Updated: May 15, 2022
Teaching online is becoming popular, now more than ever! Even in 2022, there are a ton of options to teach online classes and earn money.
Being able to work from home, flexible hours, traveling and teaching, and the ability to connect with students through an online platform is truly powerful. I taught in the classroom for 8 years before transitioning to teaching online.
I’m excited to share today how to teach online classes and earn money. I myself am an online teacher and absolutely love it. I also work remotely and it’s given me a ton of flexibility to work from anywhere while still connecting to students. If you want a job that will allow you these changes in your life, this is for you!
The first thing to consider when you think about how to become an online teacher is where to teach and the certifications you will need. You don’t need experience to start teaching classes online and earn money. If you are already a classroom teacher then you can start to research the best option and apply right away.
However, if you don’t have teaching experience, start by researching companies that do not require experience and get a TESOL Certification (find TESOL cert options here). I’ve created a list of companies just for those without experience you can find here.
If you are already a certified teacher, you do not need to get a TESOL Certification, but it does make you more competitive in the market.
There are several different platforms to choose from. Below is a list of options to consider
VIPKid – teaching English, about $20 an hour
QKids– teaching English, about $20 an hour
OutSchool– choose the course you want to teach, pay is per student that signs up for your classes
PalFish – teaching English, about $15 an hour
DaDa ABC – teaching English, about $15 an hour
iTutor Group – teaching English, about $20 an hour
k12 – online-only public school, salary based
Connections Academy – online-only public school, salary based
Please note that there were some recent regulations passed in China and online teachings laws have changed. Some of the companies above serve students in China. Under the new private tutoring regulations, online lessons are limited to 30-minute sessions; there is a tutoring curfew of 9 p.m; and instruction is prohibited during weekends, holidays and school breaks. Companies that offer private instruction in core subjects will have to register as nonprofits and will no longer be able to raise investment capital through IPOs or advertise their programs. While the companies below are still in business and hiring, things are changing daily in the online teaching world.
Choosing the platform to teach on
Each platform has different rules, hours, and curriculum. For example, VIPKid has no minimum hours, however a very strict cancellation policy. Their platform also guarantees no bookings. Outschool has no curriculum and you create your own. QKids and PalFish are small group lessons where you teach four students at a time. They all have different hours for availability as well.
K12 and Connections Academy are day time positions that teach students who are looking for an alternative public school environment. They can be done from anywhere, but have very different rules and options than teaching English online.
Heavily research before deciding on the platform that fits your needs best. I chose VIPKid and Q Kids who have very different policies.
Many people make over $60k a year. However, you are considered an independent contractor on the platforms above besides k12 and Connections Academy. *You can use multiple platforms at a time. There are no benefits and hours can vary depending on the time of year.
Taxes are not taken out of your salary on most platforms. You will have to pay taxes on your own if you choose an independent contractor option. This year, I paid all of my start-up costs and was able to write them off on my taxes. I ended up not owing money because I had just started in September. This year I am paying my taxes quarterly in order to be in compliance. Look up your unique tax situation according to the contract you sign.
Logistics to Consider
While you can work from anywhere you will need a strong internet connection. Hot spots are also an excellent way to make sure you can teach from anywhere if you are concerned about your internet.
Creating a fun environment is an important part of teaching online. Parents and students will expect a “cool” classroom for their online classes. It is worth going to Dollar Tree or Target when you are getting started to pick up a few fun things for your classroom as well as a good background. Meghan highly suggests hanging up some posters or a trifold decorated to start. It costs less than $10 and will make your classroom look fun.
Teaching online can get lonely. Connect with the online teaching community through Facebook groups. There is one for every platform and they will really help answer your questions and support your journey!
The hours can be odd. A lot of companies where you teach online will involve early morning hours or late night hours. This can lead to fatigue and burn out quickly. Have a schedule and stick to it so that you are earning money, but also able to take care of yourself!
I hope this gives you a starting point for how to teach online classes and earn money. Every platform will be a bit different, but you can have an incredible, flexible career that is rewarding in many different ways. Good luck on your teaching journey!