Jobs for ex-teachers – Real stories from those who’ve left

Man holding box of objects from desk, representing jobs for ex teachers

Do you dream of leaving the chalkface for good? Read the stories of other teachers who have done exactly that (and don’t regret it)…

by Teachwire
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Over 43,000 educators quit teaching in England in 2022, an increase of over 7,000 compared to 2021. That’s over 8% of the sector. Over 1,600 headteachers also left for reasons other than retirement.

Reasons cited by teachers leaving the profession include long hours, excessive workload, target-driven cultures, erosion in pay and poor pupil (and parent) behaviour.

Of course, quitting teaching altogether isn’t the only option. You may find that switching schools can significantly reduce your workload or help you escape a toxic culture, making teaching seem a whole lot more appealing again. Other options to consider are moving to supply teaching or part-time teaching.

However, if you are serious about finding a new career, the good news is that there are lots of transferable skills from teaching that companies hiring ex-educators value highly. Here we present some common alternative jobs for ex-teachers that you might want to consider, and share positive case studies from those who have made the leap…


Average yearly salary*: £41,052

Male tutor with laptop, representing jobs for ex-teachers

If you’re considering leaving the classroom, tutoring offers an inviting alternative. By becoming a tutor you’ll still work closely with students, but you can tailor your teaching to their specific needs without the constraints of a formal school setting.

Say goodbye to long hours and excessive workload and hello to a flexible schedule where you can prioritise quality over quantity, potentially earning a higher hourly rate in the process.

Non-profit/charity worker

If you have a heart for service, transitioning to a non-profit organisation offers a fulfilling alternative to traditional teaching. Jobs for ex-teachers in this field allow you to immerse yourself in meaningful work that aligns with your values.

Whether you’re advocating for education reform or spearheading community outreach programmes, your teaching experience will be a valuable asset in making a difference.

Case study: Laura Mackay, CEO of LGBT+ young people’s charity Just Like Us, made the leap from assistant head to working for a local council, before starting her role as charity CEO in June 2023.

It was a huge career change for Laura, but she has found that her school experience has been really beneficial. “My new role enriched my knowledge, experience and skillset more than I could imagine. I love the energy that the staff and our volunteers bring to finding solutions to challenges faced by schools and LGBT+ young people across the UK”, says Laura.

“We can often underestimate the range of skills we develop as teachers or leaders in education, but they’ve served me well thus far!”

Customer success manager

Average yearly salary*: £37,261

A career as a customer success manager offers you the opportunity to leverage your strong communication and empathy skills, and your ability to understand diverse perspectives.

Just as in teaching, customer success managers focus on helping individuals achieve their goals, whether it’s academic success or effective utilisation of products or services.

Case study: Former teacher Matt Earl is now a customer success manager. He spends his time managing primary school accounts and delivering software training to teachers.

“The struggle to meet unrealistic workload demands and the lack of management support were just some of the reasons I fell out of love with teaching,” he explains.

“Five years ago I left. Since then I’ve achieved leadership accreditation and delivered leadership training. The workload is heavy but not comparable to teaching. The feedback is usually positive, people appreciate you and generally, leadership support is much greater than in school.”

While Matt admits he misses some aspects of teaching, he says he’s happier now, with more disposable income. His advice to people in a similar situation? “Some schools are better than others, but if you need to get out, there are plenty of opportunities.”

“Generally, leadership support is much greater than in school”

Project manager

Average yearly salary*: £48,645

If you’re drawn to leadership and organisation, a career as a project manager could be your next step, and often pays well.

Harness your skills in planning and execution to oversee diverse projects across industries, leaving behind the stress of managing unruly classrooms and coping with poor pupil behaviour.

Case study: Bethany Windsor, programme director for Generation Logistics is a former primary teacher. “I adored my job, and teaching was always such a huge passion of mine,” explains Bethany.

“As my teaching role developed, it began to encompass other positions such as ICT coordinator and press officer. This led me to develop an entirely new skill set and sparked an interest in the project management realm.

“While I no longer teach, I still work extremely closely with the education sector, but from a different angle. I work directly with schools, colleges, and universities to raise awareness of career prospects in logistics

“My career has led me to pursue an entirely different course of action that I had never originally intended, but one that continues to be incredibly rewarding.”

PR account executive

Average yearly salary*: £32,238

PR account executives manage communications between organisations and their target audiences. The role includes media relations, content creation and campaign coordination.

It’s an ideal job for ex-teachers because it suits candidates with strong communication abilities, an ability to manage diverse tasks and experience working with various stakeholders.

The dynamic and fast-paced nature of PR aligns with the continuous learning and adaptability often found in teaching.

Case study: Bradley Cook, account executive at Stone Junction, was previously a science teacher. “I found the workload too large and the culture wasn’t conducive to my mental health,” he explains.

“I was planning lessons until 11pm every night and am the first to admit that my behaviour management was atrocious. This made it more difficult to craft lessons that were engaging.”

Dan now makes a living doing STEM PR. “I’m still communicating scientific information, but this time I am communicating with people who want to be communicated to, which has helped a lot with my motivation. I also get to learn more about the subject I am passionate about. My new workplace has an amazing, supportive culture.”

“My new workplace has an amazing, supportive culture”

Education consultant

Average yearly salary*: £27,300

For educators seeking a broader impact beyond their classroom walls, consider a career as an education consultant.

Here, your years of teaching experience become invaluable as you guide schools and educators through challenges and reforms. You’ll get to focus on shaping education policy and practice on a larger scale.

Case study: Jill Berry served as a headteacher for ten years before pivoting to consultancy. As Jill told The Headteacher, after completing a professional doctorate and writing a book, Making the Leap – Moving From Deputy to Head, about her research and experiences, she branched out into blogging and writing for different education publications. This then led to her setting up her leadership consultancy.

“There are any number of ways in which experienced heads can contribute to the wider educational community once they’ve left headship”, explains Jill. “The opportunities on offer are considerable.”

Human resources specialist

Average yearly salary*: £29,865

If you’re seeking a career that prioritises people over paperwork, transitioning to a human resources role might be the change you’re looking for.

This role enables you to utilise your understanding of human behaviour to support and develop employees. From recruitment to employee relations, your teaching experience will prove invaluable as you navigate the challenges of the corporate world.

As one X user noted, being able to negotiate and stay calm in a crisis are transferable skills from teaching to the world of HR. You’ll also make good use of your questioning skills. These are vital elements when it comes to recruitment, disciplinary hearings and trying to get to the bottom of why and how things might have gone wrong.

Case study: Karen Lough taught in further education for five years before starting a new role as head of people experience at HR software provider Ciphr – a role all about making a company a great place to work.

“Teaching was very much a satisfying vocation for me. I left purely for financial reasons,” explains Karen. “I was able to command a higher salary and fully utilise my skills in the corporate world.

“It’s been a good career change for me. The organisations I have worked for since have benefited from my education experience. For example, we’ve recently embraced apprenticeships here at Ciphr and have just welcomed eight T-Level students on an 18-month programme.” 

Teacher abroad

Suitcase on map of Australia

OK, this is definitely still teaching, but some people have found that working in a school overseas can remove many of the obstacles to teaching that are driving people out of the profession.

Case study: Dan is a Year 5/6 teacher who now works in an overseas school after being in the profession for five years here in the UK.

“I moved to Australia last year to teach on a two-year working VISA and I’m loving it,” he explains. “The pay is better and I receive a lot more support. Class sizes are reasonable as well”.

“We are seeing more and more teachers heading abroad to teach, dissatisfied with the situation in the UK,” says Andrew Lynch from

“The pay is better and I receive a lot more support”

Other jobs for ex-teachers to consider

Three human resource specialists, representing jobs for ex-teachers

Educational content writer

If you’re still keen to share your knowledge and passion for education, consider becoming an educational content writer.

Transitioning to this role allows you to bid farewell to endless lesson planning and marking. Instead, you’ll have the freedom to create engaging and informative resources. This position often comes with the benefit of being able to work remotely.

Corporate trainer

Average yearly salary*: £31,555

If you’re passionate about teaching but crave a change of scenery, becoming a corporate trainer could be your ticket out of the classroom.

Leave behind the stresses of target-driven cultures as you transition to a role where you can focus on delivering engaging training sessions to adult learners. Enjoy the opportunity to travel, network and make a positive impact in various corporate settings.

Education officer

Average yearly salary*: £29,244

Ready to explore jobs for ex-teachers that combine education with culture? Consider becoming an education officer at a museum or other arts organisation.

Your teaching experience uniquely qualifies you for this role, where you can inspire curiosity and lifelong learning in students and visitors alike.

As an education officer, you’ll have the opportunity to design and facilitate engaging educational programmes, workshops and tours that bring history, art and culture to life.

Conflict resolution manager

Average yearly salary*: £50,407

A career in conflict resolution – such as becoming a mediator or arbitrator – may be the perfect fit for your skills, and has the benefit of paying well.

In these types of roles you facilitate dialogue and mediation, helping individuals and organisations find common ground and resolve disputes constructively.

Driving instructor

Average yearly salary*: £34,131

Looking for a hands-on career with a focus on individualised instruction? Becoming a driving instructor might be the perfect fit for you.

Enjoy the freedom of working one-on-one with students as they learn an essential life skill. Embrace the opportunity to empower new drivers and make our roads safer while enjoying a more flexible schedule.

* Salary averages sourced from Indeed in March 2024.

Transferable skills from teaching

Illustration of files being exchanged, representing transferable skills from teaching

As a teacher, you possess a wide array of transferable skills that you can apply to careers outside of education. Leverage these by highlighting them on your CV and during job interviews. Some of these skills include:

Communication skills

Teachers excel in both verbal and written communication. You can effectively convey complex ideas to diverse audiences, which is valuable in common jobs for ex-teachers such as marketing, public relations, content writing or corporate training.


As a teacher you’re accustomed to adapting to different situations, such as adjusting lesson plans on the fly. This adaptability is beneficial in dynamic work environments where priorities can shift quickly.

Leadership and management

If you took on leadership roles during your teaching career, you’re in the perfect position to transfer the skills you learnt to supervisory or managerial positions in various industries.

Organisation and time management

Teachers need to juggle multiple tasks, such as lesson planning and marking, while adhering to strict deadlines. These skills are valuable in any profession, especially roles that require multitasking and prioritisation.


As teachers, we regularly encounter challenges in the classroom and must find creative solutions to address them. If you’re focusing your job search on consulting, technology or research, be sure to shout about your ability to think critically and solve problems.

Empathy and emotional intelligence

Educators possess strong interpersonal skills and demonstrate empathy towards their students’ needs and concerns. This emotional intelligence is essential in alternative careers like customer service, counselling or human resources.

Tech savviness

If you’re used to integrating technology into your lessons and are proficient in using various educational tools and software, these skills are beneficial in many industries, including digital marketing.

Public speaking and presentation skills

As an educator you’re accustomed to speaking in front of groups and delivering engaging presentations. These public speaking skills are beneficial in roles that require presenting ideas, conducting training sessions or representing an organisation at events.

Assessment and data analysis

Teachers regularly assess student progress and analyse data to inform decisions. You can apply this experience to roles in research, analytics or educational consulting.

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