12 Side Hustles Perfect for Teachers to Earn Extra Money

My sister is a high school teacher in South Boston.

For many years, before having children, she would spend a month or so teaching in England with a summer program. It was part vacation, part side hustle, but 100% trip to England. It’s never bad to keep your skills sharp while getting a mini-vacation in the process!

When that program ended, she opted to go to Taiwan to teach English. We have family there so it was again a half-vacation and half-side hustle, albeit less structured. We have relatives to run a tutoring and summer school operation so my sister joined on as a teacher for the summer.

Now that she has young kids of her own, she no longer has the luxury to pursue those types of summer hustles.

For many educators, a side hustle is a must because many areas don’t pay their teachers well enough (just look at the recent teacher protests in West Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, etc).

If you’re a teacher and looking to make a little extra money, there are opportunities where you can continue to work with kids as well as those where you don’t:

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Teaching English as a Second Language
    1. VIPKid
  2. 2. Child Care, Babysitting & Caregiving
  3. 3. Create Online Courses
  4. 4. Drive & Ridesharing
  5. 5. Fill out Online Surveys
  6. 6. Participate in a Focus Group
  7. 7. Freelance Writing
  8. 8. Freelance Editing
  9. 9. Coaching or Refereeing
  10. 10. Blogging
  11. 11. Tutoring
  12. 12. Public Speaking or Presenting
  13. Conclusion

1. Teaching English as a Second Language

There’s continues to be huge demand for teaching English as a second language online. It’s so versatile that we decided to lead with this item and separate it from tutoring (even though it is still tutoring). The opportunity is that great because this is a high dollar side hustle you can do from home.

Rather than teach in a classroom, there are online services where you can tutor students as far away as China. There is one-on-one tutoring as well as group tutoring sessions, all done remotely with a computer and a webcam.


The most traditional of these options is VIPKid, which is always 1-on-1 teaching. After you pass a brief interview, you can make as much as $22 an hour when you hit various performance bonuses.

Earn $14-22/hr with VIPKid

2. Child Care, Babysitting & Caregiving

The summer months are often a boon for caregivers because school is out and parents may not have lined up options for their kids. If it’s during the school year, parents may need a break at night or on weekends so they have a chance to be adults.

Either way, you can create a free profile on a site like SitterCity.com or Care.com that will connect with families that need extra help. You set your schedule and the average rates are around $12-15 an hour.

Create a free profile on SitterCity

3. Create Online Courses

You can always do this through YouTube, but you also have to promote your courses in entrepreneur-like fashion. Another alternative is a website called Udemy. You choose your topic, create your course, and Udemy will even help you promote it for a percentage of your sales.

Udemy is both a source of online courses for visitors, as well as a platform for professionals to create those courses. You can create a series of courses based on your own teaching specialties, or even completely unrelated topics.

Create your course on Udemy

4. Drive & Ridesharing

All you need is a decent car, a smart phone, and some extra room in your schedule, and you can join the ridesharing revolution. Uber and Lyft are two of the more popular ridesharing platforms for drivers and they even have an earning guarantee. Sign up to be a driver, and you can earn between $15 an hour and $25 an hour, or even more in busy urban locations.

As a teacher, you can adjust your ridesharing availability. You can drive a few hours a week during the school year, and more during school breaks and summer vacation. It’s an income source that can adjust easily to your own schedule.

If you don’t like the idea of driving people, you could deliver food on demand through Instacart or Door Dash. If you want to shop and deliver groceries, Instacart may be a better option.

5. Fill out Online Surveys

A lot of market research companies will pay you to take surveys. You will not earn a ton from these survey companies but the surveys don’t take a lot of time, you can do it at your own pace, and you might even enjoy answering a few questions. The best part is that you can often get paid in cash or turn it into Amazon gift cards, which are as good as cash!

Some are reputable, others are not, but the ones we really like are:

6. Participate in a Focus Group

A focus group is a great way to earn money because you just have to show up, answer a few questions for an hour or two, and get paid a significant sum of money. I did one many years ago and made $100 cash for 90 minutes.

If you want to find good focus groups, I recommend signing up for Respondent.io.

You will be able to search for focus groups, rather than get put on a list, and find the ones that you’re likely to qualify for. The more general ones pay less, like a casual dining restaurant focus group pays $150 per 90 minutes but one for people in the shipbuilding industry pays $200 for 60 minutes (fewer people qualify for that).

It’s completely free to join (any focus group should be free to join, if it isn’t, then it’s a scam!

Learn more about Respondent.io

7. Freelance Writing

Teachers usually have an above average ability to write, even if they don’t teach writing related subjects, like English or literature. One of the big advantages here is that there are so many potential topics you can write on. For example, if you’re a science teacher, you can write on science related topics.

You can do it through freelance job boards like Contena, which pulls together the listings from every job board to save you a ton of time. You can also offer your services on a direct basis, through Craigslist and by approaching websites and blogs directly. (Hint: many sources are looking for ghost writers, which is a growing niche.)

You can earn anywhere from $50 to several thousand dollars with freelance writing, it all depends on your writing ability, skills, and the gigs you’re able to secure.

Search for writing gigs on Contena

8. Freelance Editing

As a teacher, you’re well accustomed to correcting papers. You can take that skill and use it to edit the writing work of others. Many companies and websites are looking for people to do editing work on a contract basis. You can approach these potential employers directly, or once again turn to Upwork to make your services available. You can charge over $30 an hour for editing work, which can rise with experience.

Proofreading Launchpad is a solid course that will teach you in the ins and outs of proofreading as a freelance career. You can learn how to earn as a freelance proofreader including step-by-step directions on how to break into the industry. You will be surprised how easy it is.

And if you do get into proofreading, sign up for Grammarly and its powerful grammar checking tool. It’ll be like a cheat code.

9. Coaching or Refereeing

Is there a sport you’re particularly interested in, or even participated in when you were in school? If so, it can provide a natural side hustle for you. You may be able to add a coaching gig at the school where you teach. But there may also be opportunities either at other schools in your district, or even in local recreational leagues.

Coaching and refereeing jobs often go begging in these areas. Professionals are usually looking at full-time situations, which leaves the local openings unfilled. For refereeing alone, you can typically earn anywhere from $25-$100 to cover games in recreation leagues. Coaching may offer a flat fee for the season.

10. Blogging

One of the attractions of blogging is that you can start a blog based on just about any topic you want. We even have a 10-minute guide to starting your own blog!

As a teacher, the possibilities are limitless. You can start a blog on the subject you specialize in, or you can start a blog about teaching itself. You can even start a blog about the intricacies and nuances of being a teacher, with other teachers as the target market.

If you want to go bigger picture, you can even start a blog about how to improve the education system, or how parents can better educate their children within the system. As a teacher, you have that knowledge. And since you almost certainly have the technical writing capability, you’ll be all set to go.

You can easily set up a website by selecting a low-cost web host, and using a free WordPress template to create your blog. It won’t produce immediate income, but if you stick with it can be a perfect at-home cash flow.

11. Tutoring

Tutoring has become a booming business, especially with all the high-stakes testing going on. You can offer tutoring services specifically for testing, or for virtually any course you can teach. Tutors earn anywhere from $25-$50 per hour working on their own. You can offer your services through your school, or other schools in your district, or in a general space like Craigslist.

Alternatively, you can tutor through online sites like Wyzant or TutorMe. They’ll help match you with students in your area.

12. Public Speaking or Presenting

You’re probably aware that one of the biggest fears people have is public speaking. But as a teacher, speaking before groups is what you do all the time. You can offer your services as a public speaker or a presenter in a number of different ways.

You can offer to speak for small businesses, trade groups, sales organizations, or even local political or charitable organizations. Set your fee and start asking around. All you need to do is find someone with an important message who’s too afraid to deliver it himself.


If your side hustle becomes more serious, as in you are earning a little extra cash and foresee it potentially becoming more, you’ll want to keep your personal and business finances separate. Experts will warn that it’s good for liability reasons (and it is) but I argue it’s just simpler that way, especially come tax time. If you need one, consider Lili because it’s designed for side hustlers and freelancers.

As a teacher, you’re in a unique position to earn extra money. All you need to do is put yourself out there, try something a little bit new and different, and the money will roll in. You just have to decide which opportunity you’re going to take advantage of.

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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