Summer jobs for teachers

School's out and—uh oh—the paychecks have stopped coming. These strategies can help you supplement your income.

Summer jobs for teachers

Faced with mountainous student debt, rent, car payments, and life itself, many teachers need to work right on through summer vacation.

There are myriad ways you can supplement your income, a great many of which actually serve to make you better in the classroom.

Apply for a paid externship

After wrapping up her first full year leading ninth grade biology and chemistry classes in a suburb of Boston, Jessica Sullivan worked for a biotech industry company as a chemistry lab technician, full time, for seven to eight weeks.

According to PayScale data, chemistry lab technicians average $16.82 per hour.

She said the company she worked for paid her to take a project-based learning course, around which she built her fall curriculum back at school. She landed the gig through Teach 21, a nonprofit that seeks out teachers and places them in paid externships.

“In the fall, I’ll teach the unit and will be able to take my students on a field trip to the company’s site for a day,” she said. “There seems to be lots of opportunities like this for new teachers, especially that teach science or math in urban districts.” 

Trade teaching for camp

There are, of course, more casual ways to sharpen your teaching tools in the summer while still getting paid. As his year teaching kindergarteners comes to a close, Joe Solof will trade his bowtie for a basketball jersey working as a camp counselor. Though less academically driven, the role helps him grow as a teacher.

“Going from camp to school has been huge. At camp, I lead a group of 40 kids,” said Solof, who teaches in Newton, Massachusetts. “Just being able to shepherd 40 kids around, before I had my own classroom, was a huge confidence-builder going into a classroom of 20 kids.”

Camp counselors average $9.09 per hour, reports PayScale.

Continue to teach, just in a different setting

For teachers looking to hone their skills, summer schoolingprivate tutoring, and test prep classes are three other good areas to look into. Depending on the role, tutors can make anywhere from $9 to $40 per hour, reports PayScale.

Shake things up entirely

Of course, as a teacher, you might need a reprieve from education altogether after a long school year (and you’d be forgiven for that too). Some teachers find seasonal work as vendors in baseball parks; others work a night or so a week at a second job throughout the school year so they can take on more hours during the summer; and still others find work in manual labor and caregiving.

Look to the tech industry, too. Some teachers work as drivers for ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft in the summer, where drivers can make up to $30 an hour.

The point is, there are a number of things you as a new teacher can do to keep afloat in the summer months, whether you wish to expand your classroom horizons or take a brief, but well-deserved respite.