12 Jobs for Graduate Students (Psychology Edition)

If you're anything like me, you are trying to pay off your grad school loans while also having to pay for the normal life bills. Whether you are trying to make it on your own or contributing to payments, here are some jobs that people tend to have while being a grad student.

To be honest, it is very difficult working and going to school. I am in my second year of grad school and I am working full-time. It is manageable, but not necessarily ideal! However, at the end-of-the-day, I will have more money to pay off my student loans AND I will have more experience to help me become a therapist. 

Below are two categories of jobs: jobs that are related to the psychology field and jobs that will make you a decent amount of money. 

*Disclaimer: I live in San Diego, CA. Some of these job opportunities may be specific to the state I live in. 

Jobs related to the psychology field

1. Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)

Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) are people who work with clients who have maladaptive behaviors. Many RBTs work with individuals who have autism. RBTs help clients increase preferable behaviors and decrease the less desirable ones. Starting pay is typically anywhere from $15-$20/hr in California. I worked as an RBT for 2 years. Overall, it was a good experience, but it was also very stressful. You often work with clients with aggressive behaviors (this was a challenge for me).  Also, you don't get paid if a client cancels (which you sometimes find out the day of). I suggest going on Indeed and searching for "RBT". Many of these positions are entry level- so if you have no experience, no worries!

2. Instructional Aide

Work in a school-setting in special education classes. You will get to work with individuals who have disabilities. Starting pay is typically $14-$18/hr in California. I currently work as an Instructional Aide and I like how the hours are more consistent. You can apply to be an Instructional Aide by looking up school districts in your area. Check out to see if they are hiring. You can also search on Indeed or other job sites for an "Instructional Aide" position. Some companies may refer to an Instructional Aide as a Para-Educator. 

3. Non-profit Employee

There are many opportunities to work for non-profit companies. I recommend researching ones that are in your area. The pay is usually low, but you will gain experience working with individuals in specific populations.

4. Online English Teacher

There are several companies who hire individuals who can virtually teach English to students. A job as a tutor is also another option!

5. Crisis Center Employee

Again, this job usually does not pay very well, but you gain experience working with individuals who have experienced trauma. You also will need to undergo hours of training before working with clients.

6. Babysitter/ Nanny

If you have experience with kids, this job can be a nice income! You can work by having friends refer you to clients or you can check out Nanny Agencies online. 

7. On-Campus Employee

This can be a great opportunity to get to work with faculty and expand your career connections.

Jobs not related to the psychology field

8. Waiter/ Waitress

Waiters can make a good amount of money especially with tips. If you work at a fast food chain, you will likely not make as much money, but it can still be a great job.

9. Barista

Again, several of these jobs are dependent on the tips you make; however, many individuals can make a lot of money off of tips.

10. Online Freelancer

This is a broad category, but sometimes working from home is easier while in a graduate program. There are a lot of sites that specialize in working with people who work from home. 

11. Jobs using your previous career experience

If you studied graphic design, photography, business, math, science, or really any other topic, you can turn your knowledge into a job. 

12. Jobs using your hobbies or skills

Similar to the previous point, if you have special skills or talents that can become a job, why not give it a go: crafts, photography, art, music, video games, etc. 

There are even more job opportunities for individuals who are in graduate school! I want to encourage you to be creative in your search for a job. It can be discouraging searching for a job, but with patience, you can find a job that will fit into your life. 

Let me know if you have any questions about these jobs. I know you are going to do great things!

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