teaching english online jobs: everything there is to know

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Q&A of Our Experience Traveling With Teaching English Online Jobs

When we are out on long-term travel, at least a few times each week, we get this exact message in our inbox: How do you afford to travel the world? Our answer is simple: we saved money prior to leaving by compromising on many things (like eating out, etc.), we sold a good portion of our belongings, many of our loved ones contributed to our travel funds when we got married in lieu of material possessions, and we taught English online while continuing to travel. After mentioning that we taught English online, we often received dozens of questions about our teaching experience.

It's no secret that many people want to travel the world, but they're worried about money. We were too. For us, teaching English online gave us the opportunity to travel further and longer than we would have been able to otherwise...and honestly, online teaching is one of the easiest jobs we've ever had.

Although at times teaching English online can be frustrating (more on that later), we both have great memories of teaching English online. We got to connect with other cultures in ways we wouldn't normally get to, we were invited into the homes of Chinese students that would show us around and give us a glimpse of their day-to-day life, and we sang countless songs with cute kids such as The Wheels on the Bus and Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.

So, how does one become an online English teacher? How much money can actually be made? Where is the best place to get a TEFL Certification? We're here to answer some of the most common questions.

What are the qualifications to teach English online?

This can vary. Both of us have our bachelor's degrees (not in teaching or teaching English) and then received our TESOL/TEFL certification. Every company and job has different requirements, but I think all companies require at least a TESOL/TEFL certificate. We know people who have obtained jobs online with a TESOL/TEFL certification without having a bachelor's degree. We know people that are over qualified and have obtained mediocre-paying jobs.

Another common requirement from ESL companies is that you be a native English speaker. That is a nicer way of saying that English should be your first language -- and they give preference to those who are from countries like the USA, UK, South Africa, and Australia. We did meet several ESL teachers who were not native English speakers but still managed to land good online teaching or in-person teaching jobs. Sometimes it can be more difficult or rigorous to get the jobs if English isn't your native language, but it's doable.

Whomever you become TEFOL/TESL certified through should be able to assist you in obtaining jobs, answering these questions, and giving more specific advice about online teaching or teaching English in-person!

Where do I get a TEFL certification online?

One of the fastest and most economical ways to get into this profession is to get your TEFL certification online. You can complete the courses from the comfort of your own home and get onto the job market even quicker.

The hard part is, there are so many companies that provide online TEFL certifications and promise this or that. So, how do you know which ones are good?

We recommend Premier TEFL as the best online company to receive your TEFL through. They are accredited and regulated by the English Government (it's recommended to find a company that is backed by a higher institution). They have many different course options and a great support team behind the program. Their courses range from 120 hours which takes about 3-6 weeks to complete up to 250 hours which takes 5-8 weeks to complete.

In our opinion, the 250-hour hybrid TEFL course is the sweet spot. With this package, you will not only get the course and certification, but you will also get much more experience! This course includes roughly 40 hours of invaluable hands-on teaching experience, lesson planning guides, and 10 actual lesson plans that you can use over and over again while teaching. For us, we really grasped the concept of teaching English online when we got hands-on experience. We can't recommend it enough!

Ready to book your course with Premier TEFL? Use the code, "upskill12" for a nice discount on whichever program you go with!

If I want to get my TEFL certification in a foreign country rather than online, how much money do I need to save and where do you recommend?