10 Alternative Careers for Teachers - University of the People (2023)

If you are interested in education but don’t want to be a school teacher, there are many excellent alternative careers for teachers.

An M.Ed opens up a host of alternative opportunities in the field of education. If you don’t want to be a teacher but love education, you can use your leadership, teaching/mentoring skills, imagination and creativity in other related professions. A tuition-free M.Ed is available at UoPeople. The M.Ed at UoPeople is a graduate-level program designed to train students for dynamic careers in education, childcare, and community leadership. It opens up many possibilities for alternative non-teaching careers too. We have selected 10 alternative careers for teachers that you may want to consider.

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Top 10 Alternative Careers for Teachers

1. Career guidance counselor

Choosing a career can be an overwhelming process. Making decisions is easier for some than for others and some people need a little help along the way. A career guidance counsellor is responsible for helping people to assess their abilities, and providing information and advice on educational and training options to help them make decisions and choose the right direction.

2. School administrator

If you love organizing, enjoy working with people, and have good interpersonal and communication skills, school administration could be a great option for you. This would involve lots of contact with children, staff, and parents and would require sensitivity and confidentiality. All you need are good computer skills and a can-do attitude. You get to stay in a school environment, continue working with children, staff, and parents, but without the pressure of the classroom. If you want to brush up on your computer skills, try taking an evening class at a local Adult Education Institute or take some free courses online at Alison or Lynda.

3. Librarian

If you enjoy working in a learning and academic environment and you love to work independently, a librarian could be an option for you. The job of a librarian is to be responsible for providing access to information and managing the library facilities, which may be in a public library, a school, or a university.

4. Private Tutor

If you have a passion for teaching, but want a break from the classroom, choose a subject or subjects that you would like to teach and start advertising for private students. There is always a demand and if you are patient, knowledgeable, and a good teacher, you will gain most of your students by recommendation. Some students fall behind in school for a host of legitimate reasons, such as insufficient attention, poor teaching, learning disabilities, attention disorders, or emotional and behavioural issues. In order for them to pass exams and gain qualifications, those who can afford it, will have the privilege of being able to provide 1:1 education for their children after school.

There is also the option to teach adults. Adults may want to learn a language, including English, art, music, or may want to improve their literacy or math skills. If you have good computer skills, you can also teach Microsoft or Adobe programs. Due to the technology gap, there is a demand for teaching computer skills to the elderly or anyone who may have difficulty with the fast pace of technological change in society today.

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5. Corporate trainer

If you would like to use your transferable teaching and leadership skills in the corporate world, there are some interesting options. You could teach company employees a variety of subjects, including: sales skills, negotiation skills, business writing, or digital marketing. There are many courses available on Udemy and Lynda in which you can brush up or learn from scratch business skills at very reasonable prices. These online courses are taught by highly experienced professionals and the courses can be done anytime, anywhere. You can also check out the evening and part-time courses available in your hometown, but bear in mind that face-to-face courses are usually significantly more expensive.

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6. Adult literacy teacher

Adult literacy courses are usually taught in Adult Education Institutes, part-time during the day or evening. This gives you the perfect option to work part-time if you need to balance other commitments. Adult literacy learners may be immigrants looking to improve their literacy in order to get a job or progress in their profession. They may also be adults who simply never learned to read. This may be as a result of undiagnosed learning disabilities or emotional/behavior problems at school. This is an extremely rewarding job as you are opening up new opportunities and improving the confidence and self-esteem of your students.

7. Parenting coach/educator

Every parent wishes the best for their child, but sometimes parenting can be a challenge. A parent needs to not just care for their child but to understand their emotions, behavior, and psychological state of mind. Parents are not experts in every subject and often need a little help along the way. They need to be advised what to do when a toddler refuses to sleep in his bed at night, when a baby wakes too frequently, when a young child has tantrums, and when a school child has behavior problems.

As a parenting coach, you can work hours that suit your schedule. In order to work with young children, you will require a background in Early Childhood Education. Your leadership, patience, and mentoring skills can be put to good use to help parents as well as children. If you love working with young children and enjoy helping people, this could be the perfect job for you.

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8. Writer

Your great communication skills can be put to excellent use by becoming a writer. There is always a demand for content writers, technical writers, and copywriters. Content writers are hired to produce engaging content for use online. Technical writers communicate complex matters in a simplified way, e.g., writing instructions for a software program, writing an instruction manual, or writing helpful guides on a website. If you have a creative flair, then copywriting could be the job for you. This involves using your creative writing skills to sell products by dreaming up catchy advertising slogans, writing product literature, and producing copy for emails, websites, or blogs.

9. Social worker

If you enjoy helping people, a career as a social worker could be just the right job for you. Social workers are responsible for protecting vulnerable people and helping families and children to deal with the difficulties and challenges in their lives.

In order to be a social worker, you will need an M.S.W., Master of Social Work.

10. Personal coach

Teachers have the great advantage of knowing how to teach and coach others. Ever thought about becoming a personal coach? For personal coaching you will need a coaching diploma which may take approximately a year. You can then build your own business and take on private clients!

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Coaching is designed to help people to take the required steps of action in order to achieve their desired goals, objectives, and dreams. People often feel stuck, with difficult decisions to make, procrastination problems, and have many obstacles that are preventing them from taking action to achieve their objectives. Coaching is a mentoring relationship in which you will guide, direct, and help provide pathways to the client’s desired goal. According to the National Careers Service in the UK, life coaches earn $38 – $77 per session and Executive Coaches can earn up to $383 per hour. According to a study by the International Coach Federation, the average income of a life coach is $61,900 in North America, $55,300 in Western Europe, and $37,800 in Asia.

Teachers who want something totally different

Are you looking for a major change and want to do something totally different?

If your background is in mathematics, you could become a high-earning actuary, a financial advisor, or a statistician. According to Glassdoor, an actuary in the USA earns an average salary of $128,987.

If you are a language person, you could go into public relations, human resources, or marketing. Your communication and interpersonal skills would be great for HR and for PR and your language skills would be a major asset in marketing. If you work your way up the career ladder in the field of marketing, an average senior marketing manager can earn $61,172 in the UK, according to Payscale, and $97,895 in the USA.

7 Quick Tips to Make the Transition

  • Make a list of all your transferable skills
  • Choose your intended career direction and goal
  • Re-write your CV from scratch, emphasizing all your transferable skills
  • Research jobs on Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, Facebook, and register with some recruitment agencies
  • Prepare answers to common interview questions
  • Take some courses to brush up your skills or to retrain completely
  • Start making applications

Changing careers can be daunting at first, especially if you have been teaching for a long time. You may be apprehensive at first, but once you have made the decision to change, do your research and make that change today. Don’t procrastinate, just do it!

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What are the other career fields for a teacher? ›

Let's explore the top 5 career alternatives for teachers.
  • Private Tutor. Teachers have many transferrable teaching skills that can easily come in handy in the world of private tutoring. ...
  • Writer. ...
  • Training and Development Manager. ...
  • Interpreter or Translator. ...
  • Life Coach.
1 Feb 2021

What jobs can teachers do if they leave teaching? ›

For example, if you're an English teacher, the transition to a freelance writer could be a logical career move.
  • Childcare Worker. ...
  • Sales Representative. ...
  • Financial Advisor. ...
  • Freelance Writer. ...
  • Corporate Trainer. ...
  • Tour Guide. ...
  • Human Resource Specialist. ...
  • Digital Marketer.
5 May 2022

What career change is best for teachers? ›

Corporate Career Changes for Ex-Teachers
  • Corporate Training. Corporate training is a career area that spans a lot of jobs which will appeal to ex-teachers. ...
  • Human Resources. ...
  • Business and Education Consultancy. ...
  • Administration. ...
  • Museum Assistant. ...
  • UX/LX Design. ...
  • Coach.
7 Sept 2022

What jobs should I switch to after teaching? ›

Here are several career options for former teachers to consider:
  • Occupational therapist assistant.
  • Life skills trainer.
  • Activities director.
  • Photographer.
  • Medical assistant.
  • Event planner.
  • Babysitter/Nanny.
  • Curator.

What do teachers do when they don't want to teach anymore? ›

There are plenty of roles in the education field that can benefit from the skills of an experienced teacher.
  1. Test Developer. ...
  2. Educational Product and Supply Professional. ...
  3. Instructional Technology Specialist. ...
  4. Education Nonprofit Employee. ...
  5. Online Teacher. ...
  6. Educational Consultant. ...
  7. Microschool/Pandemic Pod Teacher.

What can I do if I don't want to teach anymore? ›

I Don't Want to Be a Teacher Anymore (13 Options)
  1. Private Tutor. Private tutors help kids who are struggling with their schoolwork. ...
  2. Curriculum Developer. ...
  3. Position in an Educational Company. ...
  4. Life Coach. ...
  5. Corporate Training. ...
  6. Sales of Educational Products. ...
  7. Education Director. ...
  8. Educational Program Development.
8 Mar 2021

How do I change my career from teaching? ›

How to change careers from teaching
  1. Consider why you want to change careers from teaching. ...
  2. Think about your passions and skill set. ...
  3. Identify any gaps in your training and experience. ...
  4. Carry out research into potential new roles. ...
  5. Begin networking and applying for jobs. ...
  6. Education consultant.
  7. Private tutor.
  8. Curriculum leader.
30 Nov 2021

Why do people quit teaching? ›

The tension and responsibility that educators like Gillum faced during the pandemic — combined with long-standing issues plaguing the profession, plus the coarsening of debates about classroom control, teacher pay and respect — have caused many to make the tough choice to leave the classroom.

What jobs can I do with teaching experience? ›

There are plenty of alternative careers that take advantage of a teacher's skill set – here's a selection:
  • Private Tutoring. ...
  • Corporate Learning and Development. ...
  • Student Learning Support. ...
  • Education Liaison Positions. ...
  • Human Resources. ...
  • Museum role. ...
  • Publishing. ...
  • Youth worker.
14 Dec 2018

Why do teachers lose their passion to teach? ›

Studies point to a number of factors that can lead to teacher burnout, including lack of support, student behavior problems, lack of adequate training for the demands of the job, and plain old boredom. I would also add the inability to find work/life balance.

What is the highest paid type of teacher? ›


When you are looking for the best-paid teaching jobs for your area of interest or specialized skill, then you may consider working as a professor in a college or university. A college professor prepares course material, teaches students in a classroom environment, and grades student work.

Why teaching is a stressful job? ›

Large class sizes, limited resources, unstable school administration, long hours, escalating job demands, and students with varying and complex needs can all contribute to teacher burnout.

How do you know when it's time to quit teaching? ›

9 Signs Leaving Teaching is the Right Choice
  • Sunday Scaries. ...
  • Life Out of Balance. ...
  • Taking Stress Home. ...
  • Low-Self Esteem. ...
  • It's Not Meant to Be. ...
  • Leaving Teaching because the Spark is Gone.
  • Career Quicksand. ...
  • Leaving Teaching because you've become a Negative Nelly.

Can a teacher just quit? ›

If you have signed a contract to teach for a designated academic year, leaving mid-year could be considered a breach of contract, and technically, legal action could be taken. Your teaching license may be revoked or suspended.

What gets a teacher fired? ›

To terminate a teacher, usually one of the following must be proven: immoral conduct, incompetence, neglect of duty, substantial noncompliance with school laws, conviction of a crime, insubordination, fraud or misrepresentation.

What percentage of teachers quit? ›

Overall, more than 44 percent of new teachers leave the profession within five years.


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