In education, there’s a common misconception that teaching is the only career path. However, an education degree can open doors to many high-paying jobs beyond the traditional classroom setting. 

This guide is tailored to spotlight these opportunities for you. If you’re a teacher considering a career shift, we’ll underscore your transferable skills and offer effective tactics to navigate the job market.

Career Change For Teachers: Transferable Skills You’ve Acquired

In recent years, there’s been an uptick in teachers feeling burnout, even before the pandemic hit. The reasons are many, from long hours, high stress, and lack of support to low pay. This has led a lot of teachers to think about switching careers.

But switching careers doesn’t mean you have to leave the education field. Teachers have a unique skill set that’s transferable and can be used in different sectors.

Teaching in a Different Capacity

For those who still love teaching but want to get out of the traditional classroom, there are plenty of opportunities. Online tutoring, corporate training, educational consulting, curriculum development, and edtech are all growing fields that value the skills and expertise of teachers.

Related: Understanding the Distinction: EdD vs PhD in Education

Venturing into the Business World

Teachers are natural leaders, problem solvers, and communicators. These skills are in high demand in the business world. Roles in HR, project management, sales, marketing, and customer service could be a great fit for teachers. They can use their skills in managing groups, creative problem-solving, and effective communication to excel in these roles.

Many companies appreciate the unique skills, experiences, and perspectives that former teachers bring to their teams. These businesses acknowledge that your knowledge and diverse skill set can be applied in a variety of roles, from curriculum development and educational consulting to corporate training and more.

Be it in edtech, corporate training, publishing, or child care services, these companies offer exhilarating opportunities for former teachers to use their expertise, make a significant contribution, and embark on new professional paths. 

This transition not only creates new career avenues for educators but also injects these businesses with new perspectives. Here are some companies that hire former teachers:

  • Educational Publishing Companies: These companies create and distribute educational content. Examples include Pearson and McGraw Hill.
  • Educational Technology (EdTech) Companies: These companies use technology to enhance learning experiences. Examples include Discovery Education and Guild Education.
  • Tutoring Services: These companies provide personalized instruction in various subjects. Examples include Paper and Varsity Tutors.
  • Child Care Services: These companies offer child care and early education facilities. An example is KinderCare Learning Centers.
  • Test Preparation Companies: These companies specialize in preparing students for standardized tests. An example is Kaplan.
  • Language Training Companies: These companies offer language training and educational travel. An example is EF Education First.
Job Hunting Tips for Teachers

With a load of transferable skills and a passion for learning, teachers are uniquely positioned to transition into a variety of new roles. Here is a strategy for you to move to a new career trajectory and succeed at it:

Recognize Your Skills

As a teacher, you have developed a variety of skills that are highly valuable in many other professions. These include communication, organization, leadership, and problem-solving skills.

These skills are highly valuable in roles such as technical writing or customer support, where you need to explain technical concepts to non-technical audiences.

Identify Additional Skills

Reflect on your experiences and identify any additional skills you may have acquired that could be beneficial in a new career. This could include technical skills such as using Google Classroom or Moodle, project management, or even specific subject matter expertise.

Choose Your New Path

Think about what you are passionate about outside of teaching. What other careers align with your interests and skills? This will help guide your job search.

If you’ve always had a passion for art, for example, you might consider roles in a museum or art gallery, such as a curator or education coordinator.

Get the Necessary Qualifications

Depending on the career you’re interested in, you might need to pursue further education or certifications. Research the requirements of your desired job to ensure you’re qualified.

If you’re interested in moving into a role in human resources, for example, you might need to pursue a certification or degree in HR management.

Apply for Jobs

Once you’ve identified your skills and chosen a new career path, start applying for jobs. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your transferable skills and experiences.

For example, if you’re applying for a job in sales, highlight your communication skills and any experience with persuasion (such as convincing your students of the importance of homework).

Network

Networking is key when changing careers. Connect with professionals in the industry you’re interested in. They can provide valuable insights and may even know of job opportunities.

Attend industry events, join online forums or groups related to your new career, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people already working in the field.

An education degree opens up a world of opportunities beyond the traditional classroom. From tutoring and overseas teaching to online instruction and museum education, there are numerous paths that can be pursued. 

Whether you’re looking to make a difference in a student’s life, immerse yourself in a new culture, or utilize technology to reach learners worldwide, these jobs offer diverse ways to use your education degree. 

Tutoring Jobs

Tutors provide one-on-one educational assistance to elementary and secondary school or college students. As a tutor, you can work in areas like homework help, remedial education, and test preparation. While a degree isn’t always necessary, a degree in education can give you a competitive edge over other tutors. The salary varies with roles and location.

Curriculum Design Jobs

A curriculum designer is responsible for creating and refining educational programs. They collaborate with teachers to develop engaging and comprehensive course content that meets the learning objectives of a specific course or grade level. They also ensure that the curriculum adheres to state or national educational standards.

Average salary: $79,965

School Librarian Jobs

A school librarian plays a crucial role in promoting literacy and encouraging a love for reading among students. They manage the school’s library resources, help students and staff utilize these resources effectively, and often work with teachers to support curriculum objectives. They also organize various library programs and events to engage students.

Average salary: $58,166

Teaching Overseas Jobs

This involves teaching English or other subjects in a foreign country. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture while also making a difference in the lives of students. A degree in education, particularly with a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification, is typically required.

A lot of schools around the world are hiring private U.S. companies to help them find teachers. These companies know the education field really well and have a big network of professionals, so they’re great at connecting schools with potential candidates. 

Representatives from these schools often come to the U.S. to go to teacher job fairs. These events are a great opportunity for schools to meet and recruit qualified teachers for jobs they expect to have open.

So, if you’re prepared to embrace change and make a difference in a new environment, this could be your gateway to teaching opportunities worldwide.

School/Child Psychologist Jobs

A school psychologist is like a helper for students. They work with teachers, parents, and others to make school a good place for all kids and check how kids are doing in school and if they are having any problems. 

They also help kids who are having a hard time with schoolwork or with other kids and talk with teachers and parents to find the best way to help these kids. As a school psychologist, you also make plans to stop problems before they start, like helping to stop bullying. 

You’ll need to get certified to work as a school psychologist. There are national certifications you can get, or you can get certified in a specific school psychology specialty. You’ll also need a license to practice in your state. Each state has its own rules for this, so you’ll need to check what’s needed where you live.

Average salary: $80,345

Related: Highest Paying Psychology Jobs

Online Teaching Jobs

Online teachers instruct students from around the country and often around the world. They use technology to deliver lessons and assignments and to assess student progress. This role is ideal for those who are tech-savvy and have a strong educational background.

Education Administrator Jobs

Your job is to oversee and manage the workings of educational establishments, like schools, colleges, universities, or educational programs. You team up with the leadership of the school or institution to create and put into action strategic plans and policies that are in line with the organization’s vision, mission, and educational goals.

On top of that, you’re in charge of recruiting, hiring, and training staff members. You carry out performance reviews, offer professional development opportunities, and handle personnel issues as they come up.

Average salary: $89,130

Instructional Coordinator Jobs

You work closely with teachers, administrators, and other educational professionals to develop, implement, and evaluate instructional materials and strategies. Your goal is to enhance teaching methodologies and student learning outcomes.

You organize and conduct teacher training programs and workshops to improve educators’ instructional skills in new teaching methodologies. You also collaborate with special education teachers and administrators to ensure that instructional practices cater to the needs of students with diverse learning abilities.

Average salary: $73,080

Teaching in a Museum Jobs

Museum educators plan, coordinate, and teach programs for schools, families, and adults in museums. They might work at an art museum, science center, historical museum, zoo, or botanical garden. A degree in education, along with knowledge in a specific field (like art, history, science, etc.), can be beneficial for this role.

Special Education Teaching Jobs

Special education teachers work with students with a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. They adapt general education lessons and teach various subjects to students with mild to moderate disabilities. They also teach basic skills to students with severe disabilities. A degree in special education is required for this role, and a master’s degree can lead to higher pay.

School & Career Counselor Jobs

As a school and career counselor, you provide guidance and support to students and individuals in making informed decisions about their academic and career paths. Your role involves helping students explore their interests, abilities, and aspirations, as well as providing assistance in making educational and career-related choices.

You conduct one-on-one counseling sessions with students to address personal and academic challenges, such as study habits, time management, stress management, and decision-making.

Average salary: $62,440

High-Paying Jobs Beyond Teaching

When we think of education degrees, the first profession that often comes to mind is teaching. But education extends far beyond the walls of the classroom. 

An education degree can open doors to a variety of high-paying careers in administration, policy, counseling, and even curriculum design. Let’s look into it:

Life Coach Jobs

A life coach assists individuals in achieving their personal and professional goals. They help clients identify their aspirations, overcome obstacles, and devise strategies to achieve their goals. They can provide guidance in various aspects of life, including career advancement, relationship improvement, and personal development.

Average salary: $69,231

Sales Manager Jobs

Your main duties involve generating and closing sales leads. You’re always on the hunt for potential clients, using various tactics like cold calling, networking, and referrals.

Building and sustaining strong relationships with current and prospective clients is a key aspect of your job. You aim to comprehend their requirements and deliver customized solutions that are spot on.

Your background in teaching will be extremely beneficial in informing clients about our products and services, ensuring they have a thorough understanding to make educated choices.

As a manager, you’re dedicated to investing in the training and mentoring of your sales team, aiding them in improving their sales techniques, product knowledge, and client relationship management. This includes onboarding new employees and making sure they’re fully prepared to hit their sales goals.

Average salary: $82,739

Training & Development Manager Jobs

As a training and development manager, you’re in charge of designing, implementing, and supervising training and professional development programs within a company. Your job is all about boosting the skills, knowledge, and competencies of employees to foster their growth and enhance the overall performance of the organization.

You work hand in hand with various departments and subject matter experts to pinpoint training needs and craft comprehensive training programs. These programs span a variety of topics, including onboarding, job-specific skills, leadership development, and compliance training.

Average salary: $133,436

Human Resource Specialist Jobs

You assist in an organization’s recruitment process by posting job openings, screening resumes, conducting interviews, and coordinating candidate selection. You’ll also handle onboarding activities for new hires.

You serve as a point of contact for employees, addressing their inquiries, concerns, and issues. You also mediate conflicts, conduct investigations, and work to maintain positive employee relations.

Average salary: $73,080

Social Worker Jobs

You’re dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities address and overcome social, emotional, and psychological challenges. Your primary goal is to improve the well-being and quality of life of the people you serve. 

You get to work in various settings, including hospitals, schools, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private practice. You assess individuals and families to identify their needs, challenges, and strengths and provide support to help clients cope with emotional and social issues, such as mental health problems, substance abuse, family conflicts, and trauma.

Average salary: $60,773

Related: Career Choices in Education If You Have a Psychology Background

Marketing Jobs

You conduct market research to understand customer needs, preferences, and trends for organizations across different verticals and analyze competitors and industry data to identify opportunities and make informed marketing decisions.

You work on building and maintaining a strong brand image for the products or services you represent and create brand positioning and messaging to differentiate offerings from competitors.

Average salary: $71,184

Related: What Jobs Can You Do with a Digital Marketing Degree?

Educational Consultant Jobs

An educational consultant specializes in helping schools, teachers, students, and parents enhance educational outcomes. They are tasked with scrutinizing and assessing educational systems, curriculums, and teaching methodologies to ensure they are in line with the institution’s objectives.

They collect data from a variety of stakeholders, including educators, students, and parents, to identify the strengths and areas for improvement within the system. Based on their analysis, they propose recommendations for enhancements, which could involve creating new curriculums, refining teaching methodologies, or incorporating digital learning tools.

Average salary: $67,123

Project Manager Jobs

You’re responsible for planning, organizing, and overseeing the successful execution of projects from initiation to completion and play a central role in coordinating various project elements, managing resources, and ensuring that the project meets its objectives within the specified scope, budget, and timeline.

You identify potential risks and challenges that could impact the project’s success and develop risk mitigation strategies and contingency plans to address these issues proactively.

Average salary: $86,986

Related: How To Become A Project Manager

Paralegal Jobs

As a paralegal, or a legal assistant, you work closely with lawyers and legal teams to support various legal tasks. You play a crucial role in the legal process and help ensure the smooth functioning of law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and other legal settings.

You draft legal documents, such as contracts, pleadings, motions, and briefs, based on attorney guidance and information from clients, and help manage and organize case files, maintain documentation, and ensure that all relevant materials are easily accessible.

Average salary: $62,840

Technical Writer Jobs

You create clear, concise, and user-friendly documentation and content that explains complex technical information in a comprehensible manner. Your primary role is to communicate technical concepts, procedures, and processes to a target audience that may include end-users, developers, engineers, or other stakeholders.

You produce a variety of technical documents, including user manuals, installation guides, technical specifications, standard operating procedures, and online help documentation.

Average salary: $62,672

Interpreters & Translators Jobs

As a language professional, you bridge the gap between individuals or groups who speak different languages. You offer real-time translation services to ensure smooth communication during various interactions such as meetings, conferences, legal proceedings, and medical appointments. 

You can work in various modes, including simultaneous interpretation (rendering speech in real-time as the speaker speaks), consecutive interpretation (waiting for the speaker to finish before translating), and whispered interpretation (whispering the translation to a small group or individual).

Average salary: $61,730

Museum Curator and Archivist Jobs

You help preserve and manage historical and cultural artifacts and records in a museum. You’re responsible for selecting, acquiring, and preserving artifacts and artworks for museum collections, assessing potential additions to the museum’s collection, and ensuring the proper storage and conservation of existing items.

Average salary: $60,110

An education degree offers many opportunities beyond teaching. From life coaching to curriculum design and from project management to museum curation, the possibilities are vast and rewarding. 

Remember, transitioning from teaching to a new career is a journey of self-discovery and growth. The world of education is vast, and your education degree is a ticket to explore it.

What are some strategies for transitioning out of a teaching career?

Switching from teaching? No sweat! Pinpoint your skills – you’ve got communication, organization, and leadership in the bag. Reflect on your career goals and ideal work environment. Network with pros in your desired field, hit up industry events, and join online communities. Don’t forget to polish up your LinkedIn profile to show off your skills and experience.

What is a good salary?

The median annual income for full-time wage earners and salaried employees in the U.S. hovers around $52,664. With this in mind, it’s a smart move to zero in on job roles that offer a higher pay bracket, specifically those with an annual salary north of $60,000.