If you like to help kids learn and are looking to make some extra money, you should consider teaching English online.
Tutoring and teaching side hustles come in a variety of different options and there are various qualifications for the different tutoring companies.
As an online tutor, the main qualifications you’ll need to have are mastery of the subjects you wish to teach and the patience and passion needed to be a great teacher.
The various tutoring companies which hire online tutors specialize in a wide variety of tutoring subjects and student ages.
If tutoring seems like a way you might like bringing in some extra cash, there are a wide variety of options to choose from.
The 5 Best Companies That Pay You to Teach English Online
There are many options out there, but here are the top ones to help you get started.
1. VIP KID
If you have a college degree you might be the right candidate for a side hustle with VIPKID, a tutoring service that caters to students in China.
VIPKID hires tutors to help Chinese students learn to speak English fluently. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Sarah K., who has been working as a teacher with VIPKID and making some serious side hustle cash in the process.
Sarah was kind enough to share what she’s learned since she started teaching English online.
Well Kept Wallet: What is VIPKID and what do they do?
Sarah: VIPKID was founded with the intention of providing an international school experience to Chinese children. Teacher’s have the advantage of doing it all from the comfort of their own home.
They use an online platform that connects teachers with Chinese students between the ages of 4-15. They also provides teachers with the lesson plans needed to teach students.
The program is based on the U.S. Common Core standards and provides students with one-on-one lessons. Students can have any skill level; from those learning their first English words to students who are practically fluent. They may just need help speaking with native speakers as they work to refine their vocabulary and conversation skills.
Well Kept Wallet: How did you find out about VIPKID and what made you decide to start teaching with them?
Sarah: I found out about it through a friend that is working as a teacher with them. She was having so much fun teaching the students – and making very good money at the same time – that I chose to try it out as well.
Well Kept Wallet: How much money can a person make by teaching online?
Sarah: A teacher can make almost as much money as they choose to with the program. Teachers are paid per class taught, so when you decide how much you want to make, you open your schedule accordingly.
Night owls can often make quite a bit more money. Though most teachers average between $700-$2000 a month. VIPKID also gives bonuses, prizes, referral bonuses for getting new teachers to sign up, as well as holding competitions twice a year to go to Beijing!
Well Kept Wallet: What are the necessary qualifications for teachers?
Sarah: The teachers are required to have a bachelor’s degree (in any subject, though teaching is preferred) as well as practical experience dealing with children (in the form of activities such as Cub Scout leaders, teachers, preschool teachers, Sunday school teachers etc.)
Well Kept Wallet: What are your favorite things about teaching English online?
Sarah: I really love teaching. One of my absolute favorite things is getting to know my regular students and watching them learn and grow.
One of my students is actually planning a trip to the U.S. and has asked if we can meet! It is a very exciting to know that the kids love their classes and their teachers! It is such a sweet feeling to know at the end of the 25-minute class the kids don’t want it to be over!
Well Kept Wallet: How do you schedule your classes around your regular life and other job(s)?
Sarah: Scheduling for me is very easy. I wake up and teach in the morning before my family wakes up. I coordinate my schedule in such a way that I am done with work before 8 a.m. so I can get to the other things I have scheduled for the day.
If I want extra hours, I can work at night after my own child goes to bed or wake up even earlier in the mornings.
The great thing is that I can work as little or as much as I want and I can base my hours on my own life’s schedule! The flexibility is amazing, and since I do not have to ask for days off or teach to anyone else’s schedule, I am able to ensure I always have time off for the events that matter to me!
Well Kept Wallet: What advice do you have for people considering teaching English online?
Sarah: If you want to teach English online, remember that even with all of its flexibility, it is still a job. You should be up and ready to give it your best and have fun with the kids in the process.
And while it is a wonderful job, it is not always easy. You will have to work at it. Take the time to study the materials they give you, listen to the advice given by teacher mentors, and be patient; patient waiting for your schedule to fill, and patient with your students! These kids are AMAZING and worth your best efforts in every single class you teach.
Here are some other things you may want to know about teaching with VIPKID.
- You don’t have to know Chinese in order to be a teacher, however it is helpful and may get you more money per hour or more bookings by parents. Some parents prefer that their child’s teacher knows at least some Chinese.
- The lessons are set up in a way that allows kids to learn from their teachers through props, hand and body language and other tips and tricks that help students understand what the teacher is saying.
- If you are looking to maximize your income, you should schedule at least 7.5 hours per week to teach. The most commonly requested instruction times from parents in Beijing are Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Beijing time.
- Although there is no requirement to work a full 7.5 hour shift each week, teachers with the most availability are often the most booked teachers as well. Also, teachers are not limited to working only 7.5 hours per week, but can schedule as many time slots as they’d like. As such, the teachers who schedule themselves for the most available hours have the best chance of making the most money.
- In order to maximize the student’s tutoring experience and help ensure that 100% of the student’s needs are met, all VIPKID classes are taught one-on-one.
- All training materials are supplied for teachers for each class. Teachers do need to prepare by studying the lessons ahead of time, however.
How to Get Started Teaching Online
All teacher candidates must be legally eligible to work in the United States or in Canada. VIPKID uses an easy and organized five-stage application process for potential teacher candidates.
First, you need to submit your resume online. Next, you will have a one-on-one or recorded interview, where you demonstrate your teaching skills for evaluation.
You also need to watch some lesson example videos so you can get an idea of how the standards, technology and curriculum work.
Then, there is a mock class setup where you practice teaching a full-length class with a mentor teacher. You’ll also sign your teaching contract and upload your personal information to create your bio page. This means parents can get to know you and book you as their students’ teacher.
Finally, you’ll need to perfect your teaching skills by assessing feedback from mentor teachers on your mock teaching video.
After you’ve completed the application process successfully, you simply wait for parents to book your open teaching time slots for their children.
What Other Qualifications Are Required to Teach?
Teacher applicants are assessed based on a number of different professional practice domains. These can include:
- The ability of the teacher to use body language such as hand signals to communicate with students
- The ability of the teacher to speak in a speed, tone and manner that is conducive for learning
- Demonstrating of a positive and encouraging attitude that creates an enthusiastic environment that helps ensure students have fun while learning
- The ability of the teacher to enhance learning with other tools such as white boards, puppets or letter cards.
- Other skill sets are also important, such as a skilled mastery of the English language including proper grammar, the ability to correct in a constructive and encouraging manner, and efficient management of each lesson time.
All potential teachers must have a Windows 7 or newer operating system, or a MAC OS 10.8x operating system with at least 4GB of ram memory, and a wired DSL connection of at least 20 Mbps.
Teachers must also have Flash player installed on their computers. Approved devices for teaching include laptop computers, desktop computers, MAC and Surface tablets.
Approved devices used for teaching must also have an HD external camera or HD integrated camera, as well as a headset with a microphone and stable output and input capabilities.
How Much Can You Earn?
Teachers are independent contractors and they get scheduled for thirty-minute teaching time slots. The pay for each time slot is between $7 to $9 plus incentives.
Pay is determined by the demo class performance you complete during the application process, and incentives are determined by monthly class participation and completion.
Teachers may be eligible for raises when their VIPKID teaching contract comes up for renewal.
Tutor.com offers tutoring services to people for a variety of school subjects. Some of the subjects they need tutors to coach students in include:
- Social Studies
- Foreign languages
- And more.
Tutors with Tutor.com primarily teach students ages fourth grade through college. To become a tutor with Tutor.com you need to either have a college degree or be at least a sophomore college student.
You also need to be an expert in the subject you want to teach (they have assessment tools on the site to help you determine whether or not you meet this qualification) and be available to tutor at least five hours during any given week.
Your pay level with Tutor.com depends on a variety of factors including which types of subjects you teach.
Fluency in the English language and strong oral and written communication skills are also requires.
As with VIPKID, you’ll also need to participate in a mock tutoring class as a part of your application to become a tutor with Tutor.com.
You’ll need a Windows 7 or higher operating system and at least 4 GB of ram or greater to use the Tutor.com teaching system.
You’ll also need a land-based Internet connection, a working headset and microphone system, and a Microsoft Word 2007 or later program.
Pay is determined by your qualifications and other factors, comes directly from Tutor.com, and the company also has incentives for those who meet certain teaching parameters.
Enroll’s tutor requirements are a bit more relaxed than the other companies we’ve talked about here so far.
To qualify to be a tutor with Enroll, you need to be at least fifteen years old and be fluent in the subjects you wish to teach.
With Enroll, you conduct your first two lessons for free in order to get reviews and help build your business.
After that you get paid for each session, and there are additional money-making opportunities with Enroll as well such as selling lesson plans and tutoring tools to fellow tutors.
Chegg tutors teach students in middle school, high school, college and beyond. The tutors teach a variety of different subjects including:
- Comptuer Science
- Antitrust Law
- And more.
Lower teaching level gigs such as those geared toward middle schoolers are also available. In order to find out more about pay scales and other questions regarding tutoring with Chegg, you can visit their website at the link above.
TutaPoint.com hires tutors to teach high school level subjects to students. Tutapoint.com has stricter requirements for tutors than the other companies we’ve featured here.
In order to qualify to be a tutor with them, you must have at least two years prior teaching or tutor experience, and they prefer candidates who are either current teachers, retired teachers, teaching assistants, college professors or others with a proven capability in teaching others.
Other qualifications include being a resident of the United States, having a valid Social Security number and meeting all other tutor requirements including an interview process.
TutaPoint.com tutors start tutoring at a base pay rate of $14 per hour, but can also earn extra money through bonuses and incentives.
Know that of the tutoring companies mentioned here, not all companies will necessarily have tutor openings at any given moment.
Since each company has different needs at different times, it’s important to check their individual websites to determine if they are currently hiring additional tutors.
Also, it’s a good idea to read all contract terms and Terms and Conditions information on any site that you apply to be a tutor at.
A Note About Taxes
It’s important to remember that as an independent contractor you are responsible for any taxes due on the income you make with VIPKID or any other side hustle job you take on.
Since tutoring and other side hustle pay counts as income, you’ll be responsible for paying taxes on that income according to the tax rate/bracket you fall into for the year.
We suggest putting aside thirty percent or so of your side hustle pay in a separate savings account to cover any potential taxes that you may find due after you’ve filed your tax return.
This advanced savings plan will help ensure you’re prepared for any large tax bills due after you’ve filed your return for the year. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you’ve made thousands extra in cash and are scrambling to find money to pay taxes on that income.
Is a Teaching Side Hustle a Good Idea for You?
You might be wondering whether or not a teaching side hustle would be a good fit for you. The answer to that question depends on a number of things.
First, you’ll want to ask yourself if you enjoy working with children. Second, you’ll want to assess your level of patience. People who are patient even in trying circumstances will likely better enjoy the work of teaching a second language to children.
Third, you’ll want to assess your skill level when it comes to instructing others. Are you good at showing others how to learn new things? Do you have the ability to explain things in a number of different ways in order to work with students’ vast array of learning styles?
It takes a special level of patience and a love of learning to be a good teacher. If you have those qualities, this type of side hustle could be a great opportunity for you.
Side hustles are always a great way to earn more money in order to reach your financial goals.
While you can only cut your budget down so far, there’s no limit to the amount of money you can earn while side hustling.
Whether your goal is to side hustle your way to financial independence, or to use passive income streams to help you minimize your hours at work, there’s always a way to make more money.
You may have to work several different side hustles and income opportunities in order to find one that’s right for you. But, it’s safe to say that earning more money in order to reach a financial goal doesn’t usually leave people feeling as if they’ve wasted their time.
As you look for more ways to earn income, don’t be afraid to try a few different money-making avenues. Make a list of your skill sets and of the activities you enjoy and research ways to make money using those skills and interests.
You might find that working a second job for another company that you are able to leave at work when you punch out is best for you. Or you may find that you like owning your own side hustle business and being in complete control of your time schedule and client list.
Do what’s most conducive to your interests and skills and you’ll have the best chance of making the most out of your side hustle ventures.
Most of all, don’t be afraid to try new and different ways to make the money you need to reach your goals. You might be surprised to learn what you are good at and all of the different ways you can make money with those skills.
Make Some Extra Cash by Taking Surveys
Taking surveys in your spare time can be a great way to earn some extra dough fast. Check out Survey Junkie which will pay you instantly with cash via Paypal. They have over 6,000,000 members and they have an 8.9/10 rating on Trust Pilot.