How to Become an Online Instructor

By Brenda on October 18th, 2011


The flexibility of an online teaching career may be one of the most appealing aspects of this profession.  Online instructors are able to set their own hours and work from the comfort of their own home.  Finding these highly coveted jobs can be difficult if you do not know where to look.

Most online instructors began their career as a traditional, in-classroom teacher.  Many received education degrees and pursued employment as a community college instructor or vocational teacher before landing a job in online teaching.  With the expansion of online institutions, more opportunities for online instructors are becoming available.

Where to Find Online Teaching Jobs?

Online teaching jobs can be found in just about any educational facility.  Online colleges and institutions, adult education facilities and tutoring companies all offer employment for online teachers.  In order to teach at an online college, you will need to possess at least a Master’s degree in education or the field of your choice.  Many teaching positions require a doctorate degree, especially if instructing at a four-year institution.

Most online colleges are becoming more and more like traditional colleges.  These schools, although online, offer a rigorous course load, accreditation and highly qualified professionals to teach their classes.  Instructors are expected to have at least a Master’s degree in order to be considered for a position with the college.  To set yourself apart from the competition, it is best to pursue a doctorate degree.

Nonprofit and adult education schools hire online instructors with Masters’ degrees in a wide variety of areas.  Business, economics, sociology and psychology majors are among the most common areas of study for online instructors.  Education and administrative education are becoming increasing popular.  Instructors at adult education schools are often hired to teach ESL and GED programs.

Teaching Experience Required

Aside from the educational requirements, in-person instructional experience may be required by many online institutions and colleges.  Since online instructing is still a new field, many employers use in-person teaching experience to gauge how much the candidate knows about the field.

Many online teaching opportunities are available within the college that the candidate teaches in-person courses.  Your firsthand experience may prove beneficial in getting the online teaching position offered at your school.  Your experience and hard work should always pay off.

Other Job Requirements

Another important job requirement for online teaching positions is familiarity with computers and technology. Most instructors use a computer regularly in posting grades and communicating with students.  Online instructors conduct their entire class online, so being current with technology helps.  Candidates for online teaching positions must be able to show that they are comfortable with using technology and know how to operate systems the school offers.

Social networking may also be beneficial to online instructors.  Many find that communicating with the class via Facebook or Twitter may help the students gain relationships and work better as a team.

While online instructor positions are competitive, candidates can set themselves apart by continuing their own education, staying current with technology and increasing their in-person teaching time.  Jobs are available and the industry shows no signs of slowing down.



Category: Careers and Employment,Online Degrees