Top 10 Work-at-Home Jobs for Teachers

Students using digital tablets with instructor on monitor
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Telecommuting jobs are attractive to workers in all kinds of occupations, but for teachers, they might feel like the impossible dream. When you’re getting up at 5 am. to commute to work after staying up half the night doing classroom prep, a job that lets you work in your jammies sounds pretty darn good. It might also sound unlikely — obviously, you can’t teach from the comfort of your own home, right?

Not so fast. Thanks to technology, it is totally possible to take your love of education and combine it with a full-time work-at-home lifestyle. This is especially true if you’re willing to combine roles to build your new career, for example by mixing educational consulting with some online teaching, etc.

If you’re thinking about making a big change, if you're a former teacher or retired, or if you're looking for a job outside the traditional classroom, one or more of these work-at-home jobs for teachers might fit the bill.

Top 10 Work-at-Home Jobs for Teachers

1. Online Teacher

For teachers who still love the job, but want to work at home, online teaching offers variations for every preference. Some virtual teachers focus on homeschool students, for example, while others might focus on adult learners or corporate training programs.

Information on virtual teaching salaries versus in-classroom teaching salaries is hard to come by, but judging by job advertisements and anecdotal reports, K —​ 12 teachers should be prepared to take a pay cut to teach from home.

However, if you’re contemplating a move to a location with a lower cost of living or you’re planning on supplementing your teaching salary with one of the other jobs below, this gig could be for you.

2. Online Tutor

Whether your specialty is ESL, computer science, or SAT prep, online tutoring can be a lucrative way to make a living from home, or pad your salary at your day job.

Technologies like Skype and other video conferencing software have made it easier than ever to replicate an in-person tutoring session and cut out the commute.

3. Online Adjunct Professor/Instructor

Tenured gigs are hard to come by these days, but one upside for post-secondary educators is that virtual professor/instructor jobs are likely to keep growing. The relatively low pay for adjunct professors is a lot easier to stomach when you can teach from the comfort of your own home.

4. Writing Coach

In a recent PayScale report, 44 percent of managers said that writing skills were the hard skills most lacking in new grads. You can help reverse the trend by working with students and corporate clients to brush up on these essential skills. Similar to tutoring, writing coaching gigs have benefitted from technologies like video conferencing that make it easier than ever to communicate with students remotely.

5. Curriculum Developer

Chegg describes curriculum developers this way: “If the classroom were a theater, the Curriculum Developer would be the Playwright who creates the story and writes the dialogue.” If you’ve spent significant time in the classroom teaching your own materials, you know what works and what doesn’t.

Put that expertise to good use, and build a second career as a curriculum developer. The major job boards always have listings for curriculum developers. Some, like Indeed, will let you filter for home-based opportunities.  

6. Teaching Materials Provider

You already have your teaching materials, honed by years of trial and error in the classroom. Why not make your hard work pay off? Teachers Pay Teachers allows you to share your lesson plans, activities, classroom décor and more —​ and earn money from it. You probably won’t make a fortune from the site, but you could make a couple extra hundred a month, which comes in handy when you’re launching a post-classroom career. And some sellers seem to do quite well.

“I currently make much more selling teaching resources than I would have if I'd continued teaching,” writes Rachel Lynette at Edutopia.

“According to TpT, the top seller has made over $2 million, 164 teachers have earned over $50,000, and thousands more bring in a few hundred dollars a month, which can make a big difference when you're living on a teacher's salary.”

7. Educational Editor

Educational publishing is a natural fit for teachers who leave the classroom. PayScale reports that self-employed editors earn median annual salaries of $66,000 —​ better than most editors who work full-time for an employer. But, if the freelance life doesn’t appeal, don’t count out educational editing. Increasing numbers of employers in all industries are embracing flexible schedules, including full-time telecommuting roles. If you’re willing to do some careful job searching, you might find the perfect educational editorial job that will let you work from home.

8. Test Scorer

Educational Testing Service (ETS) is always looking for online and onsite test scorers for the TOEFL, GRE, and other tests. This is typically a part-time job and cyclical, as need varies over the course of the year. See current opportunities at their site.

9. Blogger/Writer

As we said earlier, solid writing skills are rare. If you’re ready for something entirely new, you might put your abilities to use as a blogger or writer, focusing on educational topics or another beat near and dear to your heart. To get started in this field, prepare to start pitching before you flip the switch and leave the classroom for good. Full-time writing careers are built on connections, and you’ll need to build up your network before you commit.

10. Educational Consultant

It’s a dirty little secret of professional life that consultants often earn more than employees for offering similar expertise. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you can build a business coaching teachers and administrators.

Note that this job isn’t entirely home-based, as you’ll likely need to consult with clients directly. However, being your own boss comes with a great deal of flexibility (as well as responsibility). If this sounds like something that interests you, Angela Watson offers a good primer for aspiring educational consultants at her site.

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