Are you a teacher who’s thinking about changing careers? When you’re getting up for work at 5 a.m. after staying up half the night doing classroom prep, a pivot might sound pretty good.
But what if you still love teaching, but don’t love the low pay and early commute? Obviously, you can’t teach from the comfort of your own home, right? You might be surprised. 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 or side hustle.
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.
Online Job Options for Teachers
1. Online Teacher
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.
Salary: Glassdoor reports that online teachers earn an average annual salary of $42,579.
2. Online Tutor
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, Zoom, and other video conferencing software have made it easier than ever to replicate an in-person tutoring session and cut out the commute.
Salary: According to PayScale, the average rate for online tutors is $19.65 per hour.
3. 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.
Salary: Per Glassdoor, the average annual salary for online adjunct professors is $20,000.
4. Writing Coach
In a 2016 PayScale report, 44% 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 coach gigs have benefited from technologies like video conferencing, making it easier than ever to communicate with students remotely.
Salary: Glassdoor reports that writing coaches make an average annual salary of $40,089.
5. Curriculum Developer
Chegg Internships 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.
Salary: According PayScale, curriculum developers earn an average annual salary of $62,512.
6. 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? Sites like Teachers Pay Teachers allow you to share your lesson plans, activities, classroom décor, and more—and earn money from it.
You probably won’t make a fortune this way, but some sellers seem to do quite well. Julie Bochese, a former elementary school teacher, tells USA Today that she makes four times as much money selling lesson plans as she did as a second-grade teacher.
7. Educational Writer
Educational publishing is a natural fit for teachers who leave the classroom. Freelance writers generally command hourly wages of $12-$64, according to PayScale, depending on the intensity of the focus, depth of research required, and level of writing/reporting to be done.
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 job allowing you to work from home.
Salary: According to PayScale, freelance writers earn an average annual salary of $39,555.
8. Test Scorer
Some educational testing companies offer work-at-home jobs scoring and evaluating tests. Typically, these jobs require a bachelor’s degree and teaching experience. One such company is Educational Testing Service (ETS), which 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.
Salary: According to Glassdoor, test scorers earn an average annual salary of $55,030.
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 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.
Salary: PayScale reports that bloggers make an average annual salary of $39,344.
10. Educational Consultant
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).
Salary: According to Glassdoor, educational consultants earn an average annual salary of $61,592.