Skip to content Skip to Live Chat


Traveling Teacher Career


What is a Traveling Teacher?


Traveling teachers spend time working in different parts of the world, growing acquainted with each location’s history, culture, cuisine, and customs as they instruct students. The subjects they teach can range from math and science to social studies, with English as a Second Language (ESL) courses being very common. Some traveling teachers may have years of experience teaching in elementary schools, high schools, or universities while others might have only weeks or months of training.

Either way, most—if not all—traveling teachers obtain certification so that they’re better prepared for classroom instruction. These individuals value personal and global education, and they may also seek to improve education systems and infrastructure as an overarching objective in their travels, especially if they teach in less-developed nations.


What Does a Traveling Teacher Do?

A traveling teacher’s day-to-day responsibilities vary depending on a number of factors, including subject area, teaching program, location, and student age range. However, typical duties include the following:

  • Lesson planning. Teachers spend several hours a week preparing classroom lessons and materials for the benefit of their students.
  • Teaching and instruction. Thorough prep work can lead to stimulating discussion, with students actively participating as they ask and answer questions.
  • Student assessment. To evaluate student progress, teachers administer quizzes and tests at regular intervals.
  • Individualized support. Sometimes students may need one-on-one attention outside of class. Teachers should make extra time if possible to speak to these students about their concerns.
  • Classroom management. Whether classes are big or small, teachers maintain order and ensure that each student feels valued.
  • Collaboration and communication. Often, teachers spend time with other faculty to discuss plans, goals, assignments, and more.
  • Travel and logistics. Traveling teachers adhere to clear, detailed itineraries as they go from point A to point B. Teachers might refer to travel agencies or use smartphone traveling apps as a guide.
  • Recordkeeping and documentation. This includes in-class and homework assignments, grades, and attendance.
  • Professional development. Teachers will continue to grow personally and professionally as they help students understand concepts and practice their skills.


How Do I Become a Traveling Teacher?

Traveling teachers should gain experience in managing classrooms and student expectations, and they should obtain enough education to become competent instructors in their chosen field. Though many do, not all traveling teachers complete bachelor’s or master’s programs. Others get certified to teach or receive continuing education. Below are common steps to becoming a traveling teacher:

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. Examples include special and elementary educationmathematics education, English, English teaching, and more.
  • Pursue industry certifications to stand out to employers. For example, English teachers may consider TEFL or TESOL certification.
  • Identify where you’d like to teach. You may decide to travel to another English-speaking region or go to a foreign country. If you plan to teach internationally, remember to keep your passport up to date and apply for visas as needed.
  • Apply for traveling teacher jobs. This might include updating your résumé, drafting cover letters, attending job interviews, and networking.

Best Degrees for Traveling Teacher


Elementary Education – B.A.

An online teacher certification program for aspiring elementary teachers....

An online teacher certification program for aspiring elementary teachers.

Leads to teacher licensure. Specific grade levels will vary depending on teaching certification in your state.

  • Time: 68% of students finish this degree within 36 months.
  • Tuition: $3,825 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 38 total courses in this program (39 for Washington residents)

Skills for your résumé included in this program:

  • Elementary Reading Methods
  • Language Arts Instruction
  • Elementary Mathematics Methods
  • Elementary Disciplinary Literacy
  • Children’s Literature

This elementary education degree program requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time student teaching. This online teaching degree program helps you to be eligible for teaching certification in any of the 50 states.


Special Ed and Elementary Ed (Dual Licensure) – B.A.

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for aspiring...

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for aspiring K–12 special education teachers. Leads to dual licensure—elementary education teaching license and special education teaching license.

  • Time: 60% of students finish this degree within 38 months.
  • Tuition: $3,825 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 44 total courses in this program (45 for Washington residents).

(Specific grade levels will vary depending on licensure in your state.) If your state offers a single K–12 special education teaching license and you are interested in focusing on teaching students with mild to moderate exceptionalities, consider the B.A. Special Education (Mild to Moderate) online teaching degree. 

Skills for your résumé included in this program:

  • Elementary Reading Methods
  • Elementary Mathematics Methods
  • Elementary Social Studies Methods
  • Elementary Science Methods
  • Language Arts Instruction and Intervention

This special education teaching online degree program requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time student teaching. 

How Much Does a Traveling Teacher Make?


Traveling teachers might expect to make earnings similar to those of traditional school teachers. Average income typically varies based on the level of education taught and the length of the teaching program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), for instance, the average annual salary in May 2021 for adult basic and secondary education and ESL teachers was $59,720. The lowest 10% earned about $35,000 while the highest 10% earned more than $96,000.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


The job outlook for traveling teachers differs based on factors like area of expertise, amount of education received, and the location of the teaching program. According to the BLS, despite a slight decline in employment of adult basic and secondary education and ESL teachers, about 4,700 new openings are projected each year on average from 2021 to 2031.


What Skills Does a Traveling Teacher Need?

Teachers who travel for their work should become well rounded in a number of skills that will serve them both inside and outside the classroom. Such skills usually include:

  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Communication
  • Classroom and group management
  • Organizational skills
  • Patience and empathy
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Cultural competence
  • Technical skills
  • Collaboration

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

Next Start Date

Interested in Becoming a Traveling Teacher?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.