While some people think that teachers are living the good life with an entire summer off, teaching is really involved work for pretty minimal pay. Fortunately, there are some great side hustles for teachers that can increase your income both during the school year and summer break.
Here’s the reality about teaching and side hustles, though, 1 in 5 public school teachers are already working a part-time or side gig during the school year.
Part of this is because many teachers are starting out their careers making under $40,000 per year. It gets even more difficult to live on that salary and work towards your financial goals when teachers with Master’s degrees have an average of average $50,000 in student loan debt. And, while a Master’s degree isn’t a requirement for all teachers, more and more are going back for it so they can move up the pay scale.
All of this adds up to a need for good paying side hustles for teachers, as in more than clicking through surveys online for a few extra bucks here and there.
If you’re a teacher, you deserve your weekends, holidays, and summer break. Don’t spend your valuable extra time on a side hustle that pays poorly – get the most out of your side hustle so you can pay down your debt, possibly build a new career path, and/or save for retirement.
Here are 13 great side hustles for teachers
Teaching English online with VIPKid
VIPKid is a website that connects its teachers with young Chinese and Korean students with the goal of helping them learn English. The hours are flexible, you work when you want, and you can earn up to $22 per hour teaching through VIPKid.
As a teacher, you’ll probably have a good understanding of what you’ll need to do, but you won’t have to do any of your own lesson planning when you teach with VIPKid. They give you all of the resources and materials you need, which cuts down on the time and energy that goes into this side hustle.
To start teaching through VIPKid, you will have to go through an application and interviewing process and need some pretty basic computer equipment (you may already have these things).
The lessons you teach are only 25 minutes long with a few minutes in the end for feedback, which means you’ll need to do two lessons to earn the full hourly pay.
To learn more about this side hustle from someone who has done it, read Millennial Money Man’s VIPKid Review.
Start a blog
Here’s a true story… Bobby Hoyt of Millennial Money Man was high school band director who paid off $40,000 in student loans in 18 months with side hustles and pretty extreme frugality. What he learned through that payoff motivated him to start M$M to help other millennials reach their own financial goals.
The blog didn’t earn much in the beginning (blogs never do), but as he grew his audience and kept writing about the things he loved, his income started to increase. Eventually, he quit his teaching job, and then his wife quit her teaching job. Three years later, Bobby is now making around $50,000 per month with blogging.
Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme, and not everyone will get the same results. Do not fall for that. However, it is something that teachers can do in their spare time because you can put as much energy and time as you want into your blog, but you will get the best results if you take it seriously.
Starting with a WordPress blog hosted through Bluehost ($2.95 per month) is the way to go for new bloggers, and if you’re feeling like the setup and installation is a little too overwhelming, check out Launch That Blog. It’s completely free when you go with Bluehost.
There is a wide variety of freelance writing gigs out there, and as a teacher you’re already know how to research subjects and articulate your point.
Freelance writers can write for websites, blogs, print and online publications, and more. The pay range for freelance writers is pretty wide and usually depends on your experience and clientele, and you can find jobs through online networks like Fiverr and Upwork.
No matter what subject you teach, good grammar, spelling and punctuation are things you know and practice. And, that’s what freelance proofreaders do – they flex those skills by taking a copy and edit it for errors.
Proofreaders are needed for websites, blogs, academic and professional writers, freelance writers, and more. Just like freelance writing gigs, you can find proofreading jobs through online networks like Upwork and Fiverr.
Learn how to start your own proofreading side hustle with the Proofread Anywhere course!
Run Facebook ads for local businesses
Running Facebooks ads for small business is simply digital marketing through Facebook, which continues to be one of the best online platforms for small businesses to increase their traffic and visibility.
The reason this is a great side hustle for teachers is that running Facebook ads pays around $1,000-$1,500 per month/per client, and that’s for just 2-3 hours of work per week.
The job itself requires that you are able to find an acquire clients, test and post high-quality ads, and maintain your client relationships. It’s relatively easy with the right training, which is what we’ve done in our Facebook Side Hustle Course. In that, you’ll learn:
- How to set up a Facebook ad system for a local business
- How to find clients who are interested in digital marketing services
- How to get these clients to say “yes”
Click on Facebook Side Hustle Course to learn more, sign up, and hear from a few of our over 1,500 happy students.
Tutoring can be a surprisingly lucrative side hustle for teachers, and it pays especially well if you are able to get a job working as an SAT or ACT tutor, which pays between $45-$100 per hour. You’ll need to have a strong knowledge of the subject matter you’re teaching and possibly a teaching or educational background in that area as well.
There is also plenty of room for tutors in specific subjects like math, science, writing, etc. Pay for those types of tutoring jobs can range $30-$60 per hour depending on where you live. You can tutor in person or find jobs online with a website like Wyzant.
Become a pet sitter
If you’d rather spend your time off away from kids (it’s okay and completely understandable), pet sitting is a great side hustle for teachers who want to earn some extra income during their summer break.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find clients – tell your friends or coworkers, post on social media, etc. – but there are also websites like Rover that let you set up a profile and find clients.
What you are paid as a pet sitter will vary depending on where you live and the work you are required to do, like if you need to administer medicine, but pay averages around $20-$40 per day. If you are able to stay overnight with the pets, you can earn on the higher end of that range, maybe even more.
Sell your lesson plans
Teachers Pay Teachers is an online resource for teachers looking to buy and sell their lesson plans. Over 5 million teachers used this site last year, with over 1 billion resources downloaded in total. These are mostly pdf files that you upload and sell, and include:
- Full-year curriculums
- Project-based learning
- Special education
- Social/emotional learning
- Whole units
You can also upload and sell videos and digital learning curriculums and lessons through Teachers Pay Teachers.
Housesit during the summer
House sitters can make between $25-$45 per day and can be responsible for a number of things, like caring for pets, collecting mail, watering plants, and just making sure your client’s house and belongings stay safe while they’re out of town.
This is another good word-of-mouth side hustle because trust is such a huge factor when hiring someone to watch after your house. It’s also a job that you can do in addition to some of these other side hustles for teachers to boost the amount of extra income you earn.
Be part of a medical study
Universities, medical companies, and drug companies all need human participants for medical research studies. Depending on the study, you might have to stay overnight, come back in for blood draws, etc. Your pay will also vary on the type and length of study, but they can pay several hundred dollars up to a thousand or more.
There are studies for people who have certain diseases or disorders, and there are also studies for healthy individuals. You can use ClinicalTrials.gov to search through a database of over 300,000 different research studies around the world.
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.
Become a Pinterest Virtual Assistant
As a teacher, you’re probably already pretty familiar with Pinterest – it’s a great place to find lesson plan ideas and printables. But, did you know that online business owners and bloggers have a high need for Pinterest virtual assistants?
As a Pinterest VA, you 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 it’s a great side hustle for teachers because it’s something you can scale up as you grow your client list.
If this sounds like the kind of side gig you’d be interested in, the Pinterest Virtual Assistant Course by Kristin Larsen gives you the training you need (there’s a lot more to this side hustle than just Pinning images) and this course can even help you find your first client.
Click on the Pinterest Virtual Assistant Course to learn more and hear some success stories.
This is really a great side hustle for anyone because the cost of your inventory is so incredibly low, as in you can find free furniture sitting on the curb. The stuff people put out is usually in decent shape structurally, but they probably just don’t want to deal with taking the time to donate or sell it.
Our friends Rob and Melissa actually turned their $40k side hustle of flipping furniture into a full time income over $130k and growing. They even created a Flea Market Flipper University course to share their knowledge and teach others how to make a living flipping furniture and other goods.
Once you grab your curb find, you may need to paint, tighten joints, sand, put new hardware on, reupholster, etc. More often than not, you won’t have to do much work before the piece is ready to sell.
In addition to finding furniture on the curb, Goodwill, thrift stores, Craigslist, and garage sales are good places to source your inventory – just keep your costs low to maximize your earnings! For selling your flips, Facebook Marketplace and neighborhood forums are excellent places to list your work.