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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find the most frequently asked questions. Click on a question to see our response. If any of our FAQs do not answer your question, please contact us directly.

  • Which TEFL should I get?

    A Level 5 certificate is a premium qualification and held in higher esteem as it’s a CELTA equivalent qualification, so if you really want to stand out (or make up where you may lack in qualifications) this may be the one for you. Plus you’ll get access to our Premium Job Placement Service for watch video here.

  • When and how much am I paid?

    Each company is different in terms of their base pay and bonuses, but the online English teaching industry is known for having generous pay rates. Most companies tend to pay around £12-£30 per hour on a monthly basis via bank transfer, Paypal or Payoneer.

    Qualified, experienced freelance teachers can hour £30-£50 per hour and much more. You’ll need to register as self-employed in your country’s revenue office, but being self-employed is the BOMB as you can be your own boss!

  • Is it better to go freelance or work for a company?

    If you’re starting out, we’d recommend working for a company because they will provide you with students and lesson plans, so you can focus on your teaching. Then after you gain more experience, freelance may be a better option. You will choose what you teach, pick the hours you work and set your own pay rate.

  • How often do I work?

    This is completely down to you and your flexibility as a teacher, and one of the biggest benefits of teaching English online. Most companies will require a minimum of 3-4 teaching hours. Chinese schools tend to offer about a max of 25-30 hours per week, as they mainly operate in the peak times, which is after school hours in China (or midday in the UK). However, if you wanted to reach 40+ hours per week this is easily doable, as you could work for two companies simultaneously.

  • What’s the difference between Level 3 & Level 5?

    The difference is Level 5 is a more prestigious qualification as it is CELTA equivalent. Therefore you’ll be able to charge and demand a higher pay rate. Level 3 is anything under 168 hours and does not have a practicum. Level 5 is anything over 168 hours and does include a practicum. The Level 5 courses that we recommend are averagely finished in around 2-3 weeks.

  • How long will it take to complete a TEFL course?

    Usually around 2 weeks but you have 1 year to complete the course.

  • What’s the best TEFL course to enrol onto?

    One of TEFL UK’s Level 5 courses:
    170hr Combined TEFL Course with Practicum: is £279 now £181.35
    220hr Specialist (Business English Included) TEFL Course: is £229 now £148.85
    240hr Combined (Business English Included) TEFL Course with Practicum: is £349 now £226.85

  • Between the three level 5 TEFL courses you provide, which one would I be able to earn the most with while working less hours?

    The Level 5 is the premium CELTA equivalent qualification where you can charge far more whilst working less hours.

  • After completing a TEFL course, how quickly could I be working at a minimum of £15 p/h?

    This completely depends on you as a teacher and how quickly you can build reviews, we have had many teachers reaching this within 2 weeks.

  • Do I really need a TEFL if I already have a PGCE/QTS?

    I would highly recommend TEFL because many qualified teachers (like yourself with PGCE QTS etc) are making the transition to online teaching since the pandemic and there is much competition. So anything that is going to make you stand out the extra bit and charge upwards of £20 per hour is going to help. Also, the fact that you can finish these courses in a matter of weeks, it’s definitely something I’d recommend.

    Of course, if you go for a Level 5 course too, you’ll be put through our Premium Job Placement Service which includes continual 1-1 mentoring and consultancy from Luke.

  • Would I be able to start teaching whilst I start my TEFL course?

    Theoretically yes but if we are going to put you through our job placement services we would prefer you finish the course first because you’ll have had the basic training and the qualification most of our clients/employers require.

  • What makes Preply stand out in comparison to other companies/platforms?

    They have such a sophisticated platform with pre-designed lesson content for you to use. They attract lots of students and are one of the fastest growing online freelance platforms in the world.

  • What is the difference between a ‘Combined’ and ‘Advanced’ TEFL course?

    Combined (140 hours) is the standard 120-hour Level plus the Practicum. Advanced (150 hours for example) covers more modules but it’s all theory based. If there was such a thing as a Level 4 these would be level 4 qualifications.

  • Does undertaking a TEFL course guarantee me a job?

    It would be unprofessional for us to use the word ‘guarantee’ because nothing in life is guaranteed. You still need to go to interviews etc . We can only facilitate your teaching journey to the best of our ability. But we can assure you that you’ll have the best mentoring and help that’s out there.

  • Why do I need a self-introduction video? What do I need to include in my video?

    Because online platforms need to see if you are the right fit for them. Please read this blog: TeacherTee’s guide to creating the perfect self-introduction video

  • What is your role at TeacherTee? Are you the recruiter or employer?

    We are a UK-based online resource for ESL Teachers, providing you with all the tools you need to break into this booming industry.

    Think of us as your one-stop-shop for all things online teaching. From learning resources to the most credible TEFL courses, a job board brimming with roles in the world’s most reputable online schools, world class recruitment consultancy and mentoring services.

    TeacherTee Ltd is the number #1 agency in the UK specifically for ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers. We are backed by a UK Government Scheme that looks to upskill and assist people into work during and after the pandemic, alongside Santander Universities. This is an agency run by teachers for teachers.
    We will help any teacher (or aspiring teacher) regardless of experience or qualifications with advice, guidance and support to meet any salary expectation. Whether that is £10, £25 or £100 per hour we can help you reach your desired goals. ESL online is one of the fastest-growing industries globally and there is a shortage of teachers so regardless of your experience and qualifications we encourage you to apply.

  • How long does it take to get students (on Preply)?

    If you are available with a strong self-introduction video you should start attracting students within a few days.

  • How can I ensure consistent customers/clients for my lessons in the future?

    If your quality of teaching is to the expected standard of your student, then they will keep coming back. You may want to consider switching to programme-based teaching. This is where students enrol on your entire programme with clear learning objectives (10-15 lessons), ensuring better results for your student.

  • Is it possible for experienced teachers to earn £40 an hour on your platforms (as stated in your advert)?

    Yes – most definitely! You just need to know how to market yourself correctly, have a niche, and start considering programme-based teaching over session-based teaching whilst looking at sourcing students independently.

  • When companies ask for relevant experience, does this mean previous online tutoring in TEFL or can it also mean any experience working with children, young adults and adults? (E.g, volunteering or teaching in schools, etc).

    Any experience is great and should be included on your CV. Each company recruits on a case by case basis – the most important things companies are looking for are TEFL qualifications and strong-self introduction videos.

  • Do I need a degree as well as a TEFL?
  • What are ESL teaching opportunities?

    ESL teaching opportunities are jobs and ways to make an income teaching ESL (English as a Second Language online).

  • What is programme-based teaching?

    Having a programme, designed by you specifically for your niche will allow you to decide the exact number of sessions and length of each session your student will require. This will ultimately give you a steady amount of income per student as they purchase the whole programme. This will also enable you and your student to have clearer, structured and well-defined learning goals throughout the programme and what you want to achieve by the end of each session is decided by you.

    Now you have complete control over the program structure and are not allowing your student to just pick and choose your services, but to commit to their full learning goal by enrolling onto your programme. Once your students are invested, they are far more likely to achieve their learning goals. You and your services are now deemed as specialised, and you guessed it – you can charge FAR more for your service.

    Soon you’ll be able to download our eBook for free which shows you how to structure your own programme.

  • What is the difference between the Premium Job Placement Service and Job Placement Service?

    Please Refer to: TeacherTee’s Job Placement Service
    Job Placement Service:
    Once you enrol on a TEFL course with one of our recommended providers with our Job Placement Service, we will do the following, free of charge:
    ✔ A professional audit of your CV, suggesting improvements to make it really stand out from the crowd.
    ✔ A bespoke employment package containing a step-by-step guide of how to land your first online teaching job.
    ✔ Guidance in creating a slick self-introduction video and teaching portfolio to help make you irresistible to employers.
    ✔ Insights into the companies actively hiring, who we are exclusively working with, personalised to you and your specific job requirements.
    ✔ Ongoing support and advice throughout the job-hunting process.

    Premium Job Placement Service (as well as everything included in the Job Placement Service):
    ✔ A designated personal mentor to provide you with ongoing one-to-one phone/Whatsapp support throughout the entire process.
    ✔ A 30-45 minute video meeting with Luke, our founder to devise a personalised and thorough TEFL-to-Employment strategy and ongoing support, consultancy and mentoring
    ✔ Interview prep, demo-class prep and contractual advice and guidance on how to earn more money.

  • I do not want to do a TEFL/I do not need a TEFL/ I do not have the money to do TEFL right now.

    Unfortunately, we cannot work with you right now, unless you send us your 10-second video (and it’s approved), alongside your enrollment onto our accredited TEFL course providers.

    The reasons are as follows:
    Most of the companies we work with require TEFL, so if you do not have one it will be difficult to place you into a company.
    It shows a commitment from your end if we are to put you through our Job Placement Service (which involves lots of personal mentoring and training). If you decide that you do not want to go for the job at the end of it, then we have lost money. If you are personally invested then it gives us confidence in working with you.
    We get paid from the course provider if you enrol, which helps cover the cost of your Premium Job Placement Service.

    Just to be clear, the way we make our money as a company is through the recruitment of you into a school, so we hope you can understand.

  • Are we self-employed or not?

    Being an online ESL teacher, you will need to register as self-employed regardless of whether you freelance or work for a company. This is because companies have teachers from all over the world, so it’s easier for them to pay you before tax as each country has different tax laws.
    Refer to for all the info you need: Working for yourself
    All these are the income tax allowances: Income tax rates
    E.g if you earn £20,000 per year teaching ESL online, you keep 100% of £12,570 and then pay 20% of £7,430. You pay £1486 tax.

  • What is the difference between freelance and company based?

    Company: The hourly rate is fixed on your contract. The current average is around £12 per hour but can range up to £20 depending on experience. The average amount of hours you can work for these online companies is around 20 hours per week (this will be in accordance with the timezone of the company you work for). You will also teach a set demographic of students, highly structured with companies that want a certain style of teacher (for example, young children based in Korea) with set lesson material. Most companies will require a TEFL qualification and a bachelor’s degree.
    Freelance: You pick and choose exactly when you want to work, and can have students from all around the world, of all different ages. Teachers with a TEFL can earn on average £15 an hour on these platforms. Some of the best teachers earn upwards of £25 an hour, working up to 40 hours a week. The main difference here is you’ll have to decide your own lesson content (companies will provide you with content, you just need to decide what to teach when) and it’s far more relaxed as you can teach in your own style and the lessons vary. You are your own boss.

  • I want to teach online as my main source of income and really need more students. Any advice?

    You need to be able to market yourself really well, with a strong self-introduction video. We’d recommend lowering your price, to begin whilst gradually increasing it once you gain more reviews.

  • UK Business Account - Do I need to open one? If so, which would be advisable?

    Being self-employed, I’d recommend opening a business account yes, because it will become very useful when doing your tax return as all your accounting will not be mixed up with personal finances. Tide is a great FREE company to set up a business account.

  • UK Taxes/Student Finance - How do I file them and when? Can a bank assist or would I need an accountant to help?

    You will need to file your taxes once a year (usually before April) this is straightforward and I’d recommend doing it yourself. You do not need an accountant.

  • Are the jobs on the job board freelance or contract-based?

    They are a mixture.

  • How long does Preply’s application process take?

    Usually 5 working days for them to verify you.

  • Will my nose (or other facial piercings) be an issue when applying to companies?

    Some schools may prefer that you do not. However, when freelancing (what we’d recommend) no, not at all, anything that enhances your personality is a plus.

  • What’s the best way to get paid by international students?

    We’d recommend Stripe or Paypal.

  • I cannot afford to pay for a TEFL course upfront right now. Is there any way I can do a payment plan?

    Unfortunately, we do not offer a payment plan however you could enrol on a level 3 which is cheaper (around half the price) then upgrade to a Level 5.

  • If working self-employed, how much should I charge for 1-on-1 tuition or Group Sessions? What are the minimum and maximum prices I could consider charging?

    This is completely down to your experience level and skill as a teacher – anywhere between £10 and £40 an hour.

  • How does Allschool’s pay scheme work? Would I set my own rates and hours? Is there a guarantee of work?

    They pay you at the end of every class normally, and yes you would set your own hours, rates and lesson content. If they accept you then the work is pretty much guaranteed but they would build you up to reach your desired amount slowly and not rush you.

  • Does experience bring better rates of pay?

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  • How does the TEFL UK Level 5 TEFL course manage to be a CELTA equivalent and cost so much less?

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  • Can you recommend a self-employed pension scheme for teachers at all?

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