How To Qualify To Teach Online: To Earn More Money

Online tutoring is one of the most popular subjects these days. There are plenty of educators that are teaching online. This article will show you how to qualify to teach online in order to earn more money.

If you want to qualify to teach online and earn more money you will have to:

  • Meet The Standards
    • Educational Certificates
    • Teaching Experience
  • Improve Your Availability
  • Earn Additional Certificates
    • TEFL
    • IELTS
  • Improve Your Teaching Equipment
    • Video Recording
    • Audio Recording
  • Work For Multiple Online Teaching Companies
    • Connections Academy
    • Go Go Kid
    • DaDa
    • VIPKID
    • QKids
    • Nova Kid
    • Accent Advisor

Now that you know the main topics covered in this article it is time to go in-depth and see exactly what you have to do in order to qualify for online teaching and earn more money. 

Meet The Standards

If you are planning on working for an online teaching company then you will have to meet some of these entry requirements. These requirements are different from one company to another. The most commonly required aspects are related to the educational qualifications that you hold. 

They will ask what online teaching experience you have. In this situation, the traditional teaching experience does count but they are specifically looking at people with existing online teaching experience. This is now quite common post Covid but there are definately different quality levels of teaching online.

Educational Certificates

As mentioned before most online teaching companies require their teachers to have had some specific educational certificate. The most commonly requested certificate is a bachelor’s degree in the subject area you want to teach. Most companies do not ask for a bachelor’s degree in the specific subject you are planning on teaching. The exception is teaching in English you can just have a TEFL certificate and we will talk about that below. 

Say you are planning on teaching English as a Second Language to Chinese students. Online teaching companies do not require you to have a valid bachelor’s degree or diploma in English. In mind that having a diploma in a specific subject you are going to teach is a real advantage most of the time.

Teaching Experience

Depending on the teaching company you’re planning on work for you will have to possess prior teaching experience. This is valid for most ESL teaching companies that accept international educators. For example, the iTutor group requires a minimum of 1-year of prior teaching experience regardless of the subject taught. 

However, there are plenty of online teaching companies that allow teachers with no experience to take part in the educational process. Please note that in some cases the hourly wage may be affected by the lack of teaching experience. This is one of the main reasons why it is a great idea to earn some teaching experience at least at the basic level.

Improve Your Availability

Most online teaching companies required educators to have a minimum of 5 to 10 peak hours every week. My suggestion is to take a careful look at the available peak hours and adapt your personal agenda to them. Do not forget about time zones especially if you are a digital nomad constantly travelling. 

Having a suitable understanding about time zones and how they affect your lifestyle is a crucial aspect of teaching online. So you need to check the peak hours in China if you are teaching students there and find out what time that is in your home country. Teaching English is mostly after or before school for foreign students.

Say you are living in Egypt and your current timezone is GMT+2 and you are planning on teaching American students about European Geographics. You will have to take into account the fact that America has six distinct time zones that range between GMT-4 and GMT-10. As a result, if your students are from Alaska then the difference between your time and theres is going to be about 12 hours.

Earn Additional Certificates

Earning additional qualifications and / or certificates that demonstrate your knowledge and abilities is one of the greatest methods of improving your overall chances to be an online teacher. It also means your hourly rate increases to match your level of qualifications. Below is an example of two certificates you could get for teaching English online to foreign students.


TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Online courses teaching English represent one of the most rapidly growing fields worldwide. The TEFL certificate is a must when it comes to teaching a foreign language in a non-native English speaking country.

The TEFL certificate is not equivalent to a TESOL certificate. The main difference between the two types of certification consists of the fact that the latter applies to the teaching of English to non-native speakers in a native English speaking country (i.e. United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, etc.). 

Some countries require their teachers to have a valid TEFL certificate before being able to actually teach students (e.g. China). However, there are also expectations from this rule like if you have a bachelor in teaching or if the school is ok that you do not have the qualification (e.g. Private Schools).

To get a TEFL certificate you do not have to previously earn a degree in an educational field or prior teaching experience. However, there are certain standards that must be met in order to obtain this type of certificate. 

The standards that you must meet include:

  • More than 100 hours of coursework
  • More than 10 hours of practice (actual teaching non-native English speakers)
  • Accredited curriculum 
  • The guidance provided by an expert (Master Degree in TEFL or equivalent)

You can earn a valid TEFL certificate even online. However, you must choose an online TEFL course that is accredited and meets all of the above-mentioned standards or the ones of the company you are trying to teach through. 

Keep in mind that online classes cannot help you fulfill the practice requirement. To get a minimum of ten hours of practice, you must find a way to teach non-native English speakers online. 

To learn more about TEFL/TESOL certificates, follow this link: International TEFL Academy


IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It is an internationally recognized method of demonstrating your English skills. The certificate is valid for calendar years regardless if it was used or not. There are plenty of companies that require non-native English speakers to present a valid IELTS certificate. Its purpose is to assess the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. 

Currently, there are more than 1200 test centres in over 140 countries. The targeted skills are listening, reading, writing, and speaking of the English language. After taking this exam you will receive a score for each of the above-mentioned parts. The grades arrange between 0 and 9. Most online teaching companies required their applicants to present valid years certificates. Non-negative online English teachers must obtain at least 8.5 at this exam.

Improve Your Teaching Equipment

If you want to earn more money by teaching online then you will have to provide your students with solid reasons to pay more for your services. A great idea if you are looking for increased revenue is to invest money into your teaching equipment. This way you will be able to deliver higher quality content to your students. Below I have prepared only a list of the equipment you should spend some extra money for.

Video Recording

Having a high-quality webcam is one of the most important aspects of teaching online. There are pros and cons when it comes to teaching live online but my opinion is that it is one of the best ways of keeping your students interested. 

If you are teaching for the first tims online you may want to check out this article:
ARTICLE: What Are The Real Time Online Learning Pros And Cons

If you are using a laptop then it probably has an integrated web camera. Due to the poor footage quality of this piece of equipment I strongly advise against using it for online teaching. My suggestion is to go to an electronics shop and buy a dedicated web camera with minimum HD resolution. 

Besides the enhanced video quality a dedicated camera may include certain functions that will make your teaching more interesting. These functions may include:

  • Greenscreen
  • Light Adjustment
  • Background Removal

If you can not decide what dedicated camera to buy I strongly suggest taking a look at the Recommended Tools page to find out what type of camera worked the best for me.

Audio Recording

Plenty of online teaching companies require their teachers to own a headset and a microphone not just using the inbuilt microphone in your computer or webcam. This is because the majority of the classes take place using web conferencing applications. For example, Aim 4 A Tutoring uses Skype in order to connect students and teachers.

I strongly suggest spending some extra money on a high-quality dedicated microphone. Just like a camera, it includes additional helpful functions and features.

Some of these really useful features are:

  • Noise Cancelling
  • Voice Filters
  • Adaptive Sensitivity
  • Volume Equalizer

If you are not yet decided on what you want to use, I suggest you take a look at my favorite dedicated microphone.

Work For Multiple Online Teaching Companies

Working for multiple online teaching companies is a great idea to maximise your income and diversify your online income streams. If for some reason you decide to no longer work for one company you have a back up. You can also match the teaching hourse between the two of them to the best working hours for you.

For example, if you are working for a Chinese online teaching company such as VIPKID then you will be able to work a few extra hours in the morning or at night around your normal job hours or to spread the teaching over the day. As well as working with students in the same timezone.

Below I have prepared a set of online teaching companies that you can work for.

Connections Academy

This is another well-known online public school for grades K-12. It is a virtual educational institution that works with school districts in several states of the USA to serve students remotely. In order to be hired, you have to possess a certification that demonstrates both your teaching experience and your subject-related knowledge.

The subjects you can teach on this platform are:

  • Reading
  • Math
  • Foreign Languages (e.g. English, French, etc.)
  • Social Studies
  • Speech Pathology
  • Arts
  • Music
  • P.E. (Physical Education)
  • Special Education

All students are K-12 level. Besides the remote jobs available on this platform, there are also positions that require you to teach in a certain location (e.g. teach in a school in your state). The initial compensation is not listed on their Terms and Conditions. However, regardless of your experience, you may receive a pay increase depending on the following aspects:

  • Annual Students’ Review
  • Performance-based Bonus Plans
  • Career Ladder Opportunities

Please note that having such a certification represents a major advantage when applying for this position. In terms of compensation, the hourly rate ranges anywhere between $14 and $25. 


Qkids connects online English teachers with over half a million Chinese students aged 4 to 12. 

The standards you have to meet to work with Qkids are:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Associate/2-year Diploma
  • Eligible to work in the United States or Canada
  • Teaching license or TEFL certificate
  • Computer with a stable internet connection
  • Clear audio-video capabilities
  • Minimum 6 hours/week

In order to be eligible for this online teaching position, you will have to be a resident of the United States of America or Canada. 

The base rate is $16 per hour. One hour includes two lessons. To earn more, you must be eligible for attendance and performance bonuses. The hourly rate can go up to $20 if you fulfill all the requirements for bonuses.


The VIPKID platform helps you to teach English online to Chinese K-9 students. It features an irregular schedule with maximum flexibility. They have a contract length of 6 months for workers but this can be renewed if you do good work. 

The requirements you have to fulfill for this job are:

  • Bachelor’s Degree (or higher)
  • At least one year of teaching experience
  • Eligibility to work in the United States or Canada
  • Laptop and headset
  • High-speed internet connection

Just like Qkids, VIPKID only accepts applicants that live in the United States of America and Canada. This happens because of the native English speaker requirement.

In terms of the hourly rate, compensation is between $14 and $22 per hour. This company also offers the possibility to earn more through bonuses and referral programs.


Novakid is a less popular online teaching company. It allows educators to take part in one-on-one classes with students from all around the world. Only native English speakers are allowed to apply for an online teaching position. If you are born in the USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa then this is the right company for you. The payment is fixed at $16 per teaching hour. 

If you are planning on applying for an online teaching job at Novakid then you must have a valid university degree as well as at least one year of teaching experience. In terms of schedule, it is one of the most flexible companies. However, the weekly minimum is 10 teaching hours. 

Accent Advisor

Accent Advisor is one of the premium teaching companies based in America. They are specialized in teaching adults that live in the United States and want to minimize their foreign language accent. In terms of requirements, applicants must have a North American accent and at least two years of teaching experience. You do not have to earn a valid university degree or a TEFL/TESOL certificate but please note that these two may represent a real advantage when applying for an online teaching position. 

You can set your own schedule anywhere between 15 and 40 hours per week. The payment is fixed at $15. However, every time you reach 500 teaching hours, your hourly fee is increased by $1. The maximum salary is up to $20 per teaching hour. 

Glen Brown

I am a Technical Trainer and Manager with over 20 years experience in IT, Education and Business. I have multiple qualifications on each topic including post graduate qualifications. I have a passion for sharing knowledge and using technology to do this. If you would like to know more about me please see the about page of the website.

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