5 Reasons Why Teachers Are Perfectly Suited to Create Online Training Courses For Extra Income

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The online learning industry has undeniably exploded in recent years. More and more people are discovering that they can take courses taught by expert professionals 100% online at a reasonable cost. For some, it’s a better way to learn.

Online training courses are a fraction of the cost of college classes and aid participants in their professional lives. They also serve as a way to learn something fun and even connect with others.

For reasons that should be obvious, teachers already have the skills and talents to create quality online course content. That’s why many of them have started creating online courses for extra income. Some teachers have even switched entirely to offer courses as a business to replace their income.

There are some key reasons why teachers everywhere are creating their own online training as a means of gaining extra income. Here are a few of those reasons:

1. It’s The Perfect Side Hustle

While teachers don’t usually have a ton of extra time on their hands, creating an eLearning course is the perfect side hustle for certain times of the year.

Summer vacation, for example, offers time for teachers to work on their side gig as a course creator and create their course. Creating digital training over the summer has the added benefit of keeping a teacher’s skills sharp during the break.

During other breaks, teachers can set up their marketing campaign for their online training or start making plans for the next one.

While in the thick of the school year, any courses previously created won’t need too much attention and, if marketed correctly, will still generate revenue. Occasional updates to an online course will be a good idea depending on the subject matter.

Some course topics are evergreen, meaning they won’t often change. Something like primary math skills or weaving as a hobby are examples of these. Other course topics need to be constantly updated.

Topics that require a lot of updating include digital marketing training or legal issues. It’s important to consider how much updating a course will need before choosing an online course topic to develop.

graphic showing evergreen vs updated content

2. Teachers Have Teaching Experience

While this should be obvious, having teaching experience is one of the biggest reasons why teachers are uniquely qualified to create an online training program, Many are successful enough to earn a stable side income while doing so.

Teachers are attracted to the profession for a reason—they enjoy sharing their knowledge with others. They also have extensive experience doing so, even if they are relatively new teachers. That’s due to the training they receive as student teachers and in their teacher preparation programs in college.

In addition to their formal training, some teachers have a natural teaching ability that they bring to the creation of online courses with significant success.

These traits include patience, and enjoyment of learning new things, a passion for the material they teach, natural enthusiasm, and more. A vibrant personality on the part of the instructor frequently results in better reception of the online courses they’ve created.

graphic showing traits of teachers

3. Teachers Know Educational Best Practices

Putting together a course plan is something teachers already have experience with. So for most, it will be a snap when it comes time to create a course outline for their own online course.  They’ll know what the important points are and the major steps their learners need to follow to achieve their goals.

Teachers are also fluent in preparing learning goals and objectives as well as increasing learner engagement. During their education to become a teacher, they will also have learned about the different principles of adult learning as well as how to overcome learning barriers.

graphic showing advantages of teachers in online learning

They are also familiar with proper instructional design principles and may even already have experience with the ADDIE process to create a knock-out course based on sound educational principles. This is a huge benefit since the typical course creator is not well versed in any teaching strategies.

4. Teachers Can Draw Inspiration From All Aspects Of Their Life And Training

Teachers have several sources from which to pull the information they can then present in an online course. They can pull information from their educational background, any professional certificates they hold, life experiences, and even merely topics they have researched.

graphic showing where teachers can draw on their experiences from

Many teachers who create online courses as a source of side income focus on topics they teach regularly and are very knowledgeable about, but some enjoy the freedom of teaching about something else.

For example, a biology teacher may have significant personal experience with personal improvement and meditation, and therefore be able to teach an excellent online class on the subject. He or she may love animal husbandry and want to create an online course about how to properly care for exotic pets.

The beauty of online courses is that they can cover practically anything, even the most niche subjects. Most audiences want specific information about a particular topic, and teachers are good at covering a subject from all angles.

Some teachers move onto training teachers and offer them continuing educational resources, including Mary Stephens of PrepForward.com and Shayna Pond of ModelTeaching.com.

5. Teachers Are Already Good At Public Speaking

A large number of people are terrified of speaking in public, which can make creating a course a challenge.

Teachers, on the other hand, already have sufficient experience speaking in front of other people. They do every day in their classrooms!

This public speaking experience often makes the entire proposition much easier for them. Many of them actually enjoy speaking in front of others and are quite comfortable with it.

With online training, you can opt to speak in front of a camera or through a webcam during a live teaching event. So you have choices, but either way, the end product will be shown to others.

On the Flip Side, What Will be Difficult?

We’ve just gone through what will be easy for teachers transitioning to creating online courses. Now let’s move onto the aspects they may find difficult.

The fact is, teachers may not be familiar with the technology required to create an online course.

For instance, choosing from the tons of online course platforms as well as using them might be a challenge. There’s definitely technology involved in using any type of learning management system (LMS). This includes uploading the curriculum to integrating an email marketing solution or e-commerce system to take payments.

Teachers are skilled with in-person training. But moving from teaching one-to-one to one-to-many often requires video recording. This may involve learning how to use a green screen, screen recording, and video production tools.

Lastly, teachers may find it difficult to decide on a profitable online course idea. It may be hard for them to determine whether or not their course idea will actually sell.

graphic showing difficulties of starting an online course for teachers

While there are quite a few, these downfalls don’t just relate to teachers, but to pretty much everyone creating their first course.

In order to overcome these shortfalls, just like everyone else, they will need to learn. But it’s worth learning new things for the opportunity to create a successful online course. Teachers, like anyone else, can also partner up with someone who already has the skills they might be missing.


In addition to earning extra money, creating online courses can improve a teacher’s public speaking skills and presentation abilities.

For teachers looking to get a promotion, receive consideration for graduate school, or enjoy a better reputation in the academic field, the experience of creating online courses can be beneficial or even lead to new opportunities. Therefore, teachers should never discount the possibility of creating online courses to grow their reputations and further their careers.

It’s no secret that teachers in the U.S. are often not paid very well. The low pay is a real problem. But many teachers have gotten creative and turned to create online courses or other online earning opportunities for extra income.

If you review the course creator interviews that we’ve put together for you, you’ll notice that many successful course creators were teachers before they created their courses.

Creating online courses is an excellent solution in light of how large the online course industry has grown. And it continues to grow practically exponentially. Teachers are uniquely qualified to create online courses. It’s well worth considering as a way to enhance skills and earn some extra money.

Lisa Parmley
Lisa Parmley

Lisa Parmley is the founder of coursemethod.com. After gaining a Master's degree, she worked in research for about seven years. She started a training company in 2001, offering a course helping people pass a professional exam. That course has earned multiple 7 figures. She created SEO and authority site building training around 2007 which went on to earn well into the 6-figure mark.

She has 22+ years of experience in the trenches creating and selling online courses. Get help starting and growing your online course business here.

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