15 Alternative Jobs For Teachers

What To Do With Your Teaching Degree, If You Don't Want To Teach

There are many reasons why teachers choose a new career path or take a break from teaching full time.

We get it:

Sometimes, you just need a break, and have a desire to pursue a new passion.

Your career in education doesn't have to be your forever career. It can be a stop along the way in your journey through several career choices that lead to a fulfilling life. That's why we are going to break down 15 alternative jobs to teaching—for teachers.

We will include examples of complete career-changing moves, part-time jobs, as well as career moves within the field of education. Throughout your career, you may experience the want or need to make one or more of these types of moves, and we are here to help-every step of the way.

But wait-

I'm not even a teacher yet, you're saying…

If you are still trying to figure out how to carve your initial path into the field of education, you're at the right place. After you browse these interesting career options for educators, take a quick look at the education degree programs available to students in your state.

All you have to do is use the search box at the top of this page to get going.

When you speak with advisors about their school's programs, be sure to ask what kinds of alternate careers teachers in your area can pursue. For graduate students, you might want to talk about alternative jobs for teachers with Master's degrees. This may not be the most pressing question in determining your education, but it never hurts to understand what your options are. This is especially true in a tight job market, or if you move to a new city.



Let's Get To It: 15 Alternative Jobs Teachers Can Consider

Career Changing Paths Teachers Can Take

Let's start with the complete career-changing jobs that fall outside of the education system, but are still relative to your experience.

Now, the possibilities are endless here.

We have heard of teachers pursuing many kinds of careers and life experiences after deciding to take a break from the classroom. Do you have additional ideas? Please share them with us in the comments below, or on social media!

woman writing with pen and paper

1.) Writer. Teachers make great writers. Not only fiction writers, but they also make great authors of historical works, grant writers, even technical writers. There are many reasons why teachers would want to go into a writing career. It's no secret that famous horror author Stephen King was once a high school English teacher who worked on his first novel on his planning periods. We all know that grants are a huge part of funding for non-profit organizations. Having a grant writer on hand is a way for them to achieve their objectives. History professors are often the authors of historical works, such as biographies of famous figures they have studied and taught about for years.

So, whether you have an awesome idea for a children's book series, simply want to spend more time to yourself expressing your creativity, or want to lend your writing skills to a company or organization, this can be a natural career switch for many types of teachers. That's why it comes in at #1 on our list!

2.) Museum work. Museums are a natural environment for alternative jobs to teaching. Why? Because there are many types of museums, but they all have one thing in common: they are all educational. Whether you are at an art museum, presidential library, or a museum dedicated to a historical event, person, or other niche of human history, you can bet there is a former teacher working in the ranks. If you are a retired history teacher, you might apply for outreach work at a local museum. Or, you might help curate, thanks to your years of teaching art history and related topics. Some retired teachers even find happiness in volunteering at museums, as a way of remaining social and active in their post-professional years.

3.) Corporate Trainer. Okay, so you might wake up after several years and realize you're ready to educate adults. This is common; and it doesn't mean you failed if you change your idea of what you want your teaching career to look like. We need people to teach students of all ages.

Here's the deal:

Corporations and businesses also need help training their staff. They are smart enough to know that it takes a special set of skills to be a teacher. Interpersonal communication and an ability to work with all types of learners are why teachers make great corporate trainers. So, if you are looking for a career teaching adults, and aren't interested in becoming a college professor, consider this career path. It can also be a good choice if you are facing a tight employment landscape right now. If you are looking for alternative jobs for teachers with Master's degrees, this might be a solid option.

4.) Entrepreneur. We are definitely living in the age of the entrepreneur. Every day, it seems like we hear about a new startup that is going to 'disrupt' an industry or introduce a new innovation or convenience in our life.

Well, let's disrupt education…shall we?

Sometimes, these entrepreneurs take a different approach, and create handmade goods based on a personal hobby or passion they have practiced for years. Maybe your experience in the classroom has given you an idea for a product or technology that would innovate the teaching experience for everyone. Or maybe you are having such success with your organic candle making business at craft events and weekend farmer's markets that you want to pursue it full-time. It doesn't matter what you want to do. The great thing about teaching is that you develop a set of skills that you can take with you for the rest of your life, no matter where that leads.

5.) Sales. Most people don't connect the sales occupations with the teaching profession. But if you really think about it, the two have a lot in common. First of all, you are pitching information in a way that needs to be engaging for your audience to listen and absorb what you're saying. You also have to have your facts straight and know your information inside and out. You need to learn what points of knowledge are important takeaways, and deliver them in ways the listener will respond to. Teachers need to be effective in one-on-one and group environments. Sales people have to do the same. One minute you might be on a call with a client, and the next you're pitching to a group of 30 executives who you need to educate about your company's product or service. So, do you still think sales and teaching are worlds apart?

What if you don't want to leave education completely…

Education Related Jobs for Teachers, That Aren't Teaching

You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can't take the classroom out of the teacher- or something like that. Point being, there are many reasons why teachers would want to stay connected to the field of education, but in a role that is detached from the everyday classroom teaching experience.

These alternative jobs for teachers can be a good fit for a variety of teachers for several reasons. So, if you're looking for something a little different –but still within the world of academia, here are some ideas.

If you have some additional ideas we can list, please let us know! We want to make this the best place for teachers to get insight and inspiration.

6.) Tutor. There are times when teachers decide they need more flexibility, or they would rather work one-on-one with students. Becoming a tutor can give you more wiggle room for your daily life than a traditional teaching job that is full-time with set hours, plus all those additional hours teachers wind up working. Tutors can be subject specific, such as math or music. They can also be a lifesaver when it comes to test preparation.

There are many students who seek the services of a tutor to help them prepare for standardized and college entrance exams, such as the SAT and GRE. Tutoring can also be one of the more relevant alternative jobs to teaching. Maybe you are a band teacher who wants to take on a few of your students to help them improve, or keep their skills sharp for scholarship opportunities. There are many reasons for becoming a tutor, and many ways you can go about it.

7.) Education product and supply companies. All those books, educational apps, online learning tools, and other products that are school and education related have to come from somewhere, right? There are many companies that specialize in education products and services that need the help of informed educators. They need to understand how to best tailor their products for the best experience.

Who better to guide them than former teachers?

Sometimes teachers take these types of jobs for different reasons. You may want to be in a more 9-5 work culture. You might see a better paying opportunity. Or you may simply want to be around more adults in your workday.

That's okay: We get it!

No matter what, your teaching experience can prepare you for many types of adventures in life. If you get the right teacher education and work experience, you can open as many doors as you wish throughout your life.

8.) Principal. This is one of those common alternative jobs for teachers. Principals generally start out in the classroom and move into administrative roles. Moving into higher level roles are a good fit for teachers who earn their graduate degrees in education, and possess strong leadership skills.

When you work as a principal, or work in another type of leadership roles, you need to be able to work with your peers, students, teachers, and community leaders. That's a lot to juggle. And that's why you should pursue a solid graduate level education, if this is something you may want to pursue. The nice thing is that you can start off your career as a teacher by earning your bachelor's, and teaching license. While you gain classroom experience, you can take an online or flexible campus based master's program to qualify for these types of roles. 

9.) School counselor or psychologist. If you have an interest in helping students on a personal level, you may want to consider becoming a school counselor or psychologist. This can be a great fit for alternative jobs for teachers with Master's degrees in counseling or psychology.

Maybe you will earn your bachelor's in psychology and minor in education? Or pursue a double major, and go on to earn your master's or PhD in school psychology? There are many ways you can achieve this goal, and make a lifelong impact on students' growth at a time when they need strong role models and positive guidance more than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), school and career counselors can earn an average wage of $53,660, according to most recent data (BLS, 2017).  

The BLS also states that most of these positions require a master's level education. That is good news for educators, since there are several online and flexible options for graduate level degrees for educators. If you are thinking about moving into a counseling role, discuss this option with schools in your area, and online programs that help qualify students in your state for the appropriate licensure. You may also want to speak with your school about this; since they may even help you with tuition, or provide some form of professional flexibility while you earn your degree.

10.) Consultant. It's no secret that school districts, charter schools, private schools, government agencies, and private companies all rely on consultants from time-to-time. If you have years of experience or a specialization in a particular area, such as administration or curriculum design, you might be help implement new processes and policies that improve school conditions for educators and learners.

If you worked at the highest levels in your school or district, you might find more flexibility in a consulting role. This also might be one of the better alternative jobs to teaching for after you retire from the classroom or your long-term position. There is no reason why you can't continue to make an impact in education long after you move on from a formal, permanent position in the field.


Part-time Jobs For Teachers, That Can Turn Into Full-Time Work

Sometimes, teachers take on a summer or side job just to give their social life a boost as much as earn extra cash. If you want to capitalize on your teaching career through side work, there are options as well. We mentioned tutoring as an option in the previous section of this list, and it can be a great option for part-time work as well.

These career paths can start as part-time or full-time work. They can even be good alternative jobs for teachers with master's degrees. Sometimes, a career can start out as your weekend gig and slowly build into a full-time career before you realize it.

But hey, as long as you're doing what you love – that's the important thing!

Train to become a rock solid teacher, and you'll realize how it lifts you up in every way, no matter where you go from here…

11.) Personal trainer. Great teachers are natural motivators. If you have a passion for physical fitness, a knack for learning science and how the body works and responds to exercise and diet, then you might want to earn your personal trainer certification. These certifications can be completed in a short period of time, or longer, if you want to study in your spare time. If you are a busy teacher, this can be a long-term goal. Physical education teachers can use this as a great side job, taking on a few clients at a time. You can build your business over time, or just use it as an extra teaching outlet, and a way to stay focused on your own fitness.

12.) Paralegal. Paralegals work is another one of those alternative jobs for teachers that can be a good fit. For one, this can be an interesting job for teachers who have a special interest in law and the judicial system. Other teachers may realize that they prefer a more corporate environment, where they are allowed to research and work for periods of time on their own, while still exercising their intellect in ways that align with their teaching interests and skills. Teachers can earn their paralegal certification in a rather short period of time. Many laws firms will hire paralegals who have their associate's degrees. So, if you are an experienced teacher, you can probably start working at a law firm without additional training. According to the BLS, paralegals can earn an average salary of $48,810 per year, based on 2017 data.

13.) Youth organizations. Teachers are a natural fit for leadership roles in youth organizations. Most cities have non-profit and private organizations that help mentor students through community service and extracurricular activities. Organizations, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters pair adults with kids who need positive role models in their lives for a variety of reasons. They need executives to help run their non-profits like a business, and they need leaders who can teach others how to reach out to kids in positive and effective ways. That's why teachers can make a good fit in organizations that focus on helping the youth in their community

14.) Coaching. Speaking of extracurricular activities. If you have a natural talent at a particular sport or activity, you should consider coaching as one of the more ideal alternative jobs to teaching. Youth sports organizations are always in need of good coaches. And if you have a background as a physical education teacher, or were part of a sports team in the past, this can make you a natural fit for coaching. Great players don't always make for great coaches, because not everyone is born a teacher. As you know, these skills must be learned through training, dedication, and experience. If you are looking for a summer job, or after school or weekend gig where you can make an impact, give kids more confidence, and help them stay physically fit, why not look around for coaching positions?

15.) Non-profit organizations. There are several reasons why teachers make a good fit at many non-profit organizations. For one, teachers and non-profits are used to working on a budget. Also, non-profits need grant writers, as we mentioned in the first section of this list. Grant writing and non-profit work, in general, can be a good way to earn additional income as part-time work as well. Some non-profits just need that one grant to get going, or that part-time volunteer that they can sometimes pay for work related to your education experience. You might lead training sessions, or help the board of directors understand how to design standards for employee growth. You might come in for a 6-month period of time, for example, and help them complete an important change in their organization or business objective.

Do you want to know more about starting your teaching career, and alternative jobs for teachers?

If so, let's help you take the next logical step and help you learn more about bachelor's or graduate level degree programs in education, and alternative jobs to teaching. They can even help you find alternative jobs for teachers with master's degrees. We are connected to accredited colleges and universities across the U.S. that help students like yourself make informed enrollment and career decisions.

Just use the search box at the top of this page to narrow your options to the results in your state.

And good luck in your teaching career, no matter where it leads!