The Best Side Hustles and Summer Jobs for Teachers

Teacher leaving classroom
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  Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / DigitalVision / Getty Images

When school is out for summer, that means an extended break for most teachers. Unfortunately, while the break does indeed mean a break from work, it can also mean a break from a paycheck.

Teachers often find a side hustle or temporary job for the summer to supplement their income. Many employers look to hire teachers, as they are typically some of the hardest-working, best-educated employees available.

Teachers can also find a niche as a freelancer and turn it into a profitable, low-maintenance side business.

The great news is that as a teacher, you have a unique set of skills that lend themselves to getting some great side hustles and jobs—both during the summer and in any spare time you might have during the school year.

 If you’re not sure how to start your side hustle or find a summer job, here are some of the best opportunities for teachers.

8 Best Side Gigs and Summer Jobs for Teachers

1. Tutor

You’re already great at educating. Instead of starting your own school, you could move from teaching a classroom full of kids to mentoring students one-on-one as a tutor. Many students need extra help over the summer, and experienced teachers are often the best people to help. Ideally, it's best to pick a specialty, specific subject or age-group, etc., and then you can begin to market yourself with the best prospects.

It is important to let your community know that you are available through social media and networking. You can also use sites like Tutor.com to get started. As a tutor, you usually get to set your own rates. Experienced tutors make up to $40 per hour or more.

2. Camp Counselor

Another favorite temporary summer job for teachers is camp counseling. While kids are out of school and parents are at work, camps tend to be full and short-staffed over the summer. Here, you can put your educating and mentoring skills to good use as a counselor. Often, camps need adults capable of managing groups or leading workshops.

As a bonus, you’ll probably get to participate in fun field trips and outdoor adventures. It is important that you apply early so you have your pick of open positions and have a temporary job lined up as the school year comes to a close. Check out your local YMCA, church, and local community organizations to see whether there are any openings.

Though being a camp counselor is fun, the pay may not be significant. You may start out at minimum wage or slightly above, although you may be able to negotiate more given your experience. There are often more opportunities to negotiate for better-paying positions the longer you work with the organization that is hosting or leading the camps.

3. Tour Guide

If you want a break from working with kids but enjoy educating people, being a tour guide could be a good fit for you. As a tour guide, you lead tourists around a notable area in or near your city and experience where you live with a fresh, new perspective. Being a tour guide is a great way to get paid to do public speaking and to exercise, see your city, and meet new people.

 To get started, look up local tour companies or a nearby visitor’s center to check for opportunities. As a tour guide, you can make between $9 and $20+ per hour, with the opportunity to earn more with tips.

4. Freelance Writer

One of the more lucrative side hustles for teachers is freelance writing. Teachers make good freelance writers owing to their skills in logical thinking and written communication. As it happens, employers find it exhaustingly difficult to hire good writers.

 It is best that you pick one or a few topics/industries in which you feel you are especially knowledgeable. For example, education is itself a big topic for agencies looking to hire good writers. You can get started by applying for jobs on Upwork.com, finding work on FreelanceWriting.com, and more. Most of the available work is for website content writing and journalism. Accomplished writers can make upwards of $100 per hour or more. What’s even better is that you may want to hang on to a few clients during the school year, since your writing schedule will be especially flexible.

5. Babysitter

Another uniquely flexible summer job for teachers is babysitting. If you tend to miss your interaction with students, this will certainly fulfill that part of your life. While most of your work would fall within the hours of the parents’ workday or on weekend evenings, you more or less get to choose the days on which you want to work.

 To get started, let your friends and local community know that you're looking for some babysitting work. Mention frequently that you’d be happy to help with babysitting duties. Additionally, you can also use sites like SitterCity.com and Care.com to find open babysitting positions. How much you earn as a babysitter depends a lot on location, the extent of your duties, etc., but you could earn $15 per hour or more.

6. TESL/TEFL Tutor

One of the most in-demand teaching positions available today is teaching English as a second/foreign language (TESL or TEFL) online. Most teachers only need to be able to supply their own computer and have reliable internet access. It is among the most flexible remote-location jobs available.

 Popular online teaching sites like VIPKID, Alo7, and Qkids will only take native English speakers that are citizens of the United States or Canada. Additionally, few TESL employers require certification (although certifications in TESL are encouraged). Experienced English teachers make over $20 per hour working from a computer anywhere in the world.

7. Online Course Instructor

If you enjoy putting together presentations and technology, you might consider creating your own online course through a site like Udemy or Coursera. One of the best parts of creating online courses (or MOOCs) is that once you have built the course, the work is essentially done, and you can enjoy year-round residual income.

 Even though you might already feel tech savvy, you may benefit from taking an online course that teaches you how to build an online course! This will help you understand how it feels to be a student in that environment, and will help you learn the ropes of creating your own course.

8. Translator

If you are multilingual, then you could make decent money in translation. This job is increasingly being done remotely from a computer with internet access. Because of the fast growth of international business, companies need more literary and localizing translators.

  • Literary translation refers to translation of technical communication, particularly in the arena of technology, healthcare, and academic works. If you decide that you would prefer to do literary translation, it is usually best to focus on a set of topics or a particular industry. Most of this work is written-word translation.
  • Localization in translation refers to a more informal, vernacular form of spoken language. You need to be familiar with expressions and lingo in a particular culture before translating into the required language. While you may often be translating into the written word, you might also be converting one website’s content into another language, or captioning video content into another language.

More Side Hustles

For more side hustles that might be a good fit for teachers, here is an extended list:

Also check out these side gigs you can do from home, either during the summer or all year round.

Key Takeaways

Check Out a Variety of Summer Gigs: If you don’t know what to do with your extra time this summer or need to earn a little more money, you can feel confident as a highly educated, competent candidate for a host of open positions and side gigs.

Search Online: In today’s “gig economy,” more and more side jobs are easy to find online. Use the top job sites to help line up a summer position. Also check out the best sites for finding gigs.