What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Online Teaching Program?

Online master’s programs offer a more convenient learning format than traditional in-person classes. By eliminating the need to commute to campus, online programs will provide you with more time for work, family, and any other responsibilities that you may have outside of school. When searching for an online master’s in online teaching program, it’s important to carefully review all your options to find the best match for your personal needs and professional goals.

Available concentrations

If you know what role you would like to have in the teaching profession, look for a program that allows you to focus your studies on this specialty. Some of the most common concentration options for a master’s in online teaching include:

  • Curriculum Design: Students learn how to design curricula for online teaching programs based on state and national standards.
  • Instructional Leadership: Prepares students to become leaders in their area of specialty and reviews how to help other online teachers become better instructors.

Common degree curriculum

While the exact curriculum will depend on which school you attend and whether you select a concentration, some courses are included in just about every master’s in online teaching program, such as:

  • Educational Technology: Introduces students to various educational technologies and how to incorporate them into digital classrooms. Topics may include uses of the internet, relevant software, and communication technologies such as forums, webinars, and teleconference tools.
  • Global eLearning: Provides a global perspective of learning, showing future online teachers how to serve students unfamiliar with the American school system.
  • Instructional and Curriculum Design: Explores how to plan lessons that meet performance assessment requirements and develop effective teaching strategies for reaching diverse student communities.

Certification and license preparation

Every state requires traditional and online teachers to obtain licensure from their state’s education department. Different states have different requirements, so students should consider this when evaluating programs.

Outside of required licensure, many online teachers earn additional credentials to help bolster their resumes and advance their careers. Some of the most valuable certification programs include:

  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL): This certification demonstrates that you possess the knowledge and skills to help non-native speakers learn English in various educational settings, including a traditional school system, online classroom, or international language learning institute.
  • Special Education: A certification in special education shows employers that you know how to perform diagnostic assessments and serve students with social, emotional, cognitive, or behavioral disorders.

Program accreditation

Only apply to institutions that a DOE-recognized accrediting organization has approved. Otherwise, accessing financial aid or transferring credits to another institution may be difficult if needed. In addition to institutional accreditation, the best options for earning a master’s in online teaching will also have programmatic accreditation from industry groups such as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Program completion timeframe

Many factors will affect the length of your master’s in online teaching program. These include whether you take courses self-paced or through cohort learning, your chosen concentration, and whether you attend school full-time or part-time. Depending on these variables, it can take one to five years to earn your master’s in online teaching. Most full-time students can complete the program in about two years.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Online Teaching Graduates

While only a bachelor’s degree is typically required to become an online teacher, it should be noted that this profession is expected to grow at a relatively slow rate over the next decade. That means there could be a lot of competition whenever an open position becomes available. By earning a master’s degree, you’ll be able to stand out from other applicants and get hired more quickly.

A master’s degree should also improve your earning potential. Workers with a master’s degree earn an average salary of $1,661 per week, while those with a bachelor’s degree earn $1,432. Over a year, that’s a difference of nearly $12,000.

Of course, you should adjust your salary expectations according to where you plan to work. Areas with a higher cost of living tend to offer higher pay. For example, high school teachers earn an average salary of $92,960 in California but just $49,770 in Mississippi.

Job Title Job Description Median Yearly Salary Projected Growth Rate (2022 – 2032)
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers Working with younger students, these teachers typically cover all main subjects within one classroom rather than teaching a single subject. While online formats are less common in kindergarten and elementary school, some teachers may provide English lessons to young students in another country. $61,620 1%
Middle School Teachers Middle school teachers typically work with students in sixth to eighth grade. They help students build on the fundamentals they learned in elementary school and prepare them for the more advanced topics in high school. $61,810 1%
High School Teachers Sometimes also called secondary school teachers, high school teachers provide students in grades 9-12 with academic instruction. They may teach a single subject, such as science or math, or multiple subjects. They’re responsible for planning lessons, communicating with families, and incorporating state-standardized testing into their curriculum. $62,360 1%

Professional organizations

Professional organizations provide valuable resources, support, advocacy, and sometimes liability protection, whether you teach classes online or in person. Many of these organizations also host annual conferences and offer networking opportunities.

  • National Education Association: The NEA is the largest professional employee organization in the country. They are committed to advancing the cause of public education and provide advocacy resources, lesson plan tools, and classroom management ideas.
  • International Literacy Association: A global advocacy organization representing more than 300,000 literacy educators across 86 countries, the ILA empowers teachers, students, and leaders with the appropriate resources to make literacy accessible.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Online Teaching Degree

While online programs are less expensive than on-campus programs, many remote college students still need help paying for their education. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a logical first step for any aspiring graduate student, as it determines your eligibility for grants and loans provided by the federal government. Be sure also to investigate what forms of financial aid may be available to you through the institution you’re enrolling in — many schools provide scholarships and grants.

Student Finance Resources and Guides

In addition to colleges and the federal government, many nonprofit organizations and private companies offer financial aid opportunities. With all of these options available, it can be challenging to determine what you should do next after submitting your FAFSA.  The resources listed below will help you make sense of your financial aid situation and save as much money as possible.

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Interested in a degree?

Learn more about online degrees, their start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.