Best Online Teaching Programs

Earning a teaching degree can lead to a rewarding career helping students. Here, we list the best online teaching programs available.

May 27, 2022 • 3 Min Read

Find a program that’s right for you.

Best Online Teaching Programs

Teachers educate new generations and empower students to become problem-solvers. These professionals help promote advancements in all industries.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects education, training, and library occupations to grow 10% from 2020-2030.

Aspiring educators can choose from in-person and online teaching programs. This guide provides information about the best online teaching degrees and steps for becoming a licensed educator.

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Questions About Teaching Programs


Can I become a teacher without a teaching degree?

Most states allow individuals without teaching degrees to become educators. These professionals must complete an alternative licensure program.

Do teachers specialize?

Middle school and high school teachers usually specialize in teaching one or two subjects. Elementary art, music, and physical education teachers also specialize.

Can I teach without a degree?

State teaching credentials require at least a bachelor's degree. Educators at homeschooling co-ops and private schools may not need licensure or a degree.

Featured Online Teaching Programs

Why Get a Teaching Degree?

In addition to completing meaningful work, teachers often benefit from union advocacy, generous time off, and higher-than-average pay.

Teacher unions advocate for educators' rights, pay, and work conditions. Teachers normally receive a pension retirement with an employer match, which varies by school district and state. According to the BLS, education, training, and library professionals earn a median salary of $57,220 per year, higher than the median of $45,760 for all occupations.

Online teaching programs allow students to earn their degree while fulfilling personal and professional responsibilities.

How Much Does a Teaching Degree Cost?

The cost of a teaching degree varies by school. Public schools generally charge lower tuition rates than private institutions. Public schools typically offer the lowest rates to state residents and online learners.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of undergraduate tuition and fees was $13,677 for the 2020-21 academic year. Students should contact their prospective school for details about specific online teaching degree costs.

Education students should also budget for professional clothing to wear during student teaching. This major may require more textbooks than other programs. Students can save money by renting textbooks or purchasing digital versions.

Additional Online Student Fees

Online learners may need to pay technology fees, which typically cover technology assistance and virtual learning platforms. Online students may also need to invest in a new computer and high-speed internet access. Many schools charge a graduation fee. Aspiring educators should also consider the cost of obtaining a teaching license after graduation.

How Much Do Teaching Majors Make?

Teachers' earning potential depends on their education level and employer. Most school districts offer higher pay to teachers with a master's degree.

According to the BLS, high school teachers earn a median salary of $61,820 per year, while elementary school teachers earn a median of $61,350 annually.

Geographic location also impacts salary potential. According to BLS data, high school teachers in California earn an average salary of $94,600 per year.

Courses in Teaching

Most bachelor's degrees in teaching require about 120 credits, which full-time learners typically complete in four years. Master's degrees in teaching require about 60 credits and take most full-time students two years.

Learners pursuing an online teaching degree may complete coursework synchronously or asynchronously. The former requires students to attend virtual class sessions at set times. Learners in asynchronous classes, on the other hand, can watch recorded lectures at their convenience.

Most online teaching programs feature specialized courses to prepare learners for specific roles. Programs also feature coursework on pedagogy and teaching methods. The following list highlights courses common to online teaching programs. However, available classes vary by school.

  • Learning Styles and Lesson Planning

    Students in this class prepare to design lessons for all types of learners. Participants examine the four learning styles: visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic. Students construct lesson plans that balance learning styles.
  • Ethics in the Classroom

    Students discover ways to uphold ethics in the classroom and create safe spaces. This class highlights laws that protect student privacy. Learners evaluate case studies and develop a framework for navigating ethical dilemmas in the classroom.
  • Creating Individualized Education Programs

    Aspiring educators learn to create and implement individualized lesson plans for students with special needs. Coursework explores assistive technology and typical accommodations for these learners.

How to Become a Teacher

Aspiring educators begin by earning a bachelor's degree. Students completing teaching programs online take classes in general education, teaching, and specialized topics. Degree-seekers practice working with students in classroom settings. Learners observe classroom methods during a practicum and complete a semester of student teaching.

After earning their bachelor's degree, some graduates pursue a master's degree full time or while teaching. A graduate degree can lead to higher earning potential and postsecondary teaching positions. Applicants for public school teaching jobs typically need a state license.

Licensure for Teachers

Online teaching programs prepare learners to pursue state licensure. Licensure requirements vary by state. Learners should ensure their online teaching program meets the licensure requirements for the state in which they plan to teach. Most states require a bachelor's degree and student teaching experience.

Licensure candidates must also pass a background check and an exam. Middle school and high school teachers usually take a subject test in the area they plan to teach.

Teachers who move to a new state may need to complete additional requirements. Many states participate in reciprocity agreements, which allow teachers to transfer credentials between participating states. Teach.org provides information on each state's licensure requirements and reciprocity agreements.

Best Online Teaching Programs

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

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