Online teaching salary survey

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by Randell1234, Nov 28, 2008.


How much do you earn teaching online?

  1. Under $20K per year - full time job

    1 vote(s)
  2. Under $20K per year - part time job

    14 vote(s)
  3. $21K – 40K per year - full time job

    1 vote(s)
  4. $21K – 40K per year - part time job

    8 vote(s)
  5. $41K – 60K per year - full time job

    1 vote(s)
  6. $41K – 60K per year - part time job

    6 vote(s)
  7. $61K – 80K per year - full time job

    1 vote(s)
  8. $61K – 80K per year - part time job

    0 vote(s)
  9. Over $85K per year - full time job

    0 vote(s)
  10. Over $85K per year - part time job

    0 vote(s)
  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Some people claim to make six trillion dollars a year teaching online while others say you can not make more then sixty-five cents a year and still be an effective teacher…okay maybe that is a bit extreme.

    I would like to know how much online instructors are making. I have broken the survey up to “full time job” where that would be your main source of income and “part time job” which is where most will probably fall where you have a normal job and adjunct to supplement your income. Let’s see what this uncovers.
  2. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Good survey Randell. I find there is a huge difference among salaries for online courses. You have some schools like Jones International that have a large pool of instructors and almost no students, they pay per student so you are lucky if you get few courses a year paying you $600 each. Because they have so many instructors they can afford to pay so little as they always have someone willing to teach but at the same time they don't have high expectations from the instructor.
    Then you have the schools that pay reasonable well but in return they expect you to be available and provide superior support. Devry University is one of the schools with higher salaries (2K to 3K) but also with high expectations. You have to keep an average of 3.5/4 in your course evaluations to be considered for other courses and keep getting contracts. Getting an average of 3.5/4 means replying to students within 24 hrs if not less, grading assignments in few days, and call students when they need support. You cannot afford to piss any student off as that will be translated in few points down that might mean no more contracts for the future.

    I believe it is not difficult to get to a point where you can make 20 to 40K a year teaching part time online but the question is if you can maintain this level as schools keep increasing requirements because students can always walk to another school with their money if they don't like something. Today I had an email from one of the schools I teach online complaining that my thesis students are not getting feedback quick enough, I had a student that posted a research proposal on Monday and he was expecting me to give him feedback within two days as if a research proposal is something you can evaluate in a couple of minutes. I remember waiting almost one or two months to get feedback for a draft from my supervisor but now students expect you to give them feedback in a matter of few days. Expectations are increasing in the online environment so I wonder if one can keep a full time job doing this without burning out.
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I make under 20K, but I could make more if I wanted to; I just don't usually like to teach more than one course at a time.
  4. twosidneys

    twosidneys New Member

    How hard is it to get an online adjunct position in the first place? Where do we look for positions?
  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

  6. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    When I was doing it actively, it added a few thousand. I've heard of people doing 12-16 classes at the same time at UOP, but doubt the veracity of that.

  7. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Where are the "100K people"?
  8. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    It is possible to earn over 85K per year working full time as an online adjunct (people are doing it). Some of the strategies include:

    1. Work for several institutions simultaneously.
    2. Try to teach as many sections of the same course as possible.
    3. Work for institutions that use condensed schedules (5-11 weeks).
    4. Become proficient in the use of the most popular learning management systems (e.g. Blackboard, Blackboard CE/Vista, Angel, Desire2Learn, Moodle, eCollege).
    5. Develop several courses ahead of time and outside the learning management system, so they can be "plugged in" on short notice (sometimes, you are hired at the last minute and developing a course while you are teaching it takes a ton of time).
    6. Maintain question/feedback/FAQ "banks" with your most popular responses, so that you can cut & paste, rather thantype the same thing multiple times.
    7. Learn to set up your course to eliminate redunancies and duplicated efforts
    8. Make your instructions, your expectations, your assignments and grading policies cystal clear (lack of clarity in writing is one of the most common problem that we find in online instructors).
    9. Use rubrics to insure consistent grading.
    10. Plan to spend a FULL work week (go into each class daily or every other day to check assignments, participate in discussion forums, grade, answer questions, provide feedback,etc.)
    11. Do not skimp on the above activities. Those instructors who plan on short-changing their students by never checking their courses, providing no feedback, never participatingin discussions, etc., get bad reputations and will be replaced by faculty who will want to do a good job for students.
    12. Since school schedules tend to overlap, those who are full-time adjuncts tend not to take many vacations (or they take "working" vacations).
  9. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The link also mentions Jim Mirabella that also claims to be another of those 100K online adjuncts. However, Jim recently got a job as an assistant professor at Jacksonville University.

    The question is that if he was making so much money as an online professor, why he gave it up for a job as an assistant professor at a low tier school.

    I teach part time online and a realistic salary is about 60K-70K if you do this full time without burning out. The 100K is possible but I don't see how you can keep it up for long time. Online schools demand much more than traditional schools in terms of availability and response times. Devry expect you to log in during weekend and other schools reply within 24 hrs.
  11. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I do 1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10,11, and 12. I like the idea of planning a course ahead to jump in. A recent email can out asking if someone could jump into a Computer Securities class. I only use eCollege at this time.
  12. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Dr. Mirabella is listed in Jacksonville's website as an adjunct professor and as having taught with JU for 10 years. Even if he has been given a regular faculty appointment (which would make him eligible for health benefits not available to adjuncts), this would certainly not preclude him from continuing his adjunct teaching career.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2008
  13. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I was told I could not adjunct for other schools if I took a full time adjunct position at one of the schools I teach for.
  14. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    How would they ever know?
  15. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Most of the online for profits require you to be exclusive if you want to teach full time for them. How would they know? It depends, some schools like Devry publish their list of online adjuncts over the net so a simple google can let them know if you adjunct for more than one school.

    I only know of Walden that offers full time online, Are there any other school that offers full time online positions?
  16. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    South University has some full time positions.
  17. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I could probably make over 100k, but I'd feel frazzled all the time with all the different multiple deadlines for various schools and, ultimately, the students would be neglected and wouldn't learn as much.

    At another educational forum, some students complained that Daniele Babb:
    1. Never gave them constructive criticism
    2. Didn't returned their email inquiries
    3. And in one instance, the student allegedly resubmitted her previous work and the instructor never noticed it and gave her an A ie. the student resubmitted assignment #2 as assignment #5 and Babb never noticed it and never commented on it and never provided feedback about the paper and simply gave her an A.

    If we teach too many online classes where points 1-3 begin to happen, then we're doing a great disservice to our students, to our employer and to the future of online education.
  18. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Hi Randell - I just popped in to say that this is a great survey. The numbers are very interesting and the discussion even more so. Nice!
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree, my limit is 6 classes at a given time combining online and face to face classes. I don't make it to the 100K range but I believe that more than this would be also risking future contracts.
  20. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    My university is a for-profit (a brick & mortar school with online programs). Full-time faculty are allowed to adjunct for others--they just need to fill out a form and get approval.

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