The Best Jobs for Former Teachers

Tutor session in library
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If you have left teaching behind, or if you are thinking about doing so, you will probably be happy to hear that you can easily repurpose the skills you have acquired in the classroom to find a related job or even to launch a brand new career. Some of the best jobs for former teachers rely on transferable skills like communication, management, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Here are 14 options to consider.

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Private Tutor

Many of the skills that a teacher relies on in the classroom can be transferred to the world of private tutoring. As a private tutor, you have the opportunity to share your knowledge and help others learn, but you don’t have to deal with the politics and bureaucracy found in the education system. This allows you to focus on what you do best: teach. Private tutors get to set their own hours, determine how many students they want to teach and control the environment in which their students learn. The administrative skills that you acquired as a teacher will help you stay organized and run your own business. 

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All of the skills that you used to create lesson plans—creativity, adaptability, and critical thinking—are transferable to the writing profession. You can use your subject matter expertise to write online content or a nonfiction book. If you are especially creative, you can write fiction stories. Writers with teaching experience are also needed to write curriculum materials, lesson plans, test questions, and textbooks that can be used in the classroom. 

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Training and Development Manager

If you would like to use your supervision, organizational skills, and curriculum development knowledge, you may want to consider a career as a training and development manager. These professionals assess training needs within an organization, create training course content, select training materials and oversee training and development staff, including program directors, instructional designers, and course instructors. Although some training and development managers have a human resources background, many come from an educational background and hold degrees in an education-related field.

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Interpreter or Translator

Former teachers who taught a foreign language in the classroom are well suited for careers in interpreting and translation. Interpreters usually translate spoken or signed messages, while translators focus on converting written text. Some of the skills that you can transfer from your teaching career into a career as an interpreter or translator include reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

Interpreters and translators should also be culturally sensitive and have good interpersonal skills. Most interpreters and translators work in professional, scientific, and technical services. However, many also work in educational services, hospitals, and government settings.

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Childcare Worker or Nanny

Many people go into teaching because they love to nurture the development of young children. This is the same reason many people choose a career as a childcare worker or nanny. Childcare workers often care for children in their own home or in a childcare center. Some also work for public schools, religious organizations, and civic organizations. Nannies, on the other hand typically work in the homes of the children they care for.

Some nannies even live in the home where they work. Although the specific duties of a childcare worker or nanny can vary, supervising and monitoring children is usually the primary responsibility. They may also be responsible for preparing meals, transporting children and organizing and overseeing activities that assist with development. Many of the skills that teachers hone in the classroom, including communication skills, instructional skills, and patience are transferable to the childcare profession. 

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Life Coach

As a teacher, you probably spent a lot of time conducting assessments, setting goals and motivating students. All of these activities have given you the skills you need to mentor other people and help them develop emotionally, cognitively, academically, and professionally. In short, you have what it takes to work as a life coach. Life coaches, also known as executive coaches or enrichment specialists, help other people establish goals and develop action plans to achieve them. Many life coaches also work to motivate clients throughout the process. Although some life coaches are employed by residential care or treatment facilities, most are self-employed.

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Educational Program Director

Ex-teachers who want to stay out of the classroom but remain in the education field can use their planning, organizational and administrative skills to work as an educational program director. Educational program directors, also known as academic program directors, plan and develop learning programs. They may work for libraries, museums, zoos, parks, and other organizations that offer education to visiting guests.  

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Standardized Test Developer

If you've ever taken a standardized test and wondered who wrote all of the test questions, the answer is probably a teacher. Testing companies frequently hire former teachers to write test questions and other test content because teachers are subject matter experts. Teachers also have practice assessing and evaluating the knowledge of others.

If you have trouble finding a position with a testing company, you could look for work with test prep companies, which frequently hire former educators to write and edit passages for test prep courses and practice tests. In either case, you will be able to transfer the skills you have acquired as a teacher to a new career that allows you to work with students in a whole new way. 

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Educational Consultant

Teachers are continuous learners. They are constantly developing as educational professionals and are always looking for ways to stay on top of educational trends. If you enjoyed that aspect of the teaching profession, you may want to take your love of learning and apply it to the field of educational consulting.

Educational consultants use their knowledge to make recommendations related to instructional planning, curriculum development, administrative procedures, educational policies, and assessment methods. These professionals are in demand and are often hired by many different types of schools, including public schools, charter schools, and private schools. Government agencies also seek insights from educational consultants. Although some consultants work for consulting agencies, others choose to work for themselves as independent contractors. 

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Admissions Consultant

As a teacher, you probably gained a lot of practice in the areas of assessment and evaluation. You can take the skills you honed in the classroom and apply them to admissions consulting. An admissions consultant evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of a student and then recommends colleges, universities, and graduate schools that align with that student's abilities and goals.

Many consultants also help students strengthen their application materials. This may involve reading and editing application essays, suggesting content for recommendation letters or preparing the student for the interview process. Although some admissions consultants have a background in counseling, many of them come from an education-related field. The most important requirement for admissions consultants is familiarity with the college or graduate school application process. 

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School Counselor

People are often drawn to teaching because they want to help people. The same is true of counselors. School counseling is a good job for ex-teachers who enjoyed one-on-one interactions with students and ex-teachers with skills in assessment and evaluation. School counselors help younger students develop social and academic skills.

They also evaluate students to identify special needs or abnormal behaviors. School counselors do many of the same things for older students. They may also advise older students in regards to academic and career plans. This may involve helping students choose high school classes, colleges or career paths. Most school counselors work in school settings. There are some counselors who work in healthcare or social services. 

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Instructional Coordinator

Ex-teachers with strong leadership, analytical and communication skills may be well-suited to a career as an instructional coordinator. Instructional coordinators, also known as curriculum specialists, observe and evaluate teaching techniques, review student data, assess curriculum and make recommendations to improve instruction in private and public schools. They often oversee and develop teacher training and work closely with teachers and principals to coordinate new curriculum implementation.

Former teachers tend to excel in this role because they have experience teaching specific subjects and grades, which can come in handy when assessing instructional materials and developing new teaching techniques. They also have a teaching license that is required to work as an instructional coordinator in most states. 

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As a teacher, you probably spent a fair amount of time grading papers and tests and catching and correcting errors in written work. This puts you in a great position to work as a proofreader. Proofreaders are responsible for spotting grammatical, typographical and compositional errors. They do not normally edit copy, as this duty is usually left to copy- or line editors, but they do flag any errors they see and mark them for correction.

Proofreaders are often employed in the publishing industry, where they work for newspapers, book publishers, and other organizations that publish printed materials. They may also work in advertising, marketing, and public relations. 

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Your Citation
Schweitzer, Karen. "The Best Jobs for Former Teachers." ThoughtCo, Aug. 3, 2021, Schweitzer, Karen. (2021, August 3). The Best Jobs for Former Teachers. Retrieved from Schweitzer, Karen. "The Best Jobs for Former Teachers." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 30, 2023).