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Beyond the Blackboard: 8 Unusual (and In-Demand) Teaching Careers

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teacher helping students with work

The rewards of a teaching career can be huge—it gives you the potential power to change students’ lives for the better.

So even if you’re wary of the teacher layoffs that have hit the country, don’t give up on your educational aspirations just yet. The skills that would make you a great elementary, high school or university teacher can help you shine in many high-demand careers beyond the walls of a conventional classroom.

Here are eight unusual (and in-demand!) education careers that will let you flex your teaching muscles:

1. Physical Therapist

As part of helping injured patients regain full physical ability, you’re constantly flexing your teaching skills. You instruct clients on better ways to use their bodies, new exercises to increase strength and the best methods to avoid pain.

Average Salary: $54,000 – $108,000
Job Outlook: Much faster than average (39 percent)

2. Travel Guide

Whether canoeing through the Amazon, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or walking through Roman ruins, travel guides teach their groups about the wonders of the world. To keep your group on the move, entertained and soaking up the local culture, you’ve got to be patient, knowledgeable and good at improvising in a pinch.

Average Salary: $17,000 – $56,000
Job Growth: Faster than average (20-28 percent)

3. Sports Coach

In this job, you don’t just explain the rules of the game; you teach your athletes a way of life that will help them win on game day. From running drills to instructing athletes on strategy, you act as a mentor and guide every step of the way.

Average Salary: $16,000 – $64,000
Job Outlook: Much faster than average (29 percent)

4. Nutritionist

You teach your clients about nutrition, healthy eating habits and new ways of cooking—all to improve their relationship and use of one of life’s best pleasures: food. Especially if you work in a medical setting, you’ve got to learn ways to motivate and inspire—or else your clients may head back to the Big Macs.

Average Salary: $33,000 – $75,000
Job Outlook: Faster than average (20 percent)

5. Historical Consultant

As a historian for hire, you can impart your expertise in many different venues. You might advise during the production of a period film, work with small organizations to uncover historical data or create educational displays for a museum. Whatever the project, you help others understand what it was like back in ye olden days.

Average Salary: $26,000 – $96,000
Job Outlook: Faster than average (18 percent)

6. School Counselor

Counselors are an important part of a school’s education team. However, they aren’t usually found in front of a blackboard teaching a traditional class. Rather, school counselors work one-on-one with students to help them make the best choices for their education, social development and future.

Average Salary: $32,000 – $86,000
Job Outlook: Faster than average (19 percent)

7. Leadership Coach

Being a great leader takes great skill. As an executive coach, it’s your job to help your clients hone the art of leadership. To do this, you observe, listen, encourage and provide objective feedback. You might not have a typical curriculum, but you are teaching a particular skill.

Average Salary: $31,000 – $89,000
Job Outlook: Faster than average (20-28 percent)

8. Special Education Teacher

While special education teachers often work in traditional school systems, your job is as unique as the students you serve. Your teachings skills will be put to the test as you help students with physical, mental or emotional challenges learn, grow and thrive.

Average Salary: $35,000 – $82,000
Job Outlook: Faster than average (17 percent)

Would you add any education-related careers to this list?

Salary and job outlook data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Information Network.

Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a site that helps people discover careers they’ll love and find the education to make it happen. Join the conversation on Twitter at @InsideJobs!

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