Making Money Online

Make Money Online Teaching English Even Without TEFL Certification

Are you looking for a flexible way to earn extra income from home? Teaching English online is a great option, even if you don’t have teaching experience or a TEFL certification. With the demand for online English teachers continuing to grow, now is the perfect time to start your online teaching career.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about teaching English online without a TEFL certification. You’ll learn about the top companies that don’t require certification, how to create an appealing profile, tips for teaching engaging online classes, and strategies to maximize your earnings over time. Whether you want to make teaching your full-time career or just a side gig, this guide will set you up for success.

Why Teach English Online?

Here are some of the main benefits of teaching English online:

  • Earn Money from Home – No commute. Set your own schedule. Easily fit classes around your life.
  • Flexible Hours – Most companies allow you to teach early mornings, evenings, weekends or any time that works for you.
  • Supplement Your Income – Teaching a few hours a week provides a nice side income. Scale up as you have time.
  • Gain Valuable Teaching Experience – Online teaching helps develop classroom management and instructional skills.
  • Open Doors to Future Opportunities – Add “teacher” to your resume. Online experience can lead to offline teaching roles.
  • Meet Interesting People – Build connections with students of diverse ages and cultural backgrounds.
  • Satisfaction from Helping Others – Make a positive impact in your students’ lives by improving their English skills.

The benefits are clear. Teaching English online lets you turn your skills into an income source, on your own terms. Now let’s look at the top companies that make it possible without requiring a TEFL certificate.

Top 7 Companies for Teaching English Online Without a TEFL

While a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification can be an asset, it is not required by many online English teaching companies. Here are the top 7 firms that hire teachers without a TEFL:

1. VIPKid

One of the most popular choices, VIPKid connects English teachers in the U.S. and Canada with students in China for 25 minute 1-on-1 video chat sessions.

Key perks:

  • High pay – $14-22 USD per hour
  • Flexible scheduling – Teach any time 24/7
  • Curriculum provided – Lesson plans given


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Eligibility to work in U.S. or Canada
  • Teaching demo

2. Magic Ears

Magic Ears focuses solely on teaching English to Chinese children aged 4-12 years old. Classes are 1-on-1 or small groups.

Key perks:

  • Good pay – $22-26 USD per hour
  • Set schedule – Teach weekdays 6-9am or 6:30-9:30pm Beijing time
  • Lesson plans given – Use pre-set curriculum


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Teaching experience preferred
  • Trial class

3. Palfish

Palfish hires teachers worldwide to teach English to Chinese students of all ages. You can teach 1-on-1 or group classes.

Key perks:

  • Flexible schedule – Set your own hours
  • Curriculum provided – Lesson plans given
  • No minimum hours – Open schedule as needed


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Native English speaker
  • Internet speed of at least 20MB per second

4. SayABC

SayABC focuses on pairing teachers with young learners between the ages of 5 and 12 across China. Classes are 1-on-1 video chats.

Key perks:

  • Good base pay – $15-21 USD per hour
  • Incentives available – Bonuses can increase earnings
  • Set curriculum – Lesson plans provided


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • North American accent preferred
  • Trial class

5. Qkids

Qkids connects teachers in the U.S. and Canada with students in China ages 4-12 for group video chat classes with up to 6 students per class.

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Key perks:

  • Flexible schedule – Open 7 days a week, mornings and evenings Beijing time
  • Lesson plans given – Use preset curriculum and props
  • Pay incentives – Earn bonuses for high performance


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • North American accent
  • Trial class

6. Cambly

Cambly allows teachers worldwide to teach 1-on-1 English lessons to students across the globe via video chat.

Key perks:

  • Open availability – Set your own hours, no minimum requirements
  • Worldwide student base – Tutor students of all ages and nationalities
  • Quick pay – Get paid weekly via PayPal


  • Native English speaker
  • Internet speed of at least 7MB per second

7. 51Talk

51Talk matches online English teachers with students in China and the Philippines. You can teach 1-on-1 or small group classes.

Key perks:

  • Flexible schedule – Set your own hours
  • Curriculum provided – Lesson plans given
  • Referral program – Earn by referring new teachers


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Teaching experience preferred
  • North American accent

This list provides a range of excellent options to start teaching English online without a certification. The requirements are very reasonable. As long as you meet them, you can be up and running quickly!

Now let’s look at how to create an appealing teacher profile.

Creating a Standout Teacher Profile

Your online profile is your chance to make a great first impression and stand out from other teacher applicants. Follow these tips to create a profile that gets results:

Include a Professional Photo

A current headshot or full-body image portrays you as approachable and relatable. Dress professionally in nice clothes and smile warmly. A clean, distraction-free background is best.

Highlight Your English Teaching Abilities

List any experience teaching, tutoring English, working with children, or public speaking. Mention skills like classroom management, lesson planning, and motivating students.

Emphasize Your Native Level Fluency

Since most programs require native level English, highlight growing up speaking English and your advanced proficiency. Share any USA or Canada education credentials.

Showcase Your Personality and Interests

Give students a glimpse into what makes you unique! Share fun facts, hobbies, talents or personal details that create a connection. Stay positive.

Explain Why You Want to Teach English Online

Briefly share your motivation for this role. Frame it as an opportunity to help students succeed while gaining valuable experience.

Have Impeccable Writing Skills

Your profile should have perfect spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation. Ask a friend to proofread it if needed.

Upload Required Documents

Provide a current resume, diplomas, transcripts, identity verification, video intro or other requested items. Double check requirements.

Get a Professional to Review It

Consider having a teacher or career advisor look over your profile. They can provide an outside perspective to help polish it.

With a standout profile conveying your abilities, you’ll catch the eye of companies looking for great online English teachers. Next let’s go over tips for engaging students in effective lessons.

How to Teach Engaging Online English Lessons

Once you start teaching, you want students to stay focused and actively participate throughout each lesson. Here are some top tips:

1. Greet Students Enthusiastically

Smile, make eye contact, and warmly welcome each student by name. This friendly start sets a positive tone. Check how students are feeling.

2. Review Last Lesson’s Concepts

Briefly recap key points and vocabulary covered last time before moving to new material. Quickly assess retention with a short activity.

3. Announce Today’s Lesson Agenda

Tell students what topics, skills and activities they can look forward to so they know what to expect. Write an outline on the whiteboard.

4. Break Down Concepts into Small Steps

Don’t overexplain. Demonstrate an idea, have students repeat, then move to the next point. Small chunks of info are less overwhelming.

5. Use Visual Aids and Props

Incorporate pictures, diagrams, realia, puppets, costumes or anything that makes lessons more visually engaging and fun.

6. Change Up Activity Formats

Vary activities to include whole group discussion, small group work, games, role playing, worksheets, videos and more. This maintains energy.

7. Check for Understanding Often

Frequently ask comprehension-checking questions, have students summarize key ideas or complete quick tasks to apply skills. Address confusion immediately.

8. Keep Students Active and Speaking

Aim for at least 70% student talk time. Lessons should be highly interactive, not lectures. Have students repeat, discuss ideas, share opinions and practice dialogue.

9. Provide Positive Feedback

Notice effort and improvement. Compliment good pronunciation, using new words correctly, clear explanations, teamwork and other wins, big or small.

10. Assign Fun Homework or Extension Activities

Leave students motivated to practice English between lessons. Suggest relevant websites, apps, journal prompts, videos or games to reinforce skills.

By making lessons lively and student-centered, you’ll build engagement and retention over time. Let’s look at one more key factor – managing behavior issues.

Effective Strategies for Managing Online Classroom Behavior

Even the most engaging lessons can’t be productive if student behavior is disruptive and disrespectful. Here are some tips for addressing issues professionally:

Set Clear Expectations

Proactively share rules and expectations around behavior from day one. Be friendly yet firm in enforcing policies. Apply them consistently.

Use Positive Praise

When students demonstrate good behavior, call it out and recognize it with compliments. This motivates them to continue acting appropriately.

Implement a Reward System

Consider using points, stars, badges or small prizes to incentivize attendance, participation, homework completion and good conduct.

Separate Arguing Students

If students are distracting others by bickering or talking out of turn, reassign their seats or briefly move one to a breakout room to calm down.

Avoid Yelling or Sarcasm

Speaking sharply often makes bad behavior worse. Politely remind students of rules using a calm, respectful tone.

Notify Parents if Needed

For recurring issues, discretely contact parents for assistance. Praise improvements to the parents as well.

Limit Distractions

Request phones be put away and close unneeded tabs. Gently keep students focused if attention wanders.

Stay Patient and Positive

Take a deep breath and remember childrens’ emotions are still developing. End each class on a friendly note.

With the right balance of firm expectations and understanding, you can create an environment where students and teacher work together respectfully so everyone can succeed.

Now that we’ve covered engaging students and managing behavior, let’s discuss tips for increasing your teaching income over time.

Maximizing Your Online Teaching Earnings

Here are some smart strategies to steadily increase your income from online ESL teaching:

1. Take on More Classes

Carefully add more hours and classes as your schedule permits. But don’t overdo it if it may lead to burnout. Leave some wiggle room.

2. Teach During Peak Times

openings are highest early mornings, evenings, weekends and summers. Adjust your availability to teach during the most in-demand slots.

3. Maintain a Consistent Schedule

Students and companies prefer teachers they can rely on at set times. Avoid cancelling. Maintaining regular hours means more bookings.

4. Get Positive Reviews

The better your student ratings, the more likely you’ll get booked by new students. Always aim to exceed expectations.

5. Increase Your Hourly Rate

After gaining experience, apply for pay upgrades if available. Some companies offer higher rates for tenured teachers.

6. Reduce Cancellations

Avoid late cancellations that could impact your ranking or eligibility for incentives. Give ample notice if you do need to cancel.

7. Open All Major Holidays

Holidays are prime earning times. Make yourself available over holiday breaks when demand spikes but teacher supply is low.

8. Participate in Referral Programs

Refer responsible friends to apply as teachers and earn rewards when they get hired and meet required hours.

9. Promote Your Profile Outside the Platform

Share your profile on social media and networking sites with an invitation to connect for lessons.

10. Keep Teaching During Slow Periods

Summer and holidays see fewer students. But keep odd hours open to capture bookings. Slow times allow opportunity to take on more students as demand returns.

By actively managing your online teaching profile using these tips, you can maximize your earning potential over time.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching English Online Without a TEFL

Many new online teachers have questions about getting started. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Q: What technical equipment do I need to teach online?

A: You’ll need a laptop or desktop computer (not a tablet) with a webcam, microphone and high-speed internet connection. Most companies require 5-20 Mbps upload speed. A headset is recommended to maximize audio quality.

Q: How much can I earn teaching English online without certification?

A: Most companies pay $14-26 USD per hour. Top teachers at the highest paying companies can earn $2,000+ USD per month working full time. But averages are closer to $1,000-$1,500 USD for part-time teachers.

Q: What are the main differences teaching kids versus adults?

A: With kids, lessons are more play-based with games, props and lots of movement. Classes focus on vocabulary, pronunciation and conversation. Adult lessons cover more advanced grammar, writing, test prep and business English.

Q: How should I prepare and present my video introduction?

A: Dress neatly and film in front of a clean background. Prepare 3-5 minutes on your experience, teaching style and how you would engage students. Be energetic and friendly while highlighting qualifications.

Q: What type of payment options are typically available?

A: Most companies pay via direct deposit or PayPal on a monthly schedule. Some offer weekly payments. Thresholds for payment range from $20 to $100+ depending on the company.

Q: How much time should I set aside for preparing lessons and grading work?

A: With most companies providing curriculum, an hour or less per class is often sufficient for prep. Grading and student feedback is generally only required for some adult classes.

Q: What times are best for getting the most bookings?

A: Early mornings and evenings tend to be most popular. For China-based platforms, peak times are weekdays 6-9am and 6:30-9:30pm Beijing time. Weekends are also in high demand.

Q: Is experience teaching English abroad beneficial?

A: Yes, prior classroom teaching experience can make you more competitive. Mention it in your profile and introduction video. But it isn’t required.

Hopefully these questions and answers help provide more clarity on getting started teaching English online without a TEFL certification.

Conclusion: Teach English Online to Earn Extra Income on Your Terms

Teaching English online is a great option for earning part-time or full-time income, especially without the time and expense of obtaining a TEFL certification.

As this guide outlined, respected companies like VIPKid, Magic Ears, SayABC and more make it possible to start teaching online with just a bachelor’s degree and native English fluency.

By creating a polished teacher profile, conducting engaging lessons, and actively managing your schedule, you can successfully begin making money online as an ESL teacher on flexible terms.

So if you love the idea of helping students master English while also earning income from home, there is an abundance of opportunity waiting. Get started today on your journey to become an online English teacher!

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