Those with the skills and patience to teach our young ones deserve great respect and good pay. Unfortunately, many teachers across the country don’t get the salary that they need from teaching alone.
Luckily, teachers have highly marketable skills that can be applied in a multitude of areas. While they may not want to start a business in addition to their full-time job, their schedules often allow them to add a side hustle on weekends or seasonal breaks. Here are some ideas on the best side hustles for teachers.
12 Side Hustles for Teachers
If you’re looking for a side hustle to occupy your time off during the summer or just a way to make a little bit of extra money on nights or weekends, these side hustles are perfect for people with the skills and patience to teach.
Once you’ve found the side hustle that’s right for you, then you can learn how to build your side hustle, even with the limited time you have off from your full-time job.
1. Teach ESL Online
When you’re learning how to build your side hustle on top of working full time, the best thing to do is to lean into the skills you’ve already perfected. That’s why a natural side hustle for teachers is to teach ESL online.
Whether your background is in teaching English or not, you likely have the skills to teach English as a second language to non-native speakers. Teaching ESL online offers you the flexibility to teach after school hours or on weekends and to work from home so that you don’t have to spend time commuting.
There’s a big demand for teaching ESL online, which makes it a field that’s rife with opportunities. Find the position that’s right for you: You might teach ESL online to groups, one-on-one, to students in the U.S. or abroad.
All you need to get started teaching ESL online is good WiFi and a computer with a camera.
2. Teach ESL Abroad
For the more adventurous, you can teach ESL while traveling. The best part about teaching ESL while traveling is that you can make some money while also getting to see a different culture. While traveling can be expensive, teaching while traveling can help to offset some of that cost.
Teaching ESL while abroad can be a significant time commitment. You might do this over the summer break but once you’ve established contacts in the industry, you might also consider it for shorter trips throughout the year as well.
3. Create Online Courses
There are so many online business ideas available today. One of the best side hustles for teachers is to create online courses. You already create lesson plans and study materials for your day job, so using these online courses or tweaking them for related courses can be a great way to make some extra money.
Check out sites like Udemy, a website that offers courses created by professionals for sale to students. You can create courses within your specialty or on a variety of topics.
4. Freelance Writing or Editing
Whether they’re an elementary or middle school teacher who covers a wide range of subjects or specifically an English teacher, all teachers are a great writing and editing resource.
A wonderful side hustle for teachers is to become an online freelance writer and editor. You can work with other businesses or publishing companies to create or edit content for them, or you can also offer your writing skills to help students with standardized test prep or college admissions essays.
If you opt for the former, there are a number of websites online where you can offer services such as writing and editing services. You might try sites such as Fiverr, Proofread Anywhere, and Upwork to get started. If you choose the latter, you can likely find your clients right in your classroom.
Another popular side hustle for teachers is to tutor students. This can be done in-person or online.
In-person tutoring could be coordinated in a number of ways. Teachers may want to offer their tutoring services to their current students as extra help or prep for standardized testing. Another option would be to work with a tutoring network that connects you with people looking for tutoring help.
Offering tutoring services online might be one of the easiest side hustles for teachers. You can offer tutoring services to people in your area or anywhere in the country. When working online, all you need is a solid WiFi connection and a computer with a camera. With no commute, this can be an easy way to make some extra money whenever you have spare time.
6. Become an Airbnb Host
While many of these side hustle ideas require you to use your teaching skills, there are also plenty of side hustles you can do that use other skills or resources. If you have a home with some extra space, consider becoming a host on Airbnb.
This can be a highly rewarding side hustle as you get to meet and chat with new people all the time. As an Airbnb host, you determine how much effort you put into hosting. You might offer up an extra room as a place to stay and little else. You might also go further with your side hustle and offer up suggestions on local things to do and places to see.
The flexibility of being an Airbnb host makes it an attractive side hustle for teachers. You set the house rules, choose your pricing, and mark your availability on the calendar.
7. Be an Adjunct Professor
As a teacher, you have the skills for many different jobs. Depending on your schedule, you might consider a side hustle as an adjunct professor. This is a great side hustle for teachers who have a flexible schedule or may not be working full time.
Consider applying to become an adjunct professor at a local college, community college, technical school, or online school. Depending on the school, this position may require a master’s degree.
8. Reselling Curriculum
Another side hustle for teachers is to resell your curriculum and other educational materials. One of the reasons this is such a great side hustle for teachers is that it won’t take up any additional time. Most teachers already work long hours, so this is a great option to make extra money that requires minimal time.
If you have a curriculum or teaching materials that you think would be useful to other teachers, you can sell those items on a website such as Teachers Pay Teachers. The more products you have posted and the more people who purchase these items, the more money you’ll bring in.
9. Become a Local Tour Guide
Two of the many skills that teachers possess is that they’re good at speaking in front of people and explaining complicated topics.
If you live in a city that you love and know a lot about, you can offer your services as a local tour guide. This is a great side hustle for teachers because they often have more free time during the summer, which is a high travel season for much of the U.S. A good place to start this kind of side hustle is on ToursByLocals.com.
10. Work as a Voiceover Actor or Read Audiobooks
Most teachers teach and talk to students all day long. And, teachers of younger kids are proficient at modifying their voice and reading in character voices. This skill can be put to use as a voiceover actor or to read audiobooks.
If you enjoy reading out loud or getting into character, this could be a great side hustle for a teacher. Many voiceover jobs can be done from the comfort of your home, but some do require you to go into a studio and record.
11. Join the Gig Economy
Many people are quite familiar with the gig economy. And for those looking for a great side hustle for teachers, the gig economy can provide a lot of inspiration.
There are a number of choices for joining the gig economy. Common jobs include:
- Rideshare driving
- Errand running
- Delivery driver
- Grocery delivery driver
Income from the gig economy depends on how often you work, what hours you can work, and how many people require your services (and how many other people are offering the same services). A great thing about the gig economy is that you work when you want to, there’s no commitment, and you have the possibility to make some significant cash.
12. Child Care
Most teachers are already great at working with kids. With this in mind, one of the ways teachers can start a side hustle is to offer child care in their off hours.
This might mean offering babysitting services on weeknights and weekends or being a nanny in the summer. There are a number of different websites that you can use to advertise your services, such as Care.com or SitterCity.com. You may even be able to offer tutoring services alongside your child care services to charge a higher rate.
Pros of Side Hustles for Teachers
While it’s important to evaluate and choose the best side business idea for you, you also have to think about the benefits and drawbacks of having a side hustle.
1. Keep Skills Fresh
One of the benefits of a side hustle is that it can help to keep your skills fresh. While many teachers specialize in a specific area of teaching, that doesn’t mean they have only one passion. A side hustle can be a great way to practice skills that might otherwise lapse.
2. Opportunity to Learn New Skills
Another benefit of having a side hustle is that it’s an opportunity to learn new skills. A side hustle can be a way to bring in some extra money while also exploring a passion that you don’t have time to explore in your current job. For example, if you love to travel, you may decide to take some time off and teach English while also traveling. This is a great way to take a side hustle and combine it with a passion.
3. Bring in Extra Income
Probably the most obvious benefit of a side hustle for teachers is the ability to bring in extra income.
Depending on their role and their district’s funding, it is often difficult for teachers to cover their needs with just their salary. Whether out of necessity or to fund a larger expense (like a wedding, vacation, or home renovations), a side hustle is a great way for teachers to use their spare time to bring in extra money.
Cons of Side Hustles for Teachers
While there are benefits to side hustles for teachers, there are also drawbacks. Starting a side hustle brings in extra money, but it also takes up your time. A side hustle is all about balancing the need for money with the ability to have downtime to recharge.
1. Time off Is Short
While teachers do have a slightly more flexible schedule than other full-time employees and do receive some time off during seasonal beaks, their time off is still limited. Because teachers’ time off is limited, so is their time for starting a side hustle. While a side hustle isn’t a full-time job, it still takes time and effort to cultivate relationships, build a network, and to actually do the job.
2. An Already Busy Schedule
In conjunction with teachers’ limited time off, many teachers have a busy schedule without working a side hustle. In addition to their work during the school day, teachers also spend time crafting lesson plans, creating projects, and grading student’s work. Not to mention those who coach sports or supervise academic groups. This can take up the majority of their spare time when they’re not in the classroom. All of this work leaves little time for starting a side hustle.
The Bottom Line
There are many options when it comes to side hustles for teachers. One of the reasons there are so many high-quality options is because teachers generally have a number of transferable skills that apply to many different jobs.
Whether you decide to start your side hustle doing something similar to your day job as a teacher or choose something completely different, side hustles are a great way to earn some extra income and to continue learning new skills.
Christine Aebischer is an editor at JustBusiness and Fundera.
Previously, Christine was an editor at the financial planning startup LearnVest and its parent company, Northwestern Mutual. There she wrote and edited on topics such as debt, budgeting, insurance, taxes, investing, and retirement. She has written for print and online on topics ranging from personal finance to luxury real estate.