You’ve been a teacher for years, and may have even earned a master’s in education, but all things come to an end. Seeking out second careers for teachers offers the opportunity to use your skills in new ways. The challenge is focusing on the skills that are most useful to teachers when looking into 101 alternative careers for teachers that allow you to make a change in your career goals. When you look at jobs for teachers outside of education, you will find that your teamwork and project management skills play a critical role in your opportunities. In the same way, you will find that your patience and ability to adapt to new situations will help with a second career.
The best jobs for ex-teachers depend on your interests and your skills. When it comes to companies that hire teachers, you will find that a variety of options become available when you look into the details. Your organizational skills may be particularly useful for start-up businesses because a company must have the information organized and maintained to keep projects on track. On the other hand, strong interpersonal skills are valuable for careers in nonprofit and corporate life.
Selecting the Best Career Changes for Teachers
The Best Master’s Programs guide to the best alternative jobs in education – and after education – is focused on career paths that make the most of skills and knowledge teachers have earned through their education and experience. Some alternative jobs for teachers are counted among the best-paying careers with a master’s degree. Jobs are presented simply in alphabetical order.
1. Administration – Principal, Vice-Principal, Superintendent
Jobs in education besides teaching include educational administration roles. Common job titles are principal, vice-principal, and superintendent. Instead of working in the classroom directly with children, these jobs require a more supervisory role. Superintendents and principals oversee a single school or multiple schools within a district. They are in charge of all school operations and work with all staff members to provide a safe and productive learning environment for students. Most school administration jobs require a master’s degree or higher for job consideration.
Administration positions are great career changes for teachers. Salary amounts are significantly higher with a median annual wage of $95,310 for school principals. The job outlook is solid for the next 10 years with a job growth rate of 8% through 2026. Most administration jobs are located in public and private schools, but local government offices and educational support service providers also hire school administrators.
2. Admissions Counselor/Recruiter
Other jobs in the education field besides teaching involve being a counselor or recruiter for a college or career center. Counselors will provide feedback to students on how to choose the right college or career based on their strengths and weaknesses. Admissions recruiters have a similar background as admissions counselors. They are responsible for promoting the school they work for and recruit prospective students. Admissions counselors and recruiters can provide information about different schools and give tours to help assist with the decision-making process. Admissions counselors and recruiters are usually required to have a bachelor’s degree in education.
Admissions counselors and recruiters work for public schools, private schools, colleges, career centers, and private businesses. The job outlook for school and career counselors is 13% through 2026. Job growth is related to the expected overall increase for school enrollments. An average salary of an admissions counselor is upwards of $56,000 yearly.
3. Adult Education
Jobs in adult education offer up great career changes for teachers. Teaching adults can be rewarding professionally since adult education involves fewer challenges compared to elementary or secondary education. Most adults voluntarily enroll in night schools and genuinely wish to learn. With a bachelor’s degree in adult education, the professional may teach in a private setting or vocational school. Adult educators are also hired by corporations and one-on-one instructional settings. For college and university jobs, a master’s degree or higher will be needed.
Job outlook for private and university adult education jobs are steady while adult education jobs for high school equivalency programs are on the decline. Fewer adults are enrolling in adult education and ESL degrees—meaning fewer teachers are required in these programs. However, adult education jobs have a number of benefits including flexible hours and average annual salaries exceeding $53,000.
4. After School Program Director
An after school program director is responsible for providing childcare to elementary-age children. The director of an after school program needs to plan activities that are both fun and educational. Directors work with staff members to develop a curriculum for the program. They will also manage staff and may need to recruit and hire team members. Typically, an after school program director will have a bachelor’s degree and a background in education.
After school program directors are in a field with a projected job growth rate of 8% over the next 10 years. After school program director jobs are offered through school districts, religious organizations, and non-profit community organizations. After school program directors have median salaries of over $46,000 annually with a similar salary average as childcare center directors.
5. Camp Director
Camp director jobs are ideal for teachers looking for a second job or a brand new career. Camp directors may only need to work seasonally and can still maintain full-time employment during the school year. Camp director job duties will include planning activities, operating program, and hiring staff members. This considered one of the great career changes for teachers because camps look for directors with backgrounds in education. Teachers with a bachelor’s degree or higher are a good fit since they have vast experience working with children. Employers may require CPR and other lifesaving certifications before hiring.
Camp directors salaries will vary, but the average wage for the position is $15 per hour. Hours may be part-time or full-time during the summer months. Many day camps are held Monday through Friday. Job growth for all recreation workers is much higher than the average for all occupations with a 10% increase over the next ten years.
6. Career Counseling
Career counselors are another example of jobs in education field besides teaching. Career counselors often have a similar background as admissions counselors. They are hired to assist with helping individuals find gainful employment that utilizes their strengths. Career counselors evaluate clients on an individual basis and will review their job histories, educational backgrounds, and special skills to make career recommendations. Colleges, career centers, and private recruitment firms hire career counselors to advise clients. Bachelor’s degree or higher are usually needed to work as a career counselor. In some states, a licensing exam is required for career counseling positions.
Career counselors will make upwards of $27 an hour in the position. Hours may vary based on client need, so career counselors will either be paid on an hourly basis or provided with an annual salary. Teachers may need to schedule career counseling appointments around their day jobs. Job outlook between 2016 and 2016 is a growth rate of 13%. The increase is tied to an expected increase in college enrollments.
7. Corporate Trainer
Corporate trainers are educators hired by businesses to teach a new skill. Corporate trainers may work full-time for a large company or be employed on a per-project basis. All industries need a corporate trainer to teach employees essential skills to better perform their jobs. Corporate trainers work with managers to develop courses to reach company goals. Since corporate trainers are considered masters in their industries, they often need high levels of education and will typically have graduate degrees and post-graduate certifications in their specializations.
Corporate trainer salaries vary based on the specialization of the educator. The range can be anywhere from $41,000 to $82,000 per year. Corporate trainers in the field of IT will be at the highest end of the pay scale. The projected growth rate for corporate and development specialists is 11% through 2026. This is a faster rate than the industry average.
8. Curriculum Design
Curriculum design careers are ideal jobs in education field besides teaching. Curriculum design involves planning and implementing educational materials. The professional will be responsible for choosing topics to be covered in courses and what types of course content can be used to best teach the subjects. Content isn’t exclusive to textbooks, but can also include videos and digital files. As a curriculum designer, the educator is also intended to give timeframes of how long each activity should take to complete. At a minimum, a company will look for curriculum designers with a bachelor’s degree in education. However, some employers give preference to those with a BS degree in educational technology.
The average salary for a curriculum designer is upwards of $58,000 annually. If the designer works on an hourly rate per project, he or she may charge a median of $47.50 an hour. Curriculum designers may be eligible for a higher pay grade if they have earned master’s degrees or higher. Job growth is steady for curriculum designers since there has been a progressive need for more innovative teaching materials. Job outlook for the next five years is an estimated 7% increase.
9. Curriculum Representative/Sales
Curriculum sales positions are great career changes for teachers. Curriculum sales representatives are knowledgeable about educational materials and match up products that will work best for addressing classroom objectives. Sales associates must find a way to demonstrate how their company’s products will best serve teachers, students, and administrative staff. For many jobs, curriculum sales representatives are responsible for giving presentations to clients about their company’s educational offerings. Sales associates usually are required to have a four-year degree, but preference will be given to those with a background in education. Technological proficiency is another requirement since associates will sell digital educational software and applications. Sales presentations also require familiarity with tech.
Sales representatives are responsible for bringing in an educational product’s revenue, so pay is usually competitive. The average base pay for large educational material providers can exceed $69,000 per year. Sales associates for curriculum materials are also eligible for bonuses of $25,000 or more annually through commissions. Job growth for any sales position is usually tied directly to the economy. For the next ten years, the economy is expected to remain stable with sales representatives experiencing a job growth rate of 5%.
10. Education Policy and Research
Jobs in education policy and research are an alternative career option for those with a background in teaching. An education policy analyst will look at the educational system as a whole and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Analysts review current government policies and find ways legislature can improve to help children learn better. Education policy analysts also assist school districts with understanding their legal requirements. Similarly, education policy researchers look at case studies to determine what type of policies have worked and which ones have failed. Education policy and research jobs usually require a master’s degree in either education or public policy.
Education policy and research jobs have different pay grades based on experience. For entry-level positions, analysts may make an average of $50,000 to $60,000 per year. More experienced analysts placed in senior positions may earn as much as $100,000+ salaries. Job growth rate for education policy jobs will remain steady without significant increases or declines in the field.
11. Educational Consultant
An educational consultant is a popular job choice for teachers to enter after retirement or at the mid-point of their careers. They are often hired by school districts to address any problems and advice on curriculum choices. Families can also hire an educational consultant to provide recommendations on what type of schooling will be the best fit for their children. Educational consultants will need an advanced degree for job consideration. In most cases, employers will require candidates to have a master’s degree in the field of education.
Salaries for an educational consultant vary widely based on location. Consultants are more in demand in urban areas or areas with large populations. On average, educational consultants will earn a wage between $60,000 and $75,000 each year. Private clients and private educational material companies may pay consultants a higher per hour rate. Educational consultants are considered educational administrators and have been linked to a projected job growth rate of 9% through 2026
12. Freelance Writing, Blogging, Podcasting
Freelance writing is an ideal side job or full-time career for teachers and former teachers. Freelance writing jobs have flexible hours with writers being able to work at the most convenient times for them. That same scheduling flexibility is available to bloggers and podcasters. Writers and bloggers create content for print and digital publications. Podcasters record audio files to share with online audiences. No formal education is required for blogging and other freelance writing projects, but degrees in creative writing or journalism will help the writer acquire the appropriate skills for the job.
Many online websites need bloggers and freelance writers to create high-quality content for their sites and will usually pay on a per-project basis. Blogs and podcasts, especially popular ones, can generate money through ad revenue. Each individual freelance writer, blogger, and podcaster can have very different salaries. However, average pay is approximately $23.00 per hour. Successful bloggers and podcasters will easily earn six figures yearly through ad revenue and promotional opportunities. These jobs will experience an approximate growth rate of 8% over the next decade.
13. Homeschool Consultant
Homeschool consultants perform a similar job as educational consultants. They are hired to make recommendations about curriculums and ensure that homeschool students are being taught up to state standards. As a homeschool consultant, the professional will make sure the student is being taught the material required for grade advancement and graduation. Most consultants will have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The number of students being homeschooled is growing as much as 8% annually. Due to the rising figures, more homeschool consultants are needed. Homeschool consultants will have a similar salary range of $60,000 to $75,000 like educational consultants.
14. Instructional Designer
When you work as a teacher, you may consider taking on a second career or making a change to fit your new concerns. When you are looking into great career changes for teachers, you may consider working as an instructional designer. An instructional designer, or an instructional coordinator, focuses on adapting curriculum and information to fit the needs of students and keep up with modern innovations. In most cases, you need a master’s degree for a position in instructional design or coordination.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an instructional coordinator makes an average income of around $64,000 per year. Exact income levels may vary based on your experience and location, but you can expect a reasonable income for your career as an instructional designer. The job outlook for the role is around 11%, which is higher than the national average.
15. Life Coach
When you look up jobs in the education field besides teaching, you may consider working as a life coach. A life coach focuses on providing clients with an alternative perspective to encourage them to seek out their goals and dreams. You may work with executives in large companies to improve their work-life balance, or you may focus on helping people make improvements to their normal lifestyle. The role you take on as a coach depends on the type of coaching you choose to pursue. In general, you do not need any specific training or education to work as a life coach.
The salary expectations for a life coach vary significantly based on experience, your client base, and the type of coaching you offer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that coaches in all fields, including life coaching, make an average income of around $62,000 per year. The job outlook is positive for most life coaches, but exact demands in your local area may vary.
16. Museum Education/Tour Guide
Working in a museum or a similar location as a tour guide is an option when you are looking for great career changes for teachers. The position offers reasonable hours and is an interesting area to pursue if you enjoy history, art, or similar topics. The career focuses on educating people and guiding them through exhibits or localities. Educational standards depend on the museum, but you can expect some training in relation to the exhibits or the topics of discussion.
Income levels for a tour guide depend on the museum or historical site; however, the average income for a tour guide is around $26,000 per year. The highest income potential is around $45,000 per year, according to the BLS. The job outlook is close to the average across all industries, though your location may change the number of opportunities.
17. Preschool Director
Teachers who want to work with young children may find that working as a preschool director is a good choice for their new career. As an educator, you may want to be involved in the growth and nurturing of young minds. A preschool director supervises and leads the educators in the school. You also make plans for new program designs, plan the budget, and oversee the activities of the preschool throughout the day. The career path requires a bachelor’s degree or higher for most preschools.
According to the BLS, the average income for a preschool director is around $48,000 per year. You can expect some variation based on your location and level of experience, so you want to look into the details of a career opportunity to clarify exact salary expectations. The job outlook is higher than average as the career potential is growing at roughly 11%.
18. Recreation Director
A recreation director is a leadership position within recreational work. It means you supervise and manage recreational workers in fitness centers, summer camps, sports centers, and related fields. The career path offers an opportunity to continue offering education with a focus on physical well-being and health. Generally, a recreation director needs a minimum of a high school diploma; however, some facilities may require a bachelor’s degree.
The average income for a recreational worker is around $25,000 per year, according to the BLS. Since directors take on a leadership role, you can expect to earn more than the average and will likely end up earning around $43,000 per year. The job outlook for a recreation director is around 9%, which is similar to the average for all careers across the nation.
19. Residence Life Director
A teacher may consider a role as a residence life director when changing a career or looking into alternatives to a teaching job. A residence life director, or residence advisor, is a position that coordinates and maintains a dorm or similar residence in a college or facility. The position may require you to assign rooms to the students, manage a budget for the residence, or handle concerns related to furnishing and repairing the residence. Exact standards of education depend on the residence and the school or facility running the residence; however, most positions will require a high school degree or higher.
Income levels for a residence life director depend on the location and the facility. The median income, according to BLS, is around $27,000 per year. As you gain experience or increase your education level, you may earn as much as $42,000 per year. The job outlook is similar to the national average for all jobs, so you can expect some competition for a position.
20. School Counseling
Teachers who want to take on a second career may benefit from a career as a school counselor. The job focuses on helping students make decisions about their education and their future based on their personal interests. As a school counselor, you work with students in middle school or high school. Working as a school counselor requires a master’s degree.
School counselors make an average income of around $56,000 per year, according to the BLS. You can expect some variation based on your locality and level of experience. When it comes to the job outlook for school counseling, you will find that many positions are becoming available. The career has a growth of 13%, which is higher than the average across all industries.
21. School/Child Psychologist
Working as a psychologist offers an opportunity to continue working with children and students with a focus on helping them through challenging situations. In some cases, you may be the first individual to actively identify a condition in a child and encourage appropriate treatment. The role of a child psychologist requires a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. in most situations. If you work in a school, then you may consider an education specialist, or Ed.S., degree. Exact standards depend on the school or district, and most schools will require a child psychologist to go through a residency or internship before starting at the school.
Income levels for psychologists vary significantly based on whether you work in the school or work in private practice. The average income for psychologists is roughly $81,000 per year. You can expect slightly lower income levels in some districts or localities. Job growth in psychology is higher than average with an expected growth of around 14%. You can expect to find opportunities when you have an appropriate level of education and gain experience in your field.
22. Standardized Test Developer
Teachers who want to stay active in the education industry may consider taking on a role as a standardized test developer. The responsibilities of a test developer focus on writing questions and answers for standardized tests used across the country to determine student capabilities. You can expect some variation in the level of experience and education required, but generally, you need a high school degree or higher to work as a standardized test developer. If you want to score for the exams, then you need a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Salary expectations for a standardized test developer depend on the company; however, the average income according to Glassdoor is around $61,000 per year. In some cases, you are paid by the hour rather than paid a salary, so you will want to evaluate the details and clarify the income level before you finalize your decision to change your career. Job growth is similar to other industries, so you can expect opportunities in some localities and limitations in other areas of the country.
23. Student Life Coordinator/Director
A student life coordinator is a career path that works well for teachers looking into a change. The job focuses on college students and works to develop and monitor housing activities for students in a college. You may also be responsible for planning and implementing cultural activities for the students living in the college. The exact responsibilities may vary based on the college. The education standards for the career are limited. You must have a high school degree and some experience with housing coordination. In some schools, you may need a higher level of education.
When you decide to work as a student life coordinator or director, you can expect to earn an average income of roughly $35,000 or more each year. Expect your salary to increase or change over time as you gain experience. In some locations, you may also earn a higher salary for your work. The job outlook for work as a student life coordinator is similar to other industries.
24. Textbook Author
Teachers who want to work in writing may find opportunities as a textbook author. Your responsibilities as a textbook author focus on writing and publishing work to meet or exceed a publisher’s guidelines for material used in schools. While publishers may set different standards based on the grade level of the textbook, most textbook authors are required to have a bachelor’s degree in English, technical writing, or a related field.
When you decide to work as a textbook author, you can expect a salary of roughly $69,000 per year. You can expect a slightly lower income level if you are starting out as a new author or have limited writing experience. As you gain experience, you may earn a higher income. The job outlook for authors and writers, including textbook authors, is around 8%, which is average for all industries according to the BLS.
Teachers who want to continue working with students and children may find that there are opportunities in tutoring. A tutor works with one person or a small group to address a weakness in a subject or to teach a new subject. The career is similar to a teaching position, but it does not require the same standards as a job as a teacher. In general, you need a high school degree and a certificate to tutor. Certification standards may vary by company or state, so you want to look into the details about any standards set for your local area.
The average income for a tutor is around $25,000 per year. The income level may increase when you work in more advanced roles or take on leadership positions within a tutoring company. The job growth for tutors is similar to the national average. You can expect some variation in job growth based on your state and the demand for tutors within the state.
What Kinds of Teaching Skills are Useful Outside of Teaching?
Teamwork and project management skills are useful when you decide to work in a new environment. As a teacher, you have experience with keeping your students on track to complete projects or work on class assignments. You also work with your students to develop their teamwork on group projects, which keeps your own teamwork skills sharp throughout your teaching career.
Patience and adapting to new situations also helps with your career change out of teaching. An educator must have the patience to work with a variety of personality types and student behaviors. As a teacher, you also need to adapt to teach your students effectively.
Why Do Teachers Leave Teaching?
When you start out as a new teacher, you may wonder why good teachers quit and move onto new jobs. Although you may consider how to make teaching less stressful, you still want to pay attention to the factors that contribute to teacher exhaustion.
Teacher burnout statistics suggest that a key reason for teachers leaving their job and moving into a new career is that they are overworked. A teacher must create lesson plans, grade papers, and educate students. Teacher burnout causes range from challenges in their working conditions to a lack of proper preparation when starting out in a new career.
While the teacher burnout definition helps you understand the exhaustion that comes from overwork and problems with their support network, many teachers also leave due to poor compensation and benefits. Teachers do not make as much as peers in other fields, and that may lead to dissatisfaction with their salary and benefits as they advance in their career. The result is that teachers look for new opportunities in other fields and industries.
How Can Retired Teachers Make Use of their Skills?
After retiring from a teaching career, you have many skills that apply to new industries or activities. You can focus on full-time or part-time positions that help you stay active and engaged in your surroundings. It may also bring in a salary that helps with your costs or gives you extra income for small luxuries.
As a retired teacher, you may consider careers that are related to teaching. For example, working as a substitute teacher or a tutor to young students. A tutor may also focus on teaching students test preparations for standardized tests to help improve their chances of passing.
If you do not want to work as a tutor or similar positions, then you may consider consulting jobs for retired teachers. Consulting jobs give you the opportunity to make use of your skills while you are helping other teachers with their goals. You can also work with large corporations and companies to help them with training materials for new workers. The opportunities in consulting depend on your personal interests and goals.
What Kinds of Companies and Organizations Hire Former Teachers?
Start-up companies and organizations hire former teachers due to their high emotional intelligence and organizational skills. Teachers know how to recognize problems with different individuals and groups when they walk into a room. That means they are able to help a company or organization find problem areas before it results in inefficiency or a lack of productivity.
Large corporations may hire former teachers for specific roles within their business. For example, they may hire teachers to develop and maintain a training program for new hires. They may also focus on the skills that apply to a classroom environment, like adaptability and patience, when working on team projects.
When it comes to non-profit organizations or related opportunities, the primary reason to hire teachers focuses on their emotional intelligence and their ability to recognize the mood in a room. Non-profit organizations must reach out for donations and having a professional who is able to read the room and get a feel for potential donors can help improve the capability of the organization to continue functioning at optimal levels. The key to finding a new career when you retire as a teacher is focusing on your skills and looking into career opportunities that apply to your qualifications.