If you’re looking for a reliable and consistent way to make a living from home teaching English online is a great option. It can be a little more complicated if you have never done it before but there are many opportunities for you to teach English online with no experience if you really want to.
In this article, we show you 16 places that offer online teaching jobs to those with no prior experience teaching English. We also provide lots of expert tips for making a success of teaching online – either as a way to make extra part-time income or as a full-time job.
Opportunities to Teach English
English is the third most widely spoken language across the globe. It’s also widely considered to be the “global language of business.” Still, what’s taught in classrooms abroad doesn’t always cut it, leading many people to turn to an online teacher who is a native speaker.
This makes sense. Where else would a non-native learn bonkers phrases such as “beat around the bush,” or that “break a leg” doesn’t actually mean that we want people to break a leg?
Naturally, this has created a whole host of opportunities for teaching English. The advantage today is that you no longer have to go abroad to teach English – unless you want to! An English speaker can become an online teacher working from home for as many hours per week as they like.
In some cases, you can even get started without a degree and without any teaching experience.
With that in mind, here is our list of online teaching companies that do not require experience for you to get a teaching job.
16 Companies That Hire Online English Teachers With No Teaching Experience
With a 3.7 star rating on GlassDoor at the time of writing, VIPKid is one of the leaders in the teaching English online market. Students are typically from China, Japan and Korea – though VIPKid connects students and teachers from around the world.
What’s great about VIPKid is that classes are delivered one-on-one to students, and all lesson plans, materials and training is provided.
The only snag is you need a Bachelor’s degree. VIPKid also has quite a stringent application process, which you can read more about in our full review of VIPKid. You can also check out our article on how to breeze through the VIPKid interview process and start earning. VIPKid pays between $14 and $22 for every hour.
As many as 800,000 Chinese children aged between 4 and 12 use Qkids to learn English as a second language.
To become a teacher to those young learners, Qkids simply asks that you be eligible to work in the US or Canada, have a Bachelor’s degree, and a teaching license or TEFL/TESOL certificate. In the interview, they will ask about prior experience teaching or working with children but it is not a requirement.
Candidates are also required to submit a video introduction as part of the interview process. Make sure to do this well as it will be used to help evaluate how suitable you are for online teaching.
Qkids pays $16-20 an hour, with each lesson being 30 minutes. If you’re in the US, the early morning hours may be something to grumble about. This is due to the time difference between the US and China.
The first thing you need to know about Berlitz is that they don’t just offer online ESL education. So if you choose this option, just be aware that you will need to actively look for ESL specific roles within their “Berlitz Virtual Classroom.’”
As for qualifications, you guessed it – you need a Bachelor’s degree to qualify (and it needs to be from the US).
The good news is that while teaching experience is preferred, it’s not a must. You can also teach English online without TEFL certification.
Another benefit is that you have the option of providing one-on-one tutoring, or teaching to a group. Pay is around $14 per hour.
Cambly is one of the more straightforward platforms that allow you to teach online. You can become an online English teacher by simply logging in and starting to teach people from all around the world. No work minimums. No TEFL courses. No experience necessary. No jumping through hoops.
The downside is that the system allows people to take free trial sessions, which can mean teaching English to less serious students. But does it really matter when you can earn $10.20 an hour to teach English online with no experience? Or $0.17 per minute to be more precise, which is how they actually structure their pay.
italki boasts having over 3 million students with 5,000+ teachers. People can teach from anywhere around the world with a headset, computer and internet connection.
What’s different about this company is that you get to choose how much you charge and work according to your availability. For that pleasure, italki takes a 15% commission, though that’s a relatively small price to pay given the extent of the opportunities.
The downside of a job setup like this is that it breeds a ‘race to the bottom’ bidding war, where the teacher with the lowest hourly rate typically gets the most students. You’re also essentially competing online against thousands of other teacher profiles, and it’s easy to get lost in the noise.
But with the right promotion and a fee that is just right, there’s a lot of potential to do well in this teaching job.
The last thing you should know is that profiles come in two tiers:
- A community tutor profile where you must simply agree to a code of conduct to sign up.
- A professional teaching profile where you need to submit documents detailing your teaching certification or experience to be accepted. This means that if you have a TEFL certificate then you could become a professional English teacher even without any actual experience.
What’s interesting about Preply is that it features a job board that teachers can browse. They apply directly to jobs posted by Preply students. It’s a bit like applying for positions on a platform like Upwork.
There is also a searchable marketplace that lets students view the profile of each online teacher. One of the main selling points is that this platform allows you to be more like the owner of your own English teaching business.
Just be aware that it’s not just English as a Second Language that Preply offers. As with italki, Preply works on a “choose your own rate” basis. The commission can be anywhere between 18 to 33% depending on your time worked.
As for qualifications, you don’t need experience teaching online, experience teaching English, or even TEFL to get started. But, if you do not have any teaching experience then you will have to work harder to attract people to your profile.
Of all the platforms out there, Magic Ears is certainly one of the more complex ones. This is primarily because the pay structure can be rather confusing.
Let me explain: Depending on previous experience, Magic Ears pays a basic rate of $9 to $11 per class. Each lasts for 25 minutes, and is followed by student evaluations. If you meet targets, such as showing up eight minutes before the first class and keeping to schedule, you can earn an extra dollar per hour.
On top of that, there are performance-based incentives that, if met, can take you to an hourly rate of $26. The problem is that the tiers are not well very explained and the incentives are easily missed, so you have to be really vigilant if you want to pocket the maximum fee.
This system teaches English online to Chinese students aged 4 to 12 and is open to teachers in the US and Canada. If you want to teach English for them you must have a Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification, and the application process is quite lengthy (there are six steps in total).
Just remember that if you do get a job teaching for them without prior experience, you will be earning on the lowest end of their pay scale.
This is a one-on-one system that teaches English to children between the ages of 4 and 16. DadaABC is a company with an impressive web presence and a strong support team. Contract terms run for six or 12 months and the company offers up to $25 per hour, making it one of the highest payers currently out there.
Apparently, DadaABC is “the first online English education company in mainland China to partner with the American TESOL Institute.” The company is partnered with Pearson Education, McGraw-Hill Education, Oxford University Press, National Geographic Learning, and Highlights.
In terms of qualifications, you do need a Bachelor’s degree and a teaching credential such as a TEFL certificate to become an online teacher. Candidates should be native English speakers, but can be based anywhere in the world.
In order to get a job working from home with DadaABC you will need to make sure to check their site frequently as they do not always have online English teaching jobs available.
Englishunt gives you the opportunity to get paid $14.50 an hour teaching English to students from Japan, China and Korea.
Student age can vary, and there are both live video classes and live phone classes. Which you are allowed to do will depend on your qualifications.
To conduct a video class, for instance, you have to hold a four-year degree and in most cases a TEFL/TESOL teaching certificate. But for the phone classes, it’s just a two-year degree – no other qualifications or experience required.
There are some rules around working hours, and you have to go through an application process, but it’s not any more arduous than any of the others.
You DO have to live in the US for this particular teach English online opportunity.
British readers will be particularly interested to hear that this company is based in the beautiful English City of Cambridge.
Twosigmas offer ESL learning to students all over the world, including China, so there’s always plenty of opportunities. Children aged between 5 and 12 are currently the most in need of services, but you could end up teaching English online to adults when you work with Twosigmas.
All the usual degree and TEFL requirements apply. As well as being a native English speaker you must have a “neutral accent.” If you tick all of the boxes you could teach English online with no experience and earn an hourly rate of around $20.
Global Mate New York is open to US residents who want to teach English and are a native English speaker.
This is a great option if you want to teach English online to adults and are open to working on a six-month job contract. This online teaching service is predominantly aimed at Korean students aged between 19 and 50, though some learners are even older and the rest are middle or high school students.
Average hourly pay is allegedly $12 with bonuses available. You can apply as long as you have a four-year degree. You don’t need any previous teaching experience, but it’s better if you have it.
Rosetta Stone offer ESL tutoring in addition to their famous language learning courses. The company pays tutors between $10 and $15 per hour to teach English online. They largely hire from the USA and UK, but they will also recruit a native speaker from other English speaking countries if they have a degree.
Teaching experience is preferred but not required.
They follow a fairly rigid online teaching schedule and look for teachers who can commit to 8-10 hours per week.
Based in Japan, SkimaTalk recruits teachers who want to teach English online from around the world to help their students “go global.”
If you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree then this is a good option for you, as it’s not one of the requirements. You also don’t need to have any prior English teaching experience or official training, though it is preferred.
All the company asks is that you are committed, passionate and professional. You obviously have to be an English native speaker too, but that goes without saying.
If you’re wondering how much this job pays, apparently top teachers can earn more than $1000 a month, so this is definitely an option worth exploring.
One of the fastest growing online English teaching platforms out there, SayABC will pay you up to $17 for each 40-minute class.
The work involves teaching English online to Chinese students. Each teacher works with small classes of young learners between the ages of 5 and 12. Ideally, you will have a Bachelor’s degree, but apparently, this company also accepts students who are close to completing their studies.
Landi English uses a student-centred teaching method called Peer Study, based on CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning).
The benefits of landing one of their online English teaching jobs include stable bookings, a referral bonus and a set curriculum – not to mention an hourly rate of $10 to $18.
A degree and TEFL/TESOL teaching certificate is required but teaching experience is only preferred, not a must. If this sounds like a good fit for you, then start the five-step application process today.
If you want to earn money for chatting about something you love with students from abroad, Cafetalk is definitely the platform for you!
Unlike most English teaching sites that provide a set curriculum, you can choose to teach Japanese students about less academic topics such as music, art, fashion and so on. This is because students get to pick a category that interests them. Categories do include business, academic tutoring and IT and programming, so there is still the option to teach more scholastic subjects.
What also makes this company stand out from the crowd is that lessons can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 120 minutes. You can also teach on weekends and during the holidays if you wish to.
For these reasons, coupled with average pay of $20 plus per hour, competition can be fierce between tutors on this platform.
How to Avoid Scams when Teaching English Online
This is something we need to address. Sadly, there are companies out there that will want to scam you. It’s just the way of things.
To help make sure it doesn’t happen to you, we’ve put together a few tips on warning flags to look out for on online teacher job ads. You’ll also find some general tips on avoiding online scams here:
- If a job ad is vague and full of poor English, that’s not good. A company that expects you to teach English should know the language and have people around to proof-read their content!
- If there is ever any talk of you having to pay the company money, run! That’s not how these online teaching jobs should work. Along the same lines, some scammers will send money and then expect you to wire back a small portion. This can be indicative of money laundering, or a scam in which people get money through cancelling/disputing transfers.
- If there is no screening process or interview, that’s a problem. Teaching English online is a huge responsibility. You’re often educating other people’s children. A legit company will want to check you, test you and vet you. When a job seems to magically fall into your lap, it’s probably not a legit gig.
- If the pay is too good to be true, it’s most likely a scam. If the school is offering double or triple the industry standard, that’s a major red flag.
- Email addresses should show the domain of a company, not Gmail, Hotmail or another free email service. It’s not a 100% sign of a scam, but it’s a possible red flag. Check the emails listed on the company’s website and see if the domains match up.
- Look at a company’s website before applying. Does it look professionally made? Does it provide concrete information on the application process? Bonus points for real photos of students and teachers!
- Also, take a look at sites like GlassDoor and Indeed to read reviews on each online teaching company.
IMPORTANT: Although we’ve taken great care to research these opportunities, we’ve obviously not worked for all of these companies. You MUST do your own due diligence and proceed with caution.
Learning to Teach English Online with No Experience
Remember, one of the best ways to find legit opportunities is being exactly the kind of candidate that companies and students want to hire! This means having in-demand teaching abilities and being an English speaker. You may have no prior experience actually teaching English, but you should definitely try to take a course such as TEFL to make you a better candidate for a position as an English teacher.
Click on the links below to explore some relevant training courses and get started.
Top Tips and Your Questions About Teaching English Online Answered
Is Teaching English Online a Legitimate Work From Home Opportunity?
Teaching online is a legitimate way of making money. There are plenty of reputable and genuine companies taking on English speakers as ESL teachers to provide online English education to students. However, there are also many that are NOT legitimate.
Hopefully with the tips we’ve given you – and your own resourcefulness – you will be able to determine which ones are legit and which ones aren’t.
Can I Make a Living Teaching English Online?
The potential is definitely there for online ESL teaching to be a full-time gig. You can make a decent living if you have the right credentials.
It can take some time to reach that goal. But with a bit of patience and lots of hard work, there’s no reason why you can’t carve out a career – or perhaps just a sideline – as an online ESL teacher.
One idea is to work as a teacher for two or more companies, which is perfectly doable. As far as we know, most company’s contracts contain no limits on who you can work for.
How Much does it Pay to Teach English Online – and Who Pays the Most?
The pay for online English teaching can vary significantly. Some companies pay $10 per hour or less, while others can offer up to $30, taking into account bonuses and incentives.
Some English teaching websites allow you to choose your own hourly rates, but take a commission. In terms of who pays the most, DadaABC is certainly amongst one of the highest payers.
Can you Teach English Online without a Degree?
Most teach English online websites require you to have a Bachelor’s degree of some kind. However, it doesn’t always need to be a teaching degree.
There are some exceptions to this rule. Companies such as Cambly and SkimaTalk take on English teachers without degrees, but the pay is usually lower as a result. If you’re currently in the midst of a degree, don’t rule yourself out – there are companies that accept students who are near completion of their studies, or in possession of a foundation degree.
What Qualifications Do I Need to Teach English Online?
To teach English online, most companies require teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree. In addition, those who want to teach English will need to have completed a TEFL/TESOL course. Basically, this is just a certificate that says you’re qualified to teach English as a second language. A general teaching certificate may also be required, depending on the company. Invariably you must be a native English speaker.
How do I get a TEFL Certification?
You’ll be pleased to know that it’s neither difficult nor time-consuming to get a TEFL certification. All you have to do is find a course that suits your needs and preferences. You can carry out the work online, in person or through a combination of the two.
We recommend that you reach out to a few TEFL certificate providers before you make your decision and where possible find out as much as you can about the service.
Customer reviews and word of mouth feedback (if you know anyone that has taken TEFL courses) can be really helpful with this. Websites such as MyGoAbroad also allow you to compare programmes.
It’s also not a bad idea to reach out to some of the English tutoring companies about it, because it may be that they can offer some assistance in this area. Some even provide the TEFL courses themselves. VIPKid, for instance, has its own course that is available through their teacher portal at no extra cost.
However, you choose to approach it, be sure not to waste any time getting started. The longer you take to gain your TEFL certification the longer it will take to start earning money!
Do Online English Teaching Companies Provide Training?
Most English teaching companies provide some form of training, whether that be video training or via other online media. This ensures that each English teacher is fully prepared for the task ahead and gives them peace of mind in your knowledge.
What Equipment Do I Need for Online English Teaching?
The most important equipment for teaching English online is a laptop or desktop computer. Phones and tablets are usually a no go and you need enough memory and processing power to prevent time delay and lagging.
Apart from that, you will need a headset, a webcam (if it’s not already built into your computer) and very fast internet!
Many tutoring companies will ask that you have a certain internet speed, and some will even request that you are directly linked to broadband with an Ethernet cable to ensure maximum connection stability.
In terms of teaching apparatus, you don’t necessarily have to use anything else other than the material provided, but it can help to go the extra mile and use props such as flashcards and a whiteboard. For younger students, you can even use things like puppets and stuffed animals or include music. The sky really is the limit.
Just remember that the more effort you put in, the better the feedback will be from the students. This can make all the difference to how much you get paid!
What is the Interview Process Like?
The interview process varies from company to company, but to give you an idea of what to expect here’s an example of how it can play out:
- Application: First you set up an account online providing the relevant details. This is to check your eligibility. If you don’t have the right credentials at this point, you won’t make it to the second step. Almost all will ask about your experience but remember that it is not necessary in order to be hired as an English teacher. They may merely want to know or they may need it to establish your pay as a teacher.
- Demonstration and mock class: If the first step is successful you might be expected to demonstrate your skills or carry out a mock class – or both! The demonstration aspect might just be you having a live one-on-one interview. Some companies may ask that you provide a recording of you reading a story or introducing yourself. This is just so they can gauge your personality and your command of the English language. As for the mock class, it’s exactly what it sounds like. But don’t worry, some companies will allow you to repeat the mock class as many times as necessary to pass.
- Documentation: At some point in the process you will also be expected to upload any relevant documents, as well as a drivers license or some other form of identification.
- Background check: It is perfectly normal to have a background check carried out on you before you are allowed to teach. If it’s not something they insist on, then perhaps they’re not the best company to work for. It’s there to protect the students, after all.
How Can I Become a Good Online English Teacher?
Although you can begin to teach English online with no experience, the reality is that experience will make you a better online teacher.
When you start out teaching English online you will be relying on lesson plans and what you learnt during the course to get your TEFL certification (or equivalent). As you accumulate more hours in online classrooms you will want to pay close attention to what captures your students’ attention and what methods help non-native speakers improve their English.
Remember that online English teaching jobs are just the online version of teaching English abroad. But with online teaching you need to pay closer attention to benefit from student feedback.
If you want to become a great online English teacher then you will need to make sure that you put in the effort. Experience is about much more than simply the hours you have logged teaching English online.
Hopefully we’ve given you more than enough information to be able to teach English online with no experience. All that’s left to do is for you to get your TEFL/TESOL qualifications in order and begin your online English teaching journey today. Good luck!
Sherree is a specialist writer for the healthcare and dentistry sectors who, every so often, likes to break away and write about something completely different! Loves getting into the topic and ending up down a rabbit hole during research.