While teaching was a financially stable career to build a life on in the past, the sad reality is that teachers in the United States and around the world are increasingly finding themselves unable to make ends meet on their teaching salaries alone. Here is go through how you can have a side hustle as a teacher in 2023.
Teachers have more expenses than ever — from the rising cost of living to the increasing amounts of debt. Many are forced to take on side hustles to pay for necessities such as healthcare and housing.
Add to that the stagnating teacher salaries that have failed to keep up with these costs, and it’s easy to see why teachers are reporting higher levels of stress than ever before.
While it’s clear that more significant long-term solutions are needed to fix these problems, the fact remains that many teachers need extra cash now.
Accordingly, many are turning to side hustles to make ends meet. In this article, I’ll take a look at why teachers might want or need to take on a side hustle and explore some great side hustle options for teachers in 2023.
Why Have a Side Hustle as a Teacher?
It goes without saying that teachers shouldn’t need a side hustle to make ends meet. However, the reality is that many do.
As such, the first and foremost reason to have a side hustle as a teacher is to relieve some of the economic pressure, pay off bills and debts, and (hopefully) start saving for important purchases or events.
However, there are other reasons besides money why a teacher might be interested in a side hustle.
Some side hustles can be genuinely fun, while others, such as tutoring or teaching English online (both of which I’ll discuss below), are opportunities to deepen your knowledge of your subject matter and improve your skills as an educator.
Whatever your reason is, it can feel a bit daunting at first to figure out what your side hustle should be. So, without further ado, let’s explore the best side hustles for teachers in 2023.
Best Side Hustles for Teachers in 2023
If you’re a teacher, you’ll need a side hustle that fits your busy work schedule as well as your family/social life (ideally while also allowing you to find some time to sleep!). Flexibility is key, as is the ability to work remotely.
It’s also a great idea to consider your professional skills and talents as a teacher and find a side hustle that incorporates these.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of ten potentially lucrative side hustles for teachers.
1. Tutoring (Obviously!)
Who says teaching has to be in the classroom? Your skills and training as a teacher make you easily qualified for a side hustle as a tutor in your particular subject or area of expertise.
Students of all ages (or their parents) seek out tutors when they need a little extra help with a particular subject, and it can be a seriously lucrative side hustle. According to a Payscale estimate, tutors in New York get paid an average of $20/hour, with the highest reported salary clocking in at $50/hour.
Pay for tutoring is generally commensurate with experience, and since you’re a teacher, you can absolutely charge a higher fee based on your experience and qualification.
In addition to the financial rewards, chances are that one of the reasons you became a teacher was your love for helping young people grow, learn, and exceed — all things that also go along with a tutoring gig.
Another great thing about tutoring as a side hustle is that it’s a perfect fit for most teachers’ schedules: students are in school at the same hours as the teachers, so they generally want to meet their tutors after school, in the afternoon, or early evening.
In short, your tutoring gig can be as flexible as you need it to be (without letting your students down, of course).
How to Find Students as a Tutor
So, how can you find students in need of your services? Word of mouth may be a good place to start, but many administrations have policies against students being tutored by teachers employed at the school.
A better idea is to advertise your tutoring services online. If you feel like in-person tutoring sessions are more your style, social media platforms such as Nextdoor and locally-centered Facebook groups are great places to connect with people in your community and start building a client list.
If you’re interested in tutoring online, you could create a profile and sell your services as a remote tutor on a freelancing marketplace like Fiverr or Upwork. Although both of these sites will take a cut of your profits, they allow you to set your own price and come with a built-in audience of millions of potential students.
When advertising your skills, be sure to think outside the box.
For example, suppose you’re a high school English literature teacher. In that case, you can advertise not only your ability to help students pass their classes but also to score highly on their SATs and other AP testing or even help them write their college application essays.
2. Teaching English as a Second Language Online
Another closely related (but even more flexible) side hustle for teachers is becoming an online ESL teacher.
Globally speaking, ESL (English as a second language) is one of the most in-demand areas of education. It’s no secret that English is the international language of business, and many companies around the world list competency in English as a requirement for all potential employees.
To get started, all you have to do is apply to be a teacher with an online ESL teaching platform. Cambly and VIP Kid are two of the best-known online ESL sites, but there are many other options out there as well.
Most of these platforms pay between $10-$20 per hour and require that their teachers be native English speakers. Some (but not all) will also require a TEFL teaching certificate, which you can obtain through an online course.
The application process generally includes uploading a resume with your credentials plus a video introduction of yourself. Some platforms also include a live interview, but the process is generally not rigorous, and as a teacher, you’re already more than qualified.
In addition to being able to set your own hours and take on as much or as little work as you want, teaching English to students from around the world can be a genuinely fun and rewarding experience.
As the writer Zain Khalid says, “the world is full of family you don’t know,” and teaching ESL online is a great way to meet them.
Do you have a way with words? Are you a master of grading student papers? Then why not put these skills to work and make some money?
With so much communication taking place in written form on the internet, professional editing and proofreading is a rapidly growing field.
This is another side hustle that allows you to work around your pre-existing schedule. However, the caveat is that you’ll have to meet client deadlines.
You can look for a part-time editing job on employment search sites like Indeed or SimplyHired, but these types of more formal employment may require you to work on their schedule.
As such, many people opt to sell their editing services on freelancing sites like Fiverr and Upwork yet again. This allows you to work on your own schedule and control how many clients you take on at any given time.
Experienced freelance editors and proofreaders can charge a lot for their services — anywhere between $30 and $50 an hour, for instance.
As long as you don’t take on more work than you can realistically handle, editing and proofreading can be an easy, lucrative side hustle that utilizes the skills that most teachers already have.
Copywriting is closely related to editing and proofreading, with the crucial difference being that as a copywriter, you’ll be expected to write the content yourself.
Another similarity is that you can sell your copywriting skills as a freelancer on a freelance marketplace or look for a more formal, part-time position on a job searching platform.
Copywriting jobs generally come with flexible schedules, allowing you to write in your free time.
While the salary for a part-time copywriter employed by a company or business can vary widely, the average hourly rate for a freelance copywriter in the U.S is $28.80, according to Indeed.
This is a decent salary for a side hustle, and if you enjoy writing, it shouldn’t be too difficult or time-consuming.
If you want to automate this, you should learn to master many of the best AI copywriting software tools on the market right now.
5. Selling Lesson Plans
As a teacher, chances are that you already spend a significant amount of time carefully preparing lesson plans and teaching materials to make your classes exciting and fun for your students.
So, why not share your brilliance with the world and make some extra cash in the process?
Selling your original educational materials and lesson plans online has become a popular way for teachers to earn a little cash on the side. And while this may not be the most lucrative side hustle, it’s definitely one of the easiest since it requires almost no extra work.
Simply make sure that all your materials are in the best possible condition, find an online platform (Teachers Pay Teachers is one of the most popular), name your price, and start selling.
Not only is this side hustle nearly effortless, but it can also connect you with other teachers from around the world who are selling their materials, helping you find further inspiration for your classes.
6. Professional Organizing
Let’s be honest: organization is not everyone’s strength, but it’s an area where many teachers excel. Just think about how many papers and homework assignments you have to keep organized every week!
If you’re a whiz at organizing, you have a skill that many other people desperately need and are willing to pay for. In other words, you can turn your talent for bringing order to chaos into a side hustle as a professional organizer.
Professional organizing is a relatively new field and has taken off in recent years. More and more people realize that their offices and living spaces are absolutely drowning in stuff and start looking for help to regain control.
Professional organizers go into these spaces, sort through what can stay and what needs to go, and create a sustainable system that their clients can use in the future to stay organized.
There’s even an association for professional organizers — the National Association of Productivity and Organization Professionals (NAPO). They offer conferences, resources, and even a certificate accreditation program, but it’s definitely not necessary to have certification to start a side hustle as a professional organizer.
As with many of the side hustles on my list, you can find clients through word of mouth, by posting on local social media groups, or by creating a profile and advertising your skills on a freelance marketplace.
7. Selling Arts & Crafts
Are you known as the teacher who always has the best-decorated classroom? Are arts and crafts your favorite activities to do with your students? Perhaps your hobby is creating handcrafted works of art in your free time?
If any of these are true, you can make a side hustle selling your handiwork on artist marketplaces such as Etsy and Redbubble.
Some teachers sell school-specific posters, charts, teaching materials, and “classroom bundles” on Etsy, which are in high demand from less artistically-inclined teachers.
However, you don’t have to sell classroom-specific products, of course. If making ceramic plates is your thing, you can sell those. If you love knitting, create a line of mittens or scarves — the only limit is your imagination.
Let’s be realistic: you (probably) won’t get rich doing this particular side hustle. Nevertheless, selling your arts and crafts is a fun way to make a little extra cash on the side.
8. Curriculum and/or Article Writing for Educational Websites
This is closely related to copywriting but more specific to your profession. As a teacher, you have a ton of valuable insight to offer about your profession and the field of education in general.
Writing and publishing articles or content for educational websites is a great way to turn your expertise into a side hustle.
Check out whether your favorite educational websites and publications accept (and pay for) article submissions, or check on job platforms to see if you can get hired as a part-time curriculum writer.
Tons of online educational platforms need experienced teachers to produce their curricula, and this is another great side hustle that utilizes the skills and techniques you already have.
9. Starting Your Own Blog
Who says you have to write for someone else’s website? Starting your own teaching blog is a fun way to get paid for sharing your insights, expertise, and advice.
So, how exactly can you monetize a blog?
There are several different ways that you can earn money from starting a blog, including (but not limited to):
- Putting affiliate links to products that you recommend
- Ad placement on your blog
- Branded posts and sponsored content
- Selling your own products and merchandise
A true blogging success story is Vicki Davis, a full-time teacher who founded Cool Cat Teacher Blog in 2005 to share her experience and practical advice with other educators.
The blog has since grown into an incredible resource for teaching materials, information relevant to the field of education, interviews, and more.
Other blogs focus on more specific areas or subjects, such as high school ELA (English Language Arts), science, or history. Focusing more narrowly on a specific area of education is a good idea since it’s important to find the right niche when starting a blog.
10. Getting Certified as a Real Estate Agent
If you have a way with people, an interest in real estate, and a little extra time on your weekends, becoming a licensed real estate agent is a great — and potentially very lucrative — side hustle for teachers.
One of the best things about getting into the real estate game is that your level of time commitment is totally up to you. Many real estate agents work full-time, while others use their license to sell property as their side hustle.
Best of all, getting your real estate license is easy, fast, and relatively inexpensive.
Although procedures and regulations vary by state, the general steps to becoming a licensed real estate agent are:
- Complete your state’s educational requirements for becoming a real estate agent.
- Apply for the licensing exam in your state.
- Successfully pass your licensing exam.
- File the papers to apply for your license.
- Find a real estate brokerage to work under (this is a requirement in most states)
If you work hard, the whole process can theoretically be completed in under six months. You can take on as many or as few clients at a time as you like, making it a very flexible side hustle.
As an added bonus, the height of the home-buying season coincides with the summer months: i.e., the months when teachers generally have the least to do.
For these reasons, if you’re willing to put in the time and money to get started, becoming a real estate agent is a potentially highly lucrative side hustle for teachers.
The Bottom Line: Having a Side Hustle as a Teacher in 2023?
As a full-time teacher, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Accordingly, when it comes to finding a side hustle, one of your first priorities has to be time and flexibility. If it doesn’t fit easily into your schedule, it’s probably not the best side hustle for you.
Another important fact to consider is money. Not all side hustles are created equal, and some are undeniably more lucrative than others. You should be realistic about your financial needs and expectations at the very beginning.
If you’re interested in side hustles that aren’t exactly teacher-specific, take a look at the Best Online Side Hustles for 2023.
Finally, the right side hustle for you is the one that allows you to utilize your unique skills, talents, and knowledge. It’s worth taking the time to sit down, consider the options on my list (and any others that you can come up with, of course), and see which ones might be a good fit for you.
- Payscale – https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Tutor/Hourly_Rate/f025e9a1/New-York-NY
- Freelance copywriter salary stats – https://www.indeed.com/career/freelance-copywriter/salaries
- Cambly – https://www.cambly.com/english?lang=en
- Teachers Pay Teachers – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/
- NAPO – https://www.napo.net/
- Cool Cat Teacher Blog – https://www.coolcatteacher.com/