How To Find Online College Teaching Jobs

By Kristin Kizer
Dec. 7, 2020

Find a Job You Really Want In

Online teaching jobs are on the rise, especially for people who are working remotely. There are a lot of reasons that online learning has become more than just a passing fad.

It’s not only here to stay, according to Forbes Magazine, 2020 is set to be its biggest year yet. If you’re contemplating an online teaching job, this is a fantastic time to get in on the action. So many schools are adding an online element to their curriculum. And the schools that have always been online are bursting at the seams. It’s a market that is calling for help and you’re ready to be there.

If you’re thinking about trying your hand at online teaching, there are a couple different ways to dive into the profession. There are also a few different job types available to you.

Adjunct Professor

An Adjunct Professor is one way to start your career in online education. Adjust professors are typically hired on a contract basis and work part-time. When they are teaching, their duties are the same as those of full-time, employed professors and instructors. So, there will be curriculum planning, lessons, grading, meetings with students, etc.

The positive side to this job is that there is typically a lot of flexibility. It’s a great way to get into the teaching profession and work your way up. It often doesn’t require as much education, but it does require topic or field expertise.

The downside is that adjunct instructors don’t have much job security. It might be frustrating that you’re expected to do what a fully employed professor would, but your pay is less. There is also a lot of competition in this field.

Online Instructor

Being an Online Instructor is a lot like being an instructor in the classroom. The education requirements are the same, but you’ll need to prove that you can teach online successfully.

Most online instructors have a college degree, and many have a Master’s degree or beyond. It depends on the online institution you are interested in but a focus in teaching may not be required, as long as you have field expertise.

Online instructors enjoy the full benefits and being treated as a “regular” university employee. They also get the bonus of not having to come into the classroom to teach – so you can live anywhere. But don’t think that means you can be slack about communicating with your students. You’ll find that being an online instructor might take even more effort in the communication department than being in the classroom does.

Where to Look for Online College Jobs

The best place to begin your job hunt for a career in online education is We regularly post excellent work from home opportunities in education. One of them just might be the right job for you. If you’re looking for a few other places to search, try the following:

Online Colleges Where You Could Work

The following colleges are top-ranked schools with a strong online presence. These are colleges that have been doing online learning for a long time and they have it down to a science. Many of them offer discounts to military veterans, have rolling application deadlines, and tend to have an older student base.

  1. Ohio State University-Columbus in Columbus, Ohio

    The Ohio State University is a favorite of U.S. News and Business Report’s annual best online college rankings. It often appears in the top 10 and this year it once again holds the highest honor for this publication. They boast more than 40 online degree programs and certificates. This means they have a great need for students and are probably growing.

  2. University of Illinois-Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

    The University of Illinois-Chicago is another favorite of U.S. News and it fares well with others, too. This school has had several years of growth in a row and it’s also growing in reputation. The Wall Street Journal ranked this school as one of its best values in the nation. UIC offers online programs to 49 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. They pride themselves on an easy-to-use system and flexibly structured schedules.

  3. University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida

    The online learning experience at the University of Florida in Gainesville is consistently ranked very well and produces top-notch students with quality credentials. Their current focus is on artificial intelligence and applying it across the university system. This can only be a good thing for people who are pursuing an online degree and for those who want to teach virtually.

  4. Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana

    Purdue University is a well-known university and puts up good rankings every year for people wanting an online or remote education. What they’re particularly good at is attracting and producing engineering students. The Purdue University family of schools gives you several options to earn your degree. With more than 200 hybrid and online programs, they’re sure to have a sizeable amount of open positions.

  5. Indiana University-Bloomington in Bloomington, Indiana

    U.S. News and World Reports likes Indiana University-Bloomington for its Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program. This a great place to work for people looking to use their business backgrounds. It’s also got an extensive amount of online classes that don’t necessarily have to lead to a degree, offering more diversity and options to students.

  6. Carnegie Mellon University Tepper in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    A well-known name, Carnegie Mellon University is also solidifying their business extension at Tepper School of Business. If your background makes you a perfect online business instructor, there is sure to be a place for you at this growing and familiar college.

  7. Florida International University in Miami, Florida

    Florida International University is prepared to make online education a viable option for everyone. They currently claim to have over 100 fully online degree programs, access to financial aid, and success coaches available to the students. As an instructor, this level of commitment from the establishment is a great sign that they care about their online reputation.

  8. Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma

    The OSU Online experience is one that earns raves for Oklahoma State University. With a number of undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, graduate certificates, and Military GEM programs they have a full offering, indeed. This is great for students and prospective teachers alike.

  9. Mercer University in Macon, Georgia

    Known as one of America’s best colleges, Mercer University is also a great online option. They’re a nationally ranked online university and are committed to making this an option for students from around the country. Scattered start dates and shortened classroom experiences make this a great place for students. For instructors, there’s a high demand for quality but a job at Mercer has some bragging rights attached that make it worth it.

  10. University of Illinois at Springfield in Springfield, Illinois

    The University of Illinois in Springfield is all about flexibility and convenience. While they focus on making distance learning as easy for the student as possible, they still are committed to weaving quality instruction into their classes. Expect to have a nice resume if your goal is to start teaching online classes at UIS.

  11. Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia

    Right on Mary Baldwin University’s front page they highlight their student-centric approach. This is part of the reason this school is so well regarded. Listed as the #3 online college in Virginia, MBU has the right balance of flexibility and quality curriculum. They also offer classes at an affordable rate, making them a popular choice. Landing an online teaching job here will give you lots of room to grow in the future.

  12. Johns Hopkins University in Whiting, Maryland

    If engineering is your thing, then you can’t go wrong looking for a job at the well-regarded Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering. They offer world-class education in a part-time format which is perfect for most of their students. It can also be a great fit for the instructors too. Especially, if you’re looking for an adjunct position to round out your resume or your bank account.

Don’t Forget about Local Schools

The schools listed above are well-known national schools that are happy to hire staff from anywhere and have them work remotely. If you’re looking for work as a teacher or searching for a faculty position, don’t forget to check local schools.

Covid-19 has proven to many schools that having a good online learning program is crucial. This means you’ll see more and more schools adding this to their curriculum. Which is great because there are more opportunities for you. Even though you might be working 100% from home, some schools still like the idea of hiring someone locally. So it’s worth checking out the colleges near you, especially if being an adjunct staff member is your goal.

Just remember, if you’re looking to score a position as an online teacher or an adjunct teacher in an online setting, that looking at the school is a great start. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only place to look. Today’s recruitment managers are looking for new ways to attract talent. If you want to be seen, it’s best to try a multi-pronged approach to getting an online teaching job. One of those prongs should definitely be regular hunts on for job postings.

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Kristin Kizer

Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer and delighted to be sharing her talents and time with the wonderful Zippia audience.

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