Many teachers qualify for retirement at a younger age than the average worker. As a result, there are a lot of former teachers looking for ways to make money and stay active.
Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities aside from the obvious option of working as a substitute teacher.
Whether you’re looking for a part time job or a second career, here are 20 of the best jobs for retired teachers, with a focus on those that offer some degree of flexibility. After all, you still want to enjoy the perks of retirement!
Best for: There are many opportunities for tutoring, but some of the subjects with the highest demand for tutors include math, science (especially chemistry, biology and physics) and English.
Tutoring is easily one of the best jobs for retired teachers. As a tutor, you’ll be using your experience, teaching skills and knowledge to help students one-on-one. It’s the perfect opportunity if you want to continue teaching and impacting students’ lives on a part-time basis in retirement.
Tutoring jobs can be local and in-person, or sessions can be conducted virtually. There are a growing number of platforms for online tutor jobs. English is an especially popular online tutoring subject, as there’s strong demand for ESL instruction around the world.
Since you already have the skills and qualifications, working as a private tutor is a natural fit. Plus, some online tutor platforms require prior teaching experience, which means you won’t be competing against many applicants.
Learn more: See our roundup of the best online tutoring jobs to learn more about the most popular platforms.
#2. Test Prep
Best for: The opportunity to work as a test prep instructor is best for retired high school teachers and college professors. Most of your pupils needing assistance with test prep will be looking to get into college or grad school, or need help passing an exam to work in a specific industry (like law).
Working as a test prep instructor is a specific type of tutoring. Instead of working with students who are struggling with a particular subject, you’ll be helping students to prepare for standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT and more. Test prep can be done in a one-on-one setting or in a classroom setting.
As a retired teacher, you may already have the experience and skills needed to jump right into this role.
Learn more: Read this article at edCircuit to learn how to become an effective test prep tutor.
#3. Freelance Writer
Best for: English teachers and others who enjoy writing about their areas of expertise.
Where to find jobs: Upwork is one of the most popular freelancing job board sites with thousands of new writing opportunities added daily. Beyond that, the job boards at ProBlogger and Blogging Pro are also excellent resources, especially for those who have some writing experience.
Freelance writing is one of the best side hustles for anyone, but retired teachers have unique skills and qualifications that make this a particularly good fit. There are freelance writing jobs that cover just about any topic you can imagine. As a result, it’s possible to find gigs that involve writing on your specialization or area of expertise.
For example, few people will be more qualified for writing assignments related to American history than a former history teacher with a few decades of experience. Of course, the same thing applies to other subjects as well.
Retired English teachers and others with a focus on literature or writing would be a good fit for freelance writing.
Learn more: Read our guide on how to become a freelance writer for a detailed step-by-step guide to getting started.
#4. Writing Coach
Best for: A retired educator who has been published can make an excellent writing coach.
Where to find jobs: Fiverr is a great platform for writing coaches. You can set up a profile, offer your services, and allow clients to find you. It will take some time to build up your portfolio with five-star reviews, but with some patience, it can be an outstanding platform for finding work.
A writing coach works with an author on a specific writing project. For example, many authors hire writing coaches to assist in the process of writing a book.
The role of a writing coach is much different than an editor, proofreader or ghost writer. Instead of focusing on the small details, the writing coach’s job is to guide the overall process and provide direction when needed. The writing coach may help with ensuring that deadlines are met, guiding the overall direction of the book, providing valuable feedback on the author’s work and more. They provide whatever help the author needs to do their best work.
Learn more: Study.com provides information for anyone looking to become a writing coach.
Best for: Retired English teachers and others with writing skills and experience.
Where to find jobs: Upwork is an outstanding platform for editing jobs. There are many new job opportunities added each day, and you’ll have control over your rates and the jobs you bid on.
An editor’s role is to ensure the quality of writing. It may involve fact checking to verify accuracy of data, but the editor also carries out the vision for the article, making sure that it’s useful and of interest to readers.
The editor may provide overall direction for the article, and in some cases may work with art directors or designers on layouts and visuals to go with the article.
Today, many editing jobs involve working with content that will be published online. Of course, there are also editing jobs for printed publications, although they may be harder to find.
Learn more: This article on how to become an editor provides plenty of insight for anyone who wants to get started.
Best for: Former English teachers and others with strong spelling and grammar skills.
Where to find jobs: Fiverr is an ideal place to get started as a proofreader. You’ll need to create your profile and set up the gigs so others can hire you.
The terms “editor” and “proofreader” are sometimes used synonymously, but the two roles are distinct. Instead of focusing on the bigger picture or overall direction like an editor, a proofreader is responsible for small details like spelling mistakes, grammar and punctuation. The proofreader will not be responsible for improving the writing, aside from correcting these small issues.
As a proofreader, you’ll provide the final check of the article or written work before it’s published. All of the editing and rewriting will be done before it gets to you.
Working as a proofreader is an excellent option for retired teachers who have a keen eye for detail and a desire for a flexible way to make money. It’s a fantastic side hustle, but also capable of generating a full-time income.
Learn more: Our article about how to become a proofreader provides all the guidance you’ll need to learn more about this opportunity.
#7. College Application/Essay Consultant
Best for: Retired guidance counselors are well-qualified to work as a college application or essay consultant due to their familiarity with the application process.
Where to find jobs: As a consultant, you’ll want to focus on building your reputation and establishing a solid foundation for your business. Upwork can be an excellent place to get started, but ideally, you’ll work towards getting future clients through word-of-mouth or other marketing methods (like your own website).
Getting accepted into the right college or university is a major milestone for a student, and can mark an important step on their career path. With top universities having low acceptance rates, it’s critical for applicants to make the best impression possible. With that in mind, there’s a lot of work available for consultants who can help students complete an application or essay.
The clients who are looking to hire a consultant may not know exactly what colleges or universities are looking for, and they want to be sure they’re putting their best foot forward. In some cases, the student will be from another country and unfamiliar with the system or the application process; they may also not have perfect English writing skills and thus need help polishing their prose.
As a retired educator or guidance counselor, you can help students to maximize their chances of getting accepted. Teachers, professors, guidance counselors and admissions workers have valuable experience and insight that can help clients. It’s important to note that you will be assisting or coaching clients throughout the process, not actually writing the essay for them (which would be unethical).
Learn more: Entrepreneur covers this opportunity in detail in their article on how to become a college planning consultant.
Best for: Retired accounting teachers, as well as other teachers with math or business backgrounds.
Where to find jobs: If you’re looking for bookkeeping jobs in your local area, you can search any job board. If you’re looking for remote or virtual work, please see the resource below in the “learn more” section.
Working as a bookkeeper is a flexible opportunity because you could work as a freelancer or as an employee. There are both part-time and full-time bookkeeping job opportunities available, so you can find something that fits your needs.
In general, the earning potential is much higher if you’re working as a freelance bookkeeper as compared to an employee. You could potentially work part-time in your retirement and make a nice income without working too many hours.
It’s an excellent opportunity for anyone who has taught bookkeeping or accounting, or even other math and business-related subjects.
Many bookkeeping jobs are considered entry-level and you don’t need specific bookkeeping or accounting experience to meet the requirements. Retired teachers are qualified for most of these jobs, although some additional training may be needed.
Learn more: Learn how to get started and find fantastic opportunities by reading our guide on how to become a bookkeeper.
#9. Course Creator
Best for: Retired teachers who want to start an online business and are good on camera.
Where to find jobs: As a course creator, you’ll most likely run your own business, so you won’t be looking for a traditional job as an employee. Platforms like Udemy, Skillshare and Teachable make it easy to create and distribute your online course.
Instead of teaching in the classroom, you could use your skills and experience to create an online course. There are courses that cover all kinds of different topics, so regardless of your specialization, there’s a course you could create.
Most online courses are not created by people with teaching experience. As someone who has a significant background in education, you may be able to stand out and help more of your students succeed by leaning on your teaching expertise.
Creating your own course could prove to be the perfect creative outlet for retired teachers. It’s a part-time opportunity that could grow into a full-time business, if that’s something you desire. You’ll have the chance to make money while using your expertise and helping others to learn outside of the traditional classroom setting.
Learn more: Read “How to Create, Market, and Sell a Profitable Online Course.”
#10. Lesson Planning
Best for: Any teacher who still has their old lesson plans.
Where to find jobs: Like the previous opportunity, this one involves starting an online business rather than working as an employee. Classful is a platform where you can start selling your lesson plans. And Pinterest is an excellent resource for getting exposure.
Here’s a business opportunity that directly uses your background and experience as a teacher. Many active teachers buy lesson plans that they can use in their own classroom. They may adapt it and make it their own, or use it mostly as-is.
As a former teacher, you probably have countless lesson plans that you created throughout your career. Selling your teaching materials to other teachers is an ideal way to make some money from work you’ve already done. You may need to update them or make some changes to make the lesson plans suitable for a wider audience, but the bulk of the work is probably already done.
A simple website with basic e-commerce functionality (for example, the hugely-popular Shopify platform) is all you’ll need to get started. A similar option would be to start a blog or YouTube channel where you give away free lesson plans and make money from advertisements and affiliate programs.
Learn more: Read “How to Sell Lesson Plans & Teaching Resources” for more details about this opportunity.
#11. Homeschool Consultant
Best for: Retired teachers who also have experience homeschooling their kids.
Where to find jobs: As a homeschool consultant/curriculum developer, you’ll be self-employed. The best way to land paying clients is to get exposure at places where homeschool parents hang out. This could include local groups, or online platforms like Facebook Groups, Pinterest and YouTube. Starting your own blog is also an ideal way to gain exposure and promote your services.
Not only are more families choosing to forego traditional schools, but many parents are getting their first experience with homeschool. As a result, there’s a huge opportunity for consultants who can provide guidance to parents who are struggling or feeling overwhelmed.
Retired teachers are uniquely qualified to help parents who are having a hard time preparing teaching materials and/or instructing their kids at home for the first time. And if you have homeschooling experience, your qualifications will be even stronger.
Learn more: Read “How to Become a Homeschool Consultant” to learn more about this relatively unknown money-making opportunity.
#12. Test Proctor
Best for: Retired teachers who want part-time work without needing to do any teaching or tutoring.
Where to find jobs: Many schools and universities hire test proctors. Also, organizations that administer standardized tests like the SAT and ACT need qualified workers for these positions. You can check job boards for opportunities in your local area.
Working as a test proctor could be an excellent part-time job for retired teachers. You’ll get to spend some time in the classroom and make money, but you won’t need to do any teaching, create lesson plans, or many other stressful aspects of working in education.
As a test proctor, you’ll be responsible for administering tests, monitoring students who are taking the tests, and dealing with any issues that arise. It’s not the highest-paying job covered in this article, but it could be perfect for someone who wants to stay active in a low-stress role. Your teaching background and experience will give you plenty of qualifications for the job.
Learn more: Zippia has an article about test proctors, the job description, and details on how to get started.
Best for: Retired foreign language teachers.
If you taught Spanish, French, German or some other language in school, you’re qualified to work as a translator. Since the job requires candidates to be fluent in at least two languages, the pool of potential workers is smaller than many other jobs. As a result, it’s easy for qualified workers to find jobs.
Jobs could involve text-based or spoken translations. It’s also possible to find employment opportunities or to work as a freelancer or independent contractor.
Working as a translator can be a great way not only to use your existing knowledge, but also to keep your language skills sharp after you’ve retired from teaching.
Learn more: FluentU has a detailed article that covers how to become a translator.
#14. Research Assistant
Best for: Retired teachers who want to work on their own.
Where to find jobs: You might find research jobs in your local area through a job board, or you could turn to online platforms like Wonder.
Working as a research assistant is exactly what it sounds like. Universities and companies hire research assistants, often on a contract or freelance basis, to conduct research for a specific project.
As a retired teacher, you probably already have valuable experience that will make your research easier or more effective. This type of work will provide you with some income in retirement and allow you to stay mentally stimulated without the stress or pressure of teaching.
Learn more: Chron offers detailed guidance on how to get paid to be an online research assistant.
#15. Virtual Assistant
Best for: Retired teachers who also worked in administrative roles at some point in their career.
Where to find jobs: Platforms like Belay are a good place to start, but don’t rule out finding clients on your own and working independently.
With more and more companies outsourcing work, there’s a growing demand for qualified virtual assistants (VAs). There are countless different services you could offer as a VA, so you can build your services around your own strengths and experiences.
Retired teachers have a lot of skills and experience that could be valuable as a VA, including communication and organization. And if you also have experience in administrative roles, you’re uniquely qualified to work as a VA.
There are many websites and companies that match clients with VAs. In this case, you’ll typically work as a freelancer or independent contractor. However, for better earning potential, you could start a business and find clients on your own rather than relying on a middle man.
Learn more: Read our guide on how to become a virtual assistant to learn all the details and how to get started.
#16. Camp Counselor
Best for: Retired teachers who miss interaction with kids and have enough energy to keep up.
Where to find jobs: Check with local camps in your area, or other regions if you’re willing to relocate for the summer. The American Camp Association posts jobs on its website. It’s important to search at the right time. Many summer jobs will be listed in early spring.
For many teachers and others who work in education, being around kids and making an impact in their lives is the most rewarding aspect of the job. Another way to do that in retirement is to work as a camp counselor. Of course, most camps run during summer months, so this is likely to be a seasonal gig that keeps you busy for a while, but not year-round.
The details and responsibilities of the job may vary from one camp to the next, but in any case, you’re sure to have plenty of interaction with kids.
Learn more: Zippia provides information about the role of this position, as well as a guide on how to become a camp counselor.
#17. Etsy Seller
Best for: Retired teachers who want to use their creativity in an online business of their own.
Where to find jobs: This opportunity involves starting your own business rather than finding a job. The article linked in the “learn more” section below covers what you need to know to get started.
Etsy is the most popular platform for buying or selling handmade and vintage goods, but it’s also popular for digital products like printables and planners. You could create these types of resources for teachers, homeschooling parents, and other parents who are looking for some assistance with planning, organizing and curriculum development.
Use your experience as an educator to create awesome downloadable products that customers are looking for (you can check existing products with lots of great reviews to see what customers are most interested in).
Becoming an Etsy seller could be the perfect retirement gig because it serves as a creative outlet, allows you to make money, and provides plenty of flexibility.
Learn more: Read our guide on how to make money on Etsy to learn how to get started.
#18. Personal Trainer
Best for: Retired physical education teachers and coaches.
Where to find jobs: You can search any job board for personal trainer jobs, or contact gyms in your local area. Of course, you can also start a business and find your own clients.
If you like to stay physically active, working as a personal trainer could be the right job for you. If you coached sports or taught any aspect of fitness, you probably already have some knowledge you can put to good use by helping clients.
Working as a personal trainer may involve starting your own business, or you could work as an employee. Many gyms hire trainers to work with their members, but your income potential will be higher if you go out on your own. You may need certification for some jobs, but that usually only takes a few months.
As a personal trainer, you’ll use your knowledge of the body and exercise as well as your communication and teaching skills. Obviously, it’s much different than teaching in a classroom setting, but many of the same principles still apply.
Learn more: ACE provides a step-by-step guide on how to become a certified personal trainer.
#19. Political Organizer
Best for: All teachers, because the job primarily entails organizing small groups around concrete tasks (like registering a specific number of voters by a set deadline).
Where to find jobs: Contact your preferred political party’s state office and ask about field organizer (FO) positions with their coordinated campaign. The best time to seek an organizing job is about six months before an election.
Field organizers work for political parties, political organizations (like non-profit advocacy groups and PACs) and individual campaigns. It’s an entry level position that requires no prior experience.
As an FO, you’ll register voters, recruit volunteers, knock on doors, make phone calls and plan and staff events (like phone banks and rallies). This is a great fit for teachers because it requires all the skills you already have, such as excellent oral communication and time management.
Learn more: Here’s a quick primer on how to become a field organizer.
#20. Adjunct Instructor
Best for: Retired teachers with a master’s degree and a desire to return to the classroom.
Where to find jobs: Check with local community colleges, or other institutions of higher education in your local area. Most colleges and universities post open job listings on their website. You can also find opportunities by searching online job boards.
Do you want to continue to teach in your retirement, but only on a part-time basis? Working as an adjunct professor at a local college or university could be an excellent option.
Adjunct professors or instructors are typically part-time and work on a contract basis. It might involve teaching one or two classes per semester, which may be the perfect amount to stay active while still enjoying retirement.
Of course, you’ll need qualifications to teach in a college or university. In most cases, you’ll need a master’s degree, but that’s not uncommon for teachers.
Learn more: The Top Hat blog provides a useful guide on how to become an adjunct professor.
Jobs for Retired Teachers FAQ
Most social worker jobs require licensing or certification, which means this is more viable as a second career than a part time job. If you don’t want to go back to school to meet the necessary requirements, you may be able to find a job working with non-clinical clients or assisting licensed social workers.
Working as a private tutor is one option for a retired science teacher, but you may also want to consider starting a YouTube channel. Performing science experiments and teaching in a fun way can be rewarding for you and helpful for kids.
Retired teachers may or may not fit the qualifications to be a corporate trainer, depending on the specific position. Obviously, teaching experience is extremely helpful in corporate training, but you’ll also need knowledge specific to the company or role at hand. You may be qualified for some jobs, but not for others.
Retired teachers have plenty of ways to make money and stay active beyond substitute teaching. In this article, we’ve covered the best jobs for former teachers, with many of them drawing on your years of experience in the classroom.
Be sure to consider all of the options available to you, and find something that’s a good fit. Regardless of whether you’re looking for something part-time or full-time, there are some good possibilities.