According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), distance education programs are becoming increasingly popular as adults try to combine part-time higher education with everyday jobs and responsibilities. The job market for teachers to lead these online courses grows steadily, but degree requirements vary depending upon the subject and educational institution.
More than 380,000 post-secondary education teaching positions will open between 2006 and 2016, predicts the BLS in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition. A "significant proportion" of these positions will be part-time and online, the BLS says, to accommodate adults returning to school for vocational training or higher education degrees.
According to the BLS, full-time instructors at colleges and universities earned about $56,000 per year in 2006. Jobs that are less than full-time, however, may not provide benefits such as health insurance, vacation time or retirement. Those working in “self-enrichment education,” as categorized by the labor bureau, earned an average of $40,920 per year, but most of those jobs are short term.
Types of Jobs
In addition to post-secondary education, online teaching jobs can be found at private tutoring companies, non-profit organizations and adult education programs, reports Jennifer Williamson in “How to Become an Online Teacher” on DistanceEducation.org.sis lets the teacher reach students more effectively, according to the "Distance Learning Teacher Video" on Education-Portal.com.
Online teaching positions generally have the same requirements as in-person teaching positions, according to Education-Portal.com. Universities and colleges look for people with post-graduate degrees and/or work experience in a particular field. In some cases, subject-matter expertise—if you are skilled in a craft or hobby or fluent in a foreign language—may compensate for the lack of higher education.
Online teachers may work from their homes or private offices. These instructors reach students living across the globe as opposed to traditional classrooms. Teaching students on a one-on-one basis lets the teacher reach students more effectively, according to the "Distance Learning Teacher Video" on Education-Portal.com.
Where to Look
University job boards, general online job listings, private tutoring companies and education-specific job boards help job seekers find a distance learning position, reports Williamson. Websites such as Teachers.net and NonProfit-Jobs.org also list online teaching jobs.