If you are interested in becoming a virtual teacher, a position that is also commonly referred to as an online instructor, it is important to learn how this role compares to a traditional teaching job.
In general, there are certain education and certification requirements for you to get started in virtual teaching. For instance, virtual teachers typically require the same amount of education as a traditional teacher. Moreover, because online instructors often teach at a college level, they will require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in their respective fields.
Overall, it is recommended for virtual teachers to attend online courses where they can understand how these courses work. Attending an online course will also allow virtual teachers to review different teaching methods that work well in the virtual space. While not required, obtaining certain additional certifications may increase your odds of finding employment within this highly competitive field.
Perhaps the most enticing benefit of virtual teaching is the ability to work from home. In addition, it is worth knowing that traditional teachers and online instructors generally make the same amount of money. Generally, these salaries or pay rates are determined by state averages and your employer. To learn more about virtual teaching jobs, review the sections below.
A virtual teacher is an instructor that teaches courses remotely, typically from a home office. Therefore, these online instructors are required to meet many of the same educational requirements as traditional classroom teachers. Overall, online instructors can interact with students through message boards, chat rooms, email and other types of software that allow video and audio conversations to take place. For that reason, virtual teachers have the opportunity to teach classes across the United States and even around the world.
Some online instructors teach their classes by posting video and audio lectures that were previously recorded. Conversely, other virtual teachers may teach in a live setting. Other virtual teachers simply provide easily downloadable text materials. In some cases, courses are set up at specific times when students can attend a classroom with the online instructor. However, an online instructor’s acceptable teaching styles vary significantly depending on his or her employer.
As a virtual teacher, it is imperative that you are able to promptly answer student emails, message board questions and other forms of communications. Moreover, assignments are generally submitted digitally and must be critiqued and graded in a prompt manner.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) combines data for both traditional teachers and online instructors. However, most virtual teachers can expect to make the average income for a teacher within their state. According to recent reports, it is estimated that post-secondary teachers make an average of $59,000. Conversely, the lowest 10 percent of teachers earn, on average, less than $30,000. Therefore, salaries for online instructors can vary greatly depending on their location and particular employer.
As a general rule, the educational requirements pertaining to virtual teachers are the same in comparison to traditional instructors. Thus, you will be required to have at least a master’s degree if you wish to become an online college instructor. Additionally, many virtual teachers pursue a Ph.D. in their chosen specialty or field, allowing them to teach students on a master’s level. In general, it has become increasingly common for colleges and universities within the United States to offer courses and degrees that are taught partially or exclusively online. Therefore, this is a growing field for instructors who have an interest in remote teaching opportunities.
While there are additional certifications or special accreditations that you can add onto your virtual teaching career, they are not always required. On the other hand, some of these certifications may be worth considering. Certifications and additional training can showcase your online competency and help you to stand out from other candidates that an employer may be considering. Additionally, they show that you are willing to exceed expectations as an online instructor.
Despite the fact that virtual teachers are types of remote professionals, they are generally not considered freelancers or contractors from a legal standpoint. Overall, virtual teachers are employed by schools or universities. Thus, because they are considered employees, these professionals have to follow schedules and meet all of the requirements established for all full-time workers. For that reason, virtual teachers will still be given the same amount of a workload, if not more, as in-classroom instructors. However, these professionals have the benefit of completing such work from the comfort of their homes. As an employee, they will also enjoy benefits such as vacation time, 401(k) and health insurance.
Perhaps the best benefit of teaching online is that you can work remotely. This means that you can teach from the comfort of your home or while being anywhere in the world, as long as you have the proper equipment to do so. This equipment typically includes a computer, headset and high-speed internet. In certain instances, employers will provide online instructors with flexible scheduling options.
The largest disadvantage to virtual teaching is that online instructors are part a very competitive field. Therefore, it may be hard to find employment opportunities. It is also worth noting that virtual teachers do not generally make more money than traditional teachers. In fact, both traditional and virtual teachers generally make about the same amount of money.
You are not required to undergo an online course before becoming a virtual teacher. However, doing so can improve your understanding of what it is like to be an online student. Moreover, you can learn from other professionals about what virtual teaching styles work best. After receiving a formal education for teaching, you can contact schools that offer online degree programs and classes in subjects that you specialize in. In addition, career boards may post openings for online instructors.
In general, competition is fierce in the virtual teaching field. On the other hand, it is easier to find work once you get your foot in the door. Having experience, even if it is in traditional teaching settings, can also help you become more appealing to potential employers.