There are so many opportunities to make a living while traveling, and teaching English abroad has become one of the most popular. If you are excited about the idea of being a digital nomad, and making an income without having to sit still, teaching English online could be one of the best options for you.
There are various platforms that hire online English teachers, but working for reliable companies will require more than just being a native speaker. Getting accustomed to differences in time zones, a home turned classroom, or software compatibility for your lessons are just a few of the nuances related to teaching English online. But, is there a market for it? How do you get started? What are the requirements, and will you get hired?
Teaching English Online is Here to Stay
In a global economy, English has evolved as the primary business language. With it comes the high demand for English teachers. Though enrolling in a traditional English program is still considered the norm, more and more students are opting to take online lessons to accommodate their busy schedules.
Students decide when and where they want to study, how often their lessons will take place, and oftentimes, at a more affordable rate. Students can choose one-on-one private lessons or small group lessons. The accessibility and affordability of online English classes make it an attractive option for ESL students.
Individual learners aren’t the only ones taking advantage of online classes. Top universities and corporations are also looking to hire online English teachers in order to retain top talent. Typically, a full work and school schedule makes it difficult for English learners to tack on on-site English courses. However, it’s been found that when students and employees feel comfortable and confident about their English-speaking abilities, that confidence gets translated into their academic and professional lives. For this reason, opportunities for teaching English online in recent years has grown exponentially. It’s a booming industry that shows no signs of slowing down. In short, teaching English online is here to stay.
How Much Can You Earn by Teaching Online?
The amount of earning potential as an online English teacher depends on the company, the number of hours you decide to teach, your experience, and most importantly, your qualifications; having a TEFL certificate will boost your earning potential, in addition to having a degree. Some platforms pay a flat hourly rate while others allow you to set your own rate. Depending on the hours you teach and the feedback from students, an online English teacher can make between $5- $30 per hour. A new teacher with a TEFL certification can expect to make a flat fee between $7 and $15 per hour. As you gain more experience, receive positive feedback, and keep your availability during the busiest hours, your rate will increase.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Teach English Online?
As the industry continues to grow, the potential for long-term employment stability as an online English teacher is viable and it comes with many benefits; choosing your own schedule, working from anywhere with internet accessibility, and the ability to be your own boss. So, how can you get in on the action?
If you’re already TEFL certified and a native English speaker, you can jump ahead to “Platforms for Teaching English Online.” But if not, you need to consider getting TEFL certified. You can choose to obtain your certification in-person, online, or through a hybrid program.
Depending on the company, a bachelor’s degree might also be required in addition to teaching experience. Many TEFL graduates choose to first teach at a language school to gain experience and become a more marketable candidate. Once some experience is established, you might decide to take on specialized courses for additional income before fully transitioning to be an online teacher.
Platforms for Teaching English Online
A quick google search will show you there are tens of options to choose from, these are some we know to be reputable and offering a good, easy to use, platform.
VIPKid is a top choice in the industry for several reasons. Firstly, they require both a TEFL certificate and a bachelor’s degree to ensure they hire only the most qualified teachers. In addition, they require at least 3 months of ESL teaching experience. If you’re a Canadian or U.S citizen who meets the requirements, VIPKID could be a match for you.
Perks include the ability to choose your own work hours and switch your weekly availability. Lessons are taught in 25-minute time slots and pay can range from $10-$22 per hour. Base pay is determined by your interview and demo performance. There are many bonuses that go along with base pay including timely arrival for lessons, teaching more than 45 lessons in one month, and successful teacher referrals.
QKids requires a TEFL certification to teach online, but they are lenient about having a bachelor’s degree. As long as you can prove current enrollment in a university, you can be considered for a position. All new teachers receive a base pay of $16 per hour with a $1 incentive for every lesson you’re on time for.
A minimum commitment of 6 hours per week is mandatory, and you’ll receive your teaching schedule on Sunday evenings based on your availability. However, you aren’t obligated to keep the made schedule. Make sure to contact the team to make changes to your schedule at least 24 hours before the start of a lesson.
English Hunt is unique in the sense that it either requires 48 college credits OR a TEFL certificate. They hire U.S citizens with a U.S bank account and pay about $20 per hour. The platform is dedicated to Korean students and allows teachers to choose between two shifts – Monday to Friday 6 AM to 9 AM EST or Saturday and Sunday from 6 PM to 12 AM EST.
Teachers who choose the day shift need to be available for all three hours. Evening teachers have more flexibility with their schedules. For now, the platform is only compatible with PC software.
Whether you decide to work full-time or part-time, teaching English online can be a lucrative way to sustain your travels. No matter which platform you choose, you will be asked to provide proof of a TEFL certification or its equivalent. Remember, some platforms might also require a degree before being on-boarded as an online teacher. But the perks far outweigh the investment.
After graduating from a TEFL course, you’ll have the ability to choose your own hours, schedule, and possible teaching rates. You’ll be able to make a livable wage in your home country or teach abroad and make enough to live, travel, and save. If you’re interested in exploring the option of teaching English from home, check out the different TEFL certificate programs, and make the bold decision to create the life you really want.