Can I teach English as a foreign language online?

In many cases, people complete a TESOL certification course in order to head overseas to live and work. However, for many others the ability to teach online without having to leave home is a great opportunity. If you have no previous experience of teaching it can be a good way to build your skills and to earn some money before setting off abroad. For some people it can also be a very convenient way to top up what they earn from their main job, no matter where they are in the world.

How do I get started as an English language teacher online?

Starting out as an online English teacher is relatively easy and inexpensive. The main expense is likely to be the cost of completing a TESOL certification course. Although this initial outlay will require a significant investment of your time and money, it should prove to be more than worth it once you start your new online teaching career. Having an internationally accredited TESOL course to your name will show potential clients that you are a professional educator who has the skills and knowledge necessary to help them improve their language skills. Once you have completed your training, all you need is an internet ready computer with a webcam, microphone, and a communication service such as Skype. You will also need to have an easy way for your students to pay for your services. PayPal is probably the most popular choice.

What are the employment options for an online English teacher?

Working on a freelance basis will allow you to set your own working hours and your own fees, however, you will probably need to set up a website to do this and you will need to have patience as it can take a while to attract a good client base. Because of these factors, most teachers choose to work for an online agency that organises the clients for you. Alternatively, you can do a bit of both as there are several online databases available that will advertise your services to a wide audience.

How much can you earn as an online English teacher?

Your income from online teaching will depend on several things such as your level of qualifications, previous teaching experience, and the type of service that you provide. On average a typical hourly rate is around $15 to $30, although it is worth remembering that your agency will probably take a cut of the fee if you choose to use one. As there are several agencies to choose from, it is best to do some thorough research on their reputation to see what experience other teachers have had while working with them. Also, you should avoid any companies that expect you to pay any kind of up-front fee.