How to Become an Online English Teacher

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Teaching English online to young foreign language learners is one of the best work-at-home opportunities you can find.  It is perfect for teachers, homeschool parents, travelers, stay-at-home parents, and more.  You do not need to have a degree in education in order to teach.

Even if you don’t have kids, and you have a full-time job, the working hours of these companies are perfect to supplement your income.  Many teachers take advantage of having a remote job and travel the world as they teach.

How do you teach English online?  Using video chat platforms, much like Skype, you can teach a class with students in other countries.  Each company has their own platform or app that you use for this.  Most of these companies are in China.

While VIPKid ranked as number one at the top of Forbes Top 100 Companies for Remote Jobs of 2018, there are many similar companies out there to work for.  Not only do they offer these positions remotely, but they also have working hours that are conducive to having a family to care for.  With most of the students living in China (they are 12 hours ahead of the US for those in EST), it allows those in the US to work hours in the early morning or evenings when their kids are already in bed asleep. This makes this the golden job opportunity for those who want to have it all.  To stay home with their kids AND contribute to their family’s income.  The opportunity to help support their family without having to make the hard choice to leave their kids in order to do it.

Teaching English online also pays well.  Each company has a different pay scale but they all range from $16-22/hour.

The most requested times to teach are the following: Monday-Friday 6-10pm, and Saturday-Sunday 9am–10pm. (This is in Beijing time and will need to translate to the time zone you are currently living in. The US/Canada typically has classes during early mornings everyday and then evenings and overnight on Friday and Saturday.)

While you don’t need experience in a real classroom in order to become an ESL teacher, they do want to see that you have had experience with children for at least a year – whether by tutoring, mentoring, homeschooling, coaching, or even things like volunteering at church or summer camp.  If you don’t mention this in your application, you won’t make it past the first part of the hiring process.

They do require you to have a bachelor degree, but again, it can be in any field.  They require you to be a native English speaker and to reside either in the US or Canada.  They also require a TESOL certificate if you do not have a degree in Education.  This can easily be attained in a few hours by taking a short course online.  Groupon has a special price of only $19 for obtaining the TESOL through International Open Academy.  If you apply for VIPKid, they have their own TESOL certificate that you can obtain through their hiring process.

Here are the top two companies in the field if you are interested in becoming an online English teacher.  This job has changed my life and the lives of so many others.  It’s 100% legitimate, fun, and rewarding.  I have worked for both companies and they are both wonderful companies.

  1. VIPKID

    VIPKID was founded in 2014 and continues to lead the industry.  VIPKID boasts a great curriculum, many workshops for their new teachers, teacher meet-ups, and plenty of resources for those who have never taught.  (And even for those who have taught in a brick-and-mortar school, as teaching a second language online is completely different than being in the classroom.) They also offer amazing incentives, including the opportunity to win a paid trip to their headquarters in Beijing, China.

    With VIPKid, you teach English online in a 1:1 classroom.  Each class is 25 minutes long.  They provide the curriculum and lesson plans, and you provide the instruction and fun!  Because you are teaching 1:1 classes, you will eventually build a client base of regular students who re-book you.  This allows you to build relationships with these students and even their families, which is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.

    You also have complete control of creating your schedule – which means no class minimums and that you can teach as little or as much as you want. With this flexibility, you could easily earn up to $600/month for working 1- 1.5 hours/day. Many teachers take advantage of the flexibility, and work a full load – with the potential to earn up to and over $2000/month!

    The pay is $7-9 per class, plus $1 for participation (you get this automatically), and $1 for every class taught over 45 classes a month.  This comes to about $16-22/hour.  They also offer short-notice bookings for an extra $2 per class.  This means you can be booked within 24 hours of the class time.  They also offer you $5 extra for any trial students who sign up after you teach them.

    To become a teacher, VIPKID requires you to teach a class to a mock class mentor.  This is another teacher  who will be pretend to be a student.  I have worked for VIPKid for a year now, and consider them the top company in the genre.  If you have any questions about the company, the position, or the hiring process, feel free to leave me a comment below!

    Pay: $16-26/hour. You have the choice to be paid once a month, bi-weekly, or weekly through direct deposit.

    Apply for VIPKID here.

  2. Qkids

    I have also worked with Qkids as a teacher.  They offer what I think is the best interactive teaching platform in the field.  You teach up to four students in each class that runs 30 minutes long.  Even though it sounds intimidating, it actually is very easy to do and can help the students who may be struggling.  Their platform teaches English in a fun and exciting way for the students – through games!  The hours are similar to VIPKID but the company books your classes for you, which allows you to work a full schedule from day one.

    Qkids does have an easier hiring process: They require you to submit a short video of you reading a children’s book, along with your application. Then you have two short demo interviews where you show you can use their platform.  Then you teach real live classes.  You teach up to 5 “trial” classes, that you get paid for whether they hire you or not.  They will give you feedback on what you can improve on after each class.  Then if you pass, you start working!

    They do require you to teach a minimum of 12 classes a week (6 hours).  These are their available time slots:

    Every morning
    6:40 – 7:10 am, EST
    7:20 – 7:50 am, EST
    8:00 – 8:30 am, EST
    8:40 – 9:10 am, EST
    Friday and Saturday nights
    8:40 – 9:10 pm, EST
    9:20 – 9:50 pm, EST
    10:00-10:30 pm, EST
    10:40-11:10 pm, EST
    11:20-11:50 pm, EST

    One of the great things about Qkids is that they don’t require feedback after each lesson.  And with no prep time or reward system that you need to create; once you are done teaching for the day, you are done!  If you are interested in Qkids and have any questions about the hiring process or the job, feel free to leave me a comment below!

    Pay: $16-20/hour. They pay once a month by direct deposit.

    Apply for Qkids here.

     

Becoming an online English teacher is one of the best remote job opportunities that I have found throughout my years of research.  Make sure to check out the rest of our resources for online teachers.

 

Related posts that also may be helpful:

Setting Up your Online Classroom

Props for your Online Classroom

Rewards for your Online Classroom

 

Become an online English teacher

 

Teach English Online with Qkids and VIPKid

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