Can I teach online without a degree? Short answer: absolutely.

You want to teach English online, but haven’t done the whole hat throwing rigmarole? Don’t be discouraged. There are opportunities to teach English online without a degree, you just need to know where to look. 

Luckily, we do and we have you covered. It’s going to be more of a challenge, but we’ll explain everything you need to consider here – so keep reading!

The biggest TEFL/ Online TEFL market in the world is found in China. Due to legislation changes made by the Chinese Government in 2019, it now stands that all English teachers who want to teach in China now have to have at least a 120-hour TEFL Certification and a BA degree. Even though online schools are much more relaxed about this, the truth is that there are fewer positions for non-degree holders than are offered to degree holders in China.

Don’t despair, though, as there are still plenty of opportunities for those who don’t have a degree to teach online. You just need to know the best companies to look for and the right positions to apply for. That’s where TeacherTee can help. 

Follow our checklist for how to get started on your online teaching journey if you don’t hold a degree.

1. Get TEFL Certified. First and foremost, before you start applying for roles, you’ll need at least a 120-hour TEFL Certificate. This is the most important qualification you’ll need when teaching English online, which holds more weight when applying for teaching roles than a degree does. And the good news is, anyone can get one.

Most TEFL courses take 4 – 8 weeks to complete and consist of lessons, exams and coursework. Nowadays, you can complete your entire course online and they are extremely straightforward to finish. We’ve done the research for you and narrowed down the best TEFL courses available on our TEFL Courses section – so head there to get yours.

2. Stand out from the rest. Like you’ve probably heard plenty of times before when applying for jobs, making yourself “stand out” is key to bagging an online teaching role. If you don’t hold a degree, you really need to emphasise the other qualities you possess outside of your academic qualifications. Here’s how we’d go about it:

  • Get the best TEFL training possible (we recommend a Premium TEFL course).
  • Be proactive. Contact every school directly and keep up a high level of consistency while applying.
  • Highlight any previous experience you have had with teaching, teaching online and working with children. Even something you might consider ‘minor’ teaching experience should be highlighted on your CV. 
  • Be sure to highlight the fact your English level is native and you can speak clearly and articulately. 
  • Stress that you are confident and have the abilities to communicate with children and learners of all ages.
  • Highlight any other additional skills you have like maybe speaking another language.

3. Consider going freelance. If you’re struggling to get a job with an online school, why not go freelance? Most online teachers who work for themselves would never dream of working for a school. They create their own schedule, pick and choose their students, set their own rates and teach their own material! 

There are so many benefits to being a freelance teacher. Keep your eye on our blog as we have a new post coming about how to get set up and give yourself a head start. It will cover everything from creating your own lesson plans, setting up legit payment systems, creating a website and promoting yourself on Instagram and other channels! Watch this space.

All this said, the easiest way to start out teaching English online is by working for an online school. This is a nice way to enter the industry and the schools will provide you with students and (in most cases) lesson plans too, alleviating a lot of extra work that comes with finding your own students and creating your own material.

Here is our list of the top 10 companies that do not require a degree:

Preply (TeacherTee’s top choice) Apply here

Requirements: To apply for Preply you do not need a degree or experience, just a TEFL Certificate, a reliable laptop and strong internet connection.

Pay: You choose your own rates. The company will then take anywhere from 18% – 33% off your earnings for all the lessons you do, with their cut depending on the number of lessons you give. Essentially, the more tutoring you do through Preply, the less commission you pay. Some of the best tutors earn over $2000 (£1530) a month.


Requirements: To teach English online with PalFish you must be fluent in English and have a valid TEFL Certificate. You teach children and adults and have your lessons made up for you.

Pay: You can set your own rates of pay when working for PalFish, but most teachers charge around $12 – $20 USD (£9.20 – £15.40 GBP) per hour.


Requirements: Cambly has the lowest requirements for online English teachers, meaning you don’t need a degree or to hold a certain passport to teach for them, simply a strong Internet connection and a PC/laptop. 

Pay: $10 – $13 USD (£7.70 – £10 GBP) per hour.

Amazing Talker 

Requirements: To work for Amazing Talker you need to be a native English speaker and have a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification.

Pay: You’ll get between $8 – $70 USD (£6.15 – £54 GBP) per hour on average. You set your own rates and the company will take a 15% cut. Some of the best tutors earn over $2000 (£1530) a month.


Requirements: iTalki specifies that you must have a valid TEFL Certificate and six months of experience teaching English online. 

Pay: $8 – $30 USD  (£6.15 – £23 GBP) per hour. 


Requirements: A native speaker of English from the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Also, you must have a TEFL Certificate.

Pay: $9 – $13 USD (£6.90 – £10 GBP) per hour.

Open English 

Requirements: Open English hires non-degree holders if they have a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification and at least one year of TEFL teaching experience. If you can speak Spanish or Portuguese this is a bonus!

Pay: $15 USD (£11.50 GBP) per hour.


Requirements: To work for Lingoda you must have at least one year of teaching experience, hold a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification and be a native speaker of the language you want to teach (in this case, English).

Pay: $8 – $14 USD (£6.15 – £10.70) per hour.


Requirements: To teach English online for SkimaTalk, you need a TEFL Certification and to be a native speaker. 

Pay: On average, you’ll make between $9 – $15 USD (£6.90 – £11.50 GBP). You set your own pay rate with SkimaTalk and they will take a 20% fee off the rate you set.


Requirements: To work for Verbling you must be a native-English speaker. A 120-hour TEFL Certificate is a minimum requirement and teaching experience is preferred.

Pay: $10 USD (£7.70 GBP) per hour on average. You set your own rates and the company will take a 15% percent cut.