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Earn Extra Money Teaching Adult Education Classes

Updated on November 9, 2018
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

Cake Decorating is a frequently taught class through Adult Education Programs.
Cake Decorating is a frequently taught class through Adult Education Programs. | Source

Earning Extra Money

I am a big fan of having an extra way to earn money when already having a full-time job. Why you may ask? I like the idea of being able to control how much money one can earn. With a salaried job, you have no control over the amount of money you earn. The company you work for or your boss sets those limits.

But when you have an extra job that you create on the side, you have control over the amount of money you make. In the case of Adult Education classes, you can earn extra money and control the number of classes you teach and how many towns you teach them in.

Below I have outlined the details of how to teach adult education classes and also have given you some ideas of topics you can choose to teach.

Teach What You Know

Teaching what you know through adult education classes is an easy way to make extra money. For any of you who enjoy writing, the age-old advice is to, "write what you know." The same advice applies to teaching adult education classes...teach what you know. Most larger towns and cities in the United States offer adult education classes to their citizens. To find out the specifics about teaching a class, you can look up the phone number to the board of education in your town, or sometimes the classes are offered through the town recreation department.

Questions to ask would include:

1) How can I teach an adult education class?

2) What are the most popular types of classes taught?

3) What qualifications do I need?

4) How much will I get paid?

You Will Have to Prove Your Qualifications

Usually, the organization sponsoring the classes will need a syllabus from you which includes the title of the class you want to teach, how many sessions it will take, and what the students will learn. They may also want a resume to find out more about you and your qualifications. Not every class will need qualifications that can be shown on paper. For instance, if you are interested in teaching a knitting class, they may just want to see samples of your work to prove that you can actually knit. That won't show up on a resume. You will only be able to teach the class if enough people register to make it worthwhile for the organization to pay you. That's why asking what types of classes go best in your area will give you some clues on the most popular types of classes to teach. The pay is usually not that great, but it is a way to earn money teaching something that you already like to do.


Typically classes pay from $15 - $25 per hour, but only for the actual teaching time, not for the planning and preparation time you put in. So if you teach a one-time class for 3 hours, and the pay is $20 per hour, you will earn $60, even if your preparation time took 3 hours before you even arrived at the class. Preparation time could include such activities as making copies of informational packets, preparing separate craft kits if you teach a craft, shopping for ingredients if you are going to teach a cooking class, etc.

Under each of the following categories, I have included a list of types of classes you could teach based on that category. There are plenty of others, but these lists are just food for thought to get you started brainstorming.


  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Needlepoint
  • Carpentry
  • Rug Hooking
  • Dried flower arrangements
  • Making birdhouses
  • Sewing
  • Basket making
  • Chair Caning
  • Candle Making
  • Potpourri creations
  • Creating porcelain dolls
  • Jewelry making
  • Quilting
  • Scrap Booking


  • Painting (each medium can be a separate class: oil, watercolor, toll, etc.)
  • Sculpting
  • Drawing
  • Photography ( Traditional and Digital)
  • Collage
  • Zentangle
  • Pottery
  • Ceramics
  • Stained glass


  • Gardening
  • Canning
  • Cake Decorating
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Cupcakes creations
  • Writing your own cookbook
  • Easy meals for working women
  • Cooking for Singles
  • Great picnic foods


  • How to travel cheaply
  • Cruising
  • A course on your favorite country or culture
  • How to travel for free
  • How to become a courier
  • How to get paid to travel
  • How to buy the best RV for your family
  • Camping 101


  • Creating a resume
  • Job Interviewing Skills
  • Starting your own home business
  • How to start your own ____________ business ( you can fill it in with anything from daycare to catering depending on your experience)
  • Marketing for small business


  • Creative writing
  • Poetry writing
  • Non-fiction writing
  • How to get your writing published
  • Writing for the Internet
  • Writing your life story
  • Writing press releases
  • Grant writing


  • All about the stock market
  • Budgeting
  • Saving money with coupons
  • How to get out of debt
  • Living on less
  • Tax preparation
  • Purchasing your first home
  • Make money with the best yard sales
  • How to sell on eBay


  • Collecting ____________ ( you fill in the blanks with anything from stamps to coins to dolls, etc.)
  • Antiques
  • Football 101 ( for those who don't understand it but want to for a spouse's sake)
  • Music
  • Clowning
  • Acting
  • Genealogy

Physical Activities

  • Zumba classes
  • Pilates
  • Hiking tips and trails in your state
  • Dance ( teach anything from ballroom to hip-hop)
  • Yoga
  • Martial Arts

Those are just a few ideas to get you started. Teaching a class though will give you future credibility and something extra to add to your resume. Once you teach a class and it's a success, it's easy to teach the same class in the future with the same town. They will already know you and have approved the class. You can teach in numerous towns as long as it fits into your schedule and you are careful to make sure the classes don't overlap. Teaching adult education classes can be a fun way to earn extra money and share your talents with others.

Coupon classes can be taught and saving money is a popular subject these days!
Coupon classes can be taught and saving money is a popular subject these days! | Source
Cruise classes and how to save money on a cruise make great classes.
Cruise classes and how to save money on a cruise make great classes. | Source

Adult Education Class Poll

Have you ever taught an adult ed class?

See results

© 2012 Karen Hellier


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    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Oh hawaiianodysseus,

      Your comments always make me blush! Thanks for the encouragement. I would LOVE to take an eBay class that you offered through an adult education program. Since we live on opposite coasts though, I guess that won't be possible! I am seriously considering starting to sell on eBay because I have a daughter starting college in 2 weeks and I need extra money. I think an eBay class would be very successful for you. Especially in this economy where people are always looking for new ways to earn money. I am sure fly tying will be interesting as well, but I don't know anything about that sport. I challenge you to give both a try...and please let me know how it goes!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      9 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      When I was younger, Karen, I taught basic math through pre-calculus and a wide range of sciences to people working on their GED's and college degrees. It was a rewarding experience, alright, in more ways than one. Your article sparked a rejuvenated idea to pursue teaching adult education classes in fly tying and eBay selling.

      You continue to produce these wonderful evergreen articles that are reader-friendly, very useful, and motivating...all the while maintaining a peer-to-peer voice that is as welcoming as it is professional. Congratulations!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Karen-well, it was NOT an adult ed class, but based on the same premise. It was an extracurricular class for children through the community education department in our school district. I actually had several elementary schools I would do after school classes for. Since I was 16 I could borrow the family car and drive myself. I had about 4 different schools I would rotate through.

      As for the studio-it was one of my early (age 16) dreams and I was finally able to fulfill it when I turned 40. Yes, some dreams are hard to let go of and take additional time to foster... I kept the studio open for 5 yrs before circumstances forced me to consider closing it, (which I did). So, no...I no longer have my dance studio.

      Enjoy your weekend. :)

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Lord. I think it's a great idea. Go for it.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Wow Denise, I am impressed. I never have heard of a teen teaching a class through Adult Ed. But since you now have your own dance studio I see you are a very motivated person!!! Good for you. I guess that means teaching a class through adult ed is good marketing too. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      9 years ago from New York

      Totally agreeing with your ideas. Have thought of teaching math at nights, or HTML. Just need some time and some connections. You have given us lots of resources and sound tips!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Great hub-when I was 16 I taught my first community education class for children-a ballet class. When I became an adult and had my own dance studio I connected with a community education program again, and offered discounted dance classes through their program-increased my student enrollment and free marketing from them.

      Thanks for sharing this information. Rated up/U/I

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Oh yeah, you're right. Hadn't thought about it like that. Thanks for pointing it out.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      9 years ago

      Your information is very helpful for those who would like to take this position. As a teacher, the same pay applies: you only get paid for actual hours worked. It's a shame, but then most teachers are passionate about their jobs and they just consider this something to put aside.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      9 years ago from Georgia


      Thanks for the comment. That just reminded me that in the poll I should have added something about taken an adult ed class but not taught one! Ugh...oh well. I guess I could add it but I will lose the responses. I took a class once on budgeting/personal finance. Also one that was offered that was an aerobics class. I had forgotten about that till you just mentioned taking one. I hope your class inspired you to write a children's book?!

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      9 years ago from Georgia


      That's pretty cool that you thought the hub was comprehensive. Thanks. Of course when I was riding around doing errands today, I remembered another hobby which is popular and I am going to add now...genealogy!

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      9 years ago from Georgia


      They my have been kind words but they were also the truth! Thanks for reading my hubs! I enjoy your comments, and I love the happiness in your relationship with Bev. It's so encouraging to read about that, and the many other topics you write about.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 

      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Great hub idea! Several years ago (gosh, maybe 10!) I took an adult ed class about writing and publishing children's books. It was taught by Peter McCarty, a writer and illustrator of a few children's books. It was interesting and fun. Voted up and shared.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      9 years ago from New York

      A lot of people can benefit from this hub, especially retired people who have so much to offer. Your suggestions were pretty comprehensive...not much left out! Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      9 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Karen; those were very kind words. I love your hubs; I just don't have the time to comment on every one of them, but I do visit them all when you post them.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks billybuc. I think you do all your teaching through Hub Pages so you don't need to teach through Adult Ed! You are already doing such great things here in terms of sharing your knowledge and experiences. You would be a wonderful adult ed teacher for writing if you ever do have the time. Keep up the great work here!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      9 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great suggestions Karen! I just don't have the time to do this; for anyone interested, this is a great hub!


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