Teach English Online: 9 Best Companies for Your Side Hustle

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Want to earn money from home while setting your own hours? (Sounds pretty good right?!) Have you considered teaching English online? We’re sharing how much money you can make as well as the best companies with which to start teaching English online. It’s a fun and easy job that requires little experience and pays pretty well.

Teach English Online | Two Wandering Soles

Teaching English in South Korea was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made (besides marrying each other, I suppose!). We were able to experience living in another country, we made lifelong friends, we had lots of opportunities to travel, and we made good money. Really good money

After our year of teaching English overseas came to an end, we decided we wanted to keep teaching. Not only was it a good way to earn money, but it’s fun and rewarding to see a student improving their skills. Teaching English was a job we truly loved, and we weren’t ready to give it up just yet.

And that’s when we stumbled into the world of… you guessed it…

Teaching English Online!

We loved the fact that we could schedule our own hours and earn money from home (Ben even taught classes while we lived in our campervan!). Teaching English online allowed us to earn (good) money on our own terms. And we used those earnings to… TRAVEL (no surprise there!).

In total transparency, the only program on this list we have personally taught with is VIPKID. And we wholeheartedly recommend them to *most* people looking to teach English online.

Here’s why: VIPKID has some of the most competitive hourly rates, they’re flexible, and they’re highly regarded in the online teaching world.

Teach English Online

But there’s a catch… They are very strict on who they will hire. While there are a handful of eligibility requirements you must meet to apply (more on that below), the factor that eliminates many people is you must be from North America.

So what happens if you’re not from the US or Canada? Can you still teach English online?

Absolutely! There are many reputable English education companies out there, so we’ve rounded up the best and broken down all the details for you.

We’re going over everything you need to know like:

  • Eligibility requirements so you can see which programs you can actually apply to.

  • How much money you can make. Some programs have bonus opportunities — heck yes!

  • All the nitty gritty details like how many hours are required and what the lessons will entail.

  • How to apply and start earning that money!

We’re excited for you to start your online English teaching journey, and we’re here to walk you through your options. So let’s get started!

Who Can Teach English Online

Although we’ve listed out the specific requirements for each company below, there are some general requirements you should know up front.

Almost all of the recommend companies will require the following to teach English online:

  • Native or near-native English speaker

  • 18+ years of age

  • A bachelor’s degree (not all companies require this, but it’s fairly common)

  • A reliable Internet connection and a computer or smart device with webcam

  • You are energetic, positive and enthusiastic about teaching

With many companies, no previous experience is required, but it helps if you have worked with children, in an educational setting, or have a TEFL certification (Teach English as a Foreign Language). This will give you a better understanding of teaching methods and lesson plans.

Read this article all the way through or skip to the bottom to see how you can get your TEFL certification online (we even have a special discount code for you!).

Psst! Before we get started, if you’re interested in teaching in person instead of online, here’s a list of the best countries to teach English!

How Much Money Can You Make Teaching English Online

The job that inspired us to teach online… This is a snapshot from our year living and teaching English in South Korea (one of the best experiences we’ve had!). If you’re interested in teaching abroad eventually, we’ve got tons of information on that too!

The job that inspired us to teach online… This is a snapshot from our year living and teaching English in South Korea (one of the best experiences we’ve had!). If you’re interested in teaching abroad eventually, we’ve got tons of information on that too!

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent looking for a part-time gig, a digital nomad trying to fund your worldly travels or a nine-to-fiver looking to supplement your income, finding the time to teach English online is a great way to add some extra money to your pockets. 

Just how much money you ask…

That depends in large part on how much time you are willing to dedicate to your students, which company you work for and your previous experience and qualifications as a teacher. 

Most companies pay between $15 – $22 USD per hour. The base hourly rate is usually lower and companies have incentives like picking up classes at the last minute, or converting a trial class into a returning student to bolster your hourly wage. 

Some companies require a minimum commitment of hours per week. And some even pay by the minute, giving you a lot of flexibility in your scheduling. However, these rates are usually considerably lower. 

We’ve broken down the pay structure of each of the companies recommended below so you can get a better idea of expected wages before you apply.  


Best Companies for Teaching English Online

Jump to the specific company to see their stats or just scroll down on the page to see them all!


VIPKid

VIPKid

With more than 40,000 teachers and over 300,000 students, VIPKid is the biggest and most established ESL platform out there. Using a curriculum based on US standards, their online learning program connects students in China to English-speaking teachers around the globe. 

Ben taught English through VIPKid in the past and found it to be a rewarding job and reliable source of income while we were on the road. Find out more about the company and how to get started here.

Requirements for teaching:

  • Native English speakers from North America only

  • Must have a bachelor’s degree (in any subject)

  • One year of teaching experience required or the equivalent in mentoring, tutoring, or alternative education

  • 18 years and older

  • 6-month contract

Equipment Requirements:

  • Reliable Internet

  • Computer, laptop, tablet with a webcam and latest Google Chrome update

  • Headphones with microphone (the iPhone kind work, but headsets are better)

  • Props are recommended (a small whiteboard is best!)

Who you will teach: 

  • Children in China

Age Range: 

  • 5-10 years old

Class Type:

  • One-on-one classes

  • 25-minute classes

  • Interactive teaching platform with pre-designed curriculum 

  • Classes are booked at least 24 hours in advance of their start time*

  • No need to plan lessons ahead of time, no correcting homework

  • No parent interaction

*There is an option to allow classes to be booked within 24 hours up to 1 hour before start time. All courses booked with less than 24 hours will receive an extra $2 bonus.

Minimum Hours:

  • There are no minimum hours required at VIPKid

Pay: 

  • $17 – $22 per hour

  • $7 to $9 USD base pay per class based on your credentials and demo lesson performance

  • Bonus pay per class is calculated based on:

    • the number of classes you have taught with VIPKid in total, and

    • the number of classes you’ve taught during the current month

  • Total pay per hour is from $14 to $22, and up to $26 USD If you teach a class on short notice.

Peak Lesson Times:

  • Peak teaching hours are from 6:00 – 10:00 pm on weekdays and 10:30 am – 10:00 pm. on weekends, Beijing Time. 

Scheduling:

  • You are responsible for scheduling your own classes at VIPKid by adding your open time slots on your calendar.*

  • There is no limit on the number of hours you can teach per week, you are 100% in control of your schedule.

  • You are allowed to cancel up to 6 classes within your 6-month contract without penalty.

  • If you cancel within 24 hours, you will be deducted $2. If you cancel within 2 hours of your class, you will be deducted $10.

*This can lead to longer wait times to get started teaching at VIPKid versus at other companies where they schedule your classes for you. 

Hiring Process:

  • Apply online with basic info

  • Complete a 30-minute one-on-one interview

  • Watch videos to learn about the VIPKid teaching process

  • Perform a 30-minute demo class with a VIPKid instructor

  • Perform a second 30-minute demo class with a VIPKid instructor

  • Upload documents, complete background check and sign contract

Note: The hiring process can take longer at VIPKid than at other, smaller companies.

Who is this position for?

  • People who desire a higher salary (VIPKid is one of the highest in the industry!)

  • People who require lots of flexibility in their schedule (there are no minimum hour requirements and you can schedule your own classes last minute if need be)

  • People who want to work for a well-established company with an adequate support staff

  • Energetic and positive people who want to work one-on-one with children

Things to consider…

  • The hiring process at VIPKid can take longer as it is a bit more in-depth and there are actually 3 separate interviews. 

  • Because there are so many teachers at this large company, it can take up to a few weeks to get your first class scheduled, but once you’re in, it’s pretty easy to keep filling your time slots.

Looking for other ways to make money online? Check out our giant list of digital nomad jobs that let you earn money while on the road (or from the comfort of your own home!). This list is packed full of ideas and advice from female nomads who are experts in their fields.

Qkids

Best Companies to Teach English Online | QKids

 

Qkids is a leader in cross-cultural E-learning with an interactive online platform that connects young students in China to English speaking teachers in the US and Canada. Classes are taught using a patented game-based learning platform to over 100,000 enrolled students. 

Requirements for teaching:

  • Must be legally eligible to work in the US or Canada

  • Must live in the US or Canada while under contract

  • Must have a bachelor’s degree (in any subject)

  • Teaching license or English teaching certificate (TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, ESL) required before lessons assigned*

  • 6-month contract

*Candidates without a certificate can qualify for a fast track TESOL voucher to be completed before signing the contract

Equipment Requirements:

  • Reliable Internet (cable connection prefered)

    • Minimum upload speed: 2Mbps. Minimum download speed: 4Mbps.

  • Computer, laptop, tablet with a webcam

  • Headset with microphone

Who you will teach: 

  • Children in China

Age Range: 

  • 4-12 years old

Class Type:

  • small group classes (one teacher to up to 4 students)

  • 30-minute classes

  • Classes are booked at least 24 hours in advance of their start time

  • No need to plan lessons ahead of time, no correcting homework

  • No parent interaction

  • Animated lessons planned for you, no need to use props, easy to memorize so little prep time necessary.

Minimum Hours:

  • Must work a minimum of 6 hours (12 lessons) per week 

Pay: 

  • $16 – $20 per hour

  • $8 base pay for full lessons; $4 base pay for standby lessons (approximately 10 minutes with no teaching required)

  • Eligibility for $1 Performance Fee for each lesson based on family review

  • Eligibility for $1 Attendance Bonus for each lesson once a minimum of 15 lessons are taught in a week 

Lesson Times:

  • 7 days a week from 6:30 – 9:00 AM EST; Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 – 11:40 PM EST

  • 24-hour class cancelation policy

Scheduling:

  • Qkids schedules your classes for you 

  • No penalty for taking vacation or sick time off

Hiring Process:

  • Apply with all required materials including 1~2 minute introduction video

  • Initial screening

  • Demo Interview 1

  • Demo Interview 2

  • Trial Classes & Background Check

  • Signed Contract

Who is this position for?

  • People with a homebase in the US or Canada (Qkids doesn’t allow you to work outside of your home country)

  • Energetic and positive people who want to work with children in group-based classes

  • People who work well on a set schedule

  • People who want to work for a smaller company with responsive, helpful and friendly staff

Things to consider…

  • Qkids requires a minimum commitment of 6 hours per week

  • Their rating system, which determines your pay, is a bit flawed and can be very subjective according to reviews

  • The downside of having the company control your schedule is there are high and low times and some weeks you’ll have a full schedule while other weeks you may only have a few classes. 

  • Qkids requires a 6-month contract.

SayABC

Best Companies to Teach English Online | SayABC

 

SayABC is an online English learning platform backed by investors in China and partnered with well-known educational providers such as National Geographic. With over 5000 students in China and over 1000 English-speaking teachers from around the world, SayABS uses an interactive teaching platform for small group online classes. 

Requirements for teaching:

  • Native English speaker from US, Canada, UK, Australia, Ireland or New Zealand

  • A bachelor’s degree or be in your last year of study for a bachelor’s degree

  • Minimum of 1 year’s teaching experience

  • Requires a minimum 3-month contract

Equipment Requirements:

  • A wired connection for reliable high-speed Internet (SayABC does not allow Wifi for teaching)

    • 20Mbps download, 4Mbps upload and above

  • A desktop or laptop with webcam and the latest Chrome browser (the teaching platform does not work with mobile devices or tablets)

  • Headset with microphone

Who you will teach: 

  • Children in China

Age Range: 

  • 5-12 years old

Class Type:

  • small group classes (one teacher to 4 students)

  • 40-minute classes

  • interactive teaching platform

  • Classes are booked at least 24 hours in advance of their start time

  • No need to plan lessons ahead of time, no correcting homework

  • No parent interaction

  • Teachers have the option to teach a “home room” class with the same students twice a week at the same time for 3 months

Minimum Hours:

  • There are no minimum hours at SayABC

Pay: 

  • Up to $21 USD (£16 / €18 / $28 CAN / $29 AUD / $31 NZD) per hour

  • You can make $8 USD for converting trial students 

  • You can make $7 USD extra for teaching a class with less than 24 hours notice. 

  • You can make $7 USD extra per class for the rest of a unit if you take over for another teacher in the middle of the unit.

  • Teachers are eligible for raises at the point of contract renewal.

Lesson Times:

  • Peak hours are 6:50 pm, 7:40 pm, and 10:30 pm Beijing time.

Scheduling:

  • Schedule of classes are assigned by SayABC based on your availability

  • No penalty for taking a sick day, the company will provide a substitute for your classes

  • You can take time off during your contract by notifying the company two weeks in advance

Hiring Process:

  • Apply online with relevant personal information

  • Complete a 40-minute interview (including a 15-min demo class)

  • Sign the contract

  • Complete an orientation meeting and an evaluation class

Who is this position for?

  • People from the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand (Say ABC does not require their teachers to be from the US or Canada)

  • College students in the final year of their degree 

  • People who want to develop relationships with children they teach and watch them grow (you have the option to teach the same students at the same time every week)

  • People who prefer a more laid-back teaching approach that doesn’t include constantly having to market yourself as a teacher

  • People who are looking for a quick hiring process

Things to consider…

  • Reviews suggest complaints about low bookings may be due to the fact that SayABC has too many teachers and not enough students, especially during the low season

  • While there are no minimum hours required, if you do choose to teach a “home room” class, you will be required to teach that group at the same time for a few weeks in a row.

  • SayABC requires a 3-month contract.

DaDa

Best Companies to Teach English Online | DaDa

 

DaDa (formerly known as DaDaABC) is one of the leading online English education platforms in China. DaDa is partnered with world-class education companies like Pearson Education, McGraw-Hill Education, Oxford University Press, National Geographic Learning, and Highlights to create an internationally recognized curriculum. 

Requirements for teaching:

  • Native-English speaking applicants only (from any nationality!)

  • Must have a bachelor’s degree (in any subject)

  • A teaching certificate (TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, state or provincial teaching license)

  • 6 or 12-month contract

Equipment Requirements:

  • Stable internet connection (cable connection preferred)

    • Minimum 10Mbps download speed

  • A computer with webcam (HD webcam preferred) 

    • Google Chrome browser or DaDaClass software

  • Headset with microphone

  • A physical background and props are required 

Who you will teach: 

  • Children in China

Age Range: 

  • Ages 4-16

Class Type:

  • One-on-one classes

  • You will be teaching the same students weekly

  • 30-minute classes* and 15-minute trial classes

  • Authorized teaching material and curriculum designed by world-class publishers

  • No need to plan lessons ahead of time, no correcting homework

  • No parent interaction

  • Dada requires you to make your background look like a classroom and use props to assist with your lessons.

*Some major classes may take up to 60 minutes.

Minimum Hours:

  • Dada requires teachers to work at least 4 hours/week

  • The maximum hours teachers can work at DaDa is 20 hours/week

Pay:  

  • $15 – $25 per hour*

  • Hourly wage is determined by your qualifications, demo class and training

  • You can make $7 USD bonus for converting a trial student 

  • You will receive $15 USD / month for props

  • DaDa typically offers 10% raises to qualifying teachers when contracts are renewed

*DaDa pays in Chinese currency, meaning the exchange rate will play a factor. Reviews suggest a more likely pay range to be about $15-$19/hour.

Lesson Times:

  • Peak hours are 6:00 – 9:00 pm on weekdays, and 9:00 am – 9:00 pm on weekends, Beijing time.

Scheduling:

  • DaDa schedules your lessons and guarantees bookings

  • You have a set weekly schedule, teaching the same kids at the same times each week.

  • Teachers are allowed 2 days off per month and must request this 20 days in advance.

  • Teachers can apply for short-term leave 24-hours in advance of their class time.

Hiring Process:

  • Apply online with the necessary personal information

  • Complete an online interview with network and device checks

  • Test out after completing the training

  • Contract offer

  • Complete probationary classes

  • Get officially hired, contract signed

Who is this position for?

  • People who want guaranteed class bookings every week on a set schedule

  • People who want to build stronger rapport and relationships with the children they teach and watch them progress (you will be teaching the same students recurring)

  • People who prefer a more laid-back teaching approach that doesn’t include constantly having to market yourself as a teacher

Things to consider…

  • DaDa gives you a set weekly schedule with no flexibility and requires a minimum of 4 hours per week.

  • If you take more than the allowed 2 contracted days off per month, DaDa can deduct 10% of your monthly pay. 

  • DaDa pays in Chinese currency which means you are at the mercy of the exchange rate. 

  • DaDa requires a 6 or 12-month contract.

GoGoKid

Best Companies to Teach English Online | GoGoKid

 

Relatively new to the scene, GoGoKid is an online English education platform that was developed in 2018 and is being funded by Chinese tech giant Bytedance. After substantial advertising for this massive company, they now have a significant student base and are hiring lots of new teachers. 

Requirements for teaching:

  • North Americans only – must be eligible to work in the US or Canada

  • Must have a bachelor’s degree (in any subject)

  • English teaching certificate

  • 6-month contract

Equipment Requirements:

  • Stable internet connection (cable connection preferred)

    • Minimum 20Mbps download speed required

  • A laptop or desktop computer with an internal or external HD webcam

    • Google Chrome browser

    • Operating System:

      • Mac OS 10.8x or higher

      • Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or higher

    • CPU

      • Intel Core i3 and above

    • Memory

      • At least 4GB of RAM

  • Headset with microphone

Who you will teach: 

  • Children in China

Age Range: 

  • Children (age range not specified)

Class Type:

  • One-on-one classes

  • 25-minute classes

  • Interactive teaching platform with pre-designed curriculum 

  • No lesson planning, however GoGoKid strongly recommends the use of props to assist with your lessons.

  • A feedback form will need to be written up within 12 hours to provide feedback to the parents.

Minimum Hours:

  • GoGoKid has no minimum hour requirement

Pay: 

  • $14 – $25 per hour

  • Base pay is $7 – $10 USD for a 25-minute class, based on your qualifications

  • Teachers are eligible to make up to $25/hour based on their “credit score” which takes into account the following:

    • The amount of 5-star reviews you receive from parents

    • The amount of classes you teach

  • Teachers can make an additional $5 USD for every student that signs up after taking one of your trial classes.

Lesson Times:

  • Peak hours are 7:00 – 9:00 pm on weekdays, and 9:00 am – 9:00 pm on weekends, Beijing time.

Scheduling:

  • Teachers are responsible for scheduling their own classes by inputting their availability into the online scheduler.

  • There is no limit on the number of hours you can teach per week, you are 100% in control of your schedule

  • To take time off, you need to send an email to the support staff at GoGoKid. You may get penalized by a reduction in your “credit score” in their system. 

Hiring Process:

  • Complete an online application

  • Schedule an interview

  • Attend a virtual orientation program including a quiz, live training session with other applicants and a one-on-one mock class training

  • Submit the paperwork

  • Sign your contract

Who is this position for?

  • People who want to teach ESL online from anywhere in the world (there are no location requirements)

  • People who want want to work for a startup backed by a tech giant with a lot of potential

  • People who need flexibility in their work schedule (there is no minimum hour requirement and teachers schedule their own classes)

  • Energetic and positive people who want to work one-on-one with children

Things to consider…

  • Majority of the GoGoKid students are younger (often only 3 or 4 years old)

  • The lessons feature a lot of animated content that requires an up to date computer,  operating system and equipment

Education First (EF)

Best Companies to Teach English Online | EF

 

As the world leader in online education, EF is an international company that specializes in language education, travel and cultural exchange. With over 52,000 employees, teachers and volunteers around the world, and schools and offices in over 100 different countries, EF offers online conversation-based group and private language lessons to adult learners.

Requirements for teaching:

  • Native English speaker from the US or UK only

  • Must have a bachelor’s degree (in any subject)

  • Minimum 40 Hour TEFL certificate or equivalent earned by beginning of contract term

Equipment Requirements:

  • Wired Ethernet connection (Wifi is not compatible) 

  • Laptop or desktop computer with webcam

  • Headset with microphone

Who you will teach: 

  • Children in China

  • Adult students from around the world

Age Range: 

  • Children aged 6-10 years old

  • Adults

Class Type:

  • One-on-one lessons for children

  • Private and group lessons for adults

  • 25-minute classes for children

  • 20 and 40-minute private lessons and 45-minute group lessons for adults

  • Teachers teach the same students each week

  • Teachers are required to give feedback to students throughout the class and to their parents (when teaching children) in post-lesson reporting

  • All coursework, materials, and training needed for your private and group lessons is provided.

Minimum Hours:

  • EF has no minimum hour requirement

Pay: 

  • $12 to $20 USD per hour 

    • Base pay rate dependent on experience and qualifications

    • Surge Hours: Teach at 6-8:30am & 9-10:30pm EST (+$2.80/hr).

    • No Shows: Do not cancel class within 24 hrs of start-time (+$2.00/hr).

    • The “45”: Teach 45 or more ½ hour classes within a month (+$2.00/hr).

  • EF Online Class Milestone Rewards bonus pay

    • Teach 200 classes & earn a $100 bonus

    • Teach 400 classes & earn a $200 bonus

    • Teach 1,000 classes & earn a $500 bonus

    • Teach 2,000 classes & earn a $1,000 bonus

  • For UK teachers paid holiday leave and pension participation is an option

  • EF pays for the training/on-boarding process

Lesson Times:

  • You can schedule around the clock, seven days per week, so there is plenty of flexibility

  • Peak hours are Monday through Friday from 6:00 to 9:00 am EST for teaching children in China

Scheduling:

  • Teachers are responsible for inputting their availability into the online scheduler. Students book their classes in advance.

Hiring Process:

  • Apply online and upload your resume

  • Schedule a phone interview

  • If you are accepted you will be notified within a few days an offer of placement

Who is this position for?

  • People who want to teach ESL online from anywhere in the world (there are no location requirements)

  • People who prefer working with adults (you have the option to teach children or adults)

  • People who want to develop a relationship with repeat students

  • People who like the blended learning approach (students take group lessons at physical locations in China before taking online, one-on-one classes with EF teachers)

  • People with little-to-no teaching experience

  • People who want to work for an established company with 24/7 support from local staff

Things to consider…

  • If you need the flexibility of being able to open your schedule the night before, or even just a few days before, you may have difficulty filling your schedule with this type of booking system.

  • While EF is a well established company, there isn’t a lot of detailed information about their online teaching jobs available online.

Cambly

Best Companies to Teach English Online | Cambly

Different from all of the platforms listed above, Cambly is a digital networking platform in the form of an app that connects students from around the world to native English speaking tutors for structured English lessons, conversational practice, business English and job interview prep, and exam prep.

Important Note: On March 24, 2020 Cambly announced:

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have not onboarded any new tutors. We don’t plan to onboard any new tutors in the near future. Our goal right now is to make sure our existing tutor community’s hours are as stable as possible.”

Requirements for teaching:

  • Must be fluent in English

Equipment Requirements:

  • A mobile phone, tablet or computer with video chat capability

    • Download the Cambly app

  • A stable Internet connection

Who you will teach: 

  • Mostly adult students from all over the world

Age Range: 

  • Adults

  • Kid Program: Cambly reaches out to teachers who they think are a good fit and asks them if they’d like to work for their children’s learning program. (Age not specified)

Class Type:

  • One-on-one video chatting

  • Session times depend on the package the student has purchased: 15-minutes, 30-minutes or 1-hour sessions

  • Sessions are recorded so students can view them again afterwards.

  • Cambly has an in-chat translation feature that allows tutors or students to type in their native language and have it automatically translated if they get stuck.

Minimum Hours:

  • Cambly has no minimum hour requirements.

Pay: 

  • $0.17 USD/minute

  • $10.20 USD/hour

  • Cambly automatically tracks your time spent tutoring

  • You get paid weekly on Mondays via PayPal

Lesson Times:

  • Since Cambly has students and tutors from all over the world, you can login any time and find students looking for tutors.

Scheduling:

  • 24/7 on-demand sessions for both tutors and students

    • Students can log in at any time to find a tutor.

    • Tutors can log in at any time and connect with students.

  • Tutors can set their availability when they log on, so they don’t have to worry about cutting a session short. 

  • There is also an option to approve a student’s request to book your class in advance.

Hiring Process:

  • Apply online by filling out the application with your basic information

  • Upload a 2-minute introduction video (this will go on your tutor profile)

  • Receive approval from Camlby

  • Create your profile and get started 

*According to reviews, it may take a few weeks to get your application approval from Cambly.

Note: One suggestion is to sign up as a tutor using an alias to protect your real identity and avoid having students looking up your personal social media profiles.

Who is this position for?

  • People who want to teach ESL online from anywhere in the world (there are no location requirements)

  • Non-native speakers from any country (the only requirement is that you must be fluent in English)

  • People who prefer working with adults (you have the option to teach children if you are recruited by the company) 

  • On-the-go people who want the freedom to pick up their phone for a few minutes any time of the day or night and make some extra money

  • People with little-to-no teaching experience

  • People without a bachelor’s degree (there are no degree requirements)

Things to consider…

  • The hourly rate is a bit lower than at some of the other companies we recommend

  • There are no lesson plans, so you’ll have to think on your feet and be a good conversationalist

  • You will need to be sensitive to different cultural norms, and be aware of what is acceptable and what not to talk about

  • There is the potential for inappropriate students, especially if you are a female tutor (luckily they have a way to “ban” students from connecting with you again)

italki

Best Companies to Teach English Online | italki

Different from all of the platforms listed above, italki is the world’s largest language education marketplace that connects students from around the world to native language speakers who teach and tutor. Think of this like Upwork or Fiverr but for language teachers. Italki has over 3 million students and over 1000 teachers/tutors. 

Requirements for teaching:

  • Native or near-native speaker (this applies to all languages*)

  • 18 years and older

  • If you wish to become a Professional Teacher: 

    • A bachelor’s degree or higher in Education

    • Professional teaching certification**

    • Scanned documents showing your professional training or experience

  • If you wish to become a Community Tutor:

    • No credentials needed!

*Languages offered at italki include: English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, German, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic

**Since different countries offer different certification for education and languages, italki reviews each application personally to make decisions based on all of the information you provide.

Equipment Requirements:

  • Reliable Internet connection

    • connection speed of at least 2 MB per second

  • Computer, laptop, tablet with a webcam 

  • VOIP software

    • italki currently supports Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime, and QQ

    • Most teachers/tutors use Skype

  • External microphone or headset recommended

Who you will teach: 

  • Students from all over the world

Age Range: 

  • All ages

Class Type:

  • One-on-one classes

  • One-hour classes

  • You are responsible for coming up with lesson plans

  • You are responsible for communicating with your students and managing your teaching profile

Minimum Hours:

  • There are no minimum hours required at italki

Pay: 

  • You set your own lesson prices based on your qualifications and students decide whether or not they want to sign up with you and pay your rate.*

  • italki will take a 15% commission on each lesson you teach.

  • They handle international payments, so you don’t have to worry about getting paid. 

*Based on reviews, it looks like most Professional Teachers charge around $25 USD/hour, and Tutors charge around $12 USD/hour. Although Professional Teachers with a good rapport and following can make around $40 USD/hour.

Peak Lesson Times:

  • Since italki has students and tutors from all over the world, you can set your availability at any time of the day or night.

Scheduling:

  • You are able to add your calendar of availability to the italki platform for students to see. 

  • You are responsible for accepting lesson requests from students. Requests will expire if you do not respond within 48 hours.

  • When a student requests a session with you, italki will provide you and your student with the contact details so that you can add each other on your chosen communication platform. No need to give out your personal account information. 

Hiring Process:

  • Submit an application online

  • Applicants will be notified via email within 10 business days if they are Pre-approved, waitlisted, or rejected

  • Complete Teacher Success videos and quiz

  • Complete a video call with italki Teacher Services

  • Once all steps are completed, an application will be approved within 7 business days of your pre-approval email 

Who is this position for?

  • People who want to teach ESL online from anywhere in the world (there are no location requirements)

  • People who desire a higher salary (italki is one of the highest in the industry!)

  • People who require lots of flexibility in their schedule (there are no minimum hour requirements and you can schedule your own classes last minute if need be)

  • People who want to work for a well-established company with an adequate support staff

  • Energetic and positive people who want to work one-on-one with children

Things to consider…

  • The hiring process at italki can take longer as it is a bit more in-depth and there are actually 3 separate interviews. 

  • Because there are so many teachers at this large company, it can take up to a few weeks to get your first class scheduled, but once you’re in, it’s pretty easy to keep filling your time slots. 

  • italki requires a 6-month contract.

Who is this position for?

  • People who want to teach any l anguage online from anywhere in the world (they offer many different language lessons)

  • Professionally certified language teachers who want to make some money on the side (you can set your pay based on your qualifications)

  • People who like marketing themselves and want to build their brand and client list

  • Teachers who are comfortable coming up with their own lesson plans and catering to each individual student

Things to consider…

  • The marketplace can be a good or bad thing depending on how well you’ve priced your services. 

  • There are no lesson plans, so you’ll have to prepare for each class ahead of time.

  • Italki takes a 15% commission on your lessons, so factor that into your rates.

PalFish

Best Companies to Teach English Online | PalFish

 

Similar to Cambly, PalFish is also an app that connects English speakers from around the world to students in China who want to learn and practice their English. PalFish has three separate programs: Free Talk / Live Streams, Official Kids Course, and the Philippines Course. Each program has different guidelines and requirements listed below.  

Requirements for teaching:

Free Talk / Live Streams:

  • Must be fluent in English

Official Kids Course:

  • Native English speakers from US, Canada, UK, Australia or  Ireland

  • A teaching certificate (TESOL, TEFL, state or provincial teaching license, etc.)

Philippines Course:

  • Must be fluent in English

  • Must be from the Philippines

  • A teaching certificate (TESOL, TEFL, state or provincial teaching license, etc.)

Equipment Requirements:

  • Reliable Internet connection

  • A mobile phone or tablet with Android or iOS

    • Download the PalFish app

  • PalFish recommends the Payoneer app to get paid

  • Blue t-shirt and classroom background*

*According to official PalFish guidelines, teachers for the Official Kids Course and Philippines Course are required to wear a blue t-shirt when teaching and set up their background to look like a classroom. However, reviews would suggest they are not too strict on this requirement.

Who you will teach: 

  • Students in China

Age Range: 

  • For the Free Talk / Live Streams program, there is no specific age range

  • For the Official Kids Course and Philippines Course programs, students are 3-12 years old

Class Type:

Free Talk / Live Streams:

  • One-on-one and group classes*

  • No time commitment or restraints

  • Plan your own free form lessons

*There is an option to teach multiple students in a live stream free form class.

Official Kids Course:

  • One-on-one classes

  • 25-minute classes

  • Teaching with PalFish official course material, no lesson planning involved

  • PalFish’s interactive platform allows students and teachers to click drag and draw on the screen

  • Props are not required, but are recommended to keep students engaged

Philippines Course:

  • Same as Kids Course, but for teachers from the Philippines

Minimum Hours:

  • For the Free Talk / Live Streams program, there is no minimum hour requirement

  • For the Official Kids Course and Philippines Course programs, you must work a minimum of 3.5 hours per week 

Pay: 

Free Talk / Live Streams:

  • Set your own pay rate per minute

  • PalFish takes a 20% commission on your total income

Official Kids Course & Philippines Course:

  • Up to $30 USD per hour

  • Base pay for one class is 50 ¥ + a 5¥ bonus for entering the class on time (depending on the exchange rate this is about $8 USD)

  • For each lesson you teach, you also earn points. Earning points allows you to level up to a higher pay rate per lesson in the following month.

  • You can also earn an additional 40 points for every trial student you convert

Lesson Times:

Free Talk / Live Streams:

  • Approximately 6:00 am to midnight, Beijing time

Official Kids Course & Philippines Course:

  • From 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm on weekdays, and from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm on weekends, Beijing time

Scheduling:

  • You can select your own availability and open up time slots on the app for students to book classes with you.* 

*When you go through the PalFish application process, it will ask you what times you are generally available for.  Once you are successfully hired, the application will automatically open these time slots for you.Please be aware of this when selecting your availability.

Hiring Process:

Free Talk / Live Streams:

  • Download the app and set up an account on the recommended Pay oneer app

  • Create an avatar & profile

  • Record your self-introduction clip

  • Go to “My Wallet” and fill in your payment information 

  • You will receive an in-app message from the PalFish Team verifying your profile*

*The verification process can take up to two business days. 

Official Kids Course & Philippines Course:

  • Download the app and set up an account on the recommended Payoneer app

  • Create an avatar & profile

  • Upload your teaching certification

  • Record your self-introduction clip

  • Receive in-app message from the PalFish team verifying your profile

  • Apply for the Official Kids Course (link on the homepage of your PalFish account)

  • Complete your demo lesson (unlike other programs this is taught to an “empty” classroom and recorded)

  • Complete the Quiz – You will be notified within 2 days via in-app message if you’ve passed the demo interview and given the teaching handbook & guidelines. You will have just 2 days to complete and pass the quiz after you’ve been approved. 

  • PalFish with verify your teaching certificate and you will be approved to start teaching!

*While it may seem like a lot of steps, PalFish currently has the fastest application and approval process in the industry!

Who is this position for?

  • Non-native English speakers

  • Energetic and positive people who want to work with children in a structured online learning environment

  • People who want the freedom to choose their own schedule (with the “Start Tutoring” feature on the app you have the flexibility to teach any time, anywhere, and class length is flexible)

  • People who are confident in marketing themselves as a teacher (the live streaming feature is great for building a following)

  • If you are committed to spending the time, building relationships and promoting yourself, you can make pretty good money on PalFish 

Things to consider…

  • The Official Kids Course requires a minimum commitment of 3.5 hours per week.

  • Classes are not guaranteed, so you will need to create a kick-a** profile and intro video. You can only teach from a mobile device, the app does not work on a desktop or laptop computer.

How to Get Your TEFL Certification Online

Teaching English in South Korea | TEFL certification

First things first, what is a TEFL certification?

TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language

This certification means you are qualified to teach English to students who are not native English speakers. In order to get this certificate, you will take a course that will walk you through how to teach English to someone with a different native language. You do not need to have any prior teaching experience. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to learn.

This certification is actually quite simple to get, and there is more than one option for getting TEFL certified. We are going to walk you through how to get your TEFL certification online, in the case that the company you choose requires it. 

Taking an online TEFL course is convenient for those who are planning to teach english online as a side hustle or aren’t planning to move abroad and teach in another country.

We went this route, and got our certification while working full-time jobs and planning for our wedding. 

While we both learn better in person, we found the modules of our TEFL course to be quite informative and it worked really well with our schedule. 

Pros

  • Online TEFL courses are super flexible, so you can take them while working or going to school full time.

  • These courses are significantly cheaper than the in-person training.

  • Most TEFL students complete the certification within 4-6 weeks (120 hours of learning required).

Cons

  • Online learning isn’t for everyone, and it can be a bit tricky to understand some of the concepts without seeing it in person.

Which online TEFL Certification company should you choose?

It can be tricky finding the right TEFL Certification course. We like to tell people about International Open Academy’s TEFL Certification because they’re a verified and accredited online TEFL certification course that you can complete at your own pace on your own time.

The best part is, the International Open Academy TEFL course is usually over $100, but we have a special discount for our readers that brings the course down to just $20, so it’s incredibly affordable! Probably one of the best deals you’ll find out there.

Personal TEFL Note: We spent several hundred dollars on our TEFL certifications before moving to South Korea to teach English. We assumed that the more money it cost, the more reputable our certification… right?! Wrong.

Several of our friends who we met in Korea had gotten accepted to the same (competitive) program with very inexpensive TEFL certifications. So it seems we paid way more for essentially the same thing. Womp womp. At least you can learn from our mistake and won’t waste unnecessary money on your certification!


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Teach English Online | Two Wandering Soles
Teach English Online | Two Wandering Soles

We want to hear from you!

Are you interested in teaching English online and still have questions? Comment below and we’ll do our best to find your the answers you’re looking for!

Comments (12) on “Teach English Online: 9 Best Companies for Your Side Hustle

  1. Rosie Mansfield says:

    Hello! I must say it’s a very informative post on teaching English online. Thank you so much for mentioning the company names that teach English online. With the help of these company names, the required individuals can get a lot of help and can apply for a job too.

    Looking forward to more such posts!

  2. Isitri saha says:

    You seem to know a lot about this, as if you have written a book on the topic. You might be able to improve the blog post more with some visuals, but it is still an amazing read. I will probably visit your blog again in the future.

  3. Mindy says:

    Hi!
    I clicked the link for the TELF certificate discount but it still says it’s $119. How can I get the discount?
    Thank you!

      • Mario says:

        Doesn’t work for me also.. in the last step of the purchase is still written the full price.. is there a discount code or anything 🤔 I’d like to take this course!

  4. kate@teachenglishonline.com.au says:

    Hi guys, a fabulous post about teaching English online. I just wanted to let you know that SayABC has sadly closed down now. Otherwise, great info. Kate @ teachenglishonline.com.au

  5. cynthiaakane@gmail.com says:

    My iPad says it’s not a secure site when I use the link for the $20 TEFL class. I can go to the site independently but I need the code for the discount!
    Thank you!

  6. vatp.links@gmail.com says:

    I believe in the 80/20 rule. you know, where 80% of all reward comes from 20% of the effort? Well, I believe your blog is that 20%. I’ve added you to the list of sites that I frequent. Thank you for the in depth and detailed blog post about online tutorial Philippines. Not many people are willing to do that anymore. https://www.virtualassistancetutorialprogram.com

  7. pdoyne@hotmail.com says:

    DaDa is the worst now. They have downgraded pay twice over the three years I have been with them and they change the rules when they want to so I wouldn’t list their price range so high. Mine has gone down by almost $10 per hour so they can make more money. With this in mind, I resigned. Word to the wise.

  8. ikifedi@gmail.com says:

    Great article! Very helpful – thank you!

    (However, you accidentally mention VIPKid again until “who is this for” and “things to consider” for iTalki – just a heads up!)

    THanks again!

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