Home Featured Teaching English Online – The Best Side Hustle For Americans

Teaching English Online – The Best Side Hustle For Americans

by Asil Aslan
Teaching English Online

Last Updated on September 29, 2020 by Andrew Shih

Teaching English Online – A Great Side Hustle for Americans

Teaching English online is a welcoming and lucrative side hustle that you can begin from the comfort of your home. There is a massive desire to study English from native speakers. Globally, there are lots of different ways to make money teaching English online.

For non-English speakers, knowing English improves the chances of getting a good career in their home country or finding work abroad in a multinational company. English is also the language for international communication, the media, and the internet.

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Increasing Demand For Native English Speakers

There are several countries where English teachers are in strong demand. It is estimated more than 2 billion people are learning and using English worldwide in 2020. Non-native English students in a school or college are expected to learn and speak English.

Likewise, English is the global business language. Many multinationals demand English as their business language. There are about 1.75 billion people worldwide understand English and only about 385 million native speakers who live in countries such as the United States and Canada.

There is a high demand for English teachers, as more people worldwide have been learning English.  America’s native speakers have a unique advantage because their accent and fluency are the most sought-after.  Because of the strong demand, there are plenty of freelance and employment opportunities for teaching English online.

Demand For Learning English At A Younger Age

In Asian countries, there is an even strong demand for learning English.  The students are learning English at a young age.  Parents are also willing to spend money on tutoring to jump-start kids’ English learning to gain academic advantage.  Several platforms have emerged to serve the online English learning demand specialized for kids.

Perks Of Teaching English Online

Complete location independence

You have the freedom to work from home.  You can operate from anywhere you want, meet distant relatives, or even go wherever you’ve always wanted to go.

Flexible work schedule

You control your work schedule; you can work as much as you want, take a break, or work as little as you want.  You can make it work even if you have a full-time job.  When you teach at night, it will be daytime for Asian countries.

No Startup Cost

There is no up-front cost to get started.  However, you will need essential technical equipment that you most likely already have, including a laptop and a headset.

Bachelor’s Degree Vs. Without A Degree

There are hundreds of companies recruiting native English speakers to teach English online. Ultimately, it created plenty of job opportunities for native English speakers.  However, teachers with a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities.  Some firms will only recruit teachers with a bachelor’s degree, although there is no requirement for subject majors.

How Much Can I Earn With Teaching English Online

There are many factors such as your educational background, teaching experience, the company you affiliate with, and your availability that will impact the compensation.  If you have a bachelor’s degree without teaching experience, you can generally expect to earn from $14 to $23 per hour on average.  If you are a virtual primary and secondary school teacher, you can expect to receive about $40 per hour.  Not bad at all compared to U.S. minimum hourly wage.

Technical Equipment and Ambience Teaching English Online

You will need to have the necessary computer equipment and a comfortable room to conduct a virtual classroom.

Reliable Platform For Starting Online English Teaching Career

When choosing an online teaching platform, you want to partner with those that are reliable.  Here are four reputable and trustworthy platforms that you can count on to start teaching English online.  All these companies have an office in the U.S. and will pay you in U.S. dollars.

VIPKID best class moments!

VIPKID

About VIPKid

Glassdoor rated VIPKid as one of the top 10 best places to work in 2020.  VIPKid provides a one-on-one learning experience for kids age 4-12 in China with teachers all over the U.S. and Canada. VIPKid has offices in Beijing and San Francisco.  In 2020, VIPKid has around 100,000 teachers, 700,000 students, and runs over 5 million classes in a month.

How VIPKid works

You renew the contract every 6 months and have flexibility with your schedule. VIPKid offers company training to help you teach children at different levels.  All the teaching material will be designed and prepared for you.  All classes will be one-on-one teaching.

VIPKid Earning

You can expect to earn between $15 ~ $22/hr. 

VIPKid Process

  1. Sign up to create an account and complete a simple form.
  2. Review materials and do a 30-minute demo lesson in real-time or pre-record.
  3. Watch welcome videos.
  4. Do a mock class with a current teacher to help you get ready
  5. Sign your contract, upload documents, and complete background check.
  6. Start teaching and earn money!

VIPKid PROS

  • You will receive free training
  • You will have a supportive environment
  • You do not need to crate and design with lesson plans
  • You do not need to spend time advertising or bidding for the next business
  • You keep full salary; VIPKid does not charge additional service fees
  • More steady income source
  • Likely overall higher earning potential.

VIPKid CONS

  • Requires a bachelor’s degree
  • Higher acceptance criteria and requires a mock 30-min teaching session
  • Need to abide by the term of the contract
  • It may take longer to start earning due to the hiring process
  • Teach English to children is the only gig.

How to make your perfect Preply profile.

PREPLY

About Preply

Preply is an online educational network that pairs students globally through an online chat with private tutors, connected from all over the world. There are over 100 subjects, including language, school and university subjects, hobbies and art.

Preply Earning

On average, the rate is $20/hr.  According to Preply, a popular tutor can earn up to $550/week.  Your earning will depend on the hourly rate you set in your profile, how often you teach, and student retention.

Preply Fee

PREPLY will charge 100% commission fee from the first lesson payment of every new student. The fee ranges from 18% to 33% percent for all subsequent lessons. The more you teach, the less commission you pay.

PrePly Process

  1. Register with Preply
  2. Complete your profile and necessary forms
  3. Your profile is approved and available for Prply search engine
  4. You find students or student finds you.
  5. Start earning

Preply PROS

  • No bachelor’s degree requirement
  • Exposure to the global market with students looking to learn a language
  • More subjects to teach if you also have the expertise
  • You have complete flexibility with how you want to teach
  • You determine your hourly rate

Preply CONS

  • Your success depends on your ability to retain the same student.
  • You make no earning for the first lesson with a new student.
  • You earn less when you get started because of the higher commission rate goes to Preply.
  • You will need to advertise yourself and compete with other teachers on Preply.
  • You will need to design your lesson plan.

UPWORK

About Upwork

After the merger of Elance and oDesk, the company rebranded as Upwork in 2015.  Upwork is the largest freelance platform with headquarter at Santa Clara, CA.

How it works

You register yourself as a freelancer on Upwork.  It is important to complete and create a compelling personal profile and portfolio with your expertise.  You can simply make a gig for English teaching or include other services such as translation, proofreading, and transcribe videos.  Unlike Fiverr, Upwork will display your hourly rate, and it is up to you if you want to agree to a fixed price and define milestones for a bigger project with partial payments.

Upwork Earning

You set your own hourly rate. Generally you can expect to earn between $18-$26/hr.

Upwork Fee

Upwork offers tier service fee:

  • 20% for the first $500.
  • 10% for 500.01 to $10,000
  • 5% for $10,000 or above.

Upwork Process

  1. Register with Upwork as a seller
  2. Polish personal profile, the portfolio with your skillset, and set your hourly rate
  3. Bid on a project or buyer contacts you
  4. Discuss the detail and send the buyer your offer
  5. The buyer commits to your offer, and Upwork holds the money.
  6. You begin and complete your work
  7. Buy approves your work (or request revision if applicable)
  8. You get paid!

Upwork PROS

  • No bachelor’s degree requirement
  • You can start earning immediately
  • You can advertise multiple gigs depending on your skillsets
  • You set your hourly rate
  • You have complete flexibility with your teaching

Upwork CONS

  • There is a service fee
  • You compete with other freelancers for business
  • You need to design your lesson plan
  • All communication between buyer and seller must be on the Upwork platform.

FIVERR

About Fiverr

Fiverr is one of the largest freelance platforms.  The company was founded in 2010 with a global footprint, including offices in New York and San Francisco.

How it works

All you have to do is to register yourself as a seller, make an ESL teaching gig, publish your rates for the gig, and start working.  You can also create other English related gigs such as proofreading, transcribing, or editing.  You can bid on the project when a buyer post a request, or a buyer can find you via your advertised gigs.  Although your standard gig has a fixed price, you can also have custom offers.  As you move up your level, you can demand a higher rate and create more gigs.

Fiverr Earning

You define how much you want to charge for your gig. Generally, you can expect $10-20/hr. 

Fiverr Fee

Fiverr charges a 20% service fee for the amount you earn.

Fiverr Process

  1. Register with Fiverr as a seller
  2. Polish personal profile and create your English gigs
  3. Bid on a project or buyer contacts you
  4. Discuss the detail and send the buyer your offer
  5. The buyer commits to your offer, and Fiverr holds the money.
  6. You begin and complete your work
  7. Buy approves your work (or request revision if applicable)
  8. You get paid!

Fiverr PROS

  • No bachelor’s degree requirement
  • You can start earning immediately
  • You can advertise multiple gigs depending on your skillsets
  • You set your hourly rate
  • You have complete flexibility with your teaching

Fiverr CONS

  • There is a service fee
  • You compete with other freelancers for business
  • You need to design your lesson plan
  • All communication between buyer and seller must be on the Upwork platform.

Which Platform Should I Start

Still cannot decide which one to start?  There is no cost to register, why not try all of them if you have the bandwidth? 

Each of the platforms has its own strength and weakness.  With Fiverr and Upwork, you can start earning the first day and set up multiple gigs, but you will have to compete with other freelancers for clients.  Preply will provide more global exposure to students of all levels and ages, but charges a higher commission.  VIPKid may provide a more steady income with a supportive environment, but you have to sign a contract and more restrictive.

You will need to try them out and find out which platform offers you the most success. 

Related: Best make money online from home ideas

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