Teachers play a key role in shaping the world in which we live.
But they don’t get paid anywhere near what they are worth. It sucks, and it’s really not fair.
You might assume that an educated, hard working group of people would (at the very least) be paid an average wage. Guess again.
According to a 2016 global study across 34 developed countries, those who graduated in teacher training earned an average of 15% less than graduates from all other major fields of study. Safe to say, this is why almost half of all teachers choose to ‘moonlight’ a second job and look for additional ways to create an income.
Whatever the case, here are some practical ways you can make more money using your teaching skills and bring your income up a few notches.
#1 Get a ‘Side Job’ Within The Education Sector
This is a good way to go if you prefer the security of a job, over venturing out on your own.
There are many avenues here, but some of the more popular side jobs include teaching during summer school periods, remote teaching jobs, online grade scoring and exam preparation.
Summer Teaching Jobs: There are plenty of these jobs available throughout the US or in other countries where an optional study period is available for students, like a third semester in university for example. This is an easy way to boost cash flow during the 10-11 week summer holiday period, without affecting your existing employment contract. This can also extend to working at a ‘summer camp’ which many folks say is a very rewarding experience. Although, this is more about character building, socializing and having fun than brining home the bacon.
Remote Teaching Jobs: There are many schools and universities that have remote teaching facilities in place, which means this can be a great way to increase your income. It will depend on the organization itself in respects to the hours you can work and how flexible the arrangements will be though, so it may not work around current work commitments very well. Either way, it’s worth looking into.
Online Exam Scoring: As exam grading becomes more and more automated with advancing technology, more opportunities open up for qualified teachers to grade/ score exam papers from home. For example, a company called ETS offers qualified teachers the opportunity to grade students exam papers in a flexible manner. It’s easy to apply for this online.
Online Exam Preparation: Companies like Kaplan hire qualified teachers to assist students in preparing for an exam. More specifically, prepping for ‘high-stakes standardized entrance exams’. Some positions require you to meet at set locations, but there are cloud based opportunities also. According to the company, this is perfect for teachers who already work full-time as the average work load is only 6-20 hours and can be done during the evenings and on weekends.
#2 Re-Locate To a Higher Paying Area
How much money you can potentially make as a teacher on a standard salary, depends entirely on where you live.
According to teacherportal.com, the average salary for teachers is about $75k in New York, but that number drops significantly to around $39k for teachers working in South Dakota. Needless to say, this is a staggering difference, so it’s well worth looking into your options here. Of course, you should also take into account the costs that may be involved in re-locating and the cost of housing in the higher paying areas, among other things.
#3 Sell Your Training Resources Online
Great teachers work hard to create great teaching materials for their students to help improve learning outcomes in the classroom. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could make money sharing some of this stuff with other teachers?
Well, you may or may not know this, but there is such a place and it’s called Teachers Pay Teachers.
This is an online marketplace that provides a way to sell your teaching materials to other teachers. It has become incredibly popular since it began in 2006 with over four million members actively using the platform and over $330 million paid out in revenue as of writing this.
If you have valuable knowledge to share with your teaching peers and an entrepreneurial spirit, this could be a good segue into a business.
Like most popular platforms though, you are competing against a lot of other teachers to make sales, so it can take time to develop an income this way. One way to overcome this challenge, is to see if there are certain niche topics you could cover better than other vendors within the marketplace. If so, create that resource and try your luck!
#4 After Hours Tutoring
Perhaps the most obvious, and among the most popular ways to make some extra cash, is to become a tutor.
There is always going to be students who need (or want) tutoring to get better grades. From elementary, right up to college students. Parents want their children to perform better, and older students want better grades to land their dream job. Both are willing to pay to make this happen.
You may want to make sure that you are able to do this within the scope of your contract agreement to be safe though. It should be fine, but sometimes there are rules against this on campus, so it’s worth checking on. All going well, one idea to kick things off is to reach out to the principal and teaching coordinators to get a feel for the potential opportunity within your school. Look for appropriate places to inform students and parents that your services are for hire. Network with other teachers and work together, maybe they specialize in a different field of study. These are just a few ideas.
Another option is to signup with a website like Chegg Tutors that aligns students and tutors with one another in one platform.
There are already students signed up who are looking for tutors, and you are matched with the right jobs according to your expertise. The pricing starts at $20 per hour which isn’t amazing, but as you build your reputation on the platform and get good feedback, you can demand a higher price. There are a number of similar platforms though, this is just one example.
In addition to these methods, you could post an ad on CraigsList.com or any number of free directories. There are many ways to advertize your services, and your client base will grow over time.
Some have even gone on to become a full-time tutor this way, and bank a lot more than a standard teacher’s salary.
#5 Use Your Skills As a Freelancer
Freelancing is a popular way to crack into online business and there are many great platforms that align freelance professionals with customers looking to get jobs done.
Websites like UpWork.com, PeoplePerHour.com, and Elance.com are among the most popular. Some platforms are better than others and attract a different type of client though, so it’s worth doing your homework to find the right one for you.
A good way to leverage this approach is to look for opportunities within your current scope of practice, rather than trying to be everything to everyone. You will be much more successful this way.
For example, if you are an English teacher you could offer your copywriting services, or if you teach graphic design you could specialize in this type of work. If you teach different languages, you could take on translating contracts. If you can’t think of any one thing that fits, there’s always work for a freelance virtual assistant.
Worth noting, is how there can be a lot of competition across the various platforms and you are competing with freelancers from overseas where the rates of pay are much lower than more developed countries. So, it can be tough to demand a high enough price when you are just starting out. The key is to offer high value for a low price to build your reputation, and scale things up from there. Try to pick something you know can eventually bring in the money you want once you are more established.
#6 Create A Digital Product
Depending on what sort of teacher you are, you may very well have specialized knowledge about a particular topic. The right people may also be willing to pay good money to learn what you have inside your brain!
The possibilities here are practically endless.
For example, let’s say you teach data science. You could create a video course or an ebook to help undergraduate students pass this subject. Nothing fancy, just help students pass. Thinking bigger, you could help small business owners who want to take advantage of business analytics but have no idea how. Understanding the data in any business can make a monumental difference to it’s overall success, which is why smart business owners will pay big bucks to get help with this.
You could take this even further and help businesses on a more individual level, with an added coaching service for a higher price.
The point is, think of anything people need help with. Chances are there is something you know that can help a group of people solve a problem. More importantly, a problem they are willing to pay to have solved. You might be surprised. The format and topic may change, but the concept remains the same. People have problems, and pay for solutions.
#7 Make Extra Money As An Affiliate
If the thought of working long hours, competing in a saturated marketplace or creating a product is a bit scary, there is a better alternative. It’s called affiliate marketing and this is how I personally make money on the internet.
The basic idea is that you promote other people’s products and earn commissions when people buy products through your ‘affiliate link’.
Here’s an overview of how it works:
- Choose a topic you know something about
- Create a simple website and fill it with useful content
- Make money recommending products your visitors are interested in
This is a very simple and straightforward business model when you break it down, and there are many perks.
For example, you don’t need to create any products yourself, stock any inventory or manage staff, and the startup costs are very low. Yet, the income potential is very high for those who take massive action. You can do this as a side hustle, or work towards creating a full-time income to replace your teaching job altogether. Both of these are absolutely possible.
There are many ways to do affiliate marketing, but I recommend the website approach because it’s a great way to share your knowledge with others, and make money in the process. When you boil it down and do things the right way, you make money helping people online.
The best way to get started is with a website called Wealthy Affiliate which is the same platform I learned how to get started online with. The training works, it’s free to get started and you get access to a community of successful affiliates who share ideas and help one another succeed.
It’s a shame teachers get paid such little money for their efforts, but it’s not all doom and gloom! You can boost your income.
Some methods will require more time and effort than others, and some present more of an opportunity to make extra money than others do. There are pros and cons with each.
For example, a side job is an easy way to make extra money teaching, but it will take up even more of your time. On the other hand, creating an income online can be a great way to make a passive income and ditch the daily grind altogether, but this can take time to get profitable. Sometimes a combination of these methods is best.
Either way, teachers are worth far more than the wage on offer, and these suggestions can help you turn things around.