It is a myth that a degree in education confines you within the walls of a classroom. On the contrary, an education degree can lead to several career paths. If you are a retired teacher, you’re looking for part-time work, or you’re leaving the teaching profession entirely, a sea of career options await you.
This article serves as a lens to explore alternative careers for educators. Whether you are a private or public school teacher, we will show you how to make the transition to a different line of work that may better suit your preferences.
Career Change for Educators: Overview
Most educators ventured into academia because of a passion for teaching. The fulfillment that comes with using your expertise and skills to mentor young minds is almost unmatched. However, this passion can fade over time.
Teachers pay the price by putting in overtime hours to draft lesson plans to make the learning process fun for students. The effort put in delivering academic lessons, evaluating standardized tests, and providing mentorship can be taxing, but teachers are generally well-paid. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the annual salaries for educators to be $52,380.
Many experienced teachers and educators still seek career transitions. In the face of new priorities, fresh challenges, and work exhaustion, it is possible for their enthusiasm to wane in their current jobs.
What Can You Do with a Degree in Education Besides Educator?
While becoming an educator might be an obvious choice for you, the transferable skills that an education degree affords you is sufficient for a career transition into technical writing. Your communication skills are central to your success in this field. The doors of the corporate world are wide open to you as long as you can employ your expertise and interpersonal skills adequately.
Common Second Careers for Educators
Educators use their teaching skills and additional training to embrace alternative career paths in writing, administration, social work, and marketing. Transferable skills like organization, attention to detail, empathy, and emotional resilience will help you transition from teaching.
The Best Alternative Careers for Educators in 2022
Before opting out of jobs in the education field, it is important to study the key characteristics and primary duties of your other options. Compare it with your interests and seek advice from a career coach in order to choose the most suitable option. You should consider occupational wages, the required level of education, and job growth prospects. Below are the top alternative careers for those looking to leave teaching behind.
High-Paying Jobs for Former Educators
|Job||Average Salary||Transferable Educator Skills|
|Sales Manager||$132,290||Communication skills, leadership, analytical skills, problem-solving skills|
|Training and Development Manager||$115,640||Communication skills, collaboration skills, instructional skills, critical thinking, decision-making skills|
|School Principal||$98,490||Leadership skills, communication skills, critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, ability to delegate, innovative skills|
|Psychologist||$82,180||Communication, ethical skills, observational skills, patience, interpersonal skills, empathy, emotional Intelligence|
|Social Services Manager||$69,600||Motivational skills, problem-solving skills, time management, communication skills, analytical skills|
|Writer||$67,120||Communication skills, basic writing, discipline, research, creativity, persuasion, critical thinking skills, organizational skills|
|Instructional Coordinator||$66,970||Instructional skills, basic decision-making, leadership, assessment, persuasive skills|
|Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative||$65,420||Problem-solving skills, active listening, communication, time management, self-confidence, interpersonal skills, organizational skills|
|Librarian||$60,820||Communication skills, critical thinking skills, information curation, organizational skills|
|School Counselor||$58,120||Assessment, listening, empathy, coordination, interpersonal skills, communication skills|
Sales managers guide and lead sales teams in an organization. The minimum qualification for many of these positions is a bachelor’s degree with work experience as a sales representative, although some may require only a high school diploma. Your interpersonal skills as a teacher will be valuable in business management and maintaining customer relationships.
Training and Development Manager
Training and development managers preside over training programs, staff, and project budgets. A Bachelor’s degree in education suffices as a qualification. To bolster your chances, consider getting a master’s degree with work experience in teaching or other human resource fields. With an employment growth projection of 11 percent in the next nine years, this career offers excellent opportunities for career changers.
A school principal is a high-ranking administrator responsible for overseeing all school operations within a school district. A typical qualification is a Master’s Degree in Education or a related field coupled with several years of teaching experience. The role of a school principal is fit for teachers who do not wish to leave the education sector entirely.
Psychologists study the mind and behavioral patterns of people. They help people learn how to manage stressful situations, conquer addictions, and conduct evaluations and assessments to reveal how a person thinks or feels. The typical qualification is a doctoral degree in psychology, but schools and organizations may accept a master’s degree alongside a license for clinical practice.
Social Services Manager
Social service managers are administrators who lead and collaborate with teams to plan and coordinate the health, welfare, and social care support provided by local bodies and charities.
Your leadership and social skills are relevant here and will translate to professional efficiency in this field. You are less likely to need corporate training here, but a bachelor’s degree is necessary.
A writer produces books, articles, blog posts, and stories. The typical entry-level education required is a college degree. You can gain experience through internships or personal writing projects that improve your skills. Most writers typically gain fruitful experience through on-the-job training.
Instructional coordinators are responsible for managing school curricula, developing instructional materials, and overseeing general teaching standards. The minimum educational requirement is a master’s degree with several years of experience in teaching. Some jobs in this field also allow you to serve on school boards.
Warehouse and Manufacturing Sales Representative
Sales representatives act as marketing agents by selling directly to customers, businesses, and organizations on behalf of wholesalers or manufacturers. The educational retirement varies depending on the type of product sold. Generally, a high school diploma suffices, but a bachelor’s degree is required to sell scientific or technical goods.
A librarian provides access to information and oversees the day-to-day activities in libraries. The qualification required varies from state to state. Many employers will require a master’s degree in library and information studies, and you’ll typically need a Bachelor’s Degree in Education as well. Additional training can take place on the job.
School counselors employ their therapeutic and assessment skills to give students valuable emotional and academic assistance. This is an easy career path for a teacher to transition to as both positions require many of the same skills. You will likely need a master’s degree to qualify for this position.
How to Make a Career Change from Educator
Leaving a life of teaching behind can be tough. To make the transition easier, we’ve created this step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.
1. Identify the Reason You Want a Career Change
It is better to address a problem from its root. Before switching up your career, identify why you no longer want to be an educator. During this evaluation, you might even discover that your lack of enthusiasm is momentary and can be sorted with a break.
2. Evaluate Your Options in Relation to Your Interests
If you wish to leave the education sector for whatever reason, you want to make sure you have a backup plan. Look at your passions and skillset to identify a potential position that aligns as closely as possible. Think about taking a career quiz to firm up your decision.
3. Consult a Career Coach or Advisor
Seek expert advice from career coaches and experienced professionals in fields that draw your interest. From these consultations and research, you might discover that what you do need is not a career change but a different teaching opportunity.
4. Supplement Your Skills
If you need a supplementary skill or degree to pursue this alternative career path, then you must put in substantial effort. Enroll in training programs that will hone your skills, apply for internships to gain more work experience, or think about enrolling in a bootcamp if you’re interested in tech.
5. Go for It
When you’re sure of your career change, it’s time to take action and start looking for new opportunities. Check for vacancies regularly on company websites and job boards like Indeed and Monster. Develop a strong resume and draft compelling cover letters you can send to hiring managers to inform them of the reasons that you are changing careers.
Is It Time to Make an Educator Career Change?
Holding a job as an educator brings many benefits. This includes job security, fixed salary, and even paid vacations in some cases. You stand to lose these benefits when you resign, and the fear of starting fresh may plague you.
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However, once you settle into a new position, you’ll likely be offered many of the same benefits.
If you no longer find fulfillment from being an educator, then it is time to make a career change. If you are retired or at a mid-level stage, there is no better time to make a career transition than now.
Educator Career Change FAQ
Promising second career options include educational consultants, school program directors, psychologists, museum educators, and sales reps. The transferable skills that a prior teaching experience affords you make transitioning into these second careers as seamless as possible.
Yes, you can. It’s never too late to begin a new career. There are also many helpful resources that support your transition throughout different stages of your life.
Besides taking up internships, extra education, and volunteering, many experiences come from on-the-job training. Alternative jobs for teachers require additional skills and experience but these skills can be obtained through courses, bootcamps, or on-the-job training.
While everyone has the freedom to choose and transition from one career path to another, there are terms of employment. If you leave outside the contracted notice period, you will breach the contract terms and the school can take legal action against you. No matter how compelling the reasons are, we advise that you stick to the contract terms because it helps to preserve your chances of getting future references and opportunities.
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