The Internet has certainly opened a lot of doors, especially for those individuals who have a passion for teaching. The demand for online teachers is greater than it has ever been, particularly for online ESL teachers.
An online ESL teacher gets to teach English right from the comfort of his or her home through a variety of different platforms with Skype and Zoom being the leaders. You can read about why I prefer Zoom over Skype if you want to know more. There are countless of people from different parts of the globe who want to learn the English language and are willing to pay meaningful sums to learn it from a teacher who is certified to teach it.
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The current median annual salary for this type of teacher is $39,956 USD per year. The hourly pay is between $10.00 USD to $20.00 USD. Of course, there are ESL teachers who are paid more due to having qualifications that meaningfully stand out. The more experience and education you have, the more money you will be able to earn in this field.
Benefits of Teaching Online
There are several benefits that arise from teaching online. For one, you get to help men and women learn a language that is a must to progress in different aspects of life. Teaching children can be rewarding as well if you are energetic and love to be active on the camera. Knowing that you are capable of making a difference in a person’s life can certainly be very rewarding.
Noteworthy Facts About the English Language
English is currently the third most spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and Spanish. It has become the leading language of international discourse with over 380 million native speakers worldwide and many English as a Second Language(ESL) learners in need of your skills. In fact, there are over 700 million speaking English. English is the choice for business, with three-quarters of emails, faxes, and contracts being written in English. English is capable of providing a wide range of opportunities in one’s career and personal life.
How to Get Started
It definitely helps if you are a native English speaker, but you will need more qualifications to begin teaching English online. Being certified is a requirement for more than half of sites that provide teaching positions. In order to become a certified ESL teacher, it would be good for you to obtain a bachelor’s degree in education. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, but one that doesn’t go hand in hand with education, you can still get certified. Depending on the institution, a masters or doctorate degree would be required if you are planning to teach at an online college or university. If you are currently going to college or have a degree in another field, then that should be good enough for most schools. Simply put, having a degree in teaching is a big benefit, but as long as you have a degree of any kind or working for one you should be fine.
The second step is to obtain ESL certification. Getting a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is an option that many individuals opt for, as it provides more teaching opportunities. If you want to go the extra mile and have an extra qualification under your belt, you can opt to obtain a specialized certificate in teaching English online. You can read more about what type of online certification and where to get it here.
Tips for Success
A very important tip is to always keep your word, meaning that if your profile states that you are going to be available at certain times and dates, you become available as specified. Keeping your word is extremely important to build longevity as an online ESL teacher. Another tip is to always be patient. Remember that you are going to come across people who learn at a slower pace than others. Keeping up with the latest research is another great tip. It can allow you to improve your teaching skills. There a lot of ESL teachers who take professional development classes to keep up with the changes that occur in this field.
Tools for Online Teachers and Platforms
There are numerous of sites that allow you to search for online teaching positions, like Dave’s ESL Cafe, ESL Job Feed, and ESL Employment. You can search through various companies listed on Online ESL Reviews or read the simple list of Online ESL Employers. A great number of companies that provide online teaching positions have their own software platform; therefore, you will only need to have a webcam, speakers, and a microphone so that you can interact with your students. It is important to have a reliable high-speed Internet connection. You will notice that there will be some positions that require a wired connection, not a wireless one. This is due to reliability. There is a larger article on the subject here.
Teaching Online vs. Regular Classroom
Teaching online allows you to do so right from your house. There’s no longer a need for you to wake up before the rooster sings, pump for gas, and drive a number of miles to teach in a regular classroom. Teaching online allows you to have more students; therefore, you will be able to earn more. When teaching in a traditional classroom, teachers tend to spend a meaningful time on lesson planning, but that is commonly not the case online because online tutoring companies provide the plans for you.
Creating Your Own Business vs. Working for a School
When you are an ESL teacher, you have the opportunity of creating your business, promoting it, and having a roster of students, who are ready to learn at the times and dates that you specified. That can not be done when you are working for a school, as you have to follow the rules that the institution has already established.
Connecting With Other Teachers
There are many forums online that allow online teachers to come together and thus discuss a variety of different topics that go hand in hand with this profession. It can be quite helpful reading other’s comments as well as providing your two cents. Here is a rather popular FaceBook group for those seeking online ESL jobs and another one here for teachers looking to vent.