Investigate what it takes to teach English literature. To see if this is the right career for you, learn about the educational requirements, licensure, salary, and job outlook. Is a pursuing a career as a one of the top English literature tutors online the right fit for you? Would you prefer to be in a classroom? Read on and help make your mind up woith our article from Amy, an experienced online English Literature tutor AND a very experienced former secondary school teacher and former university professor. 

What Is An English Literature Teacher? What Is An English Literature Tutor?

Students are taught how to analyse prose, poetry, and drama, as well as recognise the various styles and techniques used by different writers, by both English literature teachers and online English literature tutors. They may also cover the historical context of literary works, as well as literary analysis expository writing techniques. 

English literature teachers are typically employed in middle and high schools, as well as postsecondary institutions. Middle and high school teachers may specialise in language arts preparation for state standardised tests and/or college entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT; some high school teachers also offer AP English exam preparation courses. 

Professors of English literature at colleges and universities frequently mentor graduate students who share their interests in the field. They also contribute to the advancement of the field of English by publishing literature-related research or literary works of their own.

The chart below gives you a quick overview of everything you need to know about this profession.

MIDDLE SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER COLLEGE ENGLISH PROFESSOR
Degree required Bachelor’s degree; master’s degree may be required in some states Bachelor’s degree; master’s degree may be required in some states Master’s degree for jobs at 2-year colleges, doctoral degree for colleges and universities
Field of Study English literature, elementary education English with coursework in education and child psychology English literature
Licensure License required to teach in public schools License require to teach in public schools not required
Training Student teaching required for state license Student teaching required for state license Teaching experience as a graduate assistant helpful
Median Salary (2020) $60,810* $62,870* $69,000*
Job Growth (2020-2030) 7%* 8%* 6%*

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does an English Literature Teacher Do?

You’ll teach students how to analyse and interpret English language novels, poetry, short stories, plays, and essays as an English literature teacher – also known as an English teacher. Although you can teach English literature at the elementary level, you may be able to work solely as an English teacher in middle and secondary schools. At the postsecondary level, you might be able to find work as an English teacher.

What Does an English Literature Tutor Do?

As an English literature tutor, you’ll work with students one-on-one, often over the internet, to help them gain a better understanding and comprehension of the course materials. You’ll need to be familiar with GCSE, A-Level, IB, Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and admissions levels of study. Tutors are frequently experienced teachers who can draw on their vast knowledge and years of experience to help students. 

Others are professional tutors who have dedicated themselves to mastering their subject area and can work with students of all ages and backgrounds to help them achieve their learning objectives. Tutors are frequently paid well, often significantly more than english literature tutors in traditional schools.

What Education Do I Need?

If you want to teach English at the elementary, middle, or secondary school level, you should consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English or English literature. English literature, American literature, African American literature, Shakespeare, nonfiction, global perspectives, and contemporary novels are just a few of the subjects covered in a bachelor’s programme.

In addition, you’ll need to complete a teacher training programme, which may be included in your degree programme. A teaching licence is required for all instructors in public schools, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). The requirements for teacher licensure vary by state, but in most cases, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, completion of a teacher training programme, and passing of a licensure exam.
To teach English at the postsecondary level, you’ll almost always need a doctoral degree. 

Many English doctoral programmes emphasise research, and many also require you to teach some undergraduate courses. Graduation usually necessitates the completion of a written dissertation.

What Is the Job Market Like?

According to the BLS, the number of secondary school teacher jobs is expected to increase by 4% between 2020 and 2030. (www.bls.gov). This figure was roughly in line with the average rate of job growth across all industries. According to the BLS, the number of employed postsecondary English teachers was expected to increase by 6% during the same time period.


In recent years, the global market for online tutoring has exploded. From 2022 to 2030, the global online tutoring services market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.7 percent, reaching USD 23.06 billion. Grandviewresearch.com reported on this.

What Kind of Salary Can I Expect?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for secondary school teachers was $62,870 in May 2020, with the top 10% earning $102,130 or more and the bottom 10% earning $41,330 or less. The salary you can expect, however, varies greatly by state. For example, in May 2020, Arkansas’ annual mean wage for secondary school teachers was $52,540, while New York’s annual mean wage for secondary school teachers was $88,890.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for postsecondary English teachers was $69,000 in 2020, with the top 10% earning $141,190 or more and the bottom 10% earning $39,320 or less. Postsecondary teachers’ salaries vary by state, as they do for secondary school teachers; the annual mean wage for postsecondary teachers in Pennsylvania was $76,850, compared to $124,250 in California.

In the United Kingdom, the national average salary for an Online Tutor is £32,899 per year. In the United States, the national average salary for an Online Tutor is $40,391. In the United Kingdom, the highest recorded salary for an Online Tutor is £55,354 per year. In the United States, the highest recorded salary for an Online Tutor is $56,882 per year. 

This is based on an average of only 15 hours of online teaching per week.

If the working hours are increased or weighted in comparison to a teaching position, English Literature Tutors can clearly earn a very comfortable living from the comfort of their own homes.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Literature buffs may want to consider working as a librarian, either in a public or school library. A master’s degree is usually required of librarians. A career as a school principal or director is another education-related job. These individuals work in schools as supervisors, managing staff and directing curriculum to ensure student success. To work as a principal, you’ll need a master’s degree in educational leadership or a related field, and you’ll also need to be licenced to work in public schools.