As kindergarten student enrollment grows across the U.S., the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the need for pre-school and secondary school teachers to increase at an average of 6% through 2024. Middle school and high school teachers are also expected to see job growth increase by 6% over the better part of the next decade. While a career as a professional teacher in public and most private schools requires at least a bachelor’s degree, there are a variety of occupations suited to graduates of online teaching degrees at all level of education and experience.
A typical classroom teacher’s day at any grade level is divided between classroom and non-classroom duties. Classroom duties include instruction and various types of student interaction, combined with non-classroom activities such as lesson planning, student progress assessments, test and homework grading, professional development, and other administrative duties. Entry-level teachers can expect to earn an annual average salary of $54,550 for elementary school and $57,200 for high school. Though varied according to specialty and location, teachers in and out of the classroom are required to obtain certification in their state for most public and private school jobs; check individual certification requirements in your state here.
While each of the following schools is accredited, not all teaching programs are intended to culminate in professional licensure. Tuition information is reported directly from each school’s website.
Opportunities After Wrapping Your Online Education Degree
While many online teaching degree programs may prepare students to work in the classroom, others focus on non-classroom job opportunities in education. Students aspiring to be principals, school administrators or instructional coordinators, for example, can also earn a teaching degree online. Professionals in education who are not working in a classroom are typically required to have specialized skills in addition to a master’s-level diploma, making them eligible for a higher salary and advanced job opportunities in the workplace. Elementary, middle, and high school principals earn an average salary of $90,410, while postsecondary education administrators earn an average of $88,580 and instructional coordinators earn an average of $62,270. Many educators who don’t work in the classroom still have some hands-on teaching experience. Some occupations, like principals, require additional specialty certification.
Most aspiring education professionals will need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the field, though online teaching degrees offer opportunities to job seekers at every level of education, from associate to doctoral study. Earning a teaching degree online is ideal for a variety of specializations as well, such as special education and early childhood development. An associate degree provides an introduction to education, with diverse but somewhat limited job opportunities in preschool education and other childcare occupations. Degrees at the bachelor’s level provide the most flexible salary and job opportunities as the minimum requirement for most classroom teaching jobs.
With a master’s degree, students can pursue an administrative occupation in education as a principal or instruction coordinator, among other options beyond the classroom. Ph.D. holders may be eligible to teach at the postsecondary level or pursue a niche specialization in education, as well as potentially earn the highest income among teaching professionals. Non-classroom teachers may further increase their professional opportunities by pursuing additional specialty certification, if applicable, to add a competitive edge to their resume.
*The schools listed above are sponsored. Sponsored school listings are distinct paid advertisements and are clearly marked with a “SPONSORED” or “FEATURED” tag to distinguish them from editorially ranked schools. Learn more about how rank schools or contact us with questions.
To determine the best online Teaching degrees, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 6 best online Teaching programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.