25 Teacher Transferable Skills That Will Help You Change Careers

Inside: You have valuable teacher transferable skills from your years in the classroom. Now, let’s take those skills and use them to help you change careers!


Are you thinking about making a career change from the classroom to something new? Great news! You have a ton of teacher transferable skills that can help you make a transition into a range of other roles.

From corporate trainer to entrepreneur, curriculum designer to client success specialist, online tutor to researcher – you have options!

But even with a list of jobs, you may be wondering, “But I am even qualified for that…?” With that concern in mind (I hear you!) let’s find your top teacher transferable skills to build your confidence and move your job search forward.

Find Your Top Teacher Transferable Skills (and Solutions!)

For each of these teacher transferable skills, we’re also going to identify a transferable SOLUTION meaning the result that you help drive using that skill.

If you want to make a skill even stronger, use solutions to prove you have them. And if you want a skill to translate to another industry, move beyond the responsibilities of your current job and think about how your results could make an impact elsewhere. That will make your resume shine!

Here are 25 examples of teacher transferable skills:

25 teacher transferable skills

1. Verbal Communication

Teachers have an incredible ability to convey complex information effectively to diverse audiences. Your students have different backgrounds and needs, yet you can flex your communication style to engage an audience as a group and communicate 1:1.

Example Transferable Solution: Exceeded state-wide standards in math, advancing 25 students with diverse learning needs through 3rd-grade curriculum utilizing whole class and individual instruction methods.

Relates to achieving learning and development goals in a corporate setting through group and 1:1 training.

2. Written Communication

Written communication is another huge part of the job, whether you are providing written feedback for your students or communicating with families via newsletters and individual emails. Finding the right words to get your message across and drive action is critical.

Example Transferable Solution: Improved parent engagement in student learning through new weekly newsletter highlighting school-home connections.

Relates to increasing the engagement of a donor base in fundraising through newsletters and marketing tools.

3. Adaptability

As a teacher, you are constantly adjusting to embrace new educational trends, methodologies, and technologies. You also adapt teaching methods to meet the needs of different students and situations. If you were a teacher during COVID-19 – hello, adaptable!

Example Transferable Solution: Successfully transitioned students into online learning during COVID-19 utilizing 3 new technologies and maintaining student engagement and success.

Relates to learning new technologies and utilizing them effectively to achieve key performance indicators.

4. Organization

You are the captain of your ship in the classroom, which means you need to manage time, resources, and classroom activities efficiently. Without organization, things can go downhill fast, so you have it all color-coded, scheduled, and alphabetized!

Example Transferable Solution: Managed schedule of 5 distinct English Language Arts classes at different levels, engaging over 130 students weekly.

Relates to effective project management when there are multiple competing priorities and groups of stakeholders.

5. Team Leadership

Whether you are leading a team in your classroom or leading a team of colleagues, as a teacher you are in a leadership position at every turn. You’re great at guiding and motivating others and this is one of your very important teacher transferable skills!

Example Transferable Solution: Launched new science curriculum initiatives as the lead of the 7th-grade science team, including 5 teachers and administrators.

Relates to leading a team of colleagues across any industry to develop a new initiative, program, or project.

Read More: What’s Your Leadership Style?

6. Analytical Problem-Solving

Your analytical brain is always on, identifying issues for individual students, groups, and teams and finding solutions to enhance learning outcomes. This can include analyzing student data, developing hypotheses, and creating structured processes to implement new ideas.

Example Transferable Solution: Enhanced student outcomes by uncovering roadblocks for students with diverse learning needs and developing new scaffolded teaching strategies.

Relates to identifying customer roadblocks and providing training and tools to increase success.

7. Collaboration

While you may be solo at the front of the classroom, teaching is a team sport. Throughout your time as a teacher, you have learned to work effectively with students, parents, administrators, and other educators. It’s not always easy, but you make it happen!

Example Transferable Solution: Empowered students and developed a strong school culture of collaboration by co-leading an initiative to connect upper-grade students with early readers in the Book Buddy program.

Relates to working across teams to develop new programs that require buy-in from multiple stakeholders.

8. Creativity

Teachers, I have seen your classrooms and projects! You are super creative! From creating classroom decor to developing engaging lesson plans and activities to stimulate learning, your creativity cup is overflowing.

Example Transferable Solution: Selected by peers and administrators to educate colleagues on the use of Canva design tools to create engaging learning materials.

Relates to designing print or digital marketing materials to engage a target audience.

Listen: From Teacher to Etsy Shop Entrepreneur: Jacqueline’s Story

9. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the name of the game in the classroom. You analyze information to explain it to your students and make decisions. You also evaluate arguments to help students understand the world and articulate their points of view. Between your own critical thinking and teaching it, this is a key skill set.

Example Transferable Solution: Fostered critical thinking skills in students by developing a discussion-style teaching unit on the Civil War that achieved elevated learning outcomes.

Relates to identifying learning needs of a team and developing a new training program that engages, upskills, and energizes employees.

10. Patience

If I could bottle up teacher patience and sell it online, I would be a multimillionaire in a day! In a K-12 setting, you balance teaching a curriculum to students with different educational needs while also supporting students as they navigate their emotions and test their boundaries. It’s a skill to remain calm, supportive, and patient when faced with setbacks, pushback, and challenges.

Example Transferable Solution: Achieved breakthroughs in student learning for group of 5 students 2 grade levels behind in reading and writing, enabling successful transition to 4th grade.

Relates to facilitating educational, recreational, and socioemotional programs with children of different ages and needs at a nonprofit organization.

11. Emotional Intelligence

One of your key teacher transferable skills is emotional intelligence. You have an incredible ability to perceive, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others in a way that fosters positive relationships and outcomes. At the same time, you understand, manage, and express your own emotions effectively, which is not easy!

Example Transferable Solution: Enabled student managing personal loss and injury to successfully complete high school requirements, complete college application process, and matriculate in college

Relates to managing teams through difficult personal and professional situations and helping them achieve their goals.

12. Technology Integration

As technology changes rapidly all around us, we need to learn to adapt and integrate tools into our daily work. In your classroom, particularly through the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve become a pro at integrating technology tools and resources to enhance teaching and learning.

Example Transferable Solution: Launched new Learning Management System and Student Information System that delivered improved user experience for students, parents, and staff.

Relates to successfully evaluating and onboarding new technological solutions (in a range of industries) that improve efficiency and cost savings. Also translates to selling/servicing LMS or SIS with school systems as clients.

13. Engaging Individuals and Teams

Kids can’t learn if they aren’t engaged. It’s your role as a teacher to maintain a positive and productive learning environment using various mediums and strategies.

Example Transferable Solution: Boosted classroom engagement with new gamified learning system to incentivize participation in discussions and in small team settings. Method adopted throughout the grade level.

Relates to identifying new ways to engage clients in usage of your product or service, creating better results and a stronger referral base.

14. Data Analysis

As a teacher, you are designing and implementing effective methods to measure student progress. Then, you utilize student data to inform instructional decisions and interventions. That’s data analysis to a tee!

Example Transferable Solution: Analyzed first-semester student assessment results using Tableau to restructure learning plans and achieve year-end goals for first-year French students. Year-end assessment results showcased significant gains in French proficiency.

Relates to using Tableau, Excel, Python, or any number of tech tools to analyze data and inform strategic decision making.

15. Language Skills

Speaking of those first-year language students, if you are teaching a language, then let’s make sure to give you credit for YOUR language skills!

Example Transferable Solution: Taught and mentored class of 10 AP Spanish students with 100% pass rate on AP exam. 3 students continued Spanish language studies in higher education, domestically and abroad.

Relates to working effectively with global teams across language barriers.

16. Conflict Resolution

It’s not all sunshine and puppies in a classroom setting. Resolving conflicts and addressing disciplinary issues constructively is part of your role to ensure student safety and well-being.

Example Transferable Solution: Partnered with students, administration, and parents to resolve interpersonal conflicts that disrupted classroom learning. Enabled students to manage conflicts independently, providing tools and coaching.

Relates to navigating conflict in a team to foster collaboration and strong team dynamics.

17. Motivating Others

Let’s face it, we all have down days, and there will be days, or even weeks, when kids are not motivated to learn. It’s part of your big job to inspire those students to set goals, persevere, and achieve success.

Example Transferable Solution: Boosted student motivation by launching new visual tracking system to monitor and reward progress.

Relates to creatively empowering and inspiring team members and colleagues when they are faced with setbacks by understanding their key motivators.

18. Active Listening

A list of teacher transferable skills wouldn’t be complete without active listening! Teaching requires a honed ability to disseminate information while also listening attentively to student needs. You have your listening ears on and are attuned to students’ questions, concerns, and feedback.

Example Transferable Solution: Identified student learning differences through active listening and coordination with families. Successfully advocated for accommodations with school administration.

Relates to the ability to retain customers by actively listening to their needs and taking action to provide support, guidance, and problem-solving.

19. Cultural Competence

With a diverse student body in your classroom, it’s important that you have strong cultural competence including valuing and respecting cultures, perspectives, and identities. You model this behavior to your students as well.

Example Transferable Solution: Developed cultural fair for grades 6-8 in collaboration with upper elementary school teachers, administrators, and parents. Fair attended by 200 students and family members.

Relates to ability to create welcoming environments in a corporate, startup, or nonprofit setting to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion and thrive in a global economy.

20. Event Planning

From field trips to classroom parties, fundraisers to fun days, you’ve planned all kinds of events within your school. You manage strategy, logistics, communication, and execution as you make these events happen. Event planning is actually many different teacher transferable skills mixed into one!

Example Transferable Solution: Led school’s first 2nd-grade trip planning team and successfully executed educational, engaging, and safe experiential learning experience for 150 students.

Relates to project managing and executing events across a range of industries and for a range of audiences. Events can include experiential marketing, trade shows, fundraisers, product launches, or team gatherings.

21. Research

To make sure that your students have the best educational experience, you are conducting educational research and staying informed about best practices. Knowing what tools to turn to and how to research effectively makes you great at what you do!

Example Transferable Solution: Identified and fostered adoption of new educational metholodgy and supporting tools to advance student’s cultural competency.

Relates to ability to learn on the job, utilize research tools related to a new industry or function, and take the initiative to find research tools that will allow you to solve problems independently.

22. Coaching & Mentoring

An important part of teaching is being able to coach and mentor your students to achieve success. Whether you’re coaching students on mindset in the classroom, or coaching them on the ballfield after school, these skills are highly transferable.

Example Transferable Solution: Coached team of 12 high school student-athletes to school’s first State Championship with 3 students earning All-State recognition for athletic and academic acheivement.

Relates to coaching and mentoring junior employees as well as coaching individuals directly as the main function of your role.

23. Client Service

You may not think of your students and families as clients, but you are serving them inside and outside of the classroom. With parent communication especially you are responding to concerns, troubleshooting, and helping families access the tools they need.

Example Transferable Solution: Created new tech-enabled communication system between parents and classroom teacher for smooth and efficient transfer of information.

Relates to working with business or consumer clients and helping them utilize a product or service in a way that will meet their goals.

24. Assessment and Evaluation

To help your students progress, you are constantly assessing and evaluating their work as well as your own. What skills does this student need help with? How could I change my teaching strategy to address those needs? Assessing others and ourselves is an important transferable skill.

Example Transferable Solution: Enabled students to achieve year-end goals in line with state standards by evaluating progression in writing, providing detailed feedback, and creating scaffolding learning tools.

Relates to assessing the progress of your team members as a manager and providing helpful feedback in 1:1 meetings and in annual reviews.

25. Lifelong Learning

It’s no surprise you’re a big fan of learning, and you walk the walk! As a teacher, you are constantly demonstrating a commitment to professional growth and continuous improvement. This is one of those teacher transferable skills that will stick with you for a lifetime!

Example Transferable Solution: Enabled colleagues to create efficiencies in their lesson planning by identifying new teacher-focused AI training program and advocating for its inclusion in the professional development plan.

Relates to the ability to learn new technologies, systems, and processes in a different company or industry and apply those learnings to drive impact.

Turn Your Teacher Transferable Skills into a New Career Path

Wow, you’re pretty darn impressive, huh?

And this is just scratching the surface of the teacher transferable skills you bring to the table. Based on your specific expertise, certifications, personal interests, family needs, etc, you have even MORE skills and solutions to add to this list.

To learn more about identifying your unique skills, and your Career Sweet Spot, check out the free training How to Land a Fulfilling Job You Love Without Giving Up the Flexibility You Need. See you there!

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