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I get asked a lot about ‘how to teach English online’ and I tell people about it but I thought it will probably be a lot better to write this post about it to help those who are considering teaching online as their side hustle.

I am a qualified lecturer in my professional life,however, after becoming a mum to two kids, it seemed natural to transition into teaching online in order to be at home with my kids.  Teaching online is great for stay at home mums; especially if kids are of school age. It is also great for empty nesters; kids are all grown now and you want a career change and more flexibility in life.


The first step I took was to complete a TEFL/TESOL course. I went with most creditable company within the UK known as TEFL.org.uk. I completed the 120 hours course as I noticed that a lot of companies requested for it. The course  was detailed, insightful and challenging at times but it was worth all the effort as I learnt a lot.


Who can teach English online?

The requirements differ from job to job, of course. But you should be able to find some sort of English teaching job online if you:

  • Are a Native English speaker
  • Have a reliable internet connection suitable for video chat
  • Are over 16 years old
  • Have at least a willingness to learn how to teach effectively
  • Can take payment online (Paypal, etc)
  • Enjoy talking with people

You can get better teaching work if you meet any of the criteria below:

  • Have experience teaching
  • Know how to market your services
  • Have a teaching certification or degree
  • Know a language spoken by a lot of English learners (Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, etc)
  • Have a very flexible schedule

Finally, this is sad but true, you have to look physically attractive, friendly and/or competent.




TutorABC is based in Taiwan and focuses on EFL for Chinese speakers. They have their own system and they have a pretty strong pipeline of students. Unlike most online schools, they provide some training! Since they promote a conversational approach to learning, you don’t need to know that much about grammar, phonics or other features of English. As long as you’re patient, and enthusiastic you can probably get by fine.

On the downside, the pay isn’t that great. It’s only £7 per hour base plus some amount that depends on student reviews. According to reviews on Glassdoor, after bonuses, it’s about £9 per hour. They also insist that teachers are available for at least some of their times with the highest student demand (i.e. their evenings and weekends).


  • Bachelor’s degree or ESL teaching experience required
  • Teachers must have some availability during peak hours
  • Training provided
  • Conversational methods expected
  • Pays £9/hour


VIPKID is a leading Chinese online education firm that offers mainly American elementary education experience to Chinese students aged 4-12. However, they accept UK based teachers. This company focuses on only one to one teaching and all the teaching materials are created already.

Downside: As I mentioned above, they focus on american elementary education so it may present a bit more difficult to get bookings as a UK based teacher. Also  you have to be very energetic to attract parents and keep child’s attention.


  • ESL teaching experience and qualification required
  • Teachers be average to teach an average of 7.5 hours a week. Monday- Friday (6pm-10pm) Weekend (9am – 10pm)
  • Training provided
  • One to one teaching method
  • Pays ~ £7/ 30mins



English first conducts group and private lessons to adults. Mainly focusing on conversational English and business English.As an experienced lecturer, adult teaching is best suited to my needs.


  • ESL teaching experience and qualification required
  • Degree required but not essential
  • Training provided
  • Group and private teaching method
  • Pays ~ £6/hr for English teachers or £15-16/hr if you are qualified.
  •  VIPKid requires a 6-month minimum contract commitment from all applicants with room for renewal.


DADAabc is focused on teaching children on a one to one setting aged 4 – 16 years old. They prefer their teacher to work a set amount of hours a week (15hours) 6pm-9pm (Shanghai time) every day. Teachers don’t need to write their teaching materials. DaDaABC provides teaching materials!


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Desktop or Laptop with fast speed Internet connection and audio/video capability
  • Contract term -6-Months / 12-Months
  • Starting date -Immediately
  • Payment – £12-£13/hr

 Other teaching companies

51talk – 7pm-11pm (Mon-Fri), 9am-11pm (Sat-Sun)

Flying Cows – £8-£20/hr. Set times 10am – 2pm

IQBAR.net –  Flexible with hours. Mainly Chinese students. 8 hour time difference.

To find other side hustle ideas  click here.


If you still want to teach English online, it is important to identify what you want to do.

  • Do you want to teach children or adults
  • What is your availability – considering the time difference
  • How much do you want to earn – They range from £8p/hr to £25p/hr
  • Do you want to teach one to one or classroom settings
  • Do you have the equipment needed -[amazon_textlink asin=’B06Y2W2NJX’ text=’ Laptop’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’preciousearni-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’c4b27b7a-3d66-11e8-a35d-d3dd69132b34′], [amazon_textlink asin=’B006A2Q81M’ text=’Webcam’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’preciousearni-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’71e2d621-3d66-11e8-ad0e-5bffe216a8d7′], Reliable high speed internet, [amazon_textlink asin=’B000JSDOMO’ text=’Microphone headset’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’preciousearni-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’8530b3dc-3d66-11e8-b17c-bb98ae9f47f5′].

I hope to you find this blog post useful and if you do, feel free to leave me a comment below


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