The high stakes associated with teaching aren’t a secret. As educators, we’re acutely aware of the significant demands of teaching. When I hear people outside the profession refer to teaching as “a little bit stressful,” I can’t help but bless their little hearts. Since education impacts lives, not products, calling it “a little bit stressful” is like calling Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos just “a little bit unqualified.”
Many of us have opted out of the classroom for the sake of our mental and physical health or for other reasons. Though no longer teaching in the traditional sense, some still want to remain connected to education. I can certainly relate! Here are 13 jobs that will get you out of the classroom but not entirely out of the education profession.
1. Educational Policy Expert
If you’re considering leaving the classroom, there’s a chance it’s because you don’t agree with a mandated policy … or 30. Be the change and all that jazz by becoming a policy expert, a person who has hands-on administrative experience with a desire to review and adjust policies within educational institutions.
2. Curriculum Writer/Director
Want to improve the quality of what students learn? Interested in working with teachers? Informing curriculum is a great way to directly impact what goes on in the classroom, without actually being in it! It’s also among the highest-paying jobs in education. Ka-ching!
Lots of districts promote senior teachers to positions where they mentor and coach new and struggling teachers. Some coaches work at only one school and some travel throughout the district. You’ll get to spend time in classrooms, but not be responsible for your own kiddos. For real-life tips and stories about mentors and their new teachers, click here.
4. Educational Consultant
In the interest of transparency, I must admit: I had to look this one up. What does an educational consultant actually do?! Apparently, there are several different ways in which an ed consultant helps schools, the most common being maintaining what’s working (curriculum, resources, budget) and replacing what’s not. Learn more about this gig here.
5. Online Educator
Red tape and pressure still apply, but becoming an online educator has been a game changer for many of us, myself included. The pay, even when salaried, is less, but so is the stress. Fair trade-off, I think!
6. Community Director
Think your local YMCA or youth center. A teacher is the perfect person to organize and facilitate educational and athletic programs and events. It’s a form of education, sprinkled with some dodgeball.
7. Guidance Counselor
Guidance counselors are in a unique position to help students and make improvements to the school. While still working within a school district, counselors serve as personal advocates for students in need and are responsible for organizing programs to help the student body.
8. Director of Technology
I found this example of a director of technology’s job description, and though it’s from 2013, it’s consistent with today’s expectations. WARNING: If you don’t want to keep up with ever-changing technology or if punting your laptop when it won’t connect to the network sounds like a reasonable solution, this gig is probably not for you.
9. Educational Curator for the Public
Pretty sure that’s just a fancy way of saying a person who manages and implements educational events and programs at places like museums and zoos. It’s like teaching but with a the possibility of having monkey poo thrown at you.
10. Freelance Writer
If you love to write and are a hard worker who will do the detective work to land writing gigs, then freelancing is an awesome option for you, and there are lots of education-related publishers looking for contributors. You can work from home, write when it fits your schedule, and make decent money.
11. College Academic Advisor
As a teacher, you’re well-versed at looking at the big picture when it comes to helping students succeed—both academically and personally. Being an academic advisor is often a good match for people who’ve left the teaching profession but don’t want to leave the education sector altogether. Median salaries for academic advisors is around $42,500, with the top pay coming in around $56,000. Be warned: Most universities prefer candidates with master’s degrees and relevant higher education experience.
12. Curriculum Service Rep
Publishing companies that create curriculum for school districts often employ former teachers as service representatives. Your job is to connect with and train educators on using the company’s products. The advantages of this position are that you get to use the knowledge you’ve gained as a classroom teacher (which makes it easier to connect with clients), you can usually work part-time, you control your schedule, and you make a lot more money.
Use your expertise as an instructor and start your own tutoring business. If you can build up your own clientele, you can make serious money, with experienced teachers charging anywhere from $35–$50 per hour. Tap into those good relationships you’ve built over the years and make the transition to working at your own pace on your own terms. One resource to check out to help you build your business is the Teacher’s Guide to Tutoring: Video Course and e-book.
Have any other post-teaching jobs to add to the list? Leave them in the comments and we’ll update this post.