Can I Teach English Online With No Degree?By Camille Turner
January 29, 2021
Teaching English online from home is a great way to ensure a steady income while enjoying a flexible work schedule. While each online teaching job has different requirements, it is possible to teach English online with no degree. We’ll review how to make yourself the best possible candidate for these jobs and share which companies you can apply to if you’re ready to get started.
What qualifications do you need to teach English online?
Nearly every job teaching English online requires you to have a certificate in TEFL/TESOL (generally one that incorporates at least 120 hours of study, like Bridge Professional Certificates).
Having a more focused teaching certificate, such as Specialized TEFL/TESOL Certification in Teaching English Online as well (ideally with a practicum) will help you exceed hiring qualifications.
Watch a video to learn more about Bridge Teaching English Online courses:
Another one of the standard requirements to teach English online is a high level of fluency in English, which makes perfect sense considering no student is going to want to learn English from a teacher who isn’t fluent.
Although we’re going to focus on teaching English online without a degree, some companies will have this requirement. Usually, this means a bachelor’s degree, though it can often be in any subject.
Prior teaching experience (or experience working with kids), though not always required, is also a huge plus and can help you compete with other job applicants.
Is it possible to teach English online with no degree? How can I stand out?
Yes, it is possible to teach English online without a degree if you know where to look. Again, if you don’t have a degree and you want to stand out to potential employers, the best way to do so is to show that you have other relevant qualifications and experience.
Specialize your training
One of the easiest ways to make yourself marketable is to go beyond general TEFL/TESOL certification and get a Specialized Certificate in Teaching English Online. This shows employers that you have the necessary skills needed to teach in the virtual classroom, including knowledge of the terms, technology, and ESL teaching methods that online teachers use.
If you don’t have much prior experience, taking a Practicum in Teaching English Online is a great way to gain some and to even showcase recordings of online classes that you’ve taught. You’ll get to practice with real students and will end up with a video portfolio of classes to show employers.
Focus on professional development
Professional development for ESL teachers is important if you want to continue to grow as a teacher and stand out to employers. One of the easiest ways to continue your professional development is to take Micro-credential courses in specialized areas of teaching English online.
These courses are short, typically only 10-20 hours, and help teachers develop specific skills in areas like:
To find opportunities to teach English online with no degree, check out that focuses on online English teaching jobs.
For what companies can I teach English online without a degree?
Below are some great options for teaching English online with no degree. Some of the companies don’t require a degree at all while others stipulate that you don’t have to currently hold a degree but you have to at least be enrolled in a degree program.
PalFish is a company that offers three different types of classes for Chinese students: free talk/live streams, the official kids’ course, and the Philippines course. Pay rate differs depending on which class you teach, with free talk/live streams allowing you to set your own rate. To teach with PalFish, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree, but you must be fluent in English (though not necessarily a native speaker), creative, passionate about teaching, have some experience, and hold a TEFL/TESOL certification.
With Lingoda, you can teach English to adults in both private and group classes. You can design your own schedule, and the company provides the curriculum for you, so there’s minimal class prep time. To qualify to teach with Lingoda, you’ll need to have a teaching certification and at least three years of previous teaching experience (either online or in a physical classroom), but you won’t need a degree.
Based in New York, Voxy offers private and group classes to learners around the world and specializes in task-based teaching using authentic materials only. The purpose of Voxy’s online teacher-led classes is to complement the language training and instruction that learners get with Voxy’s self-study product. They prefer you to have previous teaching experience, including having taught English online, and that you have knowledge of at least one foreign language.
While iBestTeacher prefers that applicants have a bachelor’s degree, it isn’t necessarily a requirement. They also prefer candidates with a TEFL/TESOL certification and some prior experience tutoring or teaching, but their only real requirements are to be fluent in English and have a clear speaking voice. With iBestTeacher, you’ll be teaching students ages 4 to 15, and your pay rate will be determined based on your training and demo class results. As for flexibility, while you can choose your schedule when you’re first hired, changing your availability in the middle of a contract is discouraged (though not impossible).
TomABC offers 25-minute classes to very young children (ages 4 to 6). You don’t have to have a bachelor’s degree to work with TomABC, but you do need to be enrolled in a degree program in order to teach for this company. Classes are one-on-one, and your students will change each time. With no weekly hourly requirement, this company offers maximum flexibility.
Magic Ears is a company based in China that connects teachers with young students and teens. The curriculum is provided for you through the teaching platform, so there’s little class planning on your part. Your initial pay rate depends on your qualifications, and there are plenty of opportunities to earn bonuses and raises along the way. While you don’t need to have a bachelor’s degree, like TomABC, you do need to demonstrate that you’re at least enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program.
Like TomABC and Magic Ears, you’ll need to be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program if you don’t already have a bachelor’s degree and you’d like to work for Open English. This company requires a minimum of 10 teaching hours each week. You’ll be teaching personalized and group classes to students who are largely based in Latin America.
What other options do I have to teach online without a degree?
If you don’t want to work for a company like those above and you’re still wondering how to teach English online without a degree, there are a couple of additional freelance options you may want to consider.
Using the marketplace for teaching English online
The first is using the marketplace for teaching English online, via sites like italki or Preply. These types of companies work somewhat like agents, supplying both a platform on which you can create an online teacher profile and a pool of potential students you can attract to your profile.
You’ll create your own online English teaching schedule and pay rate and market yourself to the students who the company has recruited. In exchange for helping to connect you with students and handling all financial transactions, these marketplaces will take a cut of your earnings.
Starting your own freelance online English tutoring business
The other option to teach English online with no degree is to start your own freelance tutoring business. While this takes a good bit of work upfront (choosing a teaching platform, marketing to students, creating a curriculum, finding a solution for conducting financial transactions, etc.), it can be worth it in the long run once you’ve established a steady number of students. You’ll get to decide everything from pay rate to teaching hours to class type. You’ll essentially get to be your own boss!
Before you dive into starting your own business, consider taking a Specialized Course in Teaching English Online as a Freelancer to learn more about finding your niche, promoting your brand, handling accounting, and taking care of other logistics when it comes to launching and running a freelance online English tutoring business.
As you can see, the answer to “Can you teach English online without a degree?” is a resounding, “Absolutely!” If you know where to look and have set yourself apart with a Specialized TEFL/TESOL Certification in Teaching English Online, you’re sure to find a job in no time.