Online Teaching Tuesdays: How Much Can I Earn?

Got Wi-Fi? Online Teaching Tuesday is a series of resources for teachers who want to transfer their skills to an online classroom setting. Whether you're interested in full-time or part-time online teaching, explore this rapidly growing field with us every week!

I have been teaching full time online for almost 6 years. I have managed to make a good living while working my behind off! I always get asked how much can you earn? In all reality, the possibilities are endless, depending on how much you want to work and how much you can actually handle. You used to be able to teach several classes a term for most schools, that has since changed and there is a cap to how many classes you can teach. I can only teach one class a start for most of the schools I teach at. I used to be able to teach as many as four, but times have changed and now I pretty much only get one a start.

All of this can be confusing, but once you get into a routine with several different schools, your pay will be more regular and you don’t really have to worry about missing any money. There are times when the schools take a small break and you need to be prepared to have money set aside or to work something else during those times.

How Much Can I Make?

Now that I have gone through what seems so confusing about the pay! How much can you make? Like I said earlier, that really depends on how many schools you teach for and how many classes you teach. The possibilities are endless, but just remember that you are not alone in looking for these jobs. There is a huge demand compared to when I first started teaching and some schools really question you teaching at a large number of schools. They do not want their students to be shortchanged on their education, so keep that in mind as you begin applying for these schools.

Before you read on, make sure that you've already checked out the first part of this post, which breaks down the different types of online teaching

Income at the University Level

For most universities and colleges, there is a set salary per course. So, let’s say you are teaching for one college and you only get one class and it pays about $1400 for that term, that is what you will get paid. Some divide up the pay and others pay at the end of the course. So if a term is 12 weeks, you will have to spread that $1400 out according to how the college pays or just know you will get it once the course ends.

The career colleges pay every start. So, for example, I teach at a college that has starts every five weeks and I get a class for each start. I am paid the set amount for that class each five weeks.

Pay at the Virtual School Level

For teaching at the high school level, that is more regular and hourly. For a part-time employee, you are paid hourly and that usually ranges about $15/hour or more. If you can get a full-time position, you will get paid a salary, complete with benefits and paid days off. That all depends on your education and how many years’ experience you have. Most of these high schools do not want you to teach for more than one company, meaning you have to sign a non-compete agreement, so while you might not be able to teach at more than one high school, you could do this alongside teaching at a college or university.


For tutoring, this pays the least. You make about $10/hour. This is not bad, considering you can work from home, when you want. You also do not have to supply the materials; they are supplied for you. It can also be something that is just done on the side to supplement or maybe even have contact with students.

So you see, you can make a great deal of money while teaching online. The key is to be sure of what you can handle. It can be hard to teach at several colleges and balance that work and if you add in the high schools and tutoring, that might be too much. Just try to work out a system and start out slow. If you can build up your teaching to several schools, even if there is a time when you might not receive a class, you won’t miss a beat!

Kara Silvers has two Master's degrees in education. She has been in the education field for over 20 years and has seen tremendous changes in it. She currently teaches and tutors online and is getting involved in doing more writing. She lives in Auburn, Alabama and is the mother to a fabulous dog named London.

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