How to Tell If Online English Teaching Jobs Are LegitimateBy Jennifer Collis
November 2, 2020
A job teaching English online almost seems too good to be true – can you really choose your own schedule, work from your living room, and make over $20 an hour – even if you have no previous teaching experience? In other words, are online English teaching jobs legitimate? In fact, they are, and as a virtual English teacher, you’ll even have the chance to help people improve their lives along the way. Here’s what you need to know about finding and landing online teaching jobs you can trust.
What kinds of legitimate jobs are there as an online English teacher?
Work with a company
Most new online English teachers apply to teach with companies since they provide the teaching platform, students, and curriculum. Each company has its own range of hourly pay for teachers, based on their requirements and other criteria. Sometimes you can earn bonuses and incentives to raise your hourly rate, but essentially, there is an upper limit to what you can make.
Post a profile via a teacher marketplace
Another option is to offer your services within a trusted teacher marketplace, meaning you post your profile on a portal where students browse through teachers and select the one they want. This model offers more flexibility, as each teacher sets his or her own rates. It’s less common with new teachers since some marketing is involved and teachers usually have to create their own lesson materials and use an outside teaching platform.
Start your own freelance ESL tutoring business
A third option is to become a “teacherpreneur” and start your own private tutoring business. Although working for yourself requires the most commitment, the sky’s the limit when it comes to earning potential! This option is popular with experienced teachers who may have started out working for a company but are ready to break off on their own.
If you’re interested in learning how to start your own freelance tutoring business, check out Bridge’s Specialized Certification Course: Teaching English Online as a Freelancer.
How can you tell if an online English teaching job with a company is legitimate?
If, like most first-time teachers, you decide to teach online with a company, you’ll probably use TEFL/TESOL job boards, such as the Bridge Job Board, to find potential employers. Or you can use more general job boards, such as Indeed.com or Monster.com, or even do a general online search using keywords such as “online English teaching jobs,” to find potential companies. You’ll quickly see there’s no shortage of options!
However, when it comes to making sense of all these options and choosing the most legitimate jobs, there are some strategies for verifying the authenticity and reputation of online teaching companies.
Can you really make money teaching English online?
Let’s answer the question most people have – what are teaching English online salaries – how much can I make? The average hourly rate of pay for an online English teacher working for a company is between $14 and $25, and it’s also possible to make much more. Where you fall on this range depends on factors like the type of job you choose, the company you work with, and the qualifications you bring to the table as a competitive candidate.
What qualifications do legitimate online English teaching jobs require?
You don’t have to have all of the following qualifications to teach English online, but like any job, the more qualified you are, the more options you’ll have!
A TEFL certification is required to teach English online with most companies (120 hours or more is typically the standard). But if you want to stand out from other candidates with the most legitimate companies (and land on the higher end of the pay scale), add specialized training in Teaching English online to your credentials as well. Specialized in-person or online TEFL certification not only demonstrates your dedication to learning the specific skills and technology needed to teach in the virtual classroom but shows employers you’re serious about being the best online English teacher you can be.
A university degree
Not all companies will require that you have a bachelor’s degree, but some will. Your degree can usually be in any field, and some companies with this requirement also accept applicants who are currently enrolled in university.
High level of English proficiency
Teaching English online requires a high level of English proficiency. Some companies only accept applications from native English speakers, while others are open to teachers of all backgrounds. Non-native English speakers may be required to show proof of their English level, such as by providing the results from English proficiency exams.
Some online teaching companies require a minimum amount of experience to qualify for jobs or to fall into a higher pay bracket. However, many different types of experience can count for this, especially work with kids, including tutoring, homeschooling, babysitting, or coaching.