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How to Transition from Teaching to Another Career: Effective Strategies to Help You Start Fresh

How to Transition from Teaching to Another Career: Effective Strategies to Help You Start Fresh

Discover the reasons teachers leave the classroom, explore alternative career options, and master the art of a successful career transition.


It may come as no surprise that The Great Resignations impacted the educational sector in staggering numbers recently. While the reasons varied for teachers switching careers, many cited low pay and burnout as contributing factors. 

So, when is it time to leave a job, and what does a teacher do when they leave the profession? 

Teachers dissatisfied with their current position don't have to limit themselves to teaching jobs in their pursuit of change. There are many transferable skills teachers can bring with them on a new career path.

This article discusses alternative careers to teaching, some valuable skills teachers can use in a new setting, and tips to make transitioning careers easier. 

Career Change: Why Teachers Seek a Second Career

Most teachers enter the field because they are passionate about helping others. Deciding to leave the profession can be challenging for teachers who feel they are abandoning their calling. Yet, teachers continue to leave the field to pursue other professional endeavors.

Why are so many teachers moving on?

While the answer to this varies, many teachers who recently chose a change in career path point to several common factors. Educators brought up things like lack of support from the community and administration, changes due to the pandemic, difficulty setting boundaries to protect personal time, and concerns about school safety. Changing careers became the only viable option for educators to address these concerns immediately.

Leaving a career in education can be very intimidating because teachers invest much time and commitment into building their teaching careers. It can be challenging for them to envision themselves as anything but. However, many professions require the same skill set and allow you to help others in a different setting.

Any teacher considering leaving the classroom must conduct a thorough self-assessment to understand their strengths, dreams, and needs before making a significant career change.

Jobs After Teaching: Career Alternatives Teachers May Consider

Teachers are incredibly adaptable, and there are many careers they can easily transition into. Because of the combination of soft and hard skills required to run a classroom effectively, educators have a wide range of skills beneficial to just about any career.

Some alternative careers for teachers include the following:

  • Educational Consultant

Professionals in this field may work directly with parents and students or with school districts to advise on teaching strategies and styles to increase student learning and engagement. The average salary for an educational consultant ranges from $59k to $130k.

  • Instructional Designer

Instructional design involves the process of redesigning or creating courses and curricula. It is an integral part of education and constantly evolves, making it an in-demand career. Instructional designers make between $56k and $110k.

  • Tutor

Tutors may work for a tutoring company or start their own tutoring business. These professionals can teach virtually any subject or grade across several platforms (in-person, one-on-one, group, or online). Many factors determine the amount tutors may charge, but tutors earn between $25-$100+ per hour on average. 

  • Event Planner

An event planner must be very organized and an excellent communicator. Both of these skills are commonly associated with teachers. The average salary for an event planner is more than $50,000 per year.

  • Academic Advisor

An academic advisor typically works with students at the college level to assist them with selecting courses, monitoring academic progress, and choosing potential career pathways. The average salary for this position is between $50k and $116k per year.

  • Curriculum Writer

A curriculum writer is an experienced educator who creates instructional material to be delivered by a classroom teacher. These professionals earn between $45k and $67k per year.

  • Sales Representative

These professionals sell a product or service as a representative of the brand. Teachers' public speaking and interpersonal skills make them good candidates for this role. Sales reps earn a wide range depending on their location and the company they represent. Salaries range from $20k to $200k+ per year.

  • Trainer

A trainer develops and conducts training activities to increase knowledge and skills in an individual or group. Trainers can work for an organization or operate their own training business. They earn between $25 and $100+ per hour.

  • Career Coach

A career coach helps clients develop job-search skills like resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, and new hire best practices to land a new job. They can work for an agency or start a privately owned coaching business. Career coaches earn between $45k and $70k per year.

  • Life Coach

A life coach helps clients navigate personal and career challenges. They may teach emotional regulation techniques, help develop action plans, and support their clients on their road to self-actualization. The average salary for a life coach is between $30k and $80k per year.

  • Freelance Writer

A freelance writer creates written content for various publications and channels, including websites, blog posts, articles, emails, press releases, and more. They earn between $20k and $100k+ per year, depending on their niche.

  • Social Worker

Social workers help individuals and families navigate, prevent, and cope with problems in their lives. Teachers with strong interpersonal skills and adaptability make solid social workers. These professionals earn between $35k and $80k per year. 

  • Librarian

Librarians perform a variety of tasks to connect individuals to information and knowledge. They digitize archives, manage social media, instruct small groups, and build websites. The average salary for librarians is around $65k per year.

Many of these careers are very similar to teaching. Coaches and tutors help their clients learn helpful habits and skills to be successful. Instructional designers and curriculum writers create content used to educate and engage students. Counselors and educational consultants help caregivers navigate the educational system and can act as a liaison between the school and family. 

These careers call upon teachers' specific skills and experiences in a new setting, free from many factors that burnt them out on classroom teaching. 

The Process of Changing Careers for Teachers

Once you have an idea of the career field you are interested in pursuing, you need to start planning how to transition into your new profession. Here are some steps to get you started down a new, exciting path.

1. Make a List of Essential Skills

List your skills down on a piece of paper. Apply these skills to what you would be required to do in your chosen career field. 

2. Revamp Your Resume

Shift the wording on your resume to focus more on your new career path. Clearly connect how your teaching experience will help you in this new role.

3. Update Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a great place to network and learn. If you aren't already on this platform, create a profile and resume to help you get noticed. 

4. Search for Jobs

Some helpful job search programs make it easy to save your resume and cover letter and quickly apply to multiple job postings. You can link a resume and other important information to your account with LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter. 

5. Brush Up on Your Interview Skills

It may have been a while since you last interviewed for a position outside of education. Read up on interview strategies and learn about the types of questions asked of candidates in your new field.

Repackaging the Skills and Experience Acquired From Teaching

There are so many skills that can be used outside the classroom. The key is learning how to repackage them for a different setting. Writing an effective lesson plan and managing a wild classroom takes rock-solid skills that are the envy of many a human resource team. 

Some transferable skills to consider highlighting include the following:

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Time Management
  • Communication Skills
  • Writing Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Adaptability and Flexibility 
  • Technology Skills
  • Software Experience
  • Presentation Skills
  • Group Management Skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Collaboration Skills
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Self-Motivation 
  • Self-Management

While you may not need a teaching degree for your new role, the skills and experiences teaching has given you are highly sought after across many career industries. Once you know how to repackage and sell those skills, you will be unstoppable. 

If you are one of the thousands of teachers leaving the classroom to start a coaching or tutoring business. Tools are available to help you streamline day-to-day tasks, giving you more time to do what you love. CRM software enables you to stay organized and automate repetitive tasks to save time and prevent burnout.  

You can try Practice for free and hit the ground running with your new business.

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