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How to Teach English Online with No Experience

August 8, 2021 No Comments
Teach English Online with No Experience

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One of the most popular ways to make money amongst digital nomads, this post breaks down exactly how you can teach English online with no experience (and live your location-independent dreams!)

Teaching English online is a great way to make money whilst travelling the world – but it can be confusing knowing where to start. What qualifications do you need? Do you need to be a native-English speaker? Are there any particular requirements expected of you?

Lets start at the beginning…

Get Your TEFL Certification

Before you can teach English as a foreign language, you need to have your TESOL or TEFL certification.

Without a doubt this is the first – and most important – step on your journey.

These courses will prove to employers – whether that’s online, or in person – that you are fully capable to teach English to anybody of any nationality, and that you’ve passed their rigorous tests.

With TEFL being the most common route for UK citizens, the rest of this post will focus on this course provider.

When selecting your TEFL course, make sure it’s at least a 120-hour qualification, and that it’s from an accredited provider. Many employers won’t accept anything less, so it’s worth putting in the time now, and getting as highly-rated qualification as possible.

Higher-hour courses are also available – and in a competitive market, it’s always worth doing as much as you can to stand out. If finances allow, consider enrolling on a minimum 140-hour course to give yourself an edge over other teachers.

A lot of employers prefer their English language teachers to have a degree (in any subject), so if you don’t have one, it’s also best to consider enrolling on a higher-hour course to help you stand out further.

With courses ranging from £99 (120 hours) through to £349 (240 hours), it’s a relatively affordable way to change careers and become location independent.

If you sign up with TEFL directly, you can even receive a 10% discount on their courses – just quote E3500B43 on the first page of the TEFL UK checkout page, and confirmation of your discount will be shown immediately.

TEFL Discount

Find a Teaching Position Overseas

Once you’re fully qualified, it’s decision time –

Do you want to teach online remotely (from home, or whilst travelling), or do you want to teach in-class overseas?

Typically, there are many opportunities to teach abroad for those who are native English speakers, and for those who have a bachelor’s degree.

But if this isn’t the case, and you don’t have a degree, a higher-hour course from TEFL could be a way around this – so it doesn’t always pay off to opt for the cheapest course out there. The more time you put in to learn your new craft, the more employment opportunities might be made available to you.

A lot of people tend to teach in South America or Asia as the living costs are typically lower, and they’re great locations to explore. However, in-class positions will often prefer those who already have experience to those who don’t – and you may have visa issues to face here.

A great place to find in-class jobs is here – but also get Googling. Take the time to hunt through the various opportunities you can find, and don’t forget to research the workplace itself to see what previous employees think of it.

Start Teaching English Online

Unlike teaching in-class, having an online English teaching job allows you to pick the times you want to work – and means you can still travel and make a regular income (providing your locations have good Wifi connections!)

There are a number of places to find jobs for English teachers, but the following are the most popular:


Open English


English First


However, as always, do your research. Some of these companies will ask you to commit to a minimum amount of time with them each week, whilst others may look to pay you less than anticipated when you first start out as you have no experience.

You need to hunt around for a platform that suits your lifestyle the best – and don’t be afraid of signing up to a number of platforms all at once (providing you have read the small print, and understand fully what is expected of you).

You also need to understand how the platforms pay you, and what fees they might take. Some will either take a small percentage commission per hour you work, whilst others will charge you a fee to join their platform.

Now, the question everybody wants an answer to:

How much money can an online English teacher make?

The easy answer is that it’s down to you, and the amount of time you give to the role. The more students you teach, the more money you’ll make.

However, typically, you’re looking at around £10-20 per hour as an online English teacher – with a small fee or kickback paid to the company that you teach through (again, make sure you know the costs of working with a company before signing up to them).

The more experience you have, or if you specialise in a particular field (for example, specialist subjects), you can look to charge even more – and as the reviews pour in, so will the new client enquiries.

But don’t forget about taxes!

It may be the least glamorous part of running a business, but depending on what country you’re from, and which country you’re working from, you need to know the tax implications.

Make sure you look into this, and are putting the right amount of money aside from every hour worked to make that tax return a little less overwhelming when the time comes.

You also need to make sure you’re squirreling away enough cash for quieter months, or if you want to take some time off. There’s no such thing as holiday pay when you’re a freelance online teacher, so you need to ensure you can afford to take the time off when you want it.

Teaching English online as a side hustle

Teaching English doesn’t just have to be a full-time role for a digital nomad – it actually makes a great side hustle for those looking to make a bit of extra cash!

VIPKid, for example, is free of minimum-hour requirements – meaning you could make a promise to yourself to deliver a few hours of teaching each week and top up your 9-5 salary (along with creating a new income stream for yourself).

Before you know it, you’ve got increased savings, a new skill to add to your CV, and the option to take it full-time whenever you want to.


Whether you’re looking to work remotely, or work abroad, full-time, or as a side hustle, teaching English online is a great skill to learn and an ideal additional income stream.

Put in the hours to get your TEFL qualification, fully research and sign up to the platform(s) that best suit your needs, make sure you understand the tax implications – and before you know it, you could be living your financial-/location-/time-freedom lifestyle of your dreams.

This is how you can teach English online, with no prior experience.

If you’re looking to become an online English teacher this year, enrol on a TEFL course and receive a 10% discount here:

TEFL Discount

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Steph at Funding Her Freedom


Funding Her Freedom focuses on all the ways you can make a little more money outside of your 9-5. From selling on Amazon, to mystery shopping, to freelancing, to creating and selling digital printables, we cover it all. If you'd like to get in touch, shoot me an email on Here's to funding our freedom! Read More


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