24 best-paying side jobs for teachers

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Teaching can be a rewarding profession, but it typically isn’t a high-paying one. If you’re a teacher, it won’t surprise you to learn that 58% of public school teachers earn supplemental income from side jobs. The challenge is landing a gig that pays enough to make it worth your time and effort.

Not only do those positions exist, these days they can often be done online and on your own schedule. Read on for a look at some of the best-paying options for teachers looking for a side job in 2023.

Teachers need to consider a number of factors before committing to a side gig: How much stress could the second job cause? Will the hours fit with your current work schedule? And of course, do you plan to work a second job year-round or just during seasonal breaks?

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Things To Look for in a Gig

Things To Look for in a Year-Round Gig

•   Hours that accommodate your teaching schedule.

•   Workload and deadlines that won’t add to your stress level or lead to total burnout.

Things To Look for in a Summer Gig

•   A fun environment or flexible schedule that makes you feel that you’re still getting a break?

•   Something you can return to year after year — and maybe during other school breaks — so you don’t have to start over seeking a new job each summer.

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Things To Consider for Any Second Gig

•   Is the extra paycheck worth the extra work?

•   Could the work you’re doing damage your career as a teacher? (It can be a good idea to check with your employer to see if there are rules for outside jobs.)

•   Can you build skills you’ll use as a teacher, or in another career you might be interested in pursuing?

Image Credit: fizkes/istockphoto.

Pros & Cons of Online Side Jobs for Teachers

Teaching is a challenging job that requires patience and preparation. If you choose to add a side gig, it’s important to have realistic expectations. As you decide whether to take on more work — and what that work might be — here are some pros and cons to keep in mind:

Potential Benefits of a Side Job

•   Make Extra Money: It may take some searching to find a side gig that offers competitive pay — enough to make a difference in your financial situation. Even a few hundred a month can help cover day-to-day bills or finance a future goal, like paying off student loans.

•   Develop a Backup Plan: Your side job can help fill a financial gap if you ever decide to transition to another career, or if you leave one teaching job and take a while to find another. You may even decide the side job is a better fit than what you’re currently doing.

•   Acquire New Skills: A side job can offer opportunities to network and socialize with new people, and learn or fine-tune skills.

Potential Downsides of a Side Job

•   Undermines Work/Life Balance: Teaching already takes up much of your day — even when you aren’t physically at work. If you put that same amount of time and effort into a second job, it could take your attention away from your family and other things you love and enjoy.

•   Turns a Passion into a Pain: You might lose your love for your favorite hobby (photography, reading, writing, crafting, etc.) if you make it an obligation.

•   Requires Startup Costs: If you have to invest money in equipment to get your business going — even if it’s just a new laptop or phone — it may take a while before you start making money.

Image Credit: monkeybusinessimages/istockphoto.

Why It Can Be Difficult for Teachers To Find Online Side Jobs

Even though opportunities to work remotely are increasing, it still may be hard to find a side job online that meets your needs. The skill set required for an online job might be quite different from what you’re used to as a teacher — and some jobs can require applicants to have specialized training. If you’re completing an application online, it may be tough to convince the employer you can do the job even if you don’t have the training.

It also can be challenging to separate legitimate remote side jobs for teachers from scams that require you to put in some of your own money upfront in order to get the job. (Don’t ever pay for an opportunity!) Employment ads that aren’t specific about pay, or that require a lengthy application process, can also be a turnoff.

Recommended: 25 Highest-Paying Trade Jobs

Image Credit: Szepy / istockphoto.

Tips for Finding Online Side Jobs for Teachers

Here are some steps that can help you along on your side-gig search:

Assess Your Skills

Think beyond the classroom as you consider the many marketable skills you can bring to a second job.

Consider Your Interests

You’ll be more engaged and confident if you’re doing something related to your areas of casual expertise or hobbies.

Do Your Research

You may have to learn a new lingo just to understand some online job postings — and respond to them appropriately. Don’t let what seems to be gibberish keep you from finding your fit.

Find a Mentor

If you know someone who has a successful side gig, ask for advice about how to get started. For example, if you’re obsessed with budgets and spending apps, consider an apprenticeship with an experienced tax preparer.

Update Your Online Profile

Take the time to update your profile on relevant social media platforms — whether that’s LinkedIn or Etsy.

Keep Your Priorities in Mind

Be prepared to start small. If you love the work, you can always grow your role over time. You may choose at some point to change careers, but you’ll want to make that decision on your terms, not because you were distracted from your duties as a teacher.

Image Credit: ake1150sb / istockphoto.

24 Best-Paying Online Side Jobs for Teachers, Part 1: Year-Round

The amount of money you can earn through an online side job varies widely, depending on how many hours you put in, and whether you’re starting at an entry level salary or being compensated for your experience and skills.

Below are two dozen online side jobs for teachers that potentially offer higher earnings. Average wages and job growth outlook are based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most side jobs pay an hourly rate vs. a salary, but we’ve included both.

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Image Credit: monkeybusinessimages/istockphoto.

1. Data Scientist

Potential for Remote Work: Although full-time data scientists typically work in an office environment, much of their work is done online, which makes part-time remote work with flexible hours a possibility.

National Average Pay: $49 median hourly wage; $100,910 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: 36% (faster than most occupations)

Job Description: Data scientists create the algorithms and predictive models used to extract meaningful information used in making business decisions.

Job Requirements: Entry level data scientists generally have at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or a related field.

How To Get Started: Networking and attending in-person and virtual meetups can help get your foot in the door. Sites like Indeed and LinkedIn post data science jobs, and many companies post open jobs on their own websites.

Image Credit: simpson33/ istockphoto.

2. English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher

Potential for Remote Work: There are many opportunities for ESL teachers to instruct students virtually through video-conferencing platforms. Because learners come from around the world, teachers can put together a work schedule that fits their needs.

National Average Pay: $29 median hourly wage; $59,720 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: -6% (declining)

Job Description: ESL teachers tutor students who want to improve their English language skills.

Job Requirements: A bachelor’s degree (in English, communications, or a related field) and/or teaching certificate is typically required; good computer and communication skills are a big plus.

How To Get Started: Job sites like Indeed regularly post remote ESL teaching jobs. Other online platforms recruit ESL teachers, including VIPKid and Skooli.

Image Credit: fizkes/istockphoto.

3. Online Tutoring

Potential for Remote Work: There are all kinds of opportunities for teachers who want to tutor students online. One of the perks is that you can set appointments around your schedule.

National Average Pay: $20 mean hourly wage; $41,780 mean annual wage (pay varies based on subject and student needs)

Job Growth Outlook: Not Available

Job Description: Duties might range from teaching toddlers their ABCs to offering test prep (SAT, ACT, LSAT, etc.) to high school and college students.

Job Requirements: Requirements vary based on subject and student age; a bachelor’s degree and/or teaching certificate may be required.

How To Get Started: You can find tutoring gigs on job boards or through platforms such as Care.com and Tutors.com. Or you may decide to set up your own tutoring business and advertise online.

Image Credit: Jovanmandic / istockphoto.

4. Selling Lesson Plans

Potential for Remote Work: Thanks to the internet, teachers can now share learning materials they’ve created both locally and globally.

National Average Pay: Not available (varies by subject, grade, and amount of content sold)

Job Growth Outlook: Not available

Job Description: Create shareable lesson plans, flash cards, tests, etc., and sell them on your own website or an online platform.

Job Requirements: No set requirements, but you may be asked to prove your credibility when selling your content.

How To Get Started: Check out what others are doing on marketplace sites like TeachersPayTeachers or Etsy. Once you’ve created your content (be careful about copyright infringement), you can market your products on social media or through these platforms. Networking opportunities (attending conferences, etc.) can also help get the word out.

Image Credit: Depositphotos.

5. Editing / Proofreading

Potential for Remote Work: Content typically can be edited online and on your own schedule, depending on deadline needs.

National Average Pay: For editors, $30 median hourly wage, $63,350 median annual wage; for proofreaders, $22 mean hourly wage, $46,010 mean annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: For editors, -5% (declining); not available for proofreaders

Job Description: Editors plan, review, and revise content provided by writers; proofreaders check copy for errors.

Job Requirements: Good grammar and communication skills; some jobs may require a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, or a related field.

How To Get Started: You can find editing and proofreading work on job boards or advertised by individual companies.

Image Credit: Prostock-Studio/ istockphoto .

6. Freelance Writing

Potential for Remote Work: Because you generally can create content anytime and anywhere, freelance writing easily lends itself to remote working.

National Average Pay: $33 median hourly wage; $69,510 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: 4% (average for all occupations)

Job Description: Freelance writers provide content for print and online media.

Job Requirements: Good grasp of English language, spelling and grammar, and excellent communication skills. Some employers may require a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, or a related field.

How To Get Started: You can pitch ideas to your favorite publications or look for work on job boards and platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr. Consider creating a website to showcase your talent. And networking (word of mouth) can be key. If you have a particular expertise (technical, travel, or food writing, for example), make that information known.

Image Credit: Depositphotos.

7. Creating Printables

Potential for Remote Work: This is another job you can do on your own time and almost completely online.

National Average Pay: Not available

Job Growth Outlook: Not available

Job Description: Create customized calendars, cheerful stickers, classroom decorations, etc.

Job Requirements: Creativity and good design skills are a must; you’ll also need the appropriate design software.

How To Get Started: Creators typically sell printables on sites like Etsy or their own website. Get the word out on social media and by networking and attending conferences for educators, organizational experts, etc.

Image Credit: Michael Krinke.

8. Selling Artwork and/or Crafts

Potential for Remote Work: It may be easier to sell your goods in person at a local craft fair, but if you sell online, you can reach a wider audience and do it on your own time.

National Average Pay: $24 median hourly wage; $49,960 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: 6% (average)

Job Description: Selling your own creative works (paintings, photos, sculptures, etc.)

Job Requirements: Creativity and skill in your artistic niche as well as marketing, business, and computer skills.

How To Get Started: Check out e-commerce sites like Etsy and Society6 to see how others are marketing themselves and their products. You can use social media to get the word out, and you may want to develop your own e-commerce site to sell your goods. Be sure to check into whether a business license is required in your area.

Image Credit: mediaphotos.

9. Medical Transcriptionist

Potential for Remote Work: Because you’ll be working from recordings, you typically can do this work remotely and when it’s convenient for your schedule (deadlines may apply).

National Average Pay: $14 median hourly wage; $30,100 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: -7% (declining)

Job Description: Transcribe audio content into written content.

Job Requirements: May require certification. Employers may test for typing speed and accuracy. Discretion and some knowledge of medical terms and basic anatomy are a plus. You may have to purchase special equipment to do the job.

How To Get Started: Check out job boards and medical transcription sites. A transcription course (in-person or online) may offer career services.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

10. Graphic Designer

Potential for Remote Work: Graphic designers can do most of their creative work on their own schedule, but you will have to find time to communicate with your clients. And deadlines may be a factor.

National Average Pay: $24 median hourly wage; $50,710 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: 3% (slower than the average for all occupations)

Job Description: Use design software to create visuals that convey your employer’s message.

Job Requirements: Knowledge of design software, creative skills, and an ability to collaborate with others; some employers may require a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field.

How To Get Started: Job boards offer remote graphic design positions for a wide range of specialties. You also can build an online portfolio and use social media to generate interest.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

11. Life Coach

Potential for Remote Work: Life coaches can manage client sessions by phone or with video conferencing.

National Average Pay: Not available

Job Growth Outlook: Not available

Job Description: Assist clients in reaching their full potential.

Job Requirements: No formal requirements exist for life coaches, but prospective clients may prefer that you have some type of training or credentials. A background in counseling and psychology is helpful. Important traits include empathy, patience, and creative problem-solving skills.

How To Get Started: It may help to work with an experienced life coach when starting out. Networking and social media can be a useful way to find clients.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

12. Translator

Potential for Remote Work: Freelance translators typically can work from home using their own computer.

National Average Pay: $24 median hourly wage; $49,110 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: 20% (much faster than the average for all occupations)

Job Description: Convert written content from one language to another.

Job Requirements: Must be proficient in English and at least one other language; some employers may require a bachelor’s degree.

How To Get Started: Check translation agencies and job boards, or you can solicit work through social media.

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Image Credit: istockphoto/fizkes.

13. Digital Marketer

Potential for Remote Work: If you can collaborate with clients and coworkers without meeting in person, this job can be done remotely.

National Average Pay: Not Available

Job Growth Outlook: Not Available

Job Description: Promote individuals and businesses using social media, search engines, websites, and other online tools.

Job Requirements: Should be familiar with social media platforms. Creativity, patience, and strong communication and problem-solving skills are a plus. Some employers may require a bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, public relations, journalism, or a related field.

How To Get Started: Networking — online and in person — can be a good way to get your foot in the virtual door; check job boards for listings.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

14. App Developer

Potential for Remote Work: Developers often work independently.

National Average Pay: $38 median hourly wage; $78,300 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: 23% (much faster than average)

Job Description: Create, test, and improve software applications.

Job Requirements: Collaboration, creativity, and computer savvy are important. Some employers may require a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science, or a related field.

How To Get Started: Taking courses in app development and networking with like-minded creative types Can help with finding a mentor and freelance gigs.

Recommended: 30 Low-Stress Jobs for Introverts

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

15. Creating Video Tutorials

Potential for Remote Work: You can produce videos on your own anywhere you like and on your own time.

National Average Pay: Not Available

Job Growth Outlook: Not Available

Job Description: Film tutorials and monetize them.

Job Requirements: Knowledge of your subject, technical ability to produce videos, and marketing savvy to build your brand. You’ll also need a good video camera and computer.

How To Get Started: Anyone can make an instructional video and upload it to YouTube. Building a strong portfolio and a reputation for solid content will help you monetize your videos.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

16. Fitness Trainer

Potential for Remote Work: If you can find clients who prefer to exercise from home and can do their workouts when you’re available, you can teach them from your home.

National Average Pay: $20 median hourly wage; $40,700 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: 19% (much faster than average)

Job Description: Teach online classes in general fitness, yoga, strength training, etc.

Job Requirements: Though no degree is required, there are certifications available for personal trainers. You’ll also need good lighting, space to do your workouts, and video and computer equipment.

How To Get Started: If you’re a physical education teacher, coach, or a longtime gym-goer, you can spread the word on social media and through word of mouth.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

17. Blogging

Potential for Remote Work: Blogging can be done at your convenience.

National Average Pay: Not available

Job Growth Outlook: Not available

Job Description: Entertain and inform an online audience with written and visual content.

Job Requirements: To make money from a blog, you’ll need to engage your audience and post frequently.

How To Get Started: You can start out by writing on a popular blogging platform, and then get the word out on social media. Network with others who may be interested in what you’re blogging about.

Image Credit: negativespace.co.

18. Test Scorer

Potential for Remote Work: Remote workers can score most types of multiple choice and essay exams.

National Average Pay: Not available

Job Growth Outlook: Not Available

Job Description: Grade tests and offer feedback to test-givers and test-takers.

Job Requirements: Subject expertise and attention to detail. Some employers may require a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field.

How To Get Started: Job boards frequently offer test scoring gigs, or you can query evaluation services like ETS and Measurement Incorporated.

Image Credit: Fabrique Imagique / iStock.

19. Curriculum Specialist

Potential for Remote Work: Teachers typically can provide curriculum support online at their convenience, though you may have to meet with others in person or at scheduled online conferences.

National Average Pay: $31 median hourly wage; $63,740 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: 7% (average for all occupations)

Job Description: Develop curriculum and/or offer feedback to schools and other education services.

Job Requirements: Employers may require a bachelor’s or master’s degree as well as a few years of experience in teaching or a related field.

How To Get Started: Check job boards, but you may also find opportunities while networking with other educators.

Image Credit: monkeybusinessimages / istockphoto.

24 Best-Paying Online Side Jobs for Teachers, Part 2: Seasonal / Summer

Because these jobs may require interacting with an employer or team members in person or remotely during the day, teachers may find it’s easier to put in their hours during seasonal school breaks.

Image Credit: Antonio_Diaz/ istockphoto.

20. Customer Service Representative

Potential for Remote Work: Customer service representatives often can work from home. However, you may have to attend some in-person training sessions before you get started, and you’ll have to find a work schedule that fits with your teaching job.

National Average Pay: $18 median hourly wage; $36,920 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: -4% (declining)

Job Description: Provide support to customers who require assistance.

Job Requirements: Patience and good communication and problem-solving skills are key. Some type of on-the-job training likely will be required. Some companies have requirements for the type of computer and phone you can use, and a strong Wi-Fi connection is a must. (Shy types need not apply, but there are plenty of jobs for antisocial people.)

How To Get Started: Customer service jobs are often listed on online job boards and through employment agencies.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

21. Travel Agent

Potential for Remote Work: This job can be done remotely, but travel agents should be available to communicate with anxious clients who have questions and concerns.

National Average Pay: $21 median hourly wage; $43,810 median annual wage

Job Growth Outlook: 20% (much faster than average)

Job Description: Help clients choose and book work and leisure trips; provide assistance when problems arise.

Job Requirements: Good communication, customer service, and organizational skills are important. Some employers or clients may expect you to have some type of certification. Lots of travel experience is a plus.

How To Get Started: Check job boards and local agencies. It may help to work for an agency first before starting your own business.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

22. Tax Preparation

Potential for Remote Work: Tax services regularly hire seasonal workers to prepare returns from home.

National Average Pay: $25 mean hourly wage; $51,080 mean annual wage (does not include accountants and auditors)

Job Growth Outlook: Not Available

Job Description: Work with individuals and businesses to prepare tax returns and assist in resolving tax issues.

Job Requirements: Must be well-versed in current tax code. May have to complete company training. Must maintain a Preparer Tax Identification Number and may need an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN).

How To Get Started: Check job sites or go directly to companies like H&R Block, Intuit, or small local firms. Seasonal work (January through April) is easier to find, but some year-round opportunities may be available.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

23. Appointment Generator

Potential for Remote Work: Working remotely should be doable, but it may be difficult to manage the work during off hours.

National Average Pay: Not available

Job Growth Outlook: Not available

Job Description: Handle cold calling and book appointments for real estate agents and other sales professionals.

Job Requirements: Strong communication and organizational skills.

How To Get Started: Check job boards and promote your services on social media; attend networking events.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

24. Virtual Assistant

Potential for Remote Work: Many administrative duties can be handled online and after hours. If you’re required to do phone work, however, you may have to limit your work time to school breaks.

National Average Pay: $19 average median salary; $39,680 average annual salary (includes administrative assistants who work onsite)

Job Growth Outlook: -8% (declining)

Job Description: General administrative support may include organizing and answering emails, scheduling appointments, arranging travel, and making phone calls.

Job Requirements: Strong communication and organizational skills, attention to detail.

How To Get Started: Job boards are loaded with positions for different types of virtual assistants.

Image Credit: fizkes / istockphoto.

The Takeaway

If you’re a teacher looking to earn additional income, you’ll find there are many side jobs that fit your skills and schedule, and still offer a competitive paycheck. You can take on jobs that tap into your educational expertise: tutor, curriculum specialist, lesson plan developer, test scorer. Or you may prefer to pursue another passion, like selling your artwork or working as a virtual assistant for a nonprofit you admire. The keys are to avoid burnout and to make the most of the time you put in.

FAQ

How can teachers make extra money online?

Working remotely allows teachers to pursue a second job that fits their schedule and their skills. Many opportunities are available on job boards and freelance sites.

What are the best side jobs for teachers?

The best side jobs for teachers are those that allow them to earn a good paycheck while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Remote freelance work is easy to find these days, and generally pays better than minimum wage. Check freelance job boards for ideas.

What are the most profitable side hustles?

Some of the most profitable side hustles are technology-oriented. Those jobs also can be a good fit for people who wish to work remotely. If you have skills or experience with computers, IT, or app development, you can parlay it into a well-paying side gig. Full-timers can easily make a $100,000 salary.

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