3 types of online English teaching jobs

We’ve identified 3 main types of online English teaching jobs for Australian and New Zealand teachers: (1) With an overseas-located company (2) an online marketplace or; (3) independent teaching business (one you run and manage yourself). Read on for more information about which option might be best for you.

This post is written for Australians and New Zealanders but all of our information can be used by teachers worldwide. We use affiliate links, which earn us a small commission (at no cost to you, see our Disclaimer) but always aim to give you the best quality advice.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This post is part of our “Ultimate teach English online guide“. Go check it out.

There are more than 400 English language teaching companies worldwide, with only a small minority (around 25%) hiring Australian and New Zealand citizens. Unfortunately, many companies only hire those with an ‘American’ accent (US/Canada), followed by the ‘British’ one (UK). See a common job ad below:

Don’t be disheartened though, there are still roles available for those ‘Down Under’.  This was the main motivation behind this site and the work that we do – to provide qualified, passionate Australasian teachers with access to the best jobs and information on the ‘net. 

Check out our video below for a complete overview (or keep reading):

What are the main types of online English teaching jobs?

1. Working for an overseas company:

The largest portion of these companies were based in China, with this market comprising 60-70% of jobs for Australasians. In July 2021, a major change in Chinese Communist Party (CCP) policy meant that the hiring of foreign teachers to provide after-school tuition is now prohibited. This means that you are best to look for positions in other Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan, as well as emerging markets in Russia, Eastern Europe and South America (although salaries are slightly lower and may require larger groups to be viable).

A good option for new or inexperienced teachers as many companies provide teaching materials and lesson plans. Companies spend a great deal of money on sales and marketing, so you just need to teach. Peak hours occur after school and work (at your student’s location, not yours). 10 hours per week is common and in order to work more hours, you may need to apply for more than one company.

Average salary: $24AUD/hr.

International job list.

We list the top 50 paying International company jobs for Australasians.

2. Working for a language 'marketplace':

With 50+ language marketplaces, there is one that will work for you to attract students to your particular style and teaching area. Great for teachers who enjoy preparing their own materials and teaching in a ‘niche’ teaching area without some of the promotion and administration that comes with running an independent ‘freelance’ business.

Located in roughly the same countries as the online companies, many of the same rules above apply but these apps are a great way to fill in gaps throughout the day and during off-peak hours. Note: marketplaces tend to take 10-30% fees on each class, so you may need to increase your prices to cover these charges.

Average salary – $39AUD/hr.

3. Running an independent 'freelance' teaching business:

The most complex of the three options, this is also the most financially rewarding and is a particularly exciting option for experienced teachers. Some of the areas that you will need to potentially learn include:

  • Sales and marketing;
  • Self-promotion;
  • Course design;
  • Tax and receiving international payments;
  • Creating a website or web presence.

    Average Salary – $49-$99AUD/hr.

What type of online English teaching job is for me?

All three options that you can consider when applying for an online English teaching job have considerable pros and cons.

A company will do a lot of the legwork for you but likely offer a very average rate of pay.

Marketplaces offer more creativity, flexibility and pay but you will need to put in additional hours to promote yourself and to manage and retain students.

Independent teaching presents a steep initial learning curve but is the most financially rewarding and offers experienced teachers scope to design high-quality lessons.

If you are new to the online English teacher journey, read our “Ultimate teach English online guide“ for a step-by-step guide to everything you’ll need to get started.

Go check it out and good luck!

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About the Author:

Kate (GradCertEd (TESOL)) studied a TESOL certificate in 2010 and has been teaching English ever since, tutoring ‘freelance’ for many years before starting an independent teaching business. She began Teach English Online to support Australians and New Zealanders to, well… succeed teaching English online. Whether you are just starting out, want to apply to one of the 300+ global companies or build your own small independent teaching business, she can help.

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