Teaching English Online = More Money, More Travel and Bucket Loads of FREEDOM!
By landing on this article you’re probably thinking ‘how do I become an online English teacher?’. Well, the good news is that you’ve hit the jackpot! This ultimate guide will tell you everything you need to know to start your online teaching career.
If you’re totally new to online English teaching I’m sure you have lots of questions. To make it easier to reference, this article will answer the following questions:
- What qualifications do I need to teach English online?
- How much do online English teachers get paid per hour?
- Do I need to be a native speaker to teach online?
- Do I need previous teaching experience?
- I don’t have a degree / TEFL can I still teach?
- What equipment does an online English teacher need?
- Do I have to live in my native country to teach English online?
Once you’ve read this starter guide, you can jump to this awesome list of online English teaching companies and start applying for your new online English teaching job!
My Teaching Journey
After painfully clawing my way through a teaching degree in 2015 and working in schools before & after that, I really needed a break and headed off to Southeast Asia.
It was in the humid jungle bars of Northern Thailand, that I first met people who funded their travels through teaching English online. They were able to earn money and still have a flexible schedule which allowed them to travel.
I couldn’t believe that they were able to earn money whilst living the dream sipping coconuts and travelling the world at the same time. So I decided that this was indeed exactly what I wanted and went for it…
3 years later…
It’s been 3 years since I started teaching online and I have to be honest with you, I live a life that most people only dream of.
No, I don’t own a Ferrari or a mansion (yet) but I do have complete freedom over my schedule, how much money I earn and take holidays whenever I like.
Over the last 3 years, I’ve lived in Hungary, Poland, Thailand and visited amazing places like Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and walked the crazy winding streets of Hanoi. This lifestyle is all made possible by my online English teaching jobs.
So, if you’re in any doubt about whether this is a viable way of making money I can 100% reassure you that it is. As it is the reason why I’ve been able to travel the world for the last 3 years.
Wow, sign me up! What’s this Ultimate Guide To Teaching English Online all about?
This guide will answer all of your questions about teaching English online and prepare you for what you can expect when you work from home, manage your schedule and ultimately gain complete freedom over your life.
Some of these questions do not have a straight answer and will depend on company requirements. Before applying to companies, make sure you know what qualifications and scheduling they ask for.
Let’s dive in!
What Qualifications Do I Need To Teach English Online?
I don’t have a straight answer for this question as it depends entirely on the company. But the good news is, that companies that don’t require any qualifications include Bibo, a company based in the Philippines. They don’t require a TEFL, experience or a degree, so that’s a great company to start earning money with straight away.
Usually, the more a company pays, the more qualifications they will ask for. Companies like Likeshuo that pay between $16-25 will usually ask for a TEFL and also a bachelor’s degree too. Note that some companies will take you on without a TEFL certificate on the basis that you will acquire one within a certain amount of time.
How Much Do Online English Teachers Earn?
This is a question I get asked a lot! And again, it depends on the company and the qualifications you have.
I have seen online English teacher salaries between $9 right up to $30 per hour. If you want to earn upwards of $16 I would recommend getting a TEFL certificate. You can easily do a 40 or 120-hour certificate online without even needing to leave your house.
Do I Need To Be A Native Speaker To Teach English Online?
No, you don’t! There are lots of companies who don’t require you to be a native speaker to teach English online. Eigox and Bibo both employ non-native speakers to teach English. Though be aware, non-native speakers, unfortunately, get paid a lot less than native speakers.
If you’re a non-native speaker and looking for ways to earn much more, consider applying to companies like Verbling, iTalki and Amazing Talker where you can teach your own language as well as English on their platforms.
Do I Need Previous Teaching Experience To Teach Online?
No! Again, this a myth that some people think you need years of in-person experience to teach online. Fortunately, that is not true, so you can get started teaching straight away or after your TEFL course : )
Can I Teach English Online Without a Degree?
Yes! Lots of companies are not interested in whether you went to university or not as lots of people do degrees which don’t give you any teaching experience anyway.
If you don’t have a degree then consider applying to companies like Bibo, Eigox, Amazing Talker, Whales English, iTalki and Baron’s English (UK only). Check out these companies here in my top English teaching companies article.
What Equipment Do I Need To Teach English Online?
The most important part of teaching great online lessons is that your students can hear and see you clearly with no fuzzy audio or blurry webcam picture.
I use the Logitech H340 headset and the Logitech C270 Webcam. Check out my full review of the Logitech headset here.
You’ll also need a stable internet connection usually of a minimum of 5 Mbps up and down. Check out how fast your internet speed is here using Ookla’s speed test.
Do I Need To Live In My Native Country To Teach English Online?
No! This is one of the amazing things about working online, you can do it from anywhere! So long as you have a quiet place with fast WiFi, you can teach from anywhere in the world.
This is what I’ve personally done for the last 3 years and it has always worked great for me. Just make sure when you’re looking at Airbnb’s and hotels to stay in, that you ask for a speed test before you get there.
What are your reasons for wanting to teach English Online? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below! : )