Online teaching positions are normally flexible short-term opportunities with around 15-20 hours of teaching a week. Teaching online means you have the flexibility to teach wherever you are in the world – from the comfort of home or in an exotic faraway land! It’s also a lot easier to set your own schedule and fit your teaching hours around your lifestyle. Online teaching roles are aimed mainly at teaching young learners via an online interactive learning platform. But there are opportunities to tutor adults, too.
How to Teach English Online Without Experience
Teaching English online can be a great way to supplement your income and, for some people, start a new career. However, many people are concerned because they don’t have teaching experience, so they automatically assume it’s not for them. The good news is that teaching experience is not the most vital when teaching English online. Although this might sound counterintuitive, we do many things as part of adult life that can help us teach others. The most important part of teaching English online is, of course, your TEFL certification. So let’s look closely at what is required and how you can use your life skills to become an excellent teacher.
No Experience Required
If you are looking to teach English online but don’t have any experience, the most sensible thing to do is try and find work with one of the online teaching companies. They will undoubtedly be looking for specific TEFL qualifications. This means that you have a 120-hour certificate, and the course you have undertaken is regulated by an awarding body such as the ones we offer. When you read the sign of requirements for these companies, you will find that experience is not required.
Any job gives you experience in many areas that can be seen as transferable skills. For example, if your day job involves giving presentations or training other staff, you already have a lot of experience. Your job title may not involve teaching, but often showing others how things are done is part of everyone’s role. Think about your past positions and the skills you have acquired that an employer may be looking for in terms of teaching online. If you’re looking to teach children, it is slightly more important that you have some experience working with younger people. Still, you could always begin your online teaching career with adult learners who would be akin to colleagues in a previous job.
What Companies Offer Jobs to Those with No Experience?
There are lots of companies that are prepared to employ people that don’t have any teaching experience; they recognise that everyone has to start somewhere. However, there may be other requirements, so to help you get started, here are a few places to apply for work where you won’t need experience. There are also a few others where experience is preferable. Still, as discussed above, you may be able to talk your way in, especially if you have relevant industry-type experience.
This is quite a unique platform in that you do not have to have any experience, no degree and not even a relevant TEFL qualification. They pay around £7.65 per hour; you must be a native English speaker. The platform offers lessons to people of all ages but does not provide any help with lesson planning. Remember that, without the information learned in TEFL qualification, you may struggle.
This is an online marketplace-style company, so you are free to set your rate as a teacher and don’t have to have any teaching experience. They will want to see an appropriate TEFL qualification but do not require their teachers to have a degree, and there is no minimum hourly working week, so you’re free to drop in and out as you can. The platform offers lessons to children and adults but does not help with lesson planning.
You will need an accredited TEFL qualification to apply here, but you do not need a degree or teaching experience. The good news is that they provide lesson plans, and again, the platform offers classes to learners of all ages. They do ask for a minimum weekly commitment of 15 hours from their tutors. However, the starting pay can be pretty low, ranging from £2.20 per hour up to £14.50 per hour, which is much better, but don’t expect to get there until you can prove your worth.
Superprof is a platform that allows you to set your earning rate, and they don’t require you to have a degree or any experience. You will need the TEFL and experience planning lessons as this is not provided. The platform teaches all age groups of learners, and there is no minimum hourly commitment per week for tutors.
Companies that prefer experience but may accept no experience if you have other transferable skills.
This company only accepts applications from those with a degree and a relevant TEFL certification. They would prefer that you have experience, and they do not provide lesson plans. There is a minimum 12 hours week commitment from tutors, and you can earn £6.50 per hour teaching any age group. They only accept applications from native English speakers.
You do not need a degree to teach Ginseng English but an accredited TEFL certificate. The pay is pretty good at £7.50 to £11.25 per hour, and the students will be young learners and teenagers. They do not provide lesson plans and prefer some experience working with young people.
Another company that lets you set your rate, but remember that when you first start and do not have any references or experience, aiming too high could leave you without any students. They don’t require you to have a degree or TEFL qualification. There is no help with lesson planning, and they offer classes to students of all age groups.
5 Helpful Application Tips for Those with No Experience
Once you have determined which companies might be worth applying to, it’s time to prepare the perfect application. This will be your first impression, so making it a good one.
TEFL Certificate Quality
There are essentially hundreds of online places offering TEFL certification. However, they are not all accredited and will not be accepted by many companies. Accreditation is vital, and we have worked hard to ensure that the courses we offer have the correct curriculum to meet the external quality control standards required by our accrediting body. You should expect to pay a reasonable fee for your training. The industry standard is 120 hours which you will find in many accredited courses.
It’s good to look at level 5 courses because OFQUAL regulates these, and many will exceed 120 hours, but they offer a comprehensive training package. That said, there’s no need to go completely overboard and do hundreds more hours, as this will take longer for you to qualify and begin your new career. You should be fine as long as you have 120 hours and it is accredited and regulated by a recognised awarding body.
If you are just at the beginning of your working life, you may not have had a chance to develop a CV. If you’ve been in another industry, you will likely have a CV, but it’s likely to be largely irrelevant. You want to rejig and design a CV highlighting everything that could be considered a skill for an online English teacher. Therefore, the most crucial part that should be pretty near the top is the standard of your TEFL qualifications. Highlight all relevant experience and link them to why your skills from another job can be transferred to teaching.
For example, “I used to help new starters learn the computer system, which means I developed skills in teaching others.” If you don’t have a lot of work experience, by all means, draw on your social life; for example, “I used to help out at a youth group and taught children how to draw because it’s my passion.”
Know What to Expect at the Interview
If your application is moved on to interview status, you will likely be asked to provide a demonstration lesson. This can happen in one of two ways: You will be asked to deliver your speech life to the interview team, or you will be asked to record it in advance so they can review it. This might seem a bit scary, especially because you don’t have any teaching experience, but your TEFL course should prepare you with some research and calm planning. It’s not as bad as it sounds. The best thing you can do is prepare in advance and have everything ready before you even start applying.
Before applying to any company, you must check the requirements and ensure you meet the criteria. There is little point in using it if you don’t. When it comes to companies who prefer experience, he will need to be prepared to explain how your life skills and other industry experience can translate to transferable and valuable lessons for teaching English online. The companies listed above should give you a starting point as they do not require expertise or preferred experience, but this can be negotiated.
However, some do require a degree, and some need you to be a native English speaker, so it’s essential to ensure you take the boxes before you apply. Teaching English online is something you can do with more than one company concurrently, so don’t be afraid to apply for a few different positions. You will also experience how other companies work and see what suits you best. The only consideration you need to make is how many hours you have available. Mainly if you use English teaching online as a side hustle. Finally, look at the platforms that offer lesson plans. This is a great way to learn what makes a good lesson and what you need to avoid.
Understand the Limitations
When you’re just starting as an English teacher online, it’s the same as any profession. You start at the bottom and must work up, gaining experience and a good reputation. This means that, to begin with, you may have to accept slightly less hourly pay than you would like. You may not have as many hours as you want, but this will improve with time. Think of your first six months as an experience-building period where you learn the tools of the trade and hone your skills.
You can use your transferable skills to your advantage, not just because you can be more confident in the classroom from day one, but because you could create a niche for yourself. Business English, for example, is much in demand. If you can demonstrate that you can teach business English, you have a good understanding of the industry and personal experience. You can set yourself apart from other teachers.
With experience under your belt, you could apply to some of the other online companies needing experience. You can undoubtedly look for higher paid jobs and some people. Once they have experience teaching English online, they choose to start their own business. This gives them more control over their schedule and what they charge.
Most online TEFL companies will ask for a minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training and teaching practice. Some online companies may ask their teachers to also have a bachelor’s degree. This is particularly true for Chinese companies, as it’s a government regulation (no matter where you are living).
You will more than likely need high-speed internet, a computer with an HD webcam and a headset if you want to teach online. If you have the choice of a video calling platform for your online lessons, Zoom is a good choice. It gives you a clear view of your students. You can also share your screen and create separate rooms for group work in lessons.
If you have no experience in teaching online, a good idea is to get some teaching practice in as employers may ask for “experience” hours, which are unpaid. You can alternatively complete our 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course, which has a section focused on teaching English online.
You can add our 30 Hour Teaching English Online Course to any primary course to boost your knowledge and skills. The teaching English online course is a huge benefit because it prepares you to enter the online tutoring world – and looks great on a CV, too!
Then there’s our Professional Online Expert Course. This is a specialised online teacher qualification that gives you the skillset and the confidence to hit the ground running. This package includes the 120 Hour Advanced TEFL Course, 30 Hour Teaching English Online and the 30 Hour Teaching Young Learners to give you an edge in a competitive market.