Teaching is your dream job. You want to have an impact on the lives of children, help them become productive citizens and set them up for a lifetime of learning. You want every day of your career to matter. Those are noble goals from September to June.
Then summer comes, and you get a well-deserved break! But after the first week or so of vacation, you might feel some of your energy returning. You might also start to wonder if your bank account could use a little extra padding—and honestly, free time does get a little boring after a certain point. So what can a teacher do to earn a little extra money and stay busy during the summer months?
It might surprise you to learn that there are plenty of part-time or temporary options for educators out there. Whether you want a summer job related to your career or something totally new, here are some excellent options when looking for summer jobs for teachers.
Summer jobs for teachers who want to keep working with kids
You just can’t get enough of teaching. You’re good at it, kids adore you and you like bolstering your resume with loads of experience. In that case, here are some great summer jobs for teachers who want to keep at it.
Kids need extra help, even in the summer. Maybe they’re falling behind, or maybe their parents are concerned about summer learning loss—either way, you can be there to help.
Whether you set up your own tutoring business or join an already established one, you’d be helping kids who are having trouble with math, science, reading or nearly any subject that’s offered. You’d obviously be using your teaching skills, albeit in a one-on-one setting.
2. English as a second language (ESL) instructor
Adults learning English don’t often do so on their own. Usually, they take classes or hire tutors. Although teaching adults is a little different than what you’re used to, it can be rewarding teaching them as they tend to be more invested in their own learning.
Check with your local community college or community center to see if they’re already teaching such classes—if they are, see if they need more instructors. And if classes aren’t available, it might be worth your time to try to convince them such classes would be worthwhile if there’s a need in your community.
3. Community class instructor
This one’s probably a no-brainer if you’re a music or art instructor, but instructors in community education teach a wide range of classes. You could teach kids or adults depending on the subject you choose.
Many community class networks will allow you to pitch a class proposal, and if enough people enroll, then you’ve got the gig. These classes range from woodworking and culinary endeavors to meditation and learning to make spreadsheets.
Some also look for teachers who can instruct in specific subjects, like piano or Spanish. Do you play lots of tennis on the weekends? Do you know sign language? Put your skills to use in the community.
4. Test-prep instructor
Tons of teenagers get help before taking the ACTs or SATs, whether in the form of thick books or tutors. If you’re open to working with college students as well, they have the MCAT and GRE to worry about.
This summer job also offers flexibility. There are plenty of national and local companies that offer prep services and are in need of instructors, so you could join up with them. Two to check with are Kaplan Test Prep and Sylvan Learning. Alternatively, you can pave your own path by finding clients through friends.
5. Religious education teacher
If you’re active in a religious organization, teaching a class for children might be a good summer job option. In these classes, kids typically learn about religious principals, usually in a fun setting that includes stories and games.
For this job, you’d still be working with kids and putting your teaching skills to use, just with a focus on the spiritual.
6. Summer school teacher
Teaching Summer school is a lot like what you’re already used to, but usually with the benefit of shorter hours. In some cities, teachers even have the option of offering unique classes or teaching classes outside, neither of which might be practical during a normal school day.
Being a summer babysitter means you can still make a little extra money but not have that commitment of a temporary, full-time job. If babysitting was one of your first jobs, then you probably already have a good idea of what it entails.
Parents spend a lot of time considering the right person for a babysitting job, and some are hesitant to leave their kids with the traditional teenaged babysitter. Let friends know you’re open for the summer or take out an ad on Craigslist to find prospects—and definitely mention your teaching position to help parents trust your service.
If you want to make a more permanent short-term commitment, consider being a nanny. You’ll still be working with kids, obviously, but the difference in working with one family consistently can make it feel like a very different job.
The benefits of being a nanny include working closely with one family and their children, usually working in the relaxed atmosphere of a family’s home.
9. Camp counselor
Some year-round jobs may be hard to break into for the summer because they already staffed. That’s not usually the case with summer camps since they only operate during the summer season. If you believe in the power of the great outdoors, then this option might be a great fit.
You’ll get to help kids engage in fun camp activities while enjoying a few of them yourself. And as a teacher, you’ll be a very attractive candidate for the job. Some summer camps might even have management or other specialized positions available for applicants with lots of experience.
10. Youth sports coach
Many kids play sports during the school year, and summer can be a great time for them to refine those skills. Whether it’s baseball, basketball, volleyball or tennis—almost every sport requires a coach.
This job puts you in the demographic you usually work with—kids! While coaching kids to perform athletically is different from helping them master math or language concepts, they both rely on your ability to develop and encourage young people. Coaches need to help kids improve their skills, motivate them and focus on every member of the team.
Community recreation centers and camps are often in need of coaches, so check with them to see if there’s a position that fits your skills.
Summer jobs for teachers who want to try something different
You love your job. But you also know that you depend on summers to recharge your teaching batteries, so you can begin each fall with fresh energy. There are plenty of summer opportunities for teachers who want to expand their horizons, get an intermission from kids and still make some money.
11. Part-time landlord
One of the best parts about being a teacher is summer vacation. If you wish you could utilize some of the break to travel or just sit on a beach somewhere warm, then you could rent out your living space to someone else and earn money to fuel your adventures. Companies like Airbnb and VRBO have made this easier than ever—as long as you’re comfortable with the prospect of strangers staying in your property.
Just do your research, list your home with the platform of your choice and spend your time doing what you like while the money comes in.
12. House sitter
Or instead of renting your space, keep an eye on someone else’s. House sitters take care of people’s houses while they’re away, usually doing things like bringing in mail or watering plants.
Often taking care of the owner’s pets is included as well. You’ll probably need to sign up with a site that specializes in house sitting. Have a few references available and mention that you are a teacher to build extra trust.
13. Landscaper or gardener
If you love being outside in the summer, a gig as a landscaper or gardener might be the perfect fit. These positions are often plentiful in the summer and perfect for temporary work. If you are okay with the physical labor, then seek employment with a company or utilize your own network for clients as a freelancer.
This kind of work often leaves your mind free to wander and gain inspiration for next year’s lesson plans. You might even be able to catch up on podcasts and audiobooks you’ve been craving.
14. Pet sitter or dog walker
People love their pets, but they also have other responsibilities or want to travel. That’s where pet sitters and dog walkers come in.
As a pet sitter, you’ll watch someone’s cat or dog in your home, or visit theirs several times a day. In addition to play and food and bathroom duties, you’re sometimes also tasked with bringing in mail or watering plants.
As a dog walker, you’d take the dog on their necessary walk, sometimes with other client’s dogs. This job gives you the flexibility of deciding how much you want to work—simply raise or lower your number of clients accordingly. Communities like Rover make finding jobs a little easier.
15. Tour guide
The term “tour guide” actually encompasses several different possibilities, but all use the same basic skills.
If you want to travel, considering becoming a tour guide to lead groups on international trips. If you’d prefer to stay closer to home, check out what’s in your local area. Historical homes, gardens and museums all usually employ tour guides. And if you live in a popular city, some groups even lead walking tours of the main attractions.
This job can be a great fit for teachers since it demands a willingness to learn and strong skills in speaking to groups of people.
16. Elderly companion care
As a teacher, you obviously love working with kids. If you think you’d enjoy working with other age groups, too, then consider elderly companion care.
Important qualities of those working in elderly care include patience, tact, discretion and empathy. In general, you’d be tasked with many everyday activities that the elderly need just a little extra help with, like meal preparation, running errands or light housekeeping.
This one might seem a little far-fetched, but think about it: As a teacher, you’re a pro at organization, and you’re likely used to cleaning up after others. Even more important, you’re trustworthy. People are more likely to let you into their homes knowing that you make a living by helping children.
As a housekeeper, you decide on the number of clients you want to take on, what your rates will be and what you will—or, more importantly won’t—clean. That’s if you decide to go it on your own. There are likely plenty of cleaning companies in your city that could use a little summer help, though you’ll have less flexibility that way.
Plenty of restaurants, cafes and food trucks look for extra help in the summertime—especially those that rely on good weather. Your experience as a teacher communicates reliability and good people skills, both of which are high priorities for serving positions.
Working in food service can be surprisingly lucrative, and you might even get some free food thrown in! Check out some of the establishments in your area for job openings.
19. Library assistant
Teachers and librarians share a common love of learning. If you also love books, then check with your local public or college libraries for assistant job openings. Library assistants help librarians organize library resources and check out books at the circulation desk.
Requirements vary per job, but helpful skills to have include handling money, communicating with library patrons and the ability to work with computers.
Do you want to soak up some much-needed summer sun while keeping a watch out for anyone who might be in trouble in the water? If so, then the obvious summer job is being a lifeguard.
Check job listings at any location with a pool—most need multiple lifeguards per season. Getting certified as a lifeguard is fairly straightforward, and the American Red Cross offers classes. Additionally, local recreation centers might be in need of swim instructors—which is a natural complement to your experience as a teacher.
Online jobs for teachers
You spend so much time on your feet, scurrying around every school year that you would really prefer to chill at home this summer. Great news, online opportunities offer you a chance to make some extra money without needing to leave home!
21. Online seller
The internet is packed with platforms to help you sell products. Do you knit, make jewelry or paint? Do you enjoy pottery or papermaking? Think about turning your hobby into a business.
Even purging your old clothing or book collection could leave you with great items to sell. An online store is perfect for summer when you have more time but can also be a source of a little extra income during the school year, too. Sites like Etsy and eBay can get you started.
22. Data entry clerk
The technology to collect, analyze and utilize data has made companies in every industry dream big. Informed decision-making, growth and demand projection, understanding client and consumer needs—the list of potential uses goes on and on.
Big data creates many different jobs, some of which require advanced degrees. But at the entry-level, organizations all over need people to enter their valuable data into the systems that make it useful. A quick search for freelance data entry jobs can help you find some summer options.
23. Resume writer and editor
From high school students seeking internships to career-focused adults hunting a new position, resume help is always in hot demand. A quick brush up on what makes a killer resume can put you in a great position to help people highlight their best selves on that important piece of paper.
The fastest and most reliable route will probably be your own network once again. Spread the word that you are available for hire or check out sites like ResumeEdge or WriterBay. Your career as a teacher might help you get a leg-up on competition.
This one takes more time to become profitable, but blogging can be an incredible summer job or even a long-term side job for teachers. If you are passionate about a certain topic like parenting or gardening, for example, then writing informative posts on a blog will attract readers who also share those interests.
Additionally, you could blog about teaching. Offering classroom ideas or new ways to implement teaching best practices can establish you as a thought leader while building readership. Just make sure not to breach the confidentiality of your students and their families.
25. Freelance writer
You may think you can’t be a freelance writer because you have no professional writing experience, but don’t worry—it turns out you don’t need any specific credentials to become one.
You need to be a good writer, of course, but beyond that, you simply need to find writing jobs for which you’re qualified. As a teacher, you have a lot of insight others don’t. Some niche areas to consider are education, child-related topics or parenting issues.
26. Virtual assistant
Virtual assistants are often freelancers who handle administrative tasks remotely. Whether it’s bookkeeping, research, answering emails or even creating a PowerPoint presentation, virtual assistants try to make life easier by handling cumbersome digital tasks for their clients.
So what do teachers do during the summer?
It turns out, teachers can do almost anything they want. You can spend the summer recharging and prepping for the school year, you can earn some extra income or you can do a little bit of both.
It’s obvious that there’s no shortage of summer jobs for teachers, whether you want to use your current skill set or gain a new one.
As you know, teachers never stop learning. Earning your degree is only the beginning, and each summer break presents the perfect opportunity to catch up on teaching trends. Brainstorm new ways to engage those bright young minds. Get some inspiration in our article, “3 Trends in Early Childhood Education that You Should Know About.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in May 2014. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2018.