Well...I've been thinking about going back to my alma mater and getting my masters degree. I've got 2 reasons: 1) I really don't like the career I'm currently in and would like to change directions, 2) since the market is pretty bad right now for changing jobs I'm hoping that if I take a couple years off and further my education the market will rebound and more opportunities will be available when I'm finished. It's either that or I spend the next couple of years continuing my downward spiral into depression and hating my job. :p) My ideal would be to sell my house here and go buy a house close to school (the housing market there is about half the cost of what it is here, so I could easily buy a house and lower my monthly housing expense). Then I could get a job on-campus in the department and apply it towards valuable work experience. But I'm wondering what it takes to get a position as a student teacher or a research assistant. (I've got a degree in mechanical engineering and would like to pursue a masters in acoustical physics/engineering.) What kind of money does a student teacher make? Do research assistants get paid? If so, what's the average? I figure an on-campus job would be best if it can pay the bills and still give me time to study full-time. I'm going to have to be taking care of a family of 5 (3 kids) while going to school. So considering a housing payment of about $700/month, a car payment and insurance of about $400/month, and groceries for 5...is this possible while going to school full-time and still have time to spend with my family? My kids are still very young and really need their mom home with them. So if she works it would have to be done from our home. That's the way we both would like it. But if it's possible to do it without her working then it would make things much easier on her.