Teaching is one of the most noble careers you can choose to pursue. However, it is not always the most well compensated — the national median income for a high school teacher was approximately $62,000 in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And while that’s certainly no salary to scoff at, many teachers find themselves seeking second jobs — both for the extra income, and because they have free time in the summers.
But what kinds of occupations should you pursue? Here are our top 10 best side jobs for teachers:
10 Best Side Jobs for Teachers
Teachers are already equipped with the skills and supporting knowledge required to work as a tutor, making it potentially the most ideal side job for educators. Tutoring has its upside in terms of lifestyle as well — you can determine your own schedule for added flexibility, and you can meet with students either online or in person. What’s more, tutors are in high demand by parents who feel that their student has fallen behind during the COVID-19 pandemic, which means you can earn a pretty penny with this side job.
2. Summer School Teacher
Aside from tutoring, summer school teaching is arguably the second-most ideal job for teachers. Not only does it align with your skill set, but even more important, you would get to teach in the same district, school system, and maybe even the same classroom that you already work in. Being a summer school teacher also enables you to sustain relationships with students you’ve already worked with, and can allow you to see their success through.
3. Sell Teaching Resources
Collateral that you have developed throughout your career — things like lesson plans, curricula, rubrics, etc. — are your intellectual property. As such, there is no reason not to profit off of them, and many teachers have taken to selling these items as a way to boost their income. There are many online outlets that enable you to sell your teaching materials, making it even easier to earn a few extra dollars.
4. Teach Continuing Education Courses
If you’re a teacher looking to work with more high-level material, you should consider teaching continuing education courses. These courses are typically offered by a college or university, and provide adults with an opportunity to learn new skills or gain new proficiencies that position them to work in a new profession. Continuing education courses are often short term, meaning you can fit a few in during the summer months and still maintain a balanced schedule.
If you have moderate typing abilities, then working as a freelance transcriber has the potential to be the most flexible second job for teachers. Because these services work entirely via online platforms, you can take on as much or as little work as you choose. There are a number of trustworthy platforms that solicit transcribers for audio recordings of interviews, meetings, phone calls and more.
6. Paper/Test Grader
As a teacher, you probably get your fill of paper and test grading during the school year, but did you know it can be a great second job as well? There are a number of online learning platforms, tutoring organizations and standardized test companies that will pay you to grade student work.
7. Teach Creative Skills
Perhaps you are a creative arts or music teacher looking for a second job. Because traditional tutoring doesn’t exactly align with your expertise, that may feel like the wrong avenue to pursue. But did you know that there are in fact platforms — like Skillshare — that are seeking instructors to teach creative, video-based lessons. You would simply record yourself teaching a lesson, upload it, and receive compensation, it’s as simple as that.
8. Teach English as a Second Language
Much like the arts, educators who teach English as a second language probably thought that online teaching or tutoring wasn’t for them — but they would be wrong. There are a number of online platforms, such as EF and VIPKid that offer ESL courses to their students via live and recorded video sessions. As a trained ESL teacher, you would get to continue your professional work in a manner that suits your lifestyle and schedule.
You name the sport — soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, basketball, etc. — and there is bound to be a team in your area that needs help finding coaches. As a teacher, you already know how to effectively instruct a group and get them to grasp key concepts, and coaching requires these same skills. If sports aren’t your thing, there are other activities that need coaches, such as instrument playing or even robotics.
10. Summer Camp Counselor
Parents need places to send their children during the summer, and that often means summer camp. Both day camp and overnight camps need large staffs to oversee and teach kids during their programs, making this an ideal second job for you as a teacher. Some camps even include room and board in their compensation, making this job even more lucrative.
If you’re a teacher who has considered taking on a second job, but aren’t sure if you have the right skills, consider taking a continuing education course. These online, flexible format classes cover a wide range of topics and equip learners with the foundational skills and knowledge they need to pursue any number of new endeavors. And if you do pursue continuing education, consider the University of San Diego’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education. Our program is backed by a nationally ranked university, with exciting courses taught by experts in their fields. With their instruction and our top-notch curriculum, there will be no limit to the number of second jobs you can pursue.
FAQs About Side Jobs for Teachers
Q: Are teachers allowed to have a second job?
A: The answer is almost always yes, as long as it doesn’t interfere with or prevent them from doing their primary job.
Q: What makes a job a good side job for a teacher?
A: That entirely depends on the teacher’s skills and interests, but any second job that requires an educator to serve in some kind of instructional role — think tutoring or coaching — will definitely benefit from their teaching skills.
Q: How can I find a side job as a teacher?
A: The most important thing to do is identify what type of job you want. From there, start looking on online job posting sites like Indeed or Glassdoor. For more personalized results, consult the faculty lounge where job postings can often be found on the bulletin board, and consult with your coworkers, as they may already have an in at an ideal second job location.
Q: What are some side jobs I can do from home during the summer?
A: Any side job that is based online is perfect for a teacher who wants to work from home for the summer. Consider pursuing tutoring, online CE course teaching, transcribing or even creative skills teaching jobs, all of which can be done via online platforms.