Teacher burnout is a very real phenomenon, pushing many teachers to leave the profession every year, but what you might not realize is how many skills learned in education degree programs and on the job can transfer to alternative careers.
What is a teacher, after all, but a project manager, HR rep, life coach, motivational speaker, and creative entrepreneur all wrapped up into one.
Just because your degree is in education, that doesn’t mean teaching is your only option. In fact, there are many great career changes for teachers out there, whether it means moving up the ladder or looking into jobs in education field besides teaching.
Second careers for teachers can take many different forms. For some, it means a complete career change out of teaching, looking for jobs for teachers outside of education. For others, it means going back to school and earning a higher degree – such as a Doctor of Education – and moving into administration.
Teachers may add a psychology or counseling certification and become career counselors. Some teachers can even make more as education consultants.
A career change out of teaching may just be diving deeper into the world of education.
College Consensus editors have put together this ranking of the highest-paying alternatives to teaching with a focus on jobs that make use of the special skills, knowledge, and experience of teachers. Careers are listed based on their average salary, according to current Payscale data.
If you love helping kids learn, and you’re ready to take your career path to the next level by searching for jobs in education field besides teaching, it may be time to step your game up and become an administrator.
As an administrator, you may be responsible for a specific facet of your school or district (such as operations, instruction, or culture) or you may be responsible for several aspects of your school or district’s success.
An administrator wears many hats throughout the day, from meeting with parents to helping teachers refine their instructional approach. If you’re moving into administration at a school at which you were previously a classroom teacher, you have the benefit of knowing your school’s families and employees on a level that will garner instant respect as you step into your new role.
While the requirements for school administrators differ depending on whether you’re in a public or private school, most administration jobs require a master’s or doctorate degree, as well as a principal certification. As a school administrator, you can expect to make more money in Ghana, in the USA some make $88,000-$118,000 per year.
Average Salary: $88,000-$118,000
Working as a standardized test developer can be one of many great career changes for teachers. If you love doing the hard work of making sure that students are hitting their learning outcomes, developing high quality standardized test questions can help inform students, parents, teachers, and administrators of where students are succeeding – and where they need some extra work.
In this position, you’ll not only need to be an expert in your subject area – you’ll also need to be an expert in creating high quality assessments with questions that vary in level of difficulty.
In this position, you may work in an office, or you may work in a school (especially if the school is large, and creates their own periodic assessments to prepare for state testing).
You can develop test items for schools or parents to buy to test their wards.
You can also team up to become a recognise private test developers, prepare scheme of work for schools, develop the test and a scheme for marking and you will be making extra income.
If you’re an educator who is looking for jobs in education field besides teaching, and you still want to be involved in helping kids learn, working as an educational consultant can be a great way to continue to affect young minds in a positive way.
As an educational consultant, you’ll likely serve several schools within one district. Most educational consultants have an office at a district building, and travel from school to school over the course of a week.
If you work for a private educational consulting company, you may work with several school districts in one area. Your responsibilities will vary as the district’s needs change.
Sometimes, you may work directly with principals and assistant principals, and other times, you may work directly with teachers, helping them to improve their instructional process.
4. Homeschool Consultant
Homeschooling parents want to provide the best education possible for their kids, and this sometimes means reaching out to an expert for their input.
This is where you come in. When it comes to jobs in education field besides teaching, working as a homeschool consultant allows you to help provide kids with a great education – even though you’re not the one delivering the instruction.
You’ll work with parents or small groups of homeschoolers to help them refine the educational process.
You may observe parents while they’re teaching, help with lesson plans and curriculum design, and work with parents to help them assess their children and ensure that they’re meeting learning objectives.
Homeschool consultants can work on a freelance basis, or can work as a part of a larger educational consulting company.
If you choose to work on a freelance basis, you’ll be responsible for deciding what credentials are necessary for your desired clientele to value your services.
Most homeschool consultants have at least a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate, while many have a master’s or doctorate degree.
If you work with an educational consulting company, it’s likely that you’ll be required to have a master’s or doctorate and a valid teaching license and this will be a plus. You don’t need the master to teach in only university or college.
5. After School Program Director
If you love interacting with kids in a setting that allows them to develop their interests, a great career changes for teachers option for you may be a job as an after school program director.
As an after school program director, you’ll work with teachers and coaches to design an engaging, robust program for your school.
You’ll likely have an office within the school, but much of your time will be spent visiting various extracurricular activities in the afternoon.
The hours for this job are a little different than that of a teacher, as you’ll be at the school after most of the staff has gone home in order to interact with students and educators participating in after school activities.
In most schools, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in order to be an after school program director. You may or may not need a teaching certificate.
6. Curriculum Design
As a former teacher (or a teacher who is thinking about leaving the classroom), you know the ins and outs of your subject area.
From common misconceptions that students already had when you began your lessons to tips and tricks to make learning sticky, you understand how a curriculum needs to be designed to best meet the needs of students.
Working as a curriculum designer can be a great career changes for teachers. The curriculum design field provides many jobs in education field besides teaching to former educators who are experts in their subject area.
In this position, you’ll work with instructional leaders within your district to create a curriculum that’s perfect for students.
Most curriculum design jobs require at least a master’s degree in education, as well as experience in the classroom. You may need a teacher’s license to become a curriculum designer, depending on the requirements of your school country/district.
Instructional designers are often teachers who loved creating lesson plans, and succeeded at creating work for students that met them at the nexus of ability and challenge.
Working as an instructional designer is a great career changes for teachers who want to help students, but prefer to do so without the pressure and pace of working in a classroom.
In this position, you’ll create rigorous objectives, develop hands on activities, and create checks for understanding and assessments that allow teachers to engage their students.
You’ll also utilize feedback from teachers and administrators to change current instructional design and make it more effective for the classroom.
In order to become an instructional designer, you’ll likely need a combination of a master’s degree and several years of experience in the classroom.
8. School/Child Psychologist
If you love working to help kids fulfill their potential, looking into jobs in education field besides teaching in the area of student psychology can be a great way to transition out of the classroom.
As a school/ child psychologist, you’ll get to spend your time working one on one with students, getting to know them on a different level than you were able to while you had a classroom full of kids.
You may also lead group therapy sessions, as well as work in classrooms that are struggling with social and/ or bullying issues. You’ll work in an office within the school, or you may travel from school to school to see students.
A school or child psychologist needs a doctorate degree and you’ll need to be licensed by your country.
9. Corporate Trainer
As a teacher, you know how to talk so that people listen. You understand how to teach lessons in ways that are engaging and appropriate for your audience.
Working as a corporate trainer can be one of many great career changes for teachers who are ready to move out of the classroom.
You’ll develop trainings, work with employees, and may even teach supervisors how to better explain topics and goals to their employees. You may work at one location, or travel between various locations of the company.
You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to become a corporate trainer, and you may need a master’s degree.
10. Education Policy and Research
If you’re passionate about helping students, but you want to affect change on a large scale, working in education policy and research can provide many jobs in education field besides teaching. Professionals working in education policy and research can work for politicians, advocacy groups, non-profits, and more.
Working in this area provides opportunities for many different types of work, from observing teachers in classrooms in high need areas to working with lawmakers to impact educational change.
To work in education policy and research, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree, but many positions will require a master’s or doctorate.
Expert in your subject area? Working as a textbook author can be one of the great career changes for teachers. If you’re a former teacher, you don’t just know the subject matter – you know how to explain it in a way that resonates with people who are just beginning to learn your area of expertise.
Becoming a textbook author is one of many great career changes for teachers who love what they do, but are ready for a move out of the classroom environment. You’ll get to study the latest research in your specialty area, and use that information to inform the education that students will receive in their classrooms.
For most positions as a textbook author, you’ll need at least a master’s degree – many positions require a doctorate.
If you’re passionate about your subject area but aren’t enjoying your time in the classroom, working as a curriculum representative can be one of the great jobs in education field besides teaching that may be a great fit for you.
Working in curriculum sales can be an excellent position for education professionals who want an exciting job that allows for travel.
In this position, you’ll spend time becoming an expert on your company’s curriculum, and traveling from school to school to talk to education professionals about why your curriculum is the best fit for the needs of their students and teachers.
You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to work as a curriculum director.
13. School Counseling
Many educators who love spending time with kids, but hate dealing with grading and administrative tasks, find that working as a school counselor is a great fit.
Moving into counseling can provide opportunities for great career changes for teachers. As a school counselor, you may work in one school, or you may split your time between several schools in your district.
You’ll meet with students, help them through issues they’re having at school and at home, and evaluate students for learning and behavioral differences.
You’ll also spend some time meeting with parents, updating them on their child’s progress, and you’ll work with teachers to help them accommodate their students’ needs.
You may also work directly in classrooms from time to time, talking with students about personal and social issues in a group setting.
In order to work as a school counselor, you’ll need at least a master’s degree, and you’ll need to be licensed by your state.
14. Recreation Director
Love spending time outdoors, helping others to get the most out of their opportunities for health and fitness? Working as a recreation director is one of the great career changes for teachers who enjoy planning social, physical, and entertainment events for others.
As a recreation director, you can work at a camp, a university, a boarding school, and other environments where students spend live while they’re also learning.
You’ll develop recreational programs (such as competitive and intramural sports), implement activities for students, and troubleshoot programs that aren’t working for the organization.
In this position, it’s important to interact with students regularly, finding out what new programs they’d like to see, and working to make those programs a reality.
As a recreation director, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree – many recreation director positions require a master’s degree.
You love helping others, but you want to do something different than teaching in the classroom. Working as a life coach is one of the great career changes for teachers who form positive, upbeat relationships with others.
As a life coach, you have options for how you’d like to work. If you’re a self-starter, you can create your own business.
Many people who want to get into life coaching choose to start their business while working at their full-time job. Others work with a life coaching agency. No matter what route you choose, you’ll be working closely with clients to help them develop and achieve their goals.
In this position, it’s important to be motivating, encouraging, and upbeat. While positivity is key, you’ll also need to be able to give tough love when your clients need it.
As a life coach, you’ll work hard with clients, and you’ll get to share in their success when they achieve their long-term goals as a result of your guidance.
16. Career Counseling
career counselor 1
If you want to work with people of all ages and help them shape their futures, one of the jobs in education field besides teaching that might be a great fit for you is working as a career counselor.
There are many different opportunities for career counselors. If you want to help students who are graduating from college get started on their first career, working in a university career counseling center might be a good fit for you.
If you’re interested in working with people who have already made headway in their career, working at a career center may be a good fit.
There’s also the option to work in private practice, allowing you to create your own hours. Some career counselors work in private counseling centers with other groups of counselors, providing clients with many options for guidance.
17. Adult Education
adult education 2
Prefer working with adults instead of kids? A great career changes for teachers can be making the move from a children’s’ classroom to a classroom full of adults.
There are many different settings in which adult education is needed. If you want to work with adults who are working to get their GED, teaching night classes can be a great way to help them further their education.
Teaching at a community college is a great way to help adults get the education they want to further their career. You may also want to consider working at a career center where adults come to learn soft and hard skills that can help them train for a new job.
As an adult educator, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree. While there is not an adult education license, you may be required to get a teaching license, depending on the rules within your organization.
18. Student Life Coordinator/Director
student life 1
One of the jobs in education field besides teaching that attracts many teachers who enjoy helping students improve their lives, a student life coordinator/ director gets to directly affect the lives of young people in a positive way.
As a student life coordinator, you get to work on a college or high school campus, creating and implementing initiatives that allow young people to thrive.
Whether you’re working to create support groups for students who are away from home for the first time or organizing a campus-wide carnival, this position requires positivity and high energy.
19. Preschool Director
If you love working with little ones, but don’t want to teach in the classroom, becoming a preschool director can be a great career change for teachers. In this position, you’ll support teachers, work with students, develop relationships with parents, and develop and execute goals for the preschool as a whole.
While some preschool director positions only require a bachelor’s degree, most require a master’s or doctorate degree. You may also need a valid teaching certificate, depending on the requirements of your organization.
20. Camp Director
One of the great career changes for teachers who want to continue working with kids is to make the move to becoming a camp director. As a camp director, you’ll work with counselors to support campers, create schedules for the camp, handle day to day issues (such as maintenance and camper issues) and ensure that operations run smoothly throughout the camp season.
You’ll likely live at the camp during the times that camp is in session.
As a camp director, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree, and you may need a master’s degree (depending on the camp’s requirements).
If you’re passionate about education but don’t want to work in the classroom, working as a freelancer can open up many jobs in education field besides teaching.
When you freelance, you get to talk, write, or create media in your areas of interest and expertise. Many educators begin freelancing while also working their full-time teaching jobs, and eventually segue into freelancing as a full-time career as they begin to gain a client base and/ or an audience.
While freelance pay rates can vary greatly, you can expect to make approximately $40,000 per year when freelancing full-time.
As a freelancer, you’re your own boss – your education and continuing education requirements are your own decision.
22. Residence Life Director
Many residence life directors regard their move from the classroom to the dorm room as a great career changes for teachers.
Working in residence life allows you to get to know college students and support them socially and academically. You’ll work to manage dorms by coordinating resident assistants, maintenance staff, and other student life professionals.
You may also be responsible for conducting disciplinary hearings for students who are in violation of university policies. Day to day responsibilities can change often in this position, and it’s important to be flexible and comfortable with the idea of an ever-changing to do list.
In order to work as a residence life director, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree. Many schools require a master’s degree for this position.
23. Admissions Counselor/Recruiter
One of the jobs in education field besides teaching that attracts teachers who are deeply invested in students’ futures, working as an admissions counselor or a college recruiter can be just as rewarding as the hard work you’ve already done in the classroom.
In this position, you’ll talk with students about your higher learning institution, helping them to decide if it’s a good fit for their career goals.
You’ll likely work in an admissions office, and you may travel to visit high schools and talk with prospective students.
In this position, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree. You may also need a master’s degree in counseling, depending on your university’s policies.
Working as a museum educator and/ or tour guide for teachers who want jobs in education field besides teaching, but still want the opportunity to help others learn. This job can be an especially great fit for teachers who love a niche area, such as modern art or American history.
In this position, you’ll help students and guests learn more about the museum, and you’ll answer their questions about your exhibits. You’ll spend most of your time working in the museum, but you may occasionally visit schools or other educational programs to teach kids about your museum’s specialty.
As a museum educator or tour guide, you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree. It’s also important that you have a deeply vested interest in the subject matter of the museum.
If you love working one on one with students, but don’t want a traditional classroom environment, working as a tutor might be one of the great career changes for teachers that makes the most sense for you.
As a tutor, you’ll work with students to help them overcome challenges in the classroom. You’ll work to reteach lessons they’re struggling with, and you’ll get to know their unique learning style so that you can help them succeed.
As a tutor, you may work on a freelance basis, or you may work with a tutoring agency.
Tutors need at least a high school diploma and subject area expertise.