Native English speakers have a simple, and often lucrative, side hustle. They can teach English online.
A number of online platforms can help you connect with international students, who are anxious to learn or improve their English language skills. They also connect tutors with U.S. students who have fallen behind. While some online platforms that connect teachers and students require English teachers to have credentials, many only care about whether English is your native tongue and, sometimes, whether your grammar and composition skills are up to snuff.
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Teach English online
However, it’s worth noting that this industry has changed dramatically since we last wrote about it a year ago. That’s mainly because many of the top English-language teaching sites were operated by companies that specialized in tutoring Chinese students in English. Last fall, the Chinese government banned private tutoring companies from offering these services, maintaining that they gave unfair educational advantages to the elite.
That sent the top tutoring sites, including MagicEars, VIPKID and QKids, into a tailspin. And, while most have survived, they’ve revamped, lost many of their students, and some have changed the way they pay freelancers. That’s shifted the landscape to favor U.S. and other international operators.
So, where and how can you teach English online today? Here are a half-dozen options, what they require, and what they pay.
While the Chinese-based language companies faltered, a Tiawainese competitor — AmazingTalker — has thrived. The company says its revenue has grown some 500% in the past year and it now enlists more than 8,000 tutors to service 1.1 million clients.
There are not a lot of requirements to tutor here. You must be 18, able to sign a legal contract and fluent in English. Teaching or tutoring experience is preferred. However, you don’t need to have a teaching credential or an ESL certificate. Classes are conducted online, generally on Zoom.
Tutors set their own rates, tutoring specialties, and the length of their lessons. Those teaching English as a second language typically charge between $15 and $28 per hour, according to the site. There’s no cost to sign up, but tutors pay 15% – 30% of their income as a site commission. You can click here to sign up.
iTalki offers jobs for both professional teachers and for so-called “community tutors,” who qualify with nothing more than proficiency in a language. The site teaches all major languages and posts weekly updates of the languages that require tutors.
Tutor’s set their own rate of pay and determine their schedule. However, they are asked to promptly respond to lesson requests. The platform takes a 15% commission for providing marketing and payment processing.
Wyzant connects tutors of all types with students who need their services. Tutors set their own rate of pay — most commonly between $30 and $60 per hour — and the site takes a 25% commission from the proceeds. Tutors do not need any special credentials to qualify to teach on this site. However, they are expected to have proficiency in the subject matter they tutor. Click here to sign up.
Like Wyzant, Varsity Tutors does not require teaching credentials to tutor here. You are simply expected to be subject-matter proficient. But, unlike Wyzant, Varsity Tutors sets the rates. The site, which hires tutors for both in-person and online instruction, pays between $15 and $40 per hour. Those who earn the most are generally those capable of teaching advanced subjects or able to tutor students taking business school or law school admission tests. The site’s fees are worked into tutor earnings. There is no additional commission to pay. Click here to sign up.
Chelsea International Education
Chelsea International Education only accepts credentialed teachers as tutors, but if you’re accepted here you can earn great pay. The site pays between $15 and $100 an hour, depending on the age of the student and the subject being taught. Tutors pay no commissions here. The site adds its fees on to client bills.
Cambly enlists freelancers to chat in English to people trying to learn the language. All you need to qualify for this teaching job is to be over the age of 18, capable of signing a legal contract, and fluent in your native English tongue. You don’t need a college degree or a teaching certificate. You choose when you want to work by either signing up for “priority hours” or simply signing on. The site pays between 17 cents and 20 cents per minute. Many conversations are done via video chat on your phone. Because Cambly’s students come from every corner of the world, work hours are whenever you want them.