Teaching abroad is a great idea: an enriching, rewarding and life-changing experience.
You’re given the unique platform to educate and impact young minds while becoming immersed in diverse cultures and worldviews. As a teacher, this is an excellent opportunity to combine your passion for the classroom with your desire to travel across the globe.
But depending on where you choose to teach abroad, the living expenses can often be higher than the cash-flow you generate each month.
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From groceries and accommodations to entertainment and public transportation, maximizing your time spent overseas can be rough on the wallet.
Fortunately, there are various easy side jobs that teachers can take advantage of to supplement their income and subsidize their wanderlust.
Salaries typically range from around $10 to $50 per hour, depending on a number of factors such as your teaching subject and experience level.
As this world becomes more globalized, being fluent in English is a sought-after skill you can segue into a profitable tutoring business.
Many students and often their family members could be eager to receive more intensive English training outside the classroom, so offer private sessions to help them expand their comprehension of your native language while boosting that paycheck at the same time.
You’ll be responsible for planning, preparing and delivering lessons to your students and making sure that they are improving their skills.
Teaching English online usually consists of speaking with your students via online chat such as Skype, where you’ll be free to communicate and deliver your lessons according to their needs.
You can also think beyond just English lessons and tutor in other subjects that you have an aptitude for such as algebra, history or science.
Becoming an IELTS Examiner is also a practicable option for English teachers.
Another option is to increase your bandwidth outside academics and capitalize on other talents you might have too.
Whether it’s teaching the ukulele, hosting a pottery class or leading group fitness, advertise it on social media, a local community center, websites like Craigslist, and even hand out fliers.
If you put in the marketing legwork, then word of mouth is going to spread and make your side job a bountiful source of income.
When teaching online, you’ll have the option to either work as an individual freelance teacher, or you can try to find work with a company.
If working as an individual, you’ll be required to find your own students and build your client base, while those working for a company will likely be connected directly with students — but have to accept the company’s working conditions.
Read our huge starter guide on teaching English online or find the best companies to teach ESL to Chinese students online.
Other websites specializing in online tutoring:
Content writers are either be paid per project, per hour, or per word depending on your client’s requirements. When you are starting out, you usually will make anywhere between $10 to $25 per hour.
Since you’re more than likely going to document the experience to keep family and friends back home updated on your adventures, you might as well get paid for the writing.
Even if you’ve never written anything besides a sporadic journal entry, numerous travel websites or blogs are interested in publishing original pieces from any globe-trotter with a fresh and dynamic perspective to share.
Reflect on the different cultural nuances you’ve encountered, the laughable communication barriers you’ve fumbled through, or the eye-opening lessons you’ve been exposed to, and brainstorm a creative angle from which to tell that story.
Next, familiarize yourself with travel-centric media outlets and which types of content they look for. Then find an email address for article submissions and pitch your idea to the editor.
You never know who might want to read about your life as a teacher in a foreign country or about your most effective methods in teaching and classroom management.
Besides that, you can always make quick cash by editing and writing students’ papers or doing other ghostwriting jobs.
There are virtually no limits on what you might end up writing about.
You can create news articles, press releases, business proposals, stories, sales emails or anything else that may be required by your client.
Being a content writer usually doesn’t require much experience, although most clients want to see that you have a solid understanding of the English language and are capable of producing high-quality copy, that is informative, well-written and free of errors.
Local Tour Guide
Once you know the regional customs, attractions, and scenery that make your area unique, share that knowledge with tourists.
You’re passionate about where you live and want visitors to feel that same energy, so register as an independent tour guide on websites, like Show Around and Vayable, which connect you to sightseers and eliminate the guesswork of building a client base on your own.
You might be required to complete an interview process, undergo a background check or obtain a license, but becoming a tour guide is a simple and interactive money-making option that also taps into your existing skills as a teacher.
You don’t have to be an expert on the country to provide educational and cultural enrichment for people.
Just introduce them to the festivals, traditions, architecture, cuisine, music, artwork and other points of interest that made you fall in love with this distinct corner of the world.
While it takes dedication, time and effort to carve out a niche for yourself in the affiliate marketing sector, once you’re established, it’s one of the most lucrative side jobs for teachers out there.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, affiliate marketing is when you endorse another brand’s product and earn a commission if someone orders it through your promotion.
After becoming an affiliate, you’ll receive a customized link to share on your blog or social media accounts, so when people make a transaction using that link, a percentage of the sale is yours.
This is called generating passive income which means that if you work hard on the front-end, over time you could bring in a consistent revenue stream with minimal exertion.
Just be selective about which brands you choose to support — it goes without saying that if you don’t have firsthand experience with a product, you won’t come across as reliable or authentic.
Selling Lesson Plans
Instead of discarding last year’s teaching materials, turn them into an e-commerce business that benefits other teachers and serves as extra income for you.
Monetizing your lesson plans, student activities, worksheets and other forms of a curriculum is a resourceful way to earn back the money spent out-of-pocket for classroom supplies – and even turn a profit.
There are multiple websites that streamline the process of retailing these items and allow you to keep as much as 85% of the revenue. Teachers Pay Teachers certainly is the most popular marketplace.
You’ll receive the earnings through PayPal, making it simple and direct to cash out anytime, and you can choose between a free option or a premium subscription with nominal membership fees.
The one caveat is the lesson plans must be your intellectual property, giving you the right to sell them.
Entry-level translation jobs typically start at over $20 per hour.
If you can write and speak fluently in another language besides English, you could secure an online translator gig on a flexible and remote basis.
Whether you’re proficient in a mainstream language such as Chinese, Spanish, and French or a less common language such as Farsi, Urdu and Amharic, teachers who are bilingual have a competitive edge when it comes to finding work online.
So use this marketable skill to translate both oral and written materials for numerous industries.
You could also work as an intermediary to facilitate communication between two people who speak different languages.
Translation jobs are excellent for gaining experience working remotely, as well as improving your own language skills and technique.
From software and engineering to finance and medicine, you can offer a wide range of translation services which makes this job not only versatile but always in high demand.
To start locating companies that need to hire a translator, join websites like Verbalize It, Gengo or Translators Café that resource you with training tools and help match you with clients who require the particular language you’re fluent in.
Customer Service or Sales Representative
Salaries usually start between $12 to $15 per hour.
As long as you’re willing to learn about a company’s products and services, finding an entry-level job in customer service should be a relatively easy task.
These types of companies are usually only looking for people who are friendly to talk to, and patient enough to deal with any troublesome or irate customers.
Customer service jobs will require that you answer calls, emails or instant chat messages from customers to help solve their problems.
This often includes troubleshooting products or services, upselling and making inside sales, surveying customers, and even dealing with payment and billing issues.
Data Entry Clerk
Salaries usually start between $12 to $15 per hour.
Data entry can easily be done remotely and doesn’t require any previous experience in your employer’s industry.
You will need to be a detail-oriented person and should have a basic understanding of how to create documents and spreadsheets. Most data entry positions require nothing more than fast typing skills and a keen eye for detail.
Your daily job duties will include creating documents and filling in information as per your client’s requirements.
You may also be required to perform thorough research to collect data in order to transfer this information into a computer system or database to maintain accurate records for your employer.
Social Media Manager
Social media manager positions usually start out at about $15 per hour.
With social media being more popular than ever, more and more companies are looking for people to take care of their social media accounts in order to help maintain a positive image in the eyes of their customers.
As a social media manager, your job duties will include tasks such as replying to customer comments and messages on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, performing online research, as well as scheduling interesting content posts to keep customers engaged with the company.
You’ll typically be required to complete tasks that are relatively simple, but usually somewhat tedious and time-consuming to perform.
The competition is fierce as more people capitalize on the photography trend, but if you invest in a camera and hone the craft, this hobby could pay-off.
To become a serious photographer, take and edit as many pictures as you can, assemble a portfolio, then submit your work travel magazines, websites and tourism boards.
Some publications host photo contests with monetary prizes and other publications will compensate directly for each of your photos they’re interested in printing.
The more creative, original, distinctive and polished your photographs, the better chance you’ll have of standing out from the crowd and drawing the attention of editors.
So when you’re not in the classroom, grab that camera, roam the streets, and be on the lookout for eye-catching sights to capture on film.
Not to mention, the more pictures you take, the more visual reminders you’ll have of this experience abroad.
How to Find a Side Job for Teachers
Once you’ve decided to make extra income, the next step is to get out there and find yourself a side job. Besides the specialized online platforms mentioned in the sections above, in general, there are a few places to start your job search.
Online Job Boards
There are literally hundreds of remote job boards on the internet. Most platforms, such as Freelancer.com and Upwork.com, have job listings in a variety of different niches and industries.
In most cases, you’ll have to set up an account, create a profile, and then you’ll be free to apply to any of the jobs posted on their websites.
Networking is always a great way to meet new people, and build connections that can help launch your career as a remote worker.
It’s also never a bad idea to contact your former employers and co-workers to ask if they’re able to help you out in any way.
Another good idea is to create an account on LinkedIn, which can be used as your own personal portfolio by displaying your past and current work, as well as allowing you to connect with all sorts of professionals in your industry.
Social Media Platforms
Facebook and Twitter are excellent places to search for potential jobs.
You can try joining groups where people talk about remote work to find out who is hiring. You can even try sending out tweets with hashtags related to the type of job you’re looking for.
Cold Calling or Emailing
This method requires a bit more effort on your part, but it can often be the best way to landing your dream job.
If you already know which company you want to work for, you can try picking up the phone and making an unsolicited call to their office.
Once you get them on the line, introduce yourself and ask a few simple questions such as whether or not they hire remote employees, or if they are currently looking for any.
Also, if you’re too shy to pick up the phone, you can also try getting in contact with a company by sending them an unsolicited e-mail. Just make sure to address your recipient personally and try to keep things short and professional.
The above mentioned are a few ways of getting a steady flow of side income to support your living abroad.
If you have a hard time deciding what to go for, try asking the fellow teachers from your community. They will point you to the most promising activity in your particular location and position.
Teaching abroad (and in your home country, too) is an amazing opportunity to embrace the global mindset and boost your life skills. Make sure to use your flexible hours to the most.
Not only these side jobs for teachers bring you money for the mundane expenses, but they also become a noteworthy line in your resume or a superb story to tell.