Your job as a teacher has many intrinsic rewards. But many must balance a low teacher salary, high student debt and everyday living expenses. This causes most to search for side jobs for teachers to help make ends meet or to work toward long-term financial goals.
I have great respect for the teaching profession. I’ve worked alongside educators in vulnerable communities and witnessed first-hand how the compassion and dedication of a teacher can change a life. So, to all teachers reading this, I see the long hours you put in and I see the love you have for your students. I wish you didn’t have to look for additional ways to make money outside of your classroom.
That being said, there are many side hustles for teachers to choose from that use your knowledge and expertise.
Side jobs for teachers specific to your skillset
One of the best ways to branch out into a side hustle is to leverage your existing credentials and experience. Here are some ideas of second jobs for teachers that showcase your unique skill set.
1. Pick up extra work at school
This one might be obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. You might have the option to earn extra money by taking on an additional role at your school. This might include gigs like overseeing detention on Saturdays, serving as a club advisor, or coaching the cheer or dance team.
The pay for these types of extra roles varies based on your contract and by what’s available within your school district.
However, depending on the role you choose, you might be signing up for a whole bunch of extra work for very little pay. In that case, it might still be worth it if it’s something you’re passionate about or if you have limited alternatives in your area. Otherwise, your time and effort might be better spent pursuing more lucrative side hustles.
2. Work summer school
Some teachers choose to travel or spend time with their own children during their summer break. However, if you have extra time during these off months (and aren’t completely burned out on teaching), then summer school opportunities might fill any financial gap if your teaching contract doesn’t spread your salary over the full calendar year.
Summer school pay varies based on location, teaching discipline and grade level. I have family and friends that are usually offered between $20 to $30 per hour. However, their summer rates increased dramatically to attract more teachers after experiencing the setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe teachers will get lucky and those higher rates will stick around.
3. Tutor students in your community or online
Tutoring is a great way to earn part-time income on the side. You can offer tutoring services based on a subject or provide help for specific milestones, like taking the SAT or ACT.
Look for local tutoring opportunities in your community or sign up for an online tutoring platform (e.g. Chegg Tutors, TutorMe or Wyzant) to reach more students.
Depending on where you choose to tutor, you might have a predetermined hourly rate or have the ability to set your own rates. Pay will usually vary based on your level of teaching experience, but high-level tutors can make upwards of $50 to $75 an hour or more.
4. Teach English online or abroad
There are a variety of reputable platforms that allow you to teach English online or in a classroom abroad.
For example, VIPkid pays $14 to $22 an hour to teach immersive English classes to Chinese students.
There are also opportunities for short-term teaching gigs abroad through programs like Go Overseas and Teachaway. These short commitments are perfect side jobs for teachers on summer, spring or winter break.
5. Become a homeschool consultant
With more parents choosing to homeschool their children, there are more opportunities to serve as a part-time or freelance homeschool consultant. You’ll be responsible for monitoring student’s progress and addressing any additional concerns related to homeschooling, such as suggesting social activities and managing the parent’s role as a teacher.
You can join an established homeschooling company or offer your services as a side business online or in your area.
6. Develop curriculum and other educational materials
If you enjoy creating lesson plans, you can pick up a gig developing educational materials. There are a few primary routes to share your talent:
- Apply with an established brand by searching for curriculum writing and instructional design opportunities.
- Use a platform like Teachers Pay Teachers to sell your lessons, worksheets and other learning resources.
- Create curriculum or printables to sell on your own website or a platform like Etsy.
As an example, I currently use the Homegrown Learning Co. Tot School Curriculum to provide my daughter with developmentally appropriate activities. This year-long program was developed by two sisters who used their teaching backgrounds to create a themed program for preschool-age children.
If you’re willing to put in the extra effort, there are plenty of other teachers, parents and caregivers waiting to tap into your teaching knowledge.
7. Work in an after-school program
The hours between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. are shown to be a high-risk timeframe for children. Consider joining an after-school program to earn additional money and help vulnerable youth.
Nonprofit organizations like the YMCA or Boys and Girls Club provide above minimum wage pay for after-school staff members. There’s typically increased pay or other incentives for serving as a site director or coordinator.
8. Become an adjunct professor
If you have a master’s degree, consider becoming an adjunct professor at an online or community college in your area. These part-time roles usually have flexible schedules, with some allowing you to pre-record your lectures to save time.
According to a study by the American Federation of Teachers, the majority of adjunct professors earn $2,500 to $4,500 per course.
Other best side hustles for teachers
Here are some other side jobs for teachers that’ll suit your background.
9. Teach CPR classes
This is a huge opportunity for teachers that is often overlooked. I’ve taught CPR, AED and First Aid classes on and off since I was 16. You don’t need any previous medical knowledge or experience, but you can continue to make an impact in your community — and make some serious cash.
You’ll need to attend an Instructor Development Course through a nationally recognized emergency care training brand. You can then teach under a training center in your area or choose to teach on your own.
I know instructors who charge $25 to $150 per student, with up to 12 students per class. Considering you usually only teach four to six hours per class, the side income can add up quickly.
10. Provide childcare or babysitting services
Since you’re already a teacher, offering childcare services is a natural route for earning extra cash. You can pick up one-time babysitting gigs based on your own schedule or offer on-going childcare during your school breaks with online platforms like Care.com and Sittercity.com.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly pay for a babysitter is $16.75. But it reports wages as high as $40 per hour, depending on location and other factors.
11. Create an online program using your expertise
Peer-to-peer marketplaces like Udemy and Outschool make it easy for teachers to create and sell an online course. Each platform is geared toward a different audience (e.g. adults versus children), but there’s a good chance you can adapt your teaching experience or existing hobbies into a profitable online program.
According to Outschool, their online teachers earn an average of $50 per hour taught.
12. Sign up as a coach or referee
If you enjoy sports, there might be opportunities at your school or in your community for side jobs for teachers as a coach or referee.
As a teacher, you already have a unique skill set when it comes to intervening and ensuring students follow rules in the classroom. So, coaching and refereeing will likely be second nature.
Pay will vary by organization, sport and age group. For example, soccer referees in Plano, Texas, can expect to make anywhere from $20 to $66 per game, depending on age bracket.
13. Build a social media brand around your knowledge
Do your students always comment about how fun you make learning? If you have a knack for turning traditionally dry material into engaging content, consider building a brand through social media.
That’s exactly what Sharon McMahon, former high school government and law teacher, did. She now has over half a million followers on Instagram (SharonSaysSo) and has mobilized her following of #governerds to do some incredible life-changing charitable giving.
Keep in mind that building a brand takes time, so don’t expect to get paid right off the bat.
14. Offer proofreading services
You already spend a lot of time reviewing and correcting your student’s homework. Use that skill to help business owners, college students and other writers perfect their work.
Proofreading jobs are typically paid by project, page or word count. Additionally, pay varies depending on if you’re working as a freelancer or for an established proofreading agency.
15. Work as a virtual assistant or freelance writer for an education brand
Is there an education brand you love to follow on social media? Chances are there’s a lot on their plate that isn’t being properly addressed behind the scenes. Reach out to their team to offer your services as a virtual assistant.
Alternatively, you can put together a portfolio and pitch a blog post topic for their brand. The more of your freelance writing work that’s published online, the more you can charge.
How does a side hustle impact your student loan payment?
Let’s say you have a great side job that’s bringing in a decent amount of money. How does that affect your student loans?
If you’re enrolled in a federal income-driven repayment plan, your payment is based on your adjusted gross income (AGI) and family size. Therefore, any side income could ultimately increase your federal student loan payment.
If you’re a teacher working toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), then you need to be aware that any increase in payment will also mean less overall forgiveness. To benefit from both a side hustle and maximum PSLF forgiveness, married teachers should explore filing taxes separately if they expect to earn substantially more from a side gig.
A final word about side hustles for teachers
A side hustle should bring you more financial peace, not add to your already stressful and overworked environment as a teacher.
So, something like being a pet sitter or dog walker on Rover or picking up groceries with Instacart might be more suitable depending on your mental health. Even selling items you no longer need via online marketplaces, like Facebook marketplace, can earn you extra money throughout the year.
Be sure to weigh your options and look for something that fits both your financial and emotional needs.