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For many people working remotely around the world, teaching English online can prove to be a flexible, lucrative and enjoyable profession. When it comes to how to teach English online, the possibilities are endless. From professional to part-time hobbyist, teaching online has been embraced by many who have a love of language and a knack for teaching.

If you don’t have a teaching degree, you might be worried you can’t get a teaching job. Fortunately, it is possible to teach English online even if you don’t have a degree.

How to teach English online

In the Covid-19 era, working online has never been more popular. Many who have been bound to their homes amid lockdowns and social distancing policies have quickly grown to enjoy their new working situation, with its lack of commute and safe, cozy environment. For those who teach online, this has always been the case.

Teaching online is an industry that has exploded in recent years. With a billion people studying English and 300 million learners in China alone, it’s the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon, do something you love and start making some money.

For those who feel they aren’t adequately qualified or don’t know how to teach English online, you’re in luck. Whether you’ve yet to complete your studies or never went down the university route, there are plenty of jobs for those without a degree.

Where to find English teaching jobs

By searching on local job boards or online websites such as Upwork, it has never been simpler to look for English teaching jobs online. From private tutoring gigs to working for global companies, there are plenty of options for those looking to teach.

However, you may find that some jobs are exclusive to those with qualifications. If this is the case, don’t be disheartened! There are many jobs out there, and it’s just a matter of combing through the listings to find the right one for you.

If you find you are struggling, don’t fear — there are solutions that don’t involve studying for a Bachelor’s degree for four years (and that won’t leave you in a mountain of student debt.)

Alternative qualifications to score an online teaching job

For those who have been scouring the online teaching job market, you may have noticed some abbreviations popping up on job postings. One such phrase you might have seen is “TEFL”.

“TEFL” stands for “teaching English as a foreign language.” It is an extremely popular qualification for those looking to find a job teaching online and is often the answer to “how to teach English online.”

TEFL courses are a fraction of the price of bachelor’s or graduate degrees. This qualification can be gained in just a matter of weeks, which make it an attractive option for many.

When it comes to gaining a TEFL qualification, it can seem at first to be a bit of a minefield. With so many different providers, courses and options, finding the right one for you can be a daunting experience.

Check a program’s credentials before you sign up

Regardless of what types of course you choose, you must find a reputable company to provide the qualification. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous companies out there. They’ll charge you a fee only to leave you feeling under-qualified and unable to teach effectively.

There’s no worse feeling than feeling like you aren’t up to the task of teaching. Make sure to find a company that’s both accredited and will give you the skills you need to flourish.

Finding the right TEFL course for you

TEFL courses vary in many ways, such as how the content is delivered and the number of hours the course is. For a course that will best teach you the necessary skills to be an effective practitioner, in-class TEFL courses may be the best option.

However, if you prefer the theoretical side of education, or simply don’t have the time to learn in a classroom, online or virtual TEFL courses could also work. Even though the course content is delivered online, a strong course will still give you the skills and confidence to crush your lessons.

TEFL certifications and qualifications vary in hours. Typically, a more time-intensive course will be more impressive to an employer. But it’s still possible to find a job with one of the shorter courses.

Whichever option you end up picking, a good TEFL-qualification is sure to make you stand out from the crowd. And whether you’re pursuing your TEFL in Canada, the U.S., Australia, or another country, there are options to earn your certification all over the world.

Where to find online English teaching jobs

Many companies provide opportunities for those without degrees.

A popular website used by many is Cambly. By working at Cambly, you could teach students from all corners of the globe. Depending on where your students are located, you might need to be flexible with your hours.

Cambly doesn’t require any minimum hours. Salaries are paid weekly via Paypal, and rates are typically around $12 per hour ($0.20 per minute). Registration is easy, and applications can be submitted here.

Other options include PalFish and Open English, and Magic Ears is a company that accepts current university students.

While there’s no guarantee you’ll land a job teaching English online without a degree, a TEFL certification could give you the leverage you need. So get online, start searching, and snag that online English teaching job you’ve always wanted!

Ready to start applying? Head here for a list of 30 companies hiring online English teachers. 

Erin Honigman is an ESL teacher currently working at the University of Ulsan in South Korea.