How to Quickly Start a Successful Teaching English Online CareerMelody
I may use Affiliate links in this post. I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you use my affiliate link. You will help keep the lights on here.
You can agree with me that online jobs have become the most sought after opportunities. I too have found so much convenience working online. If you hate the idea of working a 9-5 pm job and having a boss on your back, then you are the best candidate for an online job. One quick and easy online job is Teaching English Online. This article, therefore, will give you a step by step guide on how to teach English online and get paid.
There are many ways to teach English online. You just need to choose what works best for you. I have been teaching English Online for some time and I have realised how I enjoy this. I am a freelance teacher. This means I teach online independently, which is just one way to teach English online. Let us get straight to the step-by-step process of how you teach English online and get paid.
How To Teach English Online And Get Paid
Teaching English Online has emerged as one of the easiest work from home job. It is an online job with a ready booming market. When I started teaching English online, I realised how the market is ready and ripe and I quickly got money into my pocket.
Here are quick reasons you need to teach English online as a home business.
- There are over 300 million students in the Asian market that are actively seeking to learn English online. The industry is worth USD5 billion. English is quickly becoming a global language. It is a medium of communication for many business transactions.
- You can do this without a degree or prior experience. Even without a degree, you can teach English and be successful. However, you need to take these steps to become a successful teacher. Since many people are considering this as a profitable work from home job, you need to be competitive by providing value. I explain how to teach English without a degree in this article.
- It requires little investment. To teach English online, you need these technical requirements.
-computer with a good webcam
-fast and reliable internet
-headset with volume and noise cancellation
I explain in much more details here.
The non-technical requirements are;
- A quiet and clean space—you need to have a space that allows you to conduct lessons without interruption for effective communication.
ESL students are speakers of other languages and you are trying to introduce a new language to them, therefore you need to keep them engaged.
- Learning material. The internet is awash with ESL materials. This shouldn’t give you any problems to get. However, from my experience, if you are teaching with ESL companies, most provide you with their curriculum according to their target students.
I have found the learning materials from this site very easy to use and the good part is it is free! I encourage teachers to prepare adequately for lessons to attract more students through referrals.
- A TEFL Certificate- The standard is the 120hrs certificate. A TEFL certificate is like the basic qualification you need to teach English online. You may not have a degree or experience but you MUST have a TEFL certificate. I explain in greater detail about what it is and why it is so important in this post.
How to Teach
I am going to talk about the 2 most common ways to teach English online. These are teaching with ESL companies and secondly teaching on freelance sites.
1 Working with Online ESL Companies
You can access your list of 20 SL companies to apply with here. Some of these companies I have worked with, some I have just researched about them from friends and connections.
The hourly rate varies by each company and nationality. There are rates for native speakers (which are usually higher) and rates for non-native speakers like myself ( which are usually lower). The average is about $20hour for natives and $7/hour for non-natives.
The number of hours you can teach with these companies determines your earnings. However, it is also affected by:
- You and your students’ availability. The company’s peak time for student’s availability may be your midnight or unavailable time there by you cannot have lessons then.
- The number of sessions you can book with the company—some companies have more students than others. Depending on your preferences, you may realise you have fewer students with one ESL company than with the other.
Here is how much you can earn with ESL companies as a native speaker with an average availability of 20 hours a week.
$20/hour x 20 hours/week = 400/week
That’s $1,600 a month.
Here is how much you can earn with ESL companies as a non-native speaker with an average availability of 20 hours a week.
$7/hour x 20 hours/week = $140/week
There are usually incentives for teachers to work unpopular hours or take on a bigger workload. With Bibo now Engoo, I sometimes would have lessons 12-3 am and that attracted $10/day bonuses. So these bonuses could add $200 a month, bringing the average revenue to $1,800 for a native teacher and $760 for a non-native teacher.
2 Working on Freelancer Platforms
On freelancer platforms like Preply, the average teachers get about $15 per hour and work 20 hours a week, based on data collected from over 30 teachers currently working on freelancer platforms, which gives
$300/week = $15/hour x 20 hours/week
That’s $1,200 a month.
According to James Liu, the problem with freelancer platforms is not only lower revenue but also a fluctuating student volume. You have to compete with other teachers for students registered with the same platform.
Teachers sometimes get a few students, but sometimes none. You manage your profile and it’s hard to charge a higher price than others offering similar services.
You may end up engaging in paid advertising to expose your profile and attract more students.
When working on a freelancer site you pay platform fees on average it is 30% . So this means from your monthly earning the platform takes its 30%.
This annoys me so much, but because you are using their services you gotta pay! Other freelance sites have other conditions like for Preply they take 100% of your first lesson. So you have to work hard to keep the student coming back so you have earnings.
The Application process with ESL companies
Once you choose which option you take to teach English online, the next step is the application process. ESL companies have a stricter application process, unlike freelance sites.
Commonly with ESL companies, you send an application email which they respond with an appointment for a live interview. This is when they want to ‘see’ the applicant as well as check other things like your internet speed, computer compatibility and availability of teaching accessories.
During the interview, they are just accessing your preparedness to teach English online from home online. So make sure you are prepared as this stage may make or break your application to teach English online and get paid.
After the live interview, some companies go on to test you with a demo lesson. They provide you with lesson material and a mock student. It is normal to be nervous at this point, but make sure not to ruin your chances.
I hate interviews and that’s why probably going the freelancer route works for me.
After the demo lesson, you are in! Demo lessons are usually the last stage into being admitted with an ESL company. Once you pass, you should be ready to start teaching.
The Application process with freelancer sites
Freelance sites are mainly concerned with your qualifications to teach. They want you to show them how you will attract students. Remember, their money is on the commissions they get. So as a freelance teacher you must be able to attract as many students as possible.
I have never been with a freelance site that does live interviews, like what ESL companies do for you to teach English online.
After approval of your qualifications, most freelance sites take their time to engage you in an on-boarding process via seminars or webinars. This is where they explain how you can optimize your profile to attract students.
Freelance sites also teach their teachers the skills for student retention.
It is against freelance sites’ code of conduct to lure students outside the platform. Once you do that and they find out, your profile is instantly deactivated. This is a way to protect their revenue and you the teacher with securing payment before lessons are done.
After going through either of the two processes, you can now officially teach English online and get paid. There is no magic to your earnings- what you put in is what you get out!
Do you teach English online from home? Tell me how is your business doing and what advice would you give someone who also wants to teach English from home.
Join our list
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.