Best Jobs for Graduate Students

Updated on April 7, 2024

Graduate students often find themselves in a unique position when it comes to employment. Balancing academic commitments with work is a challenge, necessitating jobs that offer flexibility, relevance to their field of study, and a decent income to support their educational and personal expenses. Here, we explore the top ten jobs that fit these criteria, offering a blend of practical experience, financial stability, and the flexibility required by students pursuing advanced degrees.


  • Average Salary: $26.08/hour
  • Job Description: Translators convert written material from one language to another, ensuring that the translated version conveys the meaning of the original as clearly as possible.
  • Responsibilities: Reading through original material and rewriting it in the target language, ensuring that the meaning of the source text is retained; liaise with clients to discuss any unclear points.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in languages or a related field; proficiency in at least two languages.

Grant Writer

  • Average Salary: $29.92/hour
  • Job Description: Grant writers are essential in securing funding for nonprofits, educational institutions, and research projects by crafting persuasive grant proposals.
  • Responsibilities: Researching grants, writing proposals, and communicating with potential funders to secure financial support for projects.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree, preferably in English, communications, or a related field.

Night Auditor

  • Average Salary: $14.53/hour
  • Job Description: Night auditors work at hotels and other lodging establishments, handling both front desk duties and financial transactions during the night shift.
  • Responsibilities: Checking guests in and out, managing reservations, and preparing and analyzing the daily financial activities and reports of the establishment.
  • Required Education: High school diploma or equivalent; some positions may require previous hospitality experience or further education in hospitality or accounting.


  • Average Salary: $15.98/hour plus tips
  • Job Description: Bartenders mix, garnish, and serve beverages and food to customers at bars, restaurants, clubs, and other establishments.
  • Responsibilities: Preparing alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, interacting with customers, taking orders, and managing bar inventory and supplies.
  • Required Education: No formal educational requirement; training in bartending and knowledge of mixing drinks is beneficial.


  • Average Salary: $14.03/hour plus tips
  • Job Description: Baristas work in coffee shops and cafes, preparing and serving a variety of coffee and tea beverages, along with light food items.
  • Responsibilities: Operating espresso machines, taking customer orders, maintaining a clean and organized work area, and providing excellent customer service.
  • Required Education: No formal educational requirement; on-the-job training is typically provided.

Research Assistant

  • Average Salary: $36,000 – $57,000
  • Job Description: Research assistants support research projects by conducting literature reviews, collecting data, and performing administrative tasks.
  • Responsibilities: Assisting with academic or private sector research, analyzing data, preparing reports, and ensuring the research complies with ethical standards.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field; some positions may require or prefer a master’s degree or current enrollment in a graduate program.

Marketing Coordinator

  • Average Salary: $44,000 – $61,000
  • Job Description: Marketing coordinators support the marketing department by executing marketing plans and strategies.
  • Responsibilities: Coordinating marketing campaigns, analyzing market trends, and assisting in the development of marketing materials and strategies.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or a related field.

Public Relations Assistant

  • Average Salary: $40,000 – $56,000
  • Job Description: PR assistants support public relations strategies to maintain and improve the public image of their organization or clients.
  • Responsibilities: Writing press releases, managing PR calendars, and building relationships with the media.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, journalism, or a related field.


  • Average Salary: $50,000 – $78,000
  • Job Description: Accountants prepare and examine financial records, ensuring accuracy and compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Responsibilities: Auditing financial documents and procedures, preparing tax returns, and providing financial advice.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field; certification, such as CPA, may be required for some positions.

Financial Analyst

  • Average Salary: $60,000 – $85,000
  • Job Description: Financial analysts assess the financial health of businesses, projects, or investments to guide decision-making.
  • Responsibilities: Analyzing financial data, creating forecasts, and making recommendations based on financial analysis.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a related field.


Choosing the right job during graduate studies can significantly influence a student’s academic and professional trajectory. It’s about finding a balance between financial necessity and academic commitments while gaining relevant experience. The jobs listed above not only offer financial compensation but also provide opportunities for professional development, networking, and gaining skills pertinent to various fields of study. Graduate students should consider these options carefully, aligning their job choices with their long-term career goals and academic schedules.


The average salaries and job descriptions were informed by the following URLs:

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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