How to Make Money teaching ESL |101

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Make Money Teaching English | 101.

You can earn a lot of money teaching English as a second language, whether you’re searching for a side hustle or full-time employment. You have the option of teaching either online or in a classroom.

Most teaching firms pay teachers a range of hourly rates, and I’ll show you how you can maximize your rates.

Also, what factors determine how much money students are ready to pay for classes with you, and how can you expand your school if you decide to start your own business and become an online English teacher?

Here are a few things you should know if you’re a natural English speaker who wants to make money by helping people all around the world learn English.

Get Qualified.

It’s crucial to establish yourself as a professional in the area as an online English instructor if you want to make the most money. Getting trained and certified is the most common approach to do so.

I recommend UDEMY to get your qualifications. Their training is comprehensive and affordable.


Online teaching firms, in particular, want to know that you’re not only TEFL/TESOL certified and have learnt the essential principles of teaching English, but also have specific training in teaching online and are committed to continuing your professional growth.

Your Business

If you start your own business as a freelance online English instructor you will be able to attract more students and charge a higher hourly rate as your qualifications increase. And the more you build your business and the experience in your market increases, the more you can ask for.

But be careful to not price yourself out of the market. Do shopping surveys of other schools and find out what their rates are and try to come in a little under the larger centers.

Classroom Teaching

And it doesn’t change for classroom teaching. If anything it may be more essential to show qualifications and experience. No school wants an unqualified or inexperienced teacher in a classroom of potentially 50 students who don’t know what they are doing.

Even developing countries are becoming more strict with qualifications for classroom teaching. In Vietnam for example it is expected that teachers of EFL will have a B.A. ( Albeit not necessarily in the teaching field)

Tech needs for online teaching.

Online teaching is a convenient way to earn money, but it comes with a number of technological and technical requirements.

The essentials.

  • Internet Access that is Consistent. If you have a strong, consistent Internet connection, you can teach from anywhere in the globe. If you have a strong, consistent Internet connection, you can teach from anywhere in the globe.
  • Computer. To connect to virtual classrooms, the majority of English-as-a-second-language (ESL) tutoring organizations need their teachers to use a laptop or desktop computer. Smartphones are rarely allowed unless you work for app-based businesses like PalFish.
  • Headset Microphone. Most companies don’t allow you to teach with a built-in microphone. Fortunately, there are many affordable headset microphones on the market.

You can find out more at “What is technology in the Classroom

Tech needs for classroom teaching.

Almost every EFL teacher has dealt with this situation:

A class of students who are uninterested in what is going on, no matter how well-prepared the lesson plan is.

We all want our students to be engaged, but we also recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all method to attaining it, whether we teach online or in person.

Each class has its own set of strengths, dynamics, goals, and outcomes. Fortunately, we may employ several strategies to encourage participation without being overbearing. you can find out more “ HERE

Tech to help.

Classroom teaching has its own specific problems and you want to minimize these by incorporating some basic technology in your classroom.

First and foremost, after a long day in the classroom, a wireless headset with a Bluetooth connection to a speaker will save your voice.

I presently utilize a Sony 30 watt speaker, and an “Aporo” wireless headphone (XB32). In addition, I use Google Drive on my phone to store all of my audio recordings.

It will work with any decent wireless headset and speaker. I recommend that you practice before teaching.

My phone is also connected to the Sony speaker through Bluetooth. I’ve saved all of my audio recordings to my phone and programmed the tracks I’ll need for the upcoming lessons.

For any visual presentations, I also use a tiny projector that I display on the classroom wall. Alternatively, I use a whiteboard or a projection screen. The projector’s audio output is also connected to my Sony speaker.

Invest in your future with some essential equipment if you want to make your classroom experience more interesting for your students and work easier for you. you can read more “Here

Setting up Your Own School. ( Classroom style )

Starting your own teaching business, the most difficult ( And most profitable ) of the three possibilities is great if you have the motivation and drive to see it through. It is also something that will take time.

So if you do not want to be in one country for longer than 3 years this is probably not for you.

Not only will you have to hustle to find your own students, but you’ll also be running the show from the ground up, deciding what age group/demographic you want to teach, and developing your own lesson plans based on that.

As well as getting your name out there and marketing your business, and determining your rate of pay and a form of payment that is acceptable where you teach.

How did I do it?

I was teaching in a Vietnamese public school and was well recognized as being an excellent teacher. That is, I always turned up for classes on time and had my lessons pre-prepared. I made the lessons fun for the students and they wanted to learn.

Not rocket science, but when you are up against people who want to go out and drink all night then stagger into the classroom and teach, you are number 1.

After teaching at a few schools I was approached by students and teachers who wanted to improve their English skills.

I had no idea what I was doing but started out charging a minimum hourly base of $50.00 per hour per class. The students were ecstatic and I increased my enrollments very fast. In under 3 years, I was teaching around 150 students per week across different levels.

Now after 5 plus years and coping with the pandemic we, ( I now have other teachers helping ) are still in operation and making more and moving forward again.

Your Online School.

Setting up an online school is, in my opinion, not much different from setting up a classroom environment for teaching.

However, you do need to focus on what country you wish to teach in. If you are not living in that country it will be much more difficult to get students quickly.

The students and more importantly the parents will not know who you are and this will make getting new enrollments more difficult. But if you want to jump straight into this, here are some suggestions.

Intro Video.

This video should highlight your accent, abilities, and why you believe you would make an excellent ESL teacher for their children.

Use this video to sell yourself and your strengths to get your first students, gain some solid, positive reviews, and start to build your client base.

You can use a free tool like Screen-Cast-O-Matic for this.

Market Yourself.

Put your video out into the marketplace, Use Social Media platforms and find groups that specialize in ESL or EFL, and follow and interact with people on the platform.


It’s typical to start with cheaper pricing to attract new students and to establish a positive reputation through favorable feedback and reviews before increasing your rate.

How much can I make?

Starting an ESL tutoring business is a significant financial investment. Many employers demand that teachers devote a certain number of hours per week to their students or sign a contract. and the pay rate will reflect on experience and qualifications.

What They say.

According to Glassdoor, full-time online ESL teachers earn an average salary of around $36,800 per year.

Glassdoor also has information on the hourly rates of well-known tutoring firms.

Popular online organizations like VIPKid pay between $17 and $21 per hour depending on your experience and bonuses, while SayABC pays between $16 and $22 per hour based on your experience and bonuses. According to Magic Ears, their teachers can make up to $26 per hour.

What I say.

Teaching in the classroom or teaching online can range from a low of $10 per hour up to $40 per hour depending on where you teach and the level you teach.

Do not expect to walk in and start making 40.00 per hour. It would be more reasonable to expect $17.00 to $20.00 at the moment depending on the country as well. Countries like Dubai and Taiwan are currently paying very good salaries.

If you decide to set up your own business the rewards are much greater. You have the potential to make $100 and more per hour.

Also, you need to take into consideration the cost of living. Living in some southeast Asian Countries can be very cheap and your pay will go much further. Also, you will be able to save a considerable amount.

Pros and Cons of Teaching Online.

For good reason, English teaching is a popular career choice. It’s difficult to find a profession that is as flexible and well-paid as ESL teaching.


  • ESL tutoring pays higher than the minimum wage in every state in the United States, with an average hourly rate of $18.

    Fully Remote.

  • You can work from any place as long as you meet the job’s technology criteria and your surroundings are well-lit and pleasant.
  • Potential to work full-time. Working full time becomes more and more feasible as your teaching skills improve and you establish a rapport with parents and pupils.



  • Hours that are unusual. You must be willing to get up between 3 and 6 a.m. to teach during peak hours if you are teaching in Asia.
  • Onboarding is a lengthy process. Barriers to admittance include requirements such as a bachelor’s degree or a TEFL certificate.
  • In addition, leading education firms’ onboarding processes often include at least one interview and might take up to a month to complete. If you’re searching for a quick way to make money, teaching English as a second language isn’t for you.

And if you decide to travel to another country to teach there are many more pros than cons. Living in a foreign country and experiencing the different cultures and food are some of the greatest pleasures of ESL and EFL teachers.


It can be challenging and it can be frustrating, but the experiences you gather will last for your whole life. And the change you can bring to someone’s life is one reason alone to be an ESL Teacher.

Who Am I?

My name is Stephen, and I’ve been teaching English as a second language/English as a foreign language for over 15 years and own a school in Vietnam. I am also the proprietor of this website and the author of this post.

Below is a link to my most recent YouTube Vlog on TET in Vietnam.

Any or all links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation, you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

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