Dreaming of a brand-new career with tons of freedom? We've got just the ticket...
FACT: Teaching English online is the fastest-growing area of TEFL – and it’s not difficult to see why! Once qualified, you can teach online from anywhere in the world or from the comfort of your own home – plus, you’re free to choose your own working hours, set your own rates and be your own boss. Win!
How do I get started?
It couldn’t be easier! Simply, enrol onto an accredited TEFL Course (like ours!), get your shiny new certificate and start teaching. That’s it! All you’ll need is a laptop or PC with a microphone and webcam to conduct your lessons and voilà! You’re all set.
Which TEFL Course should I take?
Any of our TEFL Courses will help you qualify to become an online TEFL tutor – but we’d recommend choosing one that includes a specialist Course on online teaching, such as, our Level 5 240, 260, 300 or 320 Hour Courses & Diplomas.
Check out our handy comparison table below to find a TEFL Course or Diploma that suits your budget and your TEFL needs. PRO TIP: If you want to boost your earning potential and access the best online teaching jobs, our Level 5 Diplomas are definitely the way to go!
|Level 3||Level 5|
Online TEFL Courses
|Teaching Online Training||30 hours||60 hours||TEFL Diploma60 hours|
|Suitable for beginners|
|Support from qualified tutors|
|Access highest paid jobs|
|TEFL employers' choice|
|Book NowLearn More||Book NowLearn More||Book NowLearn More|
|Level 3||Level 5|
Combined TEFL Courses
|Teaching Online Training||30 hours||60 hours||TEFL Diploma60 hours|
|Online & classroom training|
|Suitable for beginners|
|Support from qualified tutors|
|Access highest paid jobs|
|TEFL employers' choice||Book NowLearn More||Book NowLearn More||Book NowLearn More|
Check out our FREE Teach English Online guide, that has got everything you need to start earning money as an online teacher – wherever you are in the world!
Not sure if you can teach English online? Take our 2-minute Teaching Online Quiz to find out whether you’re eligible to start a career as an online English tutor.
Want to know how much you could earn as an online English teacher? Take our quick TEFL quiz to find out!
Find out how to teach English online with TEFL teacher, Lisa:
» Who can teach English online?
Whether you’re a student, graduate or working full-time in a career that’s not for you – teaching English online is a great option for anyone! All you need is to be fluent in English, an accredited (or even better, regulated) TEFL qualification, a laptop or PC and a strong internet connection. Simple!
» Do I need a degree?
Good news! You don’t need a degree to teach English online. However, some employers may ask for one at their own discretion. Rest assured though, there are plenty of online teaching jobs for non-degree holders!
» Are there any age limits?
Aside from a lower limit of 18, people of any age can teach English online. i-to-i graduates of all ages are teaching online from all corners of the globe – you can even do it alongside another job to earn some extra cash!
» What do I need in order to teach English online?
To teach English online, you’ll need the following:
1. A TEFL qualification: This needs to be from a reputable provider (like i-to-i!) who are accredited or regulated by an official body, such as Ofqual – and it needs to be for at least 120 hours but the more hours you complete, the better your chances of finding work are.
2. A laptop or PC: To teach English online, you’ll need a good device to connect with students – this is normally any laptop or PC, however, it has been known that you can use some tablets and even smart phones. However, some employers may only allow laptops or PCs.
3. A webcam: So that you can video call students, you’ll definitely need a webcam. These days, most computers come with built-in webcams but if yours doesn’t, you can buy ones that simply plug into your USB port. The higher the resolution of your webcam, the better your student can see you.
4. A headset/microphone: If you’ve decided to teach English online, your students will definitely need to be able to hear you! So, a headset is the obvious choice – although, it’s not a necessity. It’s very likely that your computer will already have a microphone that’s built-in, so you can use this as long as you’re in a very quiet environment.
5. A quiet, well-lit space: To deliver your lessons, it’s important to find a place to teach English online that’s free of any distractions and light enough that your students can see you clearly. If you’re at home, try to sit near a window if possible. Or you can try local libraries or quiet corners of cafes too.
» I want to teach English online. How do I find a job?
There are tons of online teaching jobs advertised on TEFL jobs boards, such as, LoveTEFL Jobs (i-to-i’s sister company). Simply register for free and then you can easily view and apply for positions you’re interested in – or you can go freelance and find your own students online. The opportunities are endless!
» Want to learn more about teaching English online?
Download your FREE copy of our How to Teach English Online guide to get a detailed, step-by-step guide on starting to teach English online.
Rise in teaching English online jobs
The number of online TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) positions advertised grew by a staggering 54% between February and March 2020*.
Research revealed that online TEFL teachers are expected to have an accredited TEFL certification.
Many of these job roles do not require teaching experience so online TEFL work could be a new opportunity to earn money from home during the COVID-19 lockdown.
*7,005 TEFL positions were analysed on specialist TEFL jobs’ board, LoveTEFL.
Join the biggest TEFL movement of the decade and get ready to teach English online! This is the fastest-growing area of TEFL – and for good reason. For years, budding TEFL teachers have been jetting off to far-flung places around the world to teach English in schools from Tokyo to Tijuana. But now, we can do it all online. So whether you’re a travelling digital nomad, looking for a way to work online as you country-hop or you’re a home-bird wanting to meet people from all walks of life and earn from the comfort of your own home, the flexibility teaching online offers is simply irresistible.
To teach English online, all you need is a laptop or PC, a strong internet connection and an accredited TEFL qualification. That’s all! And as long as you have a fluent level of English, it couldn’t be simpler to get started. Here’s our complete guide on everything you need to know about how to teach English online.
1. Getting qualified
To begin your teaching online journey, you’ll need to get TEFL qualified – and with our range of Online TEFL Courses and Diplomas, you can do it all online and at your own pace. Plus, you’ll be qualified to teach English abroad too, if you ever choose to go down that route. Win!
Start by choosing the Course that suits your needs best, then get enrolled and start learning online straight away. Our online platform allows you to log in and study 24/7 so you can fit your training in around your lifestyle. And you’ll have easy access to our team of highly qualified tutors via email, phone and web chat to help you out with any TEFL queries. Before you know it, you’ll be TEFL certified and ready to teach English online.
2. Technical requirements
Already got a laptop or PC? You’re almost ready to teach English online! All you need to start giving online lessons is:
Once you’ve got all the correct hardware to teach English online, you’ll need to download some software too. First on the list is a reliable video calling programme, such as Zoom or Skype, to conduct your lessons on. Some employers may recommend a specific programme to use or they may have their own software for this. If you decide to freelance as an online English teacher, you may want to set up accounts on a few different ones, so that you’re flexible and can reach any student.
If you’re not a technology whizz, don’t let any of this worry you! If you work for a company, they’ll likely provide a training session for their own internal platform or the one they’ve decided to use. Alternatively, if you’re a freelancer and need to work it out yourself, there are tutorials available online to help you use each online platform. Easy!
3. Your teaching environment
When you teach English online, it’s important to remember to keep it professional. Working from home can sometimes feel very different to working in a school or an office but remember, your students are paying you for your time, so appearing professional is key to gaining trust and keeping return customers.
One way to stay professional when you teach English online is to ensure your teaching environment looks neat and tidy. Your students will be able to see whatever is behind you, so try to find a well-lit space where your students can see you clearly (they’ll need to be able to read your facial expressions as this helps them learn). Make sure there aren’t too many distractions in the background and choose a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed.
4. Using online resources
When you teach English online, you’ll soon realise that online teaching resources are your best friend. They help break up your lesson, visualise points you’re explaining and give your student materials to look at between lessons.
Resources can range from lesson planning sites to organising your time and students’ work. We’ve listed a few of our teachers’ favourites here:
Planbook – A great tool for storing online lesson plans and more.
Grammarly – Not sure of the correct grammar in a particular sentence? Simply copy and paste it into Grammarly’s corrector tool and it’ll give you the perfect error-free sentence.
WeTransfer – When you need to send resources to your student, emails sometimes won’t cut it. Use WeTransfer to easily send your larger files without having to sign up.
Remind – Remind is a great organiser tool and you can use it to send reminders to yourself and your students for lessons and homework too.
5. Your first lesson
As an online teacher, your first online lesson can be an exciting and sometimes daunting prospect but if you prepare well, there’s no need to feel nervous. Remember, it’s just another person who you’ll likely just be having a nice chat with – no big deal! Your lesson plan will be very useful for structuring your lesson, prompting you and keeping your student talking throughout.
Starting out is the same if you teach English online as if you were teaching in a classroom: introduce yourself, smile and keep it short and sweet before delving into your first lesson warmer. You’ll probably already know a bit about your first student in terms of their level of English, age and where they’re from, so use this to ask them basic questions about themselves. All of this is teaching them English too!
Rely on your newfound lesson planning skills to get you through your 45-60-minute lesson and at the end, try to schedule lesson number two! By this point, you’ll have probably developed a good rapport with your student and they’ll feel comfortable coming back to you again.
There are two main ways to teach English online: you can either work for a language company or freelance as an online teacher. Both have their individual pros and cons but as a freelance online teacher, you’ll need to find your own students and set up your own profile or website online. However, freelancing also means that you’ll be able to choose when you work, set your own rates of pay and essentially, be your own boss. Whoop! The drawbacks for some can be that freelancing is less secure that working for an employer, as you won’t have guaranteed work – but on the flip side, you may be able to earn more per hour.
There are lots of websites where you can set up a profile as a freelance online teacher, such as italki, and students can browse through and choose a teacher they like the sound of. If you choose to find students this way, make sure you put some effort into creating a descriptive profile that tells prospective students your name, your TEFL qualification, your availability and a little bit more about you. Use this opportunity to sell yourself!
Alternatively, you could set up your own website from scratch. This can look more professional but it may be a more gradual process of finding students. You can either build a website yourself using a site builder or pay a web developer to do this for you. Whichever way you choose to freelance, remember to set up a method of payment!
7. Working for a language company
If you start looking for jobs to teach English online, you’ll soon see that there are plenty of employers looking for new teachers all year round. If you decide to opt for the security of working for a language company, you’ll be given your students by your employer, so you won’t need to spend any time finding them. You can usually choose your own working hours, however, there will be busier times depending on time zones around the world – so you may find there’s more work for you at these times.
If you teach English online through a language company, they’ll also set your rates of pay and some may also take a cut of your earnings. Make sure you ready any contracts carefully before accepting job offers as these will state your pay and any deductions from your employer.
8. Taking payment
As a freelancer, you’ll need to set yourself on PayPal and perhaps a few other common payment sites (such as TransferWise) so that you can accept bank transfers from your students. Remember to take payment in advance, and create your own cancellation policy, so that students can’t let you down last-minute without some form of fee being paid.
If you’re working for a language company, they’ll likely have their own payment software and this will be prearranged on their site, so you probably won’t have any involvement in your students’ payments. Most language companies pay salaries on a weekly or monthly basis. Just remember to keep track of all the hours you work so you can check this against your payslip.
9. Getting a job
That all-import first job! Once you’re qualified to teach English online, you can start applying for jobs online immediately. The best places to look are online TEFL jobs boards, such as LoveTEFL Jobs. There, you’ll find heaps of great opportunities, plus, LoveTEFL also offer some great CV-boosting skills courses, CV-writing tips and great interview prep to help you on the TEFL job hunt.
You’ll first need to update your CV: add your shiny new TEFL certification to your list of qualifications, rewrite your personal profile to be tailored more towards online teaching and highlight any relevant experience you have (if any), such as, working with children, face-to-face roles and anything language-related.
Then, scroll through all of the vacancies and pick out any that you’re eligible for and that appeal to you. Do make sure to research any potential employers/schools to make sure they’re reputable. You’ll be able to submit your application directly to the employer and include some eye-catching reasons why you want to teach English online – anything that makes you stand out and sound like a reliable, charismatic teacher will always help your application!
The application process is similar to most jobs: the employer will review your application and set up an interview date if they want to learn more about you. The interview will take place over Skype, Zoom or another similar video calling software (they’ll let you know) and you’ll need to dress professionally and behave as you would in any other face-to-face interview.
If you’re successful at that stage, you’ll either receive a job offer or be asked for a second interview where they may ask more in-depth questions and / or to deliver a short section of a lesson. Just remember to smile and speak clearly.
That’s it! Now, you’re ready to get TEFL qualified and teach English online. We hope you enjoy this exciting opportunity and please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions you’d like answering.
When you teach English online, the amount you earn can vary depending on a few different factors. These are:
In general, most online teaching jobs pay between £8 (US$10/R180) and £20 (US$25/R450) per hour or per lesson (lessons are normally between 45-60 minutes). However, if you freelance, you can set your own rates so these amounts may differ.
Once you build up some experience, you should be able to gradually increase your rates – just bear in mind that you’ll be competing against other teachers too.
If you teach English online, there are a few different topics / types of English you can teach, and the earning criteria is different for each of these. As a general guide, you can expect to earn the following:
You have the opportunity to teach at a time that suits you and fits in with your schedule, possibly be your own boss as well as get to teach a huge breadth of students from all over the globe!
Teaching English online is a great way to add to your existing income. It’s also possible for it to become your sole means of income – provided you’re prepared to plan how best to get yourself up and running.
A great benefit that comes with teaching English online in a one to one environment is that the usual distractions in a traditional classroom are absent. Students don’t have a chatty neighbour sitting next to them or the issue of any classroom dramas or politics to deal with. They are naturally more focused and eager to get their work done.
Even younger learners can benefit from learning this way. You’ll find that you don’t have the behavioural issues with children that normally crop up in a group scenario.
Teaching English Online is hugely rewarding and satisfying. You’ll have the opportunity to teach students in Saudi Arabia, China perhaps even Brazil within a matter of hours. This gives you the chance to learn about other cultures and ways of life, as well as learn about a vast variety of topics you may never have been exposed to otherwise.
Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and EFL forums to boost your online presence
Create your own website. Think of yourself as a business and what good business nowadays doesn’t have a website?
A great low-cost way to market yourself while staying top of potential student’s minds.
Use a platform like Blogger or WordPress. Your blog can contain useful articles and information for learners and possibly even fellow teachers; helping to establish yourself as an expert on what you offer.
Make short YouTube videos of you teaching. This lets students get an overall picture of who you are, what you’re like as a teacher, your niche, etc.
When you teach English online, you’ll need to have a good online presence. This is so people can find you and see what you’re offering – this will be your main source of new business so we cannot stress how important this is!
As we said above, a good way of expanding your presence is through social media – but it’s important to make sure your social accounts are professional, keeping your work life and social life separate! No prospective client wants to see you partying at 3am.
There are, unfortunately, some unprofessional ‘online schools’ who exploit teachers, especially new ones, looking to teach English online. Even if you’re starting out, you still should be paid an acceptable price for your work – so don’t let anyone offering low pay for work take advantage.
There are many different students looking to learn English online. From businesswomen and men to those looking to pass English exams with flying colours; it all depends on who you’re interested in teaching.
The different types of English you may teach online are:
This is where you’ll give English learners some help with their fluency and correcting basic errors. These sessions don’t normally don’t include in-depth grammar study.
Business English lessons usually cover topics like writing emails, proposals and presentations, and more informal things like general advice on etiquette and how to sign off correspondence. If you do specialise in teaching business English, you can increase your earning potential by tailoring lessons towards a specific industry. For example, the oil and gas workforce, marketing or engineers.
If you want to specialise in teaching business English, we offer a TEFL add on that helps get up to speed on the best way to deliver a winning class. Find out more information here.
English learners preparing for their IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge proficiency exams often want extra tuition in the run up to their exam.
If you want to specialise in helping people running up to these exams, we offer a course which covers everything you need to know about Becoming an IELTS Coach. This specialist course will include theory and practical suggestions designed to help you create and deliver confident, inspired and effective English language lessons to ensure your students are effectively prepared for exam success. Find out more information here.
These lessons might take the form of a typical job interview where you’ll be helping the student practice talking about themselves, their strengths and achievements, and what they can bring to the role.
Similarly to teaching Business English, you can tailor these sessions to particular sectors or workforces to enhance your earning potential.
Sometimes students prefer a bilingual teacher so they can communicate in their mother tongue whilst learning English. Depending on the learner, you’ll want to tailor your lesson to the strengths and weaknesses of that particular nationality. For example, certain nationalities struggle with English pronunciation more than others.
Sometimes students don’t want to commit to paid lessons before they have met you over Skype (or whatever you choose to use), so offering a free taster session is often a good idea. Be wary of people just signing up and not showing up though – this sometimes happens when the sessions are free. A top tip is to ask for USD$1 to be paid as a fee – even though it’s a small amount, it encourages people to stick to their commitment!
For more info on this exciting opportunity, simply pop your details in below and we’ll get in touch very soon!
Teaching English online is going to be huge in a few years – take my word for it! It’s really clear to me that there’s a world of opportunities for teachers, whether through one-to-one lessons, or by producing content like videos, courses, exercises, etc. Throwing yourself into English as a teacher can really make a difference to the lives of your students – project what matters to you, and you’ll reach a large audience and inspire others.
Online English teacher, Jack