Can you make money teaching English online?
The simple answer is “yes,” but first you have to consider the following four questions:
- How much money do you want to make?
- How qualified are you?
- How many hours are you willing to put in?
- Can you build rapport online?
It’s never been easier to make money teaching English online; this is thanks to the COVID pandemic that has made much of the world’s workforce transition to a home base. If the option to work from home was voluntary before, it’s become a necessity for many now.
In the past, teaching English was also a means to fund exotic travels. Native speakers found posts based on their mother-tongue status. Just knowing how and not why was enough in those days. There is still a need for native speakers without qualifications and jobs can be found for them, but if making money is your aim, you need to be qualified and experienced, or willing to get the experience that will take you up the pay brackets.
Making money by teaching English online is convenient, time saving, and cost-saving. Your initial investment will be making sure you have the necessary tech to do the job. Do you have a strong Internet connection, a quiet space and a decent laptop? Once you are up and running, you might notice that you spend less than when you were going into a physical job.
How much money do you want to make?
Teaching English online can earn you dollars. How many dollars depends on where your online adventures take you and what your CV says about you.
Your starting hourly rate will be under $5 if you are a newbie to the field. You’re earning based on your ability to speak the language, and as you get more experience, your hourly rate will increase. Up to $40 per hour is what you could get to with the right school, qualifications and lots of experience.
What you might find is a $10 -$15 per hour gig when you start out, and if you multiply that by 15 (part-time) or 30 (full-time), you’ve got a pretty decent monthly salary coming in. Those starting on $5 per hour will need to do more hours, which means more experience, to reach their weekly goal.
Be wary of any school that offers less than $5 unless they’re training you “for free.” It’s not free; it’s how they get to pay you as little as possible for as long as possible, but from that you get experience and enough to pay for your fiber and noodles.
Take a moment to assess your situation. What qualifications do you have that will take you from the lower to the higher brackets? This leads us to the next question:
How qualified are you?
A high school certificate is the basic certificate you need. It shows you are literate well done. A bachelor’s degree will automatically make you more qualified. It doesn’t really matter if your degree was in Geology or English. Those with degrees show that they can manage their time, meet deadlines, and have the intelligence to achieve it. A degree in English or Education would, however, take you up a pay bracket. Combine your bachelor’s with a TEFL/CELTA and you would be well qualified to teach English online. With that in mind, here is a little more about TESOL and TEFL exams:
Not all teaching English online jobs are in a virtual classroom context; think of apps, or conversations on social media. Many second language users of English have had lessons since childhood, but what they don’t get is conversational practice, so your job would be to get them using the language. These posts can be found privately on freelancing sites, and you can set your rate.
Professionals need more flexible hours and pay more for individual classes, which could prove lucrative if you have a background in finance or business. Students aiming for entrance to an English-speaking university need to take the IELTS exam. Thus, Business English and exam English (think IELTS) are specialized areas you can get into and as a result of your knowledge and experience, you could command a higher hourly rate.
How many hours are you willing to put in?
If making $250 per week is your aim, and you’re on $10 per hour, then a working week of 25 hours is what you can expect. Many online classes are 50 or 60 minutes, so you’d need to take at least five classes per day to hit your target.
Remember if you’re starting out online with no experience, your hourly rate will match that. Stick with it though, and your rate will increase. It might take a year or two, so aim for jobs that have an hourly rate of $10 and over.
Keep in mind that as you’re teaching online, you can choose schools or students in time zones across the world, so managing your workload means choosing when you want to teach, which often determines the “where.” You might even find yourself traveling and teaching English online, armed with your laptop, and hopefully, a strong Internet connection.
Can you build rapport online?
Teaching English online is different from teaching an individual or group in a classroom context. You need to be camera-confident as well as have the skills and knowledge you need for the job. Building rapport in virtual classrooms can help you to make more money teaching English online. How so?
Rapport is that connection you have with your students, which results in a great classroom environment. The teacher creates an atmosphere that helps the students relax and focus on the work at hand. And, if your students like your lessons and like you, they’ll give you positive feedback. The more positive feedback you get, coupled with more experience, will mean more hours or a higher hourly rate.
You can make money teaching English online. How much depends on your work ethic, your Internet provider, and how much effort you’re willing to put in from the comfort of your home office.
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