Bridge TEFL/TESOL Jobs Facebook Group Q&ABy Krzl Light Nunes
October 27, 2020
Do you want to break into the English teaching field but questions and concerns are hampering you from getting started? Don’t worry! The Bridge TEFL/TESOL Jobs group on Facebook is an online community of aspiring and current teachers where you can ask your job-related questions, give or get tips, and find the latest teaching opportunities. In this ongoing series (read the first and second articles), we answer more questions from job seekers in the group.
Julia, from the U.K., asks, “Pay for online jobs varies from company to company. Why is that and how can I know if a high-paid job offer is legit?”
Typical online teaching salaries can range from about $12-25 USD per hour. If an English teaching opportunity catches your eye but the salary it offers is too good to be true, there are several ways to know if such an online ESL job is genuine.
Know what’s included in the offer
First of all, it’s important to understand that the pay rates for online English teachers vary depending on factors such as the base pay, incentives, and bonuses an employer offers. If a company mentions that you could receive a certain income per hour, check if this is the base rate or if that amount is an estimate that includes incentives or bonuses that you could receive.
Take your working hours into account
If you see a higher than average monthly salary range for jobs, remember that the number of hours you teach and class bookings you get also significantly affect how much you’ll earn. Additionally, online teachers who make themselves available during a company’s peak hours – the times of the day when most students take classes — are more likely to earn more than those who teach outside these hours.
Check the kind of company you’ll teach with
While the rates that many online English schools offer fall within a certain range, there are some companies that pay higher than their competitors. These top-paying jobs are usually from the most popular online ESL companies, like GoGoKid, Zebra English, and VIPKid, or schools that already have a large student base.
Consider your qualifications
The more qualified you are as an online English teacher, the higher your rate can be and the better jobs you’ll get! For instance, many companies highly value your teaching experience and put you in a higher pay bracket if you’ve already taught for many years. Aside from experience, the kind of TEFL/TESOL training you had – which includes specialized certifications in teaching online or expertise in a particular teaching niche – may also be taken into consideration when a company determines your base pay.
Rachel, from the U.S., asks: “How can I find students as an independent/freelance teacher?”
While building your own client base as a freelance English teacher may seem challenging, it is nevertheless possible as long as you know where to look for students or where to offer your classes. Sometimes, you can even get new learners in the most unexpected places, like a casual social gathering or while traveling!
Here are some strategies to find students as a freelancer:
Priyanka, from India, asks, “How can I be eligible to travel abroad or work online as an English teacher?”
Getting qualified to teach English abroad or online comes down to ticking the requirements that most employers ask for. Let’s look at the qualifications you’ll need for each type of TEFL/TESOL job.
Teaching English abroad
While the prerequisites for teaching English overseas depend on the region you want to work in, the majority of employers look for the following in applicants:
Teaching English Online
The requirements for teaching English online are generally similar to those for teaching abroad in an actual classroom. However, online ESL companies will more often than not look for the following additional requirements:
Kelly, from the U.S., asks, “After I finish my TEFL course, how can I keep preparing to teach English while I’m waiting to find the right job?”
If you’re already got your TEFL/TESOL certification, then there’s no better moment to start gaining English teaching experience but now. In doing so, you’ll be creating a solid TEFL resume and boost your chances of getting hired once you apply for positions in schools, institutions, or online companies. Here are some ways to build teaching experience while you’re waiting for a teaching job that best suits you:
Camille, from Canada, asks, “Will the job help with sponsoring visas?”
If you want to venture overseas as an English teacher but you’re worried about how to legally work abroad, rest assured that it’s possible to get support from potential employers – although this depends substantially on the country and the kind of school you want to work for in that country.
Here are the regions where many schools help you in securing a work permit or visa.
Plenty of qualified English teachers have easily landed jobs in Asian countries like China, Japan, or Thailand because of two major reasons: 1) there is no shortage of available EFL teaching positions, and 2) the majority of well-established companies provide visa sponsorship to successful applicants even before they arrive in the country to teach. Moreover, employers sometimes offer to cover moving expenses, such as airfare and housing.
In popular English teaching destinations in the Middle East, like Saudi Arabia or the U.A.E., foreign teachers must be sponsored by a school or company, which will take care of the paperwork for getting your employment visa. It’s also highly recommended that teachers secure a teaching job and have the necessary teaching credentials and a work permit or visa in hand before entering these countries.