9 Jobs for Former Teachers

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Former teachers who are ready to explore new non-teaching jobs have options both inside and outside the field of education. Learn how you can use your degree, certifications, and transferable skills to move you into the next phase of your career journey.

[Featured image] A former teacher working as a project manager writes with a marker on a transparent whiteboard.

As a former teacher, you may have developed the skills and experience that prepare you for non-teaching roles, such as a curriculum specialist and a project manager. Whether you want to change your career or pass time after retirement, here are several jobs where the skills you developed in the classroom could set you up for success.

*All salary data sourced from Glassdoor (March 2022)

Non-teaching jobs in education

Once a teacher doesn’t necessarily mean always a teacher—even when the decision is to remain in the educational field. There are a variety of non-teaching roles within education that may allow you to leverage your skills, certifications, and passion without having to assume the role of teacher in a classroom.   

Here is a list of non-teaching educational jobs, that may be suitable for former teachers:

1. Curriculum specialist

You’d be responsible for designing and overseeing new curricula while using resources and practices used by teachers and students. 

Average annual salary (US): $66,084

2. Admissions counselor

This is a high school-based position where you work with students who are preparing to transition into college. You’d be directly involved with planning tasks that help students pursue and secure the college they desire.

Average annual salary (US): $48,481

3. Instructional coordinator

You’d be tasked with providing instructional support and training for teachers, school leadership, and curriculum specialists.

Average annual salary (US): $53,533

4. Compliance manager

You’ll primarily keep schools within a district aligned with state, local, and federal standards. You may also be responsible for keeping complete and accurate compliance records while performing data analysis on the compliance status.

Average annual salary (US): $155,948

5. Director of school transformation

This role can be summed up in two words: change agent. It would be your responsibility to drive institutional change by improving school culture, introducing and nurturing efforts to increase student achievement, and prioritizing initiatives focused on faculty and staff development.

Average annual salary (US): $96,664

Non-teaching jobs outside of education

These jobs outside of the educational field are ideal for former teachers who are looking for a career change. Use this list as a starting point to outline a clear path for transitioning out of education:

6. Project manager

There’s no shortage of companies needing project managers to help keep their teams on schedule and on the same page. Organizations across a spectrum of industries can benefit from former teachers serving as project managers since many of the role’s skills match the ones developed during your teaching years, including curriculum mapping, time management, problem-solving, strategic planning, and effective written and verbal communication.

Average annual salary (US): $88,907

7. Copywriter/editor

Your time assigning and evaluating writing assignments will come in handy as a copywriter/editor. You’ll be helping create persuasive and creative messages for various brands and companies.  

Average annual salary (US): $58,658

8. Human resources manager

Should you decide to pursue a role as a human resources manager, you may be using a number of skills you developed as a teacher, including conflict management, communication, multitasking, empathy, negotiation, as well as interpersonal skills.

Average annual salary (US): $81,185

9. Paralegal

This role requires you to be highly organized and attentive. Your ability to manage an entire classroom of students may translate to the demands and needs of the new legal environment.

Average annual salary (US): $51,166

Leveraging your credentials for a new job

Now that you’re seriously considering a job outside of the classroom, you’ll want to have a clear idea of what makes you a good candidate for the next role you’re preparing for. At the forefront of your candidacy will be your degree and transferable skills. Here’s how you can use each of these qualifications to find and potentially secure a new role outside of the classroom:

Education degree

Your teaching degree says a lot about you. In the eyes of an employer, a person with a teaching degree may be qualified to nurture and maintain orderly environments. On a more academic note, it says that your intellect and knowledge in a certain discipline are well developed and intact.

Transferable skills

Most former teachers possess transferable skills, also known as skills that can be applied in a variety of roles and professions. In most cases, the transferable skills you have may greatly benefit both your employer and the workspace. Some of the more important transferable skills that former teachers have include:

  • Listening and interpreting information

  • Problem-solving

  • Adaptability

  • Leadership

  • Independent and collaborative working

  • Team coordination

  • Critical thinking

  • Judgment and decision-making

  • Conflict resolution

Making the change

Your experience and skills as a former teacher can easily open doors to new career opportunities. Get job-ready for your next role with a Professional Certificate from an industry-leading company on Coursera.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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