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Teach English Online

Updated on November 2nd, 2020

I’ve done a lot of research on finding the best companies to teach English online with. Once completing my online TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) it was time to look for that perfect digital nomad job. As the popularity for teaching English online increases so do the number of companies which offer jobs – some great and some not so much. Make sure you know the best companies that pay well, have a great educational system and treat their staff well.

Teaching English online is perfect for anyone who wants to work remotely, from home or gain a bit of extra income on the side. In this post, I have compiled the top 5 companies to teach English online.

If you are looking for other jobs that will pay you to travel the world you can also check out how to get a job as a superyacht stewardess, working as an Overlanding tour leader, teaching English in Vietnam, how to find work in the Australian ski resorts or get a job on an island in Australia.

I’ve been working and travelling my way around the world for over 10 years now and am always looking for new ways to do this.

Work from anywhere in the world by teaching English online

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information on my disclaimer click here.

Contents show

Firstly, why teach English online

There are so many reasons you may want to consider teaching English online! But one of the biggest draws is you can do it from anywhere, so long as you have a reliable internet connection.

Teaching English is a great way to earn money while travelling and living the lifestyle you want. Don’t wait for those 2-5 weeks of vacation time each year. Take the job with you.

Teaching English online is also perfect for those who:

  • Love their current job but are looking for a bit of extra cash on the side. Great for saving for travel or house deposits as you can do a few extra hours of work each week
  • Are looking for a job you can do from home. New parents, this could be for you
  • Are trying to escape corporate 9-5 life
  • Want a rewarding career

Who can teach English online

Teaching jobs aren’t for everyone. You need to have a lot of patience and should enjoy spending time with children – as a lot of online English teaching jobs are catered towards kids.

In a lot of cases, you will need to be a native English speaker or at least be fluent in English. Make sure the timezone you are in allows you to work during the peak class time in Beijing (6-9pm). Or be willing to get up early or work late into the night depending on where in the world you are.

You can teach English online either part-time or full-time depending on your needs.

Requirements to teach English online

Before you start teaching English online you will need to make sure you meet a few requirements.

  • Be a native English speaker (some companies accept fluency)
  • Have a Bachelor degree (if not, see Cambly below)
  • Hold a TEFL/TESOL or CELTA certificate (not always mandatory)
  • Have a solid and reliable internet connection

Each company has different mandatory requirements which I will go into more detail with below.

Even if you don’t require a TEFL certificate, I would recommend doing a course anyway. If you will be teaching English, don’t you want to know as much as you can to help your students? Feel confident going into your first lessons by arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible. This post will help you decide on the best online TEFL course.

Requirements to teach English online

Things to consider when choosing a company to teach English online

There are so many companies offering English tutors or teachers to non-English speaking participants that it is important to work for a reputable company who will also meet your needs as an employer.

  • Minimum hours
  • Schedule flexibility
  • Required certificates – do you need a university degree or a teaching certificate?
  • Where you can work from based on your time zone
  • Pay rate and incentive/bonus pays

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Top 5 companies to teach English online

VIPKid: Teach English online as an American or Canadian

VIPKid, as mentioned above stands out to me as the best company for teaching English online. However, the main requirement here is you must be from North America to work for the company.

An overview of VIPKid

Teachers lead one-on-one English classes to Chinese kids. The kids watch videos prior to class and then have a 25-minute lesson with an English-speaking teacher. Students are aged from 4-12 and range from beginner to advanced learners.

Requirements to teach English online with VIPKid

To apply for a job with VIPKid, make sure you first meet these requirements:

  • Be a native English speaker
  • Be legally allowed to work in the US or Canada
  • Have a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Have at least one year of teaching experience

To find out more information, take a look at the VIPKid requirements.

Pro’s of teaching English online with VIPKid

  • Work remotely from anywhere in the world!
  • Materials for each class are provided
  • Very little class prep time (on average 3-10 minutes)
  • Attractive salary with multiple pay grade incentives – earn $22 USD an hour before additional bonuses
  • Flexible schedule – can be changed weekly
  • Reputable company

Other things to note

  • Classes are between 6 pm to 10 pm weekdays Chinese time and 8 am to 10 pm on weekends.

Apply here to VIPKID

Teach English online with VIPKID

DaDa: Teach English online as an Australian, British or other native English speaker

Dada English is perfect for those non-US citizens (myself included!) yay! I’m currently in the process of getting together my documents to start my application process with Dada.

An overview of DaDa

Dada is a reputable online English teaching company for Chinese kids and young adults between the ages of 3 to 16 years.

Requirements to teach English online with DaDa

  • Hold a teaching certificate (TEFL/TESOL/CELTA, etc.)
  • Undertake a criminal background check
  • Be a native English speaker
  • Hold a bachelor degree

Pro’s of teaching English online with DaDa

  • Work from anywhere in the world
  • One-on-one classes
  • Plenty of bonuses and incentive pays
  • Up to $22/hour with pay rises after being with Dada for a year
  • Minimum 4 hours week
  • No contract
  • You get to know your students with regular fixed weekly schedules
  • Lesson plans are provided

Other things to note

  • Paid monthly
  • You are allowed 2 days off a month without being penalised
  • You can set your hours and workdays but you need to commit the same times on a weekly basis.

Apply here to DaDa

Kids learning english

Cambly: Teach English online without a degree

The best part about teaching English online with Cambly is you do not require a university degree. The one requirement is you must be able to speak English fluently.

An overview of Cambly

Cambly connects native English speakers with language learners to practise conversational English in short lessons. Once employed by Cambly you can log in at any time of the day and wait for a lesson. Most students on the platform are adults from Europe and the Middle East.

Requirements to teach English online with Cambly

  • Must be fluent in English

Pro’s of teaching English online with Cambly

  • No experience required
  • Easy application process
  • No university degree necessary
  • No minimum hours
  • One-on-one classes
  • No lesson planning
  • Casual setting – during sessions you are just required to have a conversation with your student
  • 24/7 language sessions
  • Mainly adult students

Other things to note

  • Cambly doesn’t respond to unsuccessful applicants
  • Pay is $10.20 USD per hour (0.17c/min)
  • You get paid weekly
  • Students are only generally online during their evenings

Apply here to Cambly

Teaching English online is a great job to work remotely

QKIDS: Teach English online while living in North America

Another platform for North American teachers, Qkids connects Chinese students aged between 4 and 12 to use game-based learning.

An overview of Qkids

Founded in 2015, Qkids is a relatively new company based out of China. The biggest downside is you must be in the US or Canada when logging on for your lessons – However, I have heard of other teachers doing their lessons out of the country with no issues.

Requirements to teach English online with Qkids

  • You must legally work in the U.S. or Canada
  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree
  • Work a minimum of 6 hours weekly

Pro’s of teaching English online with Qkids

  • Attractive salary of up to $20/hour
  • Super flexible schedule – classes can be dropped up to 24 hours before
  • Classes are scheduled for you
  • Lesson plans are provided

Other things to note

  • You need to be living in the US or Canada – so this is not the perfect company for travelling full-time
  • No holiday pay bonuses
  • Bonuses are given based on the parents rating of the class
  • Schedules are unpredictable – some weeks are busier than others
  • Classes are up to 4 students
  • Monthly pay

Apply here to Qkids

Kids in Asia

Whales English: Teach English online as a native English speaker

Another great alternative for the non-US and Canadian citizens

An overview of Whales English

Whales English teaches Chinese children between 5 and 15 years through a fun interactive program. Class sizes range from 1 -3 kids and run for 50 minutes.

Requirements to teach English online with Whales English

  • You must hold a university degree
  • Have a 120 + teaching certificate
  • Experience teaching children
  • Be a native English speaker

Pro’s of teaching English online with Whales English

  • A professional and reputable company
  • Lesson plans are provided
  • Students study English through other subjects like Writing, Science and Social Studies
  • Attractive salary of $18-$30 base pay per 50-minute class
  • Incentive pay
  • Regular students
  • Work from anywhere in the world
  • They provide ongoing teacher development

Other things to note

  • Monthly pay
  • Weekly schedules are fixed
  • 12-month contract

Apply here to Whales English

Other companies to teach English online

Sites requiring a bachelor degree

Magic Ears

Magic Ears teaching students between 4 and 12 years in groups of up to 4 and pays between $18 and $26/hour. You must be from the US or Canada to apply and hold a teaching certificate.


Earn $14-$24/hour by teaching Chinese kids in one-on-one lessons with provided lesson plans. Classes are 25 minutes in length and schedules can be adjusted up to 48 hours prior to class times. You must be from the US or Canada to apply and hold a teaching certificate.


Get started teaching English online even if you are in your final year of university. SayABC teaches small groups of up to 4 Chinese kids aged 5 – 12 years. Pay is up to $19 for 40-minute classes with bonuses. You need to be a native English speaker to apply and hold a teaching certificate.


Native English speakers from the US, Canada, UK and Australia can apply to teach English online to Chinese students aged between 3 and 15 years. ALO7 pays between $17 and $22 per 50-minute interactive class. You must hold a teaching certificate.

EF Education First

If you would prefer teaching adults, then EF could be the company for you. Earn up to $16/hour in conversation style group and one-on-one classes. You must be a native English speaker and hold a teaching certificate to apply.

Teach English online WITHOUT a bachelor degree

While a lot of online teaching jobs will require you to have a degree, that’s not the case for all. The following online teaching companies are ones you can consider.


Set your own rates and start teaching without a teaching certificate. Italki has two types of teachers; professional and community. Native or near-native speakers can apply.


Palfish is an app teaching English to foreign speakers. Teachers set their own rates and teach one-on-one classes to all ages. You do not need to be a native English speaker to apply but are required to hold a teaching certificate.


Picking the right company for you!

I hope the above has helped you decide on a few top English teaching companies that fit your needs. What might be the best company for one, may not be the best for you.

I have put in a lot of research into the best company to apply for and the ones above come up time and time again as the best to work for.

To put yourself a step above the others when applying, make sure you get a teaching certificate. I did mine with the TEFL Academy and learnt so much. It had been a long time since I had last done any grammar revision, so the course was quite challenging at times. I can’t imagine going into an English language class as a teacher without having done this course.

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Hello! My name is Erin, the lady behind Curiously Erin. After more than 10 years of travelling and working abroad, I wanted to create a platform where I could share my stories and travels. My goal is to help you live the life you desire and inspire you to travel more.


  • Bonnie

    9:25 pm

    Hi Erin,
    Thanks very much for this super useful list of information! I was just wondering, do you need an ABN to teach online? It’s a bit unclear to me how the employment and tax side of things is done.
    Thanks very much,


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