Teaching is a noble and rewarding profession, but we all know it’s not the best-paying job in the world.
I’m grateful to have had some awesome teachers growing up, who challenged me, inspired me, and made me love learning for learning’s sake. Where would you be without the teachers in your life?
But the truth is as a teacher you usually start with very low wages and have the burden of student debt, and so it’s only natural to look to side hustles or ways to make extra money outside of your chosen profession.
While there are dozens of side hustle ideas out there, here are the ones I think are best-suited to teachers and educators to take advantage of your unique skills and expertise.
1. Teaching English Online
VIPkid is a unique platform on which teachers get to help Chinese children learn English online via teleconferencing sessions. According to their website, you can earn up to $22 an hour doing so, and if you’re eligible to work in the US or Canada, the only prerequisites are a bachelor’s degree and a year of educational experience.
(And the educational experience is pretty flexible: teaching, mentoring, coaching, and tutoring all count.)
What’s great about VIPkid is you can set your own availability to fit your weekly schedule, and because of the time-zone differences it can work great with your off hours. (Teaching sessions are normally early in the morning Eastern time.)
Whether you’re looking for a part-time gig to earn extra money for the summer or just looking for additional income to pay the bills, VIPkid makes both possible.
You don’t even have to leave home to make it happen. Click here to apply now.
After You Apply: Tip for Success
Just remember to schedule your video interview immediately after completing your application. This is the single most important component of the application process.
You will be asked to confirm a time for a live video interview with a VIPKID teaching team member. These people are super friendly but keep in mind most speak English as a second language. Live interviews must be scheduled and typically will happen within a couple days (sometimes up to a week) from the time a candidate applied.
2. Freelance Writing
There are companies and websites out there ready and willing to pay for your writing skills!
To save time hunting for gigs, you might consider a platform like Contena, which collates every writing job on the web into one massive job board. It makes finding that perfect writing gig much easier.
Writing jobs on Contena (and elsewhere) can pay anywhere from $50 to $1000 an article, and all of the work can be done remotely.
3. Driving for Dollars
What this allows you to do is essentially get paid for your regular commute since the app will only connect you with riders who are on the way to the destination you choose.
Like the other options, you’re free to set your own hours and Lyft drivers report earning $14-17 an hour. Set up your account and turn on the app whenever you have some free time and want to earn some extra cash.
And if you find you really enjoy driving, you can earn a guaranteed $1000 after your first Lyft 125 rides in 30 days and keep all the tips you receive.
If you don’t want other people in your car, you might consider driving for a delivery service like Uber Eats.
Since teaching comes natural to you, tutoring is also another good option if you’re looking for part-time income. In fact, one Side Hustle Nation reader reported earning $1000 a week with his part-time tutoring business that focused on ACT test prep.
The CourseHero platform helps connects more than 10 million students with tutors online. Top tutors on CourseHero earn $500 a week.
Another option is to set up shop on a platform like Wyzant, an online community that helps match students with tutors. Tutors get to set their own rates and though they may vary depending on location and subject, the usual rates are often between $30 to $60 per hour.
Work hours are flexible and will likely align with when students aren’t in class.
5. Babysitting, Child Care, and Caregiving
Another good way of earning extra income — especially during school breaks or over the summer — is through babysitting, child care, or even elder care.
You can create a free profile on sites like Sittercity.com and Care.com, big platforms that help connect families with caregivers like you. The work hours are flexible and with the nationwide average rates are in the range of $12-15 an hour.
If you love kids and you and have time to spare, babysitting would be a good side gig to consider.
A teacher friend of mine actually ended up connecting with a celebrity client in New York through SitterCity. You never know!
6. Teaching Online
While one-to-one tutoring can be rewarding and even pretty lucrative, you’re still trading hours for dollars. One way around that is to package your knowledge into an online course and sell it on a platform like Udemy.
The leading peer-to-peer education marketplace has millions of students and courses on nearly every topic imaginable. One guest of mine reported earning $4000-5000 a month teaching courses about baking the perfect sourdough bread!
The site is aimed at adult professionals, so you might have to change up the material from what you’d normally cover in class, but the site has actually been a nice source of passive income for me over the last few years.
If this sounds interesting, my friend Phil (a top-rated Udemy instructor) has an in-depth and inexpensive class on how to get started.
7. Reselling your Curriculum
Curriculums, lesson plans, and other educational materials have become sellable products thanks to sites like TeachersPayTeachers and Educents. These online marketplaces allow you to share some of you best work and get paid for it.
Like Udemy, your income depends on the number of people who buy your products, but it can be a good source of extra income that’s not directly tied to your hours.
If you enjoy writing, blogging is also another worthy side gig you can earn money from. I started blogging as a creative outlet, but it’s turned into a money-making venture for me through advertising, affiliate partnerships, and even selling my own products and services.
It’s an awesome business because I can do it from anywhere and have complete control over the time I put into it.
Income from blogging depends on your topic and the amount of visitors to your site. I think my favorite blogger success story comes from my friend Rosemarie, a former state trooper and home daycare operator, who was earning $5k a month after her first year of blogging.
Next Step: If you’re ready to get started, my free 6-part video course will walk you through how to set up your site for less than you might think.
9. Online Surveys
You can also get paid for your opinion on different topics by participating in online surveys. Though online surveys have gained a bad reputation for the numerous scams scattered all over the Internet, there are legit platforms that actually pay you (though not a ton) for completing surveys.
Here are a few of the most popular (and credible) online survey sites:
- Respondent (average rate = $140 an hour for in person and remote studies!)
- Swagbucks ($5 sign-up bonus; up to $35 per survey)
- Inbox Dollars ($5 sign-up bonus)
- CashCrate ($1 sign-up bonus)
- Survey Junkie
- Prize Rebel (up to $12 an hour if you pick the best paying surveys)
The average pay for online surveys is $0.50 to $5.00 per survey, which may not be much but it can add up. It’s also convenient because you can do these anytime and anywhere.
10. Focus Groups
This is another way of earning from your opinions but unlike online surveys, focus groups pay bigger money. You’re basically paid for giving your honest feedback about a certain product before it gets launched.
Traditionally, focus groups are held in a common location where participants are gathered to have a guided discussion. With the advancement in technology, there are now online focus groups that only require you to be in front of a computer and be in a video conference with fellow participants.
I recently earned $100 an hour for an in-person focus group in San Francisco, which I thought was really good side income — especially if you can do a couple of them in a month.
If you have an extra room to spare, you can earn money from it by becoming an Airbnb host. I especially like this side hustle during summer breaks as a way to meet interesting people from all over the world and make extra money at the same time.
You get to set the pricing, availability, and house rules, giving you control over process according to your preferences. The company also carries a $1 million liability insurance policy for every rental.
Check out the cool tool on their homepage to see how much you could earn:
If you love writing stories in your spare time, you can earn from them too by self-publishing your own book. With platforms like Amazon, you can put your book out directly into the market without getting a publishing company to distribute for you.
13. Become an Adjunct Professor
If you want to supplement your teaching salary, you might consider becoming an adjunct professor at a college locally or online.
Though commonly requiring a master’s degree, some colleges and technical schools only require a bachelor’s degree and industry experience. The cool thing is many adjunct professor gigs will allow you to pre-record your lectures, and use them semester after semester.
The average pay for adjunct professors is $2200 to $3500 per course and you get to have a flexible schedule as well.
14. Voiceover Work
As a teacher, you’re probably used to talking all day, and voice over acting offers you a way to get paid to talk. If you have a unique voice and especially if you have some acting experience under your belt, doing voiceover work would be a good side gig to consider.
You also have the option of doing the actual work on a studio or in the comfort of your own home if you have the right equipment, and of course you’re free to set your own schedule.
15. Become a Coach
If you were into sports back in the day or maybe you used to be a good dancer, you can still earn from these skills by becoming a coach.
Local communities, gyms, and dance studios are always on the lookout for good instructors. There might even be paid coaching opportunities at your own school.
If you still have the passion, why not offer your services by giving back to the younger generation?
Youth soccer coaches earn $18 to $25 per hour while dance teachers earn $20 per hour. It’s a good way to earn extra bucks while doing something you love.
What do you think are the best side hustles for teachers? Let me know in the comments below!