How to make money teaching (or just speaking) English

Native English speakers can have a simple and often lucrative side business teaching the language online.

A number of platforms can help you connect with international students looking to learn or improve their English skills. They also connect tutors with American students who have fallen behind.

While some online platforms that connect teachers and students require English teachers to have credentials, many only care that English is your first language and, sometimes, that your grammar and composition skills are up to snuff. the height.

It should be noted that this industry has changed dramatically since we last wrote about it a year ago. This is mainly because many of the top English teaching sites were operated by companies that specialized in tutoring Chinese students in English. Last fall, the Chinese government banned private tutoring companies from offering such services, saying they gave unfair educational advantages to the elite. This sent top tutoring sites including Magic Ears, VIPKID and QKids, free fall. Although most survived, they reorganized and lost many students, and some changed the way they paid freelancers. This changed the landscape in favor of US and international carriers.

So where and how can you teach English online today? Here are some options, what they need and what they pay for.


While many Chinese-speaking companies faltered, a Taiwanese competitor – AmazingTalker – thrived. The company says its revenue has increased by 500% in the past year and it now has more than 8,000 tutors to serve 1.1 million customers.

There are not many requirements to be a tutor here. You must be 18 years old, able to sign a legal contract and fluent in English. Teaching or tutoring experience is preferred. However, you do not need to have a teaching degree or certificate in ESL. Classes are held online, usually on Zoom.

Tutors set their own rates, tutoring specialties and course duration. Those who teach English as a second language typically charge between $15 and $28 per hour, according to the site. Registration is free, but tutors pay 15-30% of their earnings as a site commission.


iTalk offers jobs for both professional teachers and “community tutors”, who qualify with nothing more than fluency in a language. The site teaches all major languages ​​and publishes weekly updates of languages ​​that require tutors.

Tutors set their own rates and determine their schedules. However, they are requested to respond promptly to course requests. The platform takes a 15% commission for providing marketing and payment processing.


Wyzant connects tutors of all types with students who need their services. Tutors set their own rates – most often between $30 and $60 per hour – and the site takes a 25% commission. Tutors do not need credentials; however, they are expected to be fluent in the subject.

University tutors

Like Wyzant, University tutors does not require teaching credentials; you are simply expected to be competent. But unlike Wyzant, Varsity Tutors sets the prices. The site, which hires tutors for in-person and online instruction, pays $15 to $40 per hour. Those who earn the most are usually able to teach advanced subjects or mentor students taking admissions tests for business school or law. The costs of the site are integrated into the income of the tutors; there is no additional commission.

Chelsea International Education

Chelsea International Education only takes accredited teachers as tutors, but if you get accepted here you can earn a good salary. The site pays between $15 and $100 per hour, depending on the age of the student and the subject. Tutors pay no commission; the site adds its fees to customers’ bills.


cambly uses freelancers to chat in English with people who are trying to learn. All you need to qualify is to be over 18, able to sign a legal contract and be a native speaker. You choose when you want to work by signing up for “priority hours” or simply signing up. The site pays between 17 cents and 20 cents per minute. Many conversations happen via video chat on your phone. Because Cambly students come from all over the world, working hours are when you want them.

Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.coman independent website that reviews money-making opportunities in the gig economy.