What jobs for former teachers are out there? Many teachers find themselves unhappy and suffering from burnout. They often feel guilty about leaving the profession and have no idea where to start. I’ve compiled a list of jobs for teachers leaving education to help you choose your next path.
How many times have you searched “best jobs for ex-teachers” in the past few months?
Teachers can often find themselves feeling lost, aimless without a clear path on how to transition into something else. It’s hard coming to grips that your career choice isn’t going how you dreamed it would! Below you’ll find the 13 top professions for teachers leaving the classroom.
13 Careers for Teachers Leaving The Profession
If traditional teaching is no longer in your plans, there are many other opportunities out there. Absolutely, Your teaching skills will translate into another career. Here are just a few ideas on how to transition from teaching with confidence.
1. Corporate Trainer: Best jobs for former teachers who love presenting
Corporate trainers are responsible for the continuing education of a company’s employees and a great job for former teachers. You’ll be responsible for teaching employees new skills, techniques, and procedures. Building lessons for clients and teaching employees, you’ll focus on the company’s goals and big projects.
As a corporate trainer, you’ll need to be able to create and give presentations using digital media. You will need to work with teams and individuals to identify problems and solutions, be efficient, and most importantly have great organizational skills. Here is an episode of the Teacher Career Coach Podcast that explains why teachers make such great corporate trainers.
2. Education Consultant: Best jobs for teacher leaders
Unfortunately, educational consulting is hard to define as it’s a vague position that can mean a variety of things. Some education consultant positions combine teaching and administrative skills to provide qualitative advice on school policies and procedures. Differing from other education consultants can serve as advisors on textbook projects, government agencies, or non-profit think tanks. The majority of educational consultants you may be familiar with teachers (or former teachers) who own their own business presenting professional development for schools and districts.
Education Consultant is one of the best jobs for ex-teachers with analytic, organizing, and planning skills who have a background in curriculum building. Learn more educational consultant jobs.
3. Educational Sales Representative: Best jobs for teachers who know pedagogy
Do not be afraid of educational sales. Sales Representatives are responsible for identifying sales and closing deals between education companies and schools. Other responsibilities include making campus visits for demonstrations, answering client questions about logistics and the textbook itself, and making sales calls. For teachers with an affinity for building relationships, a position selling can help you take your passion for education beyond your own classroom and into hundreds more.
Importantly, sales positions are not always “pushy” positions focused on selling to cold customers. The sales representatives at many education companies are more focused on picking the RIGHT product for the customer (like the right curriculum for a school based on its demographics), which would be a perfect fit for a former teacher. Hear an interview with a teacher who now works in educational sales here.
Necessary skills required to get noticed by educational companies that hire teachers
To repeat, educational sales representatives need to understand how the product is used in the classroom. You’ll also want to focus on being highly organized and an excellent note taker. Most importantly you’ll need the ability to give great presentations and effective communication skills.
4. Museum Education Director: Best careers for former teachers who love history or art
2021 update: these positions are not common or easy to find during the pandemic. I am leaving this in the article in the hopes that things open up soon.
If you’re the teacher that finds an excuse to visit a museum for every field trip, consider transitioning to the museum education field. Museum Education Directors are tasked with making sure visitors are engaged in learning experiences that relate to the museum’s collection. For those with a passion for storytelling and connecting with the curious of any age, this position can be a wonderful use of your teaching skills. One of the many reasons why museum positions are perfect jobs for former teachers.
Here’s a tip! There are a wide variety of other educational positions within museums that may interest former teachers, including specialist positions and program directors. If you’d like your job searches to include these positions, your search term should be “museum educator.”
5. Writing positions: Best jobs for ex-teachers with amazing writing skills
Your expertise of running a red pen through essay after essay can help you. Consider a transition to the world of professional copy editing or copywriting. The basics of being an editor are simple; you’ll read content and edit it with a sharp eye for clarity, conciseness, and evocativeness. There are a variety of different ways you can find employment with editing jobs. Former teachers can start with traditional positions with newspapers or magazines or try freelance positions from the comfort of your coffee table.
Also, you may also be interested in learning copywriting. Copywriting is a specific style of writing that is most commonly used for sales, sales pages, and emails. Check out my interview with a former teacher turned copywriter here.
Qualifications needed to land a writing gig outside of teaching
Editors need a strong understanding of the writing process, including editing and revision, the ability to evaluate story pitches, and develop your own ideas in relation to your audience.
6. Customer Success Manager: Jobs for former teachers who love relationships
Without a doubt, CSM positions are great jobs for former teachers. Especially at education companies. Customer success (not be confused with customer support, more like the “help desk” of supporting customers) relies on relationship building. Customer success is a proactive role that ensures that the customer is happy and using the product to its full potential. While the overall goal of customer success is to ensure renewals for future purchases, they may also be tasked with implementation and training. If you’re working for an education company, this is a fantastic fit for you. As a former teacher, you’ll know the customer’s needs and potential objections or pain points without them every having to express them!
Educational companies that hire ex-teachers are looking for these skills
Customer Success Managers are great with client communication; experience organizing schedules, calls, and meetings; and aptitude in identifying the needs and wants of educators in relation to sales goals.
7. Project Manager: Best jobs for former teachers who are self-motivated
Project managers are team leaders that help companies meet their objectives. If you are highly motivated and organized, this may be a great fit for you. Project managers use productivity software to help them delegate responsibilities and set goals. Look into this position if you are highly organized, LOVE planning big projects (like curriculum mapping), creating structured timelines, and leading others.
8. Educational Toy Companies: Best jobs for ex-teachers with a passion for play
Employment at an educational toy company can mean a variety of things. You could be a salesperson who travels throughout the educational system showing off the benefits of your toy, an educational toy designer, or an educational consultant who drives the company’s main mission. Each one of these positions allows you to take your passion for teaching to work each day and play with it.
Toy companies hiring teachers look for the following skillsets
To work for an educational toy company, you’ll need a knack for conveying education and learning concepts through toys. Experience or aptitude working as a member of an innovative team and the readiness to use digital and social media to connect with educators and parents is key.
9. HR Learning & Development Specialist: Best jobs for ex-teachers who love presenting at PDs
A career in HR Learning & Development is perfect for those who have a passion for creating and implementing courses. This is one of the most common jobs for former teachers who are leaving education altogether. HR professionals spend the majority of their time planning, creating, and improving training courses designed to help new employees transition smoothly into their roles. Love analyzing your own lesson plans for content gaps? This career will make good use of your skills.
Stand out for the companies that hire teachers
HR Learning & Development Specialists need the ability to create course material and accompanying training instructions. Proficiency in using digital media and communication is key. Insight into how trainee feedback can be used to improve training materials is also helpful.
Listen to my interview with a former teacher turned Human Resources professional.
10. Non-Profit Professional: Jobs for teachers who are intrinsically motivated
While the teaching profession is a noble endeavor, you can add more purpose points on your do-good ledger by taking your talents to the non-profit sector. A passion for helping others can help teachers make the transition to a number of positions within non-profit organizations. Non-profits require many different types of positions to operate properly. Common examples include management positions, accounting, digital media, and communications.
Being successful in non-profit education companies
As a Non-Profit Professional you’ll need the willingness to play a small part of bigger mission. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are key. A deep understanding of how digital media and communication drive engagement could also be helpful in your new position.
11. Tutoring: Best jobs for teachers who want to earn side income
The gig economy revolution is all the rage right now. For entrepreneurial-minded individuals, this on-demand option could be perfect for you. Many people are trading in the 40-hour 9-to-5 for flexible schedules and control over their income. Instead of teaching a classroom of 30 students, you can choose who, when, and where you want to teach – and how many. Choose to work a group of students or on a one-on-one basis. It’s up to you.
In the digital age, it’s even easier to market your small business and to spread the word that you are a teacher for hire.
Related: Starting a tutoring business.
12. Instructional Designer: Jobs for former teachers who LOVE teaching online
It’s no secret that the internet has altered everything we do. If you enjoy creating learning materials and technology, this may be the right path for you. Instructional designers create the eLearning resources and online training for a variety of industries. Instructional design is one of the top roles for teachers outside of the classroom – but it is one of the most competitive as well.
While you have a leg up above someone with NO teaching experience, it’s important to realize you’ll need to learn the industry standard tools for this position. You can learn more about adding skillsets to your instructional designer resume here.
13. Curriculum Writer: Best jobs for ex-teachers with an eye for detail
Curriculum Writers are tasked with researching and developing lessons, including materials and activities. Your work will contribute to the structure of programs for lower, middle and higher education. A career in curriculum design can easily translate into various opportunities, including companies, organizations, and government agencies.
Do you have a knack for writing outlines and technical writing, as well as supreme time management and organizational skills? You may be able to easily transition into curriculum writing.
Next Steps to a New Career
One of the biggest mistakes that I see teachers make is that they try to navigate this process alone. Often, they put off “researching” until the very last minute. Which sets them up for a very stressful application season. I want to help you get some clarity in the options available to you. To know EXACTLY what you need to do (and not do) in order to get your foot in the door.
You don’t have to do this on your own.
With the help of an HR expert with over 10 years of experience and a team of former teachers, I’ve created a guide to support you in the early stages of your transition out of the classroom. Tap the button below to learn more.