So, can you teach English online with no experience? The short answer is yes, you can teach English online without teaching experience! There are a number of online English teaching jobs that don’t require this and we’ll look at a few of these later on.
However, before you jump ahead, in order to teach English online successfully it is important to possess a few skills. You need to have a strong understanding of the English language and be able to communicate effectively with students. You should also be comfortable using technology, as many online teaching platforms require basic computer competency. Finally, don’t forget that all important TEFL certificate!
If you have these qualifications, you should be able to find online English teaching jobs that are suitable for you. You just need to take that first step and start your search.
How can I get an online teaching job with no experience?
1) Get a TEFL certification
For the vast majority of online English teaching jobs you need to be TEFL certified. Your TEFL certification will be one of the first things employers look for. It is therefore important that you find a well recognized, accredited TEFL course.
A TEFL accreditation is awarded by an external organization who come in and evaluate the TEFL course. They make sure it is of good quality. If you get TEFL certified via that course, this reassures employers that you have received good training. It also gives them the confidence that you’re ready to become an online tutor even if you have no experience.
Teaching English online without TEFL is a bit like trying to ride a bike without peddles. You could put a lot of effort in and not really get anywhere. By taking a TEFL course you’ll obtain the teaching skills you need and have a much better chance of landing a TEFL job.
In terms of what TEFL certification you should go for there are a number of options. For many online TEFL jobs a 120 hour TEFL course will be enough. However, considering that you want to teach English online with no experience you might be better off going for a level 5 TEFL course. They are 168 hours + long and usually contain extra modules such as teaching English to young learners. This can help your burgeoning online tutor CV.
2) Tailor your TEFL CV and covering letter
Acquiring online English teaching jobs with no experience is not impossible. However, you do need to make sure that you put together a good TEFL CV. This will help you stand out from the crowd. The first thing on your TEFL CV, if you want to be an online tutor but have no experience, should of course be your TEFL certificate.
In addition to this you should focus on any relevant skills or experience that you have. This could be teaching practice from your TEFL course or times where you’ve conducted training in a previous role. Anything that you think is a relevant skill should be included. You can then reinforce it in your TEFL covering letter.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to get someone else to give your TEFL CV a proofread before submitting it. This could be a family member or friend. After all, if you want to find a job online teaching English you don’t want to make any spelling or grammar mistakes in your application.
It could also be worth checking out some TEFL CV examples for inspiration.
3) Find suitable TEFL jobs
You should focus your job search on teaching companies that meet your requirements and where you can satisfy theirs. Take a look at the table below, this should save you some time and is a great starting point. It’s important to note that whilst the jobs listed below allow you teach English online without teaching experience, they may still have other requirements. For example, some may require you to be a native English speaker, whilst others can ask for a degree. The good news is that you don’t need to be a native speaker or have a degree for a number of the jobs.
|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|
4) Ace the TEFL demo lesson!
A number of online English teaching platforms will ask you to conduct a demo lesson before hiring you. This could either be recorded or done live in front of an interviewer. Yes, this may sound a little intimidating. However, you should look at it as your opportunity to really show what you can do. If you’ve got your TEFL certificate and prepare well for it there’s no reason why you can’t smash it! There are also a number of TEFL demo lesson videos online that you can watch in order to get an idea of what to expect.
5) Have a plan
When you’re just starting out as an online English teacher you can’t expect to have a full schedule right away. This is particularly true if you have no teaching experience. You therefore need to have a plan for acquiring that experience and filling your schedule.
One way to do this is to work for more than one company. A lot of online English teachers do this, so don’t be afraid of giving it a try. Just check the company’s policies to make sure that they’re happy for you to do this!
Then, as you get more familiar with teaching English as a foreign language online you can start to think about offering your own classes. By this time you’ll no longer have to worry about teaching English online with no experience!
For more information you can check out our teach English online guide to getting started. Once you’ve read this you’ll be ready to take the next steps!