The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English Online [Best Websites, Salary, and More]

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The English language is the first language of hundreds of millions of people, with even more choosing to speak it as a second language. Learning English, therefore, will put any student in good stead for communicating with others from all across the globe.

Well-spoken students need excellent teachers, and with the English language being so prevalent in modern culture, there has never been a better time to train to teach English online.

Why Teach English Online?

Teaching online offers a flexible way to guide your students through comprehensive learning programs. The power of the internet has completely changed the way we communicate with each other, both in terms of social interactions and learning, and it is now easier than ever to teach English online.

Set Your Own Hours

Traditional educators are tied to school hours and set curriculums, with the added workload of grading and lesson planning often taking up additional time outside of school hours. When you teach online, however, you can choose the hours that suit you best.

Whether you choose to work full- or part-time hours, there are no restrictions on how often you choose to teach. You can also set the time of day that suits you best. You may need to work around childcare restrictions, or simply want additional teaching work in the evenings to top up your income. Flexible and fun, you can customize your own working hours when working online.

Work From Home

You don’t need a traditional classroom environment to teach English online, which means that as long as you have access to the internet, a laptop, or desktop and a few other bits of gear, you can run your teaching business from the comfort of your own home.

This means that you never have to worry about the expense or inconvenience of commuting, any additional rental fees, or business rates, and you can even work in the comfort of your jogging pants if you want to.

Work From Anywhere

Another bonus of working remotely is that you can even carry on with your lessons when you are traveling. With just an internet connection and a laptop, you can continue to mentor your students while you are on vacation, visiting friends or family, or evening taking a gap year to travel the world.

You Can Become an ESL Teacher

Those who can teach English as a Second Language (ESL) are very much sought after in a variety of settings, all across the world. If you want to travel, or are thinking of relocating to another country, becoming an ESL teacher is a great way to not only share your valuable skills with students from all backgrounds and abilities but also as a means of supporting yourself on the go.

Teaching a Foreign Language
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How Much Money Can I Make Teaching English Online?

Working as an online English teacher can be profitable if you are prepared to put the hard work in. The more qualifications you have, the more experience you can gain, and of course, the more hours you work will see your pay rates rise substantially.

As a general guide, most companies offer a structured pay scale. The basic pay rate could be anywhere between $7 to $18 per session, depending on your qualifications and experience within the teaching field.

The rest of your pay rate will be made up of additional bonuses. It will differ by platform but as a rough guide these are:

Bonus TypeEarnings
Starting and finishing classes on time$1.00
Teaching a larger class$0.50-$1.00
Taking more than the minimum number of classes per week$1.00
Performance bonus based on reviews$1.00

Some companies, like Cambly, for example, pay per minute. This is because it offers a “chat” service to help students improve their existing English skills, as opposed to a structured teaching scheme. It pays around $0.17 per minute, which equates to just over $10 per hour.

Finally, be realistic about why you are planning to teach English online. If you are purely using it a side hustle, you may only earn a few hundred extra dollars a month. If, however, this will be your main source of income, you could achieve somewhere in the region of $46,000-$50,000 per annum eventually.

What Do I Need to Teach English Online?

If you are serious about teaching English online, you will need some basic gear to get started. You may already have everything you need at home, but reliable technology is key to keeping connected, so you may need to invest in some upgraded items before you start teaching your first students.

The first thing you will need is a comfortable workspace. You will want to be able to focus 100% on your students, so it will also need to be quiet and away from other household distractions, including other family members. Remember, you get to pick the hours that you want to work, so choose times when your house is at its quietest if you can.

Next, you need to ensure that you have good-quality tech to work with. At the very least, you will need to have access to the following:

  • A good-spec PC, Mac, or laptop that doesn’t run slow. You should also ensure that you have enough RAM to run certain types of software programs that you may need. Some online schools work via an app-based platform, meaning you may be able to rely only on your smartphone or iPad to teach with.
  • High-speed internet to ensure you can avoid the dreaded buffering on video calls or drops in connectivity.
  • A high-quality webcam that ideally has HD capabilities to ensure a clear picture at all times.
  • A headset to enable you to talk to your students while online without having to worry about background noise.
  • A reliable electricity supply or generator. This is particularly important if you are considering working from somewhere more remote.
  • Another incredibly useful item to have in your possession is a college degree! While not all online schools insist upon this level of education, many of the larger and more reputable providers require that all of their teachers hold a 4-year Bachelor of Arts certificate, even it is not directly related to teaching or education. You must also be a native English speaker.

If you want to take your online English teaching career seriously, you will find your chances of employment further increased if you hold a TEFL certificate as well as your degree.

Bottom Line: Online language schools often prioritize teachers with a TEFL certificate above those with just a degree.

What Is a TEFL Certificate?

A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate is one of the most important things you will need if you want to start teaching English abroad. While holding a 4-year college degree increases your chances of being picked up to teach by any of the biggest online education providers, having a TEFL certification will be your biggest asset by far.

What Does a TEFL Certification Involve?

During your training, you will learn all about the fundamentals of teaching English to non-native English-speaking students.

While English is your mother-tongue and you may think you are pretty awesome at it, there are specific skills you will need to be an effective teacher. You will also learn about the 5 key elements of language learning — reading, writing, speaking, listening, and pronunciation — and how to apply them in an educational setting.

For example, you will need to learn a wide range of educational skills that range from lesson planning to classroom management, as well as how best to engage with different types of students. You will also need to brush up on your own linguistic knowledge, which will help you understand how non-native speakers learn the basics of the English language.

Most courses last a minimum of 120 hours worth of instruction, and the accreditation you receive when you successfully complete the course is vital for furthering your career as an English language teacher.

How Can I Get a TEFL Certification?

There are several different ways to study for your TEFL certification, depending on your own personal requirements. These include:

Classroom-Based TEFL Lessons

Often held in groups, classroom-based TEFL classes are run by experienced tutors with lots of knowledge behind them. They understand that adult learners may not have been in a classroom environment for some time and will help ease TEFL students into their learning environments.

You will learn about making lesson plans and teaching programs, as well as how best to teach grammar to students who are learning English as a second language. You will also get to practice teaching in front of your fellow students, which is a great way to learn how to feel more comfortable in a classroom setting.

Bottom Line: Classroom-based courses can call for weeks or months of commitment, though, and may cost more than other types of courses.

Online TEFL Certifications

These types of courses offer a more flexible, and usually more affordable alternative to classroom-based learning. You will need to commit to the same 120 hours or more of learning, but you will be able to work around your schedule.

Online courses cover the same topics as classroom-based learning without the ability to practice teaching in front of a real-life classroom. These include language skills, grammar, lesson planning, and classroom management, as well as the 5 key elements of language learning.

These types of courses are perfect for those who want to expand their knowledge and diversify their existing teaching skills, or those who are looking to move into a new career direction while working around their existing commitments. At the end of the online course, you will be accredited with the same TEFL qualification that you would be awarded in a classroom setting.

Hybrid Courses

These simply combine both online tutorials and class-based learning to complete the course and gain your accreditation.

Study for Your TEFL While Abroad

If you can’t wait to get out there and explore the world, or if the idea of teaching English as a second language to you is more appealing the more your travel, you can still obtain your qualification on the go.

Many TEFL providers have programs all over the world, meaning you should never be too far from your next source of learning. You can even enroll on a course and earn your accreditation in the country that you plan to teach in, allowing you to get to know more about local customs and your potential working environments before you start teaching.

Online Language School
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What Are the Requirements for a TEFL Certification?

The key requirement of obtaining a TEFL certification is that you are a native-English speaker. Beyond that, you will need to have the means to pay for your tuition and the ability to commit to the course, either online or in a classroom setting, at home or abroad. You will also need to be enthusiastic, determined, and confident enough to communicate in front of your students when the time comes.

In educational terms, the requirements of the various course providers around the world will differ slightly. Many will want you to hold a bachelor’s degree, while others may only ask for the equivalent of a high school graduation certificate before you can embark on the teaching course.

Hot Tip: It is worth mentioning, though, that although you may not need any set qualifications to enroll on a TEFL course, you might not be able to secure a teaching position with some of the bigger providers without some — most specifically, a Bachelor of Arts or 4-year degree.

How Much Does a TEFL Certification Cost?

Prices can vary tremendously depending on where you are taking the course, and how you choose to study.

As a guideline, though, you should budget for anywhere between $200 and $1,000 for the course itself, plus additional expenses for accommodation if you are planning to take the course in a different country.

Are There Any Other Types of TEFL Certifications Available?

While TEFL is the most commonly recognized qualification in this field, there are others that you should be familiar with, too. All offer a degree of training for individuals looking to teach English as a second language. These courses offer slight variations and may be more common in some countries than others.

ESL Certifications

English as a Second Language certification can be offered instead of a TEFL qualification. The term ESL can equally be applied to both teachers and students involved in this field of learning. These kinds of qualifications are often found in public schools and are geared towards teaching non-native English speakers who are living in a country where English is the most commonly spoken language.

If you want to teach those that have come to live in your own home country how to speak English well enough to live, work, and become a part of their local community, this might be an effective alternative to a full TEFL certification.

TESOL Programs

TESOL qualification (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is interchangeable with TEFL certifications and TESOL and TEFL courses are often intertwined. Much like the ESL qualification, they are aimed at individuals who are not native-English speakers living in English-speaking and some non-native English-speaking countries.

TESOL courses are considered to be the newest and most innovative way to teach English as a second language, and the TESOL certification is usually considered to be equal to both TEFL and ESL accreditations and certifications.

TOEFL Certification

The Test of English as a Foreign Language needs to be successfully completed by ESL students or anyone else who wants to work or study in an English-speaking country.

To ensure that your students can pass the test at the end of their courses, those tutoring individuals for the TOEFL certification will also need to assist them with strategies and advice on how to master the test and complete their courses.

TEFL Degree

If you want to really focus on teaching English as a second language, you could consider undertaking a full degree in TEFL.

Often these are taken as a Master’s qualification following on from an undergraduate course in education-related subjects including teaching, English, or even linguistics. Some individuals who start their career simply teaching non-native students in a foreign setting while they are traveling do indeed go on to dedicate their careers to becoming experts in this field.

This is a full-degree course, so it can take some years to complete, especially as many students complete the course via an open-study setting.

What to Look for in a TEFL Course

Although most TEFL courses offer a similar curriculum, broadly speaking, not all TEFL courses are equal. Before you commit to an online course or classroom-based study, you should consider the following:

Is the Course Accredited?

If you want your TEFL to be useful to you, and actually help you to get paid work as a teacher, it will need to be accredited. Any course that offers full accreditation will have been approved by a third party and offer a set curriculum, as well as recognized teaching strategies and up to date learning methodologies.

An accredited course is not only something that future employers will want to see before they hire you, but it also ensures that you will be an effective teacher for your students.

Accreditation bodies to look out for include:

  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
  • College of Teachers
  • International Accreditation of TESOL Qualifying Organizations (IATQuO)
  • Open & Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC)
  • Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual)
  • Online TESOL and TEFL Standards Agency (OTTSA)
  • Training Qualifications UK (TQUK)

Does It Offer at Least 120 Hours of Instruction?

Whether you choose to study online, in a classroom, or undertake a mixture of both, the most respected TEFL courses will provide you with a minimum of 120 hours of study.

You may only do a couple of hours a week, or you might choose to study 5 days a week, but reducing your total number of hours is the equivalent of skipping classes.

There are at least 120 hours worth of content to be covered to ensure that you are well-versed in all types of TEFL teaching techniques, and most employers will look to see this amount of study as a minimum requirement.

Does the Course Include a Practicum Teaching Element?

As with regular teacher training, part of the learning process is knowing how to teach real-life students in a traditional learning environment. To this end, some TEFL courses include a practical teaching element, where you will need to teach a lesson to real students as well as observing real-life classes taught by experienced teachers.

The practical side of your learning can also be gained in a 1-to-1 setting, being a student-teacher, or even as a volunteer with any organization that offers TEFL classes. Depending on your route to learning, there are various ways to meet these requirements.

If you are learning through classroom-based TEFL providers, they may arrange practical teaching opportunities for you. If you are learning online, you will likely need to source your own practice sessions to achieve your accreditation.

Any practical sessions you undertake will be evaluated and signed off by a qualified teacher and submitted to the TEFL company for grading. While some courses do not require any practical experience to complete the course, it is also super useful to get some real-life teaching experience.

Hot Tip: You should consider personal components that help to enhance your TEFL learning experience. For example, do they offer enough flexibility in terms of class times and locations to fit around your existing schedule?

6 Best Online TEFL Courses

Child Learning Online
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There is a vast array of companies offering TEFL courses for those looking to teach English online. Some of the most popular ones include:

1. i.to.i

Established in 1994, i-to-i offer fully accredited TEFL courses and diplomas. With over 25 years of experience, it is one of the most highly regarded providers of TEFL instruction in the world. It also offers paid internships in Thailand, Vietnam, and China, among other locations.

Students wishing to learn with i-to-i can choose from online TEFL courses and diplomas that are both Ofqual-regulated and ODLQC-accredited. These include Level 5 courses that offer between 180 to 200 hours of in-depth training to further your career opportunities and Level 3 courses that will give you the confidence and knowledge to start your career as a teacher of English as a second language.

Hot Tip: i-to-i also offers shorter, more specialized courses that include learning how best to teach teenagers or younger children, lesson planning, teaching English for business, and how to become an online tutor.

2. International TEFL Academy

ITA offers a state-of-the-art curriculum that is written by highly experienced and qualified staff and professors. As one of the global leaders in providing TEFL and TESOL courses, its learning programs have been designed to include 100 hours of academic work and 6 hours of practical, classroom-based assessment.

Courses are held both online and at select locations worldwide, including Chicago, Costa Rica, Barcelona, and many more. Online courses offer 170 hours of instruction and begin at regular intervals throughout the year, or students can choose to sign up for the 4-week intensive online courses if they want to qualify faster.

This company also offers short courses that offer guidance on subjects such as teaching younger learners, teaching English for business, and teaching English online.

3. International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT)

This internationally recognized training organization offers courses that are externally moderated by some of the leading academics and practitioners in the TEFL profession, including world-leading experts in the English language. It promises to teach using the most up-to-date methodologies and is always incorporating developments in the field of language training.

Its courses are fully accredited, and in some cases, it can help students to receive credits at certain U.S. universities and colleges to further study in the field of TEFL.

It offers a variety of online courses, including 60-hour and 120-hour TEFL certificate courses, a 220-hour Master Package, and a 470-hour Professional Package. There is also a TESOL diploma that is designed for students who already have the previous certification in ESL subjects.

It also offers in-class courses in a variety of locations across the world and can offer teacher placements for observed teaching sessions to help you complete your qualifications.

4. MyTEFL

MyTEFL offers recognized and independently accredited courses that focus on the practical sides of teaching English as a second language, as well as covering the theory. It offers courses that run for 4 weeks or less and promise to make all of its graduates “lean, mean teaching machines.”

It offers online courses that can work around your regular commitments, as well as onsite classroom-based courses across the world, including locations such as Thailand, Argentina, and Spain. Unlike some other TEFL companies, MyTEFL allows suitable applicants to start teaching while they are studying, even without a 4-year degree or multiple years of teaching experience behind them.

MyTEFL’s TEFL internships provide students with the opportunity to stay away from home while learning in both classroom and placement settings alongside other students to help them build bonds and become awesome teachers.

5. The TEFL Academy

The TEFL Academy provides fully-accredited, world-leading instruction for students who want to teach English as a second language. To learn the skills you need to succeed, it offers both online and combined teaching courses, as well as a 10-hour teaching practice course.

With over 35 courses running throughout the year, its Combined Level 5 TEFL course will give you the qualification you need to become a confident teacher, wherever you choose to study. It also offers a selection of shorter, more specialist courses that include business English, online instruction, and teaching younger learners.

Once you enroll in its courses, you are eligible to take up an internship with the company in a variety of locations across the world, including China, Spain, Argentina, and Hong Kong, to name just a few. It also offers volunteering opportunities to complement your learning journey.

6. TEFL Pros

Offering courses that are accredited by Accreditat, a world leader in TEFL and TESOL courses, TEFL Pros provides online learning opportunities for individuals looking to teach English as a second language by way of its 120 hours digital TEFL course.

The course comprises 10 different modules, such as lesson planning for both speaking and writing skills, the role of students and teachers, a guide to student interaction, a grammar review, and a review that includes cultural awareness and exam grading, as well as other important considerations.

With explanatory videos, worksheets and assignments, quizzes, and assessments, TEFL Pros offers a fun, interactive way to qualify as a TEFL teacher.

Young Student Learning Online
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10 Best Websites to Find Online English Teaching Jobs

Once you have gained your TEFL certification, you will want to start looking for your very first teaching post. There is always a need for qualified TEFL teachers throughout the world, but finding the right one for you can be daunting. Here are some of the very best websites to help you find your dream teaching job.

1. Cambly — Best for Informal Tutoring to Improve English Language Skills

Offering much more informal online tutoring that you would find with Qkids or VIPKIDS, Cambly is designed to attract students who already have some knowledge of the English language that just want to practice their conversational skills.

The less formal nature of the site means that students basically pay fees and log-in to chat with tutors as and when they want to. This means that as a tutor, you can log-in whenever you have the time to do so, or book regular shifts if you would prefer. Teachers can work from anywhere in the world, and they are not required to have a degree or even hold a TEFL certification.

You will have the opportunity to meet students from all over the world, and you can really get to know them as you help them to improve their English skills. Cambly is popular with students from Saudi Arabia, although it is also gaining popularity in South Korea and Turkey, and as such, you will need to be sensitive to other cultures.

When it comes to pay, the rates are much lower than other sites can offer. At just $0.17 per minute, you will have to get through a lot of chit-chats to achieve $10.20 an hour. There are no contracts in place, and the hours aren’t guaranteed.

Sign-up is easy enough, though, and if you would like to give it a go, click here.

2. DaDa

DaDa is a professional online education institution that puts the emphasis on learning through fun and caters to children between the ages of 4 and 16.

It provides 1-to-1 English instruction provided by native English teachers, and if you want to register to work with DaDa, you will need to have a Bachelor’s degree. It also prioritizes applicants who hold a TEFL or other ESL certification, and an additional 1-2 years teaching experience isn’t required but is desired.

This company prides itself on only offering the very best English teachers for its students, so you may need to jump through some hoops to successfully register. If you are accepted, however, DaDa does offer a high level of teacher training and support, and you will be allocated your online teaching time slots for a minimum of 2 hours a day, for at least 2 days a week.

DaDa offers a starting rate of around $15 to $22 an hour. This is dependent on your experience and performance in your demo class and consists of a basic rate of between $13 and $16 per hour, plus an additional incentive bonus. The company also claims to offer yearly wage rises based on performance.

Unlike some other education providers, DaDa will accept teaching applicants from anywhere in the world, provided they meet the requirements and have a stable internet connection. This is a good company if you want to work online while you are traveling. It does, however, prefer applicants from the U.S., Canada, U.K., or Australia to teach its students.

Click here to apply for a job with DaDa.

3. Education First — One of the World’s Biggest Providers of TEFL Services

As one of the world’s largest online language schools, Education First Live is usually the first choice for teachers from both the U.K. and the U.S. who want to teach.

Applicants will need to have a university degree, and past teaching experience is a bonus, but not a must. You can earn your TEFL certificate while working for Education First, and you will need at least 40 hours of instruction to achieve this.

Teaching well-behaved and fully engaged Chinese children, you will be offered quite a lot of assistance, including lesson materials (should you want them), and access to work from the website’s user-friendly learning platform. You will be matched with students for 1-on-1 classes, and you will get to teach the same students each lesson.

Once again, you are not required to speak any Mandarin or Cantonese, but you will need to be prepared for late nights or early mornings to counter the time difference.

In terms of earnings, you can expect to receive as much as $20 per hour, based on basic pay rate and bonuses, and your salary will be paid directly into your bank account.

If you want to sign up with one of the world’s biggest and best providers of online TEFL, click here to find out more.

4. GoGoKid — Best for High-Tech Teaching

As one of the most recent online language schools to join the ever-growing network of providers, GoGoKid is always looking to grow its inventory of professional TEFL and ESL teachers. It focuses on teaching younger learners in China and offers 25-minute 1-to-1 sessions online.

Applicants must be native English speakers and must have a bachelor’s degree — formal TEFL accreditation is not required (but that may change). Provided they meet the criteria, teachers are accepted from anywhere in the world as long as they have a stable internet connection.

GoGoKid provides its teachers with the material they need for their lessons, and all classes take place in the virtual classroom available on its learning portal.

Because this company offers its learning programs in such a dedicated digital way, it is vitally important that your home equipment can meet the technical specifications before you apply. Without high-speed internet and a decent spec laptop or computer, you won’t be able to work its system.

In terms of wages, GoGoKid pays pretty well, with a basic pay rate of $7 to $10, and the opportunity to earn hourly bonuses that could see your rate rise to a much more respectable $14 to $25 per hour.

If you can meet its technical requirements and have a Bachelor of Arts, you can register to teach for GoGoKid here.

5. Italki — Best for Informal Teaching

This rather interesting site works in a unique way. Unlike the others, you can set your pay rate, and you can apply to share your language skills with students who are looking for help with their abilities. It doesn’t need to be English either — if there is a language that you are fluent in, you can apply to teach that, too.

With Italki, you can pick your schedule and pretty much design the format of your lessons, including how you teach them. You can use Skype, FaceTime, or even Google Hangouts and provide as many lesson materials as you want to.

Professional teachers must be native speakers who are ESL accredited or have experience in teaching a language as a foreign or second language, while native or near-native speakers without formal qualifications can still get involved in Community Tutor roles.

The amount you charge for your services should be in line with other tutors and teachers on the site, and you can expect to earn anything from $12 to $25 per hour, depending on your own experience and qualifications. Be aware, though, that the site takes 15% commission on every one of your completed lessons.

Laid back, informal, and good fun, click here to find out about signing up with Italki.

6. iTutor Group

Based in Shanghai, iTutor has been providing first-class English teachers since 1998 and offers online lessons to children, adults, and business professionals. To register, you must hold a bachelor’s degree and be able to commit to at least 5 peak hours of teaching per week. Applicants with TEFL or other ESL certifications are prioritized.

You can choose to teach a 25-minute 1-on-1 class or 45-minute group classes and lesson plans are provided. The classes run around the clock working on Beijing time, so Western teachers will need to be able to work mornings and evenings and some additional hours at weekends. Its students are based in China, Taiwan, and Japan.

iTutor is not one of the best-paying English language providers, with rates starting from as little as $14 per hour. This can be increased to as much as $24 per hour, though, if you are prepared to work for the long term.

As is usually the case, pay rates are based on a basic wage topped up with bonuses, and the base pay rate is more favorable to native English-speaking teachers from the U.S., the U.K., and Canada.

If you would like to work for this global leader in online education, click here to start the online teacher application process.

7. QKids Teacher — Best for Undergraduate Teachers

QKids promises to connect teachers with Chinese students between the ages of 4 and 12 years old. This company requires you to hold a degree-level qualification and have an English teaching certificate such as TEFL or TESOL.

It provides its teachers with a high level of assistance when it comes to providing all lesson plans and materials, and all training is included.

The teaching schedule is quite flexible and you do not need to be able to speak Mandarin or Cantonese to teach your students. You must, however, actually be located in Canada or the U.S., and you will only be teaching Chinese children, as opposed to children from all around the world.

QKids pay rates are fairly good, too. You can expect to receive an $8 base pay for full lessons and a further $4 base pay for standby lessons. There is also a $1 bonus to be earned for each additional lesson after the first 15 per week. You should be able to average out around $20 per hour, which isn’t bad for working from the comfort of your own home.

If you would like to apply to teach for QKids, click here to sign up.

8. Teach Away

Teach Away helps native English-speaking American and Canadian applicants to connect with some of the best international schools around the world. Teaching Chinese students from preschool age to grade 6, it only offers positions to applicants with a bachelor’s degree behind them.

Established in 2003, Teach Away is now a world leader in supplying teachers of English as a second language to Chinese students. It is also able to offer TEFL training for licensed teachers, retired teachers, and university graduates who are looking to begin or refresh their careers in teaching.

It offers both full and part-time hours, and teachers are supported while providing 1-to-1 English lessons using its supplied curriculum.

Like many language schools that provide online lessons to Asian countries, the working hours are mostly limited to early mornings and evenings in North America to counter for the time difference.

This may not suit your current schedule or, conversely, could work well if you are looking for additional teaching work outside of your regular teaching hours.

It offers competitive pay rates based on experience, and you can expect to earn between $18 to $22 per hour. Working with the Asian market does usually equate to better pay than some other countries in the world, but do check the small print before you sign up as there can be penalties for loss of internet, late starts, etc.

If you would like to find out more about registering with Teach Away, click here.

9. Two Sigmas

Two Sigmas operate differently than the other teaching resources on our list. Instead of connecting teachers directly with students, it acts as a middleman between teachers and its partner schools. It believes that this makes the application process easier for teachers as they only need to submit a single application for a variety of openings.

It partners with a selection of online teaching companies, including Class100, Early Birds, HelloKids, Landi, LimeEnglish, RED Education, and SayABC, and the staff at TwoSigmas will decide which company you are best suited to after you’ve applied.

Because it recruits for so many different companies, applicant requirements do vary, but the best-placed candidates are those that have a bachelor’s degree, a TEFL certificate or teaching license, a neutral accent, a high level of spoken English, and have the legal right to work in the US, Canada, the U.K., or Australia.

Pay rates also vary widely depending on the company you eventually end up working for. Most of the jobs it advertises do, however, have an hourly rate of $20 and upwards, although most of these will no doubt be based on a lower basic pay rate, plus bonus commission.

If you would like Two Sigmas to submit your application to its partner companies, you can apply here.

10. VIPKID — Best for High Rates

This website offers teaching positions for those who are interested in teaching English to Chinese children and accepts teaching applications from the U.S. and Canada. It provides the curriculum and lets its teachers impart their knowledge to eager students on their own schedule.

Started in 2013, VIPKID is now one of the most popular websites for TEFL teachers looking to reach the Chinese market. This company not only connects teachers with Chinese students, but it also takes a lot of the leg work out of the teaching process by providing lesson planning, test marking, and even regular communication with the parents of the students you will be teaching.

Each class runs between 25-30 minutes, and teachers can earn as much as $22 per hour. This pay rate is based on several factors, including a basic pay rate, and small additional increments for teaching performance and the number of classes you teach in a month. You would also need to teach 2 classes per hour to achieve the highest rate.

You get to teach polite and well-behaved children on a 1-to-1 basis without needing to speak any Mandarin or Cantonese, and you can even achieve bonus pay for working during seasonal holidays.

But, it is strict, and if you lose your internet connection for more than 3 minutes, your class is canceled. The time difference can also be a struggle if you are not based in Asia.

You must also have a bachelor’s degree to sign up with them. To find out more about teaching Chinese students through VIPKID, click here.

Final Thoughts

Teaching English as a second language online can be an incredibly rewarding career. Not only will you be able to benefit from the freedom of working at home or on the road, but you will also get the opportunity to speak to learners from all around the world.

Completing your TEFL certification opens up a vast new world of teaching opportunities that can boost your confidence, increase your income, and give you a worthwhile vocation that you can take anywhere with you.


Frequently asked questions

How much can you make teaching English online?

While it varies by company, you can make between $7 and $18 teaching English online. Most companies will offer a basic rate and you can sometimes reach $25 per hour for hitting goals such as the number of hours taught per week, being punctual, and positive feedback.

Can you teach English online without a degree?

Most reputable platforms will require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent to teach English online. Many will also prioritize applications from teachers that also hold a TEFL certification.

Is teaching English online a good job?

Teaching English online has many benefits. As a teacher, you will acquire a lot of soft skills, meet people from all over the world, earn a respectable level of pay, work whatever hours you choose, and be able to work while traveling if you wanted. These perks make teaching English online a good job.

How much does TEFL certification cost?

TEFL certification can cost anywhere between $200 and $1000, or even more. Don’t focus solely on cost when choosing a TEFL course provider. You also need to consider whether the course is accredited, the support provided, how many hours is the course, and whether there is a practical element. Your course should be at least 120 hours.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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