So You Want to Teach Online: How To Apply + Top Companies to Apply For

Imagine a life where the world is your office and your voice is your money maker. Teaching English has allowed many to live and work abroad for decades. Thanks to an increasing amount of English students and the need for convenience, online English teachers are in demand. This article will break down the requirements needed, how to apply and some suggestions on where to apply to begin your career as an online teacher.


The requirements will differ based on where you want to teach. There are two options and the requirements for each are below:

  1. Teaching through an online school (usually via laptop/desktop)

  2. A bachelor’s degree

  3. A criminal background check

  4. Proof of a teaching certificate (TEFL, TESOL, CELTA)

  5. A native English speaker

  6. Teaching through a mobile application (usually via tablet or mobile phone)

  7. A native speaker from the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK or Ireland.

  8. A mobile phone memory of at least 3GB RAM.

So what’s the big difference? How do I choose which path to take?

Teaching through an online school as a certified teacher will solidify your work schedule, students will be assigned to you and you have a rough idea of how much you will earn. Material is also planned for you, so there’s no prep needed. However, you have to commit to a schedule you’ve agreed on and there is hardly room for flexibility.

Teaching through a mobile application is like working on-the-go. You can change your working hours based on your schedule, but how much you earn could differ. Unless you build a solid relationship with students and can count on them booking classes with you. Material will probably have to be prepared (or winged) based on the student’s request or interests.

Applying for Jobs:

Most of the jobs available allow you to work from anywhere whether that be in your hometown or on your next baecation in Mexico. Some jobs will offer you to live abroad while working online, but you normally have to be certified to do this.

Be clear about the lifestyle you’re after. Do you just want an extra income? Are you looking to travel around and earn money? Do you want to settle down elsewhere for awhile?

Before you apply make sure you have these things on hand and ready to upload:

  1. A résumé or CV (if English or education is not in your background that’s OK!)

  2. A nice, and clear headshot of you smiling with no one else in the photo (It can be professional or not, just make sure you appear warm and friendly)

  3. A copy of proof a citizenship (passport, drivers license, ID card)

  4. A copy of proof of certification (TEFL, CELTA, TESOL)

  5. A copy of your degree (Bachelor’s and higher only)

  6. A 30 second introduction video (stating your name, where you are from, why you want to teach English, a fun fact about yourself)

**Typically these applications take 24 hours or less, so don’t stress this part.

OK. I’ve applied so what now? Interviews:

If you applied through a mobile application, you’re finished! If you are applying as a certified teacher now it’s time to interview! If you applied through an online school, your interviews are usually in the form of a mock class. So prepare for the interview as if you are on the first day of the job.

Here’s what to prepare for for the mock interview:

  1. A solid and bright colored t-shirt (the company may recommend a color)

  2. A quality headset with a microphone

  3. A colorful background (for example a world map, cut outs of shapes and letters, and a sign with your name)

Do your best with this part and let your teaching skills shine through! Make sure you continue to smile, speak slowly and enunciate your words. Mock classes are anywhere between 10-25 minutes.

Online schools I recommend + Pay Grade:

  1. DadaABC: Pay is $15-25 per hour (children)

  2. SayABC: $15-28 per hour. (children)

  3. VIPKid: Pay is $14-22 per hour. (children)

Mobile applications I recommend+ Pay Grade:

  1. PalFish: (set your own rate) Pay is generally $15-22 (adults)

  2. The Talk List: Pay is $10 per hour (adults)

  3. Boxfish: Pay is $10/per 25 minute lesson. (children)

Creating An Excellent Teacher Introduction:

I highly recommend you put a lot of effort into your written and video introduction. Think of this as your personal advertisement! This is what will guarantee that your schedule remains full with both regular and new students. Talk/write with enthusiasm about where you are from, some exciting things you have done or what you’re interested in. You should also add a line or two about what qualifies you, and what makes your lessons appealing. Video introductions are popular with kids, while written and videos are popular with adults. See my written example down below:

My name is Ambria, I am 24 years old and I grew up in the United States of America. I currently live in Indonesia in Bali! I studied politics at Winston Salem State University. I am very passionate about people and traveling. I have traveled to China, Germany, Cuba, Poland, Croatia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda. I am also very passionate about writing and reading! I love to take photos and I would be happy to show you some! It is my dream to visit China for Lunar New Year and I would love to hear more about your country and culture. I am currently saving money to go to China to visit the Golden Buddha, The Great Wall and to try Peking duck! I am a professional teacher who specializes in teaching adults. I completed my Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate in Europe in 2018. I have a neutral American accent and my voice is very easy to understand. I speak at both a natural and slow pace, and making you comfortable is what’s most important to me. Book an appointment with me so I can ensure you some teaching time and it also helps me prepare for you. I can offer free-talk classes, IELTS preparation, English for Business, English for Travel, Studying Abroad guidance etc. Just tell me what you want to know so that I can prepare for you. I really look forward to speaking with you!

I wish you the best of luck, and I’m here to help along the way should you need help. Just schedule a time to chat with me here!

Until next time,

The Pint Sized Traveler

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