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Career Changers Career Changers

If you’re a graduate student or working professional looking to change careers, your experience from the professional world can help lead students to academic and personal growth, starting with at least two years as a teacher.

Our country’s students are in need of strong leaders like you, working to make educational equity a reality.

The management, communication, and problem-solving skills you develop as a working professional or graduate student can enable you to expand opportunity for students. In fact, 25.7 percent of 2018 corps members were in the workforce before joining—including those who graduated from college two years ago and those who graduated 25 years ago.

Launch a Career of Impact

As a corps member, you’ll serve as a teacher in a school in a low-income community in one of our nearly 40 regions. You’ll gain firsthand context around the systemic barriers students growing up in poverty face. This experience will empower you to continue making an impact throughout your career.

You’ll engage with rigorous training, coaching, and professional development, allowing you to further develop as a leader.

After the corps, you’ll join a powerful network working to shape the course of our nation. While many TFA alumni continue teaching after the corps, others lead in the political, economic, and social sectors. As an alum, you’ll receive ongoing career and leadership support as you work to continue your own impact. 

Change Careers to Teach For America

The leadership and problem-solving skills you have developed as a working professional can enable you to expand opportunity for students.

Application Process

In your application, you’ll share more about your previous work experience and your passion for educational equity. Because we’re committed to recruiting the nation’s most promising leaders, our application process is highly selective.

If invited for an interview, you have the option of participating in a virtual or in-person interview. Within two weeks of interviewing, you will find out your admissions status.

Learn more about the application and interview process.

What and Where You’ll Teach

Corps members are assigned to teach a grade Pre-K through 12th in one of nearly 40 regions across the country.

When applying, you may already have a place in mind where you’d like to teach and a favorite subject or grade level. You may be open to going to any of our regions and teaching any age or subject. Either way, you’ll have time and resources to help you determine which regions are right for you. Compare regions that interest you.

If you have a special circumstance, such as a mortgage or a spouse or children who cannot relocate, you may specify this when making your regional preferences. While we cannot guarantee all corps members will receive their top choices, we work to ensure that you receive a placement that is feasible for you.

After Your Two-Year Commitment

Whether classroom leadership guides you to school leadership, politics, entrepreneurship, or any other field, you will join a network of more than 61,000 alumni. You’ll receive ongoing development and career support. Learn more about life as an alum.

See the career paths of alumni who joined as career changers on Young Professionals Who Joined TFA.

“In my previous job, I was required to juggle a number of tasks and to make game-time decisions regularly. This certainly helped me in the classroom, because this is what teachers do all day.”

Jessica Chan

Nashville Corps Member 2009

Financial Transition

Summer Training Costs

To enable you to focus on your development during summer training, Teach For America covers housing, food, and daily transportation costs.

For corps members who are parents, family housing is available during summer training and you may bring a secondary caregiver (such as a spouse or parent) to care for children.

Transitional Funding

We know covering additional costs that might arise before your first paycheck may be top of mind, so we offer need-based funding packages of no-interest loans and grants to enable corps members in all financial situations to join the corps. 

Learn more about financial support, including how to apply for transitional funding.

Salary and Benefits

As a corps member, you will be a full-time, salaried employee of your school district, charter school, or other employer. Your salary and benefits will be the same as other beginning teachers working for the same employer. Salary ranges and benefits vary across all regions. View salary estimates for specific regions on Compare Regions.