How to Teach English Online

Due to the coronavirus the opportunity for going to teach abroad is not possible at the moment, but online is a great way to get an introduction to TEFL and make extra money in your spare time.

Getting started as an online EFL teacher is easy, you just need a computer, tablet or phone with a camera and a connection to the internet. 

Thinking about teaching English online but you don't have experience or you have never done this before? Don't let this put you off getting started. These types of positions are open to experienced teachers and complete beginners. You can work for a recruiter or be freelance and work for yourself.

You can work from home, or mix working and traveling at the same time. This is one of the best online jobs especially for people who are keen to be nomadic and have a passion for helping others learn.


Top Reasons to Consider This Job

  • Flexible, you can work from anywhere in the world as long as you have connection to the internet
  • You won't have a boss telling you what to do
  • Help people improve their language skills
  • Turn a passion into a lifelong career
  • Create your own hours - work when you want
  • Save money - you don't need to pay for commuting



Each company is unique and has different requirements but most will generally all will require you to have a good level of English. Some companies will require you to be a native English speaker, but others are more flexible. If you have no experience at all, you really need to take a TEFL course which will provide you with information and skills on how to become a successful teacher. 


Get TEFL Certified

Most employers will require you to have a TEFL certification before hiring you. If you aren't yet TEFL certified then view our guides to the best TEFL courses to take right now and also our list of recommended online TEFL courses.

These companies are highly recommended to take your course with:


Premier TEFL Premier TEFL

Lets TEFL Get TEFL CertifiedLet's TEFL


Who Will You Teach

Every company is different but generally you will teach English online to students all around the world, both children and adults. Thousands of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Mexican, South American, European and students wordwide enroll every month.


How to Find Online English Teacher Jobs

Wondering where do you find positions? The online English teaching companies and recruiters we have listed below are some of the most popular names in the industry and offer jobs all year round.

Some are small companies employ a limited amount of teachers, whilst others are high global companies literally thousands of teachers. Experience, requirements and salaries can depend on the company.

Another option is to independently advertise your services as an English teacher online. This can be a tough way to get started especially salary wise but hard work can pay off long term. 


Companies Hiring Online English Teachers 

These are the top online teaching recruiters we recommend:

VIPKid is an online education company that connects students and teachers globally through one-to-one personalized English language classes. They make education more accessible by connecting students and teachers around the world.

GoGoKid creates a connection between children in China and the world by providing a global learning experience. Our mission is to foster our students to learn the English language as a tool, not as a goal, and to become individuals with creative and critical thinking skills. Earn $14-$25/hour.

EF English First
EF offers a variety of online and classroom English teaching jobs. Some can be done from the comfort and convenience of your own home and others require relocation to Asia. To become an online ESL teacher, you will need a stable internet connection, and EF will help with the rest. Online class content is based on award-winning EF materials that will enhance what the student has learned at their in-center classes. If you’re looking for more adventure and a lifestyle change, you can choose to teach online to adults or kids & teens at their newly refurbished online center in Shanghai, China.

Work from home with the fastest growing online English platform and teach small group class aged between 5 and 12. Highly competitive rates, innovative classroom & materials plus excellent teacher support make us the best choice if you plan to teach English online! Teachers working with SayABC benefit as much as our students. They offer a great compensation rate for teachers and provide the best technical and academic support available. You will feel a strong sense of achievement as a bridge for students to discover a world of possibilities! Additionally you control your own schedule to fit around your lifestyle and can work from anywhere with a strong Internet connection. Earn up to $17 USD per 40 minutes.

Magic Ears
Magic Ears is an innovative online English learning platform for students ages 4-12. With a relentless focus on the long-term, our mission is to bring a global classroom experience to every child and to provide the best online career opportunity for teachers. Earn $20-26/hr.

PalFish is an application for iOS and Android where teachers get paid to chat with students from their phone or tablet. Earn $15 to $45 USD per hour.

Qkids is a leading online education platform that connects North American English teachers with over 800,000 Chinese students from ages 4 to 12 years old. Using a narrative game-based learning platform, thousands of English teachers from the U.S. and Canada guide students through a fun and dynamic curricular experience. Founded in 2015, Qkids has become a national leader in cross-cultural online learning and established offices in Shenzhen, Xiamen, Guangzhou, and Beijing. The company has completed its series C1 financing round led by Baidu and it's poised to build lasting growth across the world.

Preply tutors teach 800,000+ students globally. Join and you’ll have everything you need to teach successfully. You can choose your hourly rate and change it anytime. On average, English tutors charge $15-25 per hour. Decide when and how many hours you want to teach. No minimum time commitment or fixed schedule. Be your own boss! There is also the option to attend training webinars and get tips to upgrade your skills. You’ll get all the help you need from their team to grow.

Founded in 2013, DaDa is the leading online English education platform based in China. Since its inception, DaDa's mission is to be the best online international school in China through one-on-one student-teacher pairing, world-class teaching content, and industry-leading two-way interactive learning platform. DaDa is the proud partner of Pearson Education, McGraw-Hill Education, Oxford University Press, National Geographic Learning, Highlights, and many other prestigious publishers and learning centers.

Cambly tutors are dynamic native speakers from the United States, Canada, UK and Australia. While you chat with students, they automatically track the time you tutor and pay $0.17 USD per minute ($10.20/hour), delivering your earnings every Monday via Paypal. You make your own hours. Work as little or as much as you want. You can log online whenever you have a free moment and start taking calls within minutes! You chat with people from around the world! In one hour of tutoring, you might meet a Brazilian, a Saudi, and a Russian. You'll learn a lot about their cultures and languages too!

Landi English is developed with an immersive teaching system, based on CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), aiming to positively transform Chinese students’ English learning patterns with content language learning, from kindergarten to high school level. By adopting the student-centered teaching method Peer Study throughout the whole teaching system, Landi has revolutionized real-time online courses from traditional one on one to one on more. Work at home and free yourself from commute! As long as you have stable internet, you can work anywhere you want! Enjoy free time at your own disposal and spend quality time with your family! Earn up to 18 USD/hr!

iTutorGroup is the premier online education platform, and the largest English language learning institution in the world. Connecting teachers from across the globe to students in Asia. Join the fast-growing world of online education with iTutorGroup.

Open English
Open English are the leading online english company in Latin America. Enjoy teaching English? They are hiring EFL professionals dedicated to educational success Join their team of online teachers and be a part of our students’ success story!

Skima Talk
Our mission is to help people go global, creating learning and teaching opportunities for everyone in the world. For anyone who strongly desires to learn or teach, we make it easy, convenient, and affordable to share skills and knowledge without regard to differences in language, culture, and nationality.

Verbling is an online language-learning platform that connects language learners with qualified language teachers for private sessions through live video chat. Earn money teaching your language online. Anytime. Anywhere. Apply now

Lingoda was founded in 2013 by Fabian and Felix Wunderlich with the mission of making learning languages easier, more convenient and more affordable. The Berlin-based school offers online language courses with qualified native-speaking teachers. Students from all over the world are currently able to learn German, English, Spanish or French and earn language certificates thanks to Lingoda.

Whales English
Whales English is an online school based in Beijing, China. They cater to language learners aged 3 to 18 and have 50,000 registered students. Their unique group class model with 2-3 students offers a subject-based curriculum with over 10,000 different classes. Native English-speaking teachers are hand-selected and we are known to be the toughest online ESL programs in China. With a renewal rate of over 83% throughout all courses we’re also the most engaging program.

Learnlight offers a comprehensive range of training and consultancy solutions that empowers talent to excel in a complex and demanding business world. Our solutions include global language training programs, specialized language courses, professional soft skills workshops, intercultural training and competency assessment tools. Join an exceptional team of foreign language teaching professionals and become a part of an innovative online language training program helping thousands of students from across the globe.

italki is a global language learning community that connects students and teachers for 1-on-1 online language lessons. At italki, we believe that human interaction and cultural sharing are the best way to become fluent in a foreign language. With over 5 million students and 10, 000 high-quality teachers teaching more than 130 languages, italki helps everyone with their personal journey to fluency.

Experts in international and online teacher recruitment. We connect teachers looking for exciting jobs with schools looking for brilliant teachers. Apply today! With years of experience recruiting English-speaking teachers, we can help you every step of the way.


Things to Know Before Teaching English Online

Getting started as a teacher isn't easy and it isn't a quick way to make a fortune. Here are some important things to know before you start teaching English online. One of the most challenging aspects of working as an online language teacher is getting clients and also adapting to working alone. Starting out can be tough, you will need to build an online presence over time and slowly new students will contact you. You will need to be motivated and have a clear plan of what you are planning to do daily. TEFL courses can really help you to plan and think of ideas for classes if you are worried about how to structure classes.


Best Platforms to Use

There are lots of different online apps and communication platforms which online teachers utilise including:

  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Facetime
  • Whatsapp
  • Google Hangouts
  • WizIQ

These are just some of the popular apps to use but there are also others available.


Recruiters to Avoid

The online industry is growing every month and more companies are being started, be cautious if choosing to work for a company not featured on our list and always check reviews from other teachers. 



What you get paid depends on the recruiter or if you are working for yourself.


Top Tips When Getting Started

  • Be patient and stick at it if your income seems slow at first
  • Take a TEFL certification course - although this isn't a necessity it will really help you with background information how to become a sucessful teacher.
  • Advertise yourself on forums
  • Offer competitive prices or an initial lesson for free


Do you teach online? Do you have any advice to share to potential teachers? Let us know in the comments section below.