How Much Can I Earn as an Online English Teacher?



With the world shifting to online platforms for employment, the TEFL industry has boomed, providing opportunities aplenty literally the world over for both career starters and career shifters. With its many advantages that range from schedule flexibility and location adaptability, one of the greatest benefits of teaching English online is the earning potential.


You may have heard via the grapevine that your aunt’s cousin’s sister is teaching English online from home, just a few hours a day, and earning more than your current traditional 9-5. Seems too good to be true? Not so! Here’s why:


Pay obviously varies from company to company and is often worked out according to a teacher's experience, qualifications (including your TEFL or TESOL certification and any degrees you may have) and teaching style. Therefore, an online teaching company will pay their teachers at different rates. You’ll be judged based on your resume, introduction video and demo during the interview process, after which, you’ll receive a contract with a set pay per hour.


If you decide to become a freelance online English teacher, you will set your own pay per hour or lesson. This fee will need to be competitive with others in the industry to be hired. So start at a reasonable rate, and then as you increase in students and experience, you could charge more.


The biggest advantage of being from a developing nation and working for an overseas online English company is that you can expect to be paid in a stronger foreign currency – ranging from dollars to pounds to euros. Depending on the type of company, their clientele and the English teaching services they offer, pay rates start at 4USD per hour (Approximately R60) and increase up to 30USD per hour (Approximately R450). Be prepared for varying pay from month to month due to fluctuating exchange rates. This could make budgeting tricky, so be sure to save!


Salaries are either paid once a month or bimonthly on agreed-upon dates. Teachers can expect to receive their compensation through direct bank deposit or other commonly used payment apps such as PayPal, Payoneer, or TransferWise. All details relating to salary amount, payment date, and method should be clearly stipulated within your contract’s salary section.


Your earning potential is also determined by the number of lesson slots your company gives you or requires from you. If one company only has weekend slots for you to teach and you want to earn more, you can join another company to fill in the income holes.


As a freelance online English teacher, you are solely responsible for obtaining students and being available in various time zones to teach lessons. However, many slots during the day you choose to teach, determine how much you will earn. Overall, your potential salary from teaching online depends on the amount of time you want to invest in teaching and your income goals.


Now, knowing this information, it is clear to see that there is room for tremendous increased earning potential and lifestyle change when choosing to become an online English teacher!


To access the highly sought after opportunity of breaking the mundane job mould, embracing freedom and becoming financially stable by earning in a stronger currency, the first step is acquiring your TESOL certification, and the iTTi South Africa team is here to help! Invest in your future by registering for our TESOL course and be trained with all the necessary tools and experience that will put you in the front-running for a high-earning online English teaching position.

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