How to Make More Money as a Teacher

By Oluwadamilola Osisanya

Published:

Side Hustles

Oluwadamilola Osisanya

Oluwadamilola Osisanya

Writer & Career Coach

The average teacher’s salary in the US often falls short of their dedication and impact, with many earning between $40,000 and $60,000 annually. However, the world outside the classroom holds numerous opportunities for educators to bolster their income. Dive into this article to uncover lucrative side hustles and side jobs for teachers, allowing you to earn more without compromising your passion for education.


15 Side Hustles for Teachers


Our criteria for the best side hustles for a teacher:

  • Time Commitment and Flexibility: Teachers have demanding schedules, from early-morning lessons to late-night grading. A viable side hustle should respect this. It means the hustle should allow teachers to decide when and how long they work and, preferably, from where they work.
  • Leveraging Inherent Skills: Teachers are natural communicators, creators, and beacons of patience. The ideal side job for teachers capitalizes on these intrinsic abilities. For instance, a teacher’s communication prowess could shine in roles like tutoring or writing, and their creativity might be perfect for crafting or content creation.
  • Alignment with Educational Integrity: A teacher’s reputation is sacred. Any side hustle they take on should never clash with their primary role as educators. It means avoiding gigs that might present conflicts of interest or compromise their position of trust in the community.

1. Tutoring (Online or In-Person)

Tutoring is a natural extension of your role as a teacher, offering personalized academic support to students. For those looking into how to make extra money as a teacher, this might be one of the most intuitive options.

  • Requirements: A strong understanding of the subject matter is essential. Most tutoring positions prefer or require a teaching degree or relevant experience. A stable internet connection and basic digital tools like a webcam and microphone are necessary for online tutoring.
  • Where to Look: Websites like VIPKid, Chegg Tutors, and Tutor.com are great platforms for online tutoring gigs. Local schools, community centers, and libraries often have boards for in-person tutoring opportunities.
  • Potential Earnings: Earnings can vary greatly based on location, subject, and whether you’re tutoring independently or through a platform. On average, tutors can earn anywhere from $25 to $50 per hour, with specialized subjects like SAT prep potentially fetching even higher rates.
  • Potential Downsides: Scheduling can be challenging, especially with students with extracurricular activities. Some online platforms may have minimum-hour commitments, and there’s potential for inconsistent income during off-peak academic periods.

2. Educational Content Creation

Educational content creation is about crafting informative and engaging materials tailored for students. This could range from e-books, online courses, and educational videos to printable worksheets. With the rise of e-learning platforms, there’s an increasing demand for quality content. This presents a golden opportunity for those contemplating how to make money teaching.

  • Requirements: As a teacher venturing into this field, you should have a good grasp of your subject matter and be able to present it in a digestible format. Technical skills, like basic video editing or e-book formatting, might be beneficial but not always mandatory; many platforms offer user-friendly tools.
  • Where to Look: Platforms like Teachers Pay Teachers, Udemy, or Coursera are great starting points. Additionally, self-publishing on Amazon or starting a YouTube educational channel can be fruitful avenues.
  • Potential Earnings: Earnings vary widely based on the platform, the subject’s demand, and the content’s quality. Some educators make a few extra bucks, while others, especially those with popular courses or materials, can earn thousands. Remember passive income is a significant advantage here; once the content is up, it can generate revenue with minimal upkeep.
  • Potential Downsides: The initial time investment can be substantial, especially if you’re new to content creation. There’s also the challenge of marketing your content in a saturated market. And while many platforms offer tools, they might also take a sizable commission from your sales.

3. Freelance Writing or Blogging

As a teacher, you have an innate ability to convey complex ideas simply, which confers some natural writing abilities to you. Freelance writing or blogging allows you to share knowledge, insights, or even personal anecdotes. Whether it’s creating educational content, op-eds, lesson plans, or personal stories, the writing world is vast and varied.

  • Requirements: A strong grasp of grammar, the ability to research and verify facts, and a unique voice are essential. While formal writing qualifications can help, they’re often not necessary. Passion and consistency often matter more.
  • Where to Look: Platforms like Medium, WordPress, or Blogger are great starting points for personal blogs. Websites like Upwork, ProBlogger Job Board, or even education-specific sites can be gold mines for freelance writing opportunities. You might also consider pitching to educational magazines or websites.
  • Potential Earnings: Beginners in the field, with under a year’s experience, typically pocket around $16 hourly. Those in the early stages of their career, spanning one to four years, can expect about $20 every hour. Meanwhile, writers who’ve honed their craft for five to nine years see an average income of $25.50 per hour.
  • Potential Downsides: Building a readership or client base takes time. There can be dry spells, especially in the beginning. Additionally, writing requires commitment; it’s easy to experience burnout if one takes on too much. Also, like any online venture, navigating digital marketing to gain visibility is challenging.

4. Summer Camp Instructor

Becoming a Summer Camp Instructor is a seamless transition for many teachers. Here, you can channel your love for teaching and working with kids into a more relaxed outdoor setting. Whether it’s a sport, art, or science camp, you can use your subject expertise to craft memorable experiences for youngsters during the summer months.

  • Requirements: Often, the only prerequisites are a background in education, a passion for the chosen camp theme, and a knack for working with kids in informal environments. Some camps may require specific certifications, especially involving potentially risky activities like swimming or hiking.
  • Where to Look: Local community centers, schools, and specialized camp organizations often advertise these positions as summer approaches. Websites dedicated to summer camp jobs or local community boards can be gold mines for such opportunities.
  • Potential Earnings: Earnings can vary depending on the camp’s duration, location, and the instructor’s expertise. On average, teachers can expect to earn around $19.23 per hour. Some high-end or specialty camps might offer even more.
  • Potential Downsides: While summer camps can be rewarding, they can also be physically demanding and exhausting. Days can be long, and managing large groups of excited kids outside the structured classroom can present unique challenges. There’s also the consideration that most camps are temporary, meaning the income, although good, is limited to a few months of the year.

5. Workshop Facilitator

As a workshop facilitator, you can channel your expertise and instructional skills to guide groups through specific topics or skills. Whether it’s an art workshop, a writing session, or a course on effective communication, teachers can lead these in-person and online sessions.

  • Requirements: A deep knowledge of the chosen subject is crucial. Additionally, strong organizational and public speaking skills will be beneficial. While formal certifications aren’t always necessary, they can lend credibility, especially when starting.
  • Where to Look: Community centers, local libraries, and schools often host workshops and might be on the lookout for facilitators. Online platforms like Udemy, Teachable, or even Zoom webinars offer avenues for digital workshops.
  • Potential Earnings: Workshop facilitators earn anywhere from $21.06 an hour, depending on the subject and duration. Some specialized workshops, especially corporate ones, can fetch even higher rates.
  • Potential Downsides: Setting up a workshop requires time and often some initial investment, especially if materials are needed. If not enough participants sign up, it might not be financially viable. There’s also the challenge of marketing the workshop to ensure sufficient attendance.

6. Educational Consulting

Educational consulting allows you to guide schools, institutions, or education-focused companies on curriculum development, teaching methods, or educational technologies. You will use your expertise to advise on best practices, ensuring optimal learning experiences for students.

  • Requirements: To excel in this role, you typically need a few years of classroom experience, a deep understanding of pedagogical techniques, and possibly additional qualifications or certifications. Strong interpersonal skills can also be crucial as you’ll be liaising with various stakeholders.
  • Where to Look: Opportunities abound in private educational consulting firms, school districts looking to revamp their curriculum, or ed-tech companies needing expert insights. Networking at educational conferences, joining professional educational consultant associations, or leveraging platforms like LinkedIn can be effective ways to break into this field.
  • Potential Earnings: Earnings can vary widely based on experience and the scale of the project. On average, consultants earn up to $57.06 an hour, while more experienced professionals, especially those with specialized skills, can command rates upwards of $120.80 an hour.
  • Potential Downsides: While educational consulting can be rewarding, it might require travel, disrupting your routine. Additionally, like any consultancy job, there might be downtime between contracts, which can lead to inconsistent income.

7. Proofreading and Editing

Refining content to make it clearer, error-free, and more professional is at the heart of proofreading and editing. With your keen eye for detail and familiarity with structured writing, this side hustle is an organic extension of your skill set.

  • Requirements: Beyond a strong grasp of grammar and language conventions, an effective proofreader often benefits from specialized training or certification. While not always mandatory, courses like those offered by the American Society for Editing can give an edge in the market.
  • Where to Look: Opportunities abound on platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or even niche sites like ProofreadingPal. You can also tap into local networks, universities, or self-publishing authors needing editorial services.
  • Potential Earnings: Rates can vary based on experience and the complexity of the content. On average, proofreaders earn around $22.34 per hour. With a steady stream of clients, monthly earnings can significantly supplement a teacher’s salary.
  • Potential Downsides: The initial phase may involve lower pay as one builds a portfolio and reputation. It can also be time-consuming, especially if tight deadlines overlap with teaching responsibilities. Lastly, it requires a meticulous eye, meaning long hours staring at screens or paper, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

8. Publishing

Publishing refers to producing and distributing written works, such as books, e-books, or articles. For teachers, this can mean turning classroom experiences, subject expertise, or educational strategies into valuable resources for peers, students, or the general public. And for those who’ve always dreamed of seeing their name on the cover of a book and are looking into how to make extra money as a teacher, publishing might be your calling.

  • Requirements: A strong grasp of the subject matter, writing skills, and perseverance. While you don’t necessarily need a degree in writing, having an editor or using editing software can significantly enhance the quality of your work. Self-publishing platforms may require a basic understanding of formatting and design, or you could hire professionals for these tasks.
  • Where to Look: Platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, or Lulu, offer straightforward self-publishing routes. For teachers aiming at traditional publishing, starting with educational publishers or academic journals related to their field is a good bet. Joining writers’ associations or attending writers’ workshops can also open doors to publishing opportunities.
  • Potential Earnings: Earnings can vary widely. Self-published authors might earn anywhere from a few dollars to thousands, depending on the book’s success and marketing efforts. Traditional publishing might offer advance payments, but they can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, with royalties coming in after sales cover the advance.
  • Potential Downsides: The publishing world is competitive. Not every manuscript gets picked up by traditional publishers, and self-publishing doesn’t guarantee sales. It requires marketing to stand out. Moreover, writing can be time-consuming, and there’s no immediate payout, especially if you’re waiting for a book deal or royalty payments.

9. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promoting products or services and earning a commission for every sale made through your referral link. As a teacher, you could recommend educational tools, books, or software and earn from sales from your audience.

  • Requirements: While no formal training is required, a basic understanding of online marketing and a platform (like a blog, YouTube channel, or social media account) where you can share affiliate links is crucial. Familiarity with the products you’re promoting also lends authenticity to your endorsements.
  • Where to Look: Major online retailers like Amazon have affiliate programs. Platforms such as ShareASale or ClickBank offer many products and services to promote. For education-specific items, sites like Teachers Pay Teachers also have affiliate options.
  • Potential Earnings: Earnings vary widely based on the product’s price, commission rate, and audience size. Some may earn a few dollars a month, while others with a large, engaged following could rake in thousands.
  • Potential Downsides: Affiliate marketing requires trust. If you promote subpar products just for a commission, you risk losing credibility with your audience. It’s also not a guaranteed income source. Building a following and seeing significant returns can take time; not all products will resonate with your audience.

10. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant (VA) is an individual who provides a range of administrative, technical, or even creative tasks for clients from a remote location. This can be an attractive side hustle for teachers because it taps into their organizational and communication skills.

  • Requirements: The role often requires a good knowledge of office software like Microsoft Office or Google Workspace, a reliable internet connection, and sometimes specialized software or tools depending on the client’s needs. While prior experience can be beneficial, it’s not always necessary. Skills acquired from teaching, such as time management, attention to detail, and effective communication, can give a teacher an edge in this role.
  • Where to Look: Opportunities for virtual assistants can be found on freelance platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. Additionally, there are specialized VA platforms like Belay. Networking, both online and offline, can also yield job opportunities.
  • Potential Earnings: The earnings of a VA can vary greatly depending on experience, niche, and hours worked. On average, VAs earn about $23.88 per hour. Specialized VAs with specific skill sets, like social media management or graphic design, can command higher rates.
  • Potential Downsides: Being a VA includes the potential unpredictability of income, especially when starting. Maintaining a work-life balance can also be challenging, particularly if working for clients in different time zones. It’s also essential to be aware of potential scammers on freelance platforms who may not pay for services rendered.

11. Crafting and DIY Projects

Crafting and DIY (Do It Yourself) projects offer educators a creative outlet that can also become a profitable venture. Drawing from their educational background, teachers can create educational tools, toys, or decorative items that resonate with parents, students, and craft enthusiasts.

  • Requirements: To excel in this side hustle, creativity, attention to detail, and basic crafting skills are needed. Depending on the chosen craft, there may be an initial investment in materials and tools. Being familiar with online platforms for selling crafts or local venues where handmade goods are appreciated is also helpful.
  • Where to Look: Platforms like Etsy and Amazon Handmade are great places to sell handmade items. Social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram can showcase your work, attract a following, and direct traffic to your online store or booth.
  • Potential Earnings: The earning potential for crafting varies widely based on the type of product, its quality, and how effectively it’s marketed. While some crafters may earn a few extra dollars a month, others who gain significant attention can earn thousands monthly.
  • Potential Downsides: Crafting, while enjoyable, can be time-consuming. There’s also the possibility of investing in materials without seeing a return if products don’t sell. Also, managing an online store or attending craft fairs can add more tasks to a teacher’s busy schedule. Balancing the time spent on this side hustle with other professional and personal commitments is essential.

12. Teaching Local Classes

Many communities have a demand for local classes on a variety of topics ranging from arts and crafts to cooking to academic subjects. Teachers are in an excellent position to offer such classes, utilizing their educational background and expertise to cater to the needs of their community. Depending on the subject and the teacher’s preference, these classes can be offered to children and adults.

  • Requirements: A teacher looking to teach local classes would typically require a good understanding of the subject matter, a curriculum or lesson plan, teaching materials, and possibly a venue if one is not provided. While formal credentials might not be mandatory, they can enhance a teacher’s credibility. Moreover, background checks or clearance might be required if working with children.
  • Where to Look for Opportunities: Opportunities to teach local classes can often be found at community centers, local libraries, adult education centers, or even recreational facilities. Some cities have dedicated organizations focusing on continuing education where one can offer services. Another effective method is networking within local social media groups or posting flyers at popular community hubs.
  • Potential Earnings: The earnings for teaching local classes can vary based on location, subject, duration, and the teacher’s credentials. On average, one might expect to earn anywhere from $15 to $30 per hour. Charging per student or offering package deals for a set number of classes can also impact earnings.
  • Potential Downsides: Starting local classes can require time and effort, especially in marketing and establishing a consistent student base. There might also be costs associated with renting a venue, purchasing materials, or advertising. Additionally, class sizes might fluctuate, leading to unpredictable income. Some teachers might also find it challenging to balance their regular teaching jobs with these additional classes, leading to potential burnout.

13. Home Child Care

Home child care involves offering babysitting or daycare services from the comfort of your own home. As a teacher, you already possess the skills and patience to manage and educate children, making this a natural side hustle.

  • Requirements: While some regions may not require formal qualifications to provide home child care, most will require a background check and, sometimes, first aid and CPR certifications. Having a safe and child-friendly environment in your home is also crucial. Some areas might also require specific licenses or permits, especially if you plan to care for multiple children.
  • Where to Look for Opportunities: Start by advertising your services within your community, local bulletin boards, social media groups, and websites like Care.com. Word of mouth can also be a potent tool, especially from parents of students you teach or have taught.
  • Potential Earnings: The earnings can vary widely based on your location, the number of children you care for, and the hours you provide care. On average, home childcare providers can earn anywhere from $15.46 an hour or even more in high-demand areas.
  • Potential Downsides: Managing children in your home requires constant supervision and can be physically and emotionally draining. There’s also potential liability if a child is injured on your property, which might require additional insurance. Moreover, depending on the number of children and hours, it can become a full-time job, leaving less time for relaxation and personal endeavors.

14. Pet-Sitting

Pet-sitting is a service where individuals care for pet owners’ animals while they are away. Teachers, with their natural nurturing tendencies and structured schedules, especially during holiday breaks, are well-suited for this role. Whether feeding, walking, playing, or ensuring they get their medication, pet sitters offer the essential care that animals need in the absence of their owners.

  • Requirements: To be successful in pet-sitting, one must possess a genuine love for animals, be reliable, and have a basic understanding of animal care. Depending on the region or specific requirements of pet owners, a pet sitter might also need certification in animal CPR or other related training.
  • Where to Look for Opportunities: Opportunities for pet-sitting can be found on specialized websites like Rover or Care.com. Local community boards, veterinarian offices, or pet supply stores often have bulletin boards where pet-sitting services can be advertised. Word of mouth and personal recommendations are also invaluable in this industry.
  • Potential Earnings: The earnings for pet-sitting can vary based on factors like location, the number of pets, specific care requirements, and duration of the service. On average, pet sitters can charge anywhere from $4 to $29 an hour. Longer-term commitments, such as a week or more, might offer a reduced daily rate but a larger overall earning.
  • Potential Downsides: While pet-sitting can be rewarding, it’s not without its challenges. Some animals might have behavioral issues or special needs that can be demanding. There’s also the responsibility of dealing with any emergencies that might arise, from health issues to damage within a pet owner’s home. It’s crucial for pet sitters to be prepared and have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and any potential risks involved.

15. Transcription Services

Transcription services involve converting spoken language into written text. This can include transcribing meetings, interviews, lectures, podcasts, videos, and more. Teachers, who often possess excellent listening and typing skills, are well-suited for this type of work, as it requires attention to detail and a command over the language.

  • Requirements: A reliable computer, good quality headphones, fast internet connection, and transcription software are the primary tools needed. Familiarity with different accents and dialects can be an advantage. Additionally, a good grasp of grammar and spelling is essential. Some companies might require a transcription test before hiring.
  • Where to Look: There are various online platforms like Rev, TranscribeMe, and GoTranscript where transcriptionists can find work. Freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr also frequently have transcription gigs. In addition, some local businesses or institutions might require transcription services, so networking in your community can be beneficial.
  • Potential Earnings: Earnings can vary based on the complexity of the audio, turnaround time, and the platform chosen. On average, transcriptionists earn anywhere from $15 to $25 per audio hour. However, it’s important to note that an “audio hour” isn’t equivalent to an actual hour of work; it may take 3 to 4 hours or more to transcribe one hour of audio, depending on the clarity and speed of the spoken content.
  • Potential Downsides: Transcription can be time-consuming, especially for beginners. Listening to the same clip repeatedly to ensure accuracy can be tedious. Moreover, some audio files might have poor sound quality or speakers with thick accents, making the transcription process challenging.

Investing in Professional Development

Teachers must continually adapt, grow, and refine their skill sets. Not only does this commitment to learning benefit their students and their teaching methodologies, but it can also pave the way for career advancement. By investing time and resources into professional development, educators can unlock new opportunities, gain recognition in their field, and even see financial rewards.

Courses and Certifications that Can Lead to Salary Boosts

In the ever-evolving educational landscape, staying updated with the latest methodologies, technologies, and strategies is pivotal. Investing in one’s professional development not only hones teaching skills but can also lead to salary increments. Here’s a dive into some courses and certifications that can give your teaching career and paycheck a notable boost:

  • Master’s and Doctoral Degrees: Many school districts offer a pay raise for teachers who hold advanced degrees. Earning a Master’s or Doctoral degree in Education or a related field can significantly enhance your earning potential. Schools often regard these degrees as indicating commitment and expertise in the field.
  • National Board Certification: Considered the gold standard in teacher certification, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification is a rigorous, peer-reviewed program that ensures that teachers meet the highest standards of their profession. Achieving this certification usually leads to monetary benefits in many states and districts.
  • Specialized Training Certifications: Certifications in areas such as Special Education, English as a Second Language (ESL), or Advanced Placement (AP) can make you a more marketable candidate, leading to roles that carry stipends or higher pay scales.
  • Technology Integration Courses: As classrooms become more tech-integrated, teachers adept at using and implementing educational technologies are in demand. Courses in this arena can lead to roles like Technology coaches or positions in schools focusing on digital learning, which often come with additional pay.
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs): Many districts offer pay raises or bonuses for teachers with a certain number of CEUs. These are often shorter courses or workshops covering various topics, from classroom management to subject-specific methodologies.

Moving into Administrative or Specialized Roles with Higher Pay

One of the most rewarding ways for teachers to leverage their professional development is by transitioning into administrative or specialized roles within the educational sector. Such roles not only come with increased responsibility but also often lead to significantly higher paychecks.

  • Understanding the Roles: Administrative positions, such as principals, vice-principals, or district superintendents, oversee the smooth running of educational institutions and ensure that educational standards are met. On the other hand, specialized roles can include positions like curriculum developers, special education coordinators, or instructional coaches. These roles focus on particular niches within the education system, requiring specialized knowledge and expertise.
  • Educational Requirements: Transitioning into these roles often requires further studies or certifications. For instance, a Master’s in Educational Administration might be a prerequisite for many administrative positions. Similarly, specialized roles might necessitate additional training, certifications, or even a master’s degree in the respective specialization.
  • Benefits of Transition: Apart from the obvious financial benefits, moving into administrative or specialized roles offers teachers a broader perspective on education. It allows them to make impactful decisions, influence educational policies, or even bring about curriculum changes. Furthermore, these roles can be deeply fulfilling, offering opportunities to mentor other educators, drive institutional success, or make a difference in specialized educational areas.
  • Steps to Transition: Some of the essential steps are investing in professional development workshops, attending seminars, networking with professionals in desired roles, or pursuing further studies. Teachers should also actively seek mentorship from those already in such roles, join professional organizations, and stay updated with the latest educational trends and policies.

Key Considerations and Challenges of Working a Side Job as a Teacher


Time Management

Balancing teaching responsibilities with a side job requires impeccable time management skills. Teachers already have a demanding schedule with grading, lesson planning, and classroom management. Adding a side gig to the mix means efficiently allocating time to both endeavors without compromising on the quality of either. Tools like calendars, time-tracking apps, or even simple to-do lists can help, but a commitment to a strict routine is crucial.

Contractual Obligations

Before embarking on a side hustle, teachers need to be aware of their primary employment contract’s stipulations. Some institutions might have clauses restricting or prohibiting certain types of secondary employment. Breaching these clauses could lead to professional and legal consequences.

Conflict of Interest

Teachers should ensure that their side job does not create a conflict of interest with their primary teaching position. For example, tutoring students from one’s class or selling school resources might be frowned upon or even prohibited. It’s essential to remain transparent with the school administration about the nature of the side job to avoid any potential pitfalls.

Income Reporting

Additional income means altered tax obligations. Teachers must ensure they correctly report all their earnings to the relevant tax authorities to avoid legal complications. It’s a good idea to consult with a tax professional or accountant to fully understand any potential tax implications.

Potential Overwork and Burnout

Working two jobs can be mentally and physically tasking. There’s a real risk of overworking oneself, leading to burnout. Over time, this can affect performance in both the teaching role and the side job, not to mention potential health implications. Regular self-checks, ensuring adequate rest, and recognizing signs of exhaustion can be essential in managing this challenge.


Conclusion


As a teacher, your ability to educate, inspire, and communicate is unparalleled, and these attributes make you incredibly valuable in various side hustles. Whether it’s becoming a workshop facilitator or diving into another exciting venture, a world of opportunities is waiting for you.

Remember, diversifying your income streams benefits your wallet and enriches your professional and personal growth. So, why not leverage that wealth of expertise? Step out, explore, and let the world benefit even more from what you, as an educator, have to offer. Your capabilities are endless, and so are the possibilities.

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Oluwadamilola Osisanya

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