Teacher Side Hustles: Why and How to Supplement Your Education Income

The following article will cover why is it a necessity for teachers to embark on side hustles to supplement their income and the most feasible methods for doing so.

Education has long been one long been a career marked by stability and security. Tenure, medical coverage, consistent pay raises, and a guaranteed pension and medical coverage  have been the tenets of providing teachers with financial security and peace of mind. After 25-30 years of service, teachers played the financial long game and, in many cases, came out of head of their cohort in achieving financial security. The true financial reward was the pension and defined state benefits earned after many years of service to children and their community. From a financial senses, educators sacrificed attaining wealth for financial security at the end of their careers. Predictability and sustained peace of mind were exchanged for opportunities for wealth creation and lucrative bonuses in the corporate sector. Most communities and the public at large, seemed to support teachers attaining the well-deserved pensions and health care at the end of a long career serving the public. However, this public sentiment turned against teachers about decade ago.

The 2007-2008 financial crisis resulted in key political, cultural, and societal changes in public perception of teachers. Unlike China, who responded with enormous investment in infrastructure and public works programs, the United States and Europe adopted austerity measures. Politicians adeptly scapegoated teachers and other public servants for the financial disaster and enormous debt that America had incurred. The results were drastic changes to teacher pensions, health benefits and salaries. Public opinion shifted, and a national sentiment ensured, one characterized by support for significantly reducing teacher compensation.

The once reliable Democrat support for unionized professions has all but vanished. Educators absorbed a drastic blow to their public perception and financial solvency. As a former School Psychologist in a New Jersey public school, I witnessed the drastic assault to teacher morale and how they lost the war in the public opinion.

It is my sense that this is only the beginning. The worse has yet to come.

Practically speaking, teachers will experience more cuts to job protection (tenure), pension plans, and health care. As an illustration of how both American political parties have abandoned unionized teachers, a new Bill in New Jersey, sponsored by a Democratic State Senator aims at further cuts to teacher compensation. Teachers are already among the most underpaid profession based on their educational attainment and service to the community.

These cuts are not solely evidenced in New Jersey. Nationally, teachers have been maligned. The reduction to teacher compensation is occuring in the ongoing battles in West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Teachers can no longer count on having solvent pension funds and health care at the end of their careers. Fortunately, teachers are in a unique position to supplement their salaries through an array of side hustles. The following is a list of the most effective ways teachers can supplement their incomes, through side hustles:

The top ways teachers can increase their income


This is the most logical, practical, and potentially lucrative side hustle that a teacher can use to supplement income. Working as a School Psychologist in an affluent New York City suburb, I would often remark that I should have become a teacher. Many of my colleagues were making significant amounts of extra cash tutoring. Taking advantage of an early work day, teachers can start a tutoring business during the early evenings and weekends.

Public school districts must provide Home Instruction when a student is out of school for an extended period (usually 10 school days or 5 school days for special education students) of time due to a medical reasons. Districts hire in-house teachers to provide instruction. This is usually one of the easiest ways to earn extra money tutoring as the referrals are all “in-house”. Home Instructors are paid directly by the school, so payment should be reliably secure. The only drawback is the compensation is lower than you will earn in when tutoring privately.

Private tutoring is where the money is. My colleagues were charging between 80-100 dollars per hour. Math and science tutors are in the most demand and can essentially work as much as they want. However, English and special education tutors are also able to carve out a nice niche for themselves. SAT and ACT tutoring are lucrative niches. Tutors for the Princeton Review make 150 Dollars an hour. In fact, the entire college process is a multibillion dollar industry. Besides traditional tutoring,  teachers can earn excellent money helping students with their college essays.


2.Teaching at college

Colleges and universities have a huge need for quality adjust professors. Education is one of the most popular fields of study. Teachers are in high demand to teache undergraduate and graduate courses in education. Most adjunct teaching positions will require a Masters degree. Many of these courses are available to be taught online. The average pay for an adjunct professor is between $2200- 3700 per course. The sweet spot for an adjust professor to teacher summer courses such as freshman seminars and remedial classes at community colleges.


3. Freelance writing

If you are looking to work within the education realm, but seek more flexibility, Freelance writing allows you to market your professional skills. Many companies and websites are looking for professional writers to do writing and editing on a contractual basis. Proofreading, writing, and editing are also eligible endeavors teachers to apply their skills on a part-time basis. Teachers can earn from $50 to several thousand for writing contracts. Editing and proofreading gigs are generally paid at $30 to 75 per hour.


4. Bartending and restaurant service

This side hustle will appeal to younger teachers just starting their careers. One of two nights per week working at a bar or restaurant is a great side hustle for young and energetic teachers. Working during the school year just one night per week will put you in position to attain a full-time gig during the summer where you can make great money.


5. Summer camps

A two-month summer holiday is a large chunk of time, and a great opportunity for young teachers to work at camps. While the pay is stellar, it will look great on your CV when applying for jobs. For higher paying camp positions, look for camps that cater to special education students. This experience will go a long way in marketing yourself as a teacher who has worked with challenges and diverse students while providing a valuable service.


6. Contractor-Blue Collar skills

I worked with a teacher who did Electrical work on the side. His earning from this side hustle on weekends amounted to his teacher salary. If you have expertise in a trade, your services will always be in demand.


7. Coaching

Experience with coaching not only helps you get your foot in the door to a position, but it is also an effective side hustle. The downside is coaching involves long hours, but if you have a passion for working in athletics, it may be among the most rewarding of side hustles. Most school districts look to fill coaching positions in-house. However, athletics are expanding into programs that encompass a wide range of sports ,not limited to the major ones such as baseball, football, and basketball. In addition to schools, local communities, gyms, dance studios, and yoga studios are always in the need of quality instructors. If you have a passion for athletics, coaching is a wonderful way to make money while contributing to the younger generation.

If you don’t want the seasonal commitment that coaching involves, refereeing could be an excellent option. Referees typically earn between $25-100 per game.


8. Real Estate Agent

Capitalizing on having evenings and weekends free, teachers can develop a flexible scheduling selling real state. Most Real Estate agents work part-time, so it is a perfect side hustle for an educator looking to earn extra money outside the domain of working children.


9. Renting out your room on Airbnb

You can earn substantial income renting out your extra room on Airbnb. It is also a great way to meet interesting people from all over the world. Airbnb allows for renters to be rater by their hosts. This helps to ensure your safety and accepting guests who have built up a strong reputation on Airbnb.


10. Blogging

Many teachers, particularly in the Humanities enjoy the writing process. Blogging is creative outlet that serves as a route to passive income. Selling affiliate products, services, as well as your own courses are viable avenues to make extra income, while providing a valuable service to educators. Teachers are able to sell their own lesson plans, curriculums and other educational materials on their blog. Get paid for your educational creativity and disseminate the valuable strategies and materials you have incorporated into your own classroom. Blogging is also one of the best ways to attain passive income without putting up a substantial investment.


11. Ride Sharing

The beauty of driving for Uber or Lyft is the ability to work when you want. Night and weekends are usually peak time for passengers. Many teachers I have known, have made solid money driving for ride sharing companies. Simply turn on the app when you are ready to work. The opportunity exists to get paid for driving on your regular commute or while running errands. Uber and Lyft drivers earn an average of 15 Dollars per hour. This is a great way to make money while not using the left side of your brain.


12. Investments

All teachers must take charge of their finances. This involves mastering the art of investing your money through diversified stocks, bonds, mutual funds and money market accounts. Teachers can no longer count on their retirement packages at the end of their careers.

Strongly consider investing in 403B accounts, which allows teachers to contribute just shy of 19,000 dollars per year into a retirement fund. The major benefit is that your contribution will be deducted straight from payroll, pre-tax. You will be able to collect your money after age 59.5.

It has never been more important for teachers to become financial savoy and take ownership over their investments. Learning how to invest in ETFs, stocks, bonds, and real estate has never been more important.

All teachers should read this book: Millionaire Teacher

Moving Forward

Earning extra income from side hustles has become a fiancial necessity for most teachers. Fortunately, they are in a unique position due to an early start day and summers off, to make substantial supplements to their income which will help to offset their dclining retirement plans.

The extra money earned from side hustles can be used to invest in other businesses or to take advantage of compound investments over a long period of time.

Politicians cannot be trusted to ensure financial security for teachers or any other public servants. Teachers have more marketable skills then they realize. The unique skill set that a teacher possesses including an expertise in education practices, child development, combined with having the well earned trust of the public can be parlayed into lucrative ventures.

Be sure to pick up a copy of Millionaire Teacher


Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Joseph Graybill





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