Five Alternative Careers to Pursue With a Teaching Degree

Many don’t realize this, but educators are trained to have many of the same skills that coincide with other careers. Some of these skills include organization, public speaking and presentation skills, leadership, multi-tasking, and effective time management. In fact, being an educator is a beast of its own. To quote Ryan Fuller at Slate, “Giving a presentation to NASA about how the thermal protection system of a spacecraft is connected to its primary structure is a cakewalk compared to getting 30 teenagers excited about logarithms.”

In a 2013 study executed by Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz, they found that only 27% of college graduates held jobs that were directly related to their major. Is this the case with teaching degrees? Absolutely! Things don’t always worked out as initially planned–and that’s okay. If a detour means finding a career that truly fits you, deviating from your original path is a trip worth taking. Here are five common alternative career paths to pursue with a teaching degree–which could you see yourself doing?


Take everything you loved about an education major and carve your own niche in your own business…or not! It’s one of the joys of being your own boss: having the flexibility and freedom to do what you want. Take Sheila Jane, for instance, one of our past guests from the 8 Questions series. She left the classroom and started three businesses, including a website to promote teacher wellness, a monthly membership plan for teachers, and a six week online course to empower teachers to achieve their business dreams.

Average Salary: It varies.

Instructional Designer

An instructional designer develops instructional theory and methods for teachers to ensure that students have the best tools available to learn effectively. In other words, you’re teaching teachers to teach students! If you’re interested in impacting students but do not want to teach in a classroom setting, traditional or online, this is one way to still meaningfully contribute.

Average Salary: $63,000

Harvard University


Deepen your understanding of higher-order teaching practices and broaden your skill set while creating a unique and inclusive strategy for your specific context.


Online Instructor

If teaching in the classroom isn’t your thing, a virtual classroom may be more suitable for you! With the benefits of added flexibility, cost savings, and the comfort of teaching in your own home but still being able to impact students, teaching may no longer be a deal breaker.

Average Salary: $1,250-$1,500 for one accelerated five-week term course

Other Roles in Schools

So teaching is not your thing–but taking on a different position within a school’s organizational structure may be a better fit! Some of these roles include: guidance counselor, principal, and school business manager.

Average Salary:
Guidance counselor: $45-095-$53,610
Principal: $98,151
School business manager: $58,330


If you enjoyed the organizational and management roles that teaching provided along with an interest in Literacy and media, you might be interested in becoming a librarian or librarian consultant. Organizing and cataloging books, answering readers’ questions, and managing/training other staff are a few roles and responsibilities of librarians.

Average Salary:
Librarian: $56,170 or $27.01 per hour
Librarian consultant: $74,854

Hopefully these five alternate career paths give an idea of how versatile an education degree can be. Whether you wind up teaching in a virtual classroom, cataloging books in the library, or guiding students as their counselor, you’re sure to find a career that fits you best and makes you happiest.