Teaching is arguably one of society’s most important jobs and can be a rewarding career for many. The job can also call for you to work under tremendous pressure and can require very high levels of skill.
If you plan to retire from teaching or have found that it is simply no longer a good fit for your lifestyle, you can use your skills elsewhere. Teaching skills are among the easiest to transfer to other fields. Some of the best jobs for ex-teachers include:
If you want to escape the classroom, writing might be the right profession for you. Writing is an especially suitable second career for English teachers. Your proficiency with the language as well as your ability to communicate complex and nuanced concepts might give you an advantage. Good writers are always in demand. Keep in mind that the writing profession encompasses many different kinds of writing from freelance writing and blogging to technical writing. As a result, you may work for a range of different types of organizations including non-profits. Your skills will be useful for everything from grant applications to various kinds of proposals. Because of your teaching background, you may want to specialize in the education field but other areas (like parenting) might be open to you as well.
The researcher position is perfect for teachers. The job involves information gathering and analysis, which is a big part of a teacher’s work. Your research may be used to predict trends and solve problems in diverse fields including science or history. Generally, researcher jobs do not have specific academic requirements beyond a degree in the subject. For example, a bachelor’s degree in science education may be enough to get you a job as a researcher in some science- or education-related fields.
3. Sales Representative
You might find sales to be an excellent platform for your communication skills as well as your ability to organize and motivate. To teach, you need to be able to engage your audience. In other words, teachers already have many of the essential skills for selling products and services. For example, you need good interpersonal skills and the ability to convey essential information.
4. Private Nanny
Private nannies work in a family’s home and provide their children with customized child care. Your position may be part-time or live-in or it may fall somewhere in between. It may also include meal preparation and helping with housework. Benefits of being a nanny include the opportunity to travel as well as free room and board. In many cases, nannies travel with the families that employ them. Your teaching experience can help you to thrive in this role as you nurture young people and aid in their development. In addition to developing a deeper bond with a child, you get to track their long-term progress. Nannies who earn the most may have qualifications for teaching learning-disabled children.
5. Real Estate Agent
As a licensed real estate agent, you will organize transactions between people buying commercial and residential real estate property and those selling property. Essential skills for being a teacher include the ability to listen and listening is important for real estate agents as well. You will need to understand what your clients want to be able to make them happy. If you are good at interacting with others and communicating information, you might also be good at helping others to buy or sell a property. Along with the ability to engage, teaching skills like getting others to work together and a willingness to take on mountains of paperwork can be valuable in the real estate industry.
If you have ever been interested in the law, you will find that many of your skills from the world of education can be transferred to that arena. You won’t need much in the way of additional qualifications to get started as a paralegal. The typical associate’s degree will take about two years. Your job will involve helping lawyers to perform tasks like research and pre-trial preparation, both of which will use your skills as an educator.
7. Executive Assistant
Skills that an executive assistant needs include knowing how to organize and plan. You will be using those abilities to provide corporate executives with administrative support. Your classroom experience will also have equipped you with strong interpersonal and time-management skills that can make you an effective executive assistant.
If you have experience with a particular recreational activity, your teaching skills might be enough for you to coach others in it. Coaches may be hired by community organizations or schools. Much of a coach’s job is similar to that of a teacher since the job involves education though not of the academic kind. You will be training athletes so that they can be successful in their sporting endeavors. You will be working mostly with young people so your classroom experience should be helpful since you already know how to motivate students.
9. Public Relations Specialist
The public relations field is all about the ability to communicate well. You will need to be an effective communicator to help craft your employer’s image, which is the main part of your job. Coming from teaching, you probably know how to convey ideas quickly. Other aspects of the job include being able to form good relationships with the media. Your skills in verbal and written communication along with your organizational abilities will come in handy in the public relations arena.
10. Private Tutor
If you like teaching but don’t want to do it in the standard classroom or want to increase your income, becoming a private tutor might be right for you. The most profitable path will probably be to start your own tutoring business. As a worker in the gig economy, you will get to choose the students that you want to teach. No longer will you have to deal with packed classrooms. You can choose to work with a particular group of students or provide one-on-one tutorship. You may work with students in elementary school, secondary school or even adults. There are many options for finding work online including websites that allow you to advertise your services. You can also use your social network presence to build your client base.
11. Education Consultant
If you want to do more than teach but don’t want to leave academia behind, working as an education consultant may be your best option. Education consultants offer advice on school policies and may act as advisors to government agencies, school boards or even textbook publishers. Education consultants may collect data about schools and teachers and analyze it to help teachers better do their job. You may be required to travel between schools in a particular district and your roles may change as the district’s needs change. While some additional certification may be beneficial, it is usually possible to earn it quickly. In some cases, a summer course is all you will need.
12. Human Resources Specialist
Large companies use human resources specialists to bring in new employees and to organize their workforce. While some employers may prefer that you have a degree in human resources or business, others may be willing to hire you with a bachelor’s in education. Keep in mind that many of your teaching skills will be valuable on the job as a human resources specialist. You will be interacting with an organization’s staff. In many cases, you will be responsible for the recruitment and hiring of new employees as well as for training them. Many aspects of the HR specialist’s role will call on skills that are usually highly developed among teachers.
13. Personal Trainer
A personal trainer’s job is to motivate and educate, just like a teacher. The word “trainer” could even be considered a synonym for “teacher.” If you have a passion for helping people to improve their physical fitness, you will likely enjoy the role of the personal trainer. You will spend their time inspiring your clients and helping them to understand how physical activity and diet relate to fitness.
14. Fundraising Manager
One of the most overlooked teaching skills is that of public speaking, which is one of the main parts of a fundraising manager’s job. Teachers are required to get up before an audience and speak every day. As a fundraising manager, you will be doing the same thing. Fundraising managers use their excellent verbal communication skills to engage audiences and convince them to make donations. Fundraising managers may also be in charge of leading meetings, conferences and seminars. Your job description may include writing and editing scripts in addition to delivering speeches.
15. Admissions Counselor
Working as an admissions counselor can be the perfect job if you are interested in improving students’ futures. You will work for a college and will provide advice to prospective students on whether your institution is a good fit for them based on their goals. Your job may involve traveling to high schools to help recruit students. Because you will be talking to young people about education, your experience as a teacher will be valuable.
16. Standardized Test Developer
Developing standardized tests can be a great alternative career for a former teacher. If you are interested in ensuring that children are learning as they should be, coming up with questions for standardized tests might be for you. You will need to be an expert in a particular subject area and be able to write test questions that vary in levels of difficulty. You may be employed by a school district or a single institution.
17. Career Counselor
As a former teacher, you know what it takes for students to achieve their goals. You can work with them and aid them in shaping their futures without ever entering another classroom. Depending on where you work as a career counselor, you may spend your time helping students who are about to graduate from college to enter into their first career. Other career counselors will help people who are already working in their chosen field and who may need help advancing within it. Alternatively, you can be self-employed and offer your services in your own practice.
Frequently Asked Questions Teachers Have About Finding a New Career
What are some of the most important transferable skills that teachers possess?
According to Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, transferable skills are among your most valuable assets. What hiring managers want to see are skills and experience from your previous workplace that will make you a worthwhile hire in your new one. Transferable skills from education include the ability to simplify and communicate complex information. You know how to use your public speaking ability to help people grasp difficult concepts whether you taught math, chemistry or literature or any other subject.
Which careers are best for retired teachers?
The recommended jobs for retired teachers may be different from ones for teachers who leave education after only a few years on the job. If you leave after 25 years as an educator, you may be able to take up a lucrative career as an education consultant. Your many years in the teacher role may make you more effective as you are better able to guide younger teachers and understand how to formulate curricula. Other lucrative second careers for teachers with lots of experience in education include writing (specifically about educational matters) and admissions counseling.
What are common mistakes that teachers make when changing careers?
Teachers often fail to properly emphasize their transferable skills in their resumes. If you have spent most of your working life as a teacher, you may be unaware which skills will transfer best to a new workplace. Understanding the value of your skills and being able to show how they are relevant to a new position is paramount. This means that you will need to update your resume from the old one. You can’t depend on skills that made you marketable in education to necessarily be appealing to employers in other fields. Tailor your resume to suit the employers you are targeting.
There are Many Alternative Career Options for Teachers
The number of suitable jobs for unemployed teachers or ones who have retired or left the profession for other reasons is huge. As you can see from the list above, the ability to teach prepares you to work in many other industries outside of education. A teacher’s core skills are arguably some of the most versatile and can work in almost any new career you choose. Choosing the right career for you may be as simple as finding the one that aligns best with the aspects of teaching that you enjoy most.