Can Australians teach English online without a degree?

Yes! You can teach English online without a degree from an Australian university. We’ll explore options for non-degree holders – where to find the best jobs, average hourly rates for available roles and how you can maximise your chances of success in online ESL in 2022 and beyond.

This post is written with Australians and New Zealanders in mind but is equally useful for teachers worldwide. We use affiliate links (at no cost to you, see our Disclaimer) but base all recommendations on first-hand experience.

teach english online without a degree
A university degree is a helpful but optional requirement to teach English online. Photo by Lewis Keegan/Unsplash.
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    Can I teach English online without a degree?

    If you’re interested in teaching English online but don’t have a university degree you may be concerned that the job is not for you. That’s not the case.

    While a quality TESOL/TEFL qualification is essential to good teaching, a degree (especially one in an unrelated field) is a helpful, but optional requirement – with only around ≈50% of online English teaching jobs requiring a Bachelor’s degree to apply.

    If you speak English fluently (and are patient and supportive) there are online English teaching roles for you, although you may need to apply for entry-level roles at first and work your way up over time. If you choose to teach in a freelance capacity, your sales and marketing skills as well as the reviews and referrals from your students will be an equal factor in your success.

    Find out more about online TESOL/TEFL qualifications, the top 50 best paying online jobs or how to start your own freelance teaching business and make $100AUD/hr or more.

    Accredited TEFL Courses

    Can I teach English online without a degree and no experience?

    Yes, like a university degree, teaching and tutoring experience is a helpful, but optional requirement for teaching English online.

    You will often have the opportunity to acquire some online teaching experience as part of your TESOL/TEFL qualification, but there are also a number of organisations that are looking for volunteers. Volunteering can be a rewarding and satisfying way to gain experience.

    Other jobs can be applied for without any experience but these are often the lowest paying. They can be a good way to “get your foot in the door” and after you’ve taught a number of classes and gained some confidence, you can then apply for better and higher-paying roles.

    How can I teach English online without a degree?

    Learning how to teach English online without a degree will depend on your previous experience.

    • If you’ve taught or tutored before, you’ll find many of the skills easily transferrable. If you’ve already got a TESOL/TEFL qualification but have never taught online, there are a number of great free courses that can help you with the technology involved like Zoom.
    • If you’ve never taught or tutored before, the best place to start is with a TESOL/TEFL qualification of 120 hours or more. They can be completed for ≈$200AUD and in as little as 3 weeks but are essential to providing the basics of teaching and English grammar. You can then continue to upskill through higher-level TESOL courses or through a number of free online professional development courses.

    You can then use my Complete Job List to begin applying to jobs that fit in with your required hours, the students that you’d like to teach (kids vs adults) and the rate you’d like to earn.

    How much can I earn teaching English online with no degree?

    The three major options that you have are to:

    1. Apply for an online teaching job.
    2. Create a profile on an online English teaching marketplace platforms and market your services directly to students in a freelance capacity.
    3. Start your own freelance teaching business and attract students directly.

    How much you can earn teaching English online depends on these options. Entry-level jobs average ≈$25AUD/hr (up to ≈$50AUD/hr), marketplace platforms average ≈$40-70AUD (or more for confident salespeople and those with good social media and/or marketing skills) and $100AUD/hr for those who can build a good reputation via their own freelance teaching business.

    I’d love to offer 1:1 help with finding a TESOL job or starting your own business.

    Where can I find online English teaching jobs with no degree?

    My Complete Job List is a comprehensive list of the 50+ best and highest-paying online jobs for Australians and New Zealanders. Around ≈50% of all listed roles are open to those without a university degree. It’s updated weekly and has been built by a teacher, for teachers over the last two years to be the best resource of its kind. It is the easiest way to begin applying to jobs that fit in with your required hours, the students that you’d like to teach (kids vs adults) and the rate you’d like to earn.

    You can also subscribe to the free weekly newsletter in which you’ll receive the latest roles in your inbox every Monday morning. Enter your email in the form on the right-hand side of this page (or below the post on mobile) to receive the latest jobs from both Australia and overseas.

    How can I succeed at teaching English online with no degree?

    There are a few ways that non-degree holders can succeed at teaching English online:

    • Enrol in a quality TESOL/TEFL qualification. These courses are designed to give you the fundamentals of teaching online and will give you a lot more confidence to begin;
    • Do as many additional free courses as you can and be open to continually learning and growing as a teacher;
    • Start with an entry-level role or volunteer position. Use this experience to apply for the next position and so on over time;
    • Consider marketplace platforms or a freelance business where you may be able to teach/tutor in an area of previous professional or life experience or with students that you enjoy teaching (young learners for parents with small children, for example).

    Teaching English online is a $10 billion USD market and growing. Non-degree holders who are willing to spend some initial time in training and gaining initial experience can be as successful as their university-educated counterparts in only a few months.

    So what are you waiting for?

    2 thoughts on “Can Australians teach English online without a degree?”

    1. How can a Bachelor of Fine Arts help me teach English to none English speakers?

      Thank you

      Graeme Leigh

      • Hi Graeme, it’s not that a BFA can directly help you to teach English necessarily, but some companies require a Bachelor’s Degree as a minimum qualification to apply. It can also a level of literacy and fluency necessary to teach. I hope that helps. Good luck!


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