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10 Side Hustles for Teachers

Side Hustles for Teachers
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Teacher salaries have been on the decline since 2010, so it’s no surprise that 17% of educators work a second job

Whether you’re a teacher looking for something to supplement your income all year long or a short-term opportunity to bring in extra cash during the summer months, side hustles are a great option. 

This article focuses specifically on opportunities for trained educators who are looking to make extra money using their skills and experience. If you’re interested in non-education-based options, check out our article on side hustles for beginners.

#1. Sell Lesson Plans

Teachers Pay Teachers is the world’s largest catalog of educator-created content, with more than 7 million resources available on the platform. Users are able to search by keyword, grade, subject, format, price and more. This site was started by educators for peers to be able to share and benefit from their hard work creating classroom resources.

To get started selling on the site, you need to sign up for a free account and complete a basic profile. From there, you can begin uploading resources to your store. TPT hosts free and paid resources. As a new seller, your first product listing must be a free product. After you upload your first free product listing, you can add unlimited paid products. 

The Basic Seller account is free and TPT takes 45% of the sales plus 30 cents per transaction. The Premium Seller account costs $59.95 per year and allows you to keep 80% of the sale with 15-cent transaction fees (orders of $3 are more have no transaction fee).

Basic vs. Premium accounts on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Basic vs. Premium accounts on Teachers Pay Teachers.

This side gig could provide passive income thanks to the ability to upload unlimited product listings and its millions of users. Selling lesson plans does require work upfront, but then you’re able to sell the product over and over for years to come.

#2. Sell Printables

Educational printables are digital-only products that users purchase then download and print to help supplement their lesson plans (meaning that no physical products are created or shipped). These products are quick and don’t require additional preparation for the teacher.

Teachers can take games, worksheets and posters they have made for their own classrooms and turn them into extra money by selling them to other educators. 

Here are just some of the printables that are sold by teachers:

  • Bookmarks.
  • Bulletin board decorations.
  • Classroom awards.
  • Classroom posters.
  • Coloring sheets.
  • Games and puzzles.
  • Holiday activities.
  • Rainy day activity sheets.
  • Worksheets.

There are multiple platforms to sell printables, with Teachers Pay Teachers and Etsy being the most popular options. Etsy charges a 20-cent listing fee plus a 6.5% transaction fee on all sales. (See the previous section for Teachers Pay Teachers’ fees.) 

Printables range in price, but the average sells for $2 to $5. While this side gig may not produce thousands of dollars per month, shops with steady sales can bring in $10 to $100 per week.

This side gig is similar to selling lesson plans, where you create the product upfront, then are able to sell it over and over. If you have already created items like these for your classroom, then you’re already part of the way there. Just create your account on a selling platform and upload your products. 

Learn more in our guide to selling digital downloads on Etsy.

#3. Tutoring

If you’re a tutor who specializes in high-demand subjects like math and science, you can expect higher rates than for more general subjects. The same is true when it comes to credentials: if you have a master’s degree or topic area certification, you can command an especially high rate. 

That said, rates for tutoring services vary widely, averaging $25 to $80 per hour when teaching students privately. Tutors may find a more steady flow of clients when working with a tutoring center like Mathnasium or Kumon. However, these establishments generally require an hourly commitment and thus offer less flexibility than building your own client base. 

Online tutors can anticipate $25 to $50 per hour. Using sites like Tutor.com, educators can host a profile and set their own rates. Clients can also leave ratings and reviews, to help you establish your reputation as a tutor. 

If online tutoring is something you’re interested in, check out our post on the best online tutoring jobs and platforms.

#4. Test Prep

Summer is a great time for high schoolers to be preparing to take the ACT and SAT tests. One-on-one instruction (or even small group classes) is something a lot of parents are willing to pay top dollar for. The average SAT tutor rates are between $45-$100 per hour.

Test prep tutors are different from regular tutors because they teach specific testing strategies, offer sample tests and questions, and give individualized feedback on how to improve their score.

Like traditional tutors, test prep tutors can opt to work independently or with a company to gain clients. Look for test prep classes in your area, then inquire about available instructor positions

#5. Create Courses

Online learning has exploded in popularity, with the e-learning market currently valued at $200 billion and growing

Creating an online course allows students to access your teaching and expertise at their convenience.

Online courses typically involve creating video instruction, PowerPoint slides, and/or PDFs for students. There are several platforms where you can host these courses. Some platforms, like Skillshare and Udemy, function as a marketplace, where students come and specifically look for courses. Other sites, like Kajabi and Podia, offer creators a platform but expect teachers to promote their own courses through social media or other marketing avenues. 

Earning potential varies widely based on subject matter and audience, but it’s possible to make significant income, as courses can sell for up to a few hundred dollars per student.

Keep in mind that teachers are skilled in teaching, which means you don’t have to limit yourself to creating courses solely about academic subjects. This opportunity would be a great way to combine your teaching skills and any hobbies or passions you may have. Topics that add value and enrich a person’s life are more likely to generate revenue, so get creative. 

Deciding on your course subject is the first step. From there, pick a platform and start making your course. 

#6. Create an Educational YouTube Channel

YouTube is an amazing platform to start a side hustle on based on its widespread daily usage, with more than 60% of Americans visiting the site daily and more than 50% saying they rely on it to learn new things.

YouTube is where parents and students are increasingly going to look for educational support outside of the classroom — think of subjects like how to solve a particular type of math problem, or further information about a specific history subject. Teachers are well-equipped to answer these questions.

YouTube shows ads on videos and pays creators based on how many times each video was viewed. In order to be eligible to monetize your educational videos, you need:

  1. An existing YouTube channel in good standing.
  2. At least 1,000 subscribers. 
  3. At least 4,000 hours of total watch time within the past 12 months. 

Understand going in that making money on YouTube can take some time and perseverance. YouTubers make an average of around $4 per 1,000 views, so growing a channel’s audience beyond the minimum threshold for monetization is the key to generating significant income.

#7. Homeschool Consultant

Between 2020 and 2022, the number of homeschooled children in America increased dramatically, nearly doubling from 2.3 million to 4.3 million.

A homeschool consultant (or homeschool coach, as it’s sometimes called) is an experienced homeschool educator who guides parents on their own homeschool journey. 

Homeschool consultants may help families with the following, though this is far from a complete list of potential services:

  • Creating a homeschool schedule.
  • Choosing a curriculum.
  • Adjusting a curriculum to the family’s needs.
  • Figuring out a homeschooling style.
  • Homeschooling multiple ages.
  • Incorporating hands-on learning in instruction.
  • Homeschooling high school students.
  • Homeschooling students with dyslexia.
  • Finding resources for, or working with, a struggling reader.

Consultants typically work for themselves, setting their own hours and rates, with Glassdoor reporting that educational consultants make an average of $51,658 annually.

Experienced educators who have homeschooled their own children or run homeschool co-op groups may find this niche side hustle the perfect fit.

When homeschool parents are struggling and need a resource, they turn to homeschool consultants for tried and true solutions. If this side gig is something you want to try, connect with local homeschool groups and parents to offer your services.

#8. Become an Adjunct Professor

An adjunct professor is an instructor that’s hired on a part-time basis for a college or university. Some teachers actually work for multiple universities part-time, making a full-time career out of it. If you have an advanced degree, this side gig may be perfect for you. 

And yes, it is possible to be an adjunct professor with a master’s degree, rather than a PhD.

While there is some flexibility in this opportunity, professors are committing to specific times and days during the semester or term. Contracts are typically on a per class/per term basis, as colleges factor enrollment and course selection.

Adjunct professors earn an average of $2,700 per three-credit course, though it may be closer to $1,500 per course at community colleges. 

This may be a great side hustle for someone who likes variety or who wants to get their foot in the door teaching at the collegiate level. Reach out to your local community college or university about their application processes.

#9. Special Lecturer

To be a guest lecturer, you need to be a subject matter expert in the field that you will be lecturing about. Popular topics may include subjects such as computers, archeology, health, finance, identity theft, culture, science, arts and more. A unique viewpoint or experience, along with a popular topic, can draw in quite a crowd. 

Special Lecturers may be needed for (among others):

  • Art exhibits.
  • Cruise ships.
  • Charity and fundraiser events.
  • Community education events.
  • Museum events.
  • Public library classes.

Guest lecturer pay varies based on expertise and subject matter. Some pay structures are profit sharing models based on tickets sold. Others may offer a lower pay rate with additional benefits like free admission or travel to and from the location. On average, the hourly rate for a visiting lecturer is $39.35.

Opportunities for this type of work may not be as steady or available as other side gig work. Lecturers will need to be proactive in reaching out to potential clients and positioning themselves as an expert in their given topic. 

#10. Answer Questions

JustAnswer is a site where people can pay to have questions answered by verified experts. There is an entire section for homework questions, which makes this side gig perfect for teachers. 

JustAnswer claims that you can earn an average of $2,000 to $7,000 per month, with most questions paying between $8 and $14 per answer. Teachers can set their own hours and work literally any time, as the site is open 24/7 for incoming questions. 

To get started on the platform, you must apply to be an expert. The application is a general job application form asking for educational and employment background. There is a place to upload a professional resume and add any additional certifications as well. All of these credentials and employers will be verified by a third-party firm. 

Their application process takes four to seven business days because of the verification process. Applicants will be notified by email of their acceptance or denial.

Best Side Hustles for Teachers: Final Thoughts

With the increase of online education and digital resources, there is plenty of room to add passive income streams using one’s expertise. These avenues may take time to build large followings but are low maintenance after the initial creation. 

It is possible for educators to find flexible, part-time work that is fulfilling, however they may require self-promotion to get established. Not everyone loves to toot their own horn, but it’s vital for building up a clientele.

There is a lot of overlap between a traditional teaching job and these side gigs. Teachers possess incredibly valuable skills and experience that can be leveraged outside of the traditional classroom model. 

Not sure about the first step? Check out our complete guide on how to start a side hustle.

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Holly Humbert
Holly Humbert is a Utah-based freelance author and social media strategist who writes about entrepreneurship, women in business and financial education. Connect with her on Linkedin and Instagram.

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