Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

The U.S. online learning market grew to $20.85 billion in 2016. Online learning is a popular but competitive market, so more instructors now turn to platforms that help them kickstart courses they’d like to offer to students online.

Plantoost is one of these service providers and describes the ideal online environment to promote education, “Learners interact with teachers with learning goals, track their own progress, ask questions in a class, and be graded when completing quizzes and/or projects. Teachers can put up easy-to-create classes in the form of a workshop or course online, in a centralized system that also utilizes decentralized technology like blockchain, to automate and secure education credentials.”

Licensing Requirements

There aren’t any specific licensing requirements required to become online teachers or instructors. Nevertheless, public school K-12 teachers have to meet state licensing requirements. This requires a bachelor’s degree and training programs, known as credential programs.

Once an aspiring instructor meets these criteria and state-specific requirements, they have to pass a licensing test, administered through each state’s education board. Some states also have technology tests that are a required part of the licensing process. Because teaching is a state-regulated and not nationally monitored field, some online instructors may need to get credentials in several states, depending on each state’s guidelines. Therefore, understanding the credentialing process is key to succeeding as an online instructor.

Good Place to Begin

Postsecondary instructors and private school teachers don’t have to be licensed online or in the classroom. This is a common target market for qualified teachers who only have credentials in their home state. Offering courses to adult learners on platforms such as udemy.com are another great way to start marketing your coursework.

If you’re seeking a job with an online school, look at the specific requirements to teach on their platform. If you want a career in online teaching, make sure you understand and follow all the associated rules. That way, you can concentrate on teaching, the actual part of the job you love, without worrying about your status.

Some of the most popular courses are highly technical, but other fulfill much-needed hard and soft skills that cross industries (time management, sustainability). The best course of action is choosing topics you know and love and testing them in the marketplace.