Online Teaching Job Opportunities for Instructors and Faculty

Working as a virtual professor, teacher, or instructor offers flexibility and additional income. Find online teaching jobs for online studies and education.

During one of the recent school years, more than 11,200 degree and certificate programs could be completed entirely by distance education. In the four years, thousands more degree and certificate programs have been added, and for each course taught by distance education, an online professor job opens up. Online instructor jobs, as well as an online essay writer, have exploded, and while many colleges and universities use existing staff to fill new course openings, hundreds of colleges nationwide hire part-and full-time online faculty to fill online teaching jobs.

Online Faculty Jobs with Current Colleges and Universities

The best place to start any search for distance learning teaching is with past or current employers. To teach at the college level professors must have a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in their field, or at a bare minimum 18 graduate hours in the field of study.

For job seekers who have teaching experience, contacting former and current colleges and universities is critical. A current “bricks and mortar” class schedule could morph into an online teaching job, while former colleges that may not have had online faculty employment in the past could have added such opportunities more recently. It can’t hurt to ask, and at best job seekers could walk away with a few online classes.

Online Teaching Jobs and Convincing a Boss

Another option with current employers: make a real-time class as web-friendly as possible. A few methods for doing so include putting the following on a course’s web-based section on whatever online program is in use:

  • Video or audio lectures
  • Tests and quizzes
  • Class discussion modules
  • Interactive learning exercises

The more the class “lives” on the web, the easier it becomes to make the argument to a department head, dean, or another administration official that the course can be converted to a full web-based offering.

In addition, instead of canceling class for weather issues, or professor illness, having as much material online allows for no interruption in content delivery and continuity of education – a big plus for selling the idea of converting a course to an online teaching job.

Online Faculty Employment

The next step is a special website, the clearinghouse for all jobs in higher education in the United States. The search function on such websites can be tricky. Some suggested terms to use when looking for online education faculty employment include:

  • distance education
  • distance learning
  • online faculty
  • online teaching
  • distributed learning
  • distance faculty

Some of them do not have a separate section for online faculty jobs, so while it’s the largest site for jobs in postsecondary education, it isn’t always the easiest to navigate.

Employment as an Online Professor

Most schools that hire for distance learning positions fall into one of the following categories:

  • Vocational training school. These tend to be tech or allied health schools that offer a diploma or certificate, and tend to be for-profit schools.
  • Two-year private or for-profit schools. These colleges offer an associate degree or certificates.
  • Two-year public community colleges. Most community colleges offer some degrees via distance or at least some courses.
  • Four-year private college or university. Many private colleges shied away from online teaching, but are eagerly catching up.
  • Four-year public colleges and universities. These schools were at the vanguard of distance programs and often have the most established systems.
  • Four-year for-profit colleges. The most aggressive with virtual programs, these colleges have plenty of online faculty jobs for certain fields, but the pay tends to be low and the teaching structure is very rigid.

Understanding which category a potential employer fits into, and the school’s goal in offering virtual certificates and degrees, is critical for success with online teaching positions and searching for employment because sometimes getting hired is all about being in the right place at the right time with the right degree and the right motivation.

Online Adjunct Hiring

The for-profit schools have different motivations for enrolling students into virtual education programs than do most public and non-profit private institutions. Because for-profit schools have investors, there needs to be a balance between esoteric education goals and the financial bottom line. These schools include:

  • University of Phoenix
  • Walden University
  • American Intercontinental University
  • Argosy University
  • The Art Institutes (any, online or on the ground)
  • Ashford University
  • Bryant & Stratton College
  • Capella University
  • Concord Law School
  • DeVry University
  • Northcentral University
  • Penn Foster College
  • Rasmussen College
  • South University

For these schools, and others that are for-profit, the student is not just a learner – he or she is a customer. Therefore, earning an online PhD and the online professor job are not just a teaching position – the professor needs to be a retention specialist, helping to keep the student enrolled (and paying tuition).

For online faculty employment at any of these colleges and universities, go to the specific website for job openings. In addition, online job fairs and promotions often highlight online teaching opportunities, so keep an eye out for any hiring information.

Distance Learning Adjunct Professor Jobs

For any school that is accredited and that offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, online faculty employment will hinge on whether the applicant has a master’s degree or higher. In most cases, the school’s accreditation hinges on the percentage of faculty with a master’s degree or doctorate. No degree – no job.

Many non-profit private schools and public universities have well-established distance programs and hire for online education jobs, including (but not limited to):

  • Bay Path College
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Anna Maria College
  • Boston University
  • Bowling Green University
  • Kent State University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Colorado State University
  • Drexel University
  • Duquesne University
  • The George Washington University
  • Northeastern University
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio University
  • Savannah College of Art and Design

The best advice for finding part-time, online teaching jobs at private and public schools? Skip the Human Resources department and go straight to the department head. The head of the specific department makes the hiring decisions. Look through the department’s website, find the department head’s email, and send a professional email with a cover letter and CV, explaining qualifications for the content – and the online aspect – of a course in the field.

Maria Colombo
Maria Colombo
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