Updated: Apr 23, 2022
It is completely possible to teach English online with no experience! I know so many people who started off their online teaching journeys without having any experience with teaching. You can even do it without a degree.
In this article, I’m going to share where you can work with or without a degree, things that will give your application a boost, and the best steps to take to get your application notices even if you have no experience. I train teachers for a living and know what recruiters are looking for! Starting to teach English online with no experience doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. All recommendations are below.
Please note that there were some recent regulations passed in China and online teachings laws have changed. Some of the companies below 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.
Companies to consider working for:
Most online teaching companies will hire you without any teaching experience. Below are some companies to consider whether you have a degree or not! Please note that some will require “teaching experience” which includes any tutoring or work with kids in an educational setting.
Don’t write off a company just because it says they require experience! Look carefully at their requirements because most accept informal teaching experience.
Cambly – $0.17 per minute. Webcam tutoring and you can work anytime! Currently, hiring English & Spanish language tutors. This is informal tutoring and you’ll mostly be talking with people hoping to improve their English/Spanish skills.
PalFish – $10-$18 an hour. You can teach both one-on-one and larger groups of students. Non-native English speaking teachers are also encouraged to apply and you can be from anywhere.
Lingoda – $8 – $12.00 an hour. Students can learn English, German, French, and Spanish in small groups or in private classes, and all lesson materials are provided to the teacher. Must have at least 2 years of teaching experience, hold an ESL teaching certification (TEFL, etc. more on this below).
iTalki – teachers set their own pay. 1-on-1 online language lessons with fluent, native speakers of different languages.
While Working on Bachelor's Degree
HAWO/51 Talk – pays up to $22 hourly. Bachelor’s degree or currently enrolled as an education major is required. Teaching experience also preferred (US or Canadian).
Magic Ears – $18 and $26 hourly with a flexible schedule offered. Open to US and Canada (tutoring Chinese, school-aged children).
With a Bachelor’s Degree
Gogokid – $14 and $25 hourly for online ESL tutoring (tutoring Chinese, school-aged children).
Berlitz – $13 an hour for ESL tutoring. You must be a native English or French speaker to be considered.
English Hunt – pay is on a case-by-case basis. In addition to a degree, you must have either teaching or substitute teaching certification.
GoFLUENT – $16 an hour. Hire tutors in the U.S. and Canada (Americans in Kansas, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. Canadians fluent in French, Italian, Russian, German, or Japanese).
TutorABC (iTutorGroup) – $15-$25 an hour.You must also have one year of teaching experience (see below on how to gain that experience).
VIPKid – $16 and $20 hourly tutoring Chinese children in English. Open to the US (except California and New York) and Canada.
EF (Education First) — $12 – $20 an hour. Hiring online English teachers in the US and UK.
SayABC – up to $19 an hour. Open to US, Canada, and Australia. Must be a native English speaker.
QKIDS – up to $20 hourly teaching English online to Chinese students. Must reside in the US or Canada.
iTutorGroup – teacher sets their own price for classes. Teaching English to students around the world.
Give your application a boost before they even meet you!
These suggestions aren’t always required by an online teaching company, but with everyone currently looking for online work, these suggestions can help you stand out from the crowd.
Gain experience working with kids
Online teaching companies are going to look carefully at applications of people with experience with kids. This can be outside teaching or in an informal teaching setting. Babysitting, tutoring, hanging out with your friend’s children, playing with a sibling, etc. all count as experience working with kids. Companies are looking for people who understand kids behave differently than adults and like to be around kids.
If you haven’t spent any time with kids, gain some connections! Try volunteering with an organization, babysitting, ask a friend with kids to hang out, help out at a nursery at your church, any way you can gain experience with kids.
TESOL (Teaching English to speakers of other languages) Certification is an awesome way to make your application stand out. It’s not required by all companies, but in this current climate where everyone is applying for online teaching programs.
I got a certification for just $19 through International Open Academy and it was worth it. This course is online and takes about 6 hours to complete. It counts as a 120 TESOL Certification and helps you stand out.
It was important I chose a course that was one of the accredited Online TESOL Certification programs because I wanted to be sure it was accepted and recognized as I started off this journey to become an online teacher.
Highlight your experience relevant to the position
Just because you don’t have teaching experience doesn’t mean you don’t have relevant experience. Highlight what you are good at in your application that is relevant to the online or public speaking worlds!
Do you have experience working with technology? Are you excellent at public speaking or marketing? Make sure to convey how these skills will translate to the job you’re applying for.
Standing Out in the Interview Process
Set up a great background – DollarTree and Target have very cheap, colorful, and fun backgrounds. Make yourself stand out by thinking about the kind of environment that kids want to learn in. I started off with just a colorful map and a sign that said, “Teacher Meghan,” and built from there.
Practice, practice, practice – Each teaching online platform is going to have a different style and different type of teacher they are looking for. Read through everything on their website, watch YouTube videos of lessons, practice on your own, know what they are looking for before you go into the interview.
Use lots of TPR (total physical response) – this is a strategy that will help students learn at any age. Acting things out for students and giving them visuals is one part of TPR. Another major piece of it is having them begin to physically respond as well. There are plenty of videos of this on YouTube. Use it in your interview!
Use props or role play – When interviewing for a position with kids, using simple picture cards, a stuffed animal, or other small objects can really set you apart. When interviewing for a position with adults use role-play instead of props.
Show your personality and smile – Let your personality shine through! They want to see what your style will be like as a teacher. Show your enthusiasm, flexibility, creativity, and passion for teaching.
Now you’re armed with the information you need to start teach English online with no experience! It’s a fun and exciting journey. If you’re looking for help, coaching, or information, please reach out to me!