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How Much Can I Earn Teaching English Online in 2024?

It’s a question many are asking at the moment: just how much can I earn teaching English online? And is it realistic to make a living as an online English teacher in 2024?

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While some people teach online as a side hustle to supplement their income, the opportunities are there to make a full-time living - if you have the ambition. Those willing to put in the work stand to reap the rewards in this industry that has been rapidly growing for many years. Take a look at our post all about the current state of the online teaching market to get up to speed and understand what to expect before diving in.

Whether you’re looking to make a bit more cash or you’re serious about a career as an online English teacher, the information in this post will help give you an idea of how much you could be earning!

Working for an online teaching company

Working for an online teaching company is the best way to get started teaching English online. If you have no experience teaching English then you’ll find it very challenging to find clients as an independent online teacher, which can be one of the toughest and most time-consuming aspects of the job. The good thing about online companies is that they do the hard work of sourcing students for you. Many will also provide all of the lesson materials as well, so no need to spend additional hours on lesson planning.

It’s a good way to find your feet and build up online teaching experience, but if you’re ambitious and aiming to maximise your earnings you’ll want to progress on to building up your own business as an independent teacher.

The below table details the requirements and salaries for a number of popular online teaching companies and platforms.

Company Hourly rate Degree required Lessons provided Students Min. hours per week TEFL qualification required Accepts non-native speakers Previous teaching experience required? Additional requirements Application link
51Talk £14 - £17
($18 - $22)
Yesa tick icon Yesa tick icon Young Learners 10 Yesa tick icon Yesa tick icon Yes Apply
AmazingTalker £12.62 - £78.87
($16 - $100)
Noa cross icon Noa cross icon All ages None Noa cross icon Yesa tick icon 1 year Apply
Cafetalk £8 - £22
($10 - $28)
Noa cross icon Noa cross icon Adults None Noa cross icon Noa cross icon None None Apply
Cambly £7.65
($10.20)
Noa cross icon Noa cross icon All ages None Noa cross icon Noa cross icon None None Apply
English Hunt £10.50
($14.50)
Yesa tick icon Yesa tick icon All ages 10 Yesa tick icon Noa cross icon 4 years Must be US citizen Apply
Engoo £2 - £7.20
($2.80 - $10)
Noa cross icon Yesa tick icon All ages None Preferred Yesa tick icon None Apply
FluentBe £7.20 - £8.70
($10 - $12)
Yesa tick icon Yesa tick icon All ages None Yesa tick icon Noa cross icon 1 Year Apply
Italki* Set your own hourly rate
Noa cross icon Noa cross icon All ages None Preferred Yesa tick icon None Apply
Latin Hire £5 - £9.50
($7 - $13)
Noa cross icon Yesa tick icon All ages 5 Yesa tick icon Yesa tick icon 1 year Elementary level Spanish or Portuguese required Apply
Learnlight £9 - £10.50
($12 - $14)
Noa cross icon Noa cross icon All ages 10 Yesa tick icon Yesa tick icon 2 years Apply

How to set your fees

As an independent online teacher, how much you charge will depend on a number of factors and, at first, it can feel a bit like a bit of a stab in the dark. But here are a few things you need to take into account in order to set your price.

What type of lesson is it?

We’re going to get into the different types of online lessons in more depth shortly. Certain types of lessons – like conversational classes – are popular with students and an easy way for teachers to get started. But due to the number of teachers offering these lessons, you won’t earn as much as you would with other kinds.

If you have the skills and expertise to offer more specialist lessons – such as exam preparation and Business English, or even more niche topics – then you can expect to earn more.

How much experience do you have?

A teacher with more experience is going to be able to command a higher fee than one just getting started. As you build up your teaching experience and strengthen your skills you’ll be able to charge more for lessons, but charge too much too soon and you’ll struggle to fill up lesson slots.

What are your qualifications?

If you have no qualifications at all then you’re going to have your work cut out for you. Employers, as well as students, will expect you to have a TEFL qualification , and having further qualifications such as a degree is beneficial (and a necessary requirement to work for a number of online employers). However, it is possible to teach English online without a degree .

Remember that in order to attract clients you need to sell yourself. Would you hire someone to teach English with no experience and no credentials? Probably not, so don’t expect English language learners to do so either, especially when they have plenty of other options.

Consider where your students are from

You can’t expect a student in Vietnam to pay the same amount as one from Sweden. You need to take into account average salaries in countries and adjust your prices accordingly. Some teachers choose to specialise in teaching language learners from particular countries, so if this is your intention this point is particularly important, and you’ll also want to make sure to advertise lesson prices in your students’ currency.

Work out how much you need to earn

Calculate how much you need to be earning each month to cover your outgoings. It’s unlikely you’ll start teaching English online and immediately have a full schedule of students paying your ideal rate, but knowing how much you need to earn in order to go full time will help guide you.

Calculate how much you can earn teaching English online

Types of online lessons and how much you can earn

There are so many different types of online lessons it’d be impossible to cover them all, so we’ll take a look at some of the most common ones. Keep in mind what we’ve just covered about how to set your fees. The figures listed below are just a rough estimate and factors specific to you can lead to earning less or more.

General or conversational English

£8+ / $10+ per lesson

Conversational English is a great place to start if you’re new to online teaching or if you’re looking for a side job to bring in some cash. These lessons don’t typically require a lot of lesson planning or in-depth grammar study, their focus is on practical English and increasing your students’ confidence in their language ability.

But don’t think that it just involves you sitting back and simply listening to your student speak! There’s a skill to conducting good conversational English lessons and those able to hone it will be in high demand and able to up their hourly rate.

Business English

£20+ / $25+ per lesson

Business English can be a very lucrative area of TEFL and teachers who succeed in finding their niche can earn very well from it. You don’t necessarily need experience in business to be a successful Business English teacher, although it can help, especially when you’re first starting out.

Keep in mind that there can be a lot of preparation work involved with these kinds of lessons. From a needs analysis to preparing a tailored lesson plan, there can be a lot of work outside of the lesson slot, so that has to be factored into your fee.

Examination preparation

£15+ / $19+ per lesson

English learners preparing for their IELTS, TOEFL, or Cambridge proficiency exams often look for extra tuition in the run-up to the exam. You’ll need to become familiar with how these exams are structured and assessed, so prior study on your part will be required before you can get started in this area of TEFL.

Interview Coaching

£15+ / $19+ 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

£1+ / $1+

How much you charge for sample lessons is up to you and it might be something that takes a bit of trial and error. Making these lessons free will undoubtedly fill up these slots with timewasters and students who will never convert into paying customers, so even charging as little as £1 can help to drastically limit this .

Keep trial lessons short there’s no need to give them a full-hour lesson! Around 20-30 minutes is enough time to sell yourself and give a potential student an idea of what a lesson with you involves.

An online English teacher teaching a student

Additional tips

Block lessons

Offering students the option to block book lessons is a great way of filling up your schedule with guaranteed income as these are paid for in advance. An incentive, such as 10% off for booking ten lessons, for example, can work well for both you and the student.

You can get creative with this and put together all sorts of lesson packages. This can be a great way of marketing yourself!

Currency

When you’re advertising lessons you need to consider what currency to use. You will most often see teachers advertising lessons in US Dollars ($) or Euros (€), but if you’re focusing on teaching English to people from specific countries then it makes sense to use the currency relevant to them.

Receiving online payments

PayPal is the most common payment method for teaching English online lessons, and it’s straightforward to use. It only takes a few clicks to send an invoice to your students and keep on top of payments.

Know when to raise your fees

You might be wondering at what point you start raising your fees; it’s actually quite simple. If you’re filling up all your lesson slots each week and have to turn students away then you’re in a position to consider raising your fees.

You might worry about losing students but have confidence in the quality of the lessons you’re offering. If one or two choose not to continue with you then they’ll be replaced with students who are willing to pay your higher rate.

Marketing

If you’re going to work as an independent English teacher then you’re going to have to learn how to market yourself effectively. You could be offering the best English lessons going, but if you’re not marketing them then no one’s even going to know they exist!

If you don’t know where to start with this then take a look at our 40-hour Teaching English Online advanced TEFL course , which covers how to set up and promote yourself as an online English teacher.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. How much can you earn from teaching English online?

    The amount you can earn teaching English online varies greatly. Typically, your salary will be based on experience, qualifications, and the platform you choose. Newer teachers, with a TEFL certificate, tend to earn $10-$20 USD / £8-£16 GBP per hour, while experienced teachers with specialized skills can reach $30-$40 USD / £24-£32 GBP per hour. Some factors that can improve a teaching income include teaching during peak hours, holding niche certifications or working in specific learning areas (such as Business English or Teaching Young Learners). With dedication and effort, online English teaching can be a rewarding and lucrative career path.

  • Q. Is teaching English online a good side hustle?

    Teaching English online can be a fantastic side hustle. It's a career choice that offers incredible flexibility, allowing you to choose your hours and work from anywhere with an internet connection. You can typically earn $10-$20 USD / £8-£16 GBP per hour to start, with the potential for a better income as you gain experience and qualifications.

  • Q. Is there a demand for online English teachers?

    Absolutely, there is demand for online English teachers! The demand for online English teachers is booming and shows no signs of stopping. The rise of online learning, globalization, and increased interest in English communication worldwide have created a vast job market. From school kids to retirees, there are huge worldwide audiences for online English teachers to tap into.

  • Q. Which country pays English teachers the most?

    High pay for English teachers isn't limited to one place! Look to the United Arab Emirates for tax-free salaries between $2,000 and $5,000 USD / £1,608-£4,021 GBP monthly, often with perks like flights and housing. Salaries for TEFL teachers in East Asia are also typically generous and include benefits like accommodation and air travel. Remember: experience, qualifications, and job type can affect your earnings, so research your target country and desired positions carefully before committing to a role.