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It’s no secret that teaching English online is growing in popularity every day. Many people are drawn to this online job because they want to work from home or start a side hustle, but they often wonder, “How much can you make teaching English online?”

In this post, we’ll look at some examples of how much you can make teaching online. Your exact online English teacher pay rate will vary depending on the company and your particular background, but you can use these examples to get an idea of what to expect.

Teaching English Online Pay Rates

There is a lot of variety in online English teacher pay rates because there are so many different companies you can work with. Some platforms have set pay rates for all teachers and others have flexible pay rates that go up or down based on the number of classes you teach.

Other companies allow teachers to set their own pay rate for each lesson, so as you can see there are a lot of moving parts!

In general, most teaching English online companies pay between $8 – $25 USD per hour.

Here are some examples of companies and their advertised pay ranges so you can get an idea of what to expect. Keep in mind that prices might change over time, but I’ll do my best to keep this post up to date. All prices below are listed in USD.

You can find more details about each of these teaching English online companies here.

You might hear me mention things like “Base pay rate” and “incentives” when talking about certain companies.

With some online ESL companies, you’ll be given your specific base pay rate during the hiring process. Your base pay rate is what you’ll earn for every class you teach and this number is based on your qualifications, experience, and performance on the interview.

You have the opportunity to earn additional bonuses and incentives for achieving desirable outcomes like teaching a certain number of classes in a month, getting good parent feedback, or opening classes on short notice.

how much money can you make teaching english online?

Factors That Effect Online English Teacher Pay

There are quite a few factors that impact your online English teacher pay rate.

Teacher Qualifications

With some companies, teachers who have more experience and specialized credentials can earn a higher starting pay rate. On platforms where you set your own pay rate, having professional teaching experience could make it easier to get bookings at a higher price point.

That being said, professional teaching experience is not a requirement for the majority of teaching online jobs. You’ll likely need to have some experience working with students, but this can be in more casual settings like tutoring, mentoring, and coaching.

I know plenty of online teachers who’ve never worked in a traditional classroom but are successful and happy with their remote gig!

Interview Performance

Interview performance can be a big factor in determining your base pay rate. With many platforms, you’ll find out your base pay rate directly after completing the interview phase.

To do well on your interview, follow these tips!

  • Practice the demo teaching material several times. It’s helpful to practice speaking out loud and practicing with another person until you feel comfortable.
  • Complete your interview or teaching demo in a quiet space free from distractions
  • Set up your classroom environment. Use a headset with a microphone attachment, make sure there is plenty of lighting on your face, and use a teaching background if you’re working with children.
  • Use props and visual teaching tools during your teaching sample. A dry erase board and some stuffed animals go a long way!

Amount of Classes Taught

With many companies, you can earn incentives depending on how many classes you teach each month. With VIPKID, for example, you will earn your base rate plus an extra $0.80 per class for the first twenty classes you teach in a month. You’ll earn an extra $1.20 for the 21st – 40th class you teach each month. The more you teach, the more incentives you’ll get in addition to your regular base pay.

Other companies have similar systems where you earn more the more you teach and the longer you’ve been with the company.

Time Zone And Availability

One of the biggest factors that determines how much you earn as an online teacher your schedule and availability. While there are companies with a worldwide student base, many of the larger platforms cater to students in China. If you work for one of these companies while living in North America, you’ll likely be working very early in the morning or late at night.

If you’re a night owl or an early bird, this might not be an issue for you. But many teachers find that they’re somewhat limited by when they can teach because they don’t want to work overnights.

Can you make money teaching English online?

Depending on the hours you’re able to work, it’s possible to make a good chunk of cash teaching English online. To show you what I mean, here are a few scenarios of what your online teaching income could look like.

For the sake of this example, I’ll assume that the teacher is earning $10 USD per class, which comes to $20 USD per hour if you teach two 25-minute classes back to back.

Remember that the scenarios below are just examples. With most companies, you don’t have to work any set amount of time each month and you can change your schedule from week to week.

Example 1: How Much Can I Make Teaching ESL Online As A Side Hustle?

This schedule could be realistic for those looking for some extra money but who only want to work occasionally on evenings and weekends.

  • 1 hour, 2 nights a week + 3 hours on weekends = $100/week
  • Total time commitment = 5 hours/week or 20 hours/month
  • Total earnings before tax = $400/month 

Example 2: How Much Can I Make Teaching Online Part-Time?

In this scenario, we’ll look at a possible payment breakdown for someone trying to make a part-time income. As you can see, even working twelve hours a week on an online English teacher salary really adds up over the course of a month.

  • 4 hours/day , 3 days a week = $240/week
  • Total time commitment = 12 hours/week, 48 hours/month
  • Total earnings before tax = $960/month 

Example 3: How Much Can You Make Teaching English Online Full-Time?

This salary breakdown would be for people who want to teach English online full-time.

Because of the time zone difference, it’s rare for online English teachers to work a traditional 40-hour workweek. Working that many hours while living in North America would mean teaching overnight several days per week. For this example, we’ll use 25-hours per week instead.

  • 5 hours/day, 5 days/week =$500/week
  • Total time commitment = 25 hours/week or 100 hours a month
  • Total earnings before taxes = $2000/month

As you consider these examples, remember that you are free to make your teaching online schedule whatever you want to suit your needs.

It’s possible to use teaching English online as a light income booster or as a serious income opportunity, depending on your personal situation… and tolerance for early mornings. 

Read More About Teaching English Online

how much do online english teachers make | VIPKID salary | teach online pay

About the Author

Hi! I'm Nic. Let's chat about remote work and ways to incorporate more travel into your life. Whether you're here to find an online job or need some tips for planning your next trip, I've got you covered! More about me

3 thoughts on “How much can you make Teaching English Online?”

  1. If you want to be TEFL Certified by a premiere the premier TEFL school in the world that is a preferred company of VIPKids look at International TEFL Academy is one of the largest TEFL schools in the world training over 5,000 teachers a year with TEFL class locations in 25 cities worldwide and the premier Online course.

    4 things going into a TEFL School:
    -Pre Enrollment advice
    -Professional Level Certification
    -Lifetime Job Assistance Worldwide
    -Alumni Support Network

    If you want to know how to compare Online Courses and TEFL schools check out this article

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    If you are looking for the best Online TEFL certification course but not cheap (cheap = tends to equal low quality or little instruction), this is an Ofqual Level 5 course (same as CELTA) with all instructors with a MA or PHD, 2-3 assignments or projects a week that are graded in addition to weekly quizzes and assessments, live webinars and a 20 practicum requirements. 11 week’s. It’s the real deal so if you want real professional training to be a real professional English teacher this is for you.

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    In life if you know the questions to ask then the answers will jump out.

    • Thanks for sharing! I had a great experience with ITA for my TEFL Certification and you’re right, it looks good when applying for online teaching jobs! 🙂

  2. Wow thank you so much for writing this! I’m moving to China to teach English and I was thinking that maybe at some point it might be worth it to spend a year teaching only online instead to travel more frequently and you totally sold me on the idea!

    So glad I found your blog on the ITA alumni page on FB!


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