Feeling the economic impact of coronavirus, more people than ever of all ages, professions, and backgrounds are looking for jobs they can do online from the comfort and safety of home. Fortunately, teaching English online provides an option — and arguably one of the best ones — to do just that. What makes this field such a good choice? The demand for teachers is high, the schedule is flexible, and the pay is competitive. Not sure how to get an online teaching job? See how you can get started — even if you’ve never taught before!
What are the qualifications to teach English online?
Basic teaching online requirements
Requirements to teach English online vary from one company to the next, with most requiring:
- TEFL certification
- English proficiency
- A college degree
- A background in teaching or experience working with kids
Don’t worry if you don’t have a degree or experience, or even if English isn’t your first language; there are online tutoring opportunities for people of all backgrounds and experience levels. Start by assessing your current qualifications and choosing an accredited TEFL certification online course that’s right for you (a minimum of 120 hours is recommended).
Contact a Bridge job advisor to learn about what TEFL certification you need
Better yet, contact an experienced Bridge advisor, who can help you choose the right TEFL/TESOL course for your specific plans. Get started with teaching online by filling out a short form to tell us a bit about yourself, and we’ll follow up with a recommended TEFL/TESOL program.
For example, previously TEFL-qualified or experienced teachers often just need to add a Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online to their credentials to prepare them for the job they want.
New teachers can also learn about courses like the 240-Hour TEFL/TESOL Certification Bundle to Teach Online and Worldwide, which provides you with both foundational training and specialized training in teaching online so you can qualify for a variety of jobs.
How do I find online teaching jobs?
Look at Bridge Preferred Employment Partners
You can start looking at potential online teaching jobs well before you complete your TEFL/TESOL certification by checking out Bridge’s Preferred Employment Partners. These Preferred Partners are reputable, fully-vetted online tutoring companies that Bridge works closely with and that are actively seeking qualified teachers.
Gabrielle, an online teacher who works for both iTutorGroup and SpeakingEnglish, said, “I found both jobs through the Bridge Job Board. That’s been awesome. I’ve used the platform, I’ve studied through them, and I’ve gotten both of my jobs through them.”
Become a freelance online English teacher
Another option is to freelance via an ESL marketplace or start your own tutoring company. If you use a marketplace, you will promote yourself on a platform that connects you with students, and you’ll pay a commission fee for each class you teach.
If you start your own business, however, you’ll be responsible for finding online ESL students and will get to keep all of the money you earn. If you decide to go this route, it’s a good idea to get a Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online as a Freelancer so you can create a solid business plan and learn the ins and outs of finding your TEFL niche, promoting your brand, and scaling your business.
Luisa, a freelance online ESL teacher, had this to say about starting her own online business:
“This has kind of been a comeback for me because I was for some time away from teaching English. The pandemic put me into that online mindset that’s now necessary. I said, ‘You know what? I should go back to teaching and use that online platform to be my office.’ So, I’ve been just keeping my social media and my website as a source of leads. And on these platforms, I advertise myself. It’s kind of a new thing for me. I’m just putting my feet in the water slowly and testing the waters to see how it’s going to be. But I love doing it.”
What should I expect during the online teaching job interview?
Whether you apply to jobs directly or let Bridge match you with Preferred Employment Partners, the next step to get an online teaching job is the interview. Most online teaching jobs require several steps in the interview process, including the typical Q&A, as well as a demo teaching lesson.
Don’t panic! You’ll likely get detailed instructions on what they’re looking for during the hiring process for online teaching jobs, so you can adequately prepare for your TEFL/TESOL interview. You can even find example videos on YouTube, like this one from a Bridge Preferred Partner, VIPKid, so you know what to expect.
There are many reasons to become an online English teacher, and whether you choose to work for a company, freelance via a marketplace, or start your own tutoring business, finding an online teaching job is possible with just a little bit of time and effort and the right tools!