With more month than money and a side hustle for teachers is often needed to complement their salary. If you relate to this truth, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
According to the Pew Research Center, about one in six teachers report that they have another stream of income outside the classroom. This isn’t taking into account how many teachers rely on extra duty paid assignments (coaching, supervision, etc) on their campuses to help pay the bills. The bottom line is that teachers are about three times as likely to balance multiple jobs (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
For the majority of my 22-year teaching career, my family has needed more than my base salary to live the lifestyle and provide for our kids in the manner that we want.
Regardless if you are at the start of your career or further along and realizing you need to find a way to bring in more money, these 3 steps will help you find the best niche for your developing side hustle or second job.
Step 1. Decide if you are looking for a job or a side hustle.
There is not a single right answer for this question, but I think this is the best place to start. In my opinion, a job is determined by a salary and essentially, I am trading my time for money. There is nothing wrong with this. Teaching is a job and I love what I do.
But teaching will limit how many students I can reach and how much income I can make.
If you are looking for a second job, there are plenty of options. Several teachers work in restaurants and retail part-time while still holding down their full-time teaching career. I even know a few teachers who make almost as much working at high scale restaurants, bars, and clubs a few nights a week as they do in the classroom.
If you are looking to trade your time for money, but on your own schedule, there are some lucrative options as well. Many teachers offer private tutoring as a way to bring in more money. I did this through both my undergraduate and graduate programs as a way to bring in money without having to commit to an employer’s schedule. I would take on clients and made quite a bit more than minimum wage. Another popular option is working for Uber or delivering food through DoorDash or groceries with Instacart.
If this sounds like what you are looking for, then you can probobly stop reading right here. But if you are looking for more than a job, let’s dive deeper into what building a side hustle for teachers looks like.
Step 2. Filling the void with something that combines your passion with the ability serve others.
What sparks joy in your life?
Chances are finding the dream side hustle for teachers can be found in the answer to this question. Do you like to make things? Then an Etsy store might be just what you are looking for. I know several teacherprenuers who have a side hustle making physical products. Some are educationally related like my peeps over at Trendy Teacherz. If you aren’t familiar with them, they make some of the best teacher-related shirts around. Other teachers have built an income making planners, custom labeled cups, and other cool “teacher swag” items.
If making a physical product isn’t your cup of tea, how about making downloadable products. Teachers Pay Teachers is an amazing marketplace for teachers to list and sell their resources. Chances are you have been on Teachers Pay Teachers (or TPT as the kids say) looking for a resource or lesson. Speaking personally, it is super exciting when I know that the resource, I created was also able to help another teacher in their classroom.
Maybe you like sharing products but aren’t really sure about creating them. Then being an affiliate or influencer might be more your style. Teachers love sharing what products they are using and many of them have built a side income sharing these products on their personal social media channels.
Step 3. Determine How Big You Want To Grow Your Side Hustle
This can be a tough question for teachers. We are accustomed to being paid a fixed salary regardless of how many hours we work or how much value we bring to our students, schools, or community.
But this isn’t how the rest of the world works.
One of my favorite books is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg. This is where I first heard about the Law of Compensation. Burg writes, “your income is determined by the number of people you serve and how well you serve them.” If this was the case for public education, then we’d have plenty of teaches with second houses in the Bahamas and Aspen.
While the number can change at any time, you should have financial goal attached to your side hustle. And then attach that goal with some type of reward for yourself or your family. Maybe the goal is to bring in enough money from your side hustle to cover getting your nails done weekly. For my wife, one of her early goals was to cover the expenses of putting our girls in dance classes at a local studio.
As your side hustle grows, so can your dreams. I know several teachers who reinvest part of what they make back into their classrooms. And that has grown into creating scholarships for their schools and funding other projects on their campus.
Maybe your goal is to step away from teaching for years teaching while your kids are growing up. Or eventually leave the classroom before you reach the age of retirement. Even if you don’t see yourself leaving the classroom anytime soon, having the financial freedom to teach on your terms is extremely empowering.
Final Thoughts On Side Hustles For Teachers.
You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to creating your side hustle. I know it can be overwhelming as you are just getting started but you’ve got this. Just keep with it and remember that building your side hustle is a journey and not a destination. If you are looking for some help getting started, I’ve got you covered there too. We are accepting applications to our “HeathyTeacher, WealthyTeacher Academy” in the near future. I’d love to be your “guide on the side” through your teacher side hustle journey.