Accent training as a side hustle for teachers, SLPs, SLP-As, and other speech pros

Feb 23, 2022

Accent training can be a full-time career.  But it doesn’t have to start as one.  In fact, I think it’s one of the best side jobs for teachers, actors, voice coaches, SLPs, and SLP-As.

The work is virtually stress-free, with little paperwork, no IEPs, no dealing with insurance, minimal planning, and no report writing, so it won’t interfere with your current work responsibilities or your personal life.  There’s really no reason to leave your current job unless you choose to do so after you’ve built up a roster of students. 

Many students actually prefer evenings and weekends, so there’s a great opportunity to earn additional income outside of the regular 9-5 work schedule.

Accent training is specialized, so the average hourly session rate is high.  I recommend charging between $75-$95 per session to start and then raising your rates as you gain confidence.  You can just add a few clients a few nights a week or on the weekends and bring in significant additional income.

Plus, you don’t need much more than a computer to get started.

SLPs:  I started seeing a few accent training students a week while I was still doing Early Intervention.  Having that balance of working with motivated adult clients who CHOSE to work on their communication as a way of self-improvement, made me appreciate my work with the 0-3 population, who really NEEDED my help with their speech.  I was a better SLP to both populations, because I had that balance in my caseload.

Ultimately, I decided to offer accent and pronunciation training to adults full time because I couldn’t handle the emotional impact of seeing children struggle with their communication.  I also didn’t have much support from the company I worked for, the schedule was grueling, and the traveling (ever try finding a parking spot in NYC 8 times a day while being mindful of street cleaning schedules for different neighborhoods?  If you know, you know...) wore me down quickly.  If I hadn’t had the balance of both populations in those early days, I would’ve quit much sooner and probably left the profession completely.

Teachers:  There is a lot of competition out there for English teachers and tutors and the average rates for private ESL sessions are appallingly low.  Adding the skill of accent and pronunciation training can help you stand out from the crowd. 

Offering a more specialized skill, lets you charge more per session which allows you to see fewer students, so you can avoid burnout and provide better quality instruction.

You already have the skills to do this.  So much of this work is simply listening to our students, helping them identify their most common pronunciation errors, then practicing together to correct these errors.

Have you ever heard someone make a grammar mistake when speaking?  Accent and pronunciation training is pretty much the same thing!  You hear the mistake, you offer the correction, you practice the correction enough to retrain the brain and make it a new habit.

English is a global language and it’s the most studied language in the world.  Approximately 1.5 billion people speak English as a second language, and while not every ESL speaker wants to work on pronunciation, many do and they do it for various reasons. 

These are some of the reasons that my students have chosen to seek accent and pronunciation training services:  To improve work performance, to get a promotion, to reduce anxiety on the phone, to be the best professor they can be, to be able to expressively read the poetry they write, to feel confident giving the speech at their child’s wedding, to be the “funny friend” again, to show up consistently in social media videos because they know they will be easily understood, to get what they actually order in a restaurant….the list goes on and on. 

At the end of the day, The goal of accent or pronunciation training is for the student to be easily understood, to feel confident, and to communicate as effectively as possible.

It’s a great time to be an online entrepreneur.  Thanks to COVID, the world has realized that online coaching is more flexible, more convenient, and just as effective was in-person training or coaching. 

So, if you’ve ever thought about helping people reclaim their voice and speech as a full-time career or as a side hustle, NOW is a great time to do it.

Want more info about getting started?

Check out these Dos and Don’ts of Accent Training:

 Have a question for me?  Let’s connect!  Join our Facebook group for Accent and Pronunciation Pros:

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