Do you want to teach English online with no experience? Teaching English online allows you to work and earn from the comfort of your own home.
I traveled the world while teaching English online. As long as you have a laptop, stable WIFI connection and earphones – you are good to go!.
However, when I wanted to start teaching English online, I didn’t know what the requirements were and also, whether I needed a teaching degree and lots of experience.
Everywhere I looked seemed to require ‘experience’ teaching, and I wasn’t a teacher by trade… so at the time, I didn’t have much experience
It turns out there are ways around this.
I went on to work full time and eventually earn around $6,000 per month, as an online teacher, despite not having a teaching degree or a huge amount of teaching experience.
First things first, if you want more insight into online schools hiring, and how to teach English online read these articles:
How to Become an Online English Teacher (I earned $6,000 per month!)
What is online teaching?
Online teaching is doing exactly what a normal teacher does, but using a laptop instead.
It’s a brilliant concept because the teacher and student don’t have to commute. Both can learn and teach from the comfort of their own home.
Also, it opens up the teaching market because you can teach students from anywhere in the world, you are not geographically limited to one place.
You can teach English in Beijing, Barcelona, Bosnia, or even teach English online from home, whatever takes your fancy! (I have done all four)
What are the requirements to teach English online?
- Have a Teaching English as a Foreign Language ‘TEFL’ certificate
- Have a headset and a laptop
- Good WIFI
- Speak clearly
- Have a degree
- Be a native speaker
- Have teaching experience
* You can still teach English online with no experience, or even teach English online without a degree, but your initial hourly rate will be lower. Nevertheless, over time you can increase your rate, I will show you how, read on.
A Teaching English as a Foreign Language ‘TEFL’ certificate
Having a TEFL is NON-NEGOTIABLE.
If you want to teach English online with no experience, the ONLY way a school is going to overlook your lack of experience and hire you, is if you have some form of teaching qualification.
The good news is, you can get one cheap and quick (like 120 hours quick ). And it is MUCH cheaper than getting a teaching degree.
There is a 120-hour online course ran by Let’s TEFL, which focuses specifically on online teaching. It has specific training to ensure your application, resumes, introduction videos for online English recruiters are done right.
Once you finish the 120-hour TELF certificate, you will have a strong grasp of the online teaching industry, online teaching jobs, how to motivate your students in an online classroom and how to prepare your lesson plans.
The great thing about this TEFL compared to other providers, is it specializes in preparing you to teach online. It also prepares you to teach English as a second language.
As far as i’m aware, Let’s TEFL are the only course available online now which comes with a whole extra video module with specific training for teaching online – presented by an actual teacher. They are also endorsed by DaDa and iTutorGroup as one of their recommended courses. (Both are two HUGE online schools)
You can also see a preview of a module lesson here.
You must get a TEFL if you want to teach English online with no experience.
How can you demonstrate that you have teaching experience?
If you haven’t worked as a teacher before, you can demonstrate you have teaching experience using these 6 ways. I did a few myself and it worked for me.
You can volunteer to teach a few hours a week. You can teach anything, but it helps if you can teach a language.
I volunteered to teach refugees with the New Zealand Language Partners and also a ladies shelter, in the evenings after work.
I used this as teaching experience in my job applications and they accepted it.
You can find an array of volunteering opportunities by using Google #mybestfriend
Volunteering is the best way to get started when you want to teach English online with no experience
- Teach friends and family
Do you have any foreign friends or family?
No? Just borrow one 🙂
Teach them 1-2 times a week and keep track of what you taught and how you improved their language.
Tip- Give them 5 new words to learn and correct their pronunciation at least 5 times in each class. Their language will automatically improve.
Google and YouTube free lesson plan ideas to use in your class.
Teaching your foreign auntie twice a week over the kitchen table, eating chocolate, totally counts as:
‘coached foreign students and created structured lesson plans over 6 months to ensure they met their learning goals’
It’s all about how you spin it! The perfect way to teach English online with no experience.
- Training at work
If you aren’t a teacher by trade then you probably worked in a company before.
Did you get roped into delivering morning meetings or training up new recruits?
Good news, you can include the below in your application:
‘conducted the training of new recruits by delivering structured and tailored learning plans. Successfully taught new material and procedures for the company’
- Previous experience
Any experience you have teaching something new to someone counts. Have you taught someone how to drive? Or have you ever coached a sports team ? Or mentored or supervised before?
I coached a basketball team during college and we went on to win a lot of games!
I used that as experience in my application and they accepted it because let’s be real, if you can effectively communicate a new skill to an entire team … teaching English is a walk in the park.
Also – I was a mentor for a hiking trip for young adults for two weeks, I used that as experience too.
Remember – all your experience counts.
- Pastors/ church leaders
I know a few people who used this as experience and it was accepted. Perfect if you want to teach English online with no experience
- Nursey school assistants
If you can teach and manage a dozen screaming toddlers without losing your patience, then you are well qualified to teach anything else.
Ok, so now you can demonstrate you have experience… but where do you apply?
Some online schools are stricter than others about having experience. It is best to apply to schools that accept teachers with less experience.
1. Any schools I recommend and their rates are as I know them when I write this post.
Nevertheless, things do change. If the school is no longer hiring, or the hiring rates have changed, please don’t send me a long angry email telling me I am giving out incorrect information
Yes, this happens, unfortunately -_- Send me a polite note and I will update it as soon as I can.
2– I am not a recruiter and I DO NOT earn anything if you click on any of my links to the online schools.
I am providing this information on the schools based on personal experience, research on forums and by speaking to various teachers in those online schools.
You are welcome to choose any school that suits your circumstances, as I DO NOT earn any money from online school referral links.
3- However, there may be links to products and services recommended on here that are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
PHEW! Needed to clear that up, now where were we?
Teaching English online with no experience – 22 schools hiring now
If you want more detail on the rates and hours you can work for the companies mentioned below, this article has all the information you need :
2.Vipidkid- Degree, native speaker
4.Magic Ears- Degree and native speaker
5.Skima Talk- Native speaker
6.Qkids – Previous experience preferred but not required, degree and native speaker
8.Open English– Preference for Spanish or Portuguese speakers and you also need 1-year teaching experience
10.Tutlo- Polish company hiring native and non-native English teachers. You don’t need a degree but a TEFL and at least 6 months teaching experience is required.
11.Amazing talker- Native English speaker and hold some form of teaching certificate like a TEFL.
12. Rypeapp– Canadian company where you can teach English, German, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Italian, and Arabic. They accept non-native teachers as well as teachers that don’t have a degree.
13.Savvy – You can teach any language or even subjects like Music, Coding, Business or Math.
14.Tandem – You don’t need to have a degree but their website mentions they only ‘only accept certified language tutors’.This could mean you need to have some sort of qualification like a TEFL to teach.
20. Verbal planet – Open to teachers teaching English online without a degree, but your profile has a better chance of being approved if you have a TEFL and some experience.
21.Refraktion – South Africans preferred. You need to be a Native speaker and have at least 1 year of teaching experience.
22.Acadsoc- You need to be a fluent English speaker with a neutral accent and know the basic principles of teaching ESL.
Do you need to provide teaching material?
If you apply for an online teaching school, they provide all the teaching materials and you just turn up and teach.
This is the process :
Submit application | 10-15 minute interview | *Demo class | Receive offer | Sign contract | Get paid | Do a ‘Make it Rain’ video in celebration |
What in the world is a demo class?
It’s a test class where they assess your teaching skills and often, it determines your hourly rate.
Tip– If you want to know their preferred demo class style, YouTube ‘demo class for xxx’ before the real one takes place.
It the best way to come across as experience when you want to teach English online with no experience
How much can you earn?
It’s all dependent on how well you do in your demo class.
A really useful resource that gives you a range of teaching rates is OET Jobs.
If you are a native speaker with a degree and experience, expect at least $18 per hour. This can be scaled up to $27 with bonuses
If you are a non-native speaker or have no degree, your initial rate will be lower but don’t worry – there are ways of increasing this. I will explain below, keep reading.
I started at $20 per hour and then moved on to take on private students, now my rate is $50-$60 per hour.
If you are looking for rates for non-native speaker teaching jobs, read this.
If you are looking for companies hiring teachers for adult students, read this.
If you want to teach English online but don’t have a degree, read this.
Tips for success when you want to teach English online with no experience
When I began teaching online, I didn’t realize there were things you could do to come across as more experienced.
It will ensure you are taken seriously as a teacher and can command a higher rate.
1.Decorate your background
Even though you are teaching from the comfort of your own home, you must be professional and treat it like any other job i.e. don’t turn up in your pajamas.
Or if you want to wear pajama trousers, that’s fine, but make sure you wear a smart shirt (I have done this wahoooo! it feels so liberating 🙂 )
Always ensure your back is turned to a wall and decorate the wall with appropriate learning materials.If you are teaching kids, stick a map behind you and some balloons.
If you are teaching adults, make sure your background is white and looks professional.The students are paying for a professional teacher, so act like one or you won’t get any bookings and students will leave you.
It is not an issue if you want to teach English online with no experience, but it is an issue if you treat it like a joke.
TPR stands for Total Physical Response. I had no idea what this was until I googled it. It’s a big deal amongst online teaching schools, especially for young learners.
If you want to teach kids English online, you need to know about TPR.
Google it, as recruiters will ask you about it in the interview. You are welcome 🙂
Some online schools will ask for an introduction video as part of your online application, to assess how you speak and communicate as a teacher.
Make sure you include :
- Your qualifications and experience
- What you will teach and how
- ALWAYS include what the student will gain from your classes
- End it with a smile.
I had to work on my smile because I frown when I am nervous. But I’ve had so many students tell me they booked my class from my video because I smiled and it put them at ease. So, get your teeth out!
Tip -If you want training on how to create a profile and make a video that will be accepted on all platforms, send me a message and I will help you create one. My coaching rates are pretty reasonable.
It is a great way to get you up and running with a high hourly rate if you want to teach English online with no experience
If you are teaching children, get some alphabet cards, fruit and a few puppets. Also, a free app that makes animal sounds goes down well too.
If you are teaching adults, I use no props but I often do role play.
For example, I pretend I am a client or work colleague and the student practices speaking Business English with me. I then correct any errors and help them improve their language skills. It’s more practical and they can implement the learning immediately.
It is a great way of coming across as more experienced when you want to teach English online with no experience
How to increase your hourly rate
When you work as an online teacher, you will have an hourly rate. If you have a low hourly rate, you have to work more hours.
If you can increase your rate, you can save more, or work less and do things you love.
If I am not mistaken, I started with an online school at $20 per hour.
I wanted extra hours so I signed up to a few flexible teaching platforms. Flexible teaching platforms allow you to work the hours you want and charge your own rate.
I think my initial rate on a flexible teaching platform was $15 per hour.
However, over time I increased my rate and now charge at least $50-$60 per hour.
- I niched down and taught business English and IELTS exams
These two areas are high demand and students are willing to pay good money for teachers in this area.
If you want to become a Business English teacher, take this Teaching Business English 30 Hour Online Course. You get an internationally recognized certificate, personal tutor support, training on lesson plans and the job market.
If you want to become an IELTS teacher the Teaching IELTS 30 Hour Online course will train and guide you through the ins and outs of becoming an IELTS teacher.
You will learn how the exam is assessed, how to improve a student’s grade and help them pass the exam.
Niching down is the easiest and best way to increase your rate if you want to teach English online with no experience
- I added more value per class
Right at the beginning of a class with each new student, I ask what their learning goals were and I create a learning plan to ensure we meet their goals.
This doesn’t need to be complicated
For example – one student wanted to be able to network confidently and present Business topics in English.
The next 5 lessons involved him presenting topics and discussing common networking topics with me. I would asses and correct his English and give him recommendations to improve.
- I assigned homework
Students like homework, because it means they are continuing to learn outside the class and getting their money’s worth.
Assign something as simple as reading a BBC news article and identify any vocabulary you don’t know or draft a business email and bring it to class.
- I turned them into private students
The flexible teaching platforms will present your profile to potential students who will book you if they like your profile.
For every class you teach – the platform earns a commission. Over time- you will develop trust with a student and eventually – you can ask if they want to be your private student.
You and the student can both avoid the commission paid to the platforms.Don’t do this immediately, earn some commission for the platforms first, build up trust with the student and then turn them private.
If you want to teach English online with no experience, it is entirely possible. It’s all about whether you can improve a student’s language and truly understand what they need from you as a teacher, to improve.
I have seen the most qualified and experienced people … become useless teachers. So don’t let your lack of experience or qualifications put you off, you can do it!
If you are looking for other ways to work from home, these articles will help:
How to Become an Online Teacher (and earn $6,000 per month!)
How to Become an Online Editor (9 Easy Steps)
Alternatively, if you are looking for ways to make a bit extra cash, try these methods:
I hope this article clarifies any question you have if you want to teach English online with no experience. Is there anything I have missed out or that you need more information on?
Mention it in the comments below!