Online teaching is a constantly evolving (and expanding) career field that offers opportunities for a wide range of educators—from elementary school teachers to college professors—with full- and part-time options. However, because it is such a wide-open field, narrowing down the information to the particular teaching experience you have is an important step. Use the links below to find more specific information on your expertise.
What kind of jobs are there for an online teacher?
Online teaching and education-related jobs are probably best divided by grade level, and then further subdivided by subject matter and job function.
Level is a pretty clear distinction, e.g., elementary, middle and high school, college (undergraduate and graduate). For the most part, the grade level in which you have experience and certification will narrow your job possibilities to that area. Subject matter, too, will narrow your search. A math teacher in the real world will not find a job as an online teacher in social studies, though there is more crossover in this since teachers often have skills in various subjects.
However, where you will find more flexibility is the job function. Classroom teachers may find work actually teaching online, but they can use their teaching experience to leverage other types of jobs in online education such as:
- Online tutors
- Instructional designers
- Course developers
- Test scorers
- Curriculum writers and textbook editors
Who hires online teachers?
- Colleges—both fully online and place-based universities—hire not only instructors, adjunct professors, department heads, etc., to work remotely from home, they hire course developers, instructional designers, subject matter experts, writers and editors to develop the online course material. See online faculty jobs.
- School districts are offering online education opportunities to their students more and more often. And with that, there is a growing market for K-12 educators to work remotely. See this list of K-12 jobs from home.
- Tutoring companies hire educators to provide tutoring services to clients around the world. These jobs may be employment positions, independent contracting or entrepreneurial opportunities. See tutoring jobs from home.
- Language education companies, as well as school districts, online colleges and tutoring companies, seek education professionals who are fluent in two or more languages to teach foreign languages and ESL. See home-based bilingual teaching jobs.
- Test preparation and scoring is another field for teachers to work from home; however these tend to be part-time and/or temporary positions.See test preparation and scoring jobs.
- Private companies (both for-profit and non-profit) service colleges and school districts by developing online education tools for them. These companies offer both actual teaching jobs and those in curriculum and course development. In addition, some large corporations hire those with teaching experience to develop training materials.
- Adult education websites provide a platform for entrepreneurs who create their own educational offerings and courses.
- Academic book publishers will often hire teachers with writing and editing experience.
What are the requirements to become an online teacher?
Because there are so many ways to teach online, there is not one specific set of requirement. That said, there are some general guidelines. At a minimum, a bachelor’s degree and teaching experience are almost always required. (The only exception might be the adult education websites in which people develop and sell their own courses.)
At the college-level, a master’s is required for instructors (who are often simply facilitators of the online course) but often a PhD is needed for jobs like adjunct professor or subject matter expert. Master’s degrees are often preferred for course developers and instructional designers.
At the K-12 level, teaching certification (which typically means a master’s degree) is usually required for jobs that involve actual instruction, as opposed to curriculum writing or scoring.
That certification could need to be in a particular state or not, depending on who is doing the hiring. Tutoring positions at the K-12 do not necessarily need certification but experience and a bachelor’s degree are needed for the reputable companies.
Where can I find a job as a work-at-home teacher?
In addition to checking local listings, particularly if you are a K-12 teacher where local certification might be required, use these resources:
- List of Online Teaching and Education Jobs - This list of companies includes all types of teaching jobs at all levels and subject matter.
- Employment Resources for Work-at-Home Education Jobs - Links on this page go to websites that list teaching jobs and provide the opportunity to search for online and remote jobs.