Top 9 Companies to Teach English Online in 2019: Earn up to $120/Hour

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Teaching English online has been a popular option for earning side income these years. The need of online English tutors have been increasing in recent decades. Don't miss the opportunity to earn a favorable income by giving out online English lessons starting today!
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Are you overwhelmed by the number of online tutoring companies currently in the market? How do I know which one is the best to teach on? In the following article, we will introduce 9 BEST online teaching platforms which allows you to teach English or ESL online. Complete with expected pay rates and pros/cons analysis. You can also head down to the FAQ section if you don’t have time for the whole article.

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Why Online English Teaching Jobs?

There are a lot of benefits for teaching English online or getting an ESL teaching job. The most obvious one is that you can earn a pretty decent rate by providing virtual English lessons to students around the world. Basically, all you need is a laptop and you can work any time, everywhere with an Internet access. You can also enjoy a better work-life balance as you can have full control of your teaching schedule. More importantly, the market demand is growing rapidly so there will always be a place for you.

However, to become an English tutor, you need to take time to prepare for classes. Different students have different needs and areas that need improvements. It’s impossible for you to adopt a standard teaching method to all of your students. Therefore, it is important for you to know what student lacks and personalize different teaching materials for them. This part totally depends on the teacher’s preference. But generally tutor who can customize lessons usually earn a much higher rate than those who don’t.

 

What are the Requirements to Teach ESL Online ?

First, you need to be a proven advanced or native English user. You should be able to showcase your English working proficiency before applying as an online English teacher.

Generally, you only need a computer, a microphone and a camera to deliver online English lessons. A basic laptop usually comes equipped with these requirements. You may also need to download a video conferencing software, such as Skype or Zoom in order to give lessons virtually. More importantly, in order to ensure a smooth delivery, you should also have a stable and fast Internet access.

Some websites may require you to have certain certificates or qualifications in order to teach English on their platforms. Below is a list of qualifications that are often required:

  • TOEIC
  • TOEFL
  • TEFL
  • IELTS
  • CELTA
  • TESOL
  • Degree in English Language or Education
  • Proven relevant teaching experiences

How much can I earn from online English Teaching?

The tutoring rate depends on the website you are using, your reputation and the current supply/demand. In general, for renowned English education institutions or specialized learning platforms (for Chinese students/children/kids), the pay rate is around $12/hour. As for the other online private tutoring companies, teachers can set their own price and charge at a higher rate than these institutions. According to our study, private teachers can charge a $18/hour rate on average.

The reason why more well-known organizations offer a relatively lower rate is because they provide internal teaching resources and materials for teachers. So you can save time from developing your own sets of teaching materials.

As for companies that let you set your own rates, please note that if you price yourself out of the market, you may not get any students. So make sure that you are charging a reasonable amount on your lessons. If you wish to charge a higher price, you need to prove that your lessons are worth the price. 

 

9 Best Online English Tutoring Companies

 

1. EF English First

Founded in 1965, EF English First is a world leader in English education. They have  580 schools and offices in over 120 cities across the world. With its abundant resources and professional training, it has been a popular English learning center in China.

Pay Rate: Earn up to $19/hour (average pay rate: $12/hr)

PROS

  • Save time from making lesson materials: you are able to use EF official materials to teach
  • US teachers will be given $30 payment for the training session
  • Receive intensive training and continual professional development sessions
  • 24/7 teacher support
  • Relatively short sessions for each class: 25-minute for kids and 20/40/45-minute for adults
  • Free to use scheduling system to adjust availability
  • Teach the same students at fixed time
  • No commission is charged
  • UK teachers: 12-month renewable contract, EF will be responsible for taxes, NI, and pension contributions

CONS

  • Only allows teachers who are from US or UK and are authorized to work in the US or UK
  • MUST have a TEFL certification
  • Need to be available during lesson times for the China time zone: weekday afternoon/evenings and weekends
  • US teachers: independent contractors (no benefits from taxes)

2. AmazingTalker

 

AmazingTalker is an international online learning platform founded in 2016. There are more 76,000+ active students and 1,000+ teachers from different countries. The company allows tutors to provide tutorials in 50+ languages, with English being the most in-demand. Students are free to search for their teachers with their specific requirements or lesson types (TOEIC/TOEFL/IELTS/Business English…).

Pay Rate: Earn up to $120/hour (i.e. $100/lesson); average rate $21.96/hour (i.e. $18.3/lesson)

*Each lesson is 50 minutes, students can request a 25-minute trial lesson before purchasing lessons

PROS

  • The rate is set totally by yourself *Currently, the highest paid tutor charge USD$100+/50 mins
  • You can provide tutorials other than English
  • Students schedule lessons with your available time slots
  • No contract, you are free to join and quit anytime you want
  • Comprehensive tutor training and mentoring programs
  • 3 ways to receive payments: PayPal, TransferWise & Payoneer
  • Regressive commission model – relatively low commission rate: from 0% to 15% *The more you classes you taught, the less you are charged
  • You can message and communicate with students before class

CONS

  • AI ranking system is slightly disadvantageous to new teachers
  • Strict tutor selection process: you need to have relevant experiences/certificates and pass the interview before becoming a teacher
  • Require a video self-introduction
  • Create a lesson plan by yourself

>> Learn more about AmazingTalker

3. Preply

Preply is an online private tutoring company with 100,000+ active students every year. Students can freely find tutors based on their budgets and teachers can also find their students by applying to jobs from the job opening board. There are currently 2,600+ English tutors in the platform.

Pay Rate: Earn up to $60/hour; average rate: no data

PROS

  • Students can find you from the tutor lists or you can actively find your students from a list of opening jobs
  • Full access to Preply or prepare own teaching materials
  • 24/7 customer support
  • You can provide tutorials other than English
  • No contract, you are free to join and quit
  • Students schedule lessons with your available time slots
  • 3 ways to receive payments: Payoneer, PayPal, Skrill
  • You can communicate with students before class
  • Free to set your own rate

CONS

  • Relatively high commission fee: Charge 100% on the first lesson and charge 18% to 33% of the hourly price for subsequent lessons depending on the total lesson hours
  • Limitations to make offer for available jobs (profile completeness & average no. of hours spent with student)
  • Require a video self-introduction

4. italki

 

italki is na online language learning platform with 5 million students and 10,000+ teachers teaching more than 130 languages. There are currently 500+ English teachers in the platform. Students can choose teachers based on their budget or requirement from the tutor list.

Pay Rate: Earn up to $80/hour; average rate: $25/hour for professional teachers & $12/hour for community teachers

PROS

  • You can provide tutorials other than English
  • Students schedule lessons with your available time slots
  • 4 ways to receive payments: PayPal, Payoneer, Skrill and Alipay
  • You are free to offer instant tutoring when you have extra time before or after an online session
  • Easy to achieve the qualifications of community teacher: you only need to demonstrate your language proficiency during the introduction video and/or upload relevant certificates for verification
  • No contract, you are free to join and quit

CONS

  • High commission fee: 15% on each lesson
  • Require a video self-introduction
  • Create lesson plans by yourself
  • Demanding requirement to be a professional tutor: relevant teaching experience in education institution or degree in Education or teaching certification (i.e. CELTA or TESOL) from an accredited institution
  • Different teaching authority for professional teacher and community teacher

5. Lingoda

 

Lingoda is an online language school which offers English, German, French and Spanish lessons. It provides both private and group classes for students. Each session lasts 60 minute. Teachers are responsible fro delivering various topics with given materials during the lesson.

Pay Rate: Salary offer based on experience; average rate $10-11/hour

PROS

  • Free to pick classes from a full 24/7 job list at times
  • Access to internal high quality learning materials
  • You can provide tutorial other than English

CONS

  • You may need to cater for more than 1 student at each time (max. 5 students per group class)
  • Require a video self-introduction
  • You need to have at least 2 years of teaching experience

 

6. Qkids Teacher

 

Qkids Teacher is an online English learning platform that specializes for kids age between 4 – 12 in China. Teachers make use of all curricula provided by the company to deliver a 30-minute lesson with 1 – 4 students each session. It’s worth noting that they accept current college student to apply for teachers.

Pay Rate: Earn up to $20/hour (i.e. $10/lesson)

  • $8 base salary for each lesson
  • $4 base pay for standby lessons (approximately 10 minutes with no teaching required)
  • $1 Performance Fee for each lesson based on family review
  • $1 Attendance Bonus for each lesson once a minimum of 15 lessons are taught in a week

PROS

  • Rich & fun resources for kids and children (interactive cute characters, funny stories & games)
  • University students are qualified to teach
  • Earn $8 per each trial class

CONS

  • Only open to teachers from U.S. and Canada
  • Require a video self-introduction
  • Limited time slots to choose
  • 6-month renewable contract
  • Lengthy interview process

 

7. VIPKID

 

VIPKID is an online tutoring platform with 60,000+ teachers and 500,000+ students across 35 countries. It targets Chinese kids/children age between 4 to 12. The pay rate starts from $7 to $22, including incentives. 

Pay Rate: Earn up to $22/hour; average rate: no data

PROS

  • Free to set your own schedule
  • Teach with internal resources & coursework
  • University students are qualified to teach
  • Training is provided

CONS

  • You need to pass the 30-minute interview by showcasing your teaching skills
  • 6-month renewable contract; independent contractor
  • No specific shift length but better to be available on weekdays during 6pm – 10pm and 9am – 10pm on weekends in Beijing Time

 

8. Cambly

 

Cambly is an online platform which allows people around the world to chat with native English speakers. It is a fully flexible platform with no fixed curricula. Instead, you will teach the student about English knowledge in between the conversation.

Pay Rate: Earn up to $10.20/hour; $0.17/minute

PROS

  • No experience is required as long as you are a native speaker
  • Relatively flexible schedule – chat with students online whenever you are free
  • Flexible pay rate: $0.17/minute

CONS

  • You need to be talkative to lead the conversations for students who are shy
  • No specific teaching structure/theme: you need to share relative English knowledge according to conversation (E.g.: you found that the student used the wrong expression, you need to teach and correct him/her)

 

9. Teach Away

 

Teach Away is an online international teacher recruitment company. Its online English teaching program mainly targets Chinese students. There are limited vacancies for each quarter. Selected teachers can gain full support and training to deliver online English classes.

Pay Rate: $15~$20/hour; average rate: no data

PROS

  • Low requirement on qualifications: university graduates, ESL instructor or licensed teachers
  • Full support and training provided by the team

CONS

  • Only allows teachers from United States and Canada
  • Limited vacancies: 250 openings for each quarter
  • Limited student types: Chinese students from early childhood to high school
  • Schedule lessons with limited time slots in China time zone

Tips to Earning a Higher English Tutoring Rate

 

 

So, how can I make more money with online English tutoring? There are several key elements you may want to consider:

 

Prove your profession/proficiency

Get as many certificates and licenses as possible, the more certificates you have, the higher bargaining power you will have to set a higher price. People also like to seek for experienced teachers. So, if you can show your English capability with proofs, you can definitely attract more students.

Encourage ratings and reviews from students

Online private tutoring platforms often include a rating and review system to rate their tutors. So, after finishing every lesson, ask you students to give valid feedbacks to demonstrate your teaching quality. Students are highly dependent on those reviews and ratings when evaluating or finding a teacher. Even if the platform does not provide any review and rating system, ask the student to send you a feedback and save it for further reference.

Be prepared to give classes

Your students can always feel how well you be prepared for the class. Get familiar with the teaching materials and be prepared with questions that students may ask to show your professionalism. If they feel you are a trustworthy teacher, they will probably purchase more classes from you.

Personalized teaching

This may only be suitable for online private tutoring platforms because you are free to teach with your own materials. To give a better learning experience, the best thing to do is to understand your students problems and customize course materials and content for him/her. This can efficiently increase their learning progress and immediately improve theri performances after attending your class. Ultimately, they will stick to your classes and recommend you to their friends. With great ratings and reviews, you can probably raise your hourly rate gradually.

I hope the above information can help you to find the best website to kickstart your Online English Tutoring career. And don’t forget to check out the tips for getting a better pay rate.

Earning side income from home has never been easier! What are you waiting for? Register as an online English teacher and start teaching today!

FAQs on Online English Teaching Jobs

Finally, here are some of the most-asked questions on teaching English online. Take a look and see if you have them as well.

Q: How much can I earn by teaching English online?

A: The average rate of teaching at an established education institution is $12/hr, while teaching as a private tutor can let you earn an average of $18/hr. See how much you can earn.

Q: What are the requirements to become an online English tutor?

A: You need to be a proven advanced or native English user, best supported with the necessary certificates or qualifications. See what certificates you would need.

Q: What equipment do I need to teach English online?

A: Generally you would need to have a computer, a microphone and a camera, as well as necessary software and stable internet connection. 

Q: Why teach English online?

A: Teaching English online comes with a lot of benefits. Including but not limited to: 1. Earning a pretty decent rate 2. Better work-life balance 3. Fast growing market and demand. Tips on earning a higher rate.

Q: What are the best companies for teaching English online?

A: While there are a lot of companies that can help you give out online English lessons, they vary in commission, number of students and teaching materials. AmazingTalker, EF, Preply and iTalki are among the best. Learn more.

Alicia Mcgill

Alicia Mcgill

Language expert with over 10 years of professional teaching and tutoring experience. Loves surfing, traveling and sharing useful tips and advice on language learning!

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Betty Carter
Betty Carter@bettyhot1015
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I really appreciate the fact that teachers actually took their time to understand your level and needs. Mine set up a few tailored classes after discussing with me and it was the best learning experience I've had.
Cory Nicholas
Cory Nicholas@coryn47832
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Best online tutor website I've ever used! Really great teacher quality. Simple and easy to use. Recommended to anyone who's trying to learn a new language.
Laura S.
Laura S.@lauraangel
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Found a nice teacher to help me on my Spanish lessons. I really like the fact that you can take lessons at home and schedule them according to your free time.
Kimberley
Kimberley@kimlove1314
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Went through a rather rigorous vetting process and started teaching at Amazingtalker a few months ago. It has been so rewarding to meet new students online teach at my own time and leisure.
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