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Five Great Alternative Careers for Teachers Who Want to Get Out of Teaching

From Ellen, published on 29/05/2017 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > 5 Jobs for ex Teachers

Although teaching can be a meaningful and gratifying career, sometimes the reality of being a teacher can be more stressful and tiring, and doesn’t always feel rewarding.

You might find that you’re fed up of the demands of the job, and you need a fresh start in a new job role that excites you and fulfils your needs. If you’ve been wondering how to get out of teaching, there are lots of factors to consider before taking the leap. 

Resigning from education means taking certain cuts. You might risk losing perks such as job security, school holidays, annualized salary and social protection to name a few. But that does not mean to say that you can’t find similar perks elsewhere, or that you will be at a great loss if you change careers.

Career paths for ex-teachers Transfer your teaching skills to a new profession. Source: Visualhunt

There are many other jobs for ex teachers, particularly with an education degree. In many ways, these jobs are similar to teaching in what they fundamentally entail.

These five careers are based on common professional changes made by teachers, and are tailored to the transferable skills from teaching:


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Jobs in Education: Student Learning Support

If you feel as though your passion is getting students motivated and helping them through their education experience, then there are various roles available within the world of learning support.

This is a very broad career path, and can range from non-profit youth groups, after-school clubs, guidance counseling, and university support. These are all aimed at supporting students with their homework, exams, and aspects of home or personal life that might affect their studies.

This is a hands-on career path, much like teaching is, but the outcomes and rewards can be vastly different. You would work more closely with students, and often their teachers and parents too, in order to bring out the best in them and guide them to success.

Student support can also be explored within higher level education. Universities usually have large student support networks, for which they offer workshops, counselling, advice and general information.

In learning support, you would focus primarily on enabling students to learn and develop on an individual basis. It’s also about recognising when students need support outside the classroom, such as emotionally and socially as well as academically. It would be your task to create a caring and supportive learning environment, to help students with their particular challenges and encourage their talents.

Become a Private Tutor

Maybe it’s teaching that is your one true passion, it’s what you’re best at. If you feel completely fed up with the classroom environment and students who simply don’t have the motivation to learn, flexible home-based private tutoring jobs could be the best option for you!

Being a home tutor means you can pick your own hours and your own hourly rates. You can work from your own home, in your student’s home, in a professional office or in an agreed public place.

You will still be able to put your skills and experience as a teacher to good use. Your strengths in communication, listening and organisation will allow you put together lessons that are thoughtful and creative, and tailor them to your student’s individual needs and way of learning.

You will be able to really help students who want to learn, and use your talents to provide an individualized learning environment for each student and help them achieve academic success.

There are different options for starting up as a home tutor. You might choose to work through an agency, which can provide excellent visibility for tutoring in your local area and also online – but can also often entail fees and commission.

There are tutoring jobs available online, and most likely in your local area or nearest city too. Some online platforms, such as Superprof, allow you to create your own profile and communication with prospective students – but also allow you to organise your own schedule and payments.

If you do choose to work for a website like this, you may not pay any fees or commission. You must check if you are classed as self-employed, and if so you will need to register as such with the tax office.

You could also look into starting up your own business as a self-employed private tutor, whereby you will advertise yourself and be completely your own boss. This entails a bit more of a business-mind, as you will have to market yourself and find your own clients.

Life after Teaching: Publishing

One of the main complaints from teachers is the stressful working conditions and the chaotic classroom environment. Why not replace this hectic atmosphere with one of calm and quiet?

Get into publishing as an ex-teacher Why not try your hand at writing! Source: Visualhunt

If it’s writing that you love, you might want to continue sharing your expertise and interests with others, but just through a different medium. And your writing and editing skills, along with your teaching background, could be just what publishers are looking for.

Maybe you wish to stay within the realm of secondary or college education. If your interest lies in education and national curriculum, you could explore the options of exam publication or writing textbook and classroom resource content. You might like to have a look at jobs with education publishing houses to see what roles exist within this career in general.

Your writing and editing skills could present you with all sorts of job opportunities outside of education too. Between books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs, you are tonnes of choices, so you could land yourself a great job in the world of publishing.

It could be that you find your calling in editing or copywriting for educational publications. Or you might find a new interest altogether within the realms of sales and marketing. Your knowledge of education, communication and reaching an audience could make you the perfect candidate.

You could also look at what freelance options are available in the world of publishing. Using agencies or freelance websites is a great way to start, and you can start exploring the various writing or editing jobs that are involved in publishing.

Jobs in Education Liaison

Perhaps you feel as though education is where you truly belong, and you enjoy this area of work best. However maybe it’s teaching itself which has become too strenuous and demanding.

If this is the case, you might feel more comfortable in role that works more behind-the-scenes, and not at the head of a classroom. There are many jobs available that are more in the line of teaching recruitment or development – maybe teaching teachers could be the right role for you!

Organisations such as Teach First work on elements that are crucial to national education, such as recruitment and training of new teachers. Student support, innovation in teaching, and encouraging equality in education are areas that you might feel passionate about.

Liaison roles come in various shapes and sizes, and can still entail working in the school environment if that’s what you enjoy. You could consider working in a liaison role between different bases, bridging the gap between other schools, higher education and with employers too.

Roles like this often involve post-16 and post-18 options for students such as admissions advice and applications, apprenticeships, training courses and vocational training. It could also, at a higher level, involve liaison with universities and UCAS.

It doesn’t need to be restricted to national education – liaison roles are available in all sorts of companies and organisations, particularly those with links to education, such as research or cultural organisations.

There are various roles available in these areas, for which teaching experience is a huge advantage and sometimes even a requirement. So how about putting your teaching degree, communication skills and experience in education to great use in a liaison role?

Perhaps leaving the public sector seems quite daunting to you. There are many other roles within the Public Sector available not directly involved with teaching. Read more about alternative career paths in the public sector here.

Corporate Learning & Development Jobs after Teaching

As a teacher you have many skills. Among these will likely be high levels of communication, listening, management, public speaking and organisation, to name a few.

Teachers have transferable skills Explore roles of leadership in a business environment. Source: Visualhunt

With these skills you are able to understand how people learn and develop, and you are able to bring out the best in people by paying attention and listening to individuals and groups.

It’s important to remember that teaching doesn’t need to stay within the confines of national education. There are ample jobs that don’t restrict you to school pupils or the classroom environment, but still allow you to help people learn.

You might find, therefore, that the change you crave is in the people you are teaching. Providing learning and development within an organisation could be the difference you’ve been after. There are various roles within the private sector that involve teaching in some form. In this way, teaching becomes more about both personal and corporate development.

There are all sorts of tasks involved in corporate learning and development. These generally include things like:

  • Coming up with innovative learning strategies
  • Mentoring and coaching people as individuals and groups
  • Designing development and training courses
  • Managing communication and relationships

Maybe that your strengths lie in managing relationships and personal progress within a team, and so you might consider roles that allow you to mentor and advise a company team on how to work together.

This list of alternative careers is by no means exhaustive – there are lots of options available for ex-teachers, whether you are leaving a teaching job or you are retired. Hone in on your main traits – are you creative, caring, business-minded, innovative? Different roles in different sectors, that may not require a great deal of retraining, are accessible for people with teaching degrees and strong interests, so go and explore to see what would suit you!

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Good article, I was hoping there’d be hyperlinks to chase up the professions listed.