How Much Can I Make Teaching English Online

Want to make money from home? Or on the move from your van while traveling Europe? Here’s one simple trick to achieve that. Sounds like a spam email, right?. Well, teaching English online is an incredibly viable option for those who are looking to make money from home, especially during these times of uncertainty. With the economy being incredibly fragile at the moment, we should be thankful that teaching online is virtually pandemic proof. It’s safe and accessible to many teachers and students around the world, without having to deal with health and safety protocols required during the pandemic.

I went from losing my job in a foreign country due to the pandemic to getting hired with two different companies while the world was going into lockdown. As I sit here in local lockdown, I’m still able to earn money. Unlike the spam emails that rarely bait people, teaching online is the real deal if you put the work in.

Make Money From Home? The Short Answer

Now, ‘Can I make money online teaching English’, you ask? There’s a short (and vague) answer and a long (yet informative) answer. Typically, you could expect to earn between $13 – $25 per hour teaching English online. But wait! Don’t close the tab yet! You could even earn up to $100 per hour if you teach independently (we’ll dive into that later). Or you could earn less because of the common pitfalls teachers fall into.

There are so many variables that will influence how much you can earn, and you’ll want to know them before you apply. Your salary will vary due to factors like your:

  • Experience and qualifications (Degree, TEFL etc.)
  • Interview performance
  • Native or English proficiency
  • Work structure (employed or independent)
  • Teaching equipment (webcam, microphone, connection etc.)

How Much Money Can I Make Online?

Let’s say that you’re just starting out, and you earn $13 per hour. Each lesson is 25 minutes, and you’re teaching five lessons a day, five days a week. You’d be earning approximately $540.80 per month. If you teach 10 lessons a day, then this figure doubles (obviously).

Now let’s say, due to your extensive experience and impressive level 5 TEFL course qualifications, you’re earning $20 per hour, teaching five lessons a day, five days a week. You’d be earning approximately $832 a month.

It’s not so simple…

Now, remember, you might want to teach more lessons than the examples above, or you might be paid more or less. While I teach between three and six lessons a day to balance with my other activities, some of my friends will teach up to 12 lessons a day. We have different opportunities to make money from home. There are so many variables that make calculating your salary frustrating. With our salary calculator, you can estimate how much you’ll earn per month.

TEFL teacher salary calculator

Bonus Incentives

Some companies will provide benefits for those who teach a certain amount of hours or have a certain amount of fixed students. It’s possible to get a dollar extra for each lesson if they were completed without being late or absent for some companies, and you can earn referral bonuses of around $50 – $75 if you introduce a fellow teacher to the company.

Other companies will pay you an extra $5 if you teach a trial lesson for a student and become a regular with students following your lesson. Almost as if you’re pitching their platform. Set a good example, and you’ll find yourself teaching many trial lessons and earning much more money.

There are other companies that will give you a base rate, and then it’s up to you to earn more through rating bonuses. For example, if you teach group adult classes on iTutorGroup, you might be paid $5 per 45 minute lesson, but you’ll receive bonuses for ratings left by students. Obviously, it’s an incentive to deliver effective lessons for the students who are also customers. Unfortunately, this can also work against you. Ratings aren’t enforced by the company, so even if you deliver an effective lesson, your students may have a habit of not rating teachers. I’ve had a day where I taught five hours and only earned $25 (no one left a rating!), whereas I made $20 in one lesson because each of the students left me a high rating.

Can Anyone Teach English Online?

…Yes
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, teaching online is great. I see so many questions by different people asking “can I teach online?”, and the answer seems to always be “yes”. Of course, this depends on who is asking the questions. But in this case, we’re going to assume that you’re a native or proficient English speaker, and you’re open to the idea of educating children. Why else would you be reading this? If you’re already flirting with the idea of teaching online, you’re likely to be able to make money from home teaching online.

As I said, you need English fluency and enthusiasm to teach English. Whether you’re proactive and want to work as many hours as you can or you’re very lazy and like working in the comfort of your home, you can teach online. This is as long as you are able to work during ‘peak hours’ for students. For example, if you are teaching students from China, the peak hours will be around 6 pm – 10 pm in Beijing time (10 am – 2 pm UK/IRE time). You can use this time zone converter to see how it affects your schedule. Remember, though, there are ESL students all over the world, these aren’t the only ‘peak hours’.

Can I Make Money From Home on a Full-time basis?

When it comes to making money online with teaching, it’s a case of meritocracy. The more hours you work, the more you’ll earn money. There is no fixed salary, so it’s up to you how much you earn, and this will be influenced by so many factors. It’s a great opportunity to make money from home whether it’s a full-time or part-time opportunity.

You Do You

If you want to treat it as a full-time job, you can book more available time slots and even work for multiple companies. If you’re busy doing other things, you can still make money online by teaching part-time.

There is no fixed salary, but don’t look at this as a disadvantage. Look at this as an opportunity to reinforce this idea of meritocracy, and put in the hours to reap the benefits. The more hours you book, the more lessons you teach, the more money you’ll make. Simple! With online companies typically offering $13 – $25 per hour (not per lesson), there’s no reason you can’t earn money if you’re able to teach plenty of lessons. How much money do you really want to earn? If you’re willing to prioritize online teaching, you can make a lot of money.

Make Money From Home Independently or for a Company?

But maybe you don’t want to work for anyone. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur, and you want to work for yourself with 100% unparalleled self-autonomy. You can combine your business marketing skills with your teaching abilities to teach online independently. Or, you could compromise. Here are three ways you can teach online:

1. For a company

This is the simplest form of teaching online, where you will deliver lessons that are provided by the company to students who are also provided by the company. They’ll also manage payments. Basically, everything comes to you as you’ll make money from home. You’ll set your own schedule, and work whenever you want as long as you can teach enough peak hours. While you’ll have limited admin work or lesson planning, you’re likely to be paid less.

» Non-Chinese ESL Companies: Alternative Platforms to Teach For

2. On a Teacher Marketplace

This is a good option if you want a little more freedom, but not the whole thing. You can market yourself as a teacher on an established platform, and charge your own rates, and set your own hours. Be careful, though, as the platform may take a percentage of your rates for facilitating your teaching.

3. Independently

This would allow you to work the hours you want, teach your own curriculum, and charge however much your lessons are worth. Of course, this will require more work. You’ll have much more of a management role and no shortage of administration tasks, such as booking students, managing payments, developing lesson materials etc.

But you could charge $25 per hour minimum, teaching either groups or individuals, working 20 hours a week (with enough marketing) and you’d earn $500 a week. Additionally, it’s possible to monetize your personal expertise and tailor lessons (business, science, maths etc.) to specific students.  This is known as ESP teaching ‘English for Specific Purposes. More work leads to greater opportunities.

If the idea of teaching independently interests you, then you need to know how to teach online independently and which free software to use.  will guide you through the logistics of using software and learner management systems to keep your business running smoothly.

How to Teach Online Independently & Free Software

Requirements for Teaching for an Online Platform

Now, some factors on the list of requirements might be compulsory for some companies, whereas for others it might only affect your pay. Companies that are more strict on these requirements are likely to pay more, whereas the ones that are more lenient will typically pay less.

For example, Preply is an excellent example of a reputable company that welcomes both non-native English speakers as well as non-degree holders. Companies like VIPKid, on the other hand, will expect much more from their employees but they’ll also pay more. Either way, they will affect your opportunities and your earning power, here are the requirements:

Degree

This is common for most TEFL positions, whether it’s online or abroad. While it is not essential for you to have a degree to make money online by teaching, it will provide you much more opportunities than if you don’t have a degree. If you don’t have a degree, we recommend you complete a level 5 TEFL course.

Qualifications

Similar to the degree, you’ll be expected to have a TEFL qualification if you want to teach English to students. Don’t worry if you don’t have one. As the only online level 5 TEFL provider with fully observed teaching practice, we’ve got you covered! This can be used online or abroad. If you don’t think you have the time, think again. Our level 5 TEFL courses can be completed in as little as 6 weeks on average, and you have 6 months of course access from the day you enroll.

Nationality

Most companies aren’t too concerned about where you reside, as long as you have a stable internet connection. However, some companies such as EF Education First might require you to be a British citizen in the UK, while others will prefer those with American accents residing in North America.

Native speaker

While I’ve met plenty of non-native English speakers that have superior language skills to some of the native speakers that I know, it will be a requirement for some employers that they’re hiring native speakers. But this is not the case for all online teaching companies. Check out 8 companies that hire non-native speakers.

Experience

This has become an essential skill that TEFL employers are looking for. Of course, most TEFL graduates have not yet started teaching so how are they expected to have teaching experience already? We offer fully organized teaching practicum with real ESL students to help you get that essential element for your resume. You’ll spend 32 hours teaching eager students and receive feedback along the way. Enroll in this 310 Hour Hybrid Master TEFL Course with Observed Teaching Practice and you’ll also get a level 5 TEFL qualification, three specialist teaching courses, virtual tutor training as well as your teaching practicum.

If you’re reading this as a certified TEFL teacher, then learn more about the 35 hour Certificate of Teaching Practice Recognition (CTPR).

Equipment

An HD webcam, clear microphone, and a funky backdrop? Not only could this convince employers to pay more for your service, but you might gain more students if they are interested in your class setup. Students will be more encouraged by your introduction video if it appears to be a captivating classroom setting.
Teacher introduction video

Meet our teacher!

Melissa is an experienced online ESL teacher, and she knows all about the ins and outs of making money online. She hosted a webinar (which you can watch here!) which answers many questions regarding pay, requirements, company structures, and much more.

How Can I Boost My Earning Power as an Online Teacher

But what if you’ve already got a TEFL, a degree, and some experience? What else can you do to boost your earning power as an online teacher? Without patiently gaining experience day by day? Well, you could invest more time into specializing in concentrated aspects of TEFL!

With our 30-hour TEFL-Pro courses, you can quickly gain more qualifications and become a specialist in a specific area, and stand out among the other teachers. Whether you would like to teach Business English to adults or focus on teaching grammar, there are plenty of courses that will augment your CV significantly.

» Meet Ralph – A Freelance Specialist English Teacher

Make Money From Home Today

To recap, there are many variables that will determine how much money you make from home by teaching English online. Factors will range from your experience, qualifications, interview performance, and your classroom and equipment setup. But ultimately, it comes down to you. You need to harness your skills, gain experience, and display enthusiasm consistently to fulfill your potential as you make money from home.

It’ll also depend on whether you want to teach for a company or teach independently, or whether it’s a short-term or a long-term solution to your finances. Only you can determine how you’ll utilize the opportunity. If you are lacking in an area, you can amend this or bolster another area of your game. With that being said, experience is the best teacher, and you’ll learn what it takes to make money from teaching online as you go, but hopefully, the items discussed in the article can give you a head start.

The post How Much Can I Make Teaching English Online appeared first on Premier TEFL.

I have been traveling and teaching ESL abroad ever since I graduated university. This life choice has taken me around the world and allowed me to experience cultures and meet people that I did not know existed.

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