You are looking for ways to teach Business English online, but quite frankly you feel a bit disorientated and you don’t have a clear idea as to where to start – or if it is actually possible.
If it resonates with you… you are not alone.
When I was teaching English online and making USD6K a month, I had to figure it out all by myself and learn through trial and error.
You don’t have to. In this complete guide, you will find all the ins and outs of teaching Business English online from the requirements to how much you can make and all the options you have to get started.
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Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
- What Is TEFL Business English?
- What Qualifications Do I Need To Teach Business English?
- How Can I Teach Business English Online?
- How Do You Teach Someone Business English?
- How Much Can You Make Teaching Business English?
- Teach Business English Online – Pro Tips
- How To Teach Business English Online
What Is TEFL Business English?
TEFL Business English is quite different from TEF L(teaching English as a foreign language).
That’s pretty straightforward. Why?
First off, teaching Business English encompasses only a set of specific terms and scenarios that are relevant to the corporate world, while teaching General English is more broad in scope and does not have any particular boundary.
If you want to become a Business English teacher, you need to consider three main factors which make TEFL Business English a lot different from teaching ESL (English as a Second Language):
- Students – Your students will be mainly highly motivated working adults (or college students) who want to get fast results without wasting time and money. If you love teaching conversational English to kids and teenagers and cover a wide variety of topics it may not be a good fit for you.
- Content – There is no one-size-fits-all program, but generally speaking you must focus on areas that can boost your students’ performance at work. This includes:
- Presentation skills
- Small talk
- Business English Vocabulary
- Business Lingo
- Goals – Bear in mind that your students have a very strong bias towards results and performance. They don’t need to be entertained (although your lesson should not be tedious) like kids and teenagers and they have zero (or less) tolerance for any activity that does not provide immediate value and actionable insights.
- Demand and Earning potential – With the exponential growth of tools and technologies, learning English has become much easier due to the sheer amount of newbie and intermediate content, whereas specialized content is still not readily available.
Unlike General English teachers, any experienced Business English teacher who knows how to market their services will be incredibly sought-after in the years to come.
What Qualifications Do I Need To Teach Business English?
There are a few ways you can go about teaching Business English Online – I will touch on this in the next paragraph.
In case you want to land a teaching job and work for a company, most of them place more emphasis on three factors (in addition to having an excellent command of English):
- Teaching experience
- Exposure to a business environment
- Intermediate fluency in another language
That’s quite a big departure from Chinese or other ESL companies that usually require (before the implementation of the Chinese regulation regarding private tutoring) only that you:
- Are a native English speaker
- A University Degree
- A teaching certificate
That said if you also meet the latter ones you will certainly have a competitive advantage which is key to teaching Business English. A certificate I always recommend is Let’s TEFL.. you can check it out.
So if you have ever googled stuff like ‘teach English online no experience’
or ‘teach English online no degree’, then teaching English to business professionals online is definitely the way to go, especially if you have the confidence and the skills to start your own business – yeah, I am going to expand on this as well.
How Can I Teach Business English Online?
By now you are probably sold on the idea that teaching Business English online is a sweet gig. So how can you get started?
There are three main ways you can teach Business English online:
- Online ESL Companies – Work for an ESL company that focuses on teaching Business English to professionals.
- Freelance Marketplaces – Set up your profile on an online platform that connects students with teachers and teach Business English.
- Start your own business – Become a business English teacher online by setting up your coaching business.
Teach Business English Online: Jobs – Top Online ESL Companies
To apply for most of the Business English teaching jobs you must:
- Be a near-native English speaker
- Have teaching Experience
- Have some exposure to a business environment
Some companies also require a teaching certificate and a degree.
Here is a list of the top online Business English teaching jobs (and the hourly rate for each of them):
- Learnship – USD10-30
- Lingoda – USD8-10
- Learnlight – USD13-18
- GoforLanguages – USD12.5-16
- Vivaling – USD20-26
- Woospeak – USD16-20
- 1to1progress – USD12-16
- Fluentify – USD20-25
- Bright Learning – USD12
- Break Into English – USD15-18
- English First – USD16
- Iboux – USD8-10
If you want to discover even more online ESL companies (including pay and requirements for each company) you can read my guide about all the Vipkid alternatives.
Teach Business Online – Top Online ESL Marketplaces
To qualify for an online ESL marketplace, the requirements are usually less strict. But beware that your profile may still be rejected.
These companies value your experience and credentials, but most importantly your ability to convey your passion for teaching and your track record in providing results. Here are the most renowned online ESL Marketplaces where you can teach Business English online:
The best and the worst part about these companies is that you set your own rate and you can earn over USD40 per hour as well as nothing at all.
If you want to know how I increased my rate and made USD6K a month you can get my course here.
Teach Business Online – Start Your Own Business
It is quite possible that you have no idea how to start an ESL tutoring business. Well, unless you have been thinking about it for a while, why would you?
No, you don’t need to make an online tutoring business plan (that may come in handy, but not at this stage).
First things first… You must find your X, Y, Z.
‘I am not a fan of math, Aisha’. Neither am I! If you want to succeed you must help X to achieve Y with Z. Let me elaborate on this:
- Find a niche (X) – Start with your background and interests and do research, but I want you to keep this in the back of your mind: you are not just helping Italian learners, medical professionals or… (X), you are helping them to achieve Y. You are helping people who are ready to change.
- Create your Curriculum (Y) – You are not teaching a bunch of unrelated nonsense out of context. You are helping X to achieve Y. For example, you are helping Latin American learners to land a job in the US. Anything that does not serve this purpose, you can lovingly cut it out.
- Craft your Messaging (Z) – Let’s say you are helping medical professionals to take their careers to new heights. Your potential students may ask you: ‘oh yeah, I want that, but how can you help me?’ You can help them do that by advancing their communication and presentation skills.
Tip: Want to succeed faster? The best way that I know is to upskill and when it comes to teaching business English online, this is the course I recommend – if you want to go independent. I know a few people who have done it and they have charged over USD50 (up to USD100) per hour.
How Do You Teach Someone Business English?
If you read the previous paragraph you know what the most critical component is when it comes to teaching Business English: lesson plans – well one of them anyway.
To be more specific, it’s not just about lesson plans. It’s more about developing a comprehensive curriculum that enhances your student’s fluency and skills.
ESL Curriculum For Freelancers
If you work for an online ESL marketplace, like Preply, you do receive some guidance on what program to follow. However, if you want to retain students you must develop a program that is somewhat tailored to your student’s specific needs.
Strive to teach a skill along with English because it raises the perceived value of your work and you actually offer more value. Here are some of the most in-demand business skills.
- Presentation skills
- Interview skills
- Communication skills
- Negotiation skills
- Sales skills
No matter which one you pick it is paramount that you develop a template you can look back to every time you work with a new student and you keep optimizing it.
In this way, it will take you much less time to craft engaging and relevant lessons. Stay away from outdated business English content that you can find online and always ask your students to guide you through whatever they need.
When you have a clear understanding of that you can then use your template, offer massive value and position yourself as an expert.
For example, if one of your students needs interview skills you could first research how to make an engaging self-introduction. Then, in your first lesson, you could teach him the relevant vocabulary and ask your student to show you three job ads.
At that point, you can educate him/her on the fact that video applications are the new norm for top applicants. Then, you could show him how to create a self-introduction video that jumps off the page, by using your template. If you do so, how motivated do you think your student will be to write a great review for you?
More students for you, more value for them. It’s a win-win.
ESL Curriculum For Entrepreneurs
At this point, you should be familiar with X, Y, and Z.
In case you are just skimming through the article, if you want to start your own business as an English teacher you must:
- X:find a niche
- Y:help them to achieve something with a kick-a** curriculum and
- Z:let them know which skills you can help them develop with a powerful messaging
You don’t want to tailor your lessons to each student. That would be too time-consuming and as a business owner you do it all, so you don’t have time.
You could develop a program that can be a good fit for a lot of people (your niche) so that you don’t need to keep tweaking endlessly. At first, it takes time, because there is a lot you need to take in about your audience, but eventually, you will notice that your students have the same problems which can be addressed with one curriculum- yours!
Divide your curriculum into steps or milestones so that your students can stay on track and make them feel confident about their progress. For example:
- Milestone 1 – Enhance your foundations of Business English Vocabulary
- Milestone 2 – Learn how to conduct calls and meetings
- Milestone 3 – Become a confident and effective English communicator
Tip: Want to be a booked out business English teacher? The best way to quickly learn the most in-demand skills is by taking this affordable TEFL-Pro 30 Hours Business English Online Course.
I highly recommend this course because of all the value it brings for an affordable price, it helps you :
- Understand the nuances of teaching English to career-focused non-native speakers
- Plan and deliver effective lessons that meet student and class learning objectives
- Search and find the best jobs, online and abroad
Plus, you can enjoy an internationally recognized certificate, personal tutor support and a 14 day money back guarantee in case you didn’t like the course. It is truly one of best beginner friendly courses online for teaching business English today!
How Much Can You Make Teaching Business English?
You can make peanuts or hit the jackpot. It depends on your level of skills and expertise and if you do this part-time or full-time.
There are 3 possible scenarios:
- If you work for a good ESL company – You earn in the range of USD5-30 per hour. Assuming you work 10-20 hours a week you can cash in USD1K-1.5K a month (mid-higher end).
- If you create your profile on an ESL marketplace – the income potential is much higher, so is the minimum income. You can gross from nothing up to USD40+ per hour. Top Preply tutors make more than USD2K+ a month.
- If you start your own business – the sky’s the limit. If you set your authority in your niche, you can charge over USD100 per hour and create a 6-figure business and beyond. It is challenging and risky at the beginning. The higher the risks, the higher the rewards.
Teach Business English Online – Pro Tips
- Be confident – Unlike kids, adult learners can’t quite tell if you are passionate about what you do. They are not as sensitive, but they can definitely tell if you know what you are doing. If you hesitate or come across as being defensive, especially on the first call, they will take it as a red flag and decide against you.
- Stress on your students’ progress – No matter how successful they are in their job, adults can feel extremely insecure, especially if they have a weakness. Make them record videos and track their journey so that they have some proof that they are moving forward when doubt sneaks in.
- Learn from your students – Every great teacher is also a great learner. Be confident and humble at the same time. Keep learning about business concepts or ideas you are not exposed to. Ask questions and never be afraid of saying ‘ I don’t know’.
- Position yourself as an expert – The more you do it the more knowledge and experience you will actually gain so that you can become the go-to expert in your niche.
If you want to teach Business English online the demand is there.
Leverage your background, reflect on your interests and create that unique course that no one else can make.