Career change options for teachers


As a teacher you might consider changing careers for a variety of reasons. You might be burnt out from frontline teaching, or perhaps you’ve discovered a new passion you want to pursue. Whatever the reason, it’s always worth considering whether a career change is right for you.

If you’re a teacher who’s considering a change, you have plenty of options. You can stay in the same field, but change schools or districts. Or, you might decide to leave teaching altogether and pursue a new career path.

Whatever you decide, it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re making the best decision for you and your family. There are a lot of different career options for teachers, and it can be tough to know which one is right for you.

Staying in teaching

If you’re thinking about staying in teaching, there are a few things to consider. First, do you want to stay in the same subject area? Or would you be open to teaching a different subject? There are pros and cons to both options.

If you stay in the same subject area, you’ll be able to continue using the knowledge and skills you’ve already developed. But you might get bored teaching the same thing year after year. On the other hand, if you’re open to teaching a different subject, you’ll have the opportunity to learn new things and challenge yourself in new ways.

Another thing to think about is whether you want to stay in the same school or district. There are a lot of pros and cons to staying in the same school or district. On one hand, it can be nice to be familiar with the staff and the students. However, if you’re someone who likes to try new things, you might get antsy if you stay in the same school for too long.

Finally, look into jobs that involve working in non-teaching roles in or around schools.  This could involve running after-school events/activities for external providers, selling products to schools or working in a school support role with less responsibility and fewer demands.

Consider a new career

If you’re considering a change to a different career, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, what are your skills and qualifications? Investigate what is required for different careers. You might be surprised at what you’re qualified for.  What is the salary and working environment like? Make sure you’re comfortable with the pay and the hours you would be working.

Second, what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish in your new career? Do you want to work in a field that involves helping others and contributing to society in a meaningful way? Do you want a role that offers opportunities for growth and advancement? Do you want to use your skills and knowledge in a creative way?

Third, what’s the job market like for your new career? If you’re not sure, talk to someone who’s already in the field. They can give you an idea of what the job market is like and whether there are good opportunities available.

Explore job search engines like Seek and Trade Me to look for job postings that match your skills and interests. Finally, attend career fairs and networking events to meet people in the industry and see if you can find any leads.

Transferrable skills

Teaching is a profession that requires a unique set of skills and experience to be successful, and these just happen to be desirable to potential employers.

First, teachers can effectively manage their classrooms. This skill is especially important in the job market, as employers look for people who can manage and lead teams.

Teachers also have a unique ability to think critically and assess situations. With critical thinking, teachers can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and come up with solutions that are best for their students. This skill is essential for employers who are looking for people who can analyse complex problems and come up with creative solutions.

In addition, teachers have the ability to effectively communicate. Whether they’re speaking in front of a classroom full of students or explaining a concept to a single person, teachers are able to articulate their thoughts in a clear and concise manner. This skill is invaluable to employers who want employees who can confidently convey ideas and opinions.

Finally, teachers are often very organised and detail oriented. Teaching involves many responsibilities, so it’s necessary to be able to manage multiple tasks and ensure that everything runs smoothly. Employers recognise that teachers are able to keep track of all the details and ensure that everything is running as it should be.

With these skills, teachers can easily transition into the job market and be a valuable addition to any organisation.

Suggested careers

We visited to find out more about what’s on offer. Here are some of their suggestions:

Policy Analyst

Policy analysts gather and analyse information to assist in the planning, development, interpretation and review of government or industrial policies. Policy analysts usually earn $68K-$116Kper year, rising to$132K-$155Kper year as a principal adviser (Source: Public Service Commission, 2022.)

You usually need to have a Bachelor’s degree. Employers will normally consider graduates from a variety of subject areas such as public policy, social science, history, arts, economics, finance, resource management or law.

Emergency Management Officer

Alternatively, you could consider a role as an emergency management officer.  You would be responsible for preparing for and responding to emergencies like earthquakes and weather events. You would also train communities to prepare for disasters. 

Emergency management officers with up to three years’ experience can earn $66K-$79K per year, while those with three or more years’ experience typically earn $79K-$95K per year (Source: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, 2018).

Emergency management officers are usually trained on the job and complete short courses in emergency management subjects.  A Postgraduate Diploma in Emergency Management can be completed by distance learning to advance your career. 

Biosecurity Officer

Biosecurity officers check areas of land for harmful animals or plants and arrange for, or help with, pest destruction and control. Biosecurity officers with one to three years’ experience usually earn $50K-$60Kper year, while biosecurity officers with more than three years’ experience usually earn $60K-$100Kper year (Source: NZ Biosecurity Institute, 2018.)

To become a biosecurity officer you usually need a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant area such as biology, ecology, agriculture or horticulture, or the environment.

For more jobs, use the skill matcher tool at to find a role that matches the skills you have to offer.


Considering a change in your teaching career can be a daunting prospect. It’s important to research your options and make sure you’re making the best decision for you and your family.  A Successful Resumes writer can prepare a CV correctly focused on your new career that will appeal to potential employers.

Main image credit:  Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash