The popularity of remote learning has skyrocketed recently, and the current need for online teachers is at an all-time high. Whether you are an elementary school teacher trying to learn how to effectively teach your class remotely or a teacher who is helping kids from all over the world learn the English language, there is a need for your skills.
Do you have a love for education? Do you want to reach out to those who cannot make it to a classroom but still want to learn? As long as you have the qualifications you need and the patience to deal with the technology, online teaching is a great occupation for you to consider. So what types of online teaching jobs are out there?
Types of Online Teaching Jobs
You can teach online no matter your degree or previous experience. You can be a licensed teacher online for public and private k-12 sectors or college and Universities. You can also be a tutor or English teacher for children around the world without holding a college degree at all.
Being qualified to work as an online professor in a college setting you must obtain the same qualifications and education as a professor who teaches on campus. Depending on what type of school you are teaching in you will need to earn either a Master’s Degree or A Doctorate Degree. A certification in online teaching may also be required to teach as an online professor.
So, what does an online professor do? Being a professor online means you have to create a curriculum that will be easy to teach from a distance. Planning a lesson that can be set up completely virtual and still convey to your students the importance of a topic.
As a college professor, it is also important that you make assignments easy to access for the student and also for yourself. Keeping track of dozens or even hundreds of student accounts can be very time consuming and complicated. Teaching courses from home means you don’t have easy access to assignments being returned in one specific location and given to you directly.
Another struggle for online professors is developing assignments that teach the students what they need to learn without being so difficult that they have to turn to Google to get the answers. Unlike elementary and high school students, this is not the biggest of concerns as college-age students are in school by choice. If they choose to copy and paste or just not do the assignments, they simply fail the class. It is not the responsibility of the professor to ensure that students are learning the material.
- Home office: It is imperative you have a quiet, private space to work when teaching classes online. You need to be professional, personal, and private.
- Flexibility: To be an online professor or a professor at all, means you have to be able to work with many different class times, and still be available to your students when they need your assistance.
- Excellent Planning skills: You must create a lesson plan that fits each lesson so that it not only gives your students the information but is also creative and easy to understand.
- Understanding Computers: Most of your day is spent teaching online courses, grading online papers and tests, and communicating through online threads and emails, having a basic understanding of computers is essential to this position.
- Professionalism: As an online professor it will be your sole responsibility to keep in close communication with students and other faculty members as well as the community. You must be able to remain professional and available at all times.
Remote Learning (Substitute)
Due to current CDC guidelines to stop the virus from spreading, many teachers from every grade have to learn how to teach online. Whether their schools are fully remote due to the pandemic or following a hybrid option, every teacher in the nation has to figure out how to teach from home at one time or another.
Because the pandemic has created chaos for everyone around the world, the school systems everywhere are struggling not only to adjust to the new normal, but schools are also having a hard time keeping their teachers and staff on the clock. Many teachers decided to retire so as not to risk getting sick when returning to the classroom. A lot of others are desperate to find online substitutes for any reason, including being quarantined.
The requirements are the same to be an online substitute teacher as they are to be in the classroom. It may differ from state to state, but the requirements are usually a Bachelor’s Degree in any field along with a background check and fingerprints.
- Flexibility: Being able to communicate with a classroom teacher the night before, or even the morning of, and prepare a day of teaching students with the information you receive. You will also need to be able to switch your teaching style from grade to grade.
- Compassionate: Online learning is a very new thing to many remote learning students, many issues will arise and you need to be understanding and available to help.
- Prompt: Choosing to teach online means you have no wiggle room to start a class late. When teaching remote children have to enter your class through a link. If your link is not available when they try to log on they may miss the class altogether.
- Professional: Not only do you need to hold an authority figure appearance for your students, but as a substitute teacher, you will need to communicate with other members of the school and parents. You must be professional and courteous.
Online Homeschool Teacher
Being an online homeschooling educator can be a rewarding job. This job is about more than just facilitating temporary remote learning. An online homeschool teacher provides online education for students who cannot attend school for various reasons, including religious, medical, or personal issues. There are many reasons parents choose to keep their kids from entering a local school but having them losing out on good education is not one of them.
As a homeschool teacher, you have to have the ability to create a great curriculum that gets your students motivated and involved. Keeping the attention of a student through a screen can be a very difficult task. Online homeschool teachers are still part of an education system, and they need to follow certain criteria and curriculums given by the government.
You can qualify to be a homeschool teacher at some schools with only a high school diploma, a history of similar work experience, and a background check and fingerprinting. However, for many online jobs, you should have either a degree in education or a certificate to teach online.
Being a homeschool teacher doesn’t stop after the lessons are over, it is important to note that you are also required to attend meetings, support after school programs, and help with school promotions and events such as fundraisers.
Job Duties and Responsibilities
- Organization Skills: Being an online educator, it is your responsibility to develop lesson plans and programs to keep your students engaged and learning.
- Creativity: One job of an online educator is coming up with educational plans to teach students over the internet and finding ways to keep all students engaged, including those with learning disabilities and behavioral issues.
- Compassion: Being an educator of an online program can be difficult for teachers and students. You need patience, understanding, and compassion to stay connected with the kids in your classes.
- Time Management Skills: Having the ability to appropriately plan numerous day to day tasks is imperative when being a homeschool teacher. Keeping a full calendar of to-dos, such as lesson planning, physical education, school events, meetings, exams, parent-teacher conferences, etc can become overwhelming.
- Computer Skills: If you are not good with computer programs you will struggle to teach online. You have to be familiar with computers and how to navigate all types of programs, documents, and apps to create a working classroom full online.
If you want to work in the education field, but you have little education yourself, becoming an online tutor could be your solution. Qualifications needed to be a tutor are very limited, and you can pick and choose what subjects or grades you would like to work with.
As a tutor, you are working one on one with each student you teach. You can create a lesson plan to follow, or you can strictly stick to the curriculum used by the child’s school teacher and your students one lesson at a time.
Being a tutor means you do not have to come up with a class curriculum, and you are not responsible for giving any tests or exams. Your main job is support and extra assistance in areas where students are struggling in the classroom.
Another advantage of being a tutor is you aren’t required to be on-demand. You can choose when and how you want to schedule your sessions and can work around your daily life. It is up to you if you can take last minute appointments or unscheduled students.
Job Skills and Responsibilities
- Tech Savvy: To be an online tutor you must be able to work your way around a computer, you will have to use online programs and apps to communicate with each student and have the ability to teach your lesson in a virtual meet.
- Time Management Skills: Unlike online teachers, tutors do not have an entire day to teach their students a lesson. Most tutoring sessions are around an hour-long, so it is important to come up with a schedule to give your student the most amount of assistance in a short amount of time.
- Work Independently: Whether you are working through a company or going it alone, as a tutor you will likely be on your own throughout your career. You have to be self-sufficient and disciplined.
- Role Model: As a tutor, you need to be your student’s cheerleaders. If a child needs your assistance, it is usually because they are struggling in an academic area. It is important to be encouraging and uplifting while motivating them to improve their skills.
Another great job in the online education field is teaching the English language to people in other countries. These days, many companies are looking for compassionate and caring people to work with students from all over the world, teaching them to speak English. These students can range from any age and all types of backgrounds.
This job requires a high level of patience and compassion. You have to be encouraging and understand to give your students the best experience possible. The basic requirements to become an online English teacher is having your TEFL/TESOL certification. However, many schools require either a Bachelor’s Degree (in any subject) or Teaching experience, or both.
Teaching English online requires great internet connection and security as you are reaching out to students all over the world. Whether you are working through a company or freelancing your services, you need good equipment and computer knowledge.
In this specific occupation, you are responsible for helping non-English speaking students learn the language fluently. You can do this in several ways. If teaching children, many people find using props such as puppets as a great way to learn. For adults, interactive grammar and language apps can be very helpful.
Job Skills and Responsibilities
- Patience: Your students are coming to you to learn an entirely new and difficult language, and you must be able to be patient and kind. Getting frustrated will only make the process worse and the program not effective.
- Flexibility: Teaching the English language to individuals located around the world means you will have to work around many different time zones. Being able to create your schedule to match that of other countries will be necessary.
- Space: A home office or just a private quiet room is necessary for this profession. You will be engaging and entertaining at all levels and will need a space that can accommodate this. Also, it is important for your students to feel safe and private when working with you.
- Organized: To plan classes and programs designed to teach a language to different clients, you need to be able to plan multiple schedules to accommodate different ages, fluency, and locations. You also need to be able to keep each student’s information and progress tracked and up to date.
How to Become an Online Teacher
Becoming an online teacher is not hard to accomplish if you know what field you are looking to get into and you have the proper credentials for that job, whether you graduated from an online degree program or took some other form of educator preparation. There is a growing need for remote learning, and the need for teachers to fill these positions is also increasing quickly.
Where to Find Online Teaching Jobs
Whether you are looking to be a public school teacher running an online class, or someone that teaches the English language to a Chinese child, there are many places to start your search for the right career. Some possible options are listed below.
VIP KIDS: VIP Kids is an amazing program designed for educators to teach children in China how to speak English. The classes are already prepared and lessons are ready to be taught, best of all the work hours are flexible. If you want a rewarding career teaching children a new language all you need is a bachelor’s degree, reliable technology, and a kind heart, VIP kids will take care of the rest.
Pearsons Online Academy: Pearson Online Academy is a tuition-free online public school supporting and teaching children in all states. To teach in this program you have to hold a teaching degree for the state in which you are applying. You will then be given your virtual classroom, with your class. The curriculum follows that of each state you are teaching in, and you will have full control over your lesson plans as long as they adhere to the state regulations.
Udemy: There are no qualifications needed to teach a course on Udemy. However, you do need to be professional, creative, and knowledgeable enough to engage students so that they want to take your classes. At Udemy, people can take their passions and turn them into careers. You are in charge of planning your lessons, recording your videos, and then uploading them to the Udemy platform. From there, students will have the choice of whose classes and lessons to take. They can be anything from music to photography to making essential oil soaps.
If you are looking to work in your local school districts or for a specific college or online homeschool you would need to contact that individual program to get the credentials they require for you to teach in their schools.
Some schools require their teachers to have a bachelor’s in education or a Bachelor’s in any area for their substitutes. Other schools require a Master’s Degree for their full-time teachers and a Bachelor’s in Education for their substitutes.
Specific schools will only hire teachers that are residents in that school district whether they are teaching online or in the classroom. This is mainly due to the need to be present for meetings and events.
Salary Expectations for an Online Teacher
There is such a wide range of teaching positions online today, it is hard to pinpoint an exact salary for each category. All positions will vary depending on which school you choose, the position you take, and the state you are located in. Here is a general idea of what you may earn in the online teaching field.
Online Preschool Teacher: The average annual salary of a preschool teacher is $30,520. (Note there are not many online preschools available as pre-school is not mandatory by law for education.)
Elementary School Online Teacher (K-5): The average annual salary for an elementary and kindergarten teacher is $59,420.
Middle school Online Teacher: The average annual salary of a middle school teacher is $59,660.
Highschool Online Teacher: The average annual salary of a high school teacher is $61,660.
Online Professor: The average annual salary of a college professor is $79,540.
Substitute Teacher/Teacher Assistant/Tutor: The annual salary of a substitute teacher or a teacher’s assistant is $27,920. (greatly depends on location and need)
Freelance teaching jobs will pay differently for all areas. Please see the specific website about your interest for more details.
Requirements for an Online Teacher
Although many schools will only require the same teaching qualification you need to teach in the classroom to teach online. There are still certifications you can obtain to further your career or make you stand out above the rest.
Sadly, surveys have shown that getting a teaching job when online holding an online degree is much less likely than if you were to attend college in a traditional classroom. With that said, it is a good idea for those who have obtained teaching degrees online to obtain as many extra certificates as possible.
Certificate in Virtual Instruction
A certificate in Virtual Instruction is a certificate you can obtain if you have a bachelor’s in education. Many online schools offer this program that you can take right from home. This degree prepares you for an online classroom and gives teachers tips and tools to be successful when teaching students remote.
- Cost: $6,200
- Credits: 22
- Accreditations: American College of Education’s program accreditation
- Cost: $426 per credit/ $554 out of state residence
- Credits: 12
- Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission.
Courses for micro-credentials
When you are working online as a teacher in any capacity you should always try to improve your skills in all areas of the job. Learning to cope with online education can be difficult, so taking micro-courses to educate yourself in areas you are not strong in will give you a better understanding of how to be more successful at your job.
- Course Cost: $959
- Course Length: 12 weeks
- Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree in education, experience in education, and an interest in learning
- Course Cost: $170-$339
- Course Length: 12 Weeks (3-course credits)
- Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree
- Course Cost: Free (Verified certificate $99)
- Course Length: 3 weeks
- Requirements: Educator
How to Keep Your Online Students Engaged
As the need for online education increases, so do the apps and websites for teachers to turn to when they need help keeping their students engaged. There is a slew of educational online games, flashcards, and even class assignment organizers offered to online learning. These allow teachers and students to be engaged and interactive in a fun and unique way.
Apps to Help Teachers Stay Organized and Connected
Remind: Remind is a popular app use by teachers to keep students and parents up to date on important information
Kiddom: This is an app for teachers to monitor and control students’ grades and progress separately.
PlayPosit: THis is an app to help teachers create interactive and creative videos to present to their online students
Educreations: This is an app that is designed as a “whiteboard” that helps create presentations in an easy and short amount of time.
Educational Online Apps to Help Teachers Teach
Edpuzzles: This app has many videos, fully prepared to teach an entire lesson to a student by reading them materials based on a specific topic. At the end of each video, there are questions regarding the lesson that was just taught.
Kahoot: Kahoot is an online app for teachers to create a race review game for their students to play as a group or individually. Teachers get to choose the questions and multiple choice answers to match the lesson they are teaching.
Brainpop: This app features interactive lessons used to break down information and subjects taught in class with cartoon videos.
NOVA: Geared towards 6-12th graders, this app was created with interactive and compelling science videos that teach topics including Ancient Worlds, Body+Brain, Evolution, Military+Espionage, Nature, Physics+Math, Planet Earth, Space+Flight, and Tech+Engineering.
There are many jobs you can obtain teaching online, some require college degrees others only require knowledge and drive. No matter which career path you choose to follow, it is important that you are educated and informed on what you need to be successful. Make sure you have the best technology available to you and that you can teach in a professional and quiet place. Most of all, to be a successful teacher you must have compassion and determination, and the drive to teach others.
Although the need for online education has accelerated in the past few months, this field is one that is never going away. As technology continues to advance and people search for more alternatives for education, online educators will continue to be in demand.