Posted by: Dr. Carolyn Edwards | January 11, 2012

Teaching Online – Is Money The Most Important Factor?

Looking to Make Money Teaching Online?

Get tips, tools, advice and resources to  get moving in the direction of your dreams.

Many want to know how to get their foot in the door to make money teaching online. Pay is just one area you must consider when searching for schools and organizations where you want to work.

If you do not have prior online teaching experience, I suggest you focus your search efforts on career schools, two-year colleges, private organizations and tutoring to start. These organizations seem to be more willing to hire someone who has yet to teach a course.  However, the pay at these schools probably is lower than what you might receive at a 4 year university or graduate program.  Why do you ask? Because most often graduate courses are taught by those with a PhD or comparable degree and have many years of online or face to face teaching experience so their level of pay is normally commensurate with what they are bringing to the table in terms of education and experience.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule but for many of those I coached without prior online teaching or facilitation experience, their  first teaching job was with a two year school, career college, community college or as a facilitator of professional development courses at private organizations.

Remember even though the pay might not be as high as you like, there are other benefits you will get from taking a lower paying position such as:

1. Entrance into the online teaching arena

2. Opportunity to network with hiring officials, deans, department chairs, etc.

3. Opportunity to teach effectively and get noticed

4. Online teaching experience

5. Experience with education learning management systems like Blackboard, eCollege, Angel or Desire2Learn

6. Access to student evaluations of your teaching performance which can be used in your application packet to apply for higher paying positions and lastly,

7. Free professional development or professional association memberships since some organizations use these as benefits for instructors.

As you consider your options and opportunities, remember teaching online is a journey and not a sprint.  We all had to start somewhere and obtaining your first online teaching assignment will yield a great deal of benefits other than the salary.


Dr. Carolyn Edwards is an author, life/career management coach and graduate management professor.

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