No, I am not joking. There are actually financial benefits to becoming a teacher. To those not familiar with the “teacher lifestyle” they think that it is all low pay, Summers off and bunches of holidays.

Let’s face it, those are true, but here are 4 financial reasons to become a teacher that you might not have thought of.

Double your income in the summer

I may as well tackle this one first since this is a major perk for teachers. Granted, some school systems are trying to shorten or do away with the traditional summer vacation. However, as a teacher, you will still get many paid days off.

Let’s assume that your summer break is two months and also that you are paid a similar amount in the summer as in the regular school year. That means you can come close to or maybe earn more than your normal income for those 2 months. Although this violates the “Summers are for relaxing and recharging” mindset, your mindset might change when you are able to pay off bills or build up an emergency fund for those expenses that you usually put on a credit card. It’s just something to think about.

Another way to maximize the money you can make is to find a job that will let you work other times when you’re off like Christmas and Spring break. There are many jobs out that will let you do this, especially in retail.

Pension and Retirement

As far as I know, teachers are one of the few groups that still receive a pension. There is a great amount of peace knowing that after you retire, there will be a check coming in monthly for your lifetime. In our state of Ohio, there is a formula for determining the benefit that you will receive after you retire. You do have to make contributions toward your pension, but it is far less than the benefit that you will receive monthly for the rest of your life.

One of the questions that we all ask concerning retirement is “will I have enough money coming in to live comfortably in retirement?”. Since your retirement benefit is fixed, you can come up with a ballpark estimate of how much your monthly pension benefit will be. If you believe that your monthly benefit is not enough, educators have an option to save money for retirement in an account called a 403(b). This works just like the traditional business 401(k). You can contribute money pre-tax to an investment account and start withdrawing the money generally when you retire.

Child Care

For many (not just teachers) child care is one of the biggest monthly expenses a family has behind their mortgage and car payments. Because of the school work hours and holidays that teachers receive, there is a great deal of savings in childcare expenses.

When your child is of school age, you will not have to worry as much about after school programs and day care. Because of the hours that you work the need for after school child care is minimal. In some cases, you will be able to have your child in the same school as you are and that makes things much easier.

Now becoming a teacher will not eliminate your child care expenses, but it sure can help lessen the cost. And let’s face it – every little bit helps.

Continuing Education

In any important profession continuing education is key, and the more free continuing education the better. As an incentive to keep taking continuing education classes, there are a certain number of hours that teachers need to renew their teaching certificate. Almost all schools provide this continuing education for free or at a huge discount.

To see this as a financial reason to become a teacher, think about this – in my profession, Financial Planning, training classes can cost anywhere between $350 and $2,500. Those costs are paid by the financial advisor and it really adds up over many years.

Granted that this would not be a primary financial reason to be a teacher, but it’s a nice perk.