Have you ever thought about teaching English online? Well, now is the time to give it a try. Many people are home and in need of English lessons – and what better time to start making extra money doing so than now? (You are stuck home anyways).
Teaching English Online – that is, conversational or business English – as a second language has always been a great opportunity for English speakers without formal teaching experience. Your native understanding of idioms and natural turns of phrase is exactly what many international students need to improve their English use.
In our increasingly global world, the need for English tutors is growing – which is great news for you!
The requirements are pretty similar between the various programs: a TEFL certificate, internet, headphones, a microphone, and of course a laptop or computer. A few programs require a degree but many don’t have specifics.
In general, the requirements for being an ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor revolve around being a native English speaker who is personable, interesting, and has great presentation skills.
Some companies may require you to have ESL certification or a teaching certificate in a related field.
The other requirements are practical concerns – most of these tutoring positions require video contact with your students, so you should have a good computer, high-speed internet connection, webcam, and a quiet, well-lit home office.
Many of these companies have their own curricula and teaching systems in place, so you don’t even need to plan your own lessons. These positions can also be great if you’re up to odd hours, since working with overseas students may mean working very early or rather late – especially since many of these students come from China, South Korea, and Japan.
I’ve put together a list of two great companies here who are looking for ESL tutors; there’s sure to be an opportunity for you below!
According to their site, Magic Ears strives to provide quality English lessons to Chinese students. This platform teaches children ages 4-12. While also providing their teachers with the opportunity to grow within the organization.
Teachers must be TESOL certified and have a Bachelor’s degree. Positions are restricted to those in the US and Canada. You will be able to use their curriculum in your lessons.
From all accounts (more on what the teachers think later), Magic Ears has a quality online teaching platform, an abundance of students looking for lessons, and a great training/feedback program for their teachers. This makes them a solid alternative to anyone looking for an option other than the online teaching incumbents of VIPKID and DaDaABC.
Teaching requirements for Magic Ears
Compared to other teaching companies, the teaching requirements for Magic Ears are pretty easy to meet:
- Native speaker from USA or Canada; This means that yes – you can teach for Magic Ears without a degree or experience! Here’s the catch: they do prioritize their applicants, so to stand out with no degree you will really need to wow them in your demo (more on this later). There are also the technical requirements to be aware of.
- Teachers must be TESOL certified and have a Bachelor’s degree. You will be able to use their curriculum in your lessons.
- Make sure you always have good illumination, a clean and kid-friendly background, and a quiet environment: this is the biggest one as they are known sticklers for your teaching environment – they want to see a headset (check out our recs here), no shadows (invest in a good lamp), and colorful background.
- Make sure you have a strong and stable, plug-in cable internet. The minimum requirement for both download and upload speed is 10 Mbps: the Magic Ears platform is pretty heavy on the bandwidth use so the internet is a big deal – they will mention any lags, freezes, or dropped classes and insist you move from wifi to a wired connection.
- Processor: CPU I5 4th Generation and at least 4gb of memory: Check your computer stats here: Mac or Windows.
Magic Ears Salary – How Much Does Magic Ears Pay?
For the sake of simplicity, let’s use the class rate to discuss how much you can make teaching at Magic Ears.
- Basic Rate: based on your credentials (remember what we said about having a degree and experience?) you may receive between $20- $26 per hour.
- Participation Incentive: if you arrive at each class at least 8 minutes early, you will receive an extra $1 per class.
- Peak Time Incentive: If you open your schedule to more than 60 classes per month, you will receive an extra $1 per every class
- Performance Incentive: Magic Ears evaluates it’s teachers quarterly and you will be eligible for an undisclosed bonus if they are happy with your teaching.
VIPKid is a teaching platform for Chinese kids that are looking to learn English. The English language is taught over this platform by individual teachers, who are able to work online when they want and however much they want (to a degree).
The pay is pretty good for VIPKid but the requirements for the job are a little more strict than some of the other ESL platforms available that you might be able to teach on. The kids that you teach will range from 4 to 12 years old and the lessons taught will be one-on-one. They have two locations, Beijing and San Francisco. Tutors teach for 25 minutes per class.
Teaching requirements for VIPKid
- In order for you to be accepted as a teacher for VIP Kid, you will first need to have K-12 teaching experience in either the US or Canada. they don’t specifically tell you how much experience you need so there is nothing else to say here. You will also need a bachelor’s degree. The field of degree does not matter. As long as you have one you are good to go.
- When it comes to equipment you are going to need a laptop or desktop computer, a headset and microphone, and a high-speed internet connection.
- Also, when you apply you will have to sign a contract for 6 months of work.
- As a teacher, you must be available for at least 7.5 hours of teaching per week. But just because you set a certain amount of available time doesn’t mean you will get it filled with teaching.
VIPKid Salary – How Much Does VIPKid Pay?
If you are looking to supplement your income in your off time and think you will have fun teaching English to Chinese kids, VIPKid maybe for you.
- Base Rate: According to their website, they pay their online tutors between $15-22 per hour. Your pay will base on how you perform during the job interview and how you conduct your demo lessons.
- Bonus: VIPKid pays an extra $2 for each of your classes if you opt for their short notice booking option. Another one is the trial class bonus where they pay you $5 when a student signs up after the free trial class.
- Pay Raise: You may only qualify for a pay raise but there are 5 different factors that you need to meet and teachers hire after January of 2020 does not qualify for the pay raise.
- Incentives: They also offer what they call “finished class incentives” which can earn you between $0.80 – $3.20 of additional income per class.
- Referral Program: VIPKid will pay their teachers a $100 referral fee when they refer a teacher and that teacher is hired.
More about teaching at VIPKid
Ok, so as a teacher here you will be teaching 30-minute lessons. There will be about 25 minutes worth of real teaching and the remaining is for Q & A. one of the great things about this is that you will not need to prepare your own material for the lessons, VIPKid does that for you. However, it is important that you review the material beforehand. And you don’t have to teach 100% of the material provided.
A good teacher will make it more fun and add things in here & there.
VIPKid is a good opportunity and definitely not a scam for all those wondering this. However… it’s just not a good opportunity if you are looking to make a lot of money or are looking for under the table jobs. It all comes down to what you are looking for.
Is Teaching English Online for You?
The pay is usually above minimum wage and because tutors can work from home, transportation costs and child care costs are usually not an issue. the job can be done from anywhere with a good internet connection, making it an ideal occupation for nomads and travelers.
The tutoring is often quite rewarding as well. Assisting another in learning a useful skill and watching them develop that skill is a very satisfying thing to do. the students are generally enthusiastic and well behaved.
While not for everyone, teaching English online can be a lucrative and rewarding occupation and anyone with the necessary skills and education may seriously want to consider it as an option.
Magic Ears and VIPKid are both great online English Tutoring platforms and online tutoring has never been more relevant than in today’s world. Not only for students who need that extra push but for those who are qualified and willing to teach English. It is a win-win for all involved. Students get the knowledge they need, and teachers get the experience and extra income that is needed more than ever these days.