It is said that teachers have their rewards waiting for them in heaven. Hence, a lot of educators spend their lives laboring to pass on knowledge to their (sometimes ungrateful) students, earning little more than thanks for their hard work.
However, many teachers these days are not so keen on waiting for their rewards to come at some indeterminate date in the future. In fact, the economic realities at the moment make it that the income the average teacher makes from teaching hardly tides them over. In light of this, many teachers are looking for ways to earn extra income.
For many, the love for teaching makes it that they cannot up and quit teaching. Thus, it is often most ideal for the teachers to find some ways to make money while also being able to continue teaching. The perfect balance would be to engage in a side hustle. That way, the teacher still engages their passion, while still money some money at the same time. Many teachers are actually engaged in this practice at the moment.
Pew Research reports indicate that one in six teachers have a side job. One in four teachers under the age of 30 has a second job. Furthermore, most teachers are catching up with training requirements and working on their curriculum during the summer.
Several features make teachers the best set of professionals to engage in side hustles. Firstly, teaching demands patience, forbearance, and perseverance. All of these skills come in handy while running a side hustle. In addition, teachers have a relatively flexible calendar, unlike those in most other fields. During school breaks, you can decide not to be part of your institution’s summer school and instead focus on working your side job. In addition, most of the jobs pay you per hour. You can decide on how much extra money you can earn by setting and adjusting the amount of time you can devote to the endeavor.
In this article, we look at some of the lucrative side hustles teachers can engage in to earn money. Most do not need much to get started. In addition, they would also most likely not interfere with regular everyday teaching plans. However, before we begin, let us examine some of the reasons why a teacher might need a side hustle.
Why Do Teachers Need a Side Hustle?
It takes a lot of work to become a teacher: bachelor’s degree, student teaching, practicums, and passing national board exams. They do all of this so they can teach kids all day, which requires them to play multiple roles: counselor, educator, disciplinarian, snotty nose wiper, complaint controller, rule enforcer, and much more.
Frankly, the pay stinks. But that’s not the only reason teachers need a side hustle. Here are a few more:
- Most teachers must pay for their own classroom supplies.
- Teachers are not paid for summer. They can spread their 10-month salaries across 12 months, but they are not paid for more than 10 months.
- Teachers are expected to work during the summer months for free, preparing their classrooms for the school year.
- Teachers are expected to be part of committees, clubs, and extracurricular activities that are not paid.
- Teacher salaries are not enough to support the living wage increases.
- Teachers have families who have needs that cost money to meet. For example, not all school systems pay for health insurance for family members, apart from the teacher in their employ.
- Teachers may have debt, just like most of America.
Learning these facts motivated me to find the easiest, most profitable, rewarding side hustles for teachers.
I have listed my finds below, along with my own personal overall rankings, based on my analysis of factors such as ease of use, payment, and whether the pros outweigh the cons. Rankings follow teaching grading scales.
Let’s start with one of the largest, most common side hustles for teachers who want to work within the educational industry.
Side Hustles in the Education Industry
Teachers working a side hustle may want their side hustle to incorporate what they already know. This makes total sense. Why go into another field that may require more time, effort, and money? They may also know that side hustles for teachers in education can pay well.
The idea here is: earn the most money with the least amount of work, in a field you already know. I like the way you think.
Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT)
Two out of three teachers have used Teachers Pay Teachers for at least one resource. There are currently 3 million resources on TpT. They must be good ones because over 1 billion resources have been downloaded.
TpT reports there are 5 million teachers used their platform last year.
Those stats are incredible.
They make it easy to join, giving you three options, one of them is free.
Once you join you can log in and start searching uploading your material. You can also access their many resources, including how to get paid. If you are wondering about fees, the answer is yes. They do charge processing fees and payout rates.
My Personal Rankings:
Ease of Use: A+
Payment: B- for the Basic Seller Model, A- for the Premium Seller Model
Write for Educational Websites
There are several educational websites looking for curriculum writers in all areas of the industry: elementary, middle school, high school, college, and even adult education.
If you have experience or a natural talent for writing a curriculum, this could be a great side hustle.
You can search for jobs like this on Indeed, LinkedIn, and Upwork. You can also contact educational book publishers or check out their websites for job openings.
My rankings for writing curriculum:
Ease of Use: C+ (it may take a little effort to apply for the jobs)
Resources: A (there are many opportunities)
Payment: B+ (varies per job, but can be negotiated)
Teach English Online
Teachers can also get into tutoring online. Teachers in high demand are those with experience teaching English. There are platforms that pay such teachers to help non-Native speakers become proficient in the English language. This is also one of the side hustles that one can get into in their free time.
There are so many sites and platforms that you can sign up for to earn extra money teaching the English language to foreigners. You need only sign up to get started. One of the easiest platforms with an impressive pay rate is VIPkid. You can make around $22 per hour teaching English, all while working from home.
The job? Teaching the English language to Chinese students through teleconference. You don’t need to know how to speak Chinese, but they do require at least a bachelor’s degree and a six-month commitment. During that six months, you choose how much you work and earn.
Classes are one-on-one and you will be provided with the curriculum to use while in session. Contracts are for six months and each time you renew a contract you are eligible for a raise. Pretty cool.
You set your own schedule based on the times the students are available. You are given multiple options, including weekends and evenings.
Once you apply online, you can expect to have an online interview and onboarding to make sure you have everything you need to be successful.
Ease of Use: B
Become a Freelance Writer
Writing is a huge part of a teacher’s life and also provides a great way for them to make some extra money. As a freelance writer, you can decide to set up your own account on Freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. I personally prefer Upwork because of its ease of use. On these platforms, you create accounts, get in touch with clients and offer your services. You can do this on a part-time basis, without interfering in any way with your regular teaching job.
You can also decide to either write for blogs or just open your own blog yourself. Running a blog is no mean feat, but it is doable. You get to make posts that keep your audience entertained and engaged. However, to make money from your blog, you will have to grow your fan base. It is only when your posts command some attention that anyone will be willing to invest/or advertise on your blog.
Again, opening your own blog will not take so much from you. Several online templates exist. You can use any of them to create your own blog to get things going.
Other Education Side Hustles
If these aren’t a great fit for you, check out the list below.
- Write eBooks on Amazon on topics you teach.
- Be an Adjunct Professor.
- Tutor students after school or during the summer.
- Teach adult education classes at the local college.
- Take on extra school duties.
- Start an aftercare program.
- Be a life coach for students.
- Create a course for educational platforms like Udemy.
- Freelance writing and blogging (start or write for a teacher blog).
- Create and sell digital décor for other teachers (Etsy is a great place to sell your work).
- Become a proofreader online (Upwork lists many proofreading opportunities).
Side Hustles Outside the Educational Field
Now for those of you who want a break from the field of education. You want an escape from school.
Let’s get real. You want a side job that doesn’t involve kids, teaching, writing, parents, or anything that could be linked to your day job. You want something that doesn’t mimic your full-time job, that’s about you, you helping you, you having fun, and you making money.
You are in luck.
Sell Stuff, Lots of Stuff
Selling stuff can be done using several methods. If your basement, attic, and garage are filled, then you have an opportunity to make some good money.
Online sites like eBay and Etsy are great places to sell clothes, home décor, and anything else you find lying around your home. The key is to be honest with yourself when trying to decide what to sell.
Many people use the formula, if it hasn’t been used in a year, sell it. And if you have stuff lying around that belongs to an ex or to your teen who refuses to help you clean, well…. I’m just saying…anything will sell on sites like eBay. Purging unwanted items can be very relaxing.
Whatever platform you use, make sure you read their guidelines and follow all the steps they provide during the listing process. Pay extra attention to shipping guidelines and take excellent pictures to upload.
On eBay, you can list almost anything, from vintage to modern, from clothing to the strange item your grandma gave you when you a teenager.
On Etsy, you can sell handmade items or vintage items. Your items must meet one of these descriptions. Unlike eBay, Etsy is a little more upscale and allows you to make more money per sale on some items.
The listing process is extremely easy.
Other places to sell stuff include Craigslist, Yard Sales, Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, and of course, the classifieds.
Ease of Use: A+
Payment: A (depends on items you sell, but there is no limit)
Earn from the Kitchen
If you love to cook and bake, you have several ways to make money. Everybody loves to eat, but not everybody can create delicious meals and desserts. Here’s where you come in. Below is a quick overview of your money-making opportunities.
Families all over love eating out. It saves moms and dads time away from the chore of feeding themselves and their kids. This gives you a chance to make big profits doing something you enjoy. Many dinner hosts can earn up to $50 a person, depending on the type of meals you are serving.
Plus, cooking allows you to express yourself creatively.
Whether you host fancy-schmancy dinners or backyard barbecues, people in your community will love attending your dinners.
Easy to Start: A+
Sell at the Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s markets welcome all people with talent, especially those selling food. And it’s an easy process:
- Contact your local farmer’s market manager to discuss your ideas and complete an application to join the market.
- Upon approval, start creating. Markets are usually on the weekends, giving you all week to prepare and make your food.
- Get on social media and share pictures of what you are bringing to the market.
- Prepare for the market: get a tent, table, cute signs and display items, cash box, and business cards. Farmer’s markets introduce you to customers who may want to place orders with you outside the market. This is an opportunity to raise your prices by a few dollars, especially if you include delivery.
When you start the market, talk to other vendors. Find out what works for them and be open to their ideas for improvement. As the seasons change, your menu should also change.
Within weeks you can have a fan following and extra money in your pocket. This can lead to other jobs like making custom meals or desserts, being hired as a personal chef, teaching cooking classes, starting a food truck or trailer, or maybe an online bakery.
Easy to Start: A+
You know I can’t move on until I give you even more fun food side job ideas. You can become a grocery shopper and deliverer for home-bound people, make casseroles that families can freeze, craft brewing, food styling, food photography, or write and sell a cookbook.
Become a Pet Sitter
Another lucrative side hustle a lot of teachers can take up to make some extra income is pet sitting. The chances are that as a teacher you probably have developed an insane amount of patience and tolerance. Instead of expending that only when it comes to running after raucous kids or developing lesson plans, you could rechannel the skills and earn extra money while at it. Rest assured, pets are a lot easier to take care of than children. Also, they make some excellent company and have few needs. Apart from the fact that you get to make extra money, these perks also accompany pet sitting.
Companies like Rover and Petsitter connect pet owners and sitters looking to make extra money. To register as a pet sitter you will have to answer a number of questions, most of which will be to gauge your familiarity with pets. If you have pets, you can take advantage of this because it will earn you some extra points.
Using a site like Rover to find pet owners has its perks. However, downsides include the fact that you have to share your income with the agency that connects you with the pet owners. However, you can also decide to open a pet sitting service. This will be your side business and you get to set your terms, how often you can work, and so on.
Become a Virtual Assistant
Again, the skills you cultivate and maintain as a teacher primes you to fit into the role of a virtual assistant very easily. With the explosion of the digital space, many business owners and individuals are striving to move their businesses online. This automatically opens doors in niche areas.
Many teachers spend their evenings drinking tea or grading papers. However, you can decide to channel your skills towards earning some extra money. As a virtual assistant, you perform a wide range of tasks including scheduling calls, receiving correspondence, sending emails, and so on.
A Big, Bad List of Other Side Hustles
Teachers have many options when it comes to side hustles. Below are just a few more that can lead to you making a lot of money.
- Social Media Influencer or content manager
- Consulting in Your Area of Expertise
- Professional Organizer
- Tour guide
- App Developer
- Medical Writing
- Event / Fundraising Planner
- Disc Jockey
- Property Manager
- Real Estate Agent
- Vending Machine Owner
- Print on Demand
- Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting
And for the jobs that are a bit more unusual, but with extremely high pay:
- Bounty Hunter
- Crime Scene Cleaner
- Cruise Ship Entertainer
- Certified Ethical Hacker
- Master Distiller
- Spray Tanning
- Sperm Donor
- Plasma Donor
If these side hustles aren’t energizing you, there are tips to help you find out which one you would like to pursue.
Helpful Tips for Choosing the Right Side Hustle
Tip 1: Close your eyes and imagine you have millions of dollars in your bank account. Imagine yourself going to work as a wealthy person. Imagine yourself engaging in work activities. Where do you go? What are you doing?
Tip 2: Close your eyes and remember the last time you were laughing, really laughing, and having a good time. Where were you? What were you doing?
Tip 3: Think about all the times your family members or friends have said to you, “you’re good at that”. What is “that”?
Tip 4: Don’t be afraid to try something new. You can find your side hustle through the process of elimination. Try different jobs until you find the one you love.
Your job as a teacher is one of the most important jobs on the planet. There wouldn’t be medical doctors without teachers. There wouldn’t be a president if a teacher hadn’t taught them much-needed skills.
It’s your turn now to start seeing rewards. You’ve earned it. You deserve it. And you can get it by working the right type of side hustles.