A former principal, teacher, and tutor, Kenna works online as a curriculum writer and writes about educational technology.
Demand for Online Teaching and Related Jobs
Online educational companies report a constant expansion of K-12 students' enrollment over the last ten years. Families have come to recognize that kids learn from digital education. They see it as high-quality instruction for those preferring homeschooling or blending (learning part of the time in brick-and-mortar classrooms and part of the time online).
More states across the US are funding online schools as accredited establishments. Virtual public schools are continuing to increase in large numbers. The demand for online teachers and online teaching-related jobs is growing exponentially.
This is the time to consider working as a teacher—or as a person helping teachers—in the convenience of your home.
Teaching online, working in casual dress, or even pajamas in your home saves you time and money compared to classroom teaching, and probably reduces stress. You don't have to purchase school supplies or drive to work as long as you have credentials. If you don't have credentials or a tutoring certificate, you can still work from home online, writing curricula.
If you just graduated from college, you might want to consider starting your career as an online teacher. Or, if you are a former teacher or want to increase your overall earnings, take a moment and view the multiple part-time and full-time online jobs listed in this article. Companies are open to hiring teachers like you. You can take a look and see if one or more of these jobs fits your lifestyle.
1. Online Teacher
Though some online teachers and tutors instruct a group, most of the instruction is done one-on-one and requires specific equipment, which some establishments are willing to purchase for their staff.
Online teachers may instruct all academics or teach specialty subjects like Math, English, French, History, ESL, and other minor topics. Shop around and see which school or establishment offers the best salary and benefits. The list below (under "References") is a good start.
Salary and Benefits for Online Teachers
When going from a brick-and-mortar classroom to working at home, you will almost certainly experience a pay cut. That is why you might want to limit your start at working online to part-time work. See if it is something you like and whether it is worth taking a cut in pay.
There are remarkable differences from school to school in salary and benefits. Some schools are competitive and offer wages and benefits that attract highly skilled teachers and tutors, such as Florida Virtual School (on the "References" list below). Other schools are not as transparent. You need to dig deeper and find out what prospective employers are genuinely like and what they have to offer.
Most online schools advance equipment to teachers and offer guidance. Make sure you fully understand what they provide you as an online teacher working for them.
2. Online Tutor
As I mentioned before, tutoring online is an excellent method for working at home and making a decent living or supplementing your income. It is also ideal for teachers who enjoy teaching in the classroom and desire to earn a supplemental income by tutoring online in the early evenings or weekends. Tutoring lets you pick from a wide range of subjects to tutor and hours that work for you.
If your vocation is ESL, EOSL, SAT or ACT prep, English, or mathematics, you can use technologies like Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom.
The key to economic success as a tutor online is having enough clients. So you need to build up enough students to support your livelihood, by yourself or with help from tutoring companies that operate as a clearinghouse. Below are links to some tutoring companies to decide whether or not you want to use them.
3. Curriculum Developer
Obtaining a reputation as a versatile curriculum developer is essential if you want to make good money working online in the educational field. Skilled curriculum writers are a resource both online and conventional schools are looking for. I write curriculum and find it rewarding, not only because it helps schools deliver better material but because I hear how my content helps students excel.
Not only do schools need curricula, so do educational consultants, afterschool care programs, and summer camps. These educational groups post on job boards advertising for qualified curriculum developers to manage their programs to meet standards, including current state requirements.
Most of these jobs require classroom experience. I was fortunate to have teaching experience in a conventional classroom, managing my lesson plans and materials. If, like me, you have already learned how to formulate a standard curriculum, you can organize that expertise into a secondary occupation and enhance your earnings with a home-based job.
4. Teaching Materials Provider
Creating teaching materials is comparable to being a curriculum developer. But it includes writing a wider variety of products: plays, printouts for homeschool projects that download for a fee, or anything that is project-based. When you produce teaching materials for other schools, teachers, afterschool care programs, and homeschooling families, you earn money. The list of possible clients seems limitless.
If, like me, as a teacher, you created copious amounts of teaching materials through trial and error to develop unique and fresh content, why not offer the materials to other institutions or homeschool families. Websites such as Super Teacher Worksheets and Teachers Pay Teachers empower you to submit your lesson plans, activities, special projects, classroom games or decorations, and whatever.
Some teachers report earning a bundle from these platforms. Truthfully, when I post my lesson plans, projects, and plays on Teachers Pay Teachers, I make only extra money for incidentals, but it adds up after a while, and the work is rewarding.
5. Test Scorer
Educational Testing Services (ETS) urges anyone and everyone to apply for position scoring tests. Test scoring is not a full-time position, but strictly part-time. The workload cycles through the company's online platform to estimate scores on tests like Praxis, TOEFL, and the GRE.
Most of the work is between January and June, so you'll need other work from September to December. The pay is not great. Still, it is a viable part-time job because it's not difficult, and you can score the tests in the comfort of home.
Other companies, Pearson and Literably, need independent scorers as well. Both require comprehensive screening and preparation programs before you get started earning money. Once the hurdles get cleared, these companies supplement your income nicely. Their links are below in the "References" section.
6. Educational Editor
In this role, you edit work by other teachers or textbook authors. I find educational editing is one of the best jobs to do at home. Like any teacher, you have a sharp eye for catching punctuation, grammar, and research errors. You know the guidelines and can systematically correct papers. Working for an educational publishing company allows teachers to forsake the classroom and shift to freelancing.
But, if you desire benefits, a pension plan, or any traditional perks that come with working for someone, this is not the career you want. More and more companies obtain their editors by contracting with them rather than hiring them as employees, Some companies will still hire you and allow you to be an employee from home, but they are not easy to find.
7. Educational Blogger and Writer
If you dream of building a repertoire of work, developing a stable flow of income, and then leaving your day job as a classroom teacher, you'll find that being an excellent writer is not enough. It helps to build a portfolio of work showing your talent—what you can do. You showcase your expertise by getting your work published online or in magazines and other publications.
Your teaching background helps give you stature as an expert on teaching, so publishers take notice, but a well-organized portfolio gets you the work. Search the job boards I list below and peruse websites and other magazines to find out which ones might need teachers who can write about education, in the classroom, or in general.
8. Writing Coach
Because so many people graduate from high school and college without the necessary writing skills, the business community has come to recognize the need for writing coaches. As a writing coach, you can help reverse society's downward trend in grammar and punctuation.
Helping students and business clients develop necessary writing skills are a lot like tutoring as one-on-one with Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. It may work better as a part-time job or a freelance job for any tutor. You can find new clients via the Internet or word of mouth.
9. Online Adjunct Teacher
Adjunct teaching is a perfect stay-at-home job. Adjunct teachers help prepare, plan, and implement teaching projects that assist online students. It's an administrative job with duties that involve communicating with students via phone, chatrooms, email, or instant messaging. The central aspect of the work is replying to parents' or students' queries promptly. The pay is relatively low, but you get to work at home.
Time to Start Planning
Now that you know more about teaching or tutoring online, I recommend you take a look at the links below and study them thoroughly. Then—while still keeping your day job—you should write a plan of action. I suggest you peruse the job boards, weigh all possibilities for becoming a stay-at-home teacher or tutor, map out your journey, make the best decisions, and be steadfast.
Digital learning is relatively new but is rapidly growing. Anyone who cherishes helping students can begin shaping a new career as an online teacher or tutor in the luxury of their private home.
- Top 10 Don'ts for Wannabe Teacher Bloggers | Teacher Network | The Guardian
Blogger, head, and physics teacher Tom Sherrington offers tips and guidance for teachers.
Literably is a reading assessment for K-8 students that identifies A-Z reading levels, diagnoses skill gaps, screens students for reading difficulties, and monitors progress.
Pearson is the most comprehensive provider of educational assessment products, services, and solutions.
- Scoring Job Opportunities
Work takes place online and at scoring sites throughout the United States.
- Teachers Pay Teachers
World's most popular online marketplace for original educational resources, with over four million resources available for use today.
- Super Teacher Worksheets - Thousands of Printable Activities
They are printable worksheets and activities for teachers, parents, tutors, and homeschool families. Subjects include math, reading, writing, science, social studies, spelling, and more.
- Top 10 Best Websites for Jobs
The top 10 best job websites and job search engines offer information on what you will find on each site, and tips to get the most out of your job search.
- Wyzant: Find Private Tutors at Affordable Prices, In-Person & Online
Find affordable, top-rated private tutors in 250+ subjects and test prep on Wyzant.com. Quick online scheduling for in-person and online tutoring help.
Welcome to VIPKid! Teach English to children in China, online, on your schedule, and all from home.
- FLVS - Florida Virtual School | Grades K-12 Online
FLVS (Florida Virtual School) is an accredited, public, e-learning school serving students in grades K-12 online - in Florida and worldwide.
- Florida Virtual School Pay Scale
Florida Virtual School is an online school dedicated to personalized learning.
- Summary of Research on Online and Blended Learning Programs Offer
Find information about and locate all publications and data products on education information from the National Center for Education Statistics.
© 2020 Kenna McHugh
Kenna McHugh (author) from Northern California on March 13, 2020:
Liz, Good point. I am not surprised as most secondary education institutions have closed campus or classes. They are teaching online, now, until the virus blows over.
Liz Westwood from UK on March 12, 2020:
I have heard that recently, with the onset of coronavirus, that the demand for online tutors has rocketed.
Kenna McHugh (author) from Northern California on March 12, 2020:
Rada, I agree. But, we still need that one-on-one connection and the understanding that we need to treat each other kindly, like face-to-face, when we are working online.
Rada Heger on March 12, 2020:
Nowadays, many people work online in different areas. I think that the more the world develops the more online jobs will be.
Kenna McHugh (author) from Northern California on February 17, 2020:
Liz, it is incredible, and the field is expanding because of educational technology. They need writers, but it is a competitive field.
Liz Westwood from UK on February 17, 2020:
I had no idea that there were so many openings for teachers working from home. This is a very useful guide for anyone considering using their teaching skills online.
Sonia from New York on February 15, 2020:
Highly interesting article with vital information
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 15, 2020:
Very interesting and useful. Well presented.