The U.S. national average teacher’s salary has decreased 4.5% over the past 10 years after inflation. This is a shocking statistic.
“Educators don’t do this work to get rich, they do this work because they believe in students,” says Lily Eskelsen García, President of the NEA (National Education Association). “But their pay is not commensurate with the dedication and expertise they bring to the profession.”
To show our appreciation for teachers not only in the U.S., but all around the world, we’ve put together this guide on easy-to-find viable side hustles and summer jobs.
1. Take Surveys
Survey Junkie lives up to its name by providing a wealth of opportunities to earn small rewards for completing online surveys.
While you certainly won’t get rich this way, you can earn a very decent supplemental income. It’s difficult to give an exact estimation of potential earnings, as different surveys pay varying rates. As a general rule, expect to make about $3/hour on Survey Junkie.
If you have just 1 hour a day to spare, that adds up to $1,095/year!
2. Watch Videos
The secret to maximizing the earning potential (the reward rate is very low) is by letting the videos run in the background. Simply open the app, mute media, hit play, and remember to vote thumbs up or thumbs down every so often.
Using this trick, the Penny Hoarder reports users making $90/month – a total of $1,080/year for almost no effort!
We all know the pains of a difficult economy; stretching our money thin when purchasing even the most basic necessities.
And with the ongoing trade war between Donald Trump and China introducing tariffs that escalate prices further (ironically, on local goods as well as imported, due to rising production costs), it’s important to cut costs wherever possible.
Any time you need to make a purchase, browse Ebates for discount coupons and deals where you get a percentage of your expenses returned to you.
Blogging doesn’t start out as a passive income – there’s a fair amount of effort required to get it up and running. But put in the hard work during your spare hours and within 3 years you can go from earning about $1,280/year to as much as $80,000+/year.
The secret to success is choosing the right web host (we recommend Bluehost’s $2.75/month package to start with), learning basic SEO, and affiliate marketing. For the latter, make use of platforms like GiddyUp and ShareASale for the best connections.
5. Tutor Online
Tutor.com is a great platform to start tutoring students online. With more than 40 subjects on offer, you can easily stick within your comfort zone and expertise – whether you’re a K-12 teacher, higher education educator, or someone focusing on corporate learning or SAT and other test preparation.
As long as you live in the U.S. or Canada (only exception being the state of New Mexico), you can earn $13/hour this way. At just 1 hour a day, 5 days a week, this can go as high as $3,380/year.
If you’re an English teacher – or have a passion for the language – VIPKid offers a highly attractive alternative.
The hours can be a little invasive, as you’ll be tutoring Chinese students, but VIPKid provides all the online tools needed.
Simply book lessons 2 weeks in advance, spend 30 minutes with each student for a minimum of 6 months (contract duration), and get paid an escalating fee of $14 to $22/hour. With just 2 lessons a day, 5 days a week, that’s an earning potential of $3,640 to $5,720/year.
6. Camp Counselor
Looking for something to keep you busy during the summer months? You can become a camp counselor.
The pay rate does vary depending on your state and whether or not you have any special skills to offer. For example, some camps will pay extra for counselors able to lead art classes or activities like horseback riding.
As a general rule, you can expect to make about $230/week – $310/week if you’re the head counselor.
7. Online Teacher
Create a Course on Udemy.com
If you have access to video recording equipment and software, you won’t go wrong creating a course on Udemy.com.
Udemy has an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide on how to create and publish your course. If you’re able to market it on social media and/or your blog (see above), you can start earning money quickly.
After the initial set-up, your Udemy course will become a truly passive source of income. The more popular your course topic (and the more courses you create over time), the higher your earning potential.
Skillshare has a great resource for making as much as $5,000/month.
Speaking of Skillshare.com, they’re the best alternative/supplement to creating a course on Udemy.
Skillshare has a lot of helpful resources and guides to make the process as easy as possible. While first-time teachers typically earn about $200/month, the more popular your course (and, once again, the more you have available), the higher your earning potential.
Top teachers on Skillshare reportedly earn upwards of $3,000/month.
8. Sell Your Lesson Plans Online
Teachers Pay Teachers
If you’re not using it, you’re not only missing out on a wealth of resources, but on an opportunity to make money selling your lesson plans online.
Depending on the number of resources you make available, as well as your membership tier and pricing, you can start off earning a couple hundred dollars a month. Some have been known to earn as much as $50,000+/year.
9. Tour Guide
Depending on where you live, you can become a tour guide.
To be sure, most people think of tour guides as people who are able to move around the world, getting paid to travel. But there are plenty of opportunities allowing you to stay in one place too. As such, you can expect to earn an average of $13/hour (in the U.S.).
Chances are, you’ll want to wait until summer so you can take full advantage of the tourism season without it conflicting with your teaching schedule.
While stereotypically a job for teenage girls, teachers can also benefit from a part-time job offering babysitting services.
And just like your students, who spend the time studying and doing homework, you can earn some extra money by taking the evening’s paperwork with you.
All you need is the right resource, which is where Care.com comes in. Not only do they provide a step-by-step guide on how to become a babysitter, but they also have a platform for finding babysitting jobs. While the pay rate varies, the average babysitter earns about $13.82/hour.
It’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, so consider joining Sittercity.com at the same time. They have a fantastic resource library for babysitters, as well as an online jobs board to help you find babysitting opportunities in your city.
Once again, pay rates vary depending on availability, location, and any other skills you bring to the table. According to Indeed.com, the average babysitter on Sittercity.com earns about $16.60/hour.
11. Dog Walker
If you love dogs, you can easily make extra money by taking them for a walk thanks to online and app-based platforms like Rover.
Rover offers a complete guide on how to become a dog walker, as well as the Rover’s Sitter Resources Center to help you improve your services. Just by taking 2 or 3 dogs out for a walk a couple times a week for just 2 weeks a month, you can make an extra $1,000/month.
Uber and Lyft
Both Uber and Lyft are becoming the go-to options for ride-sharing. The best part is, you get to set your own hours, so you won’t have to worry about conflicting schedules. Simply buckle up and log in to start accepting ride requests.
The average Uber driver earns about $15/hour, while Lyft drivers make an average of $17.50. It’s worth signing up for both to ensure every hour worked is a productive one.
13. Airbnb Host
If you have more than one property, or even just a spare bedroom that you’re not using, you can rent it out as an Airbnb host.
There are plenty of resources available on Airbnb’s website to help you make the most out of your real estate’s potential. However, location and size will definitely be factors in how much you can expect to earn.
For example, according to Airbnb’s on-site calculator, a private room for one guest, rented for 15 nights a month in New York has an average earning potential of about $1,400/month. The same venue in Cape Canaveral, Florida, will only yield about $555/month.
Amazon KDP opened up a world of possibilities to anyone with a story to tell. If you’re able to write a book (or better yet, several), you can self-publish them on the platform and let Amazon’s global market reach do most of the heavy lifting for you.
And if you get stuck, or don’t know how to flesh out your story idea, you can always hire a ghostwriter on Upwork or Fiverr. Just don’t shoot yourself in the foot with plagiarism like Christiane Serruya, or “Copy/Paste Cris” as she’s rightfully known.
15. Become a Coach for Youth Sports
If you have sports skills, you can make money by becoming a coach for youth sports. You might want to make the investment of enrolling in coach training beforehand to ensure a higher possibility of getting hired.
Once you’re ready, head over to sites like SimplyHired.com, Indeed.com, and even LinkedIn to find opportunities. Youth sports coaches typically earn in the region of $33,998/year according to Glassdoor.com.
16. Participate in a Focus Group
Similar to the paid surveys sites we opened this list with, when you first sign-up on Respondent.io, you need to fill out a demographics questionnaire. The company will then send you invitations to participate in relevant online focus groups.
While the average interview length is about 30 minutes and the average hourly payment totals $140, don’t get your hopes up too high.
You need to apply to different focus groups and be accepted by a Respondent’s client before you can start earning. And many of the focus groups have very specific target respondents they’re willing to pay.
That said, they also have a very attractive referral program. Refer a friend and the first time they get paid for participating in a focus group, you’ll earn an average of $50.
17. Freelance Writing
Got a knack for writing?
Turn that skill into income by offering your services as a freelance writer. Leverage the free resources available on websites like Earn More Writing and ProBlogger to make the most of this opportunity.
While ProBlogger also has a jobs board, there are few jobs available and tough competition. Get started by creating an Upwork profile to find freelance writing projects.
Once you establish yourself as a freelance writer with a good portfolio and client feedback, it’s possible to make as much as $5,000/month.
18. Freelance Editing
If writing doesn’t sound like your preferred freelance vocation but you want to monetize your skills with the written word, freelance editing might be the solution for you.
Proofread Anywhere is a great place to brush up on all the skills necessary to be a successful freelance editor. You can find work on sites like Upwork, but don’t overlook opportunities like Leaf Group (maximum $24,000/year) and Domainite (up to $27,300/year).
19. Transcriber Online
Online transcription jobs are easy to come by. But if you’re not careful, you’ll end up getting paid far less than your effort is worth.
You need to be a fast typist to earn a decent supplementary income – test your typing speed here for free. Ideally, you should be able to type 60 to 70 words-per-minute, as this opens up the best opportunities.
Crowdsurf ($12 to $14.40/audio hour) is a viable opportunity for getting the necessary transcription experience to join higher-paying platforms. These include GMR Transcription ($42 to $75/audio hour) and 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP ($30 to $180/audio hour).
20. Data Entry Online
Data entry (of which online transcription work can sometimes be considered a facet) is one of the easiest online jobs available. There’s very little requirement, so long as you’re able to type fast and accurately.
Payment is generally remitted on a per-task basis, so earning potential on sites such as Clickworker and DionData Solutions is difficult to accurately gauge. As a general rule, you can expect to make in the region of $4,680 to $15,600/year working between 10 and 20 hours a week.
21. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants perform similar duties to regular data entry clerks, but are typically asked to additionally handle phone calls and calendar scheduling. Essentially, anything an in-office assistant might be required to do, a virtual assistant is called upon to do remotely.
Horkey Handbook offers their 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success course, a must-have for anyone serious about making money this way – even on a part-time basis.
While there are other options available, the best place to find work as a virtual assistant is Red Butler, where you’ll earn $6,240-$23,400/year at 10 to 30 hours/week. Just bear in mind there’s a 20% commission fee, as well as the $39 monthly membership fee.
22. Virtual Call Center Jobs
Similar to online transcription work, virtual call center jobs require a quiet working environment with minimal background noise.
The biggest catch here is Concentrix, the best website platform to find virtual call center jobs through, requires a landline and headset. Clients will also expect you to be available for a minimum of 40 hours/week, so this opportunity is best left for the summer “vacation.”
That said, you can earn $11/hour this way. If you’re working for the 6 to 7 weeks you have off from regular school duty, at 40 hours/week that comes to an extra income of $2,640 to $3,080.
23. Online Customer Service Jobs
Convergys offers a similar opportunity, except instead of handling calls, you’ll deal with customer service via email or online chat.
Again, there is a catch: the schedule bids aren’t always flexible and you might find yourself working the graveyard shift just to make the job worth your time. You’ll still be asked to work 40 hours a week for $10.53/hour, so using the summer weeks example from earlier, you can expect to make $694.98 to $810.81.
24. Online Social Media Jobs
Believe it or not: you can make money on social media by becoming a business page moderator.
It’s not unlike moderating student recess: you keep an eye on things, make sure everyone stays in line, and enforce the rules. Additionally, you might be called upon to handle customer queries or complaints, which sometimes involves escalating it to a higher level within the business.
LiveWorld offers the best opportunity for teachers, as you can specify your own hours (ICUC, the best overall platform for finding social media jobs, requires 8 hours a day plus weekends and public holidays). Pay is typically around $9/hour.
25. Online Bookkeeper
AccountingDepartment.com isn’t the best option for everyone, as they have strict office hours where you’re expected to log in and do work. Unfortunately, those hours conflict with school time.
But if you’re able to get a summer position with them, it’s a great way to earn money as a virtual accountant/bookkeeper.
Alternatively, you can find part-time and even once-off positions on Upwork. Pay will definitely vary depending on the client and job requirements, but with Upwork you have the added benefit of making it a long-term opportunity for after-school income.
26. Make Money as an Online Notary
Last but not least, you can make money as an online notary.
It should be said that becoming an online notary isn’t possible everywhere in the U.S.: some states allow it (Virginia is the best state to be an online notary), while others don’t.
Be sure to check with the National Notary Association for local legislation and the costs involved (typically $100 to $500).
Once you’re sworn in and you receive your notary seal, head to freelance platforms like Upwork, Guru.com, and Fiverr to find clients. Bear the local limitations on how much you can charge per signature, though!
How Many Hours Do You Have to Work?
This depends on the type of side hustle or summer job you decide to pursue. Some, like completing surveys or watching videos, can take little to no time and pay next to nothing. Others, like online social media jobs or becoming an online bookkeeper, can require as much as 40 hours a week.
We’ve tried to give a realistic expectation of how many hours you’ll be required to work in each individual section. Your availability and skill set will determine which job(s) you’re able to pursue, which in turn will determine how many hours you’ll have to work.
How Much Can You Make?
This is another question requiring a very broad answer. Again, depending on the type of side hustle or summer job you’re able and willing to pursue, you could earn as little as $1,080/year watching Swagbucks videos or up to $80,000/year with affiliate marketing on your blog by the end of your third year.
While it’s clear opportunities are there for the taking – and thankfully so – you need to consider the options very carefully before committing to any of them.
It’s not so difficult to switch from one type of side hustle or summer job to another if need be, but being a teacher is already hard work. Be careful not to burn yourself out by making the wrong choice!
Are you a teacher with a well-paying side hustle or summer job? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!