Whether you’re currently a teacher or are thinking about becoming one, who said you need an actual classroom in order to make money?
In today’s technological era, there are so many great, legitimate online teaching companies that want to pay you a livable salary to teach the English language to foreign students. While most of the companies I’m about to list are located overseas, it’s still teaching nonetheless. Just be prepared to work wacky hours.
Whether you’re looking for a way to supplement your income or replace your full-time teaching income, some of these companies may be worth considering. And, as long as you’re comfortable teaching younger children online and feel you have lots of energy to do so, you shouldn’t have a problem getting hired.
Before you get excited, however, do keep in mind that a lot of these companies will require a bachelor’s degree as well as a year or so of experience. This isn’t always the case, however. In each section, I will list the requirements so that you know what’s expected of you.
What is ESL Teaching?
First, before I dive into who hires you, I first want to talk about ESL teaching in case you have no idea what it is.
In short, ESL stands for English as a second language. This is the process wherein teachers, which could be you, teach children whose first language isn’t English. This can involve reading, writing and/or conversing.
Just like a teacher at your local elementary classroom, it works no differently, only that you’re focused more on teaching a language. Teachers have the option to teach locally, usually online via one of the many platforms I am about to mention or you can travel overseas and actually work inside of a classroom. In this case, companies will pay your housing expenses and even a plane ticket home every month.
ESL Teaching Requirements
Unlike a lot of jobs I mention, wherein you don’t need experience, you will, most of the time, need a four-year degree.
Most companies will generally ask of the following at a minimum:
- a bachelor’s degree
- ESL training/certification, known as TEFL/TESOL certification
- additional training (depends on company hiring you)
- computer literate
- strong written and verbal skills
Best Paying Online ESL Teaching Jobs
I got the basics down, at least I think, and now it’s time for the nitty gritty of the article — knowing where to find an online ESL job. There are a ton of them, so I recommend you research a company that sounds interesting to you to see what other people are saying online. Glassdoor is usually a good resource to help see what people like and dislike about the company.
QUICK NOTE: I tried to list as many companies as possible, but steered clear of the “tutoring-like” jobs, with the exception of a few. You can find those options here.
Start With FlexJobs
The companies I’m about to list are usually hiring, but the thing is that many of them deal with China or Korea, meaning you’re going to have to work odd hours. Think early morning and late, late at night.
Since there are so many lesser-known companies looking to hire people, I can’t list them all since they aren’t always hiring.
To make things easier, however, FlexJobs stays on top of things and always posts the most up-to-date teaching listings, all of which you can work from home.
In short, FlexJobs scours the web, finds the best remote jobs and puts it together nicely in a database. There are no scams and hundreds of jobs, both part- and full-time are always being added. Many aren’t even ESL related, opening up even more doors.
To learn more about the company as well as to start searching, you can follow the link below.
- Website: FlexJobs.com
– 3.3/5 Glassdoor rating
Founded in 2013, DaDa is slowly becoming the leading English education platform based in China, partnering with prominent names such as the Oxford University Press and National Geographic Learning, to name a few.
DaDa is said to be one of the highest paying online English teaching companies, paying up to $25 per hour. Based on my research, the pay greatly depends on your initial performance during your interview, so it’s very important you practice and prepare before doing to ensure you score a great rating. I can’t offer much advice in regards to how to score high, but there appear to be a few YouTube videos that can help out. I would at least start there.
As for scheduling, it’s somewhat flexible as you will just be asked to provide your weekly availability, but you must commit to at least two hours for the week. You must also give a 30-day notice if you want to change your schedule, so it won’t be as flexible as most.
In order to qualify, you must be a native-English speaker and hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Unlike a lot of teaching companies I’m about to mention, however, you can reside anywhere in the world, again, as long as you can speak English.
- Website: DaDa
– 4.3/5 Glassdoor rating
VIPKID, based in Beijing, China, is probably the largest company as of right now in terms of teaching online. Research any ESL blog and this company are always popping up. In short, the company connects children in China with some of the world’s best teachers to help learn English in a private one-on-one setting.
This option could be best for you if you truly want a flexible schedule. If hired, all you need to do is log in and click on the 25-minute sessions you can teach for the week. And, yes, you can choose as many or as little hours as you want. However, from talking with teachers who work here, they recommend you keep a consistent schedule so that you get returning students who want to book you. As parents get to choose the teacher they want, it’s best to be available weekly so that they continue to choose you.
VIPKID pay greatly depends on your performance and initial demo lesson, but the base salary varies from $7 to $11 per 25-minute session or up to $22 per hour. On top of this salary, you can also receive bonuses, such as teaching X amount of classes per month or showing up to class on time.
To qualify, you must reside in the U.S./Canada and have a bachelor’s degree.
- Website: VIPKID
– 3.1/5 Glassdoor rating
51Talk is an online China education company where you can earn up to $22 per hour.
As a teacher, all lessons are provided, with classes lasting 25 minutes each. As a downfall, however, the company does ask you to commit to 30 hours per month, which out of all companies I mention here, ranks toward the top. Nonetheless, it’s still an okay choice as long as you don’t mind this requirement.
Applicants need a bachelor’s degree and it’s preferred you have teaching experience with younger children. Experience isn’t required, though.
- Website: 51Talk
– 4.8/5 Glassdoor rating
When I was writing this post, AL07 had one of the highest glassdoor ratings, with teachers loving the flexibility and teaching platform.
The company offers a fun and interactive platform for its Chinese students, who range from 3 to 15 years, looking to learn English with qualified English tutors/teachers.
If interested in teaching, a bachelor’s degree is required, but the company will consider you if you’re attending college at the moment. Being a native English speaker is a must as well.
You must commit to 12 classes a week, with classes lasting anywhere from 25 to 50 minutes long. Pay is said to be in the $15 to $22 per hour range.
- Website: AL07
Founded in 1878, the Berlitz Corporation is an American language education and leadership training company and is based in Princeton, New Jersey. Obviously, the company was founded well before online teaching jobs were a thing, but let it be known that these jobs are available.
Online career opportunities aren’t always available, but it doesn’t hurt to check as the company does frequently post them. Y
ou can follow the link below to go directly to the current openings.
- Website: Berlitz
– 3.3/5 Glassdoor rating
Out of all the companies I list, Boxfish seems to have the lowest starting rates, averaging $10 to $25 per hour, but don’t let that deter you as it seems like you can move up the pay ranks pretty quick. The ceiling is high, but just let it be known that your starting salary may not be what you want it to be.
To qualify, you will need a bachelor’s degree and must reside from one of the many English-speaking countries they list on the website.
All lessons and materials are required, with classes accommodating up to four students.
- Website: Boxfish
– 4.4/5 Glassdoor rating
Founded in 1993, this could quite possibly be the oldest Chinese school on this list. Not only that, but they are said to pay some of the highest rates with some experienced teachers reporting upwards of $50 per hour.
All lessons are provided, with the private one-on-one classes lasting about 40 minutes. You do need to have a fixed schedule, however, and is something to consider if you’re looking for a flexible schedule.
A bachelor’s degree is required, with American, Canadian, Australian and British accents preferred.
- Website: BlingABC
– 3.4/5 Glassdoor rating
If you’re looking for a job that doesn’t work on China time, then this could be it.
Edmentum caters to more than 8,000 school districts, serving more than 14 million students and offers a unique mix of learning solutions.
And, if you want a teaching job that’s much like one in the classroom, then you can often find a ton of openings available, most of which are virtual, both part- and full-time. When I took a look at the careers page, I found quite a few different virtual teaching jobs, from robotics to health. Language positions were available as well.
The company offers a ton of competitive benefits and a very lucrative starting pay. You will need a teaching certificate to qualify, so do keep this in mind.
- Website: Edmentum
EF Education First Online
– 3.2/5 Glassdoor rating
EF Education First is another education company based in China, teaching children ages 5-10 the English language.
Teachers report earning up to $20 per hour, but as with most of these options, you will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree to be considered.
Classes are 25 minutes long and you have the ability to choose your own schedule.
- Website: EF Education First Online
– 4.5/5 Glassdoor rating
Right now, Englishhunt is looking for native English speakers who are interested in teaching English to Korean business students. Unlike the many I list here, you won’t have to deal with younger children, making for an easier experience in some cases.
The pay isn’t as high as most of the classes listed here, about $10~ per hour, but you do not need a bachelor’s degree to qualify. Instead, they ask that you have at least 48 hours of college credits.
Classes last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes long and lesson plans are provided for you.
- Website: Englishhunt
English Language from A to Z
– 3.9/5 Glassdoor rating
Out of all online teaching jobs I mention, English Language from A to Z had the highest income potential, with some teachers earning upwards of $72 an hour. According to the company, this pay rate greatly would depend on the number of students in your class.
Yes, unlike a lot of these setups, where you’re asked to teach in a private setting, you can teach up to eight students at a time.
English Language from A to Z requires that you teach at least five hours a week, and all applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree. Teaching experience, although not required, is preferred.
Unlike a lot of these teaching opportunities that work with Chinese children, this company works worldwide, so you really never know which nationality you will be working with.
- Website: English Language from A to Z
– 2.7/5 Glassdoor rating
NOTE: Appears to be inactive as of September 2019
Fast School caters to Chinese children, ages three to 15 years, in a classroom of three. And, in comparison to the other schools mentioned here, the pay is quite high, up to $40 per hour, all dependent upon your experience.
All materials and lessons are provided, much like many of these programs, but some preparation is still required before the class even starts.
You will need to commit at least 2.5 hours a week, and like many of these school requirements, hold a bachelor’s degree.
- Website: Fast School
– 3.9/5 Glassdoor rating
Gogokid’s mission is to create a connection between children in China and the world by providing a global learning experience, offering a one-on-one learning experience online. It’s one of the many options students can choose to learn English online.
If you’re interested in teaching, you must hold a bachelor’s degree, but there’s no restriction as to where you can live as long as you’re a native English speaker. Depending on your experience, the pay can range anywhere from $14 to $25 per hour, with bonuses available.
As for flexibility, Gogokid is one of the best as you can choose your availability throughout the week, generally from 6-10 a.m. EST during the week and from 9 p.m.-10 a.m. during the weekend. There are no guarantees for work, however, as students will need to select you as their teacher when they are ready to take a class.
- Website: Gogokid
GVE Online Education
– 3.6/5 Glassdoor rating
Gold Voice English is “well connected with the Chinese school system,” offering an engaging yet effective lesson simple for incoming teachers to teach.
If you want to become a tutor, the company does ask that you work at least eight hours a week, but you can set your own teaching schedule. It seems to be pretty flexible.
The company pays by the hour, with each lesson lasting 30 minutes. Pay is said to start at $20 per hour.
- Website: GVE Online Education
– 4/5 Glassdoor rating
iTalki is said to be the “most loved language learning marketplace” that helps connect students with dedicated teachers around the world and currently offers two types of teaching profiles: either as a professional teacher or as a tutor.
Most of the companies I mention will primarily deal with teaching English to Chinese students, but this isn’t the case with iTalki as you can teach any language. You will also have to create your own lesson plans, which is something most of these schools do for you. Some can see this as either a positive or negative.
To be considered as a teacher, however, your language first must be open and you will need to upload your teaching certificate if you want to create a teaching profile. You can find out more about this via the link below.
You do get to set your own rates, with iTalki taking 15% of your profits, and you can create your own schedule as well. Essentially, you have to market yourself, so you may find yourself doing more work, but seeing it’s one of the largest learning platforms, it may not be hard to connect to a student who is looking for your services.
- Website: iTalki
– 3.5/5 Glassdoor rating
A lot of the companies I mention on this list primarily deal with children, usually younger than 12. If that age doesn’t appeal to you, then this is where the iTutorGroup could be of value as adults can sign up as well. They accept all ages.
To qualify, you must have a bachelor’s degree, a TESOL/TEFL certificate and at least one year of teaching experience. What kind of experience greatly varies, but I heard tutoring can be counted toward this.
In my research, iTutorGroup appears to be the least flexible as they do require you to teach at least 10 peak hours a week, four of which need to be during the weekend. So, if you need a job that allows you to work whenever you please, you may want to look elsewhere.
- Website: iTutorGroup
– 3.5/5 Glassdoor rating
Landi is said to be one of the most innovating companies on this list, engaging its students with an immersive teaching system based on Content and Language Integrated Learning. They cater to Chinese children, ages five to 12 years old looking to learn the English language.
All classes are in a private one-on-one setting, and the company does ask that you commit to 12 hours per month, about four teaching days a week on average.
Teachers will need to sign a six-month contract, with pay ranging from $18 to $25+ per hour. There is an opportunity for a pay raise every six months, however.
- Website: Landi
– 3.9/5 Glassdoor rating
Live Lingua offers more than just English lessons to Chinese students as students can learn Spanish, French and many more. It’s open to all worldwide, so you never know who might show up in your classroom.
Quite different than most of the companies I list here, you will need to make your own lesson plans and even assess students after they complete their work. Not only that, but the company prefers that you have an MA or Ph.D., not just a bachelor’s degree. Two years of experience is also preferred, making for some of the most rigorous qualifications out of all listed here.
With Live Lingua, you can work whenever you choose, making for a flexible opportunity and should be highly considered if you don’t want to only work with the Chinese population.
- Website: Live Lingua
Magic Ears Teacher
– 3.8/5 Glassdoor rating
Magic Ears is an innovative online English learning platform for Chinese students, ages 4-12.
All lesson materials are provided, with classes accommodating up to four children. And, depending on your experience, the hourly rate is said to be in the $22 to $26+ range.
Magic Ears does ask that you commit at least six hours per week, but as a perk, they do no require you hold a bachelor’s degree, making for a great option if you don’t currently have your degree.
- Website: Magic Ears Teacher
– 3.4/5 Glassdoor rating
Open English is said to be the leading online English language school, with a goal to change the lives of their students. They have more than 500,000 students, teaching 24 hours a day.
At this moment, the company is seeking to hire enthusiastic and talented teachers who want to be part of their online learning experience teaching English classes online at any time of the day.
To be considered, you must be an ESL/EFL professional, but there’s no mention of a degree like most of these companies require.
- Website: Open English
– 3.6/5 Glassdoor rating
Palfish works similar to the iTalki company I mentioned earlier, only that the qualifications aren’t as rigorous.
With this company, you will connect with your students via your smartphone rather than your computer, offering English lessons to students from around the world. A great option if you would rather use your phone instead of logging into your desktop.
The pay is quite low, around $10~ per hour, but this is due to the fact they don’t have strict qualifications as you can teach with just 48 college credits or a TEFL/ESL certificate.
- Website: Palfish
– 4.3/5 Glassdoor rating
To date, QKids has connected more than 600,000 Chinese learners, ages 4 to 12, with thousands of online educators.
And, the unique thing about QKids is that they don’t need you to have a bachelor’s degree like many of the companies I already have mentioned. However, if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree just yet, they do ask that you are at least have an associate’s degree as well as meet other requirements, most of which you can read on the FAQ page.
All teachers, regardless of how well you do during the interview, will receive a $16 per hour base pay ($8 per 30-minute session), with $1 attendance bonus offerings available if you show up on time.
As for scheduling, it isn’t as flexible as most as they do ask you to commit to a minimum of six hours per week. You will just have to log into your app every Sunday and make your changes at least 24 hours in advance.
- Website: QKids
– 4.3/5 Glassdoor rating
SayABC is one of the larger companies on this list, providing an international learning experience for five to 12-year-old children in China. The company is based in China and is backed by many investors and is said to be one of the fasting growing online educational platforms online.
Pay is up to $19 per 40 minutes, with class sizes ranging from one to four kids.
Unlike a lot of these companies that ask you commit to a certain amount of hours, SayABC just asks that you work the same three times for three months straight.
You do not need a bachelor’s degree to apply, but if you want to sign a contract for longer than three months, then one is required.
- Website: SayABC
??? Glassdoor rating
Tutor Supply, unlike a lot of these schools based in China, is located in the United Kingdom. However, who you teach won’t change as the company caters to Chinese children of all ages. I couldn’t find much on Glassdoor, but I did see a few websites mention this company, the reason I’m adding them to the list.
All lesson materials are provided, and the company has no minimum restrictions, making for a great flexible opportunity.
A bachelor’s degree is required, with pay ranging from $20 to $32 per hour.
- Website: Tutor Supply
??? Glassdoor rating
This was another smaller school I couldn’t find much information about, but nonetheless, it’s an online school looking to hire teachers.
Pay ranges from $20 to $30~ per hour, with classes up to four children at a time, all being Chinese. The school does supply all lesson materials, with classes lasting 30 minutes, sometimes longer.
A bachelor’s degree is required, with teaching experience preferred.
- Website: USTKiD
2.6/5 Glassdoor rating
Not to be confused with USTKiD, USKid hires native English speakers who currently hold a BA. The company had one of the lowest reviews on this list, at least according to Glassdoor, but it appears it was due to the lack of work. This can be said with some of the smaller companies, seeing they often have a much smaller customer base.
Pay is reported to be anywhere from $17 to $25+ per hour, with all classes being in a private one-on-one setting.
All lesson materials are required and USKid asks that you commit to at least four hours a week.
- Website: USKid
3.5/5 Glassdoor rating
The Chinese schools continue as UUabc offers online teaching gigs.
The pay is said to be anywhere from $15 to $25+ an hour, greatly dependent upon your experience. You are provided with all materials, with classes being in a private setting.
As you guessed it, a bachelor’s degree is required, but the school does state you will have an advantage if you have a basic command of the Chinese language.
- Website: UUabc
Voxy is a web-based English eLearning company with more than three million members in 20+ countries.
Almost always, the company is looking for experienced English language teachers, both part- and full-time. Their job posting does note that you should have at least three years of English language teaching experience as well as online teaching experience.
To learn more about the position as well as what the company can offer your online teaching career, refer to the official link below.
- Website: Voxy
3.5/5 Glassdoor rating
WyzAnt lets you create your very own profile, but you will be responsible for finding your students. Like a dating website, you will have to sell yourself as to why someone should select you.
While most of the companies I list here do most of the dirty work for you, from finding the students to giving you lesson plans, WyzAnt leaves it up to you.
The company works with more than 250+ subjects, not just language, and you can even work in person if you so choose. Pay is set by you, but tutors report earnings in the $30 to $60 per hour range.
- Website: WyzAnt
If you want to teach online, you can hopefully see by now that it can be done.
While most of your prospects are more than likely overseas, don’t let that scare you as the pay is quite competitive and your schedule can be pretty flexible. Of course, it depends on which company you sign up with. As with any job, though, it will require work, so don’t expect a cakewalk here.
Regardless, if you want to teach online and make more than $20+ per hour, there are a range of options to choose from. You just need to ask yourself what you’re looking for, what you want to teach and how many hours you can work. Remember, if you sign up with any of these Chinese companies, you will have to work on their time, which often means wacky hours. This can be a huge turn-off to most, but as with any job, there are always pros and cons.
If you have ever tried any of these companies and/or you want to know more, then you are more than welcome to leave a comment below. Also, if you’re a teacher, be sure to check out the many teacher freebies you can take advantage of right now.
In the meantime, follow the company URLs you like, do a little more research and see if it suits your needs. Best of luck!
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