I was a high school band director before M$M. I worked 70-80 hours a week and had $40,000 in student loan debt… so if you’re a teacher, I legit feel your pain. I turned to digital marketing and blogging (both side hustles for teachers on this list) to help me build a better financial life.
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. Helping you find one is my goal today.
Some of these side hustles utilize skills you already have, are easy to learn, or have a really low barrier to entry. You can even scale some of these to the point that you leave your day job altogether.
Okay teachers, I see you, so let’s get to it…
Here are 15 realistic side hustles for teachers
1. Sell lesson plans and printables
If you are designing lesson plans or other educational materials for your own classroom, Teachers Pay Teachers is a website where you can sell your materials to other teachers. They have a large reach, with over 5 million teachers using TpT in 2018 alone.
And, over one billion resources in total have been downloaded from Teachers Pay Teachers. That includes materials for high school, middle school, elementary school, PreK, home school, and higher education.
You can sell printables and videos for a variety of resources and subjects, like:
- Full-year curriculums
- Social/emotional learning
- Special education
You can browse what’s currently on Teachers Pay Teachers to see what kind of materials you can sell.
2. Teach English online with VIPKid
There is a growing need for online English teachers to do one-on-one lessons with Korean and Chinese students. This is a natural side hustle for teachers because you already have the experience, but you don’t have to be a teacher to work for VIPKid.
I know many of my readers are already teaching through VIPKid, and here’s what they love about it:
- The pay is $14-$22/hour
- You set your own hours
- It’s a rewarding side hustle
- You don’t have to do any lesson planning – huge stress relief for teachers!
I have a teacher friend who spent an hour every morning teaching for VIPKid before she left for her regular job. It helped her with her student loan debt, and because she also has two kids, she really appreciated the flexibility.
3. Run Facebook ads for small businesses
Running Facebooks ads for small businesses is simply digital marketing through Facebook. Large companies have teams of marketers who leverage Facebook’s wide 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 real results.
Knowing that there was a market for Facebook ads managers (and knowing what a great side hustle it is – it’s what I did after I quit teaching), I created an affordable course for my readers to start their own mini Facebook ad agency.
The industry standard is to charge $1,000-$2,000/month per client, and you don’t need any marketing or website experience to get started, making it a great side hustle for teachers.
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 them on.
To learn more about the course and hear from some of my students, click over to the Facebook Side Hustle Course.
4. Work as a virtual assistant
I literally could not function without my VA. She schedules meetings, handles billing, helps with social media management, puts out fires, etc. She handles essential parts of my business, and that’s what virtual assistants do for many different types of online business owners.
Here are a few reasons why working as a VA is a great side hustle for teachers:
- Flexible hours
- You can often work out of your pocket (from your phone)
- You can scale it by finding multiple clients
If you’re interested, Fancy Hands is a platform that connects virtual assistants and clients.
5. Start tutoring
Tutors can make around $30-$60/hour depending on where you live. If you’re able to work as an SAT or ACT tutor, pay jumps to $45-$100/hour. You can tutor in person or find jobs online with a website like Wyzant.
6. Create a course
As a teacher, you already have the skills it takes to build and implement a lesson plan. Use that experience and knowledge to create and sell your own course. It can be about something that helps you in the classroom, like:
- Using social media in the classroom
- Storytelling in the classroom
- Classroom behavior management
Once you have a course, you can sell it on a website like Udemy.
7. Flip furniture
This is a side hustle that I probably would have loved to do when I was working as a teacher. I remember seeing furniture sitting around my neighborhood and thinking that most of it looked like it was in pretty good shape… okay, this still happens.
Most of these pieces just need a fresh coat of paint, refinishing, tightening joints, or replacing hardware. You can easily do this over the course of a weekend or in a few nights after work.
Besides what it takes to fix the furniture up, the cost of the furniture itself is either free or really low. You can also find things on Craigslist, at yard sales, or thrift stores. Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist is a great place to sell your flips.
8. Work as a freelance writer
Freelance writers can find writing gigs for a variety of clients, like blogs, websites, print and online publications, and more. Pay depends on your level of experience, and you can use Fiverr and Upwork to find your first clients.
Learn more at: How to Start Freelance Writing With No Experience
9. Become a Pinterest virtual assistant
My wife used Pinterest a ton when she was still teaching elementary school – it’s something many teachers use for lesson plans, classroom ideas, and printables. Online business owners and bloggers use Pinterest too, but as a way to bring traffic to our sites.
For people like me, having a good Pinterest strategy in place is important (just like Facebook ads), which is why trained Pinterest virtual assistants are in high need.
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
If this sounds like the kind of side gig you’d be interested in, the Pinterest Virtual Assistant Course by Kristin Larsen and Gina Horkey gives you the training you need (there’s a lot more to this side hustle than just pinning images). They can also help you find your first client.
For more on this great side hustle for teachers, jump over to the Pinterest Virtual Assistant Course to learn more and hear some success stories.
10. Join a focus group
Focus groups are hosted by companies who are looking for feedback on products, services, ads, TV shows, movie trailers, and more. Participating in a focus group usually pays around $200 for a couple of hours.
11. Work as a proofreader
Proofreading is polishing a piece of writing before it’s published. It’s the last step in the editing process when you catch overlooked spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.
It’s an in-demand freelance job that offers flexible hours and scalable pay. You can find jobs through sites like ProofreadingServices.com, Reedsy, and Polished Paper. Some sites do require you to take a competency test before you can move forward.
12. Sell your clothes online
I’ll be honest with you, I don’t have any experience with this, but I keep hearing readers in my M$M Facebook community talking about it. I did a little research and found out that you can sell your gently used clothes to online consignment stores like:
You can sell women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, plus shoes, accessories, etc. Beyond selling your own things, some people find things at thrift stores and flip them online.
13. Work as a freelance bookkeeper
I get that this probably sounds like a surprising side hustle for teachers. However, freelance bookkeeping is a viable and profitable side hustle for teachers, even if you don’t have any professional experience or training.
Just like the other freelance services I’ve already mentioned, freelance bookkeeping is flexible, scalable, and the pay is really pretty good – you can make around $60/hour.
This article has a lot of valuable information about how to get started as a freelance bookkeeper.
14. Teach as an adjunct professor
Depending on your level of education, a master’s degree is usually required, you may be able to find work as an adjunct professor at a local university, community college, or online.
One warning, the pay is minimal for the amount of work you put into it, around $2,200-$3,500 per semester-long course. You’re not just teaching either – you’re grading papers, holding office hours, and more.
15. Start a blog
This is one of my favorite side hustles for teachers for obvious reasons. One of the coolest parts is that you can blog about anything you want. It can be teaching, a hobby, traveling, something you’re learning, whatever you want!
It took me several months before I was earning anything from this site… blogging is not a get rich quick scheme.
Still, the earning potential is there. You can read how bloggers like me earn an income in How to Make Money Blogging (How I Went From Teacher to 7 Figure Online Business Owner).
If you’re interested in starting your own blog but want a little help setting things up the right way, I created Launch That Blog, which is a free service that:
- Installs and sets up your brand new WordPress blog
- Makes sure you have the essential tools ready to go
- Teaches you how to use those tools
- Helps you make your blog look awesome
Launch That Blog is only available for blogs hosted through Bluehost, and I teamed up with them to get you an amazing deal – just $2.95 per month for hosting. That’s it. You can read more about the service and bonus freebies when you click on Launch That Blog.
Final word on side hustles for teachers
Politics aside, teachers end up with serious student loan debt for a job that just doesn’t pay that well. Most teachers work more than a 40 hour work week. Summers are spent recovering or trying to find more ways to earn more.
That’s the reality for teachers, and it’s why I left to pursue my side hustle, blogging.
I know it can be a rewarding career for many, and I will always have a soft spot for those of you in the field. You’re doing an awesome job, which is why your side hustle should be one that is flexible and pays well.