Frequently Asked Questions


How much money can I make?

Most companies pay between $18 and $26 USD per hour.

Working full time, you could make up to $50,000 a year.


Do I need a bachelor’s degree?

The majority of companies offering online English classes do require a Bachelor’s degree, however some companies do not. Palfish and Cambly for example, do not.  Compare companies here.


Do I need to be a native English speaker?

Companies like VIPKid, Gogokid, SayABC, iTutor, DaDa, and Magic Ears require teachers to be native speakers. However, you could get hired at PalFish or Cambly if you are fluent in English. See our company comparison here.


Do I need teaching experience?

Teaching experience is definitely an asset, however many of the online companies will consider any experience with children.  This includes, teaching, tutoring, caretaking, or camp counselling.

Do I need a TESOL/TEFL/TESL/CELTA certificate?

As of April 2019, the only company that is officially requiring this is PalFish. And this is only for their Official Kid’s Course. However, the Chinese Ministry of Education will make it mandatory for all teachers who teach Chinese students some time in 2019. A large majority of our recommended companies are based in China.

To learn more about TESOL, or to get certified, click here.


What are the basic technical requirements?

You need a computer that supports video chat (has a HD webcam ), a headset with a microphone, as well as a reliable internet connection. The recommended speed is 10 Mbps upload and 10 Mbps download speed.  You can test your internet connection here.


Do I have to commit to a minimum number of hours?

Some companies do require a minimum number of teaching hours per week, others do not.  You can compare companies here.

If you do not want to commit to a minimum numbers of hours, check out VIPKid, Gogokid, PalFish, or Cambly.


I travel frequently, can I do this job?

As long as you have a stable internet connection and a relatively quiet teaching environment, you should be able to teach from anywhere in the world.  Many online teachers travel the world while teaching online.


How can I get paid?

If you are a U.S. citizen or have a U.S.-based bank account, it is much easier to get paid.  Most online companies will pay directly into a U.S. bank account, charging little to no fees.

If you do not have a U.S. bank account, you can lose a lot of money in service charges and bank fees.

Learn more here about how you can save money in exchange and transfer fees when getting paid.


Do I need to take taxes out?

Yes.  Most online companies employ you as an independent contractor.  You will need to determine how much money you should set aside for income tax based on your personal situation


Do I have to make my own material/curriculum?

Nope! The majority of online teaching companies have an expansive collection of curriculum.  You simply need to review the material before your class and teach the material provided to you.

Do I have to correct homework?

Sure don’t! The majority of companies do not require you to correct homework.

Do I have to speak to students’ parents?

You generally have to leave student feedback for the parents after class. And, the parents can leave an assessment of your teaching on your profile. However, you do not have to speak directly to parents.

Do I have to be a U.S. or Canadian citizen?

Not at all! While some companies, like VIPKid and Gogokid prefer North Americans, SayABC will hire anyone from North America, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Cambly hires fluent English speakers from all over the world. See our comparison chart here.


What props/material do I need to do this job?

Aside from the basic technical requirements of a computer (with a built-in or external HD webcam) and a headset, there isn’t much you need to get started. We recommend a small whiteboard, a hand puppet, and a secondary reward system . After that, it’s up to you how minimal or extravagant you’d like your setup to be.

Check out our blog post titled “The ONLY Things You Need to Start Teaching English Online”

Or, visit our Teaching Supplies page for more ideas.

Do you conduct background checks?

We do not conduct background checks on our applicants. However, many of the online ESL companies require background checks before you can sign your contract.


Have a question that we haven’t answered here? Send us an e-mail!