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  • Writer's pictureKristin Schuchman

Beyond Blackboard Burnout: 5 Careers Teachers Can Consider when Seeking a Transition

Teaching is a rewarding profession, but many educators commiserate about overwhelming workloads, high stress levels, a lack of support, and feelings of meager pay and low morale. A 2022 Gallup Poll reports that nearly half (44%) of K-12 teachers and 35% of college and university teachers report feeling burned out.

As a career counselor, I’ve worked with dozens of teachers over the years and have found that while they tend to be self-confident, highly competent professionals with wide-ranging skills, they also tend to doubt their ability to transition to another career. Nothing could be further than the truth – your teaching experience has equipped you with a valuable toolbox of transferable skills that can open doors to exciting new career paths. From strong communication to critical thinking and organization, your expertise translates beautifully into many fields. I plan to most more careers for teachers in future posts, but here are five suggestions to get you started:

1.    Instructional Designer

Teachers and instructional designers share a core passion: creating engaging learning experiences. As a teacher, your expertise in curriculum development, lesson planning, and differentiated instruction translates perfectly. You not only understand how to assess learner needs and design effective activities, you can communicate complex information in a clear and concise way.

Instructional designers take these skills to the next level, crafting learning materials for diverse audiences and delivering them through various formats. Your classroom experience gives you a unique understanding of what works (and what doesn't) when it comes to student engagement, making you a priceless asset in the world of instructional design. Instructional designers create engaging and effective learning materials for various settings, from corporate training programs to online courses. Find out more about this career on the O*NET OnLine.

Average Salary: $79,288 /year (Portland) | $79,711/year (Nationwide) Projected Growth: 16% (Portland) | 2% to 4% (Nationwide)

2. Corporate Trainer

Teaching isn't just about imparting knowledge; it's about mastering the art of delivery and ensuring comprehension. As an educator, you've honed your ability to explain complex topics in an engaging way, adapt your teaching style to diverse learners, and assess understanding through effective evaluation. These skills are a goldmine for corporate trainers!

You can seamlessly transition into this role by leveraging your experience in:

•        Adult Learning: You understand how adults learn differently than children and can tailor training programs to keep adult learners motivated and actively participating.

•        Presentation Skills: You're already a pro at captivating a room and deliver clear, concise, and engaging training sessions for employees.

•        Feedback and Assessment: Your experience providing constructive feedback and evaluating student progress translates perfectly to creating training assessments that measure employee learning and program effectiveness.You're already a master at explaining complex topics and keeping students engaged. Transition these skills to the corporate world, where you can train employees on new software, leadership principles, or industry best practices. Find out more about this career on the O*NET OnLine.

Average Salary: $ 86,356/year (Portland) | $87,325/year (Nationwide)Projected Growth: 13% (Portland) | 11% (Nationwide)

3. Curriculum Specialist 

Teachers have a natural advantage when transitioning to Curriculum Specialist roles. Your years spent crafting engaging lessons, navigating diverse learning styles, and aligning curriculum with educational standards translate seamlessly into this new position. You already possess a deep understanding of curriculum development, assessment practices, and the intricacies of implementing educational programs in a real-world classroom setting. This firsthand experience allows you to create curriculum materials that are not only academically sound but also practical and engaging for both educators and students. Curriculum Specialists play a pivotal role in shaping the learning experience for future generations, and your teaching background positions you perfectly to make a significant impact on a larger scale.


Your understanding of curriculum development and assessment makes you a valuable asset for educational publishers or school districts. Help shape the learning experience for future generations! Find out more about this career. Find out more about Curriculum Specialists.

Average Salary: $68,720/year (Portland) | $62,440/year (Nationwide)

Projected Growth: 12% (Portland) | 10% (Nationwide)

4. Educational Consultant

Teachers are a treasure trove of educational expertise, making them ideal candidates for Educational Consultant roles. Your experience in the classroom goes beyond academics – you've honed exceptional communication, problem-solving, project management, and instructional design skills. You understand the intricacies of curriculum development, assessment practices, online instructional tools, and the unique challenges of educators.

You can leverage your expertise in education to advise schools and districts on improving curriculum, teaching methods, hiring practices, or overall educational approaches. You are also likely qualified to create professional development programs that equip teachers with new strategies and address specific learning gaps within a school or district and facilitate workshops and presentations on engaging teaching techniques, classroom management, or innovative educational technology.

A career as an Educational Consultant empowers you to extend your impact beyond your own classroom and contribute to positive change in the entire educational landscape. For schools or institutions looking to improve their curriculum, teaching methods, or overall educational approach, your ability to connect with educators and translate complex topics into clear, actionable steps makes you a priceless resource. Find out more about Educational Consultants.

Average Salary: $114,001/year (Portland) | $109,401/year (Nationwide)Projected Growth: 5% (Portland) | 5% (Nationwide)

5. Technical Writer

Teachers possess a unique set of skills that translate remarkably well to those of technical writers, who typically craft user manuals, software instructions, whitepapers, and other technical documents that are easy for anyone to understand. Their ability to explain complex topics clearly and concisely, structure information for learning, and tailor communication to diverse audiences creates a strong foundation for technical communication. Furthermore, your experience with research, accuracy, and project management likely makes you adept at crafting complex yet high-quality step-by-step instructions. Ultimately, a teacher's patience, empathy, and problem-solving skills ensure they can anticipate user needs and create user-friendly technical materials. Find out more about Technical Writers.

Salary: $80,000/year (Portland) | $79,960/year (Nationwide)

Projected Growth: 9% (Portland) | 7% (Nationwide)

Keep in mind, this is just a starting point. With mad transferable skills and a willingness to learn, you can easily explore a wide range of versatile career possibilities. So, take a deep breath, dust off your resume, start setting up informational interviews with people with intriguing careers, and get ready to embark on a new chapter in your professional journey.


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