The Top 21 Non-Teaching Jobs in Education

Devlin Peck
. Updated on 
May 31, 2024
non-teaching jobs

Looking for jobs in education that are not teaching? You’re in the right place.

A career in teaching can help you build up a huge array of skills and experiences which lend themselves perfectly to other exciting opportunities in the education sector.

Here we’ll explore 21 of those roles before looking at how you can transition from teaching to another career.

21 non-teaching jobs in education

Leaving teaching can feel daunting. However, with teacher burnout at an all-time high, you might be looking for ways to decrease stress while increasing your income and improving your work-life balance.

That’s what we’ll look at here.

Here are 21 jobs in education that are not teaching that will allow you to use your transferable teaching skills. Read on!

1. Instructional Designer

Instructional designers create powerful, engaging learning experiences by combining elements from contemporary education practices, creative writing, design, psychology and systems theory.

It’s one of the most popular alternatives for former teachers and it’s not hard to see why.

Thousands of companies across the country need high-quality materials for eLearning, face-to-face workshops, job aides, and other staff development solutions.

Along with increased salaries, instructional designers also report higher levels of job satisfaction and, according to our report, better work-life balance than teachers. For example, instructional design is often mentioned in “top job” lists as one of the best job opportunities.

While there are some new skills to pick up such as core instructional design theory, most teachers find it easy to transition to being an instructional designer. After all, these two careers involve the same teaching, collaboration, research, and creativity skills.

You can work in different roles as an instructional designer. Many roles are remote, and you can work at educational institutions, non-profits, government and corporations, either in a full-time position or as a freelancer.

Instructional designers also still enjoy the same rewarding feeling of helping people learn which motivates many to get into teaching in the first place.

Average salary: $81,685

Degree needed: No

2. Educational Consultant

Are you looking for a varied role away from the classroom?

Educational consultants work closely with schools, districts, and other educational institutions to improve teaching methodologies and curriculums. They also work with educators to enhance learning outcomes.

The role relies upon many transferable skills for teachers, including curriculum development, assessment methods, and technology integration into learning experiences.

As a teacher, you’ll have built excellent communication skills which enable you to work closely with staff at all levels across schools or colleges.

You’ll also need a strong understanding of educational trends and the latest research to guide learning organizations to be at the forefront of teaching and learning practices.

As an educational consultant, a big perk you’ll get to enjoy is seeing the advice you give being put into practice and improving the educational system.

Average salary: $68,877

Degree needed: No

3. Curriculum Designer

Curriculum designers work closely with schools to refine approaches to teaching, develop curriculum frameworks, and improve the learning experience of students.

A few skills you can utilize in this role include assessment methods and strong communication, which teachers have. Curriculum designers also need to collaborate with both teaching staff and academic leadership.

You might be motivated to become a curriculum designer if you’ve been burdened with teaching materials that you know could be better prepared. Alternatively, you might want your next job to have a direct impact on learners.

Curriculum design is most often a full-time role within education. That said, there is some scope to do it on a project or freelance basis.

Average salary: $60,710

Degree needed: Bachelor’s degree in education

4. Academic coach

As an academic coach, you’ll work closely with students to help them recognize and understand learning strategies that work for them.

This means coaching and leadership skills you gain during teaching are essential. You’ll also need to develop an understanding of educational psychology to implement strategies that work best for each learner's individual needs.

Academic coaching is a great move if you enjoy the mentorship aspect of teaching and want to move away from classroom management and dealing with large learner groups at once.

Average salary: $53,899

Degree needed: No

5. Tutor

Similar to academic coaches, tutors work to help students unlock their potential and overcome barriers to learning. This usually requires more direct subject knowledge of the course than in academic coaching; you will have to deliver learning material.

Compared to being a teacher, you often get extra flexibility and better work-life balance as a tutor. Many work part-time or on a freelance basis with tutoring organizations as opposed to traditional schools.

Average salary: $43,306

Degree needed: No

6. After school program director

After school program directors look after the planning and implementation of extracurricular and enrichment activities for students outside of normal teaching hours.

It’s a rewarding role if you’re looking to work closely with students but no longer feel engaged with in-classroom teaching.

The role requires strong organizational skills and leadership while also drawing on elements of coordination. You’ll work closely with both schools and parents as well as students themselves.

Average salary: $41,688

Degree needed: No

7. School principal

Principals are the administrative heads of school organizations. As such, they are directly responsible for providing strategic leadership as well as line management for senior staff.

Moving into a principal role increases your earning potential but also comes with extra responsibility.

As well as a strong understanding of the full spectrum of academic functions, you need excellent leadership skills, planning, decision-making, and a degree of conflict resolution. Luckily, many of these will have been improved during your teaching career.

Average salary: $165,840

Degree needed: Master’s in education or educational leadership

8. School counselor

School counselors provide non-academic support to students by helping them with personal issues and giving guidance that enables them to get the most out of their time in school.

Like teaching, this role requires empathy, coaching, and active listening skills. Knowledge of counseling theories is also required.

Being a school counselor can be more rewarding than teaching because you are often better paid and work more closely with individual students.

Average salary: $57,187

Degree required: Master’s in school counseling

9. Preschool director

Preschool directors provide management support to preschool learning providers. This means being responsible for ensuring a safe learning environment by seeing to it that all operations run smoothly.

To be a preschool director, you should be passionate about early childhood development and have the leadership skills to manage staff. Just like teachers, you should also have the ability to manage complex workloads simultaneously.

Average salary: $59,483

Degree needed: Bachelor’s in early childhood education or child development

10. Camp director

As a camp director, you engage with students outside of the traditional classroom setting and oversee the planning, organization, and delivery of fun, educational activities for campers.

You also line-manage camp staff and ensure the environment is safe and suitable for young people to stay for prolonged periods of time.

As such, like teachers, camp directors need excellent leadership skills. They also need to know how to have fun!

Becoming a camp director is often a natural progression for teachers of physical activities and sports. Fostering personal growth and seeing young people make life-long friends during their time in camp can be really rewarding.

Average salary: $45,634

Degree needed: No

11. Project manager

Project managers oversee the execution of projects aimed at improving teaching and learning practices, curriculums, and student outcomes.

You might be well suited to move into the industry because of the excellent communication and organizational skills you’ve acquired as a teacher. However, you will need to get to grips with project management methods such as scrum and agile.

Successful project managers have the chance to drive innovation and improvement while enjoying higher rates of pay.

Average salary: $78,967

Degree needed: No

12. Education policy researcher  

Policy researchers are responsible for shaping educational systems by analyzing and evaluating proposed policies at a strategic level. They also work on proposing policies — a way for you to have a direct positive impact on learners as a former teacher.

The role requires a strong analytical mindset. It also requires you to persuade and influence stakeholders by conveying complex ideas in an easy-to-understand format.

Policy researchers play a key role in the workings of the education sector which can be very rewarding. However, if you enjoyed designing learning materials in the classroom, a role in policy may be a bit too slow-moving.

Average salary: $79,399

Degree needed: Master’s in education policy, public policy, or educational leadership

13. School psychologist  

School psychologists are experts in the needs, mental health, and well-being of students. They also address the behavioral needs of learners and work to support those with neurodivergence such as learners with autism or ADHD.

While, as a teacher, you will have dealt with elements of the role before, the job requires a very specialized skill set. School psychologists need to be proficient in assessment and diagnostic skills and hold a strong understanding of counseling techniques and crisis intervention methods.

That being said, having an impact on the wellbeing of students is very rewarding and can also help you earn a higher salary.

Average salary: $77,099

Degree needed: Master’s or specialist degree in school psychology

14. Career counselor

Are you passionate about guiding young people toward finding fulfilling jobs? Consider becoming a career counselor!

In this role, you’ll assist learners in exploring the options available to them after they leave school.  This means you need excellent active listening and empathy skills which you will have worked on as a teacher.

Seeing students get into a career path is incredibly rewarding. You might even hear back from them down the line when they’re enjoying their dream job!

Average salary: $55,200

Degree needed: Master’s in Career Counseling, Counseling, or Vocational Counseling

15. Librarian

As a librarian, you could be working with digital technology, curating collections of books, and providing research assistance. You’ll also ensure the library is a suitable environment for learning.

The role of librarian is ideal for ex-teachers who are passionate about promoting literacy and lifelong learning. There is also more scope for part-time and term-time only work.

Average salary: $53,606

Degree needed: Master’s in library science or library and information science

16. Educational technology consultant  

If you're enthusiastic about the benefits that digital technologies can bring to the learner journey, you could make a great educational technology consultant.

In this role, you’ll work closely with schools and training organizations to recognize areas where technologies could enhance learning outcomes. As well as communication and problem-solving skills, you’ll need a strong understanding of the latest learning platforms and tools.

Edtech consulting is a rewarding career path for teachers who are tired of outdated resources and inefficient ways of working. You could work on a permanent or freelance basis, both full-time and part-time.

Average salary: $69,398

Degree needed: No

17. College admission coach

Admission coaches support students by helping them navigate the sometimes complicated college admission process. You’d be responsible for guiding students to decide between different colleges as well as helping them prepare for entry tests.

The job requires in-depth knowledge of the admissions process as well as great communication skills. Like being a teacher, you’ll also need to be able to recognize each student’s strengths.

Asan admission coach, you’ll enjoy the reward of seeing students they’ve supported get into their dream college. Salaries are also higher than in most other education jobs.

Average Salary: $89,721

Degree needed: No

18. Academic Coordinator

Academic coordinators work with teachers and administrators to develop and roll out strategies aimed at enhancing student outcomes and study programs.

They often work cross-curriculum on multiple projects and, as such, the role requires strong interpersonal skills and the ability to multi-task…Both skills you will have learned as a teacher.

Coordinators have a positive impact on education practices and the success of students. The role is also varied and engaging.

Average salary: $65,347

Degree needed: No

19. Education grant writer

Grant writers support schools, districts, and other education organizations to identify and secure funding opportunities and develop proposals. You’re responsible for working with other teams to ensure that initiatives or projects are in line with compliance regulations.

As such, the role requires a high degree of organization, collaboration, and communication skills as well as a strong working knowledge of funding and compliance.

Education grant writers can work in permanent roles for larger schools or on a project basis to help smaller organizations secure one-time funding and set up proposals.

Average salary: $74,792

Degree needed: No

20. Educational software developer

Educational software developers work on creating software, apps, and other learning platforms and digital tools designed to support teaching and learning.

If you have prior tech experience or an interest in learning coding, it could be a great fit for you. You’ll be able to use the problem-solving skills and creativity you’ve honed during teaching.

Being an educational software developer often comes with higher salaries and increased flexibility over when and where you work.

Average salary: $88,625

Degree needed: No

21. Education HR specialist

If you want to use the communication, conflict resolution, and people management skills gained during teaching, you could consider becoming an HR specialist.

Modern HR departments in education are more than just the people to email when there’s a grievance. These roles encompass everything from staff wellbeing and development to recruitment, payroll, and administration.

HR specialists can shape the workforce in a positive way that ultimately cascades down to better experiences for students. It’s also a much less stressful job than teaching.

Average salary: $64,350

Degree needed: Bachelor’s in human resources or business administration

How do you transition from teaching to another career?

Transitioning from teaching into a new role can feel like a big move. But remember the skills you’ll have built up that transfer to other fields.

The best way is to break things down into the smaller, more manageable tasks below.

Research different career options

Articles like this are an excellent start but take the time to thoroughly read into the different options available to you. You can take a look at sites such as The Career Test and Skills Matcher to understand what your skills are and what you want to do next.

After this, speak with people already working in different career paths to gain an in-depth understanding of the positives, negatives, and key differences of each job.

Understand what transferable skills you have

As we’ve covered, teaching builds a wide range of universally transferable skills. These will vary depending on the career path you’ve already had and the sort of subjects you’ve taught.

Break it down and recognize how your individual talents apply to the career you’re looking to pursue. For example, if you have a background in teaching software development then becoming an educational software developer might be the right move.

Alternatively, if it’s the reward of helping people learn you’re looking for but you want to have more flexibility, learn modern skills, and a higher pay, something like instructional design could be the perfect next step.

Plenty of teachers have made the transition, including my students Sean and Aleksandra.

Update your resume and LinkedIn profile

Rewrite your resume and LinkedIn profile to align with the career you want to get into by highlighting the transferable skills you’ve picked up. To boost your profile, you can ask for recommendations from previous colleagues or managers to help build your online reputation and authority in the space.

Also, if you’re pursuing a career like instructional design, you need a great portfolio. In fact, according to our recent report, this is often the most important thing hiring managers look for.

Consider building your portfolio by taking on some smaller freelance projects or building a project from scratch.

You can also read our guide to creating an instructional design portfolio here.

Get additional training

One of the best ways to fast-track your new career is by furthering your own learning and enrolling in online courses or training and coaching programs.

You usually don’t need a new degree, but you will pick up new skills faster as well as learn the industry quicker if you invest the time into building new skills.

Online courses like our ID Bootcamp for new instructional designers are a great way to kickstart your new career and gain a complete understanding of what you need to do to get where you want to be.

Network and get experience

Networking is one of the fastest ways to land a job in a new industry.

Join relevant communities and start reaching out and interacting with people in the space you’re trying to join.

They’ll connect you to other people who might be on the same journey. Alternatively, if they have taken a similar trajectory but are further along, they can share how they’ve overcome hurdles you might face.

Our ID Bootcamp, for example, has a community filled with support for instructional designers.

Next steps

So there you have it…

The top jobs in education that are not teaching!

While there are plenty of careers you can choose from, the perfect role for you depends on your interests and long-term goals.

I help people become instructional designers. If you are interested in becoming an instructional designer and enjoying the levels of flexibility, pay, and creativity that come with it, grab my free checklist below.

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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