealing images, then becoming a freelance graphic designer could be the perfect side hustle for you. You can offer your services to businesses or take on one-off projects from clients. With the right qualifications and experience, you may even be able to start your own graphic design business.

Personal Fitness Training

Are you passionate about fitness and have the right qualifications? Then make money as a personal trainer! You can work with clients in person or create customized online plans that they can follow from home. With the right strategies in place, you can even start your own personal training business.

Baby/Pet Sitting

If you’re comfortable around kids and animals, you can make good money babysitting or pet sitting. You can find gigs through word-of-mouth connections or online platforms like Rover and Care.com. Most jobs require a minimum commitment, and you can often choose your own schedule.

Online Surveys

You can make some extra money taking online surveys in your free time. Companies are eager to hear from consumers and are willing to pay for their opinions. While the pay is usually not great, it can be an easy way to make a few extra dollars when you have some spare time.

Web Design

If you are tech-savvy and have an eye for design, becoming a freelance web designer could be the ideal side hustle for you. You can create websites for clients that are visually appealing and easy to navigate. With the right qualifications and experience, you may even be able to start your own web design business.

Mobile App Development

Do you have coding and programming skills? Then you can make great money developing mobile apps. You can create apps for clients or take on one-off projects from individuals. With the right qualifications and experience, you may even be able to start your own mobile app development business.

Consultant

If you’re an expert in your field, then you can offer your services as a consultant. Businesses often hire consultants to help them with strategic planning, operations, and other aspects of the business. With the right qualifications and experience, you may even be able to start your own consulting business.

Voice Acting

Are you a natural performer? Then why not make some extra money as a voice actor? You can offer your services to businesses, podcasts, audiobooks, and other audio projects. With the right qualifications and experience, you may even be able to start your own voice-acting business.

Virtual Assistant

Becoming a virtual assistant is an excellent way to make some extra money while still having the flexibility to study and attend classes. The job of a virtual assistant involves providing administrative support or services to clients who are usually based remotely. As a virtual assistant, you can offer your services on a project-by-project basis, allowing you to manage your workload and schedule.

If you earn $600 or more through virtual assistance, you will receive a 1099 form. It is advisable to form an LLC at this stage to deduct equipment and material costs incurred in assisting your clients.

Part-Time Research Assistant

As a part-time research assistant, you will be responsible for helping professors and other researchers with their projects. This can involve conducting research, writing reports, gathering data, and more. With the right qualifications and experience, you may even be able to start your own research assistance business.

Print-on-Demand Business

Print-on-demand businesses allow you to create physical products such as t-shirts, mugs, posters, and more with your designs. When someone orders a product with your design, you simply send the order to a third-party vendor who then prints and ships the item directly to the customer. This type of business requires minimal upfront investment and can be a great way to make some extra money without having to take on too much work.

Translation

Translation is a great side hustle for busy grad students. With the growing interconnectedness of the world, there is an increasing need for translators to bridge cultural and language gaps. Translation services are in high demand, and the flexible hours make it perfect for part-time work. As a freelance translator, you can offer your services on a project-by-project basis, allowing you to manage your workload and schedule.

Write a Book

As a grad student, you can easily turn your expertise and knowledge into a side hustle by writing a book. Not only is this a great way to make some extra money, but it’s also an amazing way to share your unique perspective with the world and become an expert in your field. Writing a book may seem like an overwhelming project, but there are several ways you can make it easier, from using an online platform to organizing your ideas and structure.

Professional Organizer

Professional organizers help people organize their homes, office, and other spaces so that they can be more efficient and productive. This type of work requires skills such as problem-solving, attention to detail, strong organizational abilities, and excellent communication. As a professional organizer, you can offer your services on a project-by-project basis, allowing you to manage your workload and schedule.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves partnering with a larger brand or company and promoting their products or services in exchange for a commission on any sales that you generate. The nice thing about affiliate marketing is that there is no upfront cost to get started, and you can work on it whenever it fits into your schedule. Plus, you can do it all from the comfort of your home.

Proofreading

One great side hustle that can be done from the comfort of your home is proofreading papers for other students or professionals. As proofreading requires a strong eye for detail and excellent command of the English language, it can be a great source of income for grad students who are already proficient in these areas.

3 Benefits of Starting a Side Hustle

If you’re a grad student looking to make some extra money, starting a side hustle can be a great way to do it. Not only can it provide you with some additional income, but several other benefits come with having a side hustle. Here are three of the biggest advantages of starting a side hustle:

1. Build Your Resume

Side hustles provide the perfect opportunity to develop skills and build your resume. Working on projects outside of school can give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs or internships in the future.

2. Boost Your Confidence

Taking on new challenges and responsibilities can help boost your confidence and provide you with a sense of accomplishment. When you complete tasks related to your side hustle, it’s a great feeling and can help you feel successful in other areas of life.

3. Flexible Schedule

One of the biggest advantages of having a side hustle is that it allows you to create a flexible schedule that fits around your classes and other commitments. This means that you can still focus on your studies, while also making some extra money on the side.

By taking the time to set up and run a side hustle, you can gain valuable skills and experiences that will help you in the future. Plus, you’ll also get the chance to make some extra money while studying for your degree. So, if you’re looking for a way to make the most of your time as a grad student, consider taking on a side hustle today!

How to Start a Side Hustle as a Grad Student in 5 Steps? 

Starting a side hustle as a grad student can be a great way to earn extra income and gain valuable experience. Here are five steps to help you get started:

1. Identify Your Skills and Interests

Start by identifying your skills, strengths, and interests. Think about what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at. This will help you choose a side hustle that aligns with your abilities and passions.

2. Research Potential Side Hustle Ideas

Once you have an idea of your skills and interests, research potential side hustle opportunities that you can pursue as a grad student. Look for opportunities that can be done on a flexible schedule and won’t interfere with your studies. Some popular side hustles include freelance writing, graphic design, tutoring, web development, social media management, and selling handmade crafts.

3. Evaluate Market Demand and Competition

Before diving into a side hustle, evaluate the market demand and competition for your chosen field. Look for areas where there is a need and potential for growth. Consider the competition and how you can differentiate yourself to attract customers or clients.

4. Set Up Your Side Hustle

Once you have chosen a side hustle, set up the necessary infrastructure to get started. This may involve creating a website or portfolio to showcase your work, setting up social media accounts for marketing, and obtaining any necessary licenses or permits. Determine the pricing structure for your services or products and create a system for invoicing and accepting payments.

5. Manage Your Time Effectively

Balancing your side hustle with your grad school commitments can be challenging. It’s crucial to manage your time effectively to ensure you can dedicate enough attention to both. Create a schedule that includes dedicated time for your side hustle, study time, and personal time. Prioritize tasks and set realistic goals to stay organized and productive.

Remember, starting a side hustle requires dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to learn and adapt. It may take time to establish yourself and build a customer base, so be patient and persistent.

Earn with Side Hustles While Studying

Side hustles can be a good way for you to make some money while still pursuing your studies. Whether it’s tutoring, freelancing, or starting your own business, there are plenty of options available that won’t take too much time. With the right amount of dedication and determination, you can be successful in any side hustle you take on.

If your side hustle is generating more income than expected, consider creating an LLC. An LLC provides cost savings and tax advantages. Doola can assist you in setting up the business by opening a business bank account and handling taxes. Contact us to learn more.

FAQs

How do grad students market their side hustle?

Graduate students can use social media platforms, word-of-mouth, blogs, and networking events to promote their side hustle.

How much time should grad students dedicate to their side hustle?

The amount of time spent on a side hustle should be based on individual schedules and priorities. Grad students should ensure that their side hustle does not interfere with their academic commitments

How much can grad students earn through their side hustle?

The earning potential depends on the type of side hustle and the time commitment. Freelance jobs can earn anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per project.

Are there any risks or downsides to having a side hustle while in grad school?

If not managed effectively, a side hustle can impact academic performance and lead to burnout. It is essential to maintain balance and prioritize academic commitments.

How do grad students manage their time effectively with a side hustle?

Graduate students should maintain a schedule that balances academic work and side hustle responsibilities. Prioritizing tasks and setting boundaries are key to successful time management.

Lindsey Rudy
Lindsey Rudy
Content Specialist
Doola's website is for general information purposes only and doesn't provide official law or tax advice. For tax or legal advice we are happy to connect you to a professional in our network! Please see our terms and privacy policy. Thank you and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.
LLC 101
Popular Posts

Get started with doola and launch your US business

Turn your dream idea into your dream US business, today.