Whether you’re a teacher looking for something to supplement your income all year long or a short-term opportunity to bring in extra cash during the summer months, side hustles are a great option.
This article focuses specifically on opportunities for trained educators who are looking to make extra money using their skills and experience. If you’re interested in non-education-based options, check out our article on side hustles for beginners.
#1. Sell Lesson Plans
Teachers Pay Teachers is the world’s largest catalog of educator-created content, with more than 7 million resources available on the platform. Users are able to search by keyword, grade, subject, format, price and more. This site was started by educators for peers to be able to share and benefit from their hard work creating classroom resources.
To get started selling on the site, you need to sign up for a free account and complete a basic profile. From there, you can begin uploading resources to your store. TPT hosts free and paid resources. As a new seller, your first product listing must be a free product. After you upload your first free product listing, you can add unlimited paid products.
The Basic Seller account is free and TPT takes 45% of the sales plus 30 cents per transaction. The Premium Seller account costs $59.95 per year and allows you to keep 80% of the sale with 15-cent transaction fees (orders of $3 are more have no transaction fee).
This side gig could provide passive income thanks to the ability to upload unlimited product listings and its millions of users. Selling lesson plans does require work upfront, but then you’re able to sell the product over and over for years to come.
#2. Sell Printables
Educational printables are digital-only products that users purchase then download and print to help supplement their lesson plans (meaning that no physical products are created or shipped). These products are quick and don’t require additional preparation for the teacher.
Teachers can take games, worksheets and posters they have made for their own classrooms and turn them into extra money by selling them to other educators.
Here are just some of the printables that are sold by teachers:
Bulletin board decorations.
Games and puzzles.
Rainy day activity sheets.
There are multiple platforms to sell printables, with Teachers Pay Teachers and Etsy being the most popular options. Etsy charges a 20-cent listing fee plus a 6.5% transaction fee on all sales. (See the previous section for Teachers Pay Teachers’ fees.)
This side gig is similar to selling lesson plans, where you create the product upfront, then are able to sell it over and over. If you have already created items like these for your classroom, then you’re already part of the way there. Just create your account on a selling platform and upload your products.
If you’re a tutor who specializes in high-demand subjects like math and science, you can expect higher rates than for more general subjects. The same is true when it comes to credentials: if you have a master’s degree or topic area certification, you can command an especially high rate.
Online tutors can anticipate $25 to $50 per hour. Using sites like Tutor.com, educators can host a profile and set their own rates. Clients can also leave ratings and reviews, to help you establish your reputation as a tutor.
Summer is a great time for high schoolers to be preparing to take the ACT and SAT tests. One-on-one instruction (or even small group classes) is something a lot of parents are willing to pay top dollar for. The average SAT tutor rates are between $45-$100 per hour.
Test prep tutors are different from regular tutors because they teach specific testing strategies, offer sample tests and questions, and give individualized feedback on how to improve their score.
Like traditional tutors, test prep tutors can opt to work independently or with a company to gain clients. Look for test prep classes in your area, then inquire about available instructor positions
Creating an online course allows students to access your teaching and expertise at their convenience.
Online courses typically involve creating video instruction, PowerPoint slides, and/or PDFs for students. There are several platforms where you can host these courses. Some platforms, like Skillshare and Udemy, function as a marketplace, where students come and specifically look for courses. Other sites, like Kajabi and Podia, offer creators a platform but expect teachers to promote their own courses through social media or other marketing avenues.
Earning potential varies widely based on subject matter and audience, but it’s possible to make significant income, as courses can sell for up to a few hundred dollars per student.
Keep in mind that teachers are skilled in teaching, which means you don’t have to limit yourself to creating courses solely about academic subjects. This opportunity would be a great way to combine your teaching skills and any hobbies or passions you may have. Topics that add value and enrich a person’s life are more likely to generate revenue, so get creative.
Deciding on your course subject is the first step. From there, pick a platform and start making your course.
YouTube is where parents and students are increasingly going to look for educational support outside of the classroom — think of subjects like how to solve a particular type of math problem, or further information about a specific history subject. Teachers are well-equipped to answer these questions.
YouTube shows ads on videos and pays creators based on how many times each video was viewed. In order to be eligible to monetize your educational videos, you need:
An existing YouTube channel in good standing.
At least 1,000 subscribers.
At least 4,000 hours of total watch time within the past 12 months.
Experienced educators who have homeschooled their own children or run homeschool co-op groups may find this niche side hustle the perfect fit.
When homeschool parents are struggling and need a resource, they turn to homeschool consultants for tried and true solutions. If this side gig is something you want to try, connect with local homeschool groups and parents to offer your services.
#8. Become an Adjunct Professor
An adjunct professor is an instructor that’s hired on a part-time basis for a college or university. Some teachers actually work for multiple universities part-time, making a full-time career out of it. If you have an advanced degree, this side gig may be perfect for you.
While there is some flexibility in this opportunity, professors are committing to specific times and days during the semester or term. Contracts are typically on a per class/per term basis, as colleges factor enrollment and course selection.
This may be a great side hustle for someone who likes variety or who wants to get their foot in the door teaching at the collegiate level. Reach out to your local community college or university about their application processes.
Special Lecturers may be needed for (among others):
Charity and fundraiser events.
Community education events.
Public library classes.
Guest lecturer pay varies based on expertise and subject matter. Some pay structures are profit sharing models based on tickets sold. Others may offer a lower pay rate with additional benefits like free admission or travel to and from the location. On average, the hourly rate for a visiting lecturer is $39.35.
Opportunities for this type of work may not be as steady or available as other side gig work. Lecturers will need to be proactive in reaching out to potential clients and positioning themselves as an expert in their given topic.
#10. Answer Questions
JustAnswer is a site where people can pay to have questions answered by verified experts. There is an entire section for homework questions, which makes this side gig perfect for teachers.
To get started on the platform, you must apply to be an expert. The application is a general job application form asking for educational and employment background. There is a place to upload a professional resume and add any additional certifications as well. All of these credentials and employers will be verified by a third-party firm.
Their application process takes four to seven business days because of the verification process. Applicants will be notified by email of their acceptance or denial.
Best Side Hustles for Teachers: Final Thoughts
With the increase of online education and digital resources, there is plenty of room to add passive income streams using one’s expertise. These avenues may take time to build large followings but are low maintenance after the initial creation.
It is possible for educators to find flexible, part-time work that is fulfilling, however they may require self-promotion to get established. Not everyone loves to toot their own horn, but it’s vital for building up a clientele.
There is a lot of overlap between a traditional teaching job and these side gigs. Teachers possess incredibly valuable skills and experience that can be leveraged outside of the traditional classroom model.
Holly Humbert is a Utah-based freelance author and social media strategist who writes about entrepreneurship, women in business and financial education. Connect with her on Linkedin and Instagram.