A paid gap year job generally requires the most planning if you are not considering traveling abroad; they are also usually the most competitive.  In this section  you will find descriptions of opportunities that offer a modest salary in addition to providing living expenses. Some of the opportunities involve monetary compensation in the form of grants or scholarships that must be applied for in addition to the program itself.  

Community, Leadership, and Social Justice

Baltimore Community Fellowships- Open Society Institute
Established to assist individuals wishing to apply their education and professional experiences to serve marginalized communities. The goals of these fellowships are to encourage public and community service careers, expand the number of mentors and role models available to youth in inner-city neighborhoods, and promote entrepreneurial initiatives that empower communities to increase opportunities and improve the quality of life for their residents.  Up to 10 individuals are awarded a Community Fellowship to implement innovative projects that seek to improve the circumstances and capacity of an underserved community in Baltimore City.

Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship
A project of the Congressional Hunger Center, this unique leadership provides support to those seeking to make a difference in the struggle to eliminate hunger and poverty.  20 participants are selected annually for this eleven-month program. For half their term of service, fellows are placed with urban and rural community-based organizations all over the country involved in fighting hunger at the local level, such as grass roots organizing groups, food banks, economic development agencies, local advocacy groups and faith-based organizations. They then move to Washington, DC to complete the year with national organizations involved in the anti-hunger and poverty movement, including national advocacy organizations, think tanks, and federal agencies.

Charles Koch Institute Programs
The Charles Koch Institute educates and trains professionals on the importance of economic freedom and how it increases well-being for the overwhelming majority of people. Through the Institute's professional education, research, and training programs, we work to prepare professionals for careers in advancing economic freedom.  They offer three programs:  the Koch Associate Program, the Koch Internship Program, and Liberty@Work.

Echoing Green
To accelerate social change, Echoing Green invests in and supports outstanding emerging social entrepreneurs to launch new organizations that deliver bold, high-impact solutions. Through a two-year fellowship program, they help their network of visionaries develop new solutions to society's most difficult problems. These social entrepreneurs and their organizations work to solve deeply-rooted social, environmental, economic, and political inequities to ensure equal access and to help all individuals reach their potential. To date, Echoing Green has invested over $28 million in seed funding to over 471 social entrepreneurs and their innovative organizations.

Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship
Located in Washington D.C, the purpose of this fellowship is to provide an opportunity for college students to gain practical knowledge and experience by helping non-profit, public-interest organizations working on peace and security issues. Applications are encouraged from those with a strong interest in these issues or those with prior experience with public-interest activism or advocacy. Fellows may do several things such as research, writing and organizing the support of the goals of their host organization.

Idealist Fellowship Forum
This discussion board offers information on various fellowship opportunities for those interested in work within the nonprofit sector.

Insight Collaborative Fellowships
Program selects Fellows who are dedicated to making a positive difference in the world through conflict management, and provides them with an opportunity to turn their passion and determination into action.  Through intensive training and planning, Insight Collaborative teaches Fellows how to develop and implement innovative programs throughout the world in a series of three-month placements.  Incorporating the knowledge and experience of local partners in the field, Fellows provide training, manage teams, coordinate projects, and help organizations address the needs of those affected by conflict.

Jewish Organizing Initiative
JOI recruits young Jewish adults (generally ages 22-30) from all over the world for a year of leadership training that includes: working for social and economic justice, Jewish learning, training in grass roots community organizing skills, and Jewish community bonding.  The fellowship year involves work in social justice community or labor organizations, generally in low-income community organizations, (sometimes in the Jewish community) and weekly learning and reflection about organizing for justice, Judaism, and community building.

Kettering Foundation
The Ohio-based Kettering Foundation is an "independent, nonpartisan research organization rooted in the American tradition of cooperative research."  They offer research fellowships to doctoral students as well as opportunities in journalism & democracy and international civil society. Salary and benefits are provided, and the application deadline is mid-March.

Public Allies
Public Allies advances skills, networks and experience of diverse young leaders as they strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation.  Public Allies selects the communities’ most promising young leaders, ages 18-30, who commit to a rigorous and rewarding ten-month program of full-time, paid apprenticeships in community organizations, team service projects and weekly leadership training.  Public Allies operates in D.C., Chicago, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Delaware, Eagle Rock, L.A., Milwaukee, New York, Raleigh-Durham, and the Silicon Valley.

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps
RMYC provides young adults (ages 16-25) with comprehensive services to help them develop job skills, work ethic, environmental awareness and healthy lifestyles. Through paid work experience, service to the community and educational services, RMYC helps youth develop the skills they need to succeed in the classroom, the workforce and everyday life.  Projects include trail construction and maintenance, fence construction and disassembly, habitat restoration, streambed repair; dry stone masonry, noxious weed mitigation and fire fuels reduction.  RMYC participants are paid a competitive stipend for their work and may also be eligible for AmeriCorps education awards depending on their term of service and position.

Villers Fellowship for Health Care Justice - Provides a national perspective on health care justice work; based in the Families USA office in Washington, D.C.

Wellstone Fellowship for Social Justice - Fosters advancement of social justice through participation in health care advocacy work focused on unique challenges facing many communities of color.

Education

Teaching fellowships are designed for talented individuals— whether they have already led a career in another field or have just graduated from college— who seek to make systemic changes to our society through the education system. Fellows are usually placed in urban public schools where the demand for teachers is high. There is a particular need for those with a background in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Fellows can draw upon their past experiences but are not required to have a traditional teaching degree because they pursue one throughout their fellowship. Most programs are a one-year commitment and require an extensive application process. Deadlines typically fall in October or November. In addition to the programs listed here, there is also a range of international teaching fellowships to help meet the demand of English-language teachers abroad.

AIMS 
This is a one-year program at Phillips Andover Academy (boarding school) in Andover, MA, providing the recent graduate with an introduction to teaching at the high school level. Students come from all 50 states and foreign countries. A mentor supports each teaching fellow in class preparation and helps evaluate their success. A stipend, medical insurance, housing and meals are provided.

Baltimore City Teaching Residency
Baltimore City Teaching Residency is committed to providing the students of Baltimore with a new group of teachers who will work to increase their level of achievement and help prepare them to find academic success. Resident Teachers work in the most critical teacher shortage areas as designated by City Schools. Resident Teachers pursue teaching credential with the Baltimore City Teaching Residency and one of their university partners (The Johns Hopkins University, The College of Notre Dame); attend a comprehensive training prior to teaching; receive a teacher’s salary with full benefits; and have access to tuition assistance, home ownership programs, and student loan deferral or forgiveness programs. The Baltimore City Teaching Residency operates on two admission cycles (Winter Program start training in January, Summer Program start training in June/July).

Citizen Schools
The Citizen Schools National Teaching Fellowship is a service program offering a two-year, leadership development experience, including service as a team leader at a Citizen Schools campus, professional development with a partner organization in the community, and the opportunity for optional enrollment in a pioneering Master's program in out-of-school learning.

Close-Up, Washington, D.C.
Inspire and empower middle and high school students to develop the skills they need to participate in our democracy.  Work with and be supported by a team of talented educators.  Be in the D.C. area during an election year, travel to NYC, Philly and Williamsburg.  Meet Washington insiders and policy makers; make friends that will last a lifetime.  Have a job where you can make a difference.  You’ll get good pay and benefits, housing assistance, and valuable teaching experience.

DC Teaching Fellows
As a Fellow, you will join close to 700 talented individuals who have passed through a rigorous selection process and trained in an intensive pre-service program to become teachers in the DC public schools. You will become enrolled in a teacher certification program at either The George Washington University or American University, with the option to obtain a Master's degree in an area of education; simultaneously, you will receive a full teacher's salary, medical and dental benefits, and resources from administrative program staff while teaching in the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships
For students and young professionals to undertake teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.

Greenwich Country Day School- Co-Teacher Program
Recruits recent graduates who are interested in exploring the teaching profession, but could benefit from a 1 or 2 year internship in an elementary level classroom.  Applicants need not have majored in Education.  In addition to teaching responsibilities, Co-Teachers coach Middle School athletics and/or coordinate after-school enrichment programs for students in grades 1-3.  Applications will be accepted through January 15, 2012, and they hire on a rolling basis.

Institute of Reading Development
Offers full-time, summer teaching positions, with an opportunity to gain over 500 hours of teacher training and teaching experience working with children of all ages.

Janet H. and C. Harry Knowles Teaching Fellowships

KSTF Teaching Fellows are young men and women who have received a bachelor's or advanced degree in science, engineering or mathematics and are committed to teaching high school science and/or mathematics in U.S. schools. The fellowship supports them professionally and financially for up to five years through a teacher preparation program to eligibility for tenure.

The New Teacher Project
The driving force behind many teaching fellowship programs, this organization seeks to recruit and train high-quality new teachers for the nation’s public schools. Their website provides a list of their 15 teaching fellowship programs, including Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Louisiana, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oakland, Phoenix, St. Paul, Texas and some of the programs listed below.

New York City Teaching Fellows
NYC Teaching Fellows are accountants, nurses, recent graduates, chief executives, secretaries, artists, reporters, and retirees who have decided to use their diverse experiences, knowledge, and achievements to positively affect the lives of students. At the same time, each Fellow is pursuing his/her own education through a subsidized Master's degree program. Participation in the Fellowship does not require teaching experience or previous education coursework.

Philadelphia Teaching Fellows
Philadelphia Teaching Fellows recruits outstanding professionals and recent graduates to teach in the School District of Philadelphia. They seek to attract a broad group of candidates to meet the District's critical need areas including: special education (English, math, and science), mathematics, physics, chemistry, and Spanish.  Fellows are trained at an intensive Training Institute, where they are instructed in the foundations of teaching grounded in a research-based curriculum proven to be effective with urban, high-need students. Upon successful completion of the Training Institute, Fellows will assume full-time teaching responsibilities in School District of Philadelphia classrooms. Fellows will also pursue Pennsylvania Certification concurrently through a local college or university.

Phoenix Teaching Fellows
The demand for teachers is reaching a crisis point in many of Phoenix's high-need schools, particularly in math, science and special education.  The Phoenix Teaching Fellows program is recruiting individuals from many academic backgrounds; candidates do not need to have taken courses in education or have prior teaching experience.  The program is looking for outstanding students and alumni who are interested in making a difference in Phoenix schools while earning an Arizona teaching certificate. 

Prince George’s County Teaching Fellows
The Prince George’s County Teaching Fellows (PGCTF) seeks outstanding professionals and recent graduates to become part of this highly-selective program and teach in the county's highest need classrooms. Professionals and recent college graduates from all fields, particularly those with experience in math and science, will bring their experience, knowledge, and records of achievement to the classroom to positively impact the lives of students most in need. Fellows will pursue their teaching credential through a partnership with the Maryland Practitioner Teacher Program and a local university- a unique opportunity to earn certification while working full-time. Fellows receive a full-time teacher’s salary with full benefits while pursuing their certification.

Rhode Island Teaching Fellows
Rhode Island Teaching Fellows is focused on recruiting leaders who will have a lasting effect on student achievement.  They seek outstanding and diverse candidates with a relentless drive to make a difference, a dedication to setting only the highest expectations for themselves and their students, and an ability to thrive on overcoming challenges.

Teach for America
This two-year program provides teaching experience in under-resourced urban and rural public schools in America for recent graduates of all academic majors.  Salary, possible loan deferral or forgiveness through AmeriCorps, and professional development are provided.

teachNOLA
teachNOLA Teaching Fellows seeks the nation's most outstanding mid-career professionals and recent college graduates to significantly impact education by teaching in New Orleans public schools. This highly-selective initiative recruits talented individuals with an intense desire to drive the city's rebirth by boosting academic achievement for all students. Fellows are assigned to teach in a specific subject area. Subject assignments are based on teaching eligibility (including passage of appropriate teaching tests), district need and - to the extent possible - the candidate’s stated preferences from the online application. Most Fellows teach high need subjects areas such as science, math, special education, Spanish, French, and early childhood education.

Urban Teacher Center
The Urban Teaching Center prepares highly effective teacher who can significantly accelerate student achievement in the nation's highest-need schools. The Urban Teaching Center is a four-year alternative teaching prep program that will let you receive a Master's of Education, paid by them, for a part of your work.

Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship`
The WWNFF has two teaching fellowship programs: the Indiana Teaching Fellowship and the Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship. The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship seeks individuals with backgrounds in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) into high-need Indiana high schools.  Includes a $30,000 stipend, admission to a master’s degree program at one of four participating Indiana universities, preparation in a high-need urban or rural secondary school, support and mentoring, guidance toward teaching certification, and a lifelong membership in a national network of Woodrow Wilson Fellows. The Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship provides a $30,000 stipend to exceptionally able candidates to complete a yearlong master’s program at four of the nation’s top programs. In exchange, the candidates must agree to teach for three years in secondary schools.

Environmental

Garden Club Scholarships
Offers scholarships "to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, to share the advantages of association by means of educational meetings, conferences, correspondence and publications, and to restore, improve, and protect the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement."

Green Corps
Green Corps’ mission is to teach the next generation of environmental leaders the strategies and stills they’ll need to win tomorrow’s environmental battles while providing critical field support for today’s pressing environmental problems.  Green Corps provides transportation to and from trainings after August training, as well as subsidized housing during the first Introductory Classroom Training in Boston.  Organizers arrange their own housing while in their cities, although Green Corps will help provide temporary housing when organizers first arrive in their cities.

Student Conservation Association
The Student Conservation Association (CSA) provides service opportunities, outdoor skill and leadership training to thousands of young women and men each year.  In all 50 states, high school, college, graduate students and others join together through SCA to care for national parks and forests, historic and cultural resources, and urban green space.  All positions are expense-paid and tuition free.  Conservation internships range from three up to twelve months in over 50 disciplines.

Government and Public Policy

Presidential Management Fellows
Offers a two-year, rigorous leadership program with developmental fellowships at various Federal agencies.  Recruits outstanding graduate students from various programs of study.

Psychology and Mental Health

Devereaux Institute of Clinical Training & Research
The full-time, 12-month Professional Psychology Traineeship and Externship experiential learning programs are intended for recent college graduates who are considering graduate study in psychology or a related behavioral healthcare field. The program provides a supervised learning experience combining didactic and hands-on training. A major goal of the programs is to expose trainees and externs to the variety of roles and functions of practicing professional psychologists and thereby enable them to consolidate and refine their career goals before making an informed decision to enter professional psychology as a career.