The Greatest Jobs for Different Types of Teachers (Who Want Out)
There are as many different types of teachers in the world as there are grains of sand on the beach. We are all unique individuals with specialized skill sets, which is why we are the most enticing candidates for any position.
But have you ever considered the idea that the type of teacher you are might actually be providing you with clues as to what job you should pursue outside of the classroom?
Interesting thought, amiright?
While we’ve established that we’re all great teachers, there are certain characteristics and traits that tend to surface within different groups of teachers that make them ideally suited for certain careers.
So we’re going to take this wealth of information and filter it three different ways in order to help you narrow down your prospective options including…
- Age group taught,
- Content knowledge and subject area, and
- Teaching styles
If you’re ready to dive in, let’s do it!
Types of Teachers by Age Group
One of the easiest starting points as we filter and make connections between teachers and potential careers outside of the classroom is age group. Now just to clarify, I don’t mean your age as the teacher…I mean the age group you teach.
Obviously we can filter this by individual grade level from k-12 teachers. But for the purposes of this particular episode, let’s just look at the three main classifications…elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers.
As a general rule, early elementary teachers are energetic and really good at managing a lot of chaos. And the younger the grade you teach, the more you have honed this particular skill.
In fact, the best early elementary teachers have the unique ability to engage younger students with lots of transitions to keep their young learners’ attention. That’s why so many new teachers start their careers in the lower grades; with youth comes energy.
As student age increases, teacher energy levels decrease at a similar rate. Now I’m not saying that because you teach sixth grade, you lack energy. I’m simply saying that the energy required to keep the attention of your learners decreases as their age increases.
Wide Breadth of Content Knowledge
Elementary teachers also typically teach multiple subjects. Obviously, if you’re a self-contained teacher, you teach all the subject areas to your young students including Reading, Writing, Grammar, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
Therefore, it stands to reason that you probably know a fair amount about a LOT of different subjects.
But even those elementary teachers who are not self-contained and don’t teach all of the subjects still usually teach more than one subject. As an elementary teacher, it’s fairly common to teach at least two different subjects.
This means that while you may not have an extremely deep understanding of all the content in the multiple subjects you teach, you have a broader knowledge. And that translates into a keen ability to help students connect information in a unique cross-curricular way.
But how does all of that information translate into a job outside the classroom?
Well, if you are a teacher who enjoys bringing the energy, then tutoring, online teaching, or intervention would be ideal because you get to…
- interact with students,
- bring your characteristic enthusiasm and energy to each session
- ignore all of the extraneous job duties required of the average teacher.
This type of job would also allow you to use your wide breadth of knowledge as you would most likely be helping students with a wide array of content.
You might also find curriculum designing, instructional designing, or educational consulting to be very fulfilling options.
Middle School Teachers
If ever there was a population of people that needed help in conflict resolution it is middle schoolers. While younger children need to be taught what conflict resolution is, middle schoolers have to learn how to apply it on a daily basis.
With massive spikes in hormones, changes in their bodies, and confusion all around, middle school students need good teachers who are trained to work with them.
In seventh and eighth grade, kids need to be reminded that they are special and important because this is a time in their lives when they are trying to figure out who they are and how they fit in the social structure at school.
Thus interacting with friendly teachers who can help them resolve conflicts is essential… because this complex age group brings a lot of drama.
Depth of Knowledge
While elementary teachers boast a wide breadth of knowledge, middle school teachers have an increased depth of knowledge. And even though middle school teachers may teach a few variations of their chosen subject, chances are it’s still within the same field of study.
So as a middle school teacher, you are the kind of teacher who can help students understand not just what they are learning, but how it applies to their lives and what makes the content meaningful.
And at this particular age, students’ needs are vast, but you are helping provide them with context in the midst of a confusing season of life.
So how does this information translate to a job outside of the classroom?
Well, it is highly likely that as a middle school teacher, you know how to “read the room.” You know how to diffuse potentially volatile situations and help learners connect with information.
Therefore, you (and your amazing counterparts) might find a perfect fit pursuing jobs as…
- dispute resolution specialists,
- school administrators, or
- training specialists.
The key is that your personality type is one that brings an innate sense of calm into situations which would make you the ideal candidate for these types of positions.
High School Teachers
Where elementary teachers bring a breadth of knowledge and middle school teachers have an increased depth of knowledge, high school teachers tend to be truly specialized in their fields of study.
In fact, many classroom teachers at the high school level didn’t start out with a desire to teach. They added a teacher certification on after pursuing their specific subject matter and earning their degree.
While this can be a really good thing, it can just as easily be a bad thing because not every individual with a teaching certificate is the best teacher for the job. And in the current climate of education, districts, school systems, and administrators are looking for ANYONE with an updated teaching license.
But you might be wondering what that has to do with you…
Well, it’s important for you as a high school teacher, who is contemplating leaving the classroom, to understand that teaching might just not be your forte.
And acknowledging this fact doesn’t make you a quitter or a loser. It simply means you found a job that wasn’t a great fit.
So consider this the permission you need to shift gears and pursue a career in something more directly aligned with the degree you originally chose in college.
But, what if you’re in the other camp?
You might be an excellent teacher (even receiving the coveted “cool teacher” accolade by your students) who has found your calling in education, but you just need a change.
If you want to leave education altogether, you can pursue a degree in your original field of study, just as I suggested before.
But chances are, you probably find joy in at least a few facets of teaching. So you might consider becoming a college professor, an educational consultant, or possibly an online business owner and course creator!
Personally, I have launched two successful courses of my own and I love helping my coaching clients add courses to their passive income strategy and long-term financial plan.
Whether you choose to pursue a job as adjunct faculty at a local community college or university or an online entrepreneur, the key is to use your abilities as an educator and lifelong learner to help you find success.
Types of Teachers by Teaching Style
There are many different types of teaching methods and ways to help learners connect with abstract concepts. And that’s why I want to look at the different types of jobs that are perfect for teachers based on teaching style.
While there are many different approaches, the three most common styles are hands-on teachers, lecturers, and facilitators.
This particular style of teaching is often found in elementary classrooms and vocational classrooms. The nature of young students to need to “touch” everything means that they need to interact with things to connect with abstract content.
In many vocational classrooms, you will find teachers who are providing a hands-on approach as they teach their students how to do specific skills like automotive repair, electrical work, and more.
These kinds of teachers always focus on incorporating some type of interactive component(s) into lessons and allow for movement.
So it stands to reason that a hands-on teacher in the classroom would be ideally suited for a job as…
- a curriculum designer,
- a skill-based educator (teaching classes like cake decorating, diesel engine repair, scrapbooking, etc), or
- an aerobics/exercise instructor.
These types of teachers are more commonly found in high school and college classrooms. This is a more traditional approach to sharing information and is generally the teaching style of those labeled “strict teachers.”
While this is definitely a blanket statement, I tend to think of lecture-style teaching as appropriate for much older students who can take the information being shared and break it down by themselves. In other words, this style of teaching is on the opposite end of the spectrum from hands-on teachers.
And I want to make sure you understand that neither teaching style is better than the other. Each style is relevant and meaningful as long as it is used for the right audience.
If you find yourself very comfortable as a lecturer, perhaps you would find joy in…
- public speaking,
- providing professional development for educators, and/or
- training and onboarding new employees at a company.
This third and final type of teaching style is that of facilitator. I like to think of this style as the “middle of the road” between hands-on teachers and lecturers. Facilitators are the types of educators who provide hands-on interaction as needed, but also provide whole group instruction in lecture format.
You will find these teacher types in Montessori environments, physical education classrooms, as well as every grade level from kindergarten to college. Such teachers tend to be fairly flexible in their approach and are able to veer from the lesson plans as needed to meet the ever-changing needs of learners.
In all honesty, these are probably the teachers who have a slightly better handle on work-life balance because they know that every single thing happening in the classroom doesn’t hinge on them. So they have the ability to disengage at the end of the day.
But even if this is your teaching style, you may be ready for a change. So what types of jobs would be perfect for you? Well, here are a few excellent options including…
- online teaching,
- social marketing, or
The key to any of these teaching methods is to determine your strengths, lean into them, and allow them to guide your job hunt!
Types of Teachers by Subject Area and Specialty
This is probably the most vast category because there are so many types of teachers in every subject area. But I want to focus on some of the most common ones along with those particular specialty areas that might typically be overlooked.
To state the obvious, any of these subject area and specialty types of teachers would be excellent tutors. Obviously, if you have an advanced degree in math, you can probably help students with Algebra.
So for the sake of not have to repeat myself 52 times, just know that tutoring is an ideal option for subject-specific and specialty teachers.
If you are currently teaching math, then it is highly likely that you have an analytical/logical mind. Therefore, you could take a variety of routes as you seek employment outside of the classroom. You could look into options like…
- actuarial science,
- computer science, or
Each of these is ideally-suited for someone with a mathematical brain. But if you want to pursue an entrepreneurial path, you could look into…
- data & analytics consulting for TpT Authors,
- bookkeeping for TpT authors (or anyone for that matter!), or
- starting your own website.
The key is using your background knowledge in math to propel you toward financial freedom outside of the traditional teaching job.
As an English, language arts, reading, spelling, grammar, and writing teacher, you have command of the English language. And that means you can do basically ALL the things.
But what specifically might be a good fit for you outside of teaching? Here are some great options for you to consider including becoming…
- creative writer,
- children’s book reviewer, or
- copy writer.
Most people find writing and communicating in proper English difficult. So as someone with a keen eye for grammatical mistakes and language missteps, you have the opportunity to turn your skill set into money.
If you want to pursue an entrepreneurial path while really digging into your educational background, you can…
- edit resources for TpT authors,
- write books/articles for TpT authors to accompany resources,
- create quality copy for sales pages, or
- create your own educational website.
The important thing is to understand what you really enjoy about being an English teacher and then lean into that particular interest.
With science, there are so many categories including biological sciences, chemistry, physics, and more. So I want to break down the two most common ones biological sciences and chemistry.
As someone interested in living things, a few great options would be…
- Zoo Educator,
- Aquarium Educator,
- Animal Blogger for Kids,
- Marine Biologist,
- Veterinary Assistant,
- Wildlife Preservation, or
- Nature Photographer.
The focus of your search should be on jobs that ignite your creative spirit and make you want to go to work. If teaching isn’t doing that, then determine why you no longer enjoy it and then start searching using some of the above suggestions to see what you find!
Ok. So while I’m thankful that there are teachers who live and breathe chemistry, I am NOT one of those people. For me, chemistry is a lot like math…and math has always been one of my least favorite subjects.
However, if you do find chemistry to be a passion, look into…
- lab technician positions,
- research and ,
- food blogging (I know it sounds weird…but the reactions and interactions of various ingredients can be tantalizing and quite science-y. Don’t believe me? Check out my friend Lynn at Fresh April Flours and Julie at Bunsen Burner Bakery.) or
- any of the jobs I mentioned in the math section.
Social Studies or History Teachers
Because history teachers love, well, history, there are several job options that might be appealing including…
- Museum Curator,
- Executive Director of a historical site,
- Lead Educator at a museum or historical site,
- writer, or
There are always positions for educators on the staff at museums and historical sites. One of the biggest tenets of these particular establishments is on education and outreach.
As a former history teacher, you are the ideal person for the job! And if you enjoy traveling, you could even choose to do this at a museum or historical site overseas or on a new continent!
But don’t feel obligated to leave the comfort of your local area because there are probably several positions right within your community.
The coolest part is that you could interact with young people (and really people of all ages) on a regular basis. This type of job would allow you to be around things that interest you while also paying the bills!
Special Education Teachers
Special education teachers are gifted at teaching a wide variety of ages (as reflected in the caseloads of students they teach) and modifying content to make it accessible to every child regardless of skill level.
So it makes perfect sense that special education teachers would be ideally-suited for…
- Curriculum Development,
- Instructional Design,
- Corporate Training, or
- Advocacy Management.
Because you already work with a unique population and teach English as a second language, online ESL teaching is a perfect option. There are so many companies looking for highly-qualified teachers with ESL certifications including…
- Cambly Kids,
- LingoAce, and
- many others.
And if you are interested in pursuing an ESL endorsement, there are many colleges currently offering additional licensing for free. Check with your district or state Department of Education to determine if there are colleges or universities near you currently seeking teachers to add to a cohort.
An often overlooked population of modern teachers are those in the vocational sciences. This is becoming a very popular route for many high school students. Many who want to be their own boss are pursuing a vocational program and on to a trade school after high school.
If you are currently a vocational teacher, you would be excellent at becoming an entrepreneur and pursuing that particular trade independently.
Maybe you teach plumbing, you can form an LLC and work for yourself! You don’t have to have a business degree to go into business for yourself…you just have to be willing to learn.
The truth is, you may completely overwhelmed by the high demands being placed on you as an educator, but the idea of leaving the familiar can feel really scary. And this feeling is compounded if you’ve spent additional time and money pursuing a Master’s Degree.
So what can you do?
Well, you have a choice to make. You can continue doing what you have always done and remain unhappy until you retire, or you can make the decision to seek employment elsewhere.
No one is going to make the decision for you, but I want to remind you that you CAN be successful! You have the skills to pursue another profession or job. You just need to believe in yourself the way I believe in you!