I was a high school band teacher when I started this blog. I was working 70-80 hours a week and had $40,000 in student loan debt. I worked several side hustles for teachers on this list to help me get out of debt and eventually quit my teaching job.
Long hours and student loans are a reality for most teachers, which is why you need a flexible side hustle that maximizes your earning potential.
Fortunately, teachers have several ways to make extra money, whether the goal is debt freedom, paying off student loans, needing some extra room in your budget, etc. There are side hustles for teachers that utilize skills you already have, are easy to learn, or have a low barrier to entry.
19 Best Side Hustles for Teachers
1. Teach English online with VIPKid
While you don’t need to be a teacher to teach for VIPKid, it would make you a natural fit for this side hustle. VIPKid is a website that connects teachers to young Chinese students to help them learn English. These are one-on-one lessons, and the kids range from 4 to 12 years old.
VIPKid teachers make $14-$22/hour, and the hours are flexible. I’ve known a few teachers who work for VIPKid, and they schedule hours early in the morning before they go to work, or in the evening.
As a former teacher, I appreciate how easy VIPKid makes it for side hustlers. You use VIPKid’s platform to schedule 25 minute long lessons, and there’s zero lesson planning.
Having higher than a bachelor’s degree can increase your chances of being hired and increase your base pay. You can also get a pay bump if you’re willing to teach open time slots scheduled within the next 24 hours.
2. Sell your lesson plans
Teachers Pay Teachers is a platform teachers can use to sell educational materials to other teachers. Over 1 billion resources have been downloaded from the site, and in 2020 alone, over 7 million teachers used TPT.
This is a great way to make money with curriculum and resources you’ve already created for your classes, and you can sell printables, videos, and downloads for a variety of resources and subjects, including:
- Full-year curriculums
- Social/emotional learning
- Special education
What’s nice about this side hustle for teachers is that it can feel pretty passive because you don’t have to create or ship individual items. You upload them to the Teachers Pay Teachers site, and they process payments and delivery.
You will need to set up an account before you can start selling, and you can join as a basic or premium seller. The table below shows the differences:
3. Run Facebook ads
This is the same side hustle I started after I quit teaching to run this site full-time. At first, I started it to supplement my blogging income, but after signing on a few clients, I earned more than what I made as a teacher.
Running Facebook ads for small businesses is simply digital marketing through Facebook. Large companies have teams of marketers who leverage Facebook’s broad reach to gain new customers. But, that’s the issue for small business owners; they lack the time or knowledge to run a good ads strategy in a way that sees tangible results.
The need for skilled Facebook ads managers is why you can make around $1,000-$2,000 per month with each client with just a few hours of work each week. The limited hours make it flexible for teachers.
Here’s an idea of what Facebook ads managers do to get a better feel for this side hustle:
- Find clients: Small businesses are the ideal clients, think gyms, real estate agents, salons, boutiques, website owners, authors, etc.
- Create compelling ads: You might work with the business owner to create an offer or develop ideas on your own.
- Test ads: Facebook has an intuitive platform for testing and managing ads.
- Maintain client relationships: Keep your clients happy by listening and responding to their needs.
In terms of time investment, after you onboard a client, create the initial ad, and do some testing (this only takes a few hours), the ads essentially run on autopilot from then on.
Sounds like a side hustle you’re interested in? I teamed up with my friend Mike Yanda (lawyer turned digital marketer who’s now bringing in $30k/month) and created the Facebook Side Hustle Course to teach you everything you need to do to start one of the best side jobs for teachers.
4. Tutor online
Tutoring is a natural second job for teachers because you’ve got the knowledge and experience parents are looking for when choosing a tutor. You can tutor in person, but it’s even more flexible to tutor online with a company like Wyzant.
Wyzant is an online tutoring platform where you create a profile that lists what subjects and grade levels you can tutor, and then you set your pay and hours. Wyzant tutors make anywhere from $30-$60/hour, and ACT and SAT prep tutors can earn upwards of $45-$100/hour.
5. Start a blog
This is, hands-down, my favorite side hustle for teachers. I started my blog back when I was still teaching to educate my high schoolers about money. I wanted to help them avoid financial mistakes my generation was making.
I legitimately love what blogging has done to my life — I quit teaching, my wife retired early, I’ve started another business, etc. But I want to be straight with you… blogging is a slow game overall. It can take months before you earn anything from your site.
But the flexibility and control you have with your blog is what’s so incredible about it. You can blog about anything you want and work when you want.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, a WordPress blog hosted through Bluehost ($2.95 per month) is the way to go for new bloggers, and if you feel like the setup and installation is a little too overwhelming, check out Launch That Blog. It’s completely free when you go with Bluehost, and my team will set your site up for you.
6. Work as a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants (VAs) work behind the scenes for business owners like me. They are highly organized people who manage critical tasks that don’t have to be done by the business owner themself, like:
- Social media management
- Invoicing and billing
- Inbox management
- Operations management
- Simple digital marketing tasks
- Event management
- Content creation
- Data entry
That’s a wide range of tasks, and you can niche down and focus on certain types of tasks, or you can work as a general virtual assistant and do a little of everything.
I highly recommend Gina Horkey’s 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success if you are interested in quick-starting your VA side hustle.
7. Flip furniture
Flipping furniture is taking a piece of furniture that needs a little TLC, cleaning it up, and then selling it for more money. Many flippers find pieces at garage sales, thrift stores, and occasionally you can find decent furniture on the curb for big trash day.
This is one of the best side hustles for teachers who want something flexible but don’t necessarily want to spend their time online. Okay, selling your flips online is usually a good approach, but there’s a lot of hands-on work that you won’t find in other online-based side hustles.
Besides flipping furniture, you could flip workout gear, lawn equipment, tools, home decor, baby gear, etc. Rob and Melissa of Flea Market Flipper are professional flippers who flip all kinds of things, and they made over $133,000 in one year, only working 10-15 hours a week.
8. Become a freelance writer
Do you know where the vast majority of written content comes from these days? Freelance writers.
Freelance writers are responsible for email newsletters, marketing campaigns, blog posts, web copy, catalog descriptions, grant writing, technical writing, resumes, and more. Their work is everywhere.
You work on your own schedule and set competitive rates, making this one of the best side hustles for teachers who can eventually grow into a full-time job. Many types of freelance writing work don’t require a specialized degree, but if you want to jumpstart this side hustle, check out 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success. Also, read How to Become a Freelance Writer: The Ultimate Guide for 2020.
9. Start proofreading
Teachers spend a lot of their time correcting other people’s work, and that’s what proofreaders do. They are usually the last set of eyes on written content before publication, correcting spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors.
Proofreaders earn anywhere from $10-$45/hour. That’s a wide range because it’s based on your experience and the kinds of clients you work for. Also, proofreaders aren’t always paid hourly — it might be based on the number of words or pages you edit.
10. Open an Etsy shop
Since launching in 2005, Etsy has grown to become the go-to place for all things handmade, vintage, and unique. It’s a great place for crafty teachers to make some extra money selling things online.
Because of Etsy’s reach, you can sell so many different kinds of things on Etsy. Like clothing, custom jewelry, wedding gifts, home discord, craft supplies, holiday gifts, pet accessories, etc.
But one of the best things to sell on Etsy right now are e-printables. These are digital files you design and create to be printed out by the customer. You can create and sell printables for planner pages, stickers, calendars, artwork, invitations, stationery, and much more.
What makes this such a great side hustle for teachers is that it can turn fairly passive. You’re not storing products or shipping, and Etsy processes each sale. Essentially, once you create one digital file, you can sell it like that almost indefinitely.
11. Create an online course
Creating an online course is a great side hustle for teachers not just because you’re already familiar with creating and teaching curriculum, but because it can be a lucrative side hustle.
One of my readers has been earning side income from a series of graphic design courses she sells online, and she went from earning a few thousand extra each month to over $80,000/month selling courses.
Here’s one of her payouts from last year:
So what do you create a course about?
Well, it can be about practically anything. Some courses teach time management, watercolor painting, how to organize your closet, how to use Excel, the art of baking bread, how to succeed on Instagram, and so much more.
Start by thinking about something you’re good at, like what do people know you for doing well. You can leverage that talent or skill to create a successful online course.
How well your course sells will depend on the demand for what you’re teaching, and courses with marketable skills tend to do better. The number one tip for success is to provide value to your students. This is where teachers have an edge — you are trained to lead students towards success.
Laptop Empires has some excellent information about creating and selling an online course at How to Structure Your Course & Create a System to Sell the Hell Out of it All Year Long.
12. Work as a Pinterest VA
My wife used Pinterest a ton when she was still teaching elementary school. There’s a good chance you’ve used Pinterest to find lesson plans, classroom ideas, and printables. Online business owners and bloggers use Pinterest too, but to bring traffic their our sites.
For people like me, having a good Pinterest strategy in place is essential (just like Facebook ads), which is why trained Pinterest virtual assistants are in high need to do things like:
Pinterest VAs make an average of $500 per month/per client, and are responsible for:
- Optimizing images
- Pinpointing keywords and categories for your clients
- Knowing how to pin strategically
- Knowing which image titles are going to work and which ones you should avoid
- Troubleshooting for your clients
- Creating a pinning schedule
Pinterest VAs make an average of $500 per month/per client, and you can learn how to get started in How to Make Money on Pinterest in 2021 (Earn $1,000 Extra Each Month).
13. Rent out your car
HyreCar is a peer-to-peer car rental platform where car owners rent their vehicle out to rideshare and food delivery service drivers. The idea is that if you’re not using your car, why not make a little money from it.Your vehicle must be no older than 10 years old, have four doors, and five seatbelts. You choose when your vehicle is available and the rental cost, and you can choose the kind of protection plan you want for your vehicle. HyreCar has three different protection plans, ranging from basic liability to up to $1,000,000 in coverage, and the plan you select affects your earnings.
14. Become a pet sitter
Pet sitting is a great side hustle for teachers during the summer and school year if you love animals. Pet sitters either stay at a person’s house or stop in frequently to feed and care for the pets. Pay depends on your area, and it can range from $25-$75/day.
Besides using your network or social media to advertise your services, you can list your services on Rover. Rover lets you list the kind of services you offer (can include extra services like bathing, giving medication, etc.), your experience with animals, and you set your pay.
15. House sit in the summer
One of the major perks to teaching is that you have the summers off. That opens up a lot of different summer job opportunities, but my favorite is house sitting.
There may be people in your area looking for house sitters, which can pay $25-$45/day. You’ll be required to do things like water plants, take in mail, take care of pets, possibly light cleaning if they’re gone for long, etc.
Another option is to look for gigs on TrustedHousesitters.com, a platform where you can find housesits all over the world. House sitters on this platform aren’t paid cash; instead, you’re paid with a stay in a great location. Think of it as an alternative way to vacation.
16. Teach summer school
Since we’re talking about ways for teachers to make extra money, I have to bring up summer school. I know it’s not the most exciting option, but you can make a decent amount of extra cash teaching summer school.
The biggest perk here is that you’re already familiar with the job. You most likely know the other teachers and some of the students, so it feels easier to get started with. The commitment is low too because it’s not starting a freelancing career or online job.
17. Take online surveys
Speaking of low-commitment side hustles, taking online surveys is an incredibly easy way to make extra money. Taking online surveys isn’t known for paying well; think $1-$5/hour on average. But it’s too mindless and easy to leave off this list.
Survey companies provide valuable market research for companies that want to find out how to create better products and services for consumers. There are several legit online survey sites out there, and my favorite is Survey Junkie.
Survey Junkie pays in points that convert to cash or gift cards, and you can learn how to sign up and get started in my Survey Junkie Review.
18. Deliver food on the weekends
Working as a food delivery driver has become one of the most popular and in-demand side hustles over the pandemic. More and more people chose to stay at home and order their groceries or takeout, and it’s expected that many people will continue ordering food this way once the pandemic is over because it’s so convenient.
Food delivery drivers make anywhere from $10-$20/hour and keep 100% of their tips. And you can make the most money when you drive for more than one company because it opens you up to more delivery opportunities.
Because there are so many different food delivery services now, here are my top recommendations:
- Postmates: Known for delivering “anything, anywhere, anytime.” Postmates drivers can open up the app and start delivering whenever they have spare time.
- DoorDash: Dashers (what you’re called when you deliver for DoorDash) schedule their hours in advance in the app and deliver from restaurant and convenience stores.
- Instacart: One of the largest and most reputable grocery delivery services. Shoppers are paid based on the size and difficulty of the order.
19. Write an ebook
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing has made it easy for new writers to start publishing ebooks without any previous experience. This platform breaks down the barriers to traditional publishing – finding a publisher, negotiating rates, working under deadlines, etc.
It doesn’t pay as well (some ebooks sell for just a couple of bucks), but successful ebook writers can make a decent living selling ebooks on Amazon.
Romance is the most popular genre of ebooks, and sci-fi/fantasy and mystery books do well. I found it interesting that ebooks can be much shorter than traditional novels, which makes it even more approachable for new writers.
Final word on side hustles for teachers
I will always have a soft spot for teachers. I was a teacher, my wife taught, and my mom worked in schools for years. You all go above and beyond daily, and if you need a side hustle, you deserve a flexible one.
That’s the great part about the side hustles on this list — they are flexible ways to make extra money as a teacher.