Teaching English Online without a Degree

The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English Online Without a Degree

We could answer the question, ‘can I teach English online without a degree?’, with a simple yes and leave it at that… but that’s not our style here at TEFL Org. It’s really important to us that we provide you with honest and accurate information. Knowing the full story will make it much easier for you to find work and avoid wasting time applying for positions you’re ineligible for – no one has time for that!

The information we’ve put together below is the most up-to-date you’ll find on the web about the state of online TEFL for teachers without a degree. Our useful tips and advice in this article will put you in a better position for getting started as an online EFL teacher and finding paid work.

teach english online

The state of online English teaching in 2019

So, on to the full truth about finding teaching work online without a degree. There are online teaching platforms that don’t require you to have a degree but, unfortunately, the list has shrunk quite dramatically recently.

The biggest TEFL market in the world is found in China and the same is true of the online TEFL market with many of the big online teaching platforms such as iTalki, PalFish, DaDa ABC, and Landi, all based in the country.

Due to recent changes brought in by China’s Ministry of Education at the start of the year, online teaching platforms based in the country are now required to ensure that their teachers have at least a 120-hour TEFL qualification from a suitably accredited provider as well as a BA degree. This brings the requirements more in line with visa requirements for EFL teachers working in the country.

The reality is, this change in legislation has meant that there are now fewer positions open to teachers without a degree.

Don’t despair, though, there are still opportunities to teach online out there for those who don’t have a degree! You just need to know where to look and how to put yourself in the best position for securing work. Keep reading to find out how…

Is there any way round it?

We don’t want you to waste your time trying to win over an employer who can’t legally hire you. If a company states a degree is required and they’re based in China then focus your search elsewhere. If the company isn’t based in China but the job advert specifies a degree then there may be some flexibility – there’s no harm in asking! A quick email to ask if they consider applicants without a degree will save you filling out an entire application if the answer to that question is a no.

online tefl

Stand out

If you don’t have a degree and want to teach English online then it’s key that you stand out. This means that a minimum of a 120-hour TEFL qualification from an accredited, internationally recognised provider is absolutely essential.

Just put yourself in a student’s shoes: if you were looking for a tutor are you going to go with Teacher A who has a qualification from a reputable and respected organisation, or Teacher B, who doesn’t hold any relevant qualifications – or who took a course that cost them next to nothing from a discount website? You’re probably not going to go with Teacher B, so don’t expect anyone else to.

Get an accredited TEFL qualification and consider further study, such as our Teaching English Online course, so you can hold up against candidates who have a degree. With it becoming more challenging to find work teaching online without a degree it’s key that you do everything you can to make your CV shine and sell yourself.

Source your own work

You don’t have to rely on online teaching platforms for work. In fact, if you don’t have a degree and you’re looking to make a full-time income then you probably shouldn’t be doing this.

Setting yourself up with your own website and promoting your services online can be a great option for a number of reasons:

  1. No degree is required!
  2. You keep 100% of the fee you charge – online teaching platforms will typically take a commission
  3. You have even more control over your own schedule

Never set up your own website before? No idea how you’d market yourself as an online teacher and source work? Don’t you worry. Our 40-hour Teaching English Online course will guide you through how to do all of that and more.

teaching english as a foreign language

Online TEFL platforms that don’t require a degree

If you’re only looking to make a bit of additional income or you’re not interested in going it solo just yet then an online teaching platform can be a great option. There may be fewer options than before for teaching English online without a degree but there are still companies you can find work with.

As of the publication of this article, this is a list of online platforms that do not require teachers to have a degree.


Open English

Brown Cow English

Bibo Global

English Hunt



Share this page:

6 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English Online Without a Degree

  1. Thank you so much for this article, it is just what I needed! I qualified in January and as I do not have a degree have been really struggling to find online work. Hopefully these tips will help me. Thank you! 🙂

  2. Good article, it help me not to feel overanxious about finding an online job since I don’t have a degree. Thanks for the meaningful suggestions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *