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18 Alternative Career Choices for Teachers to Switch Jobs

18 Alternative Career Choices for Teachers to Switch Jobs

Are you a teacher wishing to discover alternative career choices to change careers?

If you are an educator who is looking for a change of pace, this blog post will highlight different career options that might be up your alley!

There is nothing wrong with switching careers, in fact, there are warning signs indicating it is time to make a career change. Sometimes a person enters a field they did not intend. Other times, they become bored or are looking for a new challenge. Which point comes closest to matching the reason you are seeking an alternative career?

  • Did not initially intend on becoming an educator
  • Have more than one career goal
  • The career has become stagnant
  • No longer excited or motivated at work
  • The job is too stressful
  • Laid off or fired
  • Moving to a new location, but can’t secure a teaching job
  • Want to try something new
  • Need a greater sense of freedom from standards and benchmarks

The reason the why is so important is to make sure you are leaving your current career for the right reasons.

If you are on the fence about switching jobs, is there anything you can do to improve your current position?

Is there a way to keep yourself motivated and eager at work?

Are you able to overcome the obstacles that have been placed in front of you? Are there any courses that might help improve your outlook?

Once you have decided to take a leap of faith and follow an alternative career path, there are other steps that you must follow before you throw yourself into the job search head-on. First and foremost, the key is to discover what transferable skills you have from teaching and identifying rewarding alternate careers that fall into your wheelhouse.

Transferable Skills

As mentioned above, it is important to recognize the skill sets you already have and understand how they will serve you in a new career. Some of your skills will be quite specific to the world of teaching and education, but many will at least be relatable. On the other end, be prepared that when entering a new career field, you will have to obtain new skills, talents, and possibly, education. Below is a list of transferable skills you likely attained as a teacher:

  • Organization
  • Communication (verbal and written)
  • Interpersonal
  • Problem-solving and decision making
  • People management
  • Time management
  • Research
  • Critical thinking
  • Analysis
  • Planning
  • Collaboration
  • Technology

The first four skills are the most desired by the broadest range of companies and career fields. If you feel you could be lacking in those areas, or need to strengthen them, then make sure you do before embarking on a new challenge.

Specialized Skills

Along with your transferable skills, you will have developed a set of specialized skills. They may not translate to every career path you wish to follow, but they can aid in certain areas.

  • Classroom management
  • Student discipline
  • Curriculum development
  • Lesson planning
  • Lecturing
  • Hands-on demonstrations
  • Leading class discussions
  • Literacy instruction
  • Differentiated instruction
  • Student motivation
  • Student assessment

Now, you may be wondering, “How do these specific talents translate outside of the classroom?” Here is a non-exhaustive list of how and where to utilize your expertise in the working world.

  • Classroom management
    • Office management
    • Project management
    • Event coordination
  • Student discipline
    • Office management
    • Personal coaching
    • Staff training and development
  • Curriculum development
    • Staff training and development
    • Training manual development
    • Online instructional design
  • Lesson planning
    • Corporate training
    • Training manual development
    • Content development
  • Lecturing
    • Seminar presentations
    • Tutoring
    • Corporate training
  • Hands-on demonstrations
    • Sales
    • Corporate training
    • Tutoring
  • Leading class discussions
    • Corporate coaching
    • Mediation
    • Seminar presentations
  • Literacy instruction
    • Adult literacy tutoring
    • Children’s writing
    • Content development
  • Differentiated instruction
    • Patient care support
    • Content development
    • Tutoring
  • Student motivation
    • Patient care support
    • Personal coaching
    • Motivational speaking
    • Sales
  • Student assessment
    • Personal coaching
    • Research and analysis
    • Policy development

Retaining Aspects of Being an Educator

Even though you have decided to switch careers, there must be some aspects of teaching you still enjoy? When reviewing alternative career choices to determine which new job will be right for you, decide what types of job responsibilities you would like to retain. For instance:

  • Would you prefer a job interacting with people?
  • Is your passion to help children, or would you prefer strictly adults?
  • Do you enjoy leading groups?
  • Is it the organization and planning you like the most?
  • Are you more independent or team-oriented?
  • Do you want to work a set schedule, or are you more flexible?
  • Is having your summers and holidays off important, or are you willing to give that up? (This will definitely limit your possibilities in the job search)
  • Is it rewarding to help people develop and grow?
  • Are you hands-on, or more hands-off?
  • Do you love being creative and unique?

On the other hand, maybe there are different elements or duties you would like to integrate into your new career, which you have not been able to while teaching.

  • Traveling
  • Comprehensive research
  • Report writing
  • Policy and procedure development
  • Greater breadth of leadership
  • Budget management
  • Grant writing
  • Outdoor exploration
  • Increased physical activity
  • Fewer constraints and standards to adhere to

Alternative Career Choices for Teachers – Education-Related

Now that you have a better understanding of why you are leaving your position as a classroom teacher, and what you are seeking in your next job, what are some alternative positions and career paths? Perhaps you do not want to leave academia entirely but simply transition out of your current role. Here are some alternative career choices that might pique your interest:

  1. Administrator Are you tired of teaching, but still want to help students? Perhaps applying for a promotion to Vice/Assistant Principal or Principal is the move for you. Over the last 16 years, I have helped many teachers transition into an educational leadership role. Other administrative positions include District Superintendent and Curriculum Coordinator.Why you might like it: You are still able to maintain a pulse on the school, while helping a larger audience and to a greater degree. You are also able to put your leadership skills to work, as you collaborate with your peers to maintain an inclusive and harmonious school community.

    Skills you bring to the table: All the skills you gained as an educator.

  1. School Guidance Counselor – Are you concerned about whole child development, not simply academic growth? As a School Guidance Counselor you can help students mature academically, emotionally, socially, and professionally.Why you might like it: You work with students on an individual and small group basis to help identify their unique goals and needs, as well as implement a plan for achieving them.

    Skills you bring to the table: Student assessment, motivation, and discipline.

  1. Tutor – Do you enjoy working with students, but on a one-on-one basis? Becoming a tutor gives you the freedom to work with as few or as many children as you like.Why you might like it: This is a job that can be done just about anywhere, including from home. You can tutor students at different age levels and across various subjects.

    Skills you bring to the table: Lesson planning, literacy instruction, differentiated instruction, and student assessment and motivation.

  1. College Instructor or Adjunct Professor Perhaps you still find teaching rewarding, but would like to instruct students at a different level. Making a move to post-secondary education gives you a new set of challenges while working with learners that are more advanced and are seeking guidance that will help in their professional endeavors. Many teachers transition into higher education with excellent success.Why you might like it: You are able to retain very similar job responsibilities, but in a new environment and with a different student population.

    Skills you bring to the table: All the skills you gained as an educator.

  1. Teaching Abroad – Teaching abroad gives you the opportunity to travel and interact with people of a different culture. There are many opportunities for teaching English as a Foreign Language, ranging from at a young level to business professionals.Why you might like it: You can search out opportunities to teach abroad in almost any country. Once you develop the travel bug, you can move from one geographical region to the next.

    Skills you bring to the table: All the skills you gained as an educator.

  1. Curriculum Developer or Curriculum Specialist – Do you like the organization and planning aspect of being a teacher? If so, a job in instructional design or curriculum development may be the right choice for you! Developing a resume to target curriculum developer jobs will be an important step in your career transition.Why you might like it: You are able to decide upon and design the content teachers integrate into their classrooms. You have the chance to select the most important topics and meaningful material that students should learn. This career path offers endless opportunities, including online.

    Skills you bring to the table: curriculum development, lesson planning, literacy instruction, differentiated instruction, and student assessment.

  1. Business Owner – If your passion for education still runs strong, what about building your own business around that field? For instance, you might want to create a business focused on after-school programs, tutoring, adult literacy education, or early childhood development.Why you might like it: You are able to build a business from the ground up, including establishing your own policies, procedures, hours of operation, mission statement, etc. You can pretty much create anything your imagination allows you to.

    Skills you bring to the table: All the skills you gained as an educator.

  1. Summer School Teacher – Perhaps you aren’t quite ready to give up classroom teaching entirely. If this is the case, a transition to part-time teaching could be the perfect avenue for you. Teaching summer school offers the opportunity to manage your own classroom, but with less of a time commitment.Why you might like it: You will have more free time to explore other career opportunities while teaching students of the grade level of your choosing, as well as your desired subject matter.

    Skills you bring to the table: All the skills you gained as an educator.

  1. Corporate Trainer – One of the most popular alternative career choices for teachers is a corporate trainer. The focus is on job-specific duties and development. Your goal is to impart knowledge and build upon the skills of the corporate professionals you are working with. Success will depend on uncovering relevant skills, attributes, and accomplishments and effectively communicating them in your corporate trainer resume.Why you might like it: You are still able to collaborate with learners, but in a completely different environment and at a higher level.

    Skills you bring to the table: All the skills you gained as an educator.

  1. Adult Literacy Teacher – If you are still interested in working with learners, but want a more flexible schedule, try teaching adult literacy. You may be working with a local population or newly landed immigrants who barely speak English. Regardless of the type of students, this is an important job that you will find challenging and meaningful.
    Why you might like it: This is an extremely rewarding position, as you are giving people a second chance at an education and helping them develop the basic skills needed to improve their lives.

    Skills you bring to the table: All the skills you gained as an educator.

Alternative Career Choices for Teachers – Completely Separate from Teaching

On the other hand, perhaps the thought of staying in education exhausts you, and you would rather transition out completely. There are steps to leave teaching for a business career to make the transition easier and quicker. If this is the case, take a look at the below examples of alternative choices that might suit your desires and needs:

  1. Social Worker – While you were a teacher, you more than likely came across struggling children and families. Did you ever wish there was something more you could do for them? As a social worker, you are able to work closely with families to ensure children are provided a safe and nurturing home environment.Why you might like it: You are still able to shape and help children, while working toward the root cause of potentially life-long problems.

    Skills you bring to the table: Assessment, discipline, motivation, collaboration, and child development.

  1. Grant Writer – There are countless different grants out there for people to apply for; however, many are related to academia. You can use your prior knowledge and skills to help teachers, students, and educational programs apply for various grants. Or, you can go completely outside the scope of education and write grants for artists, authors, corporations, etc.Why you might like it: The person you are assisting has a definitive goal in mind, and you are able to help it become a reality. As well, if you enjoy writing, this would be the ideal job for you.

    Skills you bring to the table: Research, planning, written communication, organization, and critical thinking.

  1. Event Planner – If you are looking at alternative career choices for teachers that are completely separate from education, this could be the right path for you. Event planning allows you to have measurable goals, collaborate with individuals, and see your planning and creativity come to fruition in a tangible manner – very rewarding!Why you might like it: Though you have transferable skills, event planning is a completely different arena than teaching.

    Skills you bring to the table: Organization, planning, time management, problem-solving, socialization, people management, and needs assessment.

  1. Full-Time Volunteer or NGO Worker – If finances allow, have you considered becoming a full-time volunteer? You’ve already given so much back to the community as an educator, but here is your chance to continue doing so!Why you might like it: You will have the opportunity to work with others, aid struggling individuals, and make a positive difference.

    Skills you bring to the table: Communication, collaboration, analysis, and compassion.

  1. Project Manager – This position makes good use of the many skills you developed as a classroom teacher.Why you might like it: Project management is very diverse and can be applied to different industries. It can also be an easier transition than other career options might be.

    Skills you bring to the table: Organization, planning, time management, problem-solving, scheduling, and people management.

  1. Sports Coach – While you were an instructor, you most likely had to take on the responsibility of coaching a sports team or supervising one or more intramural activities. If you cultivated a passion for a specific sport, why not utilize your teaching skills and turn coaching into a full-time job?Why you might like it: You are able to work with individuals or a team and help them reach their full potential.

    Skills you bring to the table: Instruction, motivation, evaluation, and discipline.

  1. Sales Representative – This is another alternative career path that is completely separate from the world of education. You can pursue a sales position in almost any industry.Why you might like it: You will collaborate with people to identify and meet their unique goals and needs.

    Skills you bring to the table: Communication, motivation, and persuasion.

  1. Policy Developer – If you found the writing and research portions of your career to be the most satisfying, then a position in policy development is right up your alley. As with sales, you can search for this type of job in almost any field.Why you might like it: Many skills from your time as an educator will nicely translate into this new role.

    Skills you bring to the table: Organization, planning, analysis, evaluation, research, and report writing.

As you can see there are many alternative career choices for teachers. If you need help to make a career change connect with Candace via email or call toll-free 1 877 738 0852.