Are you wondering what the best jobs for retired teachers are?
Finding something else that sparks that passion and suits their lifestyle can be challenging for teachers that have chosen to retire from education.
While jobs for teachers are plentiful in many places, there are also many excellent second careers for teachers – some of which you may not even have considered. If you’re looking for alternative or part-time jobs for teachers, this list of the 40 best jobs for retired teachers might be the starting point you need.
40 best jobs for retired teachers
We look at a host of the best jobs for teachers who don’t want to teach – some of which may be completely different industries and sectors using your highly transferable skill set. Other jobs for teachers are out there – provided you know where to look. Read on to discover just some of the jobs for former teachers that you could consider:
- Online Tutoring: For educators that still love teaching but not so much the classroom and commuting element of the school, becoming an online tutor could be an excellent choice. These positions are remote 99% of the time, so you’ll need a complete setup at home. But if that doesn’t put you off, The Balance Career suggests that online tutoring is an excellent way to keep those teaching skills fresh while maintaining your schedule. You can teach locally or offer education to students abroad. The choice is up to you. While you may take a pay cut to work from home, the other benefits of this kind of position can quickly add up.
- Human Resources: While it may not seem the most natural transition, moving into HR is a perfect way to use some of the skills you’ve gained without the pressure of teaching. Teachers know the best ways to help people improve themselves through development, training, or benefits. That unique insight makes HR an excellent career for teachers, though additional training may be needed to cover the more technical and laws-based aspects of the role. HR is a mix of communication, connection, and rule-following, which comes naturally to most trained educators.
- Materials Creator and Provider: Teachers need great materials for their classes, and you can be the one to provide them. As a former teacher, you likely know that educators often need to resort to less-than-ideal online printouts – so why not offer something better? If you have the time and motivation, online platforms offer the opportunity to make money from creating teaching materials and various resources, from simple plans to activities or even a full curriculum. This is another career that is generally self-employed, so as such, it’s often best as a sideline to utilize your talents alongside other work.
- Financial Advisor: It may seem like a leap from teaching to finance, but this career is an excellent option for educators with a background in math. Teachers are well used to juggling tight budgets, grants, and more to get the most out of their money, which makes them fantastic candidates as personal financial advisors. The ability to understand complex spreadsheets, develop debt management plans, and even interpret existing numbers will serve you well in this role. While additional training may be required, it’s more than worth it if you put the effort in.
- Nursing: Working as a registered nurse or RN is a career that many teachers don’t consider. But many of the soft skills we acquire carry over well into a medical environment, including empathy, organization, and attention to detail, to name just a few. While an RN can be a stressful career, it’s entirely rewarding– unlike teaching, you can’t take your work home with you. While a degree is needed for this role, if you already hold a teaching degree, you may be able to claim credits and even reduce the time needed in education to secure this highly in-demand position.
- Test Scoring/Invigilating: This type of job can be highly seasonal, so it’s best utilized alongside other jobs or careers. But platforms like the Educational Testing Service are always looking for new additions to their test scoring team on various exams. Acting as an external invigilator for exams is another option that you could consider, which keeps you close to a more education-based career without actually being in the classroom. Expertise in a particular subject matter – or even higher levels of training – can support a career in test scoring, especially if you work across multiple organizations and exam boards.
- Counseling: The soft skills of a teacher makes them an excellent candidate for becoming a counselor later on in life. For many educators, high levels of skill in listening, understanding, and empathizing are a must in the classroom. This is doubly the case for special needs teachers. These abilities make teachers an ideal option for retraining when offering therapy, group counseling, and similar care. Many former educators enjoy working with children the most, which is an area of counseling that always needs more support. We’ve all wanted to do more for individual students – and you can with this career.
- Educational Consultant: Teachers make excellent consultants for other schools because they have experience with exactly what other educators are going through. This makes consultancy an excellent fit, as it allows one to look at the bigger picture instead of the little details. Without a class of your own to teach, it’s possible to have more clarity of behavior planning, lesson management, and even the wider curriculum – which is exactly the service consultants provide. Often freelance, you’d be able to set your hours and do work on your terms. But as a teacher, you likely already have a great network built up that you can turn to in those first few months to get started.
- Social Worker: Because of the compassion and understanding teachers have to bring into their classroom daily, they are the perfect choice for transitioning into social worker roles. Especially with children or families. Many teachers will have met with social workers at least once over their career regarding the family of a student under their care, which makes it even easier to flip over to the ‘other side and provide that protection for vulnerable children themselves. Extra training is required, but with an existing degree, the years spent studying for this position can be greatly reduced. Social work can be challenging but incredibly rewarding in the right circumstances.
- Marketing: For creative educators, marketing can be an excellent position to move into once you no longer want to teach. Many different skills are involved in marketing, from communication to writing to empathy and understanding. Teachers often have these skills and more, making them ideal for marketing targeted at education or children and their parents. Non-profits may be a good fit for educators that prefer to stay out of the less corporate world, as well as smaller local charities and services that need excellent marketing to get their message out there. The ability to write well, edit and even communicate effectively are all valuable marketing skills that teachers have hard-wired in.
- Corporate Training: If you no longer want to work with children but would still like to teach, then working with adults might be the next best thing. Corporate training on a range of skills can be an excellent fit for teachers, whether it’s supporting a company in its personal development, improving communications, or even helping to implement new learning schemes within a larger corporate environment. Holding these training sessions is more informal – no need to tell adults to sit still or ask to use the bathroom – but still ticks all the boxes for keeping the teaching part of your brain sharp.
- Writing Coach: With as many as 44% of managers suggesting that writing is one of the skills that new workers and fresh grads lack, there’s value in bringing in an external writing coach to brush up on those skills. Teachers make fantastic coaches, thanks to their experience in educating students, and this kind of work can be done either in designated training sessions or as a virtual service. Flexibility is key here, not to mention the ability to teach without a typical school’s pressure and enforced curriculum.
- Administrative/Executive Assistant: No one enjoys doing admin, but teachers may be some of the few who are both efficient and productive regarding even the messiest pile of paperwork. With a little training, ex-teachers can make great administrative assistants or executive assistants, managing planning, organizing, and supporting executives with ease, thanks to years of experience in the education sector. Teachers also make excellent assistants within the education sector – working with principals and superintendents to use their expert skills in new ways.
- Learning Support Roles: Perhaps you’d like to step back as a teacher, but you’d still like to support students in their learning and education. In that case, a Student Learning Support role offers all the benefits of teaching without the difficulties. There’s a lot that support roles offer, whether it’s supporting teachers in the classroom, working on specific activities with a class, or even providing help for social and emotional development. If you want more one-on-one time with students without the stress of teaching everyone, this is an excellent choice of role.
- Teaching Recruitment: Recruitment might be the ideal option for teachers who still want to work within the realm of education but are not directly involved with teaching. Recruitment companies deal with placing teachers, assistants, and even administration roles in suitable schools and offering additional training and support to educators looking for that ideal role. As someone who has gone through the process of job-seeking as a teacher, you’ll be well-placed to support others making that same journey. Recruitment work can be based on commission, so that’s something to consider if you’re thinking about this kind of role
- Museum/Gallery Educator: If you’re a fan of history or the arts, and have experience in these areas through your teaching, then working as an educator in a museum or a gallery is a great alternative to teaching. Science museums are also an option for teachers with a more scientific background. As an educator in a museum or similar facility, you’ll still be teaching children (and sometimes adults) – but there’s no need for lesson planning, curriculum requirements, or even class management. You engagingly provide the information, and students will learn. Expect to carry out tours and talks for school trips, parents and children, and even for events – there’s plenty of variety in these roles and seasonal differences.
- Exam Coder: Exam coding is a specialized role where you’ll be asked to properly code pre-selected questions and answers so they are suitable for in-class use. While this career doesn’t technically use many teaching skills, your prior understanding of exams and testing will give you a step up on noticing errors or correcting problems far faster than inexperienced coders. Not to mention, you might be able to spot any incorrect answers that slip through. Coding can be seasonal; as such, it’s best built around other work where possible.
- Educational Publishing: It’s not surprising that teachers often make the best books about teaching. Whether it’s new theories, memoirs, or anything else surrounding their educational life, there are plenty of opportunities to transform your experience and knowledge into writing. Often, a good place to start is with a blog or similar online forum – or even getting into the editing and writing side of educational publishing over the more traditional book-writing side. Whichever route you choose, educational publishing can be an excellent career to keep those teaching skills fresh in new and exciting ways.
- Project Management: Occasionally, it can feel like managing a class is one big, overwhelming project. We all feel like that sometimes – but for those teachers that thrive on keeping all the cogs moving, project management might be an excellent career move. This kind of role will keep you in charge of spinning the plates on all the little pieces that make up an overall project. Whether working in education, in the corporate world, or technology, teaching offers those soft people skills that are invaluable for project management roles. After all, if you can juggle 30 small children, you can likely do the same for 30 adults.
- Extracurricular Leader: Often part of a franchise opportunity, teachers who go into these roles can succeed if they pick the right subject matter and audience. Thanks to your additional training and skill, parents are more likely to place trust in you with their children. Extracurriculars can have a huge amount of variation and flexibility, from music classes to gymnastics and dance to unstructured playtime. While you generally have to buy into these classes – and careers – they can be a successful option for ex-teachers that still want to work with kids, just on a more informal basis.
- Education Center Owner/Worker: As a teacher, you’re probably well aware of education centers and their value to students. From indoor facilities to dig sites and animal-based locations, there is plenty of variety in education centers that ex-teachers can benefit from. Generally, the role of workers in these smaller facilities is to do a bit of everything – from handling reception to giving tours and running specific classes to promoting the center on social media. Working in an education center is an excellent fit if you feel that a lot of variety in your day-to-day is needed. If you have the funds, owning your education center is an excellent way to keep your foot in the door and educate children in a way you enjoy daily.
- Historical Tour Guide: Another role that requires passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge about specific subjects. As an ex-teacher, you’ve likely encountered historical tour guides, whether it’s showing your children around old, important buildings or trekking to a site of historical importance. While these jobs can be quite difficult to get ahold of, they’re an excellent choice for lifelong educators who aren’t suited to wider teaching. An alternative to a classic historical tour guide for children is one for adults, delving into less kid-friendly themes and concepts – depending on what kind of audience you prefer to talk to. If you think you can make history fun and engaging, this kind of role might be the perfect transition from teaching.
- School Management: Love working in a school but not such a fan of being stuck in the classroom? Consider looking at your education board before going elsewhere because you might be surprised at the management positions available. Going to the administrator side of education is a move that many teachers make, and management – whether it’s of that school, multiple schools, or just of the teachers – is an excellent way to be still involved in education while taking a step back from teaching. If you can stay with your current school and love working there, all the better. It’s always worth asking.
- Translator/Interpreter: For languages-focused teachers, your expertise can be highly valuable in interpreter and translator roles. For international and large-scale corporate businesses, there may be the opportunity for full-time work based on your particular language skill. For others, thousands of contract and freelance roles are available – it’s all down to your preference. Online translation, both audio and text-based, is also available for retired teachers looking for low-impact, part-time work. With a language, the world is your oyster for ex-teachers.
- Laboratory Technician: Does your teaching career specialize in the sciences? Translating the knowledge from classroom experiments into a technician role might be the ideal fit for you. Most science-specific teachers have already worked in labs, and as part of experiments at school, so they are well-placed to accept roles back within the science community. Many colleges have in-house labs with supervisory professionals for those who still want to stay close to education. This kind of role might be ideal if you want to be more hands-off but still have the opportunity to teach occasionally.
- Nanny/Childminder: If you love the idea of working with children one-on-one, transitioning into a role as a childminder or nanny could be the ideal choice. For teachers with plenty of experience in looking after, educating, and caring for children, this kind of experience is highly desirable should you go after nannying roles. Even better if your experience involves working with children on the younger end of the grade scale, as opposed to high schoolers or older. Nannying and childminding still offer you a chance to connect with children and help them to develop, but it’s in a far more personal setting than any classroom could provide.
- Librarian: For English teachers and book-loving educators, moving into a librarian position may seem obvious. With high levels of organization and efficiency required, the skills needed to succeed in this role line up well with the experience of teachers. There are many subtypes of libraries to consider – in academia, for example, in a public library, or even within your school. With so many options, there’s something to suit many ex-educators, especially if you’re willing to travel – with some libraries requiring higher levels of experience and knowledge than a typical job.
- College/University Teacher: If the reason you no longer want to be a teacher is the actual students, then lecturing in college or university might be the ideal medium between leaving teaching altogether and remaining in a school. Transitioning from education to lecturing won’t be so extreme for high school teachers. Still, for teachers more used to kindergartners, it will be very different, which may be a good thing, depending on why you’re looking for something new. Lecturing also isn’t limited to the US; plenty of global universities may welcome your expertise, should you look.
- Careers Advisor: Helping children achieve what they want in life is one of the best bits about being a teacher. If you want to preserve that feeling of working towards your student’s future without the pressure of teaching, then moving into career advice might be the right fit. You can still support students in reaching their dreams – and your position as an educator allows you to be more realistic and understand the challenges and problems students may face. Whether it’s becoming an astronaut, attending a top college, or simply working in an office, as an advisor, you can help students get where they need to in an entirely different way.
- Personal Trainer: For educators more focused on fitness, gym, and similar physical activities, a move into the world of personal training might be on the cards. Even if you weren’t the designated gym teacher at your school, the discipline and ability to teach and empathize are highly valued skills for many potential customers – not everyone wants a drill sergeant barking orders at them. If you can throw the same passion and motivation into personal training, or even fitness instructing, as you have for teaching, you’ll be in an excellent position to start. With a little training and certification, you can be well on your way to succeeding as a PT.
- Veterinary Assistant: Much like nursing or other medical jobs. Those working in vet clinics need to have the same patience, compassion, and empathy for their furry patients as human patients. Depending on the age of the class you teach, you can’t completely rule out being bitten in either role – so you’re ahead of the curve there. But beyond those soft skills, being able to be organized, prepare notes, and ensure all paperwork is present and correct are skills that a veterinary assistant needs. As a teacher, you’re likely using those talents daily, so why not carry them over into another fulfilling yet challenging job?
- Dental Nurse/Hygienist: A dental nurse or hygienist with a positive attitude, good rapport, and patient patience are the best. So for teachers considering switching careers, moving into dentistry makes sense when considering those skills. Even if it doesn’t seem so at first glance. If you can put children and adults at ease and make the process easier, you’re doing your job well. That’s exactly what is needed in this job, which makes it a more practical transition than you might think once additional training has been completed.
- Charity Management: Charities and non-profit businesses are an excellent way to move away from traditional teaching while remaining in the world of education. Or even simply working with children or vulnerable individuals. Many of the management skills you acquire as a teacher, from managing paperwork to adhering to a budget, carry over well into a charity position. Many educators also gain management or supervisory experience over the years, making them a shoo-in for charity positions centered around caring for and supporting children, whether in education or the community. Consider approaching charities close to you, or even ones you’ve worked within a teaching capacity before, for the best results.
- Life Coach for Teachers: Life coaching is one of those careers that people either love or don’t. Typically, a life coach offers support and helps to balance your life, make the most of things and even improve your personal development. As teachers, we already do most of what a life coach does for our students – so why not translate that unique insight into supporting other educators? A life coach for teachers helps restore balance, improve outlooks, and enhance positivity. As with any life coach, the objective is to make the person’s life easier, help them through tough decisions, and provide a bit of perspective. Who doesn’t want a bit of that in their lives?
- Curriculum Development: More schools than ever are investing in outside help to create curricula that meet stringent state requirements. That’s where curriculum developers come in – experts in their field equipped with the knowledge and experience to design effective curricula. These jobs can either be in-house contracts or they can be on a freelance basis. Many job boards have these positions on offer, so you won’t have to look far to find a position or role that suits you. If you’ve shown skill in lesson and curriculum planning in the past, this position might be ideal for you.
- Driving Instructor: Another way to put those instruction-giving skills to good use is to become a driving instructor. With flexible hours for either part-time or full-time work, plenty of options are available for various job requirements. Skills such as patience, communication, and decision-making also come into play in this job, making it a role with many transferable skills from teaching. This transition will likely be far easier for educators most used to working with high schoolers. Many of your students will remain close in age to the classes you taught.
- English as a Foreign Language Tutor: English as a Foreign Language Tutor, also known as EFLTs, are a specific type of teacher that works with those who don’t speak English as their primary language. For an educator considering transferring into this tutoring role, this could mean anything from hosting online video chats to holding evening classes at a local college or community hall. For teachers without external obligations, many countries also offer EFLT positions abroad. Asia, for example, has more tutors teaching English than any other location. As an ex-teacher, you have the experience and know-how to support students easily, even when they are learning something as difficult as English.
- Outdoor Educator: Forest schools, campgrounds, outdoor activities centers, and national parks are all environments where an outdoor educator could be employed. Working in this educational role might be an excellent choice if you enjoy being outside over being cooped up in a classroom. With days typically made up of supervising outdoor games and providing leadership for hikes, canoeing, and other group activities, ex-teachers are perfectly suited to this position. The educational element of this role could be teaching children about local flora and fauna or even leading experiments and actively learning about the world around them.
- Events Manager/Planner: As a teacher, you’ve likely arranged one or two events in your time. Whether it’s a parent evening, a school-wide fair, or even a play or musical, there’s a good chance you’ve had to organize many students to do specific activities. This valuable skill is the core of a great events manager or planner, which makes this career a fantastic choice for those exiting teaching for something new. Whether it’s supporting a local Government to plan events or working as a party or wedding planner, the level of organization and preparation you need in the classroom will pay off nicely.
- Insurance: While it may seem an unlikely career path, according to Schoolscapes, many ex-teachers have long and successful careers in the insurance industry. Thanks to their advanced communication skills, experience in problem-solving, and organization, insurance is an excellent choice for teachers changing careers. While insurance can be fast-paced and require a great deal of input to get started, it’s a job you can leave at the door. This makes it particularly appealing to teachers sick of the marking, lesson planning, and more they must do every evening. Insurance is a fantastic option for a job that uses many of those vital soft skills without the same degree of emotional investment.
Are you a retired teacher that’s switched careers?
Perhaps you’re an educator considering moving out of education, temporarily or permanently. There are many reasons why finding new jobs after teaching is a popular choice for some. Whether it’s down to burnout, waning interest, or simply differing schedule needs. Whatever the cause, these 40 careers should give you the head start needed to succeed in whatever you do after teaching – by finding something that works for you.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box or even transition into something completely different. You aren’t the first and won’t be the last, either.
Have you switched from teaching to a different career or even a different job related to teaching?