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Home / Teach English Online the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed August 2022

TEFL Jobs Online

Online teaching has taken off massively in the past few years. When the world was going through a time when nobody could attend their classes and continue learning, the solution was to take education online. Teachers quickly learned to use different teaching programmes and adapt their methods to a new online environment. Students got used to turning microphones on and off (although some still struggle to do this at times!). Although many countries have gone back to traditional classroom learning and many TEFL jobs can be found here, there continues to be a significant demand for online English teachers as some students continue their education in this way.

Teaching English online is just teaching a lesson online using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Video calls are the most common method of communication in online education. Classes can be one-on-one or include multiple students at once, just as in a regular classroom. Exam English, Business English, and even Medical English might be the focus of specific classes. The world of online education is thriving! The market for online instruction has grown dramatically during the past year.

Benefits of Teaching English Online

Working from home

Online English teaching is a job that doesn’t require you to be there in person. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to work remotely or on the go because you can do it from anywhere as long as you have a reliable WiFi connection. This opens up work to people who may struggle to attend an office, perhaps because of disability, childcare responsibilities or those who simply prefer to work from the comfort of their own home. Teaching English online means no commuting, no travelling in bad weather and the chance to be surrounded by everything you love all the time.

Your own schedule

When you teach English online, you have greater freedom and control over your schedule. Whether you want a career shift or just some additional money, teaching English online fits into your life as new employment or a method to supplement your current income. It literally means that teaching English online is a job that works for you; you can add extra hours when you need them or work fewer hours if you have other commitments. It is such a pleasing way to structure your working week.

Having a Second Job

Managing many on-site jobs is much more challenging, but when one of them is online, multi-jobbing is much simpler and gives you the chance to make a little extra money. The cost of living seems to be increasing no matter where you live. It is often considered ironic that we spend the majority of our lives working to earn money to buy or rent a home we hopefully love, but then spend hardly any time in because we are always working. Teaching English online means you can reap the rewards of the home you created and use it as your office as well as the place you spend your downtime.

Essential Technology

The ease of getting started while teaching English online is another benefit and the requirements tend to be things most people already have at home. Here is a list of the necessary and practical tools you will require to begin online teaching.

Laptop/computer

Unfortunately, you just cannot teach a class without one. Make sure the webcam is functional. You’ll need to buy an external webcam if you’re using an older device. You want to present yourself as competent and professional when teaching English online so make sure your PC or laptop is modern enough to run without crashing and freezing up.

WIFI

A dependable internet connection is required to teach English online. For one-on-one video conversations, it is generally accepted that a minimum of 1.5Mbps download and 1.5Mbps upload is required. It can need a download connection of up to 8Mbps for group lessons. If you have this capability from your home internet, you should be good to go. If you have a shared connection with other family members, you should make them aware of the times you will be teaching English online so they can avoid large uploads, downloads or streaming that might cause your connection to fail.

Headset

Most businesses advise (or mandate) the use of a professional headset for ESL teaching; with others, you might be able to get away with using standard earbuds or pods. However, it is essential that you have one or the other, and these are not expensive to purchase. You could always upgrade once you have established yourself and know that you are going to be happy teaching English online on a long-term basis.

Qualifications

A TEFL certificate is required as a minimum qualification for English teaching jobs.
Top paying ESL jobs usually call for a degree with a TEFL certificate (any field), but you can find plenty of work even as a newly qualified TEFL certification holder.

Experience

While most employers are open-minded about education and work history, TEFL certification is necessary. The 120-hour tends to be the favoured certification, but you can get plenty of advice and make your decision once you know more about teaching English online.

TEFL Specialties

Speciality teaching is one of the most underappreciated (and underused) facets of ESL.

Since a TEFL certificate is the only requirement for English teachers, many choose to stop there. However, companies sometimes prefer speciality teachers since they pay more and are generally in demand.

Here are some areas where English teachers specialise:

IELTS exam preparation

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an international standardised English language proficiency test for non-native English language speakers.

Most students learning English will strive toward passing the IELTS exams because it is essential for a student to pass the tests if they wish to study in an English-speaking country. Thousands of education and training providers all over the world use IELTS results to select their students, and this will enable you to take your English teaching online to a new level.

Become a successful IELTS exam preparation instructor with our fully accredited 30 Hour IELTS teacher training course and enhance your earning potential in a booming TEFL market.

Business English teaching

Learning to teach Business English as a specialist skill is one of the best ways to make money teaching English. It is the business language of the world, and knowing how to teach English tailored for the corporate world will mean you’re always going to be in business and pick up a lot of well-paid work as an English teacher online.

TEFL Institute’s fully accredited Business English Course will allow you to teach in a variety of settings, including working from home as a tutor, to address a class of business professionals wanting to expand their business vocabulary. As more and more countries emerge as dominant players in the international trade market, there is a mirror effect on the demand for specialist business English teachers online and in person. Online teachers tend to fit in well for businesses as they can schedule lessons and do not need to worry about staff having to travel to venues or wait for tutors to show up.

TOEIC exam preparation

As a qualified TOEIC coach, you will help non-native English speakers showcase their skills to potential employers. As a result, the TOEIC test is accepted and trusted by more than 14,000 organisations.

TOEIC tests assess the English-language skills across four essential language areas: listening, reading, speaking and writing. If you’re looking for a fair, accurate evaluation of your student’s English language abilities that shows potential employers their complete range of skills, this is the way to do it. Get qualified to coach students to pass the TOEIC English test, allowing them to compete in an international business environment and better still; you can work from home teaching English online.

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LIVING COSTS

Where to find a job teaching online

Listings on job websites

All the usual websites for finding TEFL jobs now also list vacancies for online teaching! Here are some useful sites you can check out and apply for online teaching jobs to kickstart your remote TEFL career:

TEFL.com

This is the number one job website for TEFL (for both classroom and online teaching). A lot of companies advertise here, and it is updated regularly. You can select the category “online” to find the latest positions for online teaching. You apply via the site and can fill out a standard application to apply for multiple roles, including teaching English online but don’t forget to create a unique cover letter for each position you apply for! An employer can tell straight away if you’ve copied and pasted the same cover letter and will immediately lose interest in your application.

Indeed

Although a generic job site, you can focus your search by adding the keywords ‘TEFL online’ or ‘English Teacher online’. When you conduct a search for this, you can also select ‘remote’ to access all of the online job postings with information on pay and responsibilities. On this website, you can also make a CV that will be automatically utilised when you wish to apply for a job teaching English online, or you can frequently find the company’s email on the job advertisement and apply directly.

Social media

Nowadays, the world is obsessed with social media. If you can learn a recipe online, why can’t you find a job vacancy online? Facebook is a great place to find daily listings- you need to find the right group to join. Try joining TEFL groups (online TEFL ones, TEFL worldwide, country-specific groups for English teachers etc.), and you will see some listings pop up from recruiters and schools. Remember that these jobs are often not vetted by the group admins. Anyone can post anything, so you need to do your own research before responding or taking a job with anyone who advertises this way.

  • Cambly: Pay is $0.17 USD per minute ($10.20 USD per hour).
  • PalFish: You set your own rate of pay which is paid out by the minute.
  • SkimaTalk: After the three initial sessions are booked, the price will automatically change to $8/session (25 minutes). Once the system automatically sets your price at $8, you will be able to set your own price if you choose to do so.
  • Lingoda: Pay ranges from €7 - €11 per hour (~$7.85 - $12.34 USD per hour).
  • Open English: Up to $15 USD per hour.

TEFL Jobs Online: KEY POINTS

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AVERAGE SALARY

From $8 - $40 USD per hour

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EDUCATION NEEDED

No Degree Required

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TEFL CERTIFICATE NEEDED

120 hours+

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MAIN JOB TYPES

Working for an online teaching company or platform * Working Independently *

KEY FACTS

  • The number of English learners across the world is always growing:: 1.5 billion (Source: British Council, 2020)
  • The number of native English speakers:: only 340 million (Source: Vistawide)
  • Students actually learn faster: Students actually learn 5 times faster online than face-to-face (Source: IBM)
  • Online Learning is growing fast!: The online language learning market will be worth a staggering $25.73 billion by 2027, reflecting a CAGR growth of 10.2% from 2020 to 2027.

How much money can I earn?

This depends on:

  • Which online platform/school you are teaching through
  • How many students are in the lesson
  • How many hours a week you teach
  • Your performance rating scores
  • If you have a degree (in any subject)
  • If you are a native or fluent speaker

What will I need to begin?

To become an online TEFL tutor you’ll need:

  • A brightly lit place to teach
  • A good and stable internet connection – at least 10mbps
  • A good quality laptop with noise cancelling headphones
  • An external webcam for your computer – much better for picture quality
  • Props to make your lessons fun and interesting
  • Globally accredited TEFL certificate

Facts about Teach English Online the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed August 2022

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Online Learning Population

Forecasted to reach $7.3 trillion by 2025

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Demand for Teachers

High

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Currency

$, €, £ & more!

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OUR ONLINE TEFL RATING

4.5/5 Stars

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TEFL Jobs Online: FAQS

Q:

How can I start teaching English online?

When starting as an English teacher online, the best place to start is to go through an online platform as an employer. This way you’ll get experience and a good reputation. They will market students for you, and you will build up a nice student database and reviews. Once you have the experience and are comfortable teaching, you are ready to move on to bigger and better things. This may be a few months down the road or even a few years; this is all dependent on you and how confident you are feeling to make the next move.

There are plenty of groups and forums online where budding entrepreneurs can network and share their tricks of the trade. Facebook groups are another avenue for you to pick up free materials that you can use in teaching English online.

The beauty of teaching English online is that you can set your own rate. You have the freedom to choose a fee structure that works for you. Setting up your own online business certainly allows you to double or even triple your earning potential in contrast to working for an online employer. You can teach English online as a full-time gig or work part-time to top up your income without having to stay in the office for longer.

This depends on the company you work for. However, most online English teaching companies do prefer you to use props because it engages the student, but you can find the best way that works for you. It is all about inspiring the students to learn and retain the lessons, so coming up with new ways to engage them is never a bad thing.

In general, online English teaching companies have students that are 5-15 years old. However, some companies teach adult learners. PalFish, for example, is an app with an Official Kid’s Course. Again, as you are working in a virtual role, there is a lot more scope to tailor the experience to one that works for you. So if you want to work with adults, there are plenty of opportunities.

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