Top 10 Work-at-Home Jobs for Teachers
When you’re getting up at 5 a.m. to commute to work after staying up half the night doing classroom prep, a job that lets you work in your jammies sounds pretty darn good. It might also sound unlikely—obviously, you can’t teach from the comfort of your own home, right? Telecommuting jobs are attractive to workers in all kinds of occupations, but for teachers especially, opportunities to build careers in digital instruction grow stronger and more diverse each year.
Thanks to technology, it is totally possible to combine your love of education with a full-time work-at-home lifestyle. This is especially true if you’re willing to blend roles to build your new career by, for example, mixing educational consulting with some online teaching, etc.
If you’re thinking about making a big change; you're a former teacher or retired, or you're looking for a job outside the traditional classroom, one or more of these 10 work-at-home jobs for teachers might fit the bill.
For teachers who still love the job, but want to work at home, online teaching offers opportunities for every focus. Some virtual teachers focus on home-school students, for example, while others might focus on adult learners or corporate training programs.
Information on virtual teaching salaries versus in-classroom teaching salaries is hard to come by, but judging by job advertisements and anecdotal reports, K–12 teachers should be prepared to take a pay cut to teach from home. However, if you’re contemplating a move to a location with a lower cost of living or you plan to supplement your teaching salary with another focus or two, this gig could be for you.
Whether your specialty is ESL, computer science, or SAT prep, online tutoring can be a lucrative way to make a living from home, or pad your salary at your day job. Technologies like Skype and other video conferencing software have made it easier than ever to replicate an in-person tutoring session and cut out the commute.
Online Adjunct Professor/Instructor
Tenured gigs are hard to come by these days, but one upside for post-secondary educators is that virtual professor/instructor jobs are likely to keep growing. The relatively low pay for adjunct professors is a lot easier to stomach when you can teach from the comfort of your own home.
In a 2016 PayScale report, 44 percent of managers stated that writing skills were the hard skills most lacking in new grads. You can help reverse the trend by working with students and corporate clients to brush up on these essential skills. Similar to tutoring, writing coaching gigs have benefited from technologies like video conferencing, making it easier than ever to communicate with students remotely.
Chegg describes curriculum developers this way: “If the classroom were a theater, the Curriculum Developer would be the Playwright who creates the story and writes the dialogue.” If you’ve spent significant time in the classroom teaching your own materials, you know what works and what doesn’t. Put that expertise to good use, and build a second career as a curriculum developer. Major job boards always have listings for curriculum developers. Some, like Indeed, will let you filter for home-based opportunities.
Teaching Materials Provider
If you already have your teaching materials, honed by years of trial and error in the classroom, why not share that wealth of knowledge and make your hard work pay off again and again, at the same time? Teachers Pay Teachers allows you to share your lesson plans, activities, classroom décor and more—and earn money from it.
You probably won’t make a fortune from the site, but you could make a couple extra hundred a month, which comes in handy when launching a post-classroom career -- some sellers seem to do quite well.
“I currently make much more selling teaching resources than I would have if I'd continued teaching,” writes Rachel Lynette at Edutopia. “According to TpT, the top seller has made over $2 million, 164 teachers have earned over $50,000, and thousands more bring in a few hundred dollars a month, which can make a big difference when you're living on a teacher's salary.”
Educational publishing is a natural fit for teachers who leave the classroom. Freelance writer/editors generally command hourly wages of $15-75, depending on the intensity of the focus, depth of research required, and level of writing/reporting to be done.
But if the freelance life doesn’t appeal, don’t count out the possibility of working for a company. Increasing numbers of employers in all industries are embracing flexible schedules, including full-time telecommuting roles and contract assignments. If you’re willing to do some careful job searching, you might find the perfect educational writer/editor job allowing you to work from home.
Educational Testing Service (ETS) is always looking for online and onsite test scorers for the TOEFL, GRE, and other tests. This is typically a part-time job and cyclical, as need varies over the course of the year.
As mentioned earlier, solid writing skills are valued. If you’re ready for something entirely new, you might put your abilities to use as a blogger or writer, focusing on educational topics—or any topic near and dear to your heart about which you have a lot of knowledge. To get started in this field, prepare to start pitching before you flip the switch and leave the classroom for good. Full-time writing careers are built on connections, and you’ll need to build up your network before you commit.
It’s a dirty little secret of professional life that consultants often earn more than employees for offering similar expertise. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you can build a business coaching teachers and administrators.
Note that this job isn’t entirely home-based, as you’ll likely need to consult with clients directly. However, being your own boss comes with a great deal of flexibility (as well as responsibility). If this sounds like something that interests you, Angela Watson offers a good primer for aspiring educational consultants at her site, The Cornerstone for Teachers.