Remote work can seem like an unattainable dream, especially for teachers who feel tied to the traditional classroom setting. But that doesn’t have to be the case. With the advent of technology and the increasing popularity of online courses, there is a consistently higher demand for online teachers.
Whether you prefer to teach levels from kindergarten through high school or if you would like to be behind the scenes, there are plenty of location independent jobs in the education industry.
Qualifications for Remote Educational Work
So you may be wondering exactly what you need to do to qualify for these teaching positions. While requirements can vary from company to company and depending on the position, there are usually some basic requirements. First, you’ll almost always need to have a Bachelor’s degree. For some of the higher-level classes or college courses, you may even need a more advanced degree.
When it comes to English as a second language (ESL) jobs, you may need a certification verifying your fluency in the language. Some companies don’t require this, but if your desired position does, the top two certifications in the field are the CELTA and TOEFL. These courses can take up to 6 weeks and cost upwards of $1,000 so make sure to find out the requirements of your chosen position so you can decide if it’s worth it and plan ahead.
Finally, you’ll (likely) need some form of teaching experience, but depending on the company, this can vary from simple tutoring to a required number of hours in the classroom.
Outside of that, you’ll also need to think about your teaching environment. Many companies will have requirements for your work environment and online classroom setup, including things like minimum Internet speeds and educational tools such as whiteboards or learning aids for younger levels. You can get these items after securing your first online teaching job; just keep this in mind if you’re a digital nomad and plan on moving often or working from a variety of spaces.
Online Jobs For Teachers
If you’re looking for a position that most closely mimics the experience of teaching in the classroom, then online teaching is the gig for you. There are several different levels you can choose from including K-12, college or ESL, which we will explore in more detail below.
In general, online teaching offers much of the same experience as teaching in a classroom setting, only in a virtual atmosphere. You may teach a single student one on one or entire classrooms from a remote location. You can also choose to educate home-schoolers, adult learners or lead corporate learning seminars and training programs.
Online teaching positions allow you to virtually enter a normal classroom, which is popular at the college level and is done with the help of an aide present in the classroom. Alternatively, your online classes can be entirely remote where students log into the educational platform at a designated time and you instruct in a pseudo-hangout environment.
According to iNACOL, in 2015 there were close to 60 million K-12 students taking part in some form of online education. With increasing numbers year over year, there is a high demand for virtual K-12 teachers. Many of these students take one or two subjects online while others are enrolled in entirely virtual school programs. As with K-12 learning in the classroom, if you choose this career path, you’ll need to instruct students based on statewide standards.
Connections Academy is a company that contracts with school districts to offer online courses, and hires online educators as contractors to fill positions. Since they offer positions in a variety of states, you’ll need to have residency and teaching certifications in the state in which you wish to work. California Virtual Academies is another choice if you have a teaching certification in California. This company is a network of public charter schools and you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree and at least 3 years of teaching experience to qualify.
Both online colleges and traditional brick and mortar universities are increasingly expanding their online offerings. You can work behind the scenes as a course developer (more on that in a minute) or teach as part of the college faculty.
At the college level, you can work as an online course instructor, a distance learning aide or an online course writer. Remember that most of the online teaching positions available at colleges require at least a master’s degree. If hired, you’ll likely join the college as part of the adjunct faculty. As an online adjunct professor, you work on a contractual or part-time basis.
Start by looking at online colleges and universities since their entire staff is typically remotely based. Keiser University and Liberty University are some of the top-ranked online schools if you want to aim high. Otherwise, you can search for online colleges in your area. Alternatively, you can look at online teaching job boards for college-level education such as HigherEdJobs and ChronicleVitae.
Foreign Language and ESL
Another alternative for online teaching is to become a foreign language or ESL instructor. These positions are most common at the high school level or above, although there are often opportunities in adult education as well. If you are a digital nomad and plan on traveling around a lot, this is an excellent opportunity when it comes to working since you can teach your native language to new learners.
Some of these positions will require your presence in a foreign classroom, allowing you to travel and learn about a specific city and country. Other positions are entirely online so you can teach from the comfort of your own home, apartment or hotel room. If you choose an online platform, you want to make sure your educational space is quiet and free from distractions when you are teaching your students.
Additionally, if you speak less common or more challenging languages (from a western point of view) such as Arabic, Chinese or Tagalog, you can increase your earning potential since there will be less competition in your field. Many of these positions will require language certificates verifying the proficiency of your language skills before hiring you.
VIPKID is a Chinese company that hires native English speakers to teach young Chinese students up to around grade 5. To qualify, you need a Bachelor’s degree and some teaching experience. In return, compensation varies from about $16 to $24 dollars and there are several opportunities to earn more money by picking up last minute classes and referring other qualified teachers.
Another similar opportunity is available from DaDAABC with pay ranging up to $25 for online courses geared towards English language learning for Chinese students. You can also look into ESL tutor positions with Rosetta Stone, PandaTree or GoFluent.
Online tutoring is similar to online teaching, but you don’t need as many years of experience in the classroom and degree requirements may also be a little lower. It’s also typically a one-on-one setting and you can set your own schedule when meeting with students and pupils. Your main goal as an online tutor is to help students master a particular subject area.
Online tutoring is something you can do in high school or college to make a little extra cash or you can turn it into a full-time career by sharing your expertise. Whether you’re a math whizz and can tutor calculus and algebra or skilled at computer science, tutoring is a lucrative industry if you have the skills.
Most online tutors use simple tools such as Skype or Google Hangouts to conduct tutoring sessions. With screen sharing capabilities, you can easily work with a student on everything from homework assignments to preparing for exams.
As a tutor, you can choose to work freelance for another company or create your own business offering tutoring services. Some companies that frequently hire tutors include Aim4A, Chegg, Tutor.com and Brainmass. Alternatively, you can build your own website and offer tutoring services as a private contractor. To do this, you’ll need to build a portfolio and offer references to drive repeat and new clients to your site.
The thing to note here is that most professionals who make a full-time living tutoring have consistent clients, repeat work and often charge higher rates. It may take some time to build your portfolio of clientele if you choose to go out on your own, so be patient.
As an educational editor, you will review manuscripts, arrange contracts with publishers and edit written content while making necessary corrections. To qualify, you need a Bachelor’s degree in the subject that is being published, as well as a few years of teaching experience at the minimum.
According to Study.com, the average salary for an educational editor in 2015 was $64,910, making this an excellent career for teachers looking to move out of the classroom or supplement their retirement as a part-time position.
Publishing companies and businesses that produce textbooks for use in the classroom offer most of these positions. For these positions, you can look directly on a textbook publishers careers site or search for educational editor positions such as Atwood Tate, which is based in the UK and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which is the largest textbook publisher in the United States. You can do a simple search for educational editors on job board websites like SimplyHired and Indeed and make sure to filter for home-based positions.
If you’re a teacher or instructor in a classroom, you likely know what works well and what doesn’t. If you’re looking to get out of the classroom, but still enjoy working in education, becoming a curriculum developer is a great option. As a curriculum developer, you’ll turn content into interesting lesson plans designed to engage students and enhance the learning process.
HigherEdJobs has curriculum design positions fairly regularly and they also easily display the location so you can sift through positions and find the remote/online ones that work for you. Some companies that are currently offering home-based opportunities for instructional design developers include Cengage, Genius Plaza and eLearning Company. Upwork also lists several freelance curriculum developer positions.
As a writing coach, you teach the hard skills of writing and producing content to clients. This can range from helping new graduates with their resumes to offering coaching services to students in order to help them improve their writing for research or a graduate school thesis.
To be a writing coach, you need to have excellent writing skills as well as expertise in the area in which you wish to be a coach. If you want to coach people on how to write a book, you should have success writing and publishing your own novels. As a writing coach, you’ll offer clients step-by-step advice to reach their goals, give new perspectives on written works and hold them accountable to deadlines.
According to Writer Mag, a fair salary range for a writing coach is from $75 to $125 per hour. Writing coaches can also offer bundled packages or multiple sessions for a discounted rate to encourage repeat business.
Since this position can be extremely varied, it’s useful to figure out exactly what kind of writing coach you want to be. Do you want to help people publish novels? Do you want to be a resume editor? Or maybe you prefer to work as a writing coach on a college campus? Hone in on exactly what you want to do in order to find the right fit.
The best way to find a position as a writing coach is to search through Indeed or another large job board and filter your job search to remote jobs. A quick search through these job boards shows colleges such as Brown University and the University of Virginia hiring for writing coaches as well as companies such as Phantom and Auster.
If you have a background in education, you can become a test scorer. Test scorers typically work on giving marks on exams taken in middle and high school. Many of these tests are high level and have a significant impact on student’s educational lives. You’ll correct tests including the SATs, GRE, TOEFL and AP exams.
There are many companies within the test scoring industry that hire remote workers. One of the biggest names in the industry is ETS and they are always looking for new test scorers. One thing to note is that work schedules vary throughout the year and there is a high season since many of these tests take place around the same time each year.
Another big name in the industry is Kaplan, the test prep professionals. In order to qualify as a test scorer at Kaplan, you must have scored in the 90th percentile or above on your chosen subject matter. They also prefer a Bachelor’s degree, but this has been waved in the past dependent on experience and test scores.
Pearson is a British owned education publisher that offers resources for higher education students. They regularly accept applications for work at home test scorers mainly focused on grading the SATs. You must have a Bachelor’s degree, experience as a high school English teacher and have legal authorization to work in the U.S.A.
Teaching Materials Provider
As a teacher, you probably also know which classroom materials and activates are the most effective when it comes to learning. A website called Teachers Pay Teachers has emerged to enable you to share your expertise with other teachers. Using their online platform, you can sell your lesson plans, fun classroom activities and even classroom décor.
The highest earner on the site has pulled in over $2 million, and more than 200 users have made more than $50,000. While not necessarily a full-time gig for most educational professionals, it can be a great way to make extra cash. You can post your materials by type including videos, guides and holiday-themed tools or by subject.
Start Teaching Online
As an online teacher, you get the benefits of working from anywhere, having a flexible schedule and it’s also a great way to join the location independent movement. With a plethora of online teaching jobs, you can choose to add extra income to your current gig or opt for full-time employment as a remote worker.
If you need more support on how to find remote jobs or what it’s like to be location independent, consider joining our community. You’ll get 24/7 access to digital nomads who have created their own online businesses and others who freelance as teachers, designers, writers and so on.
Whether you’re a college student looking for ways to start working remotely when you graduate or a seasoned educator with years of teaching experience under your belt, there is an online job for you out there.