How to make $50 an hour teaching English online

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ESL Tate
I have been an ESL Teacher for more than 15 years and a Teacher trainer for the last three. Now I help new teachers start their journey traveling and teaching English abroad.

With the introduction of teaching English online,  a lot of opportunities especially in the area of jobs have come up.

People are able to carry out multiple jobs at the same time without burning out. And those jobs pay well, especially when it comes to teaching English. But have you wondered how you can make more than $50 an hour teaching English online?

It’s not impossible but it takes good planning, self confidence and a good business acumen. These are all within an individuals control.

One of such internet based jobs that offers you freedom and flexibility, opportunity to pursue your passion and still has the potential to pay for your lifestyle is an online English teaching job.

English is quickly becoming a universal language. No matter where you go to in the world, you would find a group of people who speak a smattering of English language at the very least. The world is a global village and for this reason, it has become necessary for people to learn universal languages with English being among the top three.

So, if you already have a degree in English language or you are fluent in the language structure when it comes to learning it, this is an opportunity you should take advantage of.

The U.S bureau of labour statics shows that people work more and more online. This presents a lot of opportunities to make great money teaching English online. But before we get into how you can go about this, let us explore some of the basic things you need to become an online English teacher.

Your tool box

You will need a few things to get started into this lucrative E-learning industry that is projected to reach $325 billion by 2025. And the needs are now considered basic necessities:

  • A laptop with webcam (some teaching platforms are compatible with mobile devices but for best performance, a laptop or desktop is best)
  • A strong internet connection
  • Near native level knowledge of English language

These tools listed here are enough to get you started. However since the goal is to become profitable, there are quite a number of things you’re going to need to add to that list.

You should also know that profit is not the only thing that you can gain from being an online English teacher. With the right platform and application of the knowledge gained from this article you stand to benefit even more. Let’s explore the benefits before going into the deep on how to make the big buck$.

Benefits of teaching English online

1. The comforts of working from home

With a job like this, you can easily transition from your bed to office within a matter of minutes. There is no need to go through the hassles of traffic on a day-to-day basis. The frantic lifestyle that is common with most 9 to 5 jobs in absent here.

Find a nice, cozy area or setup your home office with good lighting. Go the extra mile and setup the work area as a classroom. Have a poster of make of the world, some English works and decorations on the wall or somewhere visible for your students to see.

The fact that teaching from the comfort of the home is a luxury shouldn’t mean that it is done haphazardly.

2. You determine your own schedule

When you taken a job as an online English teacher, it doesn’t matter whether you are a morning person or the kind of person who prefers to stay in bed until it’s well past midday. You can create a schedule that works around your own routine.

3. The freedom and resources to travel

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go on a working vacation all year round? But if you sign up for a job like this, it will become your experience every day especially if you are able to plan and make the most of it.

4. It helps you build is global network

Without any limitations to geography or time, an online teaching job opens you up to a client base from different corners of the world. And if you play your cards right, you can utilize this network to build a network that will help you become even more effective at your job.

This brings us back to the subject matter of this article; how do you maximize the platform you are on now to very profitable levels?

How do you make more money as an online English teacher?

set goals

Step one: Set a goal

The average earnings of an online English teacher is somewhere between $18 and $30 for an hour.

That’s the market rate but that shouldn’t be your rate. I have students that pay $50, and I have students that pay $75 and hour. It depends on what you are providing them as a teacher.

I discuss picking up the right students that require certain scores and skills to either get into the University, pass an exam and so forth in my book. These are the students that will pay your rate, not the market rate.

The market rate is a box. And no one should be put in a box, and especially not you, don’t you agree? You should aim higher. But the starting point for anything that you aspire for is setting a goal.

So, take a few minutes to sit down and decide how much you want to earn per week and then strategize on how much time you are willing to dedicate to achieve that goal. Your earnings is commiserate to the effort that you put in. This means upgrading your skillsets as well. Get TEFL certified, IELTS certified, and many other accolades that help you shine.

If you are able to work 3 hours a day and your work 5 days a week, at $20 an hour,  your weekly take-home pay would be $300. Write this out and put it where you can see it daily to remind you of what you are working towards. Aim even higher and see yourself bringing home an extra $2000 a month from teaching English. That should be your goal and I can coach you in doing just that beyond what my book offers.

Step two: Polish up and get your certificates

Some online learning platforms do not require you to have a degree in English language or even a TEFL certificate for that matter.

For the most part all you need to do is sign up on their platform and take the lessons. But the pay is very basic and starts somewhere between $5 and $7 an hour. That’s not nearly enough to meet your goal like I illustrate in point one above.

However, if you are planning to step up your earnings and boosts your hourly rates, you would need to pull out all the guns in your arsenal  (figuratively speaking). The companies that really pay well are very interested in what you have to offer.

But beyond that, they also want to know that you are more than qualified for the job. And if you are qualified for the job and beyond, you can also get private students to supplement your online teaching income.

Step three: Choose the right market place to showcase your talent.

study online

There are many platforms designed to offer you the chance to explore this teaching opportunity. However, not many of them have your interest at heart.

Some of them may be interested in your advancement but they may not have the resources to help you grow.

Before you sign up on any of such platforms, you need to do some background research to enable you understand what prospects are available for you as well as how they can help you meet your goals and objectives.

Another important question you need to ask yourself is if the platform you are on appreciate your value enough to pay you what you deserve.

And if all else fails, venture out on your own. Start your own teaching English online website. Find students on social media and start with decent rates and as the student numbers increase, increase the rates until you get were you would like to be.

And if you need further guidance on starting your own and how to turn it in a money maker, see my book on How to make $$$ teaching English online.

Final Thoughts

In addition to the steps I have listed here, you can also make the decision to increase the volume of students that you take up.

For instance, if your plan has always evolved around one or two students, by doubling that number, you will be able to double your income as well. However, you need to remember to pace yourself so that you don’t end up overworked and stressed out.

That’s how you can make $50 or more teaching English online. I do it, have great students who pay good money to get a great service and every body wins. I teach IELTS, SAT prep and other in-demand subjects. Expand your skills, reach out to students and see your teaching online income grow.


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Books by ESL Tate

First Time In Korea

The hilarious E-book and novella about the life of an ESL Teacher in South Korea. A small town, not many English speakers and the events that followed are shared in this book.

Make $Millions$ Teaching English Online

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