If you’re a native English speaker or have a college degree in English, you can always turn to online teaching whenever you need money. You don’t really need a lot of education to help people learn how to communicate in English. So, it’s always optional to work from home as an online English teacher, especially if you’re an extrovert who likes to socialize.
Teaching from home comes with many conveniences unless you’re the kind of old-school person who likes physical classes. Online classes allow for more freedom and free time, which is something great if you’re also working on other things. Since multiplying our sources of income while working from home is our priority here, it’s always good to diversify our career opportunities.
So, let’s find out how to get you started teaching English online from home and what you must know before pursuing such a venture successfully.
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Benefits of Working from Home as a Teacher
The recent pandemic has revolutionized how work can be conducted, namely from the confines of your home while wearing pajamas. Many teachers who had prior experience working online thrived during the pandemic, which also made companies that offer teaching jobs come to the forefront.
Instead of holding physical classes, many English teachers prefer to take their job to cyberspace. Why bother with all the logistics of physical classes when you can do your job from home using your computer. It’s more convenient for many who enjoy spending time at home and just turning on a computer to teach a class instead of traveling to work every day.
The main benefit of teaching English online is it’s very easy. You don’t have to prepare the classes when you sign up with an online English teaching platform. You just have to rely on their already-made curriculums and just read the slides.
What teaching English online is all about?
Teaching can be an emotionally satisfying job because you get to help little kids become a better version of themselves. Teaching English online to people with another native language is quite a meaningful task. When you start getting results and see progress, it emotionally fulfills you, which is something quite desirable to many people.
Teaching English online is also not a very complicated job. Most of the time, you find no difficulty finding resources online, making the task quite simple. And if you’re working with an online English teaching platform, you often have everything outlined for you; you just have to follow the course instructions.
How do I get started teaching English?
Starting a career as an ESL teacher online is quite simple if you’re a native speaker. Most of the people from North America (the USA and Canada) can easily sign up with a platform that offers English teaching opportunities, and that’s it. Once you start getting students, you’ll just have to follow the class instructions and read the provided slides.
You can also work independently using freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr and have more control over the content of your courses. If you choose this path, you can also set a more reasonable price for yourself. If you don’t like the hourly payment that ESL platforms offer, you can work independently and increase your rate.
Do I Need Experience to Teach English Online?
You don’t exactly need anything extraordinaire to become an English teacher online. Since you’re reading this, you probably already have a bachelor’s degree in some subject. Most of the English teaching services only ask for a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certificate, which is something you can get online quite easily. You can apply for a 120-hour TEFL program online and get your certificate within a week or so for a small fee. Having a TEFL certificate is often all you need to start teaching English online.
Some platforms require prior experience, like two years of experience as a teacher, but not all of them.
How much can I earn as an Online English Teacher?
Depending on what platform you’re using, you can make anything between $10 to $40 per hour. You can certainly make more if you have a lot of experience and have access to students who can pay more.
When you just start, you can expect to make anything between $10 to $20. Since you have more freedom when it comes to time, teaching English online can be a great side hustle. You can work on other things throughout the week and only dedicate 15 to 20 hours or so to online teaching. That will be $1,200¨per month if you manage to get paid $20 per hour for 15 hours a week.
How to Join an Online English Teaching Company?
If you are looking to join an established ESL company, then you’re usually required to submit an application form and run a trial lesson. Once you do that, you’ll probably be able to receive students.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Working with an Online English Company
If you choose to work with an English teaching company, you benefit from many thing. A company that already has the infrastructure set up will make the situation less complicated for you.
Among the various advantages of working with an online English teaching company is that they already have the courses figured out. You won’t have to prepare any curriculum on your own. All you have to do is follow the instructions.
You also get to choose your own hours, and all your classes are pre-scheduled for you, which makes the job quite straightforward.
The disadvantages of working with a company are mainly related to finances. If you’re an already well-established teacher, you might find the hourly rate quite less than what you can make on your own.
If you choose to work independently, you might be able to make more money per hour than when you work with an ESL company.
3 Good Online English Teaching Companies to Start With
Below are three of the best online teaching companies you can start with:
Preply is an online teaching platform that helps students match up with suitable private tutors worldwide. You can apply for English teaching jobs online with Preply and set your own pace, price, and working hours.
You’ll need to present a TEFL or teaching certification if you want to qualify as an online English teacher.
The teachers who have earned a good reputation at the platform can earn up to $500 weekly, making it one of the best platforms for online teaching for people who want to earn relatively big.
VIPKid is a Beijing-based online teaching company that offers English tutoring services to Chinese kids. With VIPKid, you work one-on-one with a kid who needs English classes.
VIPKid is a little bit strict in its requirements; they only hire people from North America (USA and Canada) who have bachelor’s degrees and some experience.
English First is one of the best Online teaching platforms for novice teachers. Aside from offering instructions to their teachers, you can actually earn a valid TEFL certificate with English First that you can use to land jobs elsewhere.
How to Work Independently as an Online ESL Teacher?
There are two main methods to start working independently as an online English teacher. You can either create a specialized profile or a gig on one of the freelancing platforms. Alternatively, you can look for jobs directly on job boards.
Using freelancing websites like Upwork allow you to create specialized profiles that match you up with potential jobs. The platform’s algorithm will allow you to check out new job posts for online English teaching jobs and apply for them. You can also receive invites from potential clients.
Job boards like Jobble allow you to browse for job opportunities directly from clients or companies that need online English teachers. You can even find online English teaching jobs with no experience every once in a while.
How Land Online English Teaching jobs?
Just like any other career, being good at what you’re doing and having things that prove your qualifications will always help you stand out in the competition.
Landing online ESL teaching jobs can be a little bit difficult if you have nothing to show for them. To stand out, you’ll need to have a few things first.
Get TEFL Certified from a Proper Institution
Getting a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate these days is not a big of a challenge. You have to find a good TEFL program from a credible online source. Once you enroll in the program, you’ll have to finish the 120-hour course and pass the test, which is not very complicated. When you pass the test, you get your certificate, which will open up a new horizon for you as an English teacher.
Nail the Demo Lesson
Before you start working with a platform, you’ll have to pass their demo lesson to be qualified for the job. A little bit of practice is all you need. You can set up an hour or so of practice a couple of days using a camera to prepare yourself for the demo lesson.
Put Together a Strong CV
Having a strong CV that showcases your experience when you have no experience seems like a catch-22 situation; you can’t get a job unless you have experience, and you can’t have experience unless you get a job in the first place. So, the solution is to do lessons for free whenever you can so you have something to show up on your CV. You can volunteer for a short time to get some experience before you start applying for paying jobs.
What equipment do you need?
When it comes to equipment, the most necessary thing to have is a device with a camera: that could be your smartphone or your PC. Having a good computer that doesn’t crash is generally the number one priority. If your PC has a decent camera and microphone, you don’t have to buy external ones. If you’re keen on high quality, you might want to invest in a good camera and microphone:
A highly recommended camera (that wont break the bank) is the Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam, which is a 1080P camera for HD Video Streaming & Recording 720P at 60Fps.
However, if you are on a bit of a budget, you can’t go wrong with the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000. This Microsoft camera records clear, high quality videos (true 720p), and can record in 16:9 widescreen – For cinematic video recording.
You don’t need a state of the art microphone (unless you are also doing voice acting), but you do need something that deliver clear audio. For this we (use and) recommend the Logitech Blue Snowball, which is a USB microphone designed for streaming, podcasting, broadcasting, Skype and Zoom.
But the most important thing to have once you get your device established is high-speed internet. Some companies require you to have at least 20mb/s internet speed to be qualified for their online teaching platform. So, if you have slow internet, you might want to update your subscription.
The third most important thing is a good environment for work. And by a good environment, quietness and good light are the priority. You want a quiet place with good light if you want to provide the necessary conditions for a good online teaching session (unless you get a webcam with a build in light).
So, in this article, we went briefly through all the things you must know if you want to start a career from home as an online ESL teacher. You can easily get a TEFL certificate, the most important qualification for an online English teacher, and you’re good to go!
Teaching is a job that brings meaning to your life because you help others become a better version of themselves.
And since you can do a good job from your home with all the good platforms that offer English teaching opportunities, the task is not very hard. Most of the time, you’ll just have to follow the course instructions that are already prepared.
You can make a decent amount of money every month from teaching English online from home. And since you don’t have to spend money on the logistics of teaching in a physical classroom (travel costs, food costs,…etc.), you might actually make more money than a regular teacher considering the costs of moving around, especially with gas prices right now.
This was just one of many other ideas about starting a side hustle, and or making money online without experience. If you want to discover more opportunities, check out our list of additional ways to earn money.