The Starter Guide To Teach English Online (From Home Or While Traveling)

Do you want to teach English online, to earn a side income or finance your traveling? This starter guide explicates how it works, what requirements you must meet, how much you can earn, and mentions the best websites to find students to teach online.

Have you dreamed of being able to travel the world while making enough money to live and do the things you please? Are you tired of going to the office every day? If so, have you ever considered teaching English online to people across the world?

Teaching English is in high demand all over the world in many countries. You can travel anywhere you would like while teaching English from your hotel, Airbnb or anywhere you are staying. In fact, it is a lot easier than you might think. It is also a small investment to get started.

Below are some tips on how you can get started as well as some companies that you can consider working for.

How does teaching English online work?

It’s simple, really. You don’t need much to get started teaching English online. All you will need is a laptop with the internet and a webcam, a headset with microphone, and the desire to make money and work from home – or wherever you’d like.

Depending on the company you work for, you would make your own schedule and sign up to teach classes ranging from about 25 minutes to 1 hour. You might be teaching children or adults who are looking to become fluent in English.

Job opportunities for online English teachers

When getting started as an English tutor, there are different options you should consider. Do your research and figure out what option works best for you. You will find opportunities to work as a freelancer or through a company. The difference is that some companies might charge you a fee since they will be helping you to find students. This might be beneficial for someone who is just starting out.

When working as a freelancer, it might be more difficult to find clients, but once you have established yourself, you can make more money as a freelancer. Freelancers also often need to build their reputation through a point system, and it might take more time to establish yourself. They can also consider taking on short-term contracts, which works when you are traveling to different places.

Teach English From Home

Earn up to $22 per hour. If you are American or Canadian, have a degree and 1 year of teaching experience, VIPKID wants you as an online teacher!

Apply Now

Requirements to teach English online

One of the most basic requirements is that you are a native speaker. While there are other opportunities for teaching online if you would like to teach English and are not a native English speaker, some companies require that you are from the U.S. or Canada and have spoken English as your first language.

Some companies might require you to have a Bachelor’s degree, but it can usually be in any subject and does not have to be in education or the English language.

It is also required that you have the equipment mentioned above – laptop, internet, webcam, headset, and microphone – as companies do not provide this equipment.

Another important prerequisite is that some companies might require you to become TEFL certified. Don’t fret, getting the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification is not too difficult to get. It can cost a couple hundred dollars and only take about a month to complete. It is a small price to pay for being able to run your life by traveling while you work.

How to market and advertise yourself

Students will want to know that they can rely on you and trust you. Creating a bio that is eye-catching will help you to find students. Some companies allow prospective students to fill out a form indicating what they are looking for and their availability.

You may even consider posting a video speaking about your qualifications as it will help prospective clients to feel more comfortable having heard your voice and showing them your passion for teaching. Tutors then reach out to the clients if they can deliver what it is they are looking for.

As a tutor, you can advertise on social media, in classified ads, or even by starting a blog that gives those looking to learn tips and information. When advertising yourself, be sure to include your contact information, a bio that includes experience or qualifications, price per hour and the platform you will teach your lessons on. In these instances, students can reach out to you if you meet their criteria.

The rates for teaching English online

Each company is different, but the average is usually around $10 and up to about $30, give or take. At first, you might start off by making about $7.50 for each 25-minute lesson, but it does not take too long to make more per lesson.

Some companies will give you a raise after teaching so many successful lessons. In about a year, you can make up to about $22-$25 an hour. Those with the TEFL certification can make up to about $40 per hour after becoming an established teacher. Many companies will either pay your through PayPal or put the money directly into your account.

Pros and cons

You already know the pros. You can teach from anywhere you’d like in the world. You can run your own life, make your own schedule, and make enough money to pay for your travel expenses. It is also a great feeling to know that you are helping to improve the lives of people all around the world. Teaching is a great profession to be in.

From the sounds of it, there aren’t too many cons. Change can be scary for anyone, but this change will positively impact your own life and give you what you have always wanted. It might cost you a bit to make an investment in the proper equipment and certification, but the payout is better than what you might spend to get started. Chances are, you probably already have some of the equipment needed anyways.

Good online schools to teach for


With VIPKID, you can teach English to Chinese children online from your home or from anywhere. This company does not require a TEFL certification but is a plus if you have one. They do require a Bachelor’s degree, one year of teaching experience and also that you are a native English-speaker from North America or Canada. VIPKID also offers tutors training before beginning with lessons so they feel more comfortable and successful.

Teach English From Home

Earn up to $22 per hour. If you are American or Canadian, have a degree and 1 year of teaching experience, VIPKID wants you as an online teacher!

Apply Now

Tower of English

Tower of English connects English tutors to students looking to get help with the language. The company leaves some of the important decisions up to the tutor, which allows you even more freedom when traveling the world.

Both online and in-person tutors can advertise their services on the website. Tutors set their own rates and design their own lessons based on the needs of their students.

51 Talk

51 Talk is another company that helps students find a tutor. Tutors can work from home or anywhere in the world. 51 Talk has helped over 1 million learners to learn English. Pay increases as a tutor teaches successful lessons. Tutors can make their own schedule, which can allow for a lifestyle of travel.

The company also offers support and feedback for tutors so they can improve their practice and positively impact more students.

Tutor ABC

A well-known tutoring company, Tutor ABC is based in China and pays English teachers to teach the language to native Chinese speakers. The company does have an intricate application process to ensure the tutors being hired meet their high expectations.

Once you sign up on the site, you would then create a video about yourself, take a test that shows you are proficient in the English language, and another assessment to make sure your technology can handle the job.


Lingoda online school not only hires English teachers but other people who can teach different languages from around the world. There are options for teacher-student sessions or to be a part of a virtual classroom with multiple students at one time. The pay is based on experience, and the platform used is Skype.


Here, students are provided with a list of the tutors available to teach through the Verbling website. Teachers can also be rated by students that have learned from them, so it is important to ensure good communication and reliability. The higher a rating, the more likely it will be for a client to choose you. Tutors not only create their own lessons but also can advertise their own pay rate.


These tips can help you to get started teaching English and living the life you have always dreamed of. Make sure to search around for a reputable company that works for you. Figure out what works for you and then go ahead and advertise your services.

It is possible (and probably a really good idea) to even start teaching English to people around the world before you quit your job just to make sure it will work for you. Once you have established yourself, you will be able to travel the world as you please while impacting people all over the world and helping to make their lives better by teaching them English.

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