What options are there for teaching English online?

In the modern age working online is an increasingly popular option in many fields, including teaching English. There are a wide range of opportunities out there for TEFL qualified teachers as there are many online course providers who are always on the lookout for new tutors. New online platforms for English language learning pop up on a regular basis and the one thing they have in common is you can work with them in a virtual classroom without leaving the comfort of your own home.

The best employment options for teaching English online

If you want to have complete control over your own working hours and how much you charge it is certainly possible to set up your own online English teaching business. The worldwide demand is huge, however, it can take a considerable amount of time to recruit enough regular students to bring in a healthy income. You will also need to set up your own website and put some advertising strategies in place to attract your clients.

Because of the time and effort required to set up on your own, most first-time online teachers turn to professional agencies and online teaching platforms who provide the students and everything else required to get started. As many of these are large companies with big budgets for marketing and promotions, you should never be short of work. In many cases you will need a TEFL certification when applying for a position and some might also expect you to take a practice lesson to ensure you are up to the job.

The most popular platforms for teaching English online include:

Magic Ears:

Aimed at 4 to 12 year-old children across China, with a focus on fun and interactive experiences. Pay levels are up to 30% higher than the average at around $18 to $26 per hour.


Aimed at children of all ages right across Asia. Teachers must be US or Canadian citizens with a degree and a good internet connection. Lesson plans and materials are provided and the pay is $18 to $21 per hour with average earnings of $2,000 per month.


Focused on informal conversational lessons with students from all over the world. The pay is $0.17 per minute, or $10.20 per hour, paid once a week via PayPal.


Only for teachers from Canada and the US who are able to commit to a minimum of six hours per week. Training is paid for and all lesson plans and materials are provided.


Teachers with a degree from the US, Canada or the UK can earn between $16 and $25 per hour. The hiring process is very quick, so you can be teaching within three days of applying.

Continuum Education Services:

Works as a recruitment agency to partner teachers with companies looking for any form of English teaching service. Pay and work schedule is set by the company you are paired with. Only open to native English speakers with a TESOL certificate.


Wide spread with offices in 70 countries worldwide. Typical pay is $14 per hour.


Provides online lessons for Japanese students. A set curriculum is provided and the pay is $14.50 per hour. Teachers require a TESOL certificate and must work between 8 and 12 hours a week.

Global Mate New York:

Aimed at South Korean students. Teachers must be a US citizen.