Lucy Jacovelli

Travel and Lifestyle

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All You Need To Know About Teaching English Online Without A Degree

This post is not sponsored but I do currently work on the AmazingTalker platform as an online English Language teacher.

Teaching English can open lots of doors, especially for people who are interested in travelling to different countries and living in new cultures. Currently, there isn’t much opportunity to travel as much as we all would like (thanks covid) but, that doesn’t mean you can’t start your English teaching career now and gain some experience before the world opens back up and you can take your skills to anywhere you desire!

I started teaching English online in summer 2020 and ever since it has allowed me to earn a bit of extra money on top of what I earn from my in-person English teaching position here in Madrid. Let me just say that before last summer, I had never taught English in a professional capacity and I didn’t have any certificates or training. Now, less than a year later I am earning extra money every month and I have gained skills I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to! So, yes it is so possible and actually pretty simple to start earning money by teaching English online, and you don’t even need a Bachelor’s Degree! In this post, I am going to share with you how to get started and what you need to begin.

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All you need to teach English is a TEFL certificate. I completed my 120 hour TEFL Graduate certificate last year and it only took me a few weeks of studying while I was working my full-time job at the time. By the time I had completed all the assignments and received my digital certificate, I was able to start applying to teach English on different online platforms.

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Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

Some platforms require a University degree as well as a TEFL certificate, but there are some (listed below) that only ask for a passion for teaching English and a TEFL certificate!

I only have experience with one online teaching platform as luckily that one has worked well for me due to my current situation. I only work a few hours each weekend giving lessons to students I have been teaching since I started. However, I have noticed that it is a great platform to work on in terms of choosing your own hours and it is really up to you how much or how little you work. If I want to work more some weeks I can open my schedule and recruit new students and start to increase my income.

You can think of teaching online as your own business – you provide an in-demand service and charge according to the skills and expertise you have.

There are definite benefits to teaching online, especially in today’s current climate. After a year of a lot of uncertainty around the job market and employment, I have found it settled a lot of my nerves knowing that I had a sustainable source of second income that can be scaled if needed. The growth of small business the past year has highlighted the future of today’s job market and economy. It is more important than ever to consider multiple streams of income and expand our skill sets. I think teaching English online is a great way to do that, even if you don’t want to teach in person or be a full-time teacher it is a fantastic way for native (or fluent) speakers to increase their employability.

I teach English online with Amazing Talker, they are a company based in Hong Kong and allow teachers to teach their native language to students via their online platform. My students are all based in Asia, mostly in Hong Kong and a few others in Taiwan. The most in-demand language they require is English. So, if you are a native English speaker looking to earn a little (or a lot) extra money, this is a really good place to start.

AmazingTalker works by automatically matching you with students who are looking to improve or practice English across certain areas, for example speaking or writing. Once you have matched with a student, i.e they have shown interest in you, you can then send them a message and find out more about what they are looking for and how many lessons.

The first step to taking on students is by offering a trial lesson, this will typically last about 25 minutes and will give you a chance to better understand their expectations and goals and show them what they can expect from your lessons and what your teaching style is. Once you have completed a trial lesson you can share offers with these prospective students and have them commit to 5, 10 or 20 full lessons with you for which you set your own pricing.

When you first start out teaching online, I would recommend setting your price at around ยฃ10-ยฃ13 depending on your experience. You can increase this when you gain more experience and more students. For example, when I first started my lessons began at ยฃ11 per hour and now they have increased to ยฃ18 per hour, when I have more time to commit to online teaching this will increase as my workload does too.

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Here, I have compiled a list of all of the best online platforms where you can teach English without a degree. Once you have your TEFL certificate, you can start earning as much as you want!

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Online Teaching platforms that don’t require a degree:

Pay: Set your own prices for both the trial lessons (25 minutes) and the full lessons (50 mins)

Hours: Set your own schedule and fit your lessons around your life, students choose lessons from your determined schedule. No minimum hours required.

  • Palfish

Palfish is an app-based teaching platform and is available on Apple iOS and Android.

Pay: You set your own prices. Payment is only made through Payoneer, therefore you must also have set up an account on this in order to receive payouts.

Hours: Set your own hours and work as much as you want. There is no minimum requirement.

Cambly is a little different from the other platforms in that you don’t teach typical language lessons. The lessons are more conversation focused and you spend your time chatting to students all around the world via webcam. No teaching experience required.

Pay: Cambly pays $0.17 per minute teaching so per hour you can expect to earn $10.20.

Hours: You can choose how often you log in to chat with students, the best thing about this site is that you don’t have to commit to hour-long lessons. Just log in and start chatting and earning.

VIPKid is a great option for less experienced teachers or if you are just starting out. They provide the lessons plans so, you can focus on honing your teaching skills and gaining experience!

Pay: You set your own prices but the average earnings are between $14-$20 per hour.

Hours: You set your own hours therefore, again you can work as much or as little as you want depending on your availability.

Verbling is another online learning and teaching platform on which you will use verbling’s own video-chat technology to carry out your lessons. For this one, you do need to have previous experience of teaching your native language and be able to demonstrate this on your CV and application.

Pay: You set your own prices with Verbling. So again, the more experience you have and the longer you have been on the platform you can increase this.

Hours: The hours you can teach are unlimited and you can work as little or as much as you want.

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14 Comments

  1. This is really helpful! I have been looking into this as an additional income stream so these tips are great

    • Thank you so much for reading! I’m glad you’ve found this helpful and hopefully, it has opened a door for you that you hadn’t previously considered x

  2. I had no idea that it was possible to teach without any English qualifications so this was a really interesting post. When I was younger, teaching English is something that I wanted to . Now I’m older, my career plans have changed again. But this is an insightful read and definitely something to think about. Thanks for sharing your experiences x

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I know, this time last year, I didn’t realise it was possible either! But once you have your TEFL certificate you can pretty much teach English and gain the experience while you work! x

  3. Same as above, I had no idea it was possible without a degree. I actually see these jobs on a job site I’ve used in the past but they always say you need a degree or various qualifications. This is definitely something to think about and look into if I’m ever in a position to do so! x

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Jenny! Definitely, as long as you have a TEFL certificate it is more than possible to teach on an online platform. It might be different requirements for an in-person position in a school in the UK for example but it’s possible online with only a TEFL certificate ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  4. I love this post – I only knew about this as my best friend is currently getting her TEFL qualification. A really great and insightful post for those who’d like to teach English x

  5. I didn’t know you could teach without a certificate! This is something to look into for sure, mostly at this time! I thought about doing it a long time ago and then decided otherwise. Thanks for sharing all the resources and platforms x

    • Thanks so much for your comment! As long as you have your TEFL certificate you can teach on most online platforms without a teaching degree! Hopefully, this opens another door for you if you’re still interested. x

  6. I’m glad to see there are ways to teach online without having to have a degree or high qualifications- there are so many ways to be resilient these days without having qualifications so this is great to read. Thank you for sharing x

    • It’s great that there are so many opportunities nowadays isn’t it! Makes it a lot easier to gain skills and experience that years ago would have taken years to build up! Thank you so much for your lovely comment x

  7. I’m definitely bookmarking this post to come back to. Teaching English is always something I’ve thought about but this is the first honest and realistic post that’s been helpful! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

    • Awww thank you so much for your lovely comment! If you decide to start and have any questions please don’t hesitate to give me a shout. I’d love to help if I can! x

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