How to Change Your Career from Teaching in 2024

Devlin Peck
. Updated on 
February 27, 2024
career change for teachers thumbnails

Wondering which career paths you could explore after teaching?

You’re in the right place.

In this article, we explore fulfilling career changes for teachers in the fields of tech and business, government, education, and health.

Want to learn more? Read on.

Transferable teaching skills

You can use the skills you use as a teacher to easily move into a number of careers.

Here we explore some of those skills and consider which industries they are most useful in.  

1. Instructing

As a teacher, you constantly plan how to present information in a structured manner. You also assess how well students with different learning preferences, abilities, and backgrounds are able to understand that information.

The strategies you learn while doing this give you great instructional skills. The thing is, a wide range of businesses and organizations need trainings and presentations to train employees.  

And if you’re interested in creating those trainings, instructional design is a potential career path for you. This is the process of designing and developing effective learning experiences, often in higher education, the corporate world, or for non-profit organizations.

2. Problem-solving

Teaching is a demanding job where you have to assess situations and make decisions quickly.

As a teacher, you have problem-solving skills you can use in professional settings where situations can change fast.

For example, just as teachers often adjust lesson plans on the fly, an instructional designer might get a last minute change request for a training and educational consultants may need to come up with a client solution in real time.

3. Communication

From breaking down ideas when talking to students, parents, or colleagues to reading papers, teachers spend a lot of time improving their communication skills.

These are essential across industries like public relations, sales and marketing, and human resources. When you’re presenting ideas, engaging with stakeholders, or managing other people, you need to be able to clearly explain information and actively listen to others.

4. Coaching

When you’re working closely with students, you learn to ask them the right questions, provide useful feedback, and support and motivate them.

These coaching skills can be used across any industry where relationship-building is key.

For example, an HR manager might have to coach managers in different departments as they develop recruitment processes. Meanwhile, a marketing manager will usually support a team in developing their skills.

5. Subject-matter expertise

As a teacher, you have to cover every area of the subject you teach. This gives you expertise that you can use across industries.

To take an example, as a language teacher, you might decide to start working as a translator or interpreter. Alternatively, as a STEM teacher, there are plenty of roles you can transfer into, including different consulting roles.  

But what are some of the most popular careers for teachers? Let’s take a look.

Common career changes for teachers (Tech and business)

A recent McKinsey study showed that poor compensation is the number one reason why teachers leave the industry.

Other reasons you might consider leaving teaching are poor work-life balance, burnout, stress, poor work conditions, and safety considerations. Or, you want to work remotely and gain more “modern” skills.

With that in mind, it makes sense why many teachers look to business and tech jobs where average salaries are higher and work-life balance is often better.    

Here are a few of the most popular careers teachers transition into.

Instructional designer

Many teachers move into instructional design because of the high crossover in skills and experiences. You can still enjoy the fulfillment you get from teaching by designing and developing learning materials. But you also access these major benefits:

Our ID Bootcamp teaches you how to transition into instructional design. You can also learn more about the field by downloading my free checklist for instructional designers:

Average salary: $81,685

Communications manager

A communications manager develops and executes communication strategies for businesses. This means considering how messages can be most effectively conveyed, overseeing written content, and working with stakeholders.

If you enjoy presenting and are great at collaborating with parents, children, and school administrators, you could be a good fit. Your ability to engage learners with a diverse range of needs will help you stand out in the space. And you’ll still get to enjoy being part of a wider purpose and mission.

Average salary: $117,075

Marketing manager

Do you enjoy coming up with creative ways to engage audiences?

If so, marketing could be a great role for you to transition into.

Whether you’re working across social media or using a strategy such as SEO, you’ll have the chance to further hone your communication skills. And after undertaking an online marketing course (Hubspot Academy offers plenty of free courses) you’ll have a way to use your skills for more pay.

Teachers often find that marketing suits them well because they are used to working to deadlines and managing multiple tasks at once, while creating engaging lessons for students. You could be juggling several projects and analyzing performance data across each – something you’ve probably done as you’ve managed several students’ performances at once before.

Average salary: $69,862

UX designer

A UX (or user experience) designer creates digital products that are easy and enjoyable to use. To do so, they need problem-solving skills and an advanced understanding of how their audience takes in information… Just like you do as a teacher.

UX design offers great pay and you can do it from anywhere. There is a bit of a learning curve, but those skills are learnable. Take a look at online programs like CareerFoundry or Ironhack.  

Average salary: $102,699

Technical writer

Technical writing involves creating content that explains complex issues more simply.  So it’s another position where the communication skills you hone as a teacher come in handy.

You’ll also work with a subject matter expert to create this content; this process can be similar to collaborating with a colleague to develop a new curriculum.

Another remote job that’s ideal for former teachers, technical writing can be done anywhere at any time. Usually, you’ll have a few projects to work on and you’ll set your own deadlines. These could include manuals, training materials, online help systems, and support materials.  

Average salary: $82,251

HR manager

HR managers, who oversee the Human Resources department in an organization, share a large number of skills with teachers. They include:

As an HR manager, you’ll oversee hiring, training, and developing employees. You also manage compensation and benefits and ensure the organization is complying with labor laws.  

Working as a HR manager can be a demanding and rewarding job, which typically lets you enjoy higher pay than teaching.

Average salary: $158,630

Event planner

Do you thrive on planning lessons and assignments? If so, you could take this attention to detail and apply it to event planning where you get more control over when and where you work.

Event planners organize events, from weddings to corporate meetings and parties. They also usually work freelance, which gives them a greater work-life balance.

The demand is high for event planners right now with the market size measured at $5.6bn in 2022.

Average salary: $47,892

Executive assistant

Executive assistants help executives to manage their work, supporting them by completing tasks like:

Working as an EA requires a high level of organization – something that teachers know well. It also relies on a good level of problem-solving skills. Just as in the classroom, unexpected challenges can occur and you need to be able to adapt.

Alongside this pressure comes great benefits. Executive assistants earn a good salary; they also often work remotely or on flexible hours.

Average salary: $53,943

Common career changes for teachers (Government)

Working for the government comes with a lot of benefits – fulfilling work, job security, and comprehensive benefits packages being top three.

Here we explore some of the jobs you could move into from teaching.

It’s worth noting that a few of the jobs we looked at in the previous section could also be part of this section. For example, HR managers are needed in various agencies and instructional designers often create training materials for government organizations.

Chief Learning Officer

Within the federal government, chief learning officers (CLOs) are responsible for designing and implementing training programs. For example, a CLO might organize an initiative to improve cybersecurity awareness among federal employees.

This uses many of the same skills as teaching. You have to present information in an engaging way, build relationships with stakeholders, and assess the impact of different initiatives.

It’s a great career to consider if you want to apply your teaching skills directly within a wider organizational context.  

Average salary: $218,300

Teacher at federal prison

Looking for a rewarding federal job? Explore the idea of teaching at a prison.

Using many of the same communication skills as teaching students in a school, you’ll be required to empathize with a wide range of learners. With great coaching and motivational abilities, you may also be able to inspire the inmates to develop skills that contribute toward their rehabilitation programs.

Average salary: $69,609

Project manager

Project managers plan and develop project ideas by creating and leading teams, monitoring project progress, setting deadlines, and ensuring stakeholder satisfaction. Within the federal government, project managers make sure that initiatives align with goals, stay within budget constraints, and comply with federal regulations.

Teachers typically have great time management skills and an ability to adapt quickly to changes in curriculum or student issues. That’s why project management can be a good career option.

Average salary: $78,967


If you have a background as a language teacher, you may consider becoming a federal translator. This involves streamlining communication between government parties, international partners, legal entities, and even the military.

Because of this, just like in teaching, you’ll be handling confidential information. And building trusted relationships is key to success in the role.

To explore becoming a federal translator, you should attend industry events such as the American Translators Association (ATA) or the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC).

Average salary: $43,559

Educational policy consultant

Educational policy consultants offer expertise and guidance on educational policies and programs. You work closely with government agencies, policymakers, and institutions.

As a teacher, you already have the on-the-ground understanding, curriculum development abilities, and communication skills needed to succeed in this role.

To explore it further, you should:

Average salary: $71,005

Common career changes for teachers (Education and health)

Some of the best jobs for former teachers are those that allow them to continue working to support others.

So, here we explore some of the top opportunities in health and education.


If you’ve spent any time in a classroom, you know how to research a topic in-depth. This, along with your communication and organization skills, could make you a great librarian.

Librarians are responsible for researching, digitizing archives, and managing admin. They may also lead sessions and help people connect with technology  –  two skills that former teachers know well.

As digital content expands, the demand for librarians only increases. In fact, one study shows that the employment of librarians and library media specialists is projected to grow by 3% from 2022 to 2032.

Average salary: $53,606


Are you looking to expand further on your leadership skills and remain in a school setting? Working toward being a principal could be one career option.

As a school principal, you’re responsible for managing personnel and staff, security procedures, budgets, and other functions. This can be an incredibly rewarding job and it also comes with career development opportunities.

To transition into the industry from being a teacher, look at:

Average salary: $165,840

Social worker

Social work is an incredibly rewarding role with a lot of transferable skills from teaching. Being responsible for the well-being of people and communities, you can support a range of people from underprivileged groups and put your empathy and communication skills to work.

You’ll also benefit from the problem-solving skills you inevitably develop during your time as a teacher. When you’re dealing with people in crisis who need immediate support, you’ll be more able to stay calm and make decisions.

Average salary: $54,257


As a teacher, you learn active listening skills that encourage students to share their thoughts and feelings.These skills set you up to be a great therapist — a position where you can often command a higher salary and have more control over when and where you work.

To get into therapy, you will usually need to complete or hold a master’s degree in a field related to psychotherapy.

You can also use these skills as a school counselor. This is a role that focuses on providing academic, career, and personal/social support to students and doesn’t always require a master’s level degree.

Average salary: $62,412

Curriculum specialist

Look into curriculum development if you want to change and improve the educational system. This role involves developing materials and activities for students and sharing instructional guides.

As a teacher, you’ll already have many of the relevant skills since you’ll have been involved with lesson planning and assessment. From here, in order to gain relevant experience to become a curriculum specialist, you should attend workshops and conferences and stay up to date on educational trends.

You can work within the educational sector, at organizations, or remotely. This means greater flexibility and work-life balance.

Average salary: $60,710

EdTech sales representative

EdTech is software that relates to the field of education and being an EdTech sales representative means helping schools to find the best systems to support their needs. This can be incredibly profitable work since you usually get a commission on any sale you make. You can also typically work from anywhere.

As a teacher, you have the direct experience to understand which tools, supplies, equipment, and logistics services other teachers need; this sets you up really well for the job.

To gain further experience, focus on attending industry conferences, completing sales training, and joining sales networks.

Average salary: $61,435

Educational technologist

An educational technologist is responsible for integrating technology into the teaching and learning process. This means working with faculty and IT teams to implement new systems, assessing their impact, and providing training programs to teams.

To become an educational technologist, you typically need a Bachelor’s degree. You’ll also use your experience of using software as a teacher and your skills in training, leadership, and communications to land a role.

Educational technologists can work in various settings, including schools, higher education institutions, corporate training, and educational technology companies. They can also work remotely.

The demand for professionals in this field continues to grow as technology becomes an increasingly integral part of education worldwide.

Average salary: $69,706

Next steps

There you have it! We’ve explored some of the best career changes for teachers based on specific skills and goals.

One of the most popular career paths for teachers, instructional design, offers great pay, remote work opportunities, and the chance to use a lot of your teaching talent.

Want to learn more about how to become an instructional designer? Sign up for my free checklist to learn more.

It covers how you can become an instructional designer, including the most important models and theories of instructional design as well as the technology that will help you get a great start in this field.

Devlin Peck
Devlin Peck
Devlin Peck is the founder of, where he helps people build instructional design skills and break into the industry. He previously worked as a freelance instructional designer and graduated from Florida State University.
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Devlin Peck

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