Want to teach online? Great idea!
The number of searches on Google about teaching online skyrocketed in 2021 – and for good reason.
Plus, teaching online is a great, realistic way to earn money while making a difference in people’s lives all over the world.
But how much can you earn? And which online teaching platforms are good places to find online jobs?
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to start teaching online.
Let’s dive in.
- What is Online Teaching?
- How Online Teaching Works
- Why Teach Online?
- How Much Do Online Teaching Jobs Pay?
- 11 Top Online Teaching Platforms
- 10 Resources for Online Teaching
- 10 Top Online Teaching Tips
- Summary: How to Start Online Teaching
- Want to Learn More?
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What is Online Teaching?
Online teaching is the process of educating others via the internet. Various methods can be used, such as one-on-one video calls, group video calls, and webinars.
You can start teaching from any location (home, coffee shop, co-working space) and enroll students from various backgrounds and geographical areas.
Virtually any topic or skill can be taught online, but popular subjects include languages, maths, sciences, and business.
How Online Teaching Works
To teach online, you need to be reasonably comfortable with computers and the internet.
This is because interactions with students will take place through messaging platforms, email, and video calls. Also, many online teachers need to create digital resources to share with their students, such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, audio lectures, and pdf guides.
The best thing about teaching online is that it’s accessible to so many people. As the education expert Elliot Masie, said, “We need to bring learning to people instead of people to learning.”
Online teaching does this beautifully. Anyone with an internet connection can attend livestream college lectures, learn a language via video-call, or coach themselves through an online video course. Plus, students can participate in interactive discussions through the creation of small groups to examine topics from various perspectives.
Why Teach Online?
Firstly, online teaching provides a lot of freedom.
You don’t have to wake up early every day if you don’t want to. And if you need to take time off to look after children or visit family, you can – simply arrange your schedule to suit your needs.
“Even if you’re hired by an agency you are still your own boss. You decide when you work and how many hours you do. You can take holidays whenever you want or you can work your butt off if you wish so – you are in charge of your time and that’s a very liberating feeling.”
Plus, there’s no dress code. Sure, you need to look presentable if you’re on camera, but there are no rules against shorts and flip-flops!
What’s more, you get an opportunity to improve your technology skills. Learning your way around online platforms gives you the confidence to explore other tools and software that could be useful for your sessions.
There’s also no commute to contend with. You can work remotely from the comfort of your home and avoid wasting time traveling to and from work.
Still, probably the best part about teaching online is the students!
People who pay for an online teacher are bound to be more motivated and engaged than the average high-school student.
Devoney Looser, a professor of English at Arizona State University, said:
“Anyone who’s taught an on-the-ground class has looked out into the classroom and seen boredom or disconnection. By comparison, my online students were choosing when to log on to do their work. They seemed very tuned in when they did … I found them, as a group, exceptionally dedicated, motivated, and talented.
Lastly, you get to broaden your thinking by interacting with people of all ages, from all over the world.
How Much Do Online Teaching Jobs Pay?
You might not become a millionaire teaching online, but it is possible to earn a living. Some people choose to teach online as a side gig to supplement the income from their job. Others do it full-time, relying on it to cover their expenses and put money aside for other investments.
So, how much can you earn teaching online?
How much you get paid depends on several factors, such as which online teaching platform you use and how experienced you are.
That said, according to PayScale, most people teaching online earn between $10.16 and $40.31 per hour.
More specifically, if you have less than one year’s experience, you can expect to earn around $14.46 per hour. And online teachers with 5-9 years of experience are likely to earn about $20.39 per hour.
Your actual income may vary depending on the nature of the subjects you intend to teach. More complex topics like statistics and computer programming will earn you more other subjects. That said, the earnings are pretty decent for even simple subjects like English and History.
15 Top Online Teaching Platforms
Here are 15 of the best online teaching platforms available in 2021.
General Teaching Websites
1. Chegg Tutors
Chegg Tutors is a top online teaching platform. Teachers must meet strict criteria to join the site, but successful applicants receive a minimum of $20 per hour – and some of the more reputable tutors on this site earn up to $1,000 per day! Students can share feedback and rate tutors after each class – the higher your teacher rating, the more money you can make.
Tutor.com is one of the oldest teaching sites online. Unfortunately, you can only apply if you’re permitted to work in the U.S. or Canada. To use the platform, you must pass an exam in the subject you specialize in. This online teaching platform also has a preference for some subjects, such as calculus and physics. How much you can earn on the site is revealed to you when your application is accepted.
TutorMe is a comprehensive online teaching site. More than 300 subjects are taught through the site – including engineering, history, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. And if you maintain a high teacher rating, you can get paid more than $20 per hour.
MyPrivateTutor is one of the largest online teaching sites. The courses are available to students in many countries, including Australia, UAE, and Singapore. After the application and verification process, you can set your rates and availability to teach online. The best part? You’ll receive payment after each session. However, this site isn’t a free online teaching platform. You’ll be charged 9% of your earnings, and a small service fee each time you withdraw your money from the platform.
Skooli is another online teaching website that allows you to convert your knowledge into cash. Aspiring tutors with a bachelor’s degree and teaching certification, Master’s degree, or Ph.D. can register on the platform. The site pays by the minute, with a 15-minute minimum, to deliver lectures online. Skooli is heavily focused on math – geometry, algebra, calculus, and trigonometry – so teaching here can be a simple way to earn an income if you happen to be a math whiz.
If you’re looking for an online teaching website that allows you to keep all the money from your set hourly rate, the jobs at Wize might be a perfect fit. The platform takes no commission on tutors’ earnings and pays on-demand via direct deposit or PayPal. According to the company, new tutors can expect to earn $20 to $25 per hour based on their past teaching experience. But some roles like Subject Expert (Lead Instructor) pay more. Wize connects tutors with students across North America and allows them to deliver lectures using its interactive, browser-based whiteboard technology.
BuddySchool started in 2007 and now has over 20,000 tutors helping students in over 100 subjects, including Arts, Languages, Sciences, Humanities, etc. It’s easy to get started on this website – you just register an account, fill out your teacher profile and select your availability and you’re off! The requirements to become a teacher at BuddySchool aren’t as stringent as on other platforms, but this also means more competitions for students across the available subjects. To stand out, you can gather positive student reviews and run ads on the online teaching platform. The average hourly pay rate is $5 to $20 per hour.
Language Teaching Platforms
Verbling can help you start teaching languages online. To use Verbling, you must have previous language teaching experience, and be a native speaker in your chosen language. If your native tongue is one of the 63 languages offered on this online teaching site, give it a go!
VIPKID is one of the most popular online teaching platforms, but you need to be eligible to work in the U.S. or Canada to sign up. The site focuses on teaching English to Chinese children in elementary school. To apply, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. If you pass the interview, you’ll be offered a six-month contract and can start earning $7-9 per 25-minute class. This platform focuses on fun and engaging online teaching methods.
Qkids is similar to VIPKIDS and is also only available to teachers based in the U.S. and Canada. If you teach online with Qkids, you’ll be paid $20 per hour, teaching up to four students in a class. The cool part is, lesson plans, teaching materials, and other resources are provided for you. The site will even train you to use these online teaching tools. The site requires you to commit to at least six hours of teaching per week.
Lingoda is one of the best online teaching websites for adult learners. To use the site, you must have at least three years of experience as a certified second-language teacher. To start teaching online, you must have native fluency in English, German, Spanish, or French. Classes take place around the clock due to students and teachers living in different time zones.
Cambly helps to make teaching English online informal and conversational. The aim is to help students improve their conversational and listening skills. So, if you want to teach online through conversation, this could be a great online teaching platform for you. You can book times to teach or log in at any time to chat with students. You’ll earn $0.17 per minute – which works out as $10.20 per hour.
Preply pairs teachers with students seeking to learn one of 27 languages. These include popular languages such as English and Spanish, as well as lesser-spoken languages, such as Urdu, Hebrew, and Danish. Plus, this online video teaching platform is easy to apply to. You’ll get paid whenever a student purchases one of your lesson packages. You can pitch students directly.
Italki is one of the best online teaching platforms for language teachers. If you have a verifiable certification and experience, you can use the platform as a teacher. Alternatively, you can make money online through the site as a community tutor by having conversations in your native language with students. After you set up your video introduction and set your rates, you can use any video chat platform to connect with students, such as Skype, Zoom, or Facetime. The platform recommends rates of $8 per lesson for teachers, and around $4 per lesson for community teachers – depending on the lesson length.
Netherlands-based Myngle connects language teachers with business professionals looking to develop proficiency in a certain language. Choose to teach from over 50+ languages and get paid to deliver remote lessons on a freelance basis. However, there might be some waiting time if your language doesn’t have enough demand. You can set your own schedule and rates and receive payments via PayPal or Moneybookers. Myngle charges an 18 percent commission per lesson for access to its student database and the use of its virtual classrooms.
10 Resources for Online Teaching
If you’re looking for resources for online teaching, here are 10 awesome websites to check out:
- Discovery Ed is an online community that provides teacher-to-teacher ideas.
- Education World offers more than 1,000 high-quality, in-depth free lesson plans.
- The Library of Congress provides plenty of classroom materials and professional development resources.
- ReadWriteThink has tons of reading and language instruction materials.
- Teacher.org provides standards-aligned cross-curricular lessons made by teachers.
- Teachers Pay Teachers allows teachers and instructors to share or sell their teaching materials.
- Teacher Created Resources provides engaging, interactive whiteboard activities.
- Teacher Vision offers expertly curated teaching resources designed to help students succeed.
- WeAreTeachers provides free resources, as well as career advice, and deals for teachers.
- National Geographic offers free lesson plans, maps, and other resources.
10 Top Online Teaching Tips
Here’s a quick rundown of 12 online teaching tips to help you kickstart your career:
1. Teach on Multiple Platforms
It’s not always a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket. Teaching on multiple platforms can help you find more work and provide security. Just make sure you manage your classes effectively and avoid schedule clashes.
2. Create a Great Introduction Video
Most online teaching platforms require you to create an introduction video for your teacher profile. This is what every potential student will see before they sign up to learn with you. So be sure to create the best video you can. You can find tons of excellent teacher intro videos on YouTube to get inspired.
3. Work to Retain Students Over the Long-Term
Teaching online is like any service business – to keep the money flowing, you need to retain your clients, or continuously find new ones. Spend a little time every day working on getting new clients, and serve your regular students powerfully so they stick around.
4. Learn About Student Exams
Many students will sign up with online teachers to help them with exams. Make sure you know the times of the year that exams happen in your subject, and the type of help students need to pass with flying colors.
5. Prepare Engaging Lessons in Advance
To make sure your lessons are always interesting and informative, make sure that you create a lesson plan and source any materials that you need beforehand. Look for ways to create fun, engaging lessons. As Cammy Bean, the VP of Learning Design at Kineo, a learning technology company, said, “People expect to be bored by eLearning – let’s show them it doesn’t have to be like that!”
6. Create a Policy for Absent Students
Unfortunately, not every student will show up. You may want to create a “no-refunds” policy – after all, you prepared the lesson and turned up. Then again, if the student has a reasonable explanation, you may want to go easy on them and prioritize maintaining the relationship in the long term.
7. Beware of Back-to-Back Lessons
Teaching online can be very tiring, and back-to-back lessons can be particularly draining. Online English teacher Jonathan Race shares his experience:
“These can be brutal. I’ve had it where I’ve set my hours for a day and had 4 or so lessons back to back. Not only is this exhausting but it’s a nightmare preparing properly for the next lesson.”
Try to arrange your schedule to leave time between lessons to take a break and prepare for the next lesson.
8. Invest in Your Gear
To have a successful online teaching career, you need to have a reliable computer and internet connection, and your wifi should be fast enough to maintain a clear connection on video calls. You may also want to invest in a quality microphone and a pair of headphones.
9. Start Saving for an Emergency Fund
All freelancing careers experience fluctuations. For example, you could have plenty of students before exams, only to find yourself with very few after the exam season is over. As a freelancer, you also won’t receive sick pay or paid time off. So make sure to save up an emergency fund to keep you going during these times.
10. Understand the Payment Systems
Online teaching platforms tend to have different payment policies. Some will pay you monthly, some weekly, and some will pay you immediately after each lesson is confirmed. However you get paid, make sure you know what to expect, and budget accordingly.
Summary: How to Start Online Teaching
Online teachers educate others via the internet in various ways, such as video calls and group video streams. To teach online, you should have a reliable computer, an internet connection, and basic internet skills.
Online teaching is a fantastic work from home job that provides flexibility and an opportunity to interact with people from all over the world.
According to PayScale, a teacher with less than one year’s experience can expect to earn an average of $14.46 per hour.
In summary, here are 11 top online teaching platforms:
- Chegg Tutors
- My Private Tutor
Have we missed any essential tips? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below!
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