Christa is a work-at-home educator with a degree in biology. Her husband is a public school social studies teacher.
Stagnant Salary, but Good Benefits?
Generally, the starting salary for teachers is attractive. Many teachers start their careers receiving a salary of around $45k, according to PayScale. Teachers are salaried, meaning they are not paid per hard hour worked. This is good because they know how much money they have to budget. And, this is bad because many teachers work more than the usual 40 hours per week grind. Teachers also do not get raises or bonuses the same way other industries reward hard work. Oh, and, sometimes teachers are paid a lump sum once a month.
One of the first things people say when learning that my husband is a teacher is: the pay might be bad, but the benefits are great. Okay, sure, if you think that paying $1000 a month as a premium for basic health insurance is a good benefit. Oh, and we have a standard $7,500 deductible. We fit into that fun category of not qualifying for government assistance, but not making enough to comfortably afford insurance. Forget actually getting sick. And my husband is a teacher...who works with kids...who get sick.
3 Side Jobs for Teachers to Earn Extra Money
It may sound odd, but almost all of my husband's coworkers have a side hustle. One is a DJ, another does direct sales, and another walks dogs. These may not be hugely lucrative side jobs, but they help stretch the paycheck. They also help afford important things - like insurance.
I am a work-from-home educator. I tutor in mathematics and science privately. I also work for a company teaching English. My husband also has a side hustle. Could we do it without the side hustle? Yes, but it would be hard. Can all teachers do it without side hustles? No, probably not.
1. Teach English Online
Both my husband and I teach English online. I started working as an online English tutor through TutorABC in March 2016 after having my first child. The students are mostly from China or Japan, meaning the hours are in the evening, night, and early morning for us. The lessons are pre-loaded in Adobe Connect course rooms. They require that tutors are in college, or have a BA (or equivalent). They also require that tutors have a TESL (or equivalent) certification. They have a base pay plus bonuses.
2. Join a Direct Sales Company
My husband and I are very health conscious. My degree is in human biology with a minor in chemistry. It is very important to me that my family is healthy. I also have a deep respect for the environment. I have friends who sell Norwex, which has cleaning supplies with very little toxins. I also have friends who sell reusable goods.
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For fun, I wanted to try my hand at selling something, too. Plus, it wouldn't hurt to bring in a little extra money. Tutoring privately is dependent on the school year. Teaching English online is depended on my availability in the evenings and nights. I decided to do an experiment. I wanted to see if I could be a successful distributor without asking every member of my family to buy from me. I had a friend who said that, yes, she thought I could.
I became a distributor for It Works Global. What I love about direct sales is how versatile it is. I can host parties, carry an inventory, or work from my phone. It has been a very fun experiment.
3. Walk or Board a Dog
Some teachers may need a more flexible, relaxing side hustle. One fun job would be through Rover. We don't work with Rover, but we board our dog using Rover when we have to go out of town. With Rover, you set your schedule and your rate. If you love dogs and cats, it sounds like an interesting prospect.
Other side hustles that may prove worthy of a teacher's time include:
- Real Estate
- Life Coach
- Freelance Consulting
- Wine or Food Tasting
It is a vocation!
One might ask if educators need to find a second job, why bother being an educator? Education does not pay as much as other industries. The phrase, "Those who can't, teach", might hold some truth. Some professionals who couldn't land a job in their industry try education; however, many educators chose this profession. With the long hours and the stagnant pay, education is a vocation. Many of the money making ideas mentioned above are also relaxing or enjoyable. At the end of the day, a super flexible second job might help the educator by alleviating the negative parts of education.
Larry Slawson from North Carolina on April 12, 2019:
Great ideas here. Thank you for sharing!