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Teach English Online

Guide to teaching English online

Whether you’re enticed by the opportunity to work from home and manage your own schedule, or you are excited about meeting people from all over the world, teaching English online is a great way to make extra money or even launch a new career. Teach from your couch or while traveling the globe – the choice is yours!

Interested in teaching English online? We’ve got you covered! Keep reading to learn more about the types of teaching jobs, average salaries and benefits, and how to get an online teaching job!

Types of online teaching jobs

Whatever stage of your teaching career you’re in, there is an online option for you. Here are the three different types of online English teaching jobs abroad:

Company-based teaching

Programs that pair eager English teachers with students worldwide are plentiful, so it’s essential to make sure you choose the right one. If you sign up with a language company or institute, they’ll most likely manage the creation of lesson plans, assign students and courses, and handle payment processes. This allows you to focus on the main thing — teaching!

When choosing a program, it’s important to read reviews, research prospective organizations, and talk to people who have taught with the company before. There are many companies out there that recruit online ESL teachers, so make sure the organization you decide to work with is legitimate and can help you fulfill your goals. Keep in mind: if you sign up with a company, they will most likely set your wage rate and could charge service fees as well.

Private tutoring through a teaching marketplace

Utilizing a marketplace like Cambly, Superprof, or Preply to find tutoring clients online is a good option for teachers who want more autonomy but aren’t ready to be fully independent. As a freelance tutor offering ESL courses online, you’d set up a profile on an online marketplace that facilitates connections between tutors and students. Make sure your profile stands out! Teaching online is quite popular, so you’ll want to make sure you’re attracting potential students by putting effort into your profile.

These sites will generally also manage the payment process, but everything else will be up to you. You can create your own lesson plans, set your schedule, and manage your students as you see fit.

Private tutoring on your own

If you’re entrepreneurially minded, private tutoring could be the route for you. As a private online English tutor, you would set up your own website, find your own clients, and make your own lesson plans. This allows you maximum flexibility to set your schedule and teach what you want to teach. Plus, 100% of the profits go directly into your pocket—no need to worry about third-party fees!

While this option may sound like the best of both worlds, it is also the most challenging. Unless you are a well-established tutor, it can be hard to convince students to sign up for your service. If this is the path you choose to take, consider offering promotional deals, such as free sessions, so that you can build up some good reviews.

Average salary and benefits for teaching English online

Unlike in-person teaching, online English teaching jobs are rarely salaried. For the most part, you can expect to receive hourly pay, potentially with additional monetary incentives for things like student referrals and additional sessions.

Pay rates vary dramatically based on several factors. Private tutoring will generally pay the best, and depending on your qualifications and experience, you could make as much as $85 USD/hour or more. But generally, most private tutors will charge between $25-$45 USD/hour.

If you’re teaching with a company, your pay will most likely be considerably less, anywhere from $14-$22 USD/hour. While the pay may be lower, you generally will have a much easier time finding students, so your take-home income may still be competitive.

How to get a job teaching English online

While requirements may be different depending on the company, these are generally the steps you’ll need to follow to teach English online.

  1. Meet the basic requirements: Requirements vary by type of position but generally, teaching websites only hire native speakers with a bachelor’s degree and TEFL certificate. If you’re planning to do private tutoring, you can often bypass rigid requirements, opening doors to non-native speakers and those without degrees.
  2. Submit your application: You will likely need to submit documents such as a resume, university transcripts, and TEFL certificate for jobs through teaching companies.
  3. Prepare for the interview: Some online teaching interviews are teaching demonstrations. Have all of your props and the demo lesson ready. If you’re setting up your own tutoring business or freelancing on a marketplace, you’ll likely need to create an introduction video to showcase on your profile or website.

What People Are Saying

Online TEFL Certification with Job Placement Guarantee

The online TEFL program was enlightening. You will learn how to be an effective ESL teacher; completing the program will give you great insight into your motivations and the kind of teacher you want...
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Online TEFL Certification with Job Placement Guarantee

I decided to do the online TEFL courses through Maximo Nivel, while I’m still in college. The courses were still manageable during this time and also very informative. Throughout these courses, I have...
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Online TEFL Certification with Job Placement Guarantee

In the midst of a career change and a big move, I started the TEFL program. I needed to leave it for a bit, and my mentor supported me through the process of taking time and coming back. In the end, I...
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it hard to teach English online?

    Teaching English online requires teachers to be much more animated and to use more props than traditional classroom teaching. However, once you learn the ins and outs, it is a fun and easy job.

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  • Can I teach English online without being a native speaker?

    Some online teaching companies hire non-native speakers as long as they have native-level fluency in English. Most non-native speakers find success in private tutoring or through a teaching marketplace where they set their own rates.

  • Can you teach English online without a degree?

    Although having a college degree is helpful, it's possible to find online English teaching jobs that do not require one. For those opportunities that don't need a university degree, it’s important to have near-native English proficiency, previous teaching experience, and/or a TEFL teaching certificate.

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  • How can I teach English online at home?

    The most common way to teach English from home is to look for jobs with an online teaching company or organization. If you are a more experienced teacher, you can set up your own private tutoring business.

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  • How much can I make teaching English online?

    Online English teachers working for a TEFL company generally make anywhere from $14 to $22 USD per hour. Private tutors can charge between $25-$45 USD an hour, with experienced and highly qualified teachers able to charge significantly more.

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  • Can I teach English online without a TEFL certificate?

    If you start out on an app that focuses on conversation-based classes, you may be able to get away without a TEFL certificate. However, most students expect teachers to have a basic TEFL qualification.

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