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How You Can Teach English Online And Make a Great Salary

Teaching English online has become one of the most in-demand online jobs around today. And the industry just keeps growing. But how much can you make teaching English online? Spoiler alert…More than you think!

Online English teaching jobs pay more than minimum wage, with less “after hours” work. And, if you choose to relocate to a more affordable country, you could make your dollars stretch even further.

Let’s talk about it!

Can You Teach Online Without a Degree?

You might want to be a teacher, but you have no degree… Is teaching still possible? Can you teach online without a degree?

You often times can, but it depends on the company you work for. Also, note that you will most likely earn less than someone with a degree would. However, it is possible to teach online with no degree.

Related: 16 Jobs That Pay $70k a Year Without a Degree

What Are The Best Countries to Teach English?

When you start to ask the question, “How much money can you make teaching English online?”, you may also start to wonder about relocating to teach English. Would it be a good idea to move to a country that values people that can teach English?

How much can you make teaching English online? A lot!!The answer…

Locations like…

  • Vietnam,
  • Costa Rica,
  • Georgia,
  • Thailand,
  • and Mexico have massive teaching communities.

And, because their cost of living is smaller than in the United States, teachers can afford to live better.

For example, your teaching salary in a lower cost of living country could allow you to save up towards bigger goals like traveling, buying a house, or investing towards passive income. 

Can I Teach English Full-time or Part-time? 

Teaching English online can easily be your full-time job. But it can also be a way for you to fill up your schedule and make some extra money. So, whether you are looking for a side-hustle or a new career, your options are endless!

Related: Best Side Hustles in 2021 (The Year of Online Side Hustles!)

What Are The Hours of Teaching English Online?

Sooo…when do you actually have to teach? In other words, what are the hours of teaching English online?

One of the important factors that come into play is which time zone you are located in. If you teach students in Asia but live in the US, you might not be able to work as many hours. You’d have to get up early in the morning (think 2 am!) to teach.

However, If you can live in a favorable time zone you can easily have a full schedule and make a comfortable living.

Should You Teach ESL to Kids or Adults?

Teaching children or adults also makes a big difference in your level of income. Companies teaching children often pay slightly more than those aimed at adults.

The hours also differ as kids only study after school and on weekends. But adults can study later into the evening or during the day.

side hustles for teachersHow Much Can You Make Teaching English Online?

Here’s what everyone really wants to know. How much can be made teaching English online? Can you make enough for it to be your full-time job?

Here’s the nuts and bolts about teaching English online.

Teaching English online can earn you anywhere between $10-$40 per hour. But don’t get discouraged if you get offered a lower rate in the beginning. You can quickly move up in the ranks and get pay raises as your experience increases. 

Your level of education also impacts the offers you get.

Teachers with higher qualifications or specific teaching degrees will earn more money. But don’t fret, there are plenty of jobs for first-time teachers. These will also give you a chance to hone your skills and earn more money down the line.

Getting certified to teach English online

The most important part of teaching online is having a reputable TEFL certificate.

If you are able to show your skill and dedication with a certificate from an industry leader like that, you can expect higher rates too. TEFL companies also frequently post jobs and are able to help connect you to many different online jobs. 

Related: How to Find High Paying Side Hustles: Work Less and Earn More!

How You Make Money Teaching Online

Teaching online…it still may be a mystery to you for how it all actually works. 

Wondering how you make money teaching online? Here’s the summary of the process.

Many companies offer bonuses that can be a nice buffer on your salary. Likeshuo allows students to tip teachers if they enjoyed the lesson while VIPkid offers bonuses if you are booked on short notice. These bonuses might look like only a dollar two at a time but come payday, they can quickly add a nice sum to your paycheck. 

Here’s what your payments could look like:

Let’s assume you are paid a base rate of $16/hour, the average pay for a qualified ESL teacher with a TEFL certificate.

On top of that, you can receive an incentive for attending all your classes. This could be an extra $2/hour if you successfully complete a week.

You could also make another $2 per hour on top of that if you receive good feedback from parents or students. Most teachers work an average of 25 hours per week to maintain a good work/life balance.  

side hustle ideas - tutoringLet’s add that all up!

  • Class payment: $16 x 25 hours = $400
  • Attendance incentive: $2 x 25 hours = $50
  • Feedback bonus: $2 x 25 hours = $50 

Total: $20 USD x 25 hours = $500/week or $2,000 per month

This is just a rough estimate. But for part-time work, this gives you a pretty good indication that you can make good money!

Which ESL Companies Pay the Best? 

Let’s take a look at what you can make from some of the most popular online English teaching companies.


This is one of the most diverse companies out there. Students are from all over the world and fall into many different age groups. Teachers can earn between $18-$20 an hour. 

You can earn referral bonuses, teaching incentives, and increases in your base rate. They have a minimum requirement of 10 hours per week and classes happen 24/7 so you have plenty of opportunities to make money.


Preply connects students and tutors across a wide range of subjects. Salaries can range from $10 an hour to as high as $50 for advanced subjects. However, the average rate is around $18.30 per hour.

They estimate that tutors working between 40-50 hours per week can make $1,400 per week. But, you can work less and earn around $120 per week for 10 hours or less. 


Cambly is unique in the sense that it does not use a curriculum, but is more of a speaking practice platform. Students log on through the app and have conversations with the tutors to sharpen their English skills. This platform requires the least amount of experience and pays $0.17 per minute. 


This Korean company employs only teachers from the US who will teach via video in schools or provide training to business professionals. Their pay averages around $14 per hour.

You will need a Bachelor’s degree or 4 years of teaching experience to qualify. 

You Can Make A Decent Income Teaching English Online

How much money can you make teaching English online?

The more you work, the more you could earn. If you’re willing to work it like a full-time job, you could earn $65,000 or more in a year. Or, you can dial it back and work part-time for roughly $10,000 a year. It’s really up to you!

Whether you’re looking to make some extra money or start a full-time job as a teacher, the choices are endless. There are many job opportunities online for new and experienced teachers, so you’re bound to find something that suits your needs. 

What about you? Do you think you’ll teach English as a second language?


AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard

Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.

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