Make Extra Money By Learning How To Teach English Online

Learning how to teach English online has become extremely popular these days and for many good reasons – it’s flexible, there’s a high need, and it pays pretty well. You may have even heard me talk about it before here on Making Sense of Cents. I have even had one of my readers talk about…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: September 29, 2023

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how to teach English online

Learning how to teach English online has become extremely popular these days and for many good reasons – it’s flexible, there’s a high need, and it pays pretty well.

You may have even heard me talk about it before here on Making Sense of Cents. I have even had one of my readers talk about online English teaching jobs with VIPKID – Janice Cook talked about how she teaches English online from home and earns around $1,000 a month doing it part-time.

Surprisingly, you don’t need to be a teacher to learn how to teach English online. You also don’t need to speak more than one language – you only need to speak English.

Those things make teaching English online a really great side hustle or online job for almost anyone.

So today, to help you get started, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about how to teach English online so that you can take advantage of this great new side hustle opportunity. I know that many of my readers are already using some of the companies I’m going to talk about, so you know they are 100% legitimate.

If you’re looking for a way to make extra money, want to work from home, or want to work while traveling, then learning how to teach English online can be a fun way to do so.

Also, making extra money can completely change your life.

Learning how to make money on the side of my day job helped me pay off $38,000 in student loans within 7 months. I eventually turned my side hustle into a full-time job, and I can now travel full-time, pursue my passions, and more!

Finding ways to make extra money, like learning how to teach English online, can change your life in some really great ways, such as helping you with:

  • Paying off your debt.
  • Saving up for big purchases, like vacations.
  • Getting out of a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle.
  • Retiring earlier than you had originally planned.
  • Realizing that your job isn’t the only option out there, especially if you are currently feeling stuck.
  • Help you to become more diversified and make money in more ways.
  • Travel more, or even full-time!

As you can tell, I am a big believer that learning to find new ways to make money can completely change your future for the better.

Related articles on how to make extra money:

How to teach English online.

How much money can you make by teaching English online? How much do online English teachers make?

The amount of money you will earn once you learn how to teach English online will vary, but it’s typically around $14 to $22 per hour.

If you worked this side hustle just six hours per week, you could earn an extra $84-$132 per week, or $336-$528 per month! That’s extra money to pay down your debt, put towards retirement, and more.

Online English teaching jobs are a great way to earn more income, because you can do it from home, while you travel (because you just need your laptop and an internet connection!), outside of your regular job, etc.

I know people who teach English online full-time, and others who do it as a way to make extra money. The options are there – you get to choose how you work it!

Can anyone teach English online? What are the requirements?

This is a great question, and probably what you’re wondering first! Now, not anyone can teach English online, but there’s a good chance that you fit the bill.

Most of the online teaching job companies have the following requirements:

  • Native English speaker.
  • Experience with children such as: teaching, mentoring, coaching, tutoring, babysitting, a parent, etc.
  • Internet with a webcam and microphone (which most computers and laptops have).
  • Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. or Canadian university (it does not have to be in teaching – it can be on any subject).

The other thing you need to know about the kinds of online English teaching jobs I’m talking about is that you do not need to speak the language of the children you are teaching. You are only required to speak English! I know I’ve already said that, but because this is a common misunderstanding, I wanted to say it again.

Also, the companies I’m focusing on today are all for students in China, but there are many other companies that help students in Korea, Taiwan, etc. learn how to speak English. The same goes for most of those companies too – you only need to speak English.

Related: Want To Make Money From Home? Here Are 17 Of The Best Online Jobs

Can you teach English online without a degree?

As stated above, usually a requirement to teach online is: Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. or Canadian university (it does not have to be in teaching – it can be on any subject).

You can teach english online with no experience, though.

Continue reading below for more tips for teaching English online.

How flexible is teaching English online?

The companies I’m talking about today are ones that have you teaching English to children in China, and because of the time difference, this side hustle is great for working outside of “normal” work hours.

Some of the methods of teaching English online offer early morning teaching slots or weekend hours. However, VIPKID gives you a little more flexibility with the schedule you create.

There really aren’t minimum teaching hours either, and that means learning how to teach English online can pretty much be as flexible as you need it to be. The lessons you will be teaching are typically around 30 minutes each. Here are a few ways you can fit this side hustle into your schedule:

  • Wake up an hour earlier than normal.
  • Side hustle on your lunch hour.
  • For an hour after you get home from work.
  • After your kids have gone to bed.

Recommend companies for teaching English online.

Because this side hustle is becoming popular, there are several great companies that allow you to teach English online. These are ones my readers have recommended and ones I have personally looked into.

The top 3 that I recommend include:

  2. Qkids
  3. Education First

Read on for more on each company.

VIPKID – Teach English online with VIPKID

VIPKID is the #1 platform for teaching English online in China. They also recently ranked #1 on Forbes magazine’s “Top 100 Remote Work Companies Report” for 2018, and they have won many other awards as well.

VIPKID is a company that connects native English speaking teachers with students in China aged 4-12, and you can earn up to $22 an hour teaching English online with VIPKID.

Because VIPKID is becoming more and more popular in China, they need more English speaking teachers to work for them.

VIPKID develops a curriculum for you. And, their teachers work from wherever they want, set their own schedules, and take home competitive pay. Again, there’s no need to speak Chinese, although you are trying to teach English online to Chinese students.

The requirements for teaching with VIPKID are:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. or Canadian university.
  • Experience with children in areas such as: teaching, mentoring, coaching, tutoring, babysitting, etc.
  • High-speed internet, computer, and webcam/microphone.

Please click here to sign up with VIPKID.

Qkids – Teach English online with Qkids

Qkids is another top work from home company that connects native English speakers with over half a million children aged 4-12 who are in need to English lessons. This is a great job for college students, stay-at-home parents, and those looking to earn more money.

You can earn up to $20 an hour by teaching English online with Qkids. The lessons are already developed for you, and Qkids focuses on game based learning.

To teach English online with Qkids, you will need:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a U.S. or Canadian University.
  • Experience working with children, like teaching, mentoring, coaching, tutoring, babysitting, etc.
  • High-speed internet, computer, and webcam/microphone.

With Qkids:

  • You teach English to young learners between the ages of 4-12 years through their online platform.
  • Teachers teach classrooms with up to four students.
  • Their Class Coordination Team will handle scheduling and student assignment.
  • Each in-lesson time is 30 minutes.
  • You can work up to 19 hours available weekly.
  • Training and support is provided for you.
  • The curriculum is preset, meaning lesson planning is not required.

Please click here to sign up with Qkids.

Education First – Teach English online with Education First

Education First (EF) is another top work from home company that allows you to learn how to teach English online, and you can earn up to $16 an hour teaching English online with Education First.

Of the companies I’ve listed today, EF is the oldest and most respected brand in private language teaching. They also have a long history and reputation. They have been around for over 50 years, and EF has been helping people around the world learn English. They are also one of the only U.S. based online English teaching companies. They may not pay the highest, but they are still a great company to work for.

Teaching with Education First requires:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a U.S. or U.K. university, and you must currently reside in the U.S. or U.K.
  • Prior teaching experience or equivalent in education, tutoring, mentoring, or homeschooling.
  • High-speed internet, computer, and webcam/microphone

Please click here to sign up with Education First.

Is teaching English online worth it?

Yes, learning how to teach English online can be well worth it.

I know of many people who teach English online, and they all seem to really enjoy it.

It can be a great way to make extra money from home, and earning around $14 to $22 per hour is a good rate. Plus, the flexible schedule is nice!

Are you interested in learning how to teach English online?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Judith Shirley

    Left a comment but lost it

  2. Hi Michelle, hope you’re having a great week on your end.
    I’ve noticed how teaching English has taken over as of late, especially thanks to services like VIPKid. I consistently see people talking about their monthly income, all making almost 2k per month from this alone.

    While i don’t have a Bachelor’s degree, it’d be nice to see this business expand as a whole. I can only wonder what other language/services will become mainsteam in the near future, since this avenue has clearly proven popular.

    Take care!

  3. Jami Marie Lynn

    Hi Michelle – thank you for this information. I don’t have a Bachelor’s (attended college for 2 yrs), but did have AP English and Literature courses in high school and received the highest possible score to earn college credit. Are you aware if any of the companies cited above have options for proving proficiency if no Bachelor’s is available? I have spent 25 years in the administrative and marketing fields – I work with words for a living. I would think that would demonstrate my qualifications far better than someone who has a BA in say, Music.

    Thank you.

    1. Lauren

      I work for VIPKID and you do have to have an actual degree. They require you to upload transcripts and a photo of your diploma. There are other companies besides the ones that Michelle listed, though. I want to say Magic Ears may not require it.. it’s hard to tell from their website. It is teaching 4 students at a time as opposed to 1, though. I’m sure there are more companies if the same services are in Korea, etc. As far as I know, VIPKID is just Beijing. So do a little digging and you may find others that don’t require a degree if you have applicable experience 🙂

      1. Jami Marie Lynn

        Lauren – thank you for the feedback – I appreciate it.


      2. Jami M. Lynn

        Lauren – thank you for the feedback. I appreciate it.


  4. Petersen

    Hi Michelle,
    Thanks a lot for the information. In the mid-2017, I enrolled for the course since my freelance writing career was almost dying due to poor grammar.

    Luckily, now I have written over 500 articles with great client’s recommendation from various parts of the world.

    I am looking forward to growing my blogging business too.

  5. Daniel

    My wife did this for a while. It is actually quite fun, especially when you teach English to children. However, some chinese students are very sensitive and will complain about every little noise or if a person is passing behind you on webcam during class. Sometimes they are friendly during class and file a complaint right afterwards. It’s a different culture after all.

  6. Julie

    Hi Michelle,
    This article about teaching English on line really sparked my interest. I’m very qualified holding a B.A. including teaching credential. However, I attempted to notify them and apply for one of the positions but it’s no longer available per their website. They are happy to have you sign up for their newsletter but the offer is no longer open. Seems strange.

  7. English tutors have great potential for achieving “side hustle millionaire” status, as long as they create “lots and lots of content by doing the transformation business work.”

  8. Sujoy Mukherji

    I really enjoyed this article post of yours. As an English teacher, I can say the market for teaching English online is very big in the Asian sub-continent. Most expat teacher I know make up to $2000-$2500 per month with just one online teaching platform service. And, I personally feel, teaching English Online is the fastest way to make some side income, especially when you’re travelling internationally and want to live that passive income lifestyle.

  9. RAM

    Good evening . I am a qualified Mech Engr aged 55 but having a good command over English .
    I would like to offer English Tuition to the kids thro any platform .
    Pls advise what is the best for this .

    Thanks & Rgds

  10. Malavika Balla

    Hi, I think am qualified for the job, I do have experience teaching kids too and although I do have a bachelor’s degree, just not from a Canadian or US University. I really want the job though. U should have some sort of test or something that allows the likes of us to try this atleast

  11. Nathalie Argueles

    I’m envious. Seems like every time I come back to your website you have a new interesting thing for me to read. How do you stay so motivated? Do you research all of these posts before posting?

  12. Faith

    I am very annoyed by the various companies requiring a Bachelors (or higher) degree and/or certification in ESL in order for you to teach English to foreigners.

    Why? Because these certifications are relatively new, and there is no evidence to show that a Bachelors, Masters degree or Certification in ESL provides better results that say , the results of missionaries, soldiers or sailors, who taught English to Indians, Africans, Chinese and Caribbean peoples during the age of the British Empire.

    Where did this insistence on ‘credentials” come from? From the institutions that want to make money charging YOU for doing what any other 17th, 18th and early 19th century explorer did as a matter of course.

    Then there is the annoying ‘native speaker’ requirement. Note, that these are only chosen from Canada, USA, Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia. In other words, only the accents are important. The entire British West Indies is an area of “native English Speakers”. Why are they not included in these listings?

    My suggestion is instead of signing up with VPKID etc., get out there and create your own learning channel. And, contrary to what they say, don’t over smile! Chinese are notorious for maintaining a dignified composure and we don’t want to change their culture, only to teach them a new language. Smiling is a Western culture thing. Not always accepted in other cultures.