While many of us dream of having the summer months off, lots of teachers use their vacations to earn extra cash.
The median income for U.S. teachers is $58,240, according to Salary.com. Starting salaries for new teachers are under $30,000 in some areas of the country. So it’s little surprise that more than one in five educators work a second job during the summer, according to analysis from the Pew Research Center.
While it can be essential to paying the bills, working during the summer can also keep your teaching skills sharp and even help you learn a few new things — preferably with someone else footing the bill.
You’ll find no shortage of summer jobs for teachers or educators. Many of these opportunities will give you a modest income without a lengthy commitment. When the summer’s over, you can resume your day job without having to worry about quitting or keeping a second job.
The summer of 2021 has many more opportunities than last summer as pandemic restrictions are loosening and even ending in some locations. Many camps and theme parks are open and individual families are more comfortable with in-person interactions such as tutoring and sports.
Ready to find your new summer job?
Jobs That Will Keep You Teaching
For some teachers, summer is a time to get away from their regular day-to-day work. But for others, teaching is what gets them going in the morning. If that’s you, consider one of these jobs to bring in extra income while fulfilling your desire to keep teaching.
1. Teach English as a Second Language
Want to strengthen your teaching skills while earning extra money? Look for opportunities to tutor English as a second language (ESL) students locally and online.
You can contact large corporations in your area that relocate foreign employees to your city and inquire whether they need a freelance ESL tutor to help their staff. Or go online and connect with students all over the world through sites like GoFluent and . QKids. One former public school teacher earned over $500 a week teaching English to Chinese students through VIPKID.
2. Offer Tutoring
School may be out for the summer for you, but that doesn’t mean students don’t still need a helping hand.
To offer in-person tutoring, start by spreading the word with your students’ parents during the school year so they know who to call when summertime rolls around. And of course, shamelessly publicize your tutoring skills to friends and family who have children. A great thing about tutoring is you can set your own rates, with tutors typically charging anywhere between $30 and $80 per hour, depending on the subject, according to Tutors.com.
There are a ton of websites that hire online tutors. Here are some of our favorite online tutoring companies.
3. Become a Test Prep Instructor
This is similar to tutoring, but with a little twist. As a test prep instructor, you can still flex those teaching skills but take a little break from teaching the same stuff you do during the regular school year.
Standardized tests such as the ACT, SAT, LSAT, MCAT and GRE are back on the calendar for 2021 and 2022 after many were cancelled or postponed last year.
Depending on your area of expertise and skill level, you can earn income over the summer helping students prepare for these tests.
Again, you can simply spread the word through friends and family to tutor locally, which means you can set your own rates. Or you can turn to outlets that are regularly hiring, such as Kaplan Test Prep, where tutors an average of $21.44 an hour according to Indeed.com.
4. Coach Youth Sports
Coaching youth sports during the summer is another opportunity that allows you to continue working with and instructing children — just in a different way from your regular job. Sure, it’s not teaching long division, but spending the summer imparting athletic and teamwork skills to children can be just as challenging and rewarding.
Plus, you get to watch kids run around playing sports, which is always adorable. A 6-year-old in an oversized, bobbling baseball helmet? Forget about it.
Check with your community YMCA, recreation centers, churches and camps to find open jobs.
5. Work as a Nanny or Babysitter
Technically, this isn’t a teaching gig, but as a nanny or babysitter you’ll be working with children and informally teaching them along the way.
You can find a regular full-time nanny job working for parents who prefer that to traditional day care, or just pick up baby-sitting gigs here and there when you feel like making some extra cash.
Start by spreading the word through friends and family, and be sure to mention your teaching position so you have an edge over teenagers willing to do the job cheaply. You can also check out sites like Sittercity and Care.com to find jobs in your community.
Online Summer Jobs for Teachers
Now more than ever there are summer gigs that don’t require leaving the house.
6. Sell Your Lesson Plans Online
I love opportunities to leverage what you already have for passive income. You’ve already done the work. Why not make the most of it?
Take those lesson plans and worksheets you created during the school year and upload them to a site like Teachers Pay Teachers. You will earn 60% to 85% on each sale of your education resources. And this is an opportunity that can continue to bring in additional income year-round without any extra work.
“I only sell digital products, so I don’t have to mail anything,” Meredith O’Neill, a middle school teacher who sells her resources on the site, told us in May 2017. “The sale and the transfer of my work happens automatically. The payment goes straight to my PayPal account after TPT takes its cut. It’s extremely easy once your store is created and your work is loaded.”
7. Write and Edit Resumes
If you’ve got writing skills, you can earn extra cash writing and editing resumes. For some (read: a lot) of us, crafting a resume is like pulling teeth, and people are willing to fork out funds for a final product they feel will help them land a job.
This is a good summer job to pursue if you’re interested in part-time work that you can pick up on your own time.
Fiverr user Charmaine Pocek started writing resumes and cover letters for $5 a piece. Within six years, she was charging $30 to $800 for her services and has since earned over $2 million through the site.
If you’re interested but need a little refresher on resume writing, check out this step-by-step guide.
8. Work as a Website Tester
You probably already spend a good amount of time browsing the internet and using phone apps, so why not get paid for it? Companies want to know how users interact with their websites and what can be done to make them more user-friendly.
All you have to do is browse and navigate websites and then provide honest feedback. You won’t get rich testing websites — expect to earn between $5 and $10 for each test.
9. Look Into Work-From-Home Jobs
You spend the school year in a classroom, so consider spending the summer earning extra income from the comfort of home. You’d be amazed how many companies regularly hire work-from-home employees, and with such a broad selection you can find an opportunity that fits your skill set.
Customer service, copy editing, travel consulting, coding, part-time, full-time, seasonal, freelance… honestly, the internet is your oyster. You can start with our Work-From-Home jobs portal to find a gig.
And if you’ve never forayed into remote work before, take some time to go over our work-from-home guide. It covers topics such as insurance, scams, taxes and how to find a job that fits your lifestyle.
Summer Jobs in the Great Outdoors
You probably spend the rest of the year cooped up in a classroom. Why not spend your months off in the great outdoors and earning extra cash at the same time?
10. Camp Counselor
If you love fresh air and sunshine, consider getting a job at a summer camp.
Writer Amanda Simkin spent three summers working at a summer camp during her eight years of teaching. “Working at a summer camp is a great supplemental job because sometimes you just want to … interact with kids in a more fun-focused and laid-back way,” she explains.
Here’s how she recommends you find a job. “I learned about openings through word of mouth, but nowadays you can use social media, such as park district websites, Facebook, even Craigslist to find openings,” she says. You can also check with your local YMCA, community organizations and churches.
11. Local Tour Guide
People are traveling again and want to discover new places. Know all of the hot spots and hidden gems in your city or neighborhood? Then consider becoming a local tour guide. It’s a great way to enjoy the weather, the scenery and good company (hopefully) while earning extra cash.
12. Theme Parks
Theme parks are open again and have a lot of seasonal positions that make great jobs for teachers. You don’t have to wear an oversized animal head or drive a little boat through a “prehistoric” lagoon. They need customer service reps, guides, ushers, sales people, food service staff and more. Check out the big parks such as Seaworld, Busch Gardens and Disney, but also consider smaller parks throughout the country.
13. Whitewater Raft Guide
Rafting trips are filling up as families are ready to get out of town and embrace the great outdoors. This is the perfect job if you want to work outdoors but you’re also looking for an adventure. But be warned: The job is intense and physically-demanding. It also requires long hours and certain qualifications, depending on your state.
Hiring for river guides really amps up around June and July, and recreational hiring in general grows an average of 68% in the U.S. around this time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We’ll see what the summer of 2021 brings.
The river-rafting season typically runs from June to September, making this a perfectly complementary job for teachers looking to earn a summer income. In fact, Idaho river guide Hardy Bender says a lot of guides seek out teaching jobs purely so they can have the summers off to hit the river.
Like river guiding, this summer job for teachers gives you the perks of getting paid to enjoy the water and sunshine but in a more controlled environment.
Summer is the busy season, so check with city-operated pools, recreation centers, water parks and country clubs for seasonal lifeguarding jobs. Or if you’re blessed enough to live on the water, you can spend the summer working on the beach.
The pay for lifeguards varies depending on your location, skill level and employer, but you can earn anywhere from $9 to $25 per hour, according to Glassdoor salaries. Just remember, there are certain certifications and training to complete before you can get that telltale red suit and whistle.
15. Dog Walker
Honestly, who doesn’t want to get paid to hang out with dogs in their spare time? Well, maybe cat people… but they don’t count.
Start by offering your services to friends and family who don’t have the summers off. They may jump at the chance for someone to take their beloved pups out for a walk on long work days.
You can also sign up for Rover. The online network connects dog walkers and sitters to local dog owners through its 4.9-star-rated app, so you don’t have to staple flyers on every utility pole across town. Rover says sitters can earn as much as $1,000 a month.
Rover dog-sitter requirements vary by location. In general, you must:
- Be 18 years or older.
- Pass a background check.
- Have access to the Rover app (iOS or Android).
Here’s how it works: You’ll create an online sitter profile where you’ll answer questions about your experience with puppers and your schedule availability.
You can choose to offer a variety of services, including dog walking, overnight boarding at your home or theirs, and daycare. Boarding is the app’s most popular service, so offering it can get you more gigs. You set your own rates. (Rover keeps a small percentage as a service fee.)
Dog owners will reach out to you. Accept which gigs you want, then start snugglin’ pups. As soon as you complete a service, you’ll be paid within two days.
Wag, is another dog walking service that works similarly.
And if you don’t want to just stick to dog walking, you can expand your services and become a full-blown pet sitter — check this out for more information.
Jobs That Offer a Change of Pace
Maybe you want a summer job that breaks away from the standard tutoring gig. Here are some options all across the board, we’re sure at least one will catch your eye.
16. Drive for Uber or Lyft
If you want to make some extra cash without committing to a full-blown job, driving for Uber or Lyft is a legitimate option. Demand for ride-sharing has been growing again after a pandemic-induced slump. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.
Best of all, he could do it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you.
Because it’s easy to switch between apps, Lyft drivers often also drive for Uber.
17. Rent Out Your Driveway
No one wants to worry about feeding a meter while on vacation. If you live near an event center or stadium, rent out your driveway using sites and apps like JustPark or MonkeyParking — or go old school and simply post a “Parking” sign in front of your house. You may only earn $20 per day, but $20 is $20.
18. List Extra Space in Your House
Have a spare room? Airbnb is booking them at high rates. Some cities have less than 10 percent of rentals available. Now is the time to earn some extra money listing that spare room. If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.
A few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one. We talked to Terence Michael, an Airbnb superhost based in Los Angeles.
Here are some of his tips:
- Break out the labelmaker. “I have the entire house loaded with labels,” Michael says. “They look nice; they’re modern. This helps people feel less helpless.”
- Be a good host, and stock your place with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels. Here’s a little hack from Michael: “I order on Amazon and have it delivered when people are there.”
- Be kind to your neighbors. “I say, ‘I’m not going to put anyone here who I think won’t be good for you,’” Michael explains. “And I turn a lot of big groups away, especially in Nashville. I don’t want anyone going to the cops or the city.”
(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)
19. Rent Out Your Car
If you put Uber and Airbnb together and mix them up, the result is renting out your car for extra money. You’re earning extra income from your car, but in the passive way you rent out an extra room — you just have to be cool with strangers driving your car around.
20. Host Trivia
Consider yourself a “Jeopardy!” nut? Combine your love for trivia, wealth of teaching knowledge and ability to command a room to become a part-time trivia contest host. After all, coming up with a set of trivia questions isn’t too far off from crafting a quiz for your students.
Check with your local restaurants and bars to see whether they’re in need of a trivia host. Sure, you might find yourself working only one night a week, but it’s a fun way to flex your brain muscles and earn extra money.
This math teacher in Florida told us he earns $125 per week hosting trivia.
21. Rent Out Baby Gear
Renting out baby supplies — what will they think of next? There seems to be a rental service for just about everything these days, and this one is great for earning some extra cash off of that unused baby stuff taking up storage space.
Companies like BabyQuip allow traveling families to rent strollers, car seats, cribs and other baby items instead of lugging around their own gear. So if you have baby equipment you’re not using, you can list it for rental.
Manuela Madrid, a stay-at-home mom in Brandon, Florida, works less than 12 hours per month renting out her gear through BabyQuip, and earns between $120 and $180 with each fulfillment. BabyQuip users keep 80% of each reservation fee, but 100% of each delivery fee.
22. Officiate Youth Sports Games
Aside from coaching, another way to get involved in youth sports over the summer is by officiating games. Plus, officiating gives you the involvement in local youth sports without having to offer as much commitment that coaching would demand.
One option is working as a youth baseball umpire, a gig that can earn you upwards of $50 per game, which are usually less than two hours long. Aside from directly reaching out to youth sport programs, contact your local umpire association to inquire about open positions.
Summer Jobs if You Want Some Me Time
Look, if you want to spend your summer months catching up on some much-needed alone time, we definitely don’t blame you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t earn some extra money along the way.
23. Write Book Reviews
Here’s a dream scenario: Spend your summer months getting paid to stay curled up with a good book. Freelance book reviewing won’t give you J.K Rowling-level finances, but it’s a great way to earn extra cash while doing something you love — and were probably going to do all summer anyway.
How much you can earn will vary depending on the publisher and your skill level, but you can typically look to earn anywhere from $5 to $100 per review. Plus, you’ll probably get the book for free. Score!
Here are some reputable websites and publishers that will actually pay you for book reviews.
24. House Sitter
If your summer months are going to be spent picking up odd jobs and side hustles, house sitting will fit into your schedule quite nicely — and it’s a great opportunity for some alone time.
Whether you’re spending the night in the home or just stopping in for a short while each day to bring in the mail, house sitting is a pretty easy way to put extra pennies in your pocket.
Sure, you can go through friends and family, but the chances of that avenue offering paid gigs is slim. Check out professional sites that can connect you with potential clients in your area, like HouseSitter.com.
A transcription gig is perfect for teachers who just want to throw on a pair of noise-canceling headphones and block out the world for a bit.
You can typically find transcription jobs in three categories: general, medical and legal. Note that the latter two might require additional training or requirements, but that will depend on the employer.
Most transcription jobs are independent contract work, so you can set your own hours and work when you want. Transcriptionists are usually paid by the audio hour, so the amount you earn in comparison to hours worked will depend on your transcription fee.
26. Deliver Food
We already talked about driving for Uber and Lyft, and this is kind of the same thing… except you don’t actually have to talk to people beyond the “Here’s your food, you’re welcome, bye.”
Working for food delivery services gives you the opportunity to pick up side-gig work when you feel like earning extra cash — while enjoying some mostly solitary time. Uber Eats, GrubHub, Instacart and Shipt all offer flexible hours
Kaitlyn Blount is a former staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.
Angie Nelson also contributed to this article.