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Yes, you can teach English online — and you don’t even need experience or a college degree to start.

You’ve probably heard about people traveling abroad to teach English, but you can actually do it from the comfort of your home.

Being a remote English teacher is a legitimate work from home job that’s growing in popularity.

In fact, the online learning industry is booming. By 2025 the e-learning market is projected to be worth $325 billion! And the market for learning English online is a big chunk of that.

With over 1 billion people learning English, there’s a demand for qualified instructors worldwide. But, what does it take to teach English online?

In this post, I’ll break down:

  • The 4 primary ways to make money teaching English online
  • Pros and cons of each
  • The requirements to get started
  • Which ones have the best earning potential

teach english online

Who Wants to Learn English and Why?

When it comes to communication, English is the most commonly spoken language in the world.

Did you know that English is the official language of over 50 countries? Since 1 out of every 5 people on the planet speak or understand English, it’s no surprise that there’s a high demand for both children and adults to learn English–especially in China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Russia.

One of the biggest reasons English is so popular is due to what’s called Lingua Franca. In other words, English is how people who don’t share a native language communicate with one another.

Here are some other reasons people want to learn English:

  • Access to universities, schools, and training programs
  • Prepare for an exam
  • Improve chances of getting a job
  • Improve business communications and opportunities
  • Simplify communications while traveling
  • Ability to consume more media (news, movies, books, internet content)
  • Meet new people and cultures

These reasons mean that professionals, students, travelers, content creators, and business owners of all ages want to learn English.

How Much Can You Make Teaching English Online?

The amount you can earn for teaching English online varies quite a bit based on certain factors. In general, you’ll earn between $10-$26 per hour.

The aspects that affect your hourly rate are things such as experience, qualifications, certifications, and whether you’re teaching through a company versus independently.

Some companies offer bonuses and incentives in the way of teacher referrals and weekend hours.

However, when it comes down to it, the more hours you work, the more you’ll make!

Pro Tip: Either way — working for yourself or through a company — you’ll be an independent contractor, so don’t forget to deduct a percentage of your earnings for taxes.

What are the Requirements to Teach English Online?

The requirements of teaching English online vary as much as the hourly rate does.

It really depends on the company, the client, and the country. For example, China requires that online English teachers have a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification or a traditional teaching license.

Note: You may run across the term TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification. Both TEFL and TESOL are used to describe the training programs that prepare English language teachers. There is a difference between the two certifications, but the distinction is so subtle that the terms are often used interchangeably. For the most part, TEFL seems to be more popular and more common than TESOL.

Although all teaching opportunities don’t require a TEFL certificate, going through the TEFL program improves your skills as an instructor, increases your chances of getting hired, and will help you earn more.

Basic Requirements

You’ll find that these are the most common requirements to teach English online:

  • Native English speaker**
  • College or university Bachelor’s degree (in any subject)
  • Teaching experience preferred (formal or informal)
  • Being personable, friendly, and outgoing
  • Possessing good presentation skills
  • Computer
  • High quality webcam (I like this one)
  • High quality microphone, headset, or headphones
  • Good lighting
  • Fast and stable internet connection
  • Online teaching platform or online meeting app (like Skype or Zoom).
  • Quiet room or work area to teach lessons
  • Reliable electricity

** If you’re not a native English speaker, there are some companies that will hire bilingual teachers as long as you meet English proficiency requirements.

Possible Requirements

Some companies, clients, or countries do require or prefer additional credentials and qualifications, such as:

  • Teaching degree or certification
  • TEFL certification
  • ESL certificate
  • Teaching experience
  • Residence in North America or the United States
  • Commitment to specific hours or a minimum of hours per week
  • Teaching aids or props (ex. whiteboard, puppets, flash cards, music, rewards system)

Although a degree or a certification isn’t always required, the hourly pay rate reflects it! So, you may choose to pursue TEFL certification. Generally speaking, the more experience and the better credentials you have, the higher your pay rate.

One thing you don’t need to teach English online is to speak another language. So, don’t worry if you’re not bilingual.

What are the Pros of Teaching English Online?

Flexible Schedule

You can choose your work days and hours (although some companies require a minimum quantity of hours per week).

You can work early morning hours, late evening hours, and even full-time daytime hours, depending on where your students are located. This makes teaching English a good side hustle if you’re wanting to teach in addition to your 9-5 job.

Work from Anywhere

Since teaching is performed online, you may work from the comfort and convenience of your home and, in some cases, any location around the world.

Competitive Pay

Not all opportunities pay competitive rates, but some experienced teachers make anywhere from $25-$40 an hour.

Pre-Made Lesson Plans

If you teach through a company, you don’t need to worry about coming up with lesson plans.

Personally Fulfilling Work

Teaching others can be a very gratifying, rewarding, and satisfying job.

What are the Cons of Teaching English Online?

Non-Traditional Work Hours

Since the work hours are based on your students’ location, you could be working in the early hours of the morning or late in the evening, depending on where you live.

Weekend Work

Teaching often takes place on the weekends as well, so if you prefer Saturday and Sunday off, this could be a negative for you.

Ramp-up Time

When you’re first starting out, you’ll need to collect reviews and build your clientele to get more work.

Potentially Low Pay

If you’re new to teaching or don’t have the best credentials, the pay per hour could be very low until you gain more experience. In that case, you might take a look at this list of other ways to make extra money.

Requires Energy

Teaching English online requires lots of listening and talking with little time or breaks between students. This could be draining for introverts or people with low energy.

Sedentary

If you already sit all day at a 9-5 job, you might not enjoy sitting at a desk and computer for teaching.

4 Ways to Make Money Teaching English Online

When it comes to making money from your English language skills, you’ve actually got a lot of options. Here are some of the most common ways to monetize that tongue of yours.

  1. Join a Teaching Service
  2. Online Chat or Conversation Apps
  3. Freelance Tutoring Platforms
  4. Build Your Own English Learning Audience

We’ll explore each in detail below.

1. Teach English Online Through a Company

If you’re a new online English teacher or prefer more structure and support, then teaching English through a company may be a good option. There are plenty of openings at reputable companies that need teachers.

Teachers are independent contractors rather than employees and use the company’s online teaching platform and pre-prepared curriculum to instruct students.

Compensation is per lesson, and pay rates vary based on certain factors, such as credentials, experience, and class time (classes held during peak times may pay a little more).

Typically, the company matches you with students, so you don’t have to do much proactive marketing.

Although these companies provide the lessons, it’s your responsibility to show up on time, prepare for each class, interact with students, provide feedback, and act professionally.

There are numerous benefits to teaching through a company. For instance, the company provides the teaching platform, connects you with students, handles payments, manages the client relationship, and provides the curriculum. This will certainly simplify your life!

The downside is that you’re limited to their requirements, rules, pay rates, and time zones.

VIPKid

VIPKid connects North Americans who want to teach English with Chinese students ages 4-12 in a one-on-one setting. You’re required to have a Bachelor’s degree and a stable Internet connection. VIPKid teachers make up to $22/hour.

teach english online with vipkid

teach english online with vipkid

How VIPKid Works

VIPKid has a 5-step process to become a teacher:

  1. Fill out an online application.
  2. Host either a live or a recorded interview/session where you demo a lesson. This demo is used to evaluate you and determine your initial payment.
  3. Learn more about VIPKid by watching videos that introduce you to the company, technology, and curriculum.
  4. Then you hold a mock full-length class with a VIPKid teacher.
  5. Sign the contract, provide the required documentation, and complete a background check.

Teachers sign a six month contract and get paid monthly through direct bank deposit between the 10th and 15th.

I sat down with Anna, a VIPKid teacher in Atlanta to learn more about how it all works:

If you want to give it a shot, use her referral code ANNA00197 and she’ll be able to help you with the process.

Pros

  • Work from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada (but not accepting new teachers based in California)
  • Set your own schedule
  • Works as much or as little as choose
  • Lessons and curriculum provided
  • VIPKid takes care of speaking with students’ parents
  • One-on-one classes
  • Good pay rate
  • Community support from other teachers
  • Earn an extra $2 for courses booked within 24 hrs (for a short notice bonus)

Cons

  • Requires a Bachelor’s degree in any subject
  • Only residents of North America are eligible to apply
  • Not accepting new teachers who are based in California
  • Teaching children ages 4-12 in China only (as opposed to other ages in other locations)
  • Students availability is based on times in Asia (very early or very late hours possible depending on your location)

MagicEars

In general, MagicEars is very similar to Qkids. You can teach English to children ages 4-12 in groups of four students for 25 minute long classes. You are required to leave student feedback within 12 hours after class or your pay could be negatively affected. The pay rate is up to $26/hour.

One big difference is that MagicEars offers their own education portal, MagicEars University, where you can train to get your TEFL/TESOL certificate.

magic ears application

magic ears application


How it Works

To apply to MagicEars, you submit an application. You’ll be required to hold a mini demo and then go through Magic training (likely for how to use their teaching platform). Next, you teach a trial class. After passing a background check and signing a six-month contract, you’re ready to teach.

Pros

  • Work from home
  • Set your own schedule
  • Work as much or as little as choose
  • Lessons and curriculum provided
  • No need to communicate with students’ parents
  • Good pay rate
  • MagicEars University to earn a TEFL/TESOL certificate

Cons

  • Requires a Bachelor’s degree in any subject (Note: college students are eligible to apply)
  • Experience required
  • ESL certificate required
  • Requires USA or Canada nationality
  • Teaching children ages 4-12 in China only (as opposed to other ages in other locations)
  • Students availability is based on times in Asia (possible very early or very late hours depending on your location)
  • Group classes

Qkids

Qkids is very similar to VIPKid. It also connects Chinese students ages 4-12 to teachers located in North America. However, there are a few differences.

In addition to a Bachelor’s degree, Qkids requires a teaching license, an English teaching certificate, or a fast track TESOL voucher.

You’ll need to provide proof of certain tech requirements and commit to six hours or 12 lessons per week. Plan to teach 1-4 students per lesson.

The pay rate is up to $20/hour.

qkids teacher portal

qkids teacher portal

How Qkids Works

The hiring process is also similar to VIPKids. You supply the required materials, such as your resume, availability, and a screenshot of computer’s specifications along with a one to two minute introduction video.

You’ll participate in two demo interviews, which are a combination of answering interview questions, displaying your technical proficiency, and showing off your teaching skills and personality.

Next, you’ll enter a paid trial class period where you teach several lessons and receive feedback from the families. If all goes well, you’ll sign a contract and start teaching.

Teachers sign a six-month contract and are paid in U.S. dollars via bank transfer. You get paid for the previous month of teaching no later than the 15th of the subsequent month.

All teaching takes place on the Qkids patented and interactive gaming-based learning platform that uses animated characters and games in the curricula.

Pros

  • Work from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada
  • Set your own schedule
  • Lessons and curriculum provided
  • Interactive tools and lessons provided
  • QKids takes care of speaking with students’ parents
  • Good pay rate

Cons

  • Requires a Bachelor’s degree in any subject
  • Requires a teaching license, an English teaching certificate, or a fast track TESOL voucher
  • Up to four students per class
  • Minimum of six hours (12 lessons) required
  • Must be located in North America
  • Minimum upload speed: 2Mbps; minimum download speed: 4Mbps
  • Teaching children ages 4-12 in China only (as opposed to other ages in other locations)
  • Students availability is based on times in Asia (very early or very late hours possible depending on your location)

EF Education First

Unlike VIPKid and Qkids, EF Education First gives you the opportunity to teach English online to both children and adults. Additionally, EF offers conversational group classes and private one-to-one lessons. EF may fit the bill if you’re looking for variety.

However, only native speakers from the US or the UK are eligible to teach English online for EF. And, EF requires a Bachelor’s degree in any field, a TEFL certification or equivalent, and a US or UK passport.

When it comes to kids, EF specializes in teaching English to Chinese children ages 5-10 in a one-on-one setting. Unlike some other companies, you may teach the same children weekly. You’ll need to be available during lesson times for the China time zone. And, you will be responsible for offering feedback to both the students and their parents.

The pay rate is up to $20/hour with monetary rewards supplied when you reach certain milestones.

EF also teaches private and group adult classes to students from around the world. Compensation starts at $12/hour.

ef education firstef education first

How it Works

To apply to be a teacher, submit an application.

Next, you’ll talk via phone with a member of the recruitment team. If it all works out, you’ll receive an offer and a contract.

Classes are available for teaching within two weeks. Your payment is made from EF’s US-based headquarters.

Pros

  • Work from home
  • Set your own schedule
  • Lessons and curriculum provided
  • Teaching platform included
  • 24/7 teacher support
  • Option to teach adults from around the globe
  • No backdrops or props required

Cons

  • Requires a Bachelor’s degree in any subject
  • Requires a TEFL certification or equivalent
  • Not currently hiring from California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Indiana, or Illinois
  • Must be a native speaker from the US or the UK with a corresponding passport
  • Students availability is based on times in Asia (possible very early or very late hours depending on your location)
  • A wired Ethernet connection is required

Englishunt

Englishunt USA specializes in distance education programs for clients including children, government entities, and multinational companies in South Korea, Japan, and China. The training takes place either by live video or live phone classes. Englishunt doesn’t hire teachers outside of the U.S.

Live video classes are provided to younger learners, professionals, and adult learners who are preparing for various English skill evaluation exams. The live video classes take place in Englishunt’s virtual classroom. In bigger groups, there is a teacher in the room with the students to facilitate teaching.

For the most part, live phone classes are for businesses or government agencies that need internal language training, so the curriculum is more business oriented. This means the live phone content is typically simple business conversation, idiomatic expressions, and situational dialog.

Compensation is determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the opportunity.

Englishhunt

Englishhunt

How Englishunt Works

To apply, you submit an application and wait for a recruitment team member to contact you. After an interview, you’ll train live with Englishunt trainers on class procedures and curriculum. After being trained, you’ll conduct a mock lesson based on a sample lesson plan that is provided to you.

Englishunt will verify that your technology meets the requirements and give you a student list. You’re then ready to teach.

Payments are made via direct deposit.

Note: the teaching opportunities and requirements vary with Englishunt depending on what they’re looking for and the time of year.

Pros

  • A teaching certificate and experience are not needed for live phone classes
  • Work from anywhere
  • Set your own schedule
  • Curriculum and resources provided to reduce lesson prep time
  • No need for a landline since live phone classes are held through Englishunt’s Internet Phone system

Cons

  • Requires Windows operating system
  • Must live in the United States
  • Video classes require a Bachelor’s degree and a teaching certification
  • Live phone classes require a two year degree
  • Very early or very late hours – typical peak times for the instructors are 4-11am, 4-8pm, and 11:00 pm to 4:00 am (EST).

2. Teach English Online Through Chat or Conversation Apps

There are a couple prominent apps that promote English education through chat or informal conversation practice. These usually have fewer requirements and aren’t as strict in their application process.

Palfish

Looking for an opportunity to teach English on the go?

PalFish is an app for both iOS and Android where you can get paid to talk with students on a mobile phone or tablet. There are various different ways to teach via PalFish, which means you can teach adults or kids as well as one-on-one or groups. You can help adults or kids with conversational chats via live streaming/talking or you can teach children in a more traditional classroom type setting.

There are two types of teaching opportunities on PalFish:

  1. PalFish Teacher
  2. Official Course Instructor

Palfish Teachers

PalFish Teachers set their own rates. The average rate is $10-$18/hour. However, the website says that some teachers charge up to $30/hour.

To be a PalFish Teacher, you must be a Native English speaker, hold a TEFL certificate or equivalent, have experience teaching English, and be a creative, energetic individual with excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Official Course Instructors

The other opportunity to earn with PalFish is to become an Official Course Instructor. Here you’ll teach English courses created and priced by PalFish for students aged 3-12. However, Instructors can also create their own courses and content to teach as well.

Official Course Instructors make up to $22/hour plus bonus opportunities.

To be an Instructor, you must be a native speaker with a neutral accent who has experience teaching kids as well as a teaching certificate. In addition, PalFish requires that you are able to be online for more than 10 hours a week during Beijing’s peak time (6-9am ET).

You also need to come from the U.S., Canada, UK, New Zealand, Ireland, or Australia.

How Palfish Works

Everything, including the application process, takes place through PalFish’s online app. Payments are made through Payoneer.

Pros

  • You don’t need a college degree
  • Work from anywhere
  • Set your own schedule
  • Lessons and curriculum provided (in some cases)
  • Option to create your own content
  • Option to set your own rate
  • Good support team and community
  • Group or one-to-one lessons
  • Bonuses included
  • Some curriculum provided with the option to be creative

Cons

  • Must be native speaker
  • Must come from U.S., Canada, UK, New Zealand, Ireland, or Australia.
  • Experience required
  • ESL certificate or equivalent required
  • Requires English fluency with a “neutral” accent
  • Must be available in the morning hours of 6-9 am ET, which could be 3-6 am PT.
  • Requires a Payoneer account

Cambly

Cambly is a much less formal platform for teaching English. Students on Cambly are looking for help with conversational English, so this service is more about the practice of speaking English through informal online chats.

The pay rate is $10.20/hr.

Students pay a fee to login to an app where they can chat with tutors. As a tutor, you may book shifts or you can log in randomly when you choose.

Since this is a very socially driven type of tutoring, you don’t need to be as rigid with planning and set times. However, you’ll need to pay attention to social norms across different cultures. Cambly provides the option to ban students if inappropriate behavior is an issue.

cambly online english tutoring

cambly online english tutoring

How Cambly Works

All you have to do is sign up to chat with people around the world to get started. There’s no experience or specific credentials required. However, Cambly does specify that their tutors are native speakers from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia.

After you sign up, you log in to the app and start chatting. Every Monday, Cambly delivers your earnings via PayPal.

Pros

  • Work from anywhere
  • Flexible schedule (choose your own hours)
  • No experience necessary
  • Bachelor’s degree not required
  • Teaching certificate not required
  • Interact with people of all ages from all over the world
  • More informal so less prep required
  • No contract needed

Cons

  • Low pay ($0.17/minute or $10.20/hour)
  • No guaranteed hours
  • May need to be a native speaker from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, or Australia
  • Less formal setting = potential for inappropriate students
  • Social interaction means you’ll need to be aware of cultural norms

3. Teach English Online via a Freelance Language Learning Marketplace

Language learning marketplaces are another option for teaching English online. In the previous examples, the companies matched students with teachers. However, in this model, students choose teachers from a marketplace of available instructors who each have a profile on the platform.

This setup means that you’re competing for online teaching jobs with other instructors who also have listings on these websites. Therefore, your experience, background, education, and certifications as well as the quality of your profile and your student reviews impact your hourly rate and appeal.

With these platforms, you’re running a teaching/tutoring business by way of these companies who connect you with students who want to learn English. You’re in charge of the lesson and sometimes the platform.

In other words, some of the marketplaces have their own teaching platforms whereas some of them don’t, so you must use online meeting apps like Skype or Facetime.

Typically, you set your own rates. However, be prepared to share some of your earnings since these platforms often charge a commission fee based on your hourly rate.

These marketplaces are not limited to teaching English. They offer tutoring in many different languages. And, the students aren’t usually limited to children or to one geographical location.

Verbling

Verbling is a language learning platform that connects students with professional teachers who help students learn a language by speaking through private lessons with live video chat. Rates vary but the majority range from $12-$30/hour. The more experience, the higher rate you can charge.

Students have the option of choosing from existing courses or asking a teacher to create a more personalized curriculum. Lessons take place in a browser, which means the platform is accessible through the desktop, iOS, and Android.

Verbling requires that its teachers have previous experience teaching their native language to speakers of other languages. You should mention your experience on your application along with a letter of reference or other proof of your teaching experience. A teaching certificate is preferred and will improve your chances of being accepted. If you don’t have experience or a certificate, you will not be accepted.

Verbling requires that you be a native speaker as well, which means you can teach only one language on the platform — your native one. However, you can teach an unlimited amount of private lessons.

verbling homepage

verbling homepage

How Verbling Works

To apply, submit an application to Verbling. Only teachers who are accepted receive a response within two weeks after submitting an application.

Once you’re accepted, create a teacher profile to attract students. Verbling includes tools to increase your exposure and match you up with new students. How much you earn depends on your rates, availability, and the effectiveness of your profile.

All lessons take place using Verbling’s technology, including video and messaging.

Verbling’s payment setup requires that your earnings from your lessons accumulate each week. Every Sunday or Monday those earnings are unlocked and available for cashing out through PayPal, TransferWise, Payoneer, or Verbling Credit.

Verbling charges a small transfer fee for cash outs ($1 for PayPal transactions in the US, $2 for international PayPal transactions, and $3 for Payoneer and TransferWise). Also, you’ll need minimum balances in your PayPal, Transferwise, and Payonner accounts before cashing out.

Pros

  • Work from anywhere
  • Teach anytime
  • Flexible work schedule – full time, part time, occasionally
  • International community – teach students across the globe
  • Set your hourly rate
  • Verbling provides the teaching platform for videos and messaging

Cons

  • Must be a native speaker
  • Teaching experience or a teaching certificate required
  • Verbling takes 15% fee on each lesson
  • Requires Google Chrome browser
  • Earnings are not available immediately
  • Minimum balances required for cashing out your earnings
  • Small per-transfer fee charged by Verbling for cash outs

italki

With italki, students get to choose from over 10,000 teachers to teach them a language via one-to-one lessons.

italki has two types of teachers:

  1. Professional Teachers
  2. Community Tutors

You must choose which type fits you best.

Professional teachers are native or near-native speakers who have experience or certification in teaching a language as a foreign or second language.

Community tutors are helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable native or near-native speakers who enjoy teaching informally and who can help students with conversational practice.

You determine your pay rate, but take into consideration your experience, credentials, and the competition. The rate for professional teachers appears to be about $10-$25/hour on average. Community tutors generally ask about $5 – $15/hour.

italki homepage

italki homepage

How it Works

Both types of teachers are required to submit an application and short video. Applicants are notified as to whether they have been pre-approved, waitlisted, or rejected.

If you make it to the next step in the process, you will have “Teacher Success Videos and Quiz” and a video call with italki Teacher Services. If you’ve been pre-approved, once you complete the videos, quiz, and call, your application will be approved.

It comes as no surprise that professional teachers have a more rigorous application process that requires additional documentation, such as a resume, references, teaching license, diploma, etc.

Payment is made with italki credit and can be withdrawn by request through Payoneer, Bank Transfer via Payoneer, and PayPal, which takes about 10 days.

Pros

  • italki handles the payment process
  • Work from anywhere
  • Flexible schedule
  • Set your own prices
  • One-to-one classes
  • You don’t need a Bachelor’s degree or certification to be a Community Tutor
  • Get to teach students of all ages in any geographical location

Cons

  • italki takes a 15% fee on each lesson
  • You get paid in italki credit which has to be withdrawn via a request
  • You’re responsible for the lesson plans
  • Must be a native or C2 in your teaching language(s)
  • Requires VOIP software (Skype, Facetime, Hangouts, etc.) – so be sure not to use your personal account!

Preply

Preply focuses on providing “tutors” for students because this platform combines teaching languages with other subjects, such as school and university topics, hobbies, and art.

In fact, students search for tutors by subject. If you have expertise teaching specific niche topics — such as “English for admission to foreign universities” — then you could excel on Preply.

Teachers don’t need a teaching certificate or any experience to apply. The requirements are much less strict. However, you’re competing with others who have teaching credentials. So, while you don’t have to be certified or have the experience, certainly these things help to get more students.

Lessons are given through Preply’s platform, and you set your own hourly rate. According to Preply, popular tutors earn up to $500/week. And, as with most of these marketplaces, the hours are flexible.

How Preply Works

Submit an application and within three days you’ll receive a status update via email. Once you’re accepted, you can set up your profile.

Unlike other platforms, the Preply system is more complex. The first lesson with a new student is like a trial run, and Preply takes 100% of your fee. After the student completes and confirms the first lesson, the system presents them with the option to hire you in packages of 5, 10, 15, or 20 hours. The student can also choose to get a free replacement lesson with another tutor.

As far as subsequent lessons go, Preply’s commission varies from 33-18% depending on the quantity of lesson hours you’ve completed. The more lessons you complete, the lower their commission and the more money you make.

The benefit to you is that Preply markets to attract and acquire new students, which helps to get more visibility on your profile.

Preply’s analysis shows the tutors that appear on the first three pages of a search on the platform get more than 50% of all the requests on the platform! The more lessons you give, the higher you rank in their search results. Preply recommends that you pay attention to these aspects since they also affect your profile’s position in search:

  • Availability
  • Student reviews
  • Your profile’s quality
  • Your response time to student messages

As far as payment goes, after the student confirms the lesson, tutors are credited with the payment in their Preply wallet. Funds can be withdrawn anytime via PayPal, Payoneer, or Skrill.

Pros

  • No Bachelor’s degree required
  • No certification or experience required
  • Work from anywhere
  • Flexible schedule
  • Set your own prices
  • A steady stream of new and interested students
  • Preply handles the payments
  • Customer support
  • A full-featured teaching platform
  • Get to teach students from all ages in any geographical location

Cons

  • Preply takes 100% commission on the first lesson(!)
  • Preply’s commission rate (from 33-18%)
  • You’re responsible for the lesson plans

Wyzant

Wyzant helps you manage and grow your own online tutoring business with its marketing, tech, tools, and customer support. This platform goes beyond teaching English online. It supports both online and offline tutoring for many subjects, one of which is learning English.

You can set your own rates. Wyzant has its own teaching platform that includes video, chat, a whiteboard, and a text editor.

How Wyzant Works

It’s simple to sign up and register to be a tutor. You specify the subjects you’d like to tutor (ie. teaching English). All subjects that you want to tutor require either a proficiency quiz or written qualifications.

Next, you write your “Free Response,” which could be likened to a resume where you specifically describe your background, qualifications, experience, and expertise. Note: potential students will see your Free Response when viewing your profile.

Once you complete the Free Response, you personalize your profile, confirm the Independent Tutor Agreement, and verify your email address.

After your registration is approved, your profile becomes active and you can tutor the approved subject(s). Don’t forget to use the platform’s online tool to check your computer settings to get approved for online tutoring.

Students pay a small service fee when they purchase a lesson. Tutors pay a 25% platform fee per lesson, leaving you with 75% of your hourly rate as compensation.

Wyzant pays by direct deposit either on the 1st and 15th of each month or by express payment.

Pros

  • No Bachelor’s degree required
  • No certification or experience required
  • Work from anywhere
  • Flexible schedule
  • Set your own prices
  • A steady stream of new and interested students
  • Payments handled by the platform
  • Customer support
  • A full-featured teaching platform
  • Get to teach students of all ages in any geographical location in various subjects – not just English

Cons

  • Wyzant charges a 25% commission on each lesson
  • Students pay a small service fee per lesson
  • Tutors must reside in the United States

4. Teach English Online Independently Through Your Own Platform

Not sure you want to teach English online for a company or through a marketplace? An alternative is to establish your own English teaching platform.

That’s exactly what Gabby Wallace did when she created Go Natural English, an online training website that started as a YouTube channel and now has over 1.7 million subscribers!

YouTube as a Teaching and Marketing Platform

Gabby was teaching English in Japan when she started creating YouTube videos answering her students’ questions. Before long, other people discovered her videos and started tuning in.

By creating free, highly relevant YouTube content, Gabby attracted her ideal target market. This allowed her to slowly build an online business. Eventually, she was able to leave her full-time teaching job as an English professor to pursue her online business.

Using YouTube to teach and as a way to generate leads, Gabby caught the attention of many students and potential customers. She found the most effective selling strategy was to move viewers from her YouTube videos to her website where she offered free content in exchange for an email address.

Then she used her email list to promote her offers. (Selling directly on YouTube and her website was less effective.)

As time passed, she became more strategic and intentional with her YouTube content. For example, she incorporated keywords into her video titles. She wrote attention-grabbing video descriptions that also drove viewers to her website. These changes helped increase video views, website traffic, and email subscribers.

Monetizing in Ways Other Than One-to-One Lessons

Although Gabby offered one-on-one tutoring lessons when her channel first started, she switched to other ways to make money from her content.

YouTube Ad Revenue – After she built her subscribers to 10,000 (about three years), Gabby earned $300-$400/month in ad revenue. Once she reached 100,000 subscribers, her monthly ad revenue was about $1,000/mo. I consider YouTube ads one of my more passive income streams.

Team of Teachers – Gabby brought in other instructors to help out. However, after a while, she decided she didn’t want to manage a team and moved away from this income stream.

Sponsorships and Affiliate Relationships – She added reviews of complementary products/services to earn video sponsorships and affiliate marketing opportunities.

Digital Products (courses, audio eBooks) – By branching out into digital products such as online courses and audiobooks, she was able to create more passive streams of income.

Partnerships and Collaborations (joint ventures) – Growing her network meant that she could partner and collaborate with others in her industry to create bundle sales.

You don’t have to limit yourself to teaching lessons. Gabby is a great example of how you can think outside of the box to build a business teaching English online.

To find out more details about how Gabby started and grew her business teaching English online, listen to my interview with her.

Other Suggestions for Teaching Independently

If YouTube isn’t your platform of choice, you can offer lessons and build a business in other ways. Here are a few examples:

Online Meeting Providers – You don’t have to use a teaching platform to instruct students. You can teach lessons using online meeting apps like Zoom, Skype, Hangouts, and Facetime.

Payment Processors – To get paid for those online lessons, you can use an app like PayPal, Venmo, and Payoneer. Or, use a scheduling app that also includes payment processing, such as Calendly. (Some fees may apply.)

Online Courses – You can create digital courses using teaching platforms like Thinkific, Teachable, and Kajabi. These providers host your content and process payments for you, which makes delivering the courses much easier.

Digital Products – Want to sell an eBook, PDF, audio file, or video? You can use platforms like Gumroad or SendOwl to deliver your digital products.

Related: How to Start a Tutoring Business: How I Earn $1000/week Tutoring for the ACT

Are You Ready to Teach English Online?

If you enjoy interacting with other cultures and want to impact others positively, teaching English online could be a rewarding side hustle — or even a full-time job.

The great part is that experience isn’t necessary to get started. There are plenty of opportunities awaiting you! Which one will you try first?

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