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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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