Online education is growing by leaps and bounds. People are becoming more and more comfortable with turning to the digital world for activities that used to be limited to the physical world, education included. Many adults are returning to school to advance their education in order to improve their job prospects. But attending a school daily can be very difficult if you have a job, a family, and other commitments. Online classes are the answer to this problem.
But online classes still need teachers, and this means that a whole new job market is opening up as schools search for people to lead these classes. Anyone can become an online teacher. If you already work in education, as a teacher, counselor, or tutor, it can be very easy for you to make the switch. The field is not limited to these individuals, though. Professionals from any job can find work teaching classes in their area of expertise.
Retirees also make prime candidates for online teachers. This second career will give you a means to supplement your income and your accumulated knowledge from real world experience will be invaluable to your students. Professional homemakers and stay at home parents can likewise use online teaching to bring in a little more money without having to look for work outside the home. This can be particularly useful for people with physical disabilities that make getting out and around very difficult.
Most secondary education courses will require the teacher to have a master's degree. A doctorate is not necessary though it may help set you apart from the competition. With a bachelor's degree, you can explore the world of online high school or elementary classes, but teaching at the K-12 level will require you to have teaching credentials, such as teacher certification. Even if you plan on teaching at the post-secondary level, certification can make you more attractive to prospective employers.
Before you embark on a new career, you doubtlessly want to know what your potential earnings are. For full-time teachers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not separate online from traditional teachers in their report, so it can be difficult to pin down exact numbers. The middle 50 percent of all post-secondary teachers earn between $42,000 and $85,000. Certain fields (such as IT, medicine, and law) bring in more money than others. Increasing your level of education can also increase your salary.
Not everybody becomes a full-time online teacher. Some people elect to work on a contract basis and are paid by course. The most common range for this type of teaching is $1,500 to $2,500 per course. Another way to earn more money is to develop your own online course instead of teaching someone else's material. Depending on how in depth your curriculum is, you could get paid anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for this.
As you can see, online teaching is an exciting career with lots of opportunities. It can be a full-time career or you can use it to supplement other income sources. Either way, it is fulfilling and rewarding. In the following chapters, we will look at online schools in more depth, review what it takes to become an online teacher, help you land your first job, and then teach you what you need to know to excel in this new field. So, let's get started!