Second Jobs for Teachers: The Key to Making Extra Money as an Educator

FT Contributor  | 

It’s a well-known fact that teachers in America are underpaid. According to a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, the difference in salary that teachers earn when compared to similar workers, called the “wage penalty,” increased from 5.5% in 1979 to 18.7% in 2017. Many teachers have a passion for their profession but struggle to make ends meet on current salaries. They may be facing high rent, student loan debt, and other expenses that their teacher salary simply won’t cover.

In many cases, underpaid teachers must turn to additional sources of income so they may begin to earn a living wage that allows them to live comfortably and independently. Finding a side job that fits into your teaching schedule is challenging. This guide provides important information on different ways teachers can earn more money to ensure they can make a comfortable living while still doing the job they love.

Summer Jobs for Teachers

Summer jobs allow teachers to earn extra cash. Since most teachers aren’t required to work during the summer, they can obtain a full-time job throughout the summer months to supplement their teacher salary.

The three options discussed below do not provide an exhaustive list of potential summer jobs for teachers. However, these jobs may suit teachers’ skill sets, experience, and interests better than other summer job opportunities.

Youth Sports Coach

If you’re interested in a sport and you know the rules of the game, consider becoming a youth sports coach during the summer months. Similar to your full-time teaching job, you’ll interact with children and teach them how to play. You’ll also teach participants about teamwork, discipline, sportsmanship, and camaraderie.

If you enjoy coaching a youth sports team, you can include this experience on your resume. The school you teach for may consider you for a coaching position throughout the school year, which also means an increase in pay. To learn more about becoming a youth sports coach, consider speaking with the coaches at your school and reaching out to summer youth sports league organizers in your area.

Camp Counselor

As a teacher, you possess many of the qualities, skills, and experience needed to be a successful camp counselor over the summer. As a camp counselor, you must focus on the wellbeing of a group of children while ensuring they’re engaging in physical and mental activities throughout the day.

You may need to assist them in learning how to finish crafts, swim, or canoe. You may also be tasked with planning activities for the children to get involved in, such as games or art projects. In this capacity, camp counselor duties are similar to a teacher’s responsibilities.

Visit local summer camps a few months before the summer to inquire about open camp counselor positions. Camp counselor job openings may also be advertised on job search websites. You may need to provide your resume and interview with the camp director before you’re hired as a camp counselor.

Babysitting and Nannying

Summer months are tough for parents who work full time because they must rely on alternative childcare while they’re at work. In the summer months, there are many opportunities for babysitting and nannying positions, which are a great fit for teachers.

As a babysitter, you’re responsible for taking care of children while their parents are at work or away from home. You may need to create games and activities to keep the children engaged. While you’re babysitting, you may also need to provide transportation to sports practices or other engagements the children need to attend.

Since teachers have extensive experience with children, parents may feel more comfortable leaving their children with a teacher during the summer months than someone without this background. Parents may advertise their need for a babysitter in local resources, such as the newspaper or community social media sites.

Year-Round Side Hustles

Teachers may decide that a second job during the summer months simply isn’t enough to supplement their income. The following job opportunities can be performed year round but may still fit into a working teacher’s schedule.

Tutoring or Teaching Online Courses

As a licensed teacher, you already have the education and requirements to be a tutor. There are many tutoring facilities that offer flexible hours. As a tutor, you’ll help children understand educational concepts and assist them with their homework. You may become a general tutor or specialize in a certain subject, such as:

  • SAT preparation;
  • State exam preparation;
  • English as a second language (ESL);
  • Religious education;
  • Mathematics;
  • Literature.

You may also earn money online by teaching online courses. Online teaching may be an option for year-round supplemental income since it offers a flexible schedule. As a certified teacher, you can teach online classes to students without ever visiting a classroom.

To obtain a tutor or online teacher position, you must find a job opening by reviewing job seeking resources, such as websites or newspapers. You’ll need to apply using your resume and interview before you may receive an offer of employment.

Freelance Writing

If you enjoy writing and have a knack for grammar and prose, consider looking for gigs as a freelance writer. As a teacher, you’re always in tune with proper grammar and advanced language so writing may be a simple and enjoyable way to make extra cash.

You may obtain multiple clients who need different types of compositions, such as resumes, press releases, or website content. In this position, you can usually negotiate your own salary per project and set your own deadlines. This allows you to maintain a flexible schedule and earn as much extra income as possible.

Most potential freelance writing clients post about their need for a writer online. Look into online classifieds to find potential clients and be prepared to submit a few writing samples and your resume.

Rideshare Driving

While your skills and education as a teacher may not be needed as a rideshare driver, it’s a job you can participate in year round with a flexible schedule. As a rideshare driver, you’ll use a smartphone app to identify clients who need transportation. Your responsibility is to pick these clients up and safely drive them to their destination. You’re paid by the ride you complete and some clients may also provide additional compensation in the form of tips.

To land a gig as a rideshare driver, you must apply through a rideshare company. You may need to meet certain requirements, such as having a valid driver’s license and a car that’s less than 10 years old.

Considerations for Managing Two Jobs as a Teacher

Taking on an additional job as a teacher may be overwhelming. It’s important to ensure you can healthily and happily manage both jobs before you commit to another position.

Practice Self Care

A teacher’s work doesn’t just happen during school hours. As a teacher, you’re also responsible for creating lesson plans, attending teacher-parent conferences, and grading papers.

When you add a second job on top of your full-time teaching position, you’re left with little time to yourself. It’s important to prioritize self care and take advantage of the personal time you have. Take care of yourself and maintain your health by:

  • Getting enough sleep every night.
  • Eating healthy food.
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Exercising daily.
  • Taking time to have fun with friends and family.

Seek Out Free Teaching Materials

As a teacher, you shouldn’t have to use your salary to pay for teaching supplies you need for class. There are many resources designed to ensure you don’t have to pay for your own school supplies. To avoid emptying your pockets, consider:

  • Starting a fundraiser for school supplies.
  • Designing a gift registry for supplies you need.
  • Selling advertising space in the school newspaper or other publications.
  • Asking parents for necessary supplies.

Teachers can’t depend on higher wages, so they must find alternatives to increase their income. Taking on summer or year-round jobs may help hardworking teachers to increase their salaries so they can live comfortably. When taking on second jobs, teachers need to be aware of self care to ensure they remain healthy, and passionate about their work.


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