A Guide to Online Teaching Jobs

By Ammar Ahmed


Remote Jobs

Ammar Ahmed

Ammar Ahmed

Writer & Career Coach

The world of learning has taken a giant leap online, making online teaching jobs more popular than ever. Whether it’s because of new tech or the need to learn from home, there’s a real buzz about teaching over the internet. In this article, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of starting your online teaching journey, showing you the exciting job options out there.

Our Criteria for the Top Online Teaching Jobs

When compiling our recommendations for premier online teaching jobs, we’ve selected opportunities that meet the unique demands and expectations of the teaching industry.

Our criteria are rooted in factors critical to both the success of educators and the educational outcomes of their students:

  • Platform Reputation and Reliability: We prioritize platforms known for their credibility and consistent delivery of quality educational experiences. These platforms maintain high standards for both teachers and the curriculum, ensuring that educators are part of a professional teaching environment.
  • Support and Resources for Educators: Platforms that offer comprehensive support in the form of training, customer service, and pedagogical resources score high on our list. Such support is crucial for educators to adapt to the online format and continually develop their teaching skills.
  • Compensation and Benefits: Our selections take into account the compensation models of platforms, advocating for fair pay and, where possible, additional benefits. We consider the financial stability that these platforms can offer to educators.
  • Technological Infrastructure: Given the reliance on technology for online education, we look for platforms that offer robust and user-friendly interfaces. This includes stable connectivity, interactive tools, and resources that facilitate a seamless teaching and learning experience.
  • Diversity of Opportunities: We value platforms that cater to a variety of subjects, teaching levels, and educational approaches. This diversity allows educators to find niches that align with their expertise and passions.

By adhering to these criteria, we ensure that our recommendations for online teaching jobs not only meet the expected industry standards but also resonate with the evolving needs of educators in a dynamic digital landscape.

Top 10 Online Teaching Jobs

Discover ten online teaching jobs tailored for dynamic educators seeking to leverage technology, engage with students globally, and cultivate academic growth in a flexible, digital environment.

1. K-12 Online Tutors

K-12 online tutors provide a personalized educational experience to students from kindergarten through high school, all facilitated through an online platform. This job involves more than just answering questions; it’s about delivering comprehensive lessons across various subjects, supporting students’ learning paths, and adapting to different educational standards and learning styles from the comfort of your home.

  • Subjects: Tutors cover staple subjects of the general curriculum. Math sessions involve guiding students through algebraic concepts or geometry puzzles. Science classes can range from exploring basic biological processes to conducting virtual experiments. English tutoring focuses on enhancing reading comprehension and writing skills, while history lessons could involve discussing historical events and their impact on the present day.
  • Platforms: Several specialized platforms serve as the gateway to K-12 online tutoring. Elevate K-12 partners with schools to provide structured lesson plans and a consistent student base. VIPKid and Qkids are more oriented towards individualized language and subject tutoring, incorporating interactive and fun learning methodologies. For those looking to expand their reach internationally, Teach Away offers a platform for educators to find online teaching positions around the world.

Related Article: How to Make Money as an Online Tutor.

2. Language Teachers

Language Teachers in the online realm have a unique opportunity to open the doors of communication for learners across the globe. As an online Language Teacher, you get to witness the joy of your students expressing their first full sentences in a new tongue and the satisfaction as they become fluent speakers.

  • Languages: Online language Educators guide students through a linguistic journey, navigating through the intricacies of grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, and cultural nuances. They tailor lessons in ESL to help learners achieve proficiency for professional or personal reasons. In Spanish, they might explore the language’s diverse dialects and cultural expressions. French educators often focus on conversational skills alongside formal grammar, while Mandarin teachers break down complex characters and tones, essential for mastering the language.
  • Platforms: Platforms like iTalki offer a marketplace where language teachers can set their schedules and prices, attracting students with personalized profiles showcasing their teaching styles. Cambly is known for its conversational approach, connecting learners with native speakers instantly, ideal for those looking to practice their speaking skills in real-time. Preply matches tutors to learners based on detailed profiles and teaching niches, from business language to exam preparation. Rosetta Stone provides a structured environment with a pre-defined curriculum, emphasizing immersive language learning. Lingoda hosts live, small-group classes that mimic traditional classroom settings, providing a collaborative learning atmosphere online. These platforms cater to different learning styles and goals, ensuring that there is a perfect fit for every aspiring language learner and teacher.

Related Article: Best Side Hustles for Teachers.

3. Higher Education & University-Level Instructors

Online Higher Education Instructors shape minds at a university level, creating and delivering detailed courses virtually. These educators play a pivotal role in fostering advanced knowledge and critical thinking skills within specialized academic disciplines.

  • Subjects: The array of subjects for online Higher Education Instructors is diverse. Business instructors might delve into case studies or economic theories, while health sciences cover topics from anatomy to public health policies. Liberal arts educators engage with a broad spectrum of disciplines including literature, philosophy, and social sciences, encouraging a multidisciplinary approach to learning. Computer science and engineering instructors tackle everything from foundational programming languages to advanced engineering principles, preparing students for cutting-edge fields.
  • Platforms: Educators can access a variety of platforms tailored to higher education, like bespoke university portals that extend the reach of traditional institutions into the digital domain. On Coursera and edX, instructors can lead specialized courses often developed in partnership with top-tier universities, complete with robust tools for student interaction, assessment, and multimedia content delivery. These platforms not only facilitate global classrooms but also offer pathways for students to earn college credit or professional certificates.

4. Professional and Vocational Trainers

Professional and Vocational Trainers in the online space are catalysts for career development, providing specialized training that bridges the gap between academic learning and real-world application. They design and disseminate courses that offer practical skills and knowledge necessary for students to excel in their chosen professions or trades.

  • Subjects: Professional and Vocational Trainers online are not just educators; they are industry experts turning real-world experience into learning opportunities. They cover a variety of practical and in-demand skills. Project management trainers teach methodologies like Agile or PRINCE2, equipping students with the tools to lead teams and deliver results. Coding & software development courses range from teaching basic HTML to advanced software engineering principles. Marketing trainers delve into strategies, digital trends, and analytics, while graphic design instructors focus on creative processes, software proficiency, and design principles.
  • Platforms: On LinkedIn Learning, trainers tap into a vast professional network, providing courses that often include interactive learning and a certificate upon completion to boost learners’ professional profiles. Udemy allows trainers to reach a diverse audience by creating and selling courses on topics ranging from the basics to niche specializations. Teachable offers the tools to build comprehensive courses housed on personal websites, giving trainers full control over the content, pricing, and student engagement strategies. These platforms cater to career-driven individuals, thereby demanding content that is up-to-date, relevant, and actionable in today’s fast-paced professional landscapes.

5. Coding & Tech Tutors

Coding & Tech Tutors specialize in demystifying the digital world, guiding students through the syntax of code to the logic of algorithms. They empower students by imparting skills that are critical in the tech-centric workforce of today.

  • Subjects: These tutors cover critical and current tech topics. Web development courses range from HTML basics to full-stack solutions, while app development encompasses everything from simple mobile applications to complex software ecosystems. Data science tutors navigate through statistics and analysis tools, and AI & machine learning education delves into neural networks and automation technologies.
  • Platforms: For those specializing in coding and tech education, platforms like Codecademy provide interactive coding sessions, whereas freeCodeCamp offers a community-driven learning experience with hands-on projects. Treehouse attracts learners with its project-based curriculum and tech degree programs, while Udacity stands out with its nano degree programs that include mentorship and career services, tailoring to those who want a comprehensive learning journey from classroom to career.

Related Article: 24 Best Tech and IT Job Boards.

6. Test Prep & College Admissions Tutors

Test Prep & College Admissions Tutors are specialized mentors focused on helping students achieve their best possible scores on standardized tests, unlocking doors to higher education and beyond. They strategize with learners to master test materials, manage time effectively, and tackle exams with confidence.

  • Subjects: These tutors equip students to excel in a spectrum of standardized tests: SAT and ACT for college admissions, GRE for graduate school, GMAT for business school, LSAT for law school aspirants, and MCAT for future medical students. They provide comprehensive review sessions, practice exams, and personalized coaching to enhance performance on each of these pivotal assessments.
  • Platforms: Reputable companies like Kaplan, Princeton Review, and Manhattan Prep are pillars in the test prep industry. Kaplan offers a wide range of preparation materials and tutoring services for multiple tests, backed by years of educational experience. Princeton Review is known for its test-specific strategies and practice tests that mimic real exam conditions. Manhattan Prep stands out for its intensive, content-focused approach, particularly popular among GMAT and LSAT aspirants for its rigorous prep courses.

7. Corporate Trainers

Corporate Trainers are the linchpins in the professional development machinery of large organizations, tasked with equipping staff with the latest software knowledge, sales acumen, or soft skills necessary to excel in the corporate ecosystem.

  • Subjects: The curriculum they offer is diverse and dynamic, focusing on software training to ensure proficiency in the latest tools and platforms. Leadership modules aim to cultivate visionary managers, while communication skills training is designed to enhance interpersonal interactions and presentation efficacy, all critical for the smooth operation and growth of any business.
  • Platforms: While Corporate Trainers may not rely on public platforms like those used for general online education, they often utilize internal learning management systems (LMS) or bespoke training modules developed in-house or through third-party providers. They may also leverage video conferencing tools, interactive webinars, and digital workshops to deliver training effectively to a geographically dispersed workforce. Additionally, trainers might engage with external platforms for specialized content, such as LinkedIn Learning for leadership courses or industry-specific software training resources.

8. Music Instruction Teachers

Music Instruction Teachers online are virtuosos in the virtual classroom, translating the nuances of melody and rhythm through the digital medium. They inspire students across the globe, teaching them to master instruments or hone their vocal abilities from any location.

  • Subjects: These maestros provide instruction across a range of instruments. They guide students through the strings of a guitar, the keys of a piano, the control of voice, the precision of a violin, and the rhythm of drums. Each lesson is crafted to build technique, music theory understanding, and performance skills, tailored to the student’s individual pace and genre preference.
  • Platforms: TakeLessons and Lessonface stand out as digital stages for music education. TakeLessons offers a broad spectrum of instructors for personalized one-on-one sessions, while Lessonface connects students with teachers for live lessons tailored to specific instruments and skills. Both platforms feature tools that make online music learning as close to in-person lessons as possible, including high-quality video interactions and resource sharing, making it easier for students to engage and practice effectively.

9. Art & Craft Tutors 

Art & Craft Tutors in the online realm bring the vibrant and tactile world of art creation into homes, fostering creativity and skill in students with a passion for crafting and visual arts.

  • Subjects: They offer a palette of courses, ranging from basic drawing techniques that lay the foundation for visual expression, to painting classes exploring various mediums and styles. DIY crafts sessions unlock the joy of creating with hands-on projects, while jewelry-making courses combine artistry with technique to produce wearable art.
  • Platforms: Skillshare and Craftsy are the canvases for these online tutors. Skillshare hosts a community of creatives sharing expertise through project-based classes, encouraging students to learn by doing. Craftsy focuses on the finer details of craftwork, offering high-definition instructional videos in niche artistic disciplines, providing a platform for artisans to not only learn but also showcase their craftsmanship. Both platforms offer a blend of interactivity, community feedback, and a library of resources to support learners at every stage of their creative journey.

10. Specialized Skill or Hobby Teachers

Specialized Skill or Hobby Teachers take the reins in steering enthusiasts through the enriching process of acquiring new proficiencies and joys in hobbies they are passionate about. They translate their expert knowledge into digestible online lessons for both novices and advanced learners.

  • Subjects: Whether it’s guiding aspiring chefs through the delicate art of cooking, revealing the secrets behind gourmet dishes, or assisting budding writers in finding their unique voice and mastering narrative techniques, these educators offer an avenue for creative expression and skill refinement.
  • Platforms: MasterClass is renowned for its cinematic quality courses taught by celebrity experts, making learning an immersive experience. Udemy boasts a vast library where hobbyists can dive into a multitude of topics at their own pace. Teachable allows tutors to create and customize their own courses, giving them the freedom to structure their unique content, thereby offering learners a personalized educational journey in their hobby of choice. These platforms not only impart skills but also inspire a dedicated following of learners driven by passion and curiosity.

Understanding The Business and Payment Models of Top Online Teaching Platforms

The platforms that stand out do so by crafting unique experiences for both educators and learners. Let’s delve into how some of the most popular online teaching platforms operate and their respective payment structures.

1. Skillshare

Skillshare operates on a membership model, providing unlimited access to its courses for a monthly or annual subscription fee. Educators earn money through royalty payments based on the number of minutes watched in their classes and can also earn referral bonuses. The platform is particularly appealing for creative professionals due to its project-based class structure.

2. Udemy

Udemy allows instructors to create and sell courses on a vast array of topics. Payments to instructors come from course sales, with the split varying depending on who drives the sale—Udemy or the instructor. The platform often runs promotions, which can impact the final earnings, but also significantly increase the user base for the course.

3. Teachable

Teachable offers instructors the flexibility to create their own branded online schools. Payments are more direct—trainers charge students a fee to enroll in their courses or subscribe to content libraries. Teachable does take a small percentage, but the bulk of the course fee goes to the instructor, with options for advanced pricing models like memberships, bundles, and upsells.

4. MasterClass

MasterClass is known for its high-production-value courses taught by celebrities and industry leaders. It functions on a subscription model similar to Skillshare, where users pay for access to all content. Instructors on MasterClass are typically recruited and are compensated with a negotiated fee or partnership arrangement, rather than a per-user or per-minute rate.

5. Codecademy

Specializing in tech education, Codecademy offers a freemium model where basic courses are free, but advanced lessons and features require a Pro subscription. Educators are generally part of the Codecademy team or contracted, receiving compensation based on contracts rather than the number of students.

6. TakeLessons and Lessonface

Both TakeLessons and Lessonface connect students with instructors for one-on-one lessons in a wide range of subjects. These platforms usually take a commission from each lesson booked. The pricing is set by the instructors themselves, giving them control over their earnings.

7. Craftsy

Craftsy is tailored for crafts and creative arts, offering both a subscription model and individual course purchases. Instructors are paid royalties based on the number of class sales and the number of Craftsy subscribers who watch their classes.

Understanding the mechanics and payment structure of each platform can guide educators in choosing the right avenue for their online teaching career, ensuring that their efforts are not only rewarding in terms of student impact but also financially sustainable.

Requirements for Virtual Teaching Jobs

The transition to virtual education demands certain prerequisites that aspiring online educators must fulfill.

Here is a comprehensive breakdown of the requirements for virtual teaching jobs:

Educational Qualifications

Most reputable online teaching platforms mandate a bachelor’s degree as a fundamental qualifier. Additionally, teaching credentials, such as a state teaching license or a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification, are often required, especially for K-12 education or English language instruction. These requirements ensure that educators possess the necessary academic and pedagogical knowledge to deliver quality education.

Technical Requirements

The digital nature of online teaching necessitates a robust tech setup. A high-speed, stable internet connection is non-negotiable to avoid disruptions during live sessions. Educators must also be proficient in various educational software and platforms used by the institution. A high-resolution webcam and a clear, noise-canceling microphone are critical for maintaining interactive and engaging sessions. Some platforms may also require a dual monitor setup to manage teaching materials more efficiently during classes.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are the undercurrents that greatly influence the effectiveness of online teaching. Adaptability is essential as virtual educators must navigate varied digital platforms and tailor their approaches to diverse student needs. Patience and strong communication skills are vital in facilitating a supportive learning environment. Time management is another crucial skill, ensuring that educators can plan and execute lessons within the allocated time frames and manage the additional administrative tasks that come with virtual teaching.

Background Checks

Safety is paramount in the educational space. Consequently, most online teaching platforms conduct background checks to ensure the security and well-being of students. This process typically includes a criminal record check and verification of educational and professional credentials. Teachers may need to provide fingerprints and undergo additional screening, depending on the platform’s policies and the age group of the students they will teach.

Meeting these requirements is just the first step to securing online teaching positions. Continuous professional development and staying abreast of the latest digital teaching tools and techniques can further enhance an educator’s capabilities and opportunities in the virtual classroom.

Related Article: Want to explore more remote job options? Find out the 22 best jobs that can be done remotely.

Is an Online Teaching Job for You?

Choosing an online teaching job is a significant career decision that comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. Here’s what you need to weigh in on.

Pros of Online Teaching

  • Flexibility: One of the most alluring aspects of online teaching is the flexibility it offers. Educators can often set their schedules, accommodating personal commitments and preferred working hours.
  • Work from Anywhere: Virtual teaching eliminates the geographical constraints of the traditional classroom. Teachers can reach students across the globe from the comfort of their homes, at a local café, or while traveling.
  • Personalized Teaching Environment: Online teachers have the liberty to create a personalized teaching space. This can lead to enhanced teaching methods tailored to their style and the specific needs of their students.

Related Article: 15 Most Common Teacher Interview Questions and Answers.

Cons of Online Teaching

  • Technical Issues: As much as technology empowers online education, it can also pose challenges. Technical difficulties like internet outages or software glitches can disrupt classes and impact the teaching flow.
  • Isolation: Working from home may lead to a sense of isolation for some educators. The lack of physical interaction with colleagues and students can be a stark contrast to the vibrant environment of a traditional classroom.
  • Lack of Traditional Benefits: Freelance online educators may find themselves without the benefits that come with a full-time teaching position, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid leave.
  • Potentially Inconsistent Income: For those venturing into freelance online teaching, income can be variable and often lacks the consistency of a salaried position. The fluctuation is tied to the number of students, courses taught, and the demand for the subject matter.

In conclusion, online teaching offers a modern, flexible approach to education but it isn’t without its drawbacks. Potential online educators must consider their ability to manage the uncertainties and technical aspects of working remotely. For those who thrive in a digital environment and can navigate the cons, online teaching can be a rewarding and innovative career path.

Ammar Ahmed

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