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Is Online Teaching a Good Fit for You?

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How does the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, the ability to set your own hours, and the fulfillment of making a real difference to someone’s else life sound? If your response was “Like my dream job!” you might just want to consider a move into online teaching.

According to a report by the British Council, more than 1.7 billion people speak English at a useful level across the world. And, with the English learning market set to reach a massive $54.92 billion by 2027, there’s never been a higher demand for online tutors.

Are you interested in finding out more but asking yourself, is online teaching a good fit for you? In this post, you’ll discover everything you need to know to help you decide if becoming a freelance online teacher should be your next career move.

Man online teaching a woman on his laptop

What Is Online Teaching?

First up, you might be wondering exactly what is online teaching?

Online teaching is the process of educating others via the internet and digital platforms. It can sometimes also be referred to as remote teaching or distance learning. Online teachers can decide between providing their own private lessons or working for one of the big education organizations.

Lessons are often delivered through virtual classrooms, group video classes, or virtual one-on-one lessons. Online teaching subjects are vast but languages are particularly popular, with a huge global online English learning market.

What Do I Need To Become An Online Teacher?

Now that you know what an online teacher is, you might be asking what qualifications are required to become one. Although each online education provider will have its own unique set of requirements, there are several things that you will see come up time and time again. These include; a degree, a background in education, and, for those hoping to teach English online, a TEFL qualification.

While some online teaching jobs – particularly those in specific fields like math or science – will require a related degree and some prior experience, becoming an online English teacher can be a relatively simple process.

Many employers will ask for their teachers to have completed a TEFL course. The good news is, these are fairly quick and easy to get. We look at TEFL qualifications in more detail next.

What Is A TEFL Certificate And How Do I Get One?

TEFL simply stands for Teach English as a Foreign Language. Gaining a TEFL qualification is one of the most popular routes to becoming an online teacher. This is especially true for those with no previous experience or background in education. There are a few requirements needed to undertake a TEFL course – you just need to be over 18 and be able to speak fluent English.

TEFL courses can be undertaken in-person, online, or a combination of the two. Courses vary in length and content but most employers will ask for a minimum of 120-hours. Some TEFL courses also have a specific module dedicated to online teaching which can give your CV an edge when applying for jobs.

If you’re comparing TEFL courses, make sure you choose a reputable provider whose qualifications are recognized globally. Don’t forget to read reviews from previous students to see what kind of jobs they went onto after they completed their TEFL.

What To Expect Working As An Online Teacher

Once you have a TEFL qualification under your belt, you’re fast on your way to becoming an online tutor. But what to expect when you actually start working?

Many aspects of your everyday life as an online teacher will depend on whether you are working for yourself (as a private tutor) or if you are employed by an organization.

As a private online teacher, you’ll be responsible for finding your own students, creating your own curriculum, and scheduling your own lessons. This is a great option for those who like to be independent and in control of their own time.

Alternatively, if you work for an online teaching organization, you’ll usually set your available hours and be assigned, students. You’ll often be provided with everything you’ll need for your lessons and you’ll never need to worry about finding students.

Whether you decide to go private or work for someone else, there are a few things about being an online teacher that will stay the same. The first is the ability to be location independent – allowing you to teach from wherever you want – as long as you have access to the internet! The second is the sense of fulfillment that comes from helping others to learn, whether that’s teaching English to children or assisting adults in achieving their education goals.

How Much Money Can You Make As An Online Teacher?

Does all of the above sound great but you’re asking yourself, is online teaching a good fit for me financially? Don’t worry, we can help you work that out too.

How much money you can make as an online teacher will depend on a few things. This includes whether you want to work full-time, part-time, or as a side-hustle to your current job, as well as whether you are working for a company or for yourself.

Many people teach online to boost their main income or part-time while they are studying. However, there are also plenty of people who have made online teaching into a full-time career.

Online teaching salaries vary greatly depending on the above factors but to find out more, this long teach English online salaries article from The TEFL Org gives a detailed breakdown of the most popular online teaching companies and their hourly rates.

Conclusion to Is Online Teaching a Good Fit for You

With few entry barriers, the option to work remotely from anywhere in the world, and the ability to teach full-time, part-time, or just a few hours a week, hopefully, this article has proved that freelance online teaching is a good fit for you.

Want to get on the right path to your freelance career? Enroll in my free 7-lesson mini-course Get on the Right Path to Freelancing.


Images by and LinkedIn Sales Solutions and J. Kelly Brito

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hi Sabina, I feel into online teaching with the pandemic. I was teaching social media at a real estate school and they closed down when the virus hit so I taught online via Zoom and now I have classes on Udemy. I love how passive income can come into play with Udemy classes. I highly recommend it!

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