top of page

The Best Side Hustle For The Self-Employed

As an independent contractor, self-employed hustler, or someone just seeking extra income with a flexible schedule this side hustle brings home at least $100 a day!

painting brushes

As an entrepreneur running my own creative business sometimes funds roll in heavy and other times things get tight! I love having this side hustle as a way to get some extra cash, but also do something that makes an impact and matters.

Substitute & Guest Teaching in Your State!

“Honestly, substitute/guest teaching is the best decision I made for myself and additional income. I get to choose what days I work, where I work, and who I work with!"

Before you automatically say "teaching isn't for me!" and peace out, hear me out. Becoming a licensed substitute teacher was one of the best decisions I made in terms of earning extra income.

Why I Started Substitute Teaching

When I was in college, I changed my major 5 times. One of those major changes was to Integrated Language Arts and I intended to teach High School English. Well, I changed my mind again obviously, and never ended up pursuing teaching as a full-time career. However, in November of 2021, my photography business started to slow down for the winter, and money was getting tight. I didn't want to take on some part-time job for 4 months and waste a company's time training me only to know I would leave come spring when work picked back up. I asked around to friends and family, and my Nana Kristen, who teaches first grade encouraged me to look into substitute teaching. The demand for substitutes is exceptionally high all over the country and regardless of what state you live in, it's relatively really easy to get into it!

How to Become A Licensed Substitute/Guest Teacher

Be original, show off your style, and tell your story.”

I'm dually licensed in both Ohio and Colorado. I'm originally from Ohio, which is where my guest teaching career began. Back home, the process was a little simpler because I grew up in a really small rural area in Northwest Ohio. They required a Bachelor's Degree, FBI Background Check, Fingerprinting, and Licensure to begin. As for Colorado, because I live downtown in Denver things were a little more complicated. CDE (Colorado Department of Education) has a more extensive process because the Denver Public School district is really large. I underwent two rounds of fingerprinting, and another FBI background check, and then could attain my licensure online. And obviously, I have my Bachelor's too. I'm not entirely sure anymore and every state is the same, but a lot of states are dismissing the requirement of a Bachelor's Degree because of the desperation to get substitute teachers in their institutions. If you're interested, I recommend making sure you check with your state's department of education to ensure you don't need to have a BA or BS to begin!

Investment & Pay

When it comes to getting licensed and beginning, you'll invest roughly $150 between the license and your fingerprinting. However, depending on what state you're in, you can make that back in a single day of teaching. In Ohio, the school district I could substitute for paid about $100 per day. Here in Denver, my school district pays $160. These are only 2 states out of 50, but again, your Department of Education website will be able to rely on the amount you'd be paid based on your background, experience, and length of licensure.

What a Day Substitute Teaching Looks Like

When I first started guest teaching I took any and every open job that popped up. The primary purpose was for additional income, so I wasn't being picky just persistent. Furthermore, as a licensed substitute, I can teach any grade or topic. Therefore, I've been in Kindergarten classrooms and 12th-grade classes too. I've had an assignment for every grade level, and now know the grades that I do well with guest teaching as opposed to those that aren't the best fit.

While the little kids and middle schoolers are cute, they're not for me. I love little kids, but it requires a different pace and patience that I don't possess. Like I said before, my Nana is a 1st-grade teacher and has been for decades. She doesn't enjoy teaching older kids, and I'm the exact opposite.

I prefer high school because I think with my being 25, we are on a more appropriate scale. I'm really honest with my students and can talk to them like they're adults. I'm transparent in telling them when their behavior is inappropriate and giving them real advice because I was in their shoes less than 10 years ago. Because of this, I think they enjoy having me just as much.

Plus, being self-employed and running a business, I'm busy and have work to do. When it comes to guest teaching high school, most students are pretty self-sufficient in their studies and have projects they can work on with a brief overview of the lesson plan that's left by their teacher. So basically, it's a study hall or silent work and I can work on my stuff too.

With younger grade levels, there's a lot more teaching that goes into it and sometimes I'll throw myself a curveball and pick up a middle school or elementary assignment just for a change of pace.

When you go to work that day, teachers usually have lesson plans thoroughly drafted up, so I recommend getting there 10-15 minutes before you should be to just read them over and familiarize yourself with any materials. Also, don't be afraid to ask a staff teacher for help if you're confused. Odds are they're happy you're voluntarily here helping their students learn!

Why I Guest Teach Every Day

When I first started substitute teaching back in Ohio, it was circumstantial. My situation in Denver has been a weird one, and while I work on growing my clientele out here I can make an additional income to support myself by teaching.

Recently, I took on a temp guest teaching job. Temp jobs are usually temporary jobs that expand over some time. This specific school I'm currently at hasn't had an art teacher all year, so while they're interviewing to find one, I'm here every day with these students.

I don't teach every day just because of the money. I very well could apply elsewhere and make more.

I guest teach every day because these kids need me, just like they need you.

Even if it's just for one day, you showing up to be there to support their education means a lot to the district, the school, the staff, and the students.

Honestly, substitute and guest teaching is the best decision I made for myself and additional income. I get to choose what days I work, where I'll be, and who I'm working with!

All of these are usually never an option for most people seeking a side hustle.

Where To Start

If you're looking for a side hustle or looking for a potential career switch into education I recommend trying out substitute teaching. I've provided some easy steps below for where to begin and what steps to take to get yourself registered and in the classroom!

  • Explore your state's Department of Education website

  • See if they require a Bachelor's Degree or not

  • Register for your fingerprints

  • Email the district center you're in to make a connection there if you need help!

  • Complete the online paperwork

  • Register for a 1 or 3-year license (I recommend 3, they cost the same, and its less hassle in the future)

  • Start teaching!

I hope that if you're someone like me looking for an opportunity to explore a new career, or just make extra money while making an impact this is an avenue you truly consider because I honestly believe you'd find yourself satisfied.

If you've loved this post and are taking the next steps to becoming a guest teacher, send me an email or subscribe and say hi! I'm here to encourage and to support you :)


Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm pretty friggin' thrilled that you're here. I hope something you find hits the sweet spot and if not, send me a message about potential topics you want to read about!

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
bottom of page