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Teacher of Online Education: Educational Requirements to Teach Online

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a teacher of online education. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and career outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

The requirements to teach online vary based on the age of the students. Postsecondary teachers are required to have a master's or doctorate in education. Those teaching kindergarten through grade 12 must have a bachelor's degree and teaching license. All online teachers must be skilled working with computers and different types of computer programs that may be utilized for online instruction.

Essential Information

Online teaching is a popular alternative for education institutions and their students. Teachers who teach online courses use the Internet to distribute course assignments and have virtual class discussions. Teachers of online education have the same education standards as non-virtual teachers, and they need a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in teaching depending on what level of student they will be instructing. Collegiate teachers will need at least a master's degree. Those who teach in public schools must have a teacher's license.

Required Education Bachelor's, master's or doctorate in education, depending on level
Other Requirements Teaching license for K-12 public school teachers
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 13% for all postsecondary teachers; 6% for high school teachers
Average Salary (2015)* $77,480 for all postsecondary teachers; $60,440 for high school teachers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Educational Requirements to Teach Online

A teacher of online education is often employed by postsecondary educational institutions such as colleges, universities, community colleges and technical schools. These teachers conduct courses and assign course assignments through online mediums. This form of teaching is becoming a popular option for college courses because it allows busy working professionals or students who have physical disabilities to advance their educations. Teachers who teach online courses have little to no face-to-face contact with their students since everything is done online.

Education Information for Online Education Teachers

Since many online teachers teach at the collegiate level, they typically have at least a master's degree. However, teachers who wish to teach in K-12 public schools must obtain an appropriate teaching license. A teaching license can be obtained by completing a teaching training program and passing proficiency exams which vary by state. There may be fewer qualifications for teachers who teach at technical schools.

In addition to basic teaching requirements, online teachers must be able to design coursework and activities that are suitable to use remotely. These teachers also need the keen ability to track progress and check for understanding without interacting in person. It is also helpful for online teachers to accept feedback from students in designing future online courses. Many teacher training programs offer additional coursework and preparation for prospective online teachers. Additionally, teacher seminars and workshops are available for further training for online instructors.

Online teaching certificate programs help prospective candidates to develop essential skills for remote instruction, such as creating online curriculums, utilizing effective teacher-student communication, using online tools and applications for learning, evaluating effectiveness of online assessment, employing collaborative student projects and identifying learning objectives from online assignments. Some courses for these programs might include topics such as online applications, online assessment and instructional design.

Salary and Job Outlook Information

The number of employed postsecondary teachers was expected to increase 13% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In general, postsecondary teachers earned an average of $77,480 per year as of 2015. At the secondary school level, high school teachers should see 6% job growth from 2014-2024, and they made an average annual salary of $60,440, per the BLS.

Online teachers are required to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, and may need to have a teaching license. They can benefit from online teaching certificate programs that address issues related to distance education and how to develop effective communication with students.


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