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18 Best Alternative Jobs for Teachers

Alternative jobs for teachers are generally outside of the classroomYou’ve gone through thousands of hours of education school. You’ve completed your on-site training as a student teacher. Maybe you’ve even worked a few years as a teacher. Maybe you’ve worked a few decades and are now retired.

But then it happens. For whatever reason, you decide you no longer have the passion for teaching. Another calling seems to be better for your future, but you have the education and experience of an teacher. Are other careers even an option?

Like everything in life, you’re never stuck. While it might seem intimidating to leave teaching and pursue another career, there are actually many jobs for former teachers. These jobs not only deliver a high-quality pay, many of them have excellent stability and expected job growth.

Choosing the right careers after teaching can seem tough, but with this information, you can make the right choice for your future.

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Summary of Teaching Skills

When you train to become a teacher, you learn many useful skills that help you teach the next generation. While the things you learn are applied directly to teaching at any level, they can also be applied to jobs for former teachers.

One of the most important teaching skills is communication, which can apply to virtually any job in any field. Teachers have a skillful way of delivering messages in a clear and concise manner, which can be beneficial for future employment as both an employee and a leader.

Long-term planning is another skill for teachers. In this career, you need to plan courses both on the short term and the long term. You need to know what will be taught this afternoon, next week, and next semester, and these planning skills are excellent for both full and part-time jobs for teachers.

Leadership, mentoring, teamwork; all of these teaching skills can be applied directly to different jobs for teachers, making you more appealing to employers all across the country.

Best Alternative Jobs for Teachers

How the List was Compiled

To create our list of the best jobs for teachers, we looked at careers that, within reason, have similar skill requirements and demands of teaching. While a teaching degree and experience can be applied to virtually any career, these are the ones that we feel share similar traits, such as communication, agenda-planning, and leadership.

We also looked at career salaries, which we pulled exclusively from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These numbers are from May of 2016, which was the most recent information at the time this article was written.

While there are many different paths to certain careers, the educational and degree requirements were also pulled from the BLS.
#1 Sales Manager

Avg. Salary: $117,960
Top 10%: $208,000

While this career only requires a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need a lengthy amount of experience in the field before you can become a sales manager. In many cases, you’ll need to work in sales positions, such as manufacturing sales, insurance sales, or advertising sales. (See below for more information on these sales careers.) Sales managers direct the sales efforts of teams, both large and small, in a wide variety of industries. They make an excellent salary, with the top 10% earning roughly $208,000. Job growth is decent, at 5% between 2014 and 2024.

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#2 Training & Development Manager

Avg. Salary: $105,830
Top 10%: $184,000

There are obvious similarities between a school teacher and a training and development manager. Both are focused on giving another person the skills they need for long-term success. A training manager, however, will be guided by the goals of a specific organization, usually a for-profit company. This career offers an average salary over $105,000 and the top earners average over $184,000. Best of all, if you quit teaching, you can work this job with a bachelor’s degree, although industry experience will be required. This career also has average job growth at 7%.

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#3 School Principal

Avg. Salary: $92,510
Top 10%: $135,000

If you are ready to move on from teaching, but are still passionate about helping young students, a career as a school principle could be right for you. The experience and education of a teacher is a great start to this job, which involves directing numerous school functions, from curricula to budget allocations. This job gives a strong average income of over $92,000 a year, with the top 10% earning over $135,000. The job growth will be steady, at 6% between 2014 and 2024.

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Top Jobs for Teachers

Now let’s look at the best careers for former teachers who want to branch out into a new profession or take their career as an educator to the next level.

 Postsecondary Teacher Average salary: $75,430
If you enjoy teaching but simply want to take your skills and talents to the next level, postsecondary teaching is one of the best jobs for ex-teachers. Postsecondary teachers provide instruction and training at the collegiate level, but they can also conduct research and publish scholarly papers. A master’s degree in a related field may be enough to obtain a postsecondary teaching job, but in many cases you will need the expertise that comes with a doctoral degree. Pay for this career can be excellent. The average salary is over $75,000, while the top 10% earn over $168,000. Job outlook for postsecondary teachers is also on the rise, with an expected growth of 13%, especially as more online teachers are needed.

Required Education: Master’s or Doctorate in Postsecondary Education

 Psychologist Average salary: $75,230
To work in this career, you’ll have to pursue more education. Once complete, however, you’ll have the skills that allow you to study cognitive and emotional processes in people. Many psychologists work independently, although some will work as part of a healthcare team. This position has tremendous opportunity, with an average salary of $75,230 and a top potential over $121,000. Best of all, the career has an expected job growth of 19%, meaning you can count on an in-demand career when you complete a psychology degree.

Required Education: Master’s or Doctorate in Psychology

 Social Services Manager Average salary: $64,680
Community organizations and social services need someone to organize and coordinate their efforts. Enter the manager. This job helps facilitate and direct staffs that provide many different services from non-profit agencies and government organizations. The average community service manager can expect to earn roughly $64,680 per year. However, the top earners in the field average over $110,000. With an increase in social services for an aging population, job growth is expected to be roughly 10%.

Required Education: Bachelor’s; Certificate recommended.

 Instructional Coordinator Average salary: $62,460
As an instructional coordinator, also known as educational technologist, you will oversee school curriculums and maintain teaching standards at elementary and secondary schools. You will develop material, coordinate teaching, and assess the effectiveness of certain programs, all of which can be enhanced by your hands-on teaching experience. A master’s degree in curriculum or instructional theory will help you land one of these alternative jobs for teachers. At $62,460 per year, this career has a strong annual income, yet the top 10% can expect to earn over $100,000. Job growth is also in line with the national average of 7%.

Required Education: Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction

 Life Coach Average salary: $61,900
Changing careers. Losing weight. Running a marathon. Being a happier person. These are big goals, and sometimes we need a little help accomplishing them. Life coaches offer guidance on meeting objectives or changing habits. They may help someone meet a sales increase of 20%, or they may help someone overcome the fear of flying. The field is unregulated and open to all, so the options are virtually limitless and the educational requirements are essentially non-existent. It’s nearly impossible to find the average salary of life coaches, but “coach practitioners,” which exclude sports, earn an average of $61,900. Exactly what the job growth will be is anyone’s guess!

Required Education: N/A; Courses recommended.

 Writer Average salary: $61,240
Many teaching jobs include the ability to write or analyze the writing of others. This makes former teachers a good candidate for positions in communications including writing jobs or authorship. You don’t have to be a novelist, as there are many steady writing jobs in fields like advertising, newspapers, magazines, and more. As an educated and licensed teacher, you likely already have the required education to land one of these positions, especially if your studies included English or communication. Writers have a solid average income of $61,240, but the top 10% can earn over $118,000. Job outlook for these careers in education, however, may be low, as the BLS only expects a growth of 2%.

Required Education: Bachelor’s

 Wholesale Sales Representative Average salary: $60,530
Earlier, we talked about the high-pay of a sales management job as a great position for former teachers. This is one of the entry-level positions that can help you enter into the sales field. Wholesale and manufacturing sales reps provide goods to businesses and organizations and typically earn a salary based on performance, which presents obvious challenges but excellent opportunity. If you’re good at these alternative jobs for teachers, you can make a significant income. The average wholesale and manufacturing sales rep earns $60,530, with the top 10% earning more than $160,000. Job growth is average at about 7%.

Required Education: Bachelor’s; Certificate recommended.

 Human Resource Specialist Average salary: $59,180
Large companies need someone to recruit and hire their staff. They also need people to provide training, which makes this one of the best jobs for former teachers. While most HR specialists work in offices, some may travel for recruiting purposes. Most HR specialist positions only require a bachelor’s degree but earning a certificate in HR can make you more competative. In this career, you can expect to earn roughly $59,180 a year. If you work your way into the top 10%, you can earn an average of $101,420. The job, however, has slightly lower expected growth at only 5%.

Required Education: Bachelor’s; Certificate recommended.

 Librarian Average salary: $57,680
This job shares many of the skills of teaching, such as organization and information sourcing, but more importantly, it also shares many of the values, such as guiding people to learn. Depending on the librarian position, it may also involve working directly with children, making it one of the best jobs for former teachers. In most cases, however, you will need to expand your education with a master’s degree in library science or a similar field. This job has an average salary of $57,680, and the top 10% can earn over $90,140. Unfortunately, there will only be a 2% growth rate due to public budget limitations.

Required Education: Master’s in Library Science

 School & Career Counselor Average salary: $54,560
School counselors work in schools and academic settings, while career counselors can work for colleges, government organizations, career centers, and even private companies. The overall goal, however, remains the same: help people choose the right career and develop the appropriate skills for future success. That sounds a lot like a teacher! This career can earn a high-quality income, with an average salary of $54,560. If you stay with it and develop your skills, you could earn over $90,030, which is the average for the top 10%. This career also has an expected job growth of 8%, meaning there should be relative job stability.

Required Education: Master’s in Counseling

 Technical Education Teacher Average salary: $54,020
Careers in education are not just for traditional schools. The skills you learned and honed as a teacher can be directly applied to a career as a technical education teacher. However, you will need training in the specific technical job or vocation that you will be teaching. While many work in public schools, there are technical educators that work in business schools. The average pay for this job is $54,020 a year, but the top 10% will bring in an average of $88,590. Unfortunately, the expected job growth is only 4% between 2014 and 2024.

Required Education: Bachelor’s

 Advertising Sales Agent Average salary: $50,380
This career works in advertising, selling spots to businesses that wish to market their good or services. They can work in radio, television, newspapers, and more. Generally, these positions can be acquired with the teaching education you already have. The average pay is $50,380, while the top 10% in the field earn over $115,000. Job growth, however, will actually drop by 3%, but the chance to work in sales can be invaluable.

Required Education: High school diploma or equivalent; Certificate recommended

 Insurance Sales Agent Average salary: $49,990
In this career, you will analyze people’s needs and provide recommendations on the right insurance. Sales agents can sell many different forms of coverage, including life, home, health, business, and auto insurance. The ability to communicate and explain concepts, which are acquired as a teacher, can be beneficial if you quit teaching and work in this field. The average salary for insurance sales agents is $49,990, while the top 10% can a significant salary over $128,000. There will be a steady demand for insurance agents, keeping the growth at 9%.

Required Education: High school diploma or equivalent; Certificate preferred.

 Social Worker Average salary: $46,890
Social workers help to solve the problems of people from all walks of life, while clinical social workers can also diagnose and treat mental or behavioral disorders. The desire to help people is a strong connection between this job and teaching. To become a social worker, you will likely need a bachelor’s degree in social work, while clinical social workers will at least need a master’s degree. This career has an average salary of $46,890, while the top 10% can earn over $78,510. Best of all, job outlook is expected to be 12%, giving the job long-term stability.

Required Education: Master’s in Social Work

 Substance Abuse Counselor Average salary: $41,070
Like many of the careers in education we’ve listed, this job involves working with people and improving lives, just like teaching. As a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor, you will help people overcome conditions like drug addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders, and other behavioral issues. Entry-level positions only call for a bachelor’s degree, although some jobs may require a master’s degree, and licensing is often required as well. Pay for this job is $41,070, but the top 10% can earn over $65,000. What makes this job more appealing is the expectation for a 22% job growth.

Required Education: Bachelor’s or Master’s in Substance Abuse Counseling


Jobs for a Former Teachers: How to Sell Yourself

So how do you take your time as a teacher and convince employers that you can work as a sales agent, career counselor, HR specialist, or any of the top jobs for former teachers? It starts by defining the skills you have and providing direct examples.

Let’s say you’re applying for a job in sales. The hiring manager wants to know how you’ll handle the transition from teaching to sales. You can describe how your planning skills as a teacher allow you to set goals, plan ahead, and make the appropriate steps to reach these goals. You can describe how your step-by-step planning skills helped to improve student scores, and the same principles can be applied to a sales strategy.

Depending on the position, you can describe your ability to work as a team, your ability to communicate clearly, and your ability to lead people both young and old. By selling the soft skills you developed as a teacher, you show that you are well prepared for the challenges of any position in any industry.

Expand Your Horizons Beyond Teaching

Whether you are a former educator or simply want more information on your educational opportunities, you can start on a new career path today.

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