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Easy Ways to Make an Extra Summer Income

As educators, we all look forward to summer break—a time to relax and take a breather from the busy, and often stressful, school year. While the time off may provide a brief respite from job-related stresses, it can often be a difficult time trying to make ends meet. If you’re not vacationing, soaking up the summer sun, or preparing for the school year ahead, consider supplementing your income with one or more of the opportunities listed below. You may be surprised how easy it is to make a few bucks and still enjoy your well-deserved time off.

The key to finding meaningful short-term employment is leveraging the skills you already have. Experience in the classroom, administrative and project management skills, the ability to plan and schedule a progressive lesson plan, and the ability to communicate unfamiliar information effectively are all valuable skills that are sought after by employers in a variety of industries that may have little to do with education. Thinking of how your existing skills can be applied to other industries will be helpful not only in discovering unexpected opportunities that may be available to you, but will also help you communicate to a potential employer why you’re qualified for a position even though you may not have direct experience in that industry.

Opportunities in Your Community

  • Work in a local library or museum. Libraries and museums are always looking for temporary staff to help with everything from staffing information desks to providing guided tours.
  • Temp agencies. Your skills as an educator, combined with your responsible employment history, make you an extremely appealing candidate at temporary employment agencies. Contact local agencies to see how to get on their roster.
  • Off-hours and delivery positions. Businesses that need evening or weekend help often have a tough time finding people with a combination of responsibility and flexible hours. Late-night or weekend work is available doing everything from holding open houses for a real estate agent to working at a hotel front desk. If you have a good driving record, delivering food for a local catering/restaurant delivery service or valet parking can pay more than $20/hour with tips.
  • Other temporary opportunities. Many local businesses looking for help advertise on craigslist. Visit http://www.craigslist.org/ to find out what opportunities are available nearby.

Teaching-Related Opportunities

  • Teaching adult education courses. In addition to the usual tutoring and summer school positions, check your city or county website to see about jobs that may be available teaching adult education courses in your community. Begin checking in the early fall when many municipalities start planning their schedule for the following summer.
  • Corporate training. A number of companies provide training to corporate employees on everything from how to use a new computer program to public speaking to compliance with company policies. Having a college (or advanced) degree and your experience as an educator makes you an appealing candidate. Having expert-level proficiency in common software programs or taking classes designed to teach you how to be a corporate trainer will help set you apart from other educators who may only be casually interested in training positions.
  • Freelance writing or editing. Your experience as an educator gives you an edge in finding freelance writing and editing work. Education publications, local newspapers, and even printing companies all have the need for intelligent, educated individuals who are able to communicate effectively. If you don’t find businesses nearby that are looking for freelance help, post an ad with your services in a local newspaper or on Craigslist. You may find people looking for everything from résumé and cover letter writing/proofreading to needing help in organizing and cataloging family photos.
  • Childcare and chaperoning. Your experience working with children from diverse backgrounds and your responsible nature makes you an ideal candidate for part-time childcare jobs. Consider hosting field trips to local museums or running a kids movie matinée in your home and charging parents a small fee for their child to participate.

Other Ideas

  • Try blogging. Writing your own online blog can be a fulfilling personal activity and also provide some extra income. From Blogger to Wordpress to LiveJournal, there are a variety of sites that can help you set up your blog within minutes. The way you make money by blogging is by selling ads on your blog---it’s easier than it sounds. If you use Blogger for instance, their Google AdSense feature allows you to place related ads onto your blog pages automatically. You can format the ads to appear anywhere on your pages, and in as many places you prefer. People that visit your blog will see the ads, and any time they click on an ad, you get a percentage of the fees paid by the advertiser. The percentage is small so it’s all about the number of visitors you can attract. Frequent updates, engaging posts, and attractive photos always help. Using a blog to share helpful information and expertise about something you love—a hobby or a passion, for example, can make blogging feel more like relaxation than work.

Share Your Best Summer Employment Ideas

Have other suggestions for summer employment? Let us know what you’ve done to supplement your income over the summer. E-mail your ideas to

We’ll update this page with your best ideas so members across the county can see if similar opportunities are available to them. Be sure to include your name and state or local association if you’d like us to credit the suggestion to you.

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