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20 Transferable Skills: Alternative Career Choices For Teachers

By Jina Smith on Aug 7, 2014

Transferable-SkillsOne of the most rewarding careers is being a teacher. These dedicated individuals work every single day to shape future generations, create meaningful connections and make a lasting impact on people's lives. But it is easy to feel burned out or want a different challenge beyond the classroom. Check out this list of valuable transferable skills and alternative career choices for teachers.

Our List Of Top 20 Skills

Educators have many skills and abilities that are transferable and applicable in positions and industries outside of the traditional classroom setting. The skills and abilities outlined are typical of teachers and education professionals found in job descriptions, O*Net, and other education career resources. Review the skills and abilities outlined below:

  1. Active Listening
    Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times

  2. Complex Problem Solving
    Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions

  3. Coordination
    Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions

  4. Critical Thinking
    Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems

  5. Diagnostic Tests
    Interpreting, screening, placing, needs identification, diagnosing 

  6. Grading 
    Evaluating, examining, assessing performance, monitoring progress

  7. Instructing         
    Effectively teaching others how to do something, training, coordinating, coaching and facilitating

  8. Judgment and Decision Making
    Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one

  9. Learning Strategies
    Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things

  10. Lesson Plan Development  
    Designing curriculum, incorporating learning strategies, problem solving

  11. Management
    Coordinating and guiding others to meet objectives and goals

  12. Monitoring
    Monitoring/assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action

  13. Multitasking
    Juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities while remaining composed and meeting deadlines

  14. Reading Comprehension
    Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents

  15. Relationship Management
    Conflict resolution, motivating, organizing, troubleshooting, establishing rapport

  16. Service Orientation
    Actively looking for ways to help people

  17. Speaking
    Talking to others to convey information effectively

  18. Social Perceptiveness
    Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do

  19. Time Management
    Managing one’s own time and the time of others

  20. Writing
    Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience

Alternative Career Choices For Teachers

So after reviewing these skills, are you motivated to start job hunting for your next career? Well we are one step ahead of you! Here are some alternative career choices for teachers to consider:

Corporate Trainer

Companies need corporate trainers to keep employees updated on new technologies, processes and protocols. Teachers are ideal candidates for these positions because of their instructional capabilities, desire to actively help others, and their ability to analyze people's different learning strategies.

Museum Docent

Former teachers are highly sought after for filling positions as museum educators or guides because of their excellent experience at managing large groups of children on field trips or during different activities. Explore historic sites or museums that are in a specific area of interest that you may have. It's a great way to still teach others while expanding your knowledge as a subject matter expert.

Instructional Coordinator/Curriculum Specialist

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, instructional coordinators work in schools and various education institutions. These roles oversee school curricula and teaching standards, and develop instructional material and assess its effectiveness. Instructional coordinators typically have master's degrees to prove their specialized knowledge and skills. If you are thinking of pursuing this career path, consider these five questions to determine if you should go back to school to obtain a master's degree.

Program Director

As a teacher, your skills and experience make you an ideal candidate for any opportunity that involves children. Educational program directors work at organizations such as the YMCA which offers child care centers and day camps, museums, national parks, and zoos. These positions plan, direct, and coordinate the academic and non-academic activities.


Administrators provide direction and day-to-day management of schools, day care centers, colleges, and universities. If you are looking to have less interaction with students and start utilizing your leadership and communication skills in the education world, then this path might be for you.

So whether you want to stay in the education field or start a career in a different industry, teachers have a variety of alternative career pathways to choose from to ensure continual success.

Topics: Front Page, School of Education

Author Jina Smith of Brandman University

Jina Smith

As the Marketing & Communications Specialist at Brandman University, Jina creates a positive community by serving as the school’s voice and personality. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Behavior from University of California, Irvine and has a diverse marketing background working in a wide range of industries.