Should I be a teacher or a nurse?

I have one class left before I can apply to my colleges nursing program but I’m wondering if I should reconsider. I’ve wanted to be a teacher for a while even before I started college but I worry that I would not make enough to have the things that I want in life. I also know that most teachers work two jobs (at least all the ones I know do) and this is not something I want for myself but I feel I would be happier overall and I’m very torn as to what to do so now I’m asking the internet. 

21 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago
    Favourite answer

    I know it is hard to make these big decisions. It really comes down to whether you want to be a nurse or a teacher.  Both will continue to be in demand.  Both, with further education, had the opportunity for growth/promotion.  After a BSN you can go on to become a nurse practitioner or nursing supervisor and teachers often go on to become principals.

    It is true that elementary school teachers aren't paid well enough to live "well" in very expensive cities, so you do need to think about where you are willing to live.  Teachers where I live get paid, on average, $60K plus benefits to work 9 months a year. I don't know any that "have to" work an extra job to make ends meet.  

    The other thing to think about are work hours.  Teachers' "official" hours are something like 7-4 M-F.  Nurses work 12-hour shifts and don't have the same schedule every week. All hospital nurses are required to work some weekends, nights, and holidays.  

  • 3 weeks ago

    Be a nurse. The pay is better and they get pretty good benefits. If you get tired of that in the future you can always become a teacher

  • 3 weeks ago

    You can do both.  Get your BS in Nursing and then get a teaching credential afterward.  You can work as a nurse while getting the credential and if you don't like it, you can go into teaching full-time.  If you like nursing, you can teach Health or Biology classes part-time.

  • 3 weeks ago


  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • L
    Lv 4
    3 weeks ago

    No matter which one you decide - you must do it because that is what YOU want to do.  Like most 'beginning' job NEVER begin at the being at the bottom and work your way up.  If you finally do, make a decision, then be prepared to a smaller wage.............share an apartment, etc. until you can make enough to live on your own.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Sure         .

  • 4 weeks ago

    Starting pay for new certified teachers runs from about $40k well into the 50s, depending on state. This is hardly a low salary these days for new/recent grads. Teachers can earn $80-90k+ with experience, which is well above median household income for the US. And that's for working only 9-10 months a year, not 50-51 weeks of full-time work! Yes, many teachers do take another job over summer vacations - or teach summer school to increase their earnings. They may also coach for additional pay, or other things. 

    If you want to teach, go for it. You may find it far more rewarding for you than nursing, which can be far more difficult & a lot more hours to earn little (even no) more.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    My niece is a teacher and has been for almost 20 years. She is single. She owns her own home and car. She earned  her Masters degree while working full time about four years ago.  She doesn’t work a second job, but has done private tutoring over the summers.  She has worked in Ohio and now in Kentucky near Lexington. She is now trying for a guidance counselor’s job at a school district. 

    My daughter’s friend is 29 and has been teaching in Alaska.  She has earned on online Masters of education degree  in Online Innovation and Design. She just was hired by the school district for their Development Team as an Effective Instruction Coach. She is single and has her own apartment and car. She has never worked two jobs. 

    You do have options and Professional growth in the educational field.

    Nurses usually work 12 hour shifts.  It is a different weekly schedule. There are plenty of jobs and pay is good.  

    But these two jobs are very very different.  You really need to think about what you want to be doing. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    I’m in my last semester of nursing school. I think you should apply to nursing school if you want to work in healthcare. Nursing school can be hard and time consuming and a lot of nursing jobs that pay well also require a lot of skill so keep that in mind. 

  • John
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    In my experience, teachers who work 2 jobs only work 1 job at a time.  They teach for 9 months, and then do something else during the summer months.  In my area, starting public school teachers make just over $50K for a 9 month year.  Clearly, where one chooses to teach has a huge bearing on ones salary.  

  • Stella
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    I would suggest you follow through with the nursing program and have a long term goal of being a nursing educator.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.