Teaching English is a great gig to get into and earn as much as $25 an hour if you sign up with online companies that hire English tutors.
Or you could make unlimited income if you build your own audience using a blog or YouTube channel.
Video On Teaching English Online
What Do You Need To Start Teaching English
What qualifications do you need to get paid for teaching English online? Well, first things first, you don’t need to be an English major. This is a misconception that is usually raised as a concern when you mention teaching English online.
The truth is that while you should know essential aspects of the English language so you can teach your students well, you don’t need to have a degree in English.
Here is what you do need:
- You need to be fluent in English.
- You need a desire to teach. If you’ve taught in a formal setting before, that will be helpful. However, you don’t need to be a professional teacher to teach English online.
- You need to have available time on your calendar for when you tutor students.
- You need a payment portal especially if you will be finding your own clients/students.
- You will need a video conferencing service like Skype or Zoom. It’s best to do this on a desktop or laptop so you can share your screen and use it as a virtual whiteboard or to show your students a PowerPoint presentation, for instance.
- You need a written cancellation policy if you will be seeking out your own students instead of depending on a platform.
How to Get Paid for Teaching English Online
If you plan on teaching English online, there are two main ways you can do that. You could either sign up to teach with online-based companies. Or, you can set up your own operation and build up an audience using a blog or YouTube channel.
Let’s discuss both of them.
Sign Up to Teach English with Companies Online
When you sign up to teach English with companies online, you will get paid an hourly wage based on several companies including the company you choose to teach with and the country where your student lives.
There are a number of companies that will allow you to get paid for teaching English online. We’ll discuss 10 popular ones below:
- VIPKid: To become an English teacher with VIPKid, you will need to sign up and get approved. Once you have been approved, you can set up your desired hours and students will start to book you. With VIPKid, you will use their platform and resources to teach. It appears they do this so that they ensure every student that signs up with them is going through the same curriculum. Although students come from different countries, it appears most of them are from China. According to their website, you can expect to earn up to $22/hour. Check out VIPKid here >>
- TeachPartTime: TeachPartTime is another platform that allows you to sign up and be approved. Once you're approved, you can apply and be offered teaching opportunities. Check out TeachPartTime here >>
- Wyzant: Wyzant is a platform that caters to many subjects, English included. Once you sign up for their platform, you can optimize your profile so you can get found. You can set your own hourly rate on Wyzant. Once you’re done with a teaching session, you will log your hours and then Wyzant will bill the student, take a cut, and send you a payment.
- Tutor.com: Similar to Wyzant, you will need to apply and be approved for specific subjects on Tutor.com. With this website however, they limit how many people can teach a particular subject. Thus, if there are too many English teachers, even though you might qualify to teach on there, you will not be approved to teach English. Tutor.com likes to attract people who have PhD degrees, doctorates, or who have extensive experience teaching a particular subject. Even if you have none of these, it’s worth a try.
- Englishunt: To apply to teach on Englishunt, you need a teaching certification and a degree from a four-year institution.
- Lingoda: Students who want to learn English, German, Spanish, and French can sign up to receive lessons on Lingoda. On there, you’ll be teaching English that is used for business purposes. You can apply to become a teacher on Lingoda here.
- DaDa: DaDa is an online one-on-one English education platform for children 4 to 16 years old. DaDa is based in mainland China and partners with the American TESOL Institute to teach English to children.
- EF Education First
- goFLUENT: goFLUENT also focuses on business English, so if you have a knack for teaching that, you can sign up to teach there as well.
Regardless of which company you choose to go with, the most you will need is a reliable Internet connection and a webcam to get started.
Start Your Own YouTube Channel and Monetize It
The second way for you to get paid teaching English is for you to build your own audience and then monetize it.
This is significantly harder than the first option, but the rewards can be huge. Here’s why:
- There’s no limit to the size of the audience you can build. When we typed in “learn English online” into YouTube, the YouTube channel with the least number of subscribers had about 1,300 subscribers. The demand for learning English online is huge with English becoming the more preferred language for most business and educational transactions. Thus, if you are committed to creating quality content and posting videos consistently, you could build up an audience quickly.
- Once you’ve built trust with your audience, you will be able to sell e-books and courses to them. This can become a highly profitable income stream where you make much more than $20/hour.
- Even if you have no desire to create your own digital products, you can still make money off of a YouTube channel in several ways as follows:
- Google AdSense (you will be able to turn this on on YouTube after you have 1,000 subscribers and have accumulated 4,000 hours of watch time in one year).
- You could make money as an affiliate by recommending products in the English-learning niche and make commissions on that.
- You can have a Patreon community where you provide your students with extra value and charge them for it. For perspective, if you charge a monthly fee of $10 and 100 people sign up for your Patreon membership, that is $1,000 per month in revenue.
Like I mentioned above, the difficult part of this is building up that initial audience. It can be discouraging creating videos for months and not receive the results you want.
There are tools like TubeBuddy and vidIQ that you can use to research YouTube topics and increase your chances of your videos being found. Using those tools could increase your watch time and subscribers and build your audience. Realistically however, expect it to take a year or so to build up a sizable audience you can sell to.
Starting your own channel will also require that you invest in camera equipment so you can have quality videos. But even if you don’t have that, you can start on your phone and upgrade later.
You can get paid to teach English online. In this post, we’ve shared the top ways to go about doing that.
You can easily start by signing up with one of the companies mentioned in the post. The disadvantage there is that you’re at the mercy of changes that happen with the company. Otherwise, you could start your own operation which will make you money for years to come. The drawback here is that sometimes, building up an online audience can take time.
Either way, you can become successful with either path.
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Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
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