If you’re reading this, the likelihood is that someone you know has already passionately touted the benefits of online teaching to you, rousing your interest enough to do some research. We hate to go all mind-reader on you, but we’re right, aren’t we?
That’s because for ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers already with their foot-in-the-door, listing the ways online teaching is one of the best jobs in the world is as easy a task as eating a tub of ice cream in one sitting. And it’s impossible not to tell your mates about it.
The flexible hours, decent wage and ease of getting started to make this a dream job for those who are a little unsure of their next direction, or simply want to earn some extra cash. Perhaps you’re fresh out of uni and are looking to supplement your summer, or you’re looking to make some extra cash alongside another part-time job. Or maybe you’re about to embark on an around-the-world trip and want a way to fund your travels (without having to apply for a work visa). Not to mention, it’s perfect for those who want to gain some valuable teaching experience for their CV, working in one of the highest-growing education sectors in the world.
No matter your reasons for exploring online teaching, there are countless benefits. Let’s jump straight in.
1. You decide your schedule
The beauty of online teaching – and for us, its best trait of all – is that when and how much you work is down to you. With most online teaching companies, you’re not bound by any sort of contract, and you decide when you want to work. You can’t say that about many jobs, can you?
On average, just four hours per weekday is what you can expect to work. In China, for example, peak teaching times are from 11:00 – 15:00 Monday to Friday (GMT). This is because online schools operate after physical school hours from 18:00 – 22:00 in Beijing (BJT). A cheeky four-hour afternoon shift – allowing you to have a lie-in and also finish in time for a late lunch date with mates – is hardly the same as pounding the 9 to 5, is it?
Or perhaps you’re teaching alongside another part-time job? Most ESL companies are flexible with hours, and provided it’s done in advance, you can block out ‘slots’ that you can’t work– the same as booking holiday. This means you can make your two jobs work side-by-side nicely.
Teaching from 11 ‘til 3 followed by bar work from 5 ‘til 11? Easily done. A morning spent serving coffee followed by four hours teaching? Totally doable.
2. You can make some serious money
As much as we’d *like* to pretend we’re here solely for the betterment of kids’ education, we work to make money, and with online teaching, you can stack some serious cash.
Chinese ESL companies generally pay by the hour or per lesson, which ranges from between 25 minutes to 45 minutes. Depending on the company, you can look to earn around £15 per hour (paid as $20 USD), while some more bespoke companies, such as summer school which only run for a few months of the year, can pay up to £28 ($35). On top of that, many companies offer bonuses for good work and completion of semesters.
Hours-wise, you’ll be working on average between 15 to 20 hours per week – again, this will differ per company and depending on how much you want to work. All considered, that’s roughly £1200 landing in your bank or PayPal account per month, which, for a part-time job is pretty damn good.
Plus, unlike other teaching jobs, the overheads are minimal. You don’t have to commute into work, buy new suits or spend a sickening amount on a cheese sandwich in the nearest Pret for lunch. All you’ll need to fork out on (providing you don’t have it already), is a decent laptop with a webcam, a pair of headphones and a stable Internet connection.
3. You can work from anywhere (home, a café, a hut in the Peruvian Andes with really good WiFi…)
One of the biggest draws of online teaching is that… well, it’s online, meaning you can do it from virtually anywhere. Whether you’ve set up life in a foreign country and want to teach in between trips to the beach; whether you dream of abandoning office life for constant WFH comfort (jogging bottoms and tea on tap included); or are backpacking and want to get some teaching hours in between country-hopping, there’s really no limits.
4. It can give you tip-top ESL experience
Maybe you’re looking at online teaching as a springboard for the future? Perhaps your dream is to be an ESL teacher abroad, or maybe you hope to work in physical classrooms one day, and are teaching online while you gain further qualifications? Either way, online teaching is a great way to add to your CV and teach you valuable transferable skills for your next teaching job and beyond. Teaching in an online setting isn’t that different from being in a classroom, so if you envisage a career in teaching, you’ll be learning tons of skills on the job. Plus, TeacherTee spoke to a handful of education employers who agreed that seeing online teaching experience on someone’s CV would be beneficial to their application… so there you have it! Check out Teachaway for teaching opportunities abroad.
6. It’s easy to get started
Easily one of the best things about teaching online is that you can be up and running in a matter of weeks. Forget months of painstaking education, mountains of essays, and gruelling exams to gain you the right qualifications (and not to mention student debt!) – anyone can be up and running with ESL teaching with simply a TEFL Certificate, which you can gain with a minimum requirement of 120 hours of training. Dedicate just four hours a day to your learning and you could be teaching your first class within the month. Head to our TEFL page for more info on the best courses.
There you have five amazing benefits of teaching online. Do we really need to twist your arm?