Teaching English Online

Whether you’re looking to supplement your current income, work on a part-time basis from the comfort of your own home or want to fit your working week in and around your current commitments, teaching English online may be the answer for you!

This isn’t a new concept but the advances in modern technology and the ease of connecting with people around the globe, a lot more students are now looking for online teachers and demand is increasing day by day.

Teaching English Online

With reduced overheads, a lot of people will assume that running, or attending an online class will work out at costing less money. Although true for some classes, the same can’t really be said for online English lessons.

Following a set syllabus or tailoring your lessons specifically to fit a students’ desired end goal will dictate how much you can, or should charge, per lesson.If you follow prepared lesson plans, or a set syllabus, your time spent planning and preparing your lessons is reduced. It works out at being more time effective for you and any potential students will know exactly what to expect before starting their lessons.


Preparing individual lessons can take longer and you would need to take this into consideration when setting your hourly rate. If you were also intending to set provide your students with additional resources – video recordings, work sheets and further reading – you should also factor this into your hourly rate.

It’s relatively simple to project your weekly earnings as well! Just use simple math to multiple the number of hours you can dedicate to teaching online and multiply that by your hourly rate. If you want to use online teaching to earn a specific sum of money before your start, flip the equation round and, starting with your desired income, divide this by your hourly rate to figure out how many lessons you will need to deliver.

This is obviously a ‘guess-timate’ but it will give you a good indication of the time you need to set aside and also an idea of your earning potential. Don’t forget to take into account time necessary to plan lessons and correct homework!

online TEFL

Types of Online English Lessons

Whether they are looking to improve their English for an upcoming vacation, looking to brush up on their business English skills for an upcoming job interview or are simply looking to continually improve their language skills, the motivations for learners to take up online English lessons vary!

One of the advantages that you have is that some employers overseas will have specific requirements for their employees. We have a lot of requests from students in Asia looking to learn English with an American accent to improve their work opportunities.

N.B. A slightly reduced rate is normally offered for group lessons (when teaching two or more English language learners at the same time) as the tutor’s attention/time is split between the different learners.

General or conversational English

Expect to earn anywhere from $15 per lesson upwards

Give English learners some help with their fluency and correcting basic errors. These normally don’t include in-depth grammar study. Any number of our highly accredited TEFL courses are perfect for use as certification of your expertise.

Business English

Expect to earn from $30 per lesson upwards

These lessons normally cover topics like writing emails, proposals and presentations, and some even provide help and advice on etiquette. Tailoring lessons towards a specific workforce/industry for example, the oil and gas industry, marketing professionals or engineers if you have work experience in these areas can increase your earning potential.

Check out our fantastic 30-hour Business English course. Only TEFL Org certificate holders and teachers may book!

Examination preparation

Expect to earn around $25 per lesson

English learners preparing for their IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge proficiency exams do look for extra tuition in the run up to the examination date. Familiarize yourself with the setup of the exam and download past papers – use these as a basis to create tailored lesson plans.

Job interview coaching

Expect to earn around $20 per lesson

Just like a typical job interview, you will be helping the learner practice talking about themselves, their strengths and achievements, and what they can bring to the role. Roleplay and scenario-based tasks are best used in this type of lesson.

Sample or trial English lessons

Normally free or for a small fee

Get to know a bit about your students and let them find out more about you and what you can offer them!

Some offer these lessons for free but find that learners have no intention of signing up for paid lessons. It is also easy to cancel if there are no fees involved so even a nominal amount of US$1 will stop last-minute cancellations.


payapal tefl online

Receiving Online Payments

PayPal is the most common payment method for online English lessons as it’s really simple to use and almost everyone knows about it. It only takes a few clicks to send an invoice to your students for each lesson and allows you to keep on top of all your payments. PayPal charge $0.30 plus a 3.4% fee per transaction.

Creating an Online Presence

Sorry, but yes, there’s another thing to consider! Tutors going down the TEFL path without the help of a larger company or agency need to learn how to market themselves. The internet hosts countless advertisement sites where you can offer your services to potential students. Social media, job-listing sites, and tutor agencies can all help. Websites like WordPress let you create professional-looking websites with little technical know-how needed.

Don’t forget, we offer an excellent 40-hour Teaching Online course that aims to provide basic training on how to market yourself online as well as how to conduct video-call lessons.

Interested in becoming a qualified online English teacher? Enroll on our Teaching English Online Advanced TEFL Course

Are you already teaching English online? Don’t forget to share your experiences with other readers in the comments section below

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