You may have heard about your friends teaching English online and are wondering, “How can I teach English online?” This post shares insight from others who are doing this very job, why they love it, and how you can teach English online, too!
Teaching English Online
Staying home with my children has always been a priority for me.
And while I know that’s not the goal for everyone, there are many mothers who want to stay home. However, in this day and age, it can be very difficult to survive on just one income.
Fortunately, there are more options than ever for stay-at-home mom jobs, which makes the possibility of being a stay-at-home mom more achievable for some. If you are looking for side hustles, there are so many great options.
One of the most popular (and legit) options right now is teaching English online to children across seas.
It typically takes place during the evening or early morning hours, and it tends to pay pretty well.
Because I know that this is an employment option that many people are looking into (mothers, people who need a flexible schedule, and even college students), I thought I should write a post about teaching English online.
I have never done this, but I know a lot of people who have – including my sister, Diana – so this article is based on their responses. I hope that it will help some of you decide if teaching English online is something that would work well for you.
Teaching English Online from Home
How Many Hours Can You Work?
This is one of the benefits of this job that attract so many stay-at-home mothers – it is so flexible! Most of the companies have a set number of minimum hours you can work a week, but you can request time off when needed.
In the survey I conducted, the majority of the respondents worked 6-11 hours a week, so quite part-time. However, there were plenty who worked 12-20 hours a week, and one person who worked more than 20 hours. A lot of it depends on your availability.
What are the Requirements?
This will vary depending on the company. Most of the companies require a bachelor’s degree plus experience with teaching children.
My sister, Diana, works for QKids, which actually doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree – they just ask that you are working toward a degree. She loves working with this company, and she has found it very flexible. She is almost done with her bachelor’s in elementary education, so it has been really helpful for her.
I asked her what is required for equipment, and this is what she said. This may vary depending on the company you work with, but it should be pretty similar:
- Headset with microphone
- Laptop or Desktop Computer
- Computer mouse (not just a trackpad that comes integrated with a laptop)
- Wired Internet Connection – this allows for more reliable connectivity
- Background to go behind you
Beyond equipment, most companies require a bachelor’s degree and some kind of teaching experience with children. This varies from one year to three years. The bachelor’s degree does not have to be in education. Some companies require that you have a US or Canadian accent. You should also have a resume (here are some tips for a resume).
My sister’s company, QKids, is unique in the fact that it actually doesn’t require a degree – just what you are working toward a bachelor’s degree. Because she is currently working toward becoming a teacher, this company has worked really well for her. Her referral code is XGXRWO
What is the earning potential?
With the survey I did, the earning potential ranged anywhere from 10-22 dollars an hour. The majority of the respondents fell within the $18-20 per hour range.
One thing to keep in mind is that most sessions are 30 minutes long, so you may not always get a full hour of work in – especially at the beginning.
How Can I teach English Online
What Type of Person Should Teach English Online?
As with all jobs, teaching English online is not for everyone – and that’s a-okay! There is definitely a personality type that this type of job attracts. Here are a few things to ask yourself when considering if this would be a good option for you:
- Do you enjoy teaching and interacting with children?
- Do you love children?
- Are you upbeat and creative?
- Do you have a flexible schedule?
- Are you okay with working the early mornings of the day? Most of these jobs require working early in the morning or late at night.
- Are you self-motivated? Working from home requires this!
- Are you reliable?
- Are you a former teacher who is staying home but wants to keep up their teaching skills?
Pros of Teaching English Online
So, why would you want to teach English at home? Here are a few pros that people mentioned:
- Flexibility – you can work from home, a hotel, a relative’s home…whatever! You set your own schedule for the most part
- No commute
- Allows you to stay home
- Makes a difference in a child’s life
- The students – most people say that they love interacting with these kids, learning about their culture, and seeing their progress
- Helps you to feel more fulfilled
Cons of Teaching English Online
A good sign about any opportunity is that there are very few cons.
By and large, the biggest “complaint” our survey respondents had about this work from home opportunity is the hours. As I mentioned above, because you are teaching children across seas, the time difference is quite different. In order to teach during their normal waking hours, you have to wake up early or stay up late. This can be a little exhausting, but once you get into a schedule, it becomes very manageable.
One person mentioned communication with management was another issue they had, but there were no other complaints from people like this.
However, after talking with others, another con that came up was that you aren’t guaranteed classes. While most everyone seems to get plenty of work, there is a chance you may not get the hours you want, especially in the beginning.
Additional Tips for Teaching English Online
In my survey, I asked people for any additional insight for people who are wanting to teach English online. Here are some of the thoughts that stood out to me:
- Watch lots of YouTube videos while going through the process to learn the teaching style!
- I genuinely love this job! It’s a great option for me to challenge myself outside of my role as a stay-at-home-mom. I have truly grown to love the kids I teach and have even developed great relationships with their parents. It’s rewarding to work hard and then receive positive feedback from your students and parents.
- With VIPKID it does take time to get bookings unless you’re one of those lucky people. Especially if you only get to teach the older students. It does take time, but so fun when they do start rolling
- I had no idea so much of my heart would end up in China! I enjoy teaching these kids. I also enjoy the new communities I have become a part of online, which was an unexpected benefit. The best is that we’re finally paying off debt instead of accruing it, and it doesn’t interfere with life. I can still help in my children’s classes, attend field trips, and do any other thing during the day. Other than going to bed a little earlier, life carries on exactly the same since I work while my life sleeps.
The Best Online English Teaching Jobs
So if you’ve decided that teaching English online is a good fit for you, you are probably wondering what company to sign up for. There really are a lot!
I decided to highlight just two that have stood out to me amongst the rest, though I will leave the names of a few others in case you want to investigate those as well.
QKids – I have mentioned this one throughout this post because it is the company that my sister works for. She has had nothing but GOOD things to say about it, and she has really loved being able to do this opportunity from home. Here are a few facts about QKids:
- Must be working toward (or currently have) a bachelor’s degree
- Experience teaching children in some capacity
- Earning potential is $16-20 per hour. Base pay is. $8 per lesson, and you have the opportunity to earn an attendance and performance bonus of $1 per hour more each week. Two lessons equal one hour.
- Children are 5-12 years old
- The hiring process includes an initial screening, two demo interviews, and trial classes. The trial classes pay $8 per lesson.
- Each lesson is 30 minutes and teachers are required to check-in three minutes before the start time.
- Each class will have 1-4 students in it.
- Qkids tries to match you with familiar students, but there will typically be at least one new pupil in each session
- Minimum of six hours a week (my sister said they are flexible with time off)
- Class schedule is set weekly on Sunday
- There are time slots for every day of the week. Most hours start at 6:40 AM MST until 8:40 AM MST, with additional hours during the summer. Friday and Saturday have PM time slots available.
- Payment is on the 15th of the month
- Contract term is flexible
- My sister said she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to leave a comment with your email, and I will get you in contact with her.
- Requires a Bachelor’s Degree
- You can live anywhere that has a stable Internet connection
- 6-month minimum commitment
- The application process includes a resume review, an interview of your skills or a recorded demo, videos to introduce you to VIPKID, a mock class, contract signing, and you are in!
- Classes are one-on-one
- The curriculum is provided, though you need to review it before the class starts
- Your schedule is dependent on students signing up for your class – in the beginning, this can be slow moving – it usually takes about a month to get into a good pace, though there is no guarantee for bookings.
- The earning potential is $14-22 per hour. Base pay is $7 per lesson with the opportunity for bonuses.
- Payment is sent via direct deposit between the 10th and 15th of the month
- Two weeks notice is requested for time off
- Each class is 25 minutes of teaching time
- They recommend being available for at least 15 time slots a week during peak times, which is 6-10 PM Beijing time on weekdays, and 9 AM to 10 PM on the weekends.
- There is no limit on how much you can teach
Other Ways to Make Money from Home:
- The Best Survey Sites (That Pay Real $$)
- How to Get Free Stuff Online: Legitimate and Non-Scammy Tips
- How to Start a Successful Blog
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.