9 BEST Platforms 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 from today.

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 from today.

There are so many online tutoring platforms in the market. How I can choose the best among them? In the following article, I have selected 9 BEST online tutoring platforms which allows you to teach English online.

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Why Online Tutoring?

There are lots of benefits of giving out online tutorials. The most obvious one is you can earn a HIGH rate by providing virtual English lessons to students around the world. Basically, you just need a laptop and then you can work any time and everywhere with Internet access. You can enjoy a better work-life balance as you can have a full control of your teaching schedule. And more importantly, the market demand is growing rapidly. Therefore, there is always 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 of improvement. It’s impossible for you to adopt a standard teaching method to all of your students. Therefore, it is important for you to know each student needs and personalize different teaching materials for them. This part is totally depending on the teacher’s preference. But generally, for tutor who can customize lesson usually earn a higher rate.

What are the Requirements to be an Online English Tutor?

First, you need to be a proven advanced or native English user. You should be able to show 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 has already fulfilled these requirements. You may also need to download a video conferencing software, such as Skype and zoom, in order to provide lessons virtually. More importantly, in order to ensure smooth lesson delivery, you should have a stable and fast Internet access.

Some organizations may require you to have certain certificates or qualifications in order to teach English in their platforms. Below is a list of qualifications:

  • TEFL
  • Degree in English Language or Education
  • Proven relevant teaching experiences

How much can I earn from online English Tutoring?

The tutoring rate is completely depending on the website nature. In general, for renowned English education institutions or specialized learning platforms (for Chinese students/children), the pay rate is around $12/hour. As for the other online private tutoring platforms, teachers can set their own price and charge at a higher rate than those institutions. According to the following information, private teachers can charge at $18/hour on average.

The reason why renowned organizations provided a relatively lower rate because they provide internal teaching resources and materials for teachers. So, you will save time from developing your own sets of teaching materials.

Please note that if you price yourself out of the market, you may not get any students in those learning platforms. So, make sure that you are making a reasonable charge on your lessons. If you wish to charge at a higher price, you need to prove that your lessons worth the price. 

8 Best Online English Tutoring Platforms

1. EF English First

EF English First is a world leader in English education founded in 1965. There are 580 schools and offices in over 120 cities across the world. With its plentiful 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)


  • Save time from making lesson materials: you are able to use EF official materials to teach
  • US teachers will have $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


  • 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 900+ teachers from different countries. The platform allows tutors to provide tutorials in 50+ languages, while English is the language with the most 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


  • The rate is totally upon your preference *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
  • Comprehensive tutor training and mentoring program
  • 3 ways to receive payments: PayPal, TransferWise & Payoneer
  • Regressive commission model – relatively low commission rate: from 0% to 15% *the more you earn, the less you are charged
  • You can communicate with students before class


  • 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 platform with 100,000+ active students every year. Students can freely find tutors based on their budget and teachers can also find their students by apply jobs from the job opening board. There are currently 2600+ English tutors in the platform.

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


  • 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


  • Relatively high commission fee: fully charge the first lesson and for subsequent lessons, charge 18% to 33% of the hourly price depends 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 a online language learning platform with 5 million students and 10,000+ teachers of more than 130 languages. There are currently 500+ English teachers in the platform. Students will choose teacher 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


  • You can provide tutorials other than English
  • Students schedule lessons with your available time slots
  • 4 ways to receive payments: PayPal, Payoneer, Skrill, 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


  • High commission fee: 15% of each lesson
  • Require a video self-introduction
  • Create lesson plan 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 is 60-minute. Teachers are responsible to deliver various topics with given materials during the lesson.

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


  • 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


  • 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 children ages between 4 – 12 in China. Teachers make use of all curricula provided by the platform to deliver a 30-minute lesson with 1 – 4 students each session.

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


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


  • 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


VIPKID is an online tutoring platform with 60,000+ teachers and 500,000+ students across 35 countries. It targets Chinese children aged 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


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


  • 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 speaker. It is a fully flexible platform which there is 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


  • 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


  • 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 companies. Its online English teaching program mainly targets at Chinese students. There are limited vacancies for each quarter. Selected teachers can gain full support and training to deliver online English class.

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


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


  • 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
More Online Teaching Platforms Looking for more teaching platforms? This article introduces platforms that target on different countries.


Tips to Earn 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 got, you will have a higher bargaining power 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 finish every lessons, ask you student to give valid feedback to show your teaching quality. Students are highly dependent on those reviews and ratings when evaluating 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 class

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 raise to show your professionalism. If they build trust on you, 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 show their improvement 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 helps you to find the best-fit site to kick start your Online English Tutoring career. And don’t forget to check out the tips to get a better pay rate.

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

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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