Types of Online Jobs for Teachers

Jobs for online teachers are a growing work-at-home area.

Online Teaching
Getty/Michael Szwedo

As higher education institutions continue to make distance learning a part of their long-term strategies, the need for online teachers--and other non-teaching, education positions such as instructional designers--is expanding rapidly. However, the growth in the online education industry is not limited to colleges and universities. K-12 and high school level jobs for online teachers and tutors are exploding, as is businesses' need for educational professionals in creating online training materials and courses.

Often these jobs for online teachers are work-at-home opportunities (or could eventually become work at home), and so they represent an avenue for more flexible work that benefits for those in the education field.

This list provides descriptions and links out to more resources. For specific companies that hire online teachers and education professionals, see this list of online education jobs.

Online Teachers: Elementary, Middle and High Schools

While higher education gets all the buzz for its online learning growth, K-12 school systems are embracing online education as well. In 2010, 39 states had implemented some online learning for K-12 students, and in many of the remaining states some districts offered online education (Keeping Pace, 2010).

These online teacher positions are either directly through governmental entities (state, county, city or school district) or for companies that contract with school systems.

In addition to the institutional jobs for online teachers, K-12 teachers can find work as in private online tutoring for students. Specifically, some of the positions in online K-12 education include:

  • Online classroom teachers
  • Online tutor jobs
  • Instructional designers
  • High school instructors for foreign languages and other subjects

Qualifications for these online teacher jobs vary widely with some jobs requiring teaching certification or advanced degrees while others simply make a platform available for writing ​online courses or for connecting online tutors with students. See this list of jobs for K-12 online teachers.

Online Teachers: Colleges

Both completely online colleges and brick-and-mortar colleges are expanding their online course offerings. 

Naturally, this increase in enrollments means a greater demand for course development personnel to create the courses as well as online faculty to teach them. These are the two most basic categories of work in online colleges, but there are plenty of other opportunities:

Most jobs teaching at online colleges require--at an absolute minimum--a master’s degree.

Tutoring too generally requires a master’s. Instructional design jobs may only require a bachelor’s and experience. Test prep jobs usually require a high score (95th percentile and up) on the test. See this list of jobs for online faculty.

Online Jobs for Teachers: Corporations

As more companies cultivate a telecommuting workforce, they need virtual training products to give their employees the skills to succeed remotely. And it may be more cost effective for on-site employees to train virtually. To meet this need, some large companies are hiring in-house instructional designers to design training programs and sometimes online instructors, though this task may fall on existing staff. Frequently, however, these training products are designed by companies that specialize in creating them. Either way, there is a growing need for educational professionals outside the world of academia.

For-profit companies offer test preparation courses and materials for professional certification in addition to test preparation for academic tests. And many private-sector businesses contract with government and academic institutions to offer educational services. The jobs in this area include:

Qualifications for these corporate education jobs vary. Professional experience in instructional design, training or education is usually required.