Making Money Online As An ESL Teacher

What Is It?

ESL tutoring sites are dedicated to teaching English as a second language (ESL) online. They contract native English speakers to teach English online.

How Does It Work?

ESL sites are different from standard tutoring sites as ESL sites are more focused on one-on-one teaching and not so much classroom style. They also tend to not have as strict requirements as some of the teaching sites have. We will go into more detail on this below.

You signup at an online ESL site, such as gogokid or landi, and enter in your schooling and areas of expertise. Every site has pretty much the same requirements, you need a degree and to be a native English speaker, preferably from Canada, U.S. or U.K. Sometimes also Australia or other predominately English speaking countries as well. The interesting point here is that while a teaching degree or certificate in TEFL is a plus, it is not required. Instead, a lot of these sites view it as prestige for the kids to learn from someone who was born and raised in those countries and has any secondary education. Also to note, one site, QKids, also accepts people who are currently working towards a bachelor degree.


In addition to the above requirements, you need to be personable, organized, have a webcam, microphone/headset and a stable network connection.

After applying you will have to do a video interview. This is to ensure you can communicate clearly and also allow them to get a sense of your teaching style with a mock education class. If you get accepted they often have reading/training materials to help you structure or organize a class.

Scheduling classes are as simple as setting the time slots you are available. As the sites are often geared towards kids of all ages in China, the timing can sometimes mean late nights or very early mornings for prospective teachers.


Parents will then browse all the profiles and choose a teacher. Once chosen, you use their system to host the class. Their systems come with many different training materials to help you with your class. Each class lasts 25 minutes.

You are paid on an hourly basis and the rate you are paid is influenced by your experience and how many successful jobs you do. If the parents like you (as they often watch the sessions off camera) then they may book you for more sessions.

How Much Money Can You Make?

This actually can pay pretty decently. The rates range between $12-$25/hr. One of the biggest challenges for making a lot of money here is availability and sometimes the hours you need to work. People with more experience and who have very flexible schedules can make upwards of $2,000+/month.

For people who are extremely proficient in other languages they can also supplement their income by doing document translation as well.


Sites To Teach English Online


  • Make sure you attend any classes you are booked for. Failure to attend a class without very good reasons can lead to payout penalties or expulsions

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