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You’ve reviewed the other parts of the Educator Income Series and realized you don’t want to climb the career ladder, move, or go back to school. Good news! You still have options
Of course, if you use all of the income levers AND choose to work more, you’ll be massively accelerating your path to financial independence! However, this series is all about choices. I’m offering
A few things about this post before we dive into the side hustles:
I didn’t set out to create a generic listicle of all things you could do for extra money. I highly recommend Side Hustle Nation if you want to dig into every opportunity. Therefore, while “Drive Uber” is a great tip, it’s not on this list. Sorry – no “1001 Amazing Side Hustles for Teachers” that just regurgitates general side hustle information.
Everything I list here comes from a real educator. I’ve either done it, know someone who has done it, or read credible accounts of someone doing it. AND, the extra time was worth it. So – you won’t see “Take 9000 Surveys to Earn $0.32” on this list.
In short, I’ve attempted to create a solid resource of real opportunities for educators to use their skills to earn extra money. I’d love to add more verified examples, so please leave a comment if you’ve actually done other things to earn worthwhile money.
Educator Side Hustle Options
School-Based Opportunities For Side Hustles
I provided a brief overview of extra duty opportunities in The Three Es of Educator Income. In short, it’s extra duty when you perform additional work for your current employer. This can be a great way to get easy extra income. Some of these opportunities may be more available, or pay better, if you do them as side hustles for a different employer. If you’re a classified educator, you may have to work for a different employer due to overtime requirements. Compare your options and choose the one that benefits YOU most.
This is one that anyone on the educator career ladder can take advantage of. If you enjoy sports and building youth character, athletic coaching for school districts, community organizations, or clubs can be a great activity that provides extra income. Coaches can earn thousands of extra dollars a year doing something they enjoy.
Many schools or community organizations provide after-school opportunities for students. These range from running clubs (chess club, etc.) to instructional groups. An hour of after-school work can provide a nice shot of extra income. Sometimes you’ll earn your normal pay rate, while other times you might have to work at a lower non-profit range.
Yep, this is a real thing. Those people who stand out and make sure students cross safely? They’re usually school employees making an extra bit of hourly pay. I know from experience that these positions can’t always be filled with school staff. Keep kids safe and put a little money in your pocket.
Sadly, schools are less open for community use than they used to be thanks to budget cuts and security concerns. When they are open, they often require someone be on site to monitor building use. These can be great positions to provide easy extra income. I spent my early years as a teacher doing this and was often able to complete homework for the education credits I was working on at the same time. Double bonus!
A number of schools offer before- and after-school childcare. Generally, these services are offered by third-party providers. These typically aren’t great options for teachers and administrators (due to work hours overlap) but can be great side hustles for classified staff. If you aren’t interested in doing a regular extra job, you can sign-up to be a substitute and just pick up a few extra days.
Use Your Teaching Skills
Teaching is a valuable skill! The ability to breakdown concepts, assess and inspire learners, and deliver learning sequences transcend professions. Educators also tend to have solid writing skills and a stronger-than-average grasp of language. These skills are in high-demand. Ways you can use them include:
You can use your content knowledge and teaching ability to help give someone a boost in an area they may be struggling in or just need more support. In-person opportunities are available through local centers, Craigslist, school district postings, and at colleges or daycares. (Be sure to make safe choices regarding client and location if not using an agency!) Pay can range from $20/hr to over $100/hr depending on subject and client.
Online tutoring is an excellent side hustle for educators. These can be lucrative and are available for both content-specific areas and teaching English to language learners. Many of the jobs require unusual hours for US-based tutors due to the highest demand being from Asia.
If you acquire high-level expertise in an area AND are good at providing feedback and guidance to professionals, education consulting can be either a full-time job or a lucrative side hustle. Teachers, for example, can use personal days or breaks to provide conference presentations or services to other school districts. You can work for established agencies or start your own consulting buisness.
Did you know that a huge percentage of online content is produced by freelancers? There are also options to write for traditional media. Many educators are skilled writers thanks to passion and/or training. I haven’t done much of this, since I prefer to write for myself. I know educators who have made good money freelancing, though. Here is a resource on where to find freelance jobs. (If you know one specific to educators – let me know!)
Proofreading may not be as interesting as writing (at least for most of us) but it’s in just as much demand. Educators can put their skills to use and make good money proofreading. Check out this resource for beginning information on how to become a proofreader.
Student testing is at an all-time high! Educators also have to take tests to receive or maintain licensure. Regardless of how you feel about this, the performance tasks for those need to be scored. So far, attempts to computer-score performance tasks have failed. Good news for educators – you can find opportunities to create and/or score assessment tasks. For example, you could score for Pearson or with ETS. Of course, if you can’t stomach participating in the growing testing industry, this won’t
This is a great way for educators to save on costs AND make a little extra cash. Certified fitness instructors can teach gym classes and receive a small stipend as well as free gym memberships. If you’re able to be peppy early in the morning or after a long day of work – more power to you. Take advantage and make some extra cash!
No, educators DO NOT get paid for summers off. But, you can use the break to your advantage:
This one is almost cliche, but that’s because it’s a great way for teachers to make use of their summer vacation. If you enjoy the outdoors and don’t mind spending some of your vacation time supporting young people, this might be perfect for you. (Just don’t become a character in one of those bad movies.)
Speaking of bad movies – don’t think about this like forced summer education. While those opportunities probably still exist, more districts and community organizations are offering summer educational opportunities that aren’t required remediation. You can help students transition successfully into kindergarten or high school, support new migrant education students, or teach STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) classes as just a few examples. Even better, these are often shorter duration so you can still take advantage of some summer break!
Are you certified as a lifeguard? You can earn some easy money AND get some summer sun by working at a local pool or health club. Just use sunscreen and prepare for teen drama.
Did you know the whole concept of a summer break in school is based on the agrarian economy? In some regions, this means plentiful summer jobs! You’ll often be competing with local high school kids and college students but it can be a great way to enjoy the summer while earning a bit of extra income. You might even get a good workout!
Part-time Jobs that Work Well with School Schedules
Since most school jobs follow the traditional M-F schedule, there are options to work after normal work hours (if you can squeeze it in between grading) or on weekends. This opens up lots of opportunities. Here are a few educators can take advantage of:
I know many educators who work in schools out of love, but supplement their income (especially when young) by working as a bartender or pouring wine on the weekend. (Our first Educator on FI/RE Interview used this side hustle.) Even better, several have said they get great tips by sharing that they’re working a second job. Just watch out for awkward interactions with parents!
Working retail is hard work with low pay. But school breaks line up nicely with part-time retail opportunities. Educators can use this to grab extra income.
Love sports, but don’t want to commit to coaching? Referee jobs are perfect for educators. If you become certified to officiate a sport you can work for official organizations, clubs, or even professional sports! Even better, you can often choose to work as much or as little as you want.
In my area, many educators work for local venues supporting professional sports or concerts as hospitality staff, entertainers, or security. Since these events happen on nights or weekends they’re offset perfectly from the normal work schedule.
Use your expertise to create content of your own and you can make some extra money. Options include:
Do you have expertise in a content area? Are you able to produce great lesson plans or useable templates? You can make great money. You can apply to work with an established publisher or work on your own. Teachers Pay Teachers is the main market place and some teachers make incredible income there.
Please observe copyright and don’t steal other’s work!
Opportunities at the local district or state level to participate in writing curriculum are also sometimes available.
Yes, you can start a blog and potentially earn some income. Educators have successful blogs on personal finance, teaching, parenting, and book reviews just to name a few. If you decide to create one, please do not expect to make money immediately. You may never make a profit, despite what the blogs to riches posts will tell you.
Fortunately, it’s relatively cheap to give it a shot. If you are ready to try, you can use this Bluehost link for a cheap and easy hosting option for a new blogger. (Note: I will make a small amount of money at no additional cost to you if you use that link.) You can easily run your first year for less than $100. Or, feel free to chose whatever path works best for you! I used ESIMoney’s series to start out.
Again – this isn’t a good option for short-term money. In almost every case, you’re better off using other side hustle options from this list. But, if you’re interested in writing and learning new
Maybe you don’t want to blog, but you want to write a book instead! The great news is that self-publishing is easier than it has ever been. Use your writing skills to create a great fiction or non-fiction text and maybe you can generate some extra income. Amazon Kindle Direct self-publishing is one option. You may also decide to go the traditional route and work with a publisher.
Start a Business
The options here are too numerous to name. I know that educators are amazing, creative, hard-working people. You can use that to your advantage and create a profitable business. If you don’t believe me, read about Joy – an instructional assistant who never made more than $30k a year but is a multi-millionaire thanks to a family business.
These are additional ideas that were shared with me either in the comments below, on social media, or in email. I’ll continue to update this post with experiences shared by readers. Keep ’em coming!
Real Estate Agent
Becoming certified as a real estate agent can be a great way to make some extra income in the evenings and on weekends. If you’re interested in investing in real estate, it’s also a great way to save costs and increase your return. (Credit to Redefimoney)
Diana of Free, Fun, Family shared: I work part-time as a crisis counselor at a suicide hotline. Started doing that as a volunteer my 3rd year teaching and have worked on and off since then. Gives a pretty different perspective on the students you educate and has made me a better educator in many ways. I’ve met more than one educator in this work.
If you are skilled at an instrument (and teaching others to play it) you can make good extra money teaching others to play. Yes, your voice is an instrument too! (Be careful, some states have ethics laws about advertising lessons to students you are currently serving.) I’ve known several teachers who make extra money this way. It was on my original list, but I somehow missed including it. Thanks to SavvyHistory for reminding me in the comments!
Savvy also shared that she knows teachers who make extra money as wedding and graduation photographers. This is another great example of using a skill for events that typically happen outside normal educator work hours.
Thanks, please keep sharing any ideas you have and I’ll keep updating this list! If you have extensive experience with any of these and are interested in writing a detailed account to help other educators, I’d love to host your guest post. You’ll find ways to contact me here.
There you have it – options that real educators have used to create verifiable extra income on the side! (And yes, driving for Lyft or Uber is also a good option thanks to educator hours – I just couldn’t bring myself to list it!)
If you’ve done something that isn’t on the list and would recommend it to other educators, please let me know in the comments below.
Also, if you didn’t have a chance to check out the other posts in the series, you definitely should. Some of these options will multiply your base income and let you dramatically increase your income as an educator!
- Part 1: The Educator Career Ladder: Multiply Your Income
- Part 2: The Three Es of Educator Income Growth
- Part 3: Where Can I Make the Most Money? Educator Geoarbitrage.
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