Online English teaching jobs are offered by a multitude of companies around the world and are becoming an increasingly popular way to work and make money. They all follow the same simple premise, which is teaching English to millions of students via video over the internet.
Lessons can be conducted on a one-to-one basis or in groups and each company has its unique target audience. As technology improves these audiences continue to expand and the methods of lesson delivery evolve. For this reason alone there always new opportunities and jobs available with online English teaching.
In this guide we have outlined 20 of the most popular English teaching companies online. We also cover things you should consider if you’re thinking about teaching English online. So sit back and read on to get an idea of what sort of online English teaching jobs each company offers and find out what you need to consider before getting started.
Let’s start with the companies:
|Company||Hourly rate low||Hourly rate high||Set your own rate||TEFL cert. required||Degree required||Non-natives accepted||Student type||Lessons provided||Minimum hours per week||Previous teaching experience required?||Additional requirements||Job link|
|Zebra English||$16||$24||No||Yes||Yes||No||Children||Yes||None||Desirable||Legally allowed to work in US or Canada||Apply|
|Amazing Talker||$15||$140||Yes||No||No||Yes||All ages||No||None||Yes||None||Apply|
|Panda ABC||$20||$30||No||Preferred||Yes||Yes||Children||No||8 hours||No||Bachelor's Degree in relevant field (e.g. education, languages)||Apply|
|Hugo English||$14||$20||No||Preferred||No||No||Children and teenagers||Yes||None||No||US, UK, Irish, South African, Australian and NZ accent||Apply|
|HelloKid||$8||$22||No||Yes||No||Yes||Children and teenagers||Yes||None||Yes||None||Apply|
|TutorABC||$16||$23||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||All ages||Yes||5 hours (at peak time)||1 year||None||Apply|
|HiTutor||$10||$12||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||All ages||Yes||None but 20 hours advised||6 months/1 year||None||Apply|
|Ginseng English||$10||$15||No||Preferred||No||Yes||Children and teenagers||No||None||Desirable||None||Apply|
|Barons English||$15||$22||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||All ages||Yes||None but 20 hours advised||Desirable||Resident of UK, aged 21 or over||Apply|
|VIPKid||$14||$22||No||Yes||Yes||No||Children||Yes||None||2 years||US/Canadian accent + citizenship||Apply|
|Palfish||$10||$30||Yes||Yes||No||No||Children||Yes||10 hours||No||Teachers from the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Ireland, or Australia||Apply|
|EF English Live||$13||$20||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Children and teenagers||Yes||None||Desirable||Reside and have the right to work in the US||Apply|
|Dada||$15||$25||No||Yes||Yes||No||Children and teenagers||Yes||10 hours per month||Desirable||None||Apply|
|FluentBe||$10||$12||No||Yes||No||No||Children and teenagers||Yes||None||1 year||None||Apply|
|Boxfish||$24||$44||No||Yes||Yes||No||Children and teenagers||Yes||None||1 year||Are native English speakers from USA, Canada and UK.||Apply|
|BlingABC||$21||$38||No||Yes||Yes||No||Children||Yes||Classes scheduled weeks in advance||Native English speakers with neutral accent||Apply|
|QKids||$8||$10||No||Preferred||Yes||No||Children||Yes||6 hours||Yes||Reside and have right to work in US or Canada||Apply|
|Waijiaoyi||$18||$20||No||Yes||Yes||No||Children and teenagers||Yes||Must agree to a fixed schedule||Desirable||None||Apply|
|iTutorGroup||$5||$22||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||All ages||Yes||5 hours (at peak time)||1 year||None||Apply|
|Open English||$13||$15||No||Yes||No||No||Teenagers and adults||Yes||10 hours||1 year||US candidates only, Spanish language skills a plus||Apply|
|Lingoda||$8||$13||No||Yes||Yes||No||All ages||Yes||5 hours||2 years||None||Apply|
|Whales English||$21.60||$32.40||No||Yes||Yes||No||Children and teenagers||Yes||8 - 10 hours||1 year||None||Apply|
|Learnlight||$12||$14||No||Yes||No||Yes||All ages||No||10 hours||2 years||Business background, advanced level in 2nd language preferred||Apply|
|Italki||$5||$80||Yes||No||No||Yes||All ages||No||None||No||Accepts applicants from the UK, the US, the Philippines only||Apply|
|GoGoKid||$14||$25||No||Preferred||Yes||Yes||Children||Yes||10 hours||Yes||Legally allowed to work in Canada or US||Apply|
Now that you’ve taken a look at some of the most popular online English teaching companies, there are some important points to consider before embarking on your online English teaching career. Let’s go!
Who can teach English online?
Anyone with a TEFL qualification, a reliable internet connection and a laptop or PC can teach English online. Just make sure you have a good webcam and pair of headphones! Some employers will have additional requirements but if you’re just getting started these will be your essential items.
Why teach English online?
Teaching English online allows you to work from the comfort of your own home, anywhere in the world. It is therefore great for people looking for a career change, a second income stream or for those who have a desire to work whilst travelling. You control your own schedule, which gives you greater flexibility and more free time. What’s not to like!?
Another great thing is no more commuting between lessons. You can use this to teach extra lessons and earn more money or do something else that you enjoy. Provided you have an internet connection and functioning laptop you can teach English online whenever you want!
The pros and cons of online English teaching jobs:
The pros of online English teaching jobs:
- You control your own schedule, which gives you a great deal of flexibility and you can take holiday when you want!
- A great work/life balance. You can make your work fit around your life.
- Income potential. You can make good money working as an online English teacher, and your earnings potential will go up as you gain more experience.
- Low risk. It’s a great way of seeing how well suited you are to TEFL teaching without having to go abroad. You only have the cost of the TEFL certificate, which can be relatively small.
- Save money. Working from home will save you money on commuting and related costs. You can even work form abroad where the cost of living may be lower and save even more.
The cons of online English teaching jobs:
- Variable income. English teaching can be seasonal and if you’re working as a Freelancer you won’t have guaranteed pay each month. You therefore need to manage your finances carefully.
- Unusual work hours. You’ll have to work around the times that your students are available for lessons. This can lead to fragmented days or having to begin work very early in the morning or finish late at night.
- Loneliness. Working at home alone or day can lead you to feeling lonely. It’s important that you get out for exercise and socialize on a regular basis, if you feel the need, to avoid this.
- Business risks. Teaching English online is in many ways like starting your own business. It can take time to get going and build a good pool of students and you have to be careful not to always be working. Taking some time off is important.
- Technical issues. Teaching English online relies upon the internet working. If this cuts out or your equipment breaks you won’t be up and running again until this gets fixed!
- Student reliability. If you get a flaky student who cancels last minute or doesn’t turn up to lessons you might not get paid. Make sure you check the company’s policy on this and if you’re going freelance set a policy of your own up.
Online English teaching jobs – Requirements
Do I need a certificate in TEFL?
Getting a certificate in TEFL or another form of TEFL qualification is almost essential to find work as an online English teacher. Most major online employers will require one. In order to give yourself the best chances of success you should aim to get at minimum a 120-hour TEFL certificate from an accredited TEFL course provider.
Do I have to be a native speaker?
No, it’s possible to be a non-native speaker and get work teaching English online. However, some companies will require native speakers.
Do I need a degree to teach English online?
Many of the major online English teaching platforms will require you to have a degree, although it can be in any discipline. If you don’t have a degree your options will be limited in comparison. Fortunately, there are still many ways of making a success of being an online English teacher. One such way is by going freelance, which leads us nicely onto our next section.
Do I need experience to teach English online?
You don’t need experience to teach English online, but having some experience will certainly put you at an advantage. Whilst it’s true that some of the major online English teaching companies do list teaching experience as a requirement, many just say it is ‘desirable’ or don’t even request it at all. This means that you if you possess the right skillset you can still get a job without having any previous teaching experience. You can learn more about how to successfully teach English online with no experience here.
Types of online English teaching jobs
Working for an online English teaching company
They source the students; all you need to do is turn up and teach. These types of online English teaching jobs are how most people get started as an online English teacher. You’ll need to apply to work on most platforms and will often have to submit a video or conduct trial lessons to get the job. The company may also have other requirements which you’ll need to meet. These could be related to your qualifications, experience or accent, examples of which you can see in our table above. You can also find dedicated tips on how to successfully apply for different companies online, so this can be well worth a quick Google.
There are a number of benefits of having an online English teaching job with one of these platforms. All of the students and lesson materials will be provided for you and you should get a decent flow of work. This saves a lot of time and stress searching for students. Therefore, this form of teaching English online is a great way to make money from home.
However, it’s worth noting that the pay you will receive from companies is often significantly less than what you’d get if you were a freelance English teacher. With companies pay rates are usually fixed and you’ll also have less flexibility in terms of the lessons you can offer.
Working independently as a freelancer
You source the students yourself and have complete freedom to set your own rates and work the hours you wish. You can also decide on the type of TEFL lessons you wish to offer and find your very own English teaching niche. This gives you great flexibility and you can even work for a platform alongside your independent work.
Consequently, going freelance is often the preferred choice of many online English teachers, although it can take time to build up a good client base. You need to advertise yourself and your services in the right place and have a good social media presence. If you can stick at it the rewards can be worth it. Especially as you’ll have much greater freedom and should take home a better hourly rate.
Overall, there’s never been a better time to get an online English teaching job. An ever-increasing amount of people are wanting to learn English worldwide and the opportunities are greater than ever. So whatever route you decide to take, we’re confident that you’ll find the students that you are looking for and will enjoy the freedom provided by teaching English online.