13 Best Places to Find ESL Online Teaching Jobs [2023 Update]
You’ve heard about the perks of teaching English as a second language (ESL) online—flexibility, the ability to work anywhere you want, the (relatively) low barrier to entry and (most importantly) the ability to make a difference in your students’ lives.
But what are the best places to find ESL online teaching jobs that pay well and give you the flexibility you need?
As someone who’s more than a little experienced in this area, I want to share specific teaching platforms you can check out—plus their average pay rates!
And if those aren’t enough, I’ve also put together job sites where you can find ESL teaching work.
- 8 Best Platforms for Online ESL Teaching Jobs
- 5 Job Sites for Finding ESL Teaching Work
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8 Best Platforms for Online ESL Teaching Jobs
Pay rate: $0.17 per minute ($10.20 per hour)
On Cambly, everything is automatically tracked. The platform is pretty flexible: you can log on whenever it suits you and start teaching almost immediately.
The conversations are free-form, and you can highlight on your profile your personal interests to attract like-minded students. If you love the idea of talking 1-on-1 with students from all over the world, this site is worth a try.
Pay rate: $18.30 per hour (average)
Unlike Cambly, Preply allows you to set your own rate. According to the company itself, you can rake in anywhere between $10 and $38.90 depending on your specialty. For example, if you’re an expert in business English, you can charge a higher-than-average rate.
Be aware, however, that Preply operates on a commission basis—i.e., they’re going to take a certain percentage off your hourly rate for every class you teach. The percentage depends on how many hours you’ve completed. That said, the more hours you teach, the lower the commission will be.
Pay rate: $8 to $13 per hour (can vary depending on where you are, what language you teach and your qualifications)
You don’t need a degree in English or its related subjects to get a job at Lingoda. However, you need at least a C2 level language proficiency (or its equivalent) in the language you want to teach.
You should also have at least two years of teaching experience (luckily, it doesn’t necessarily have to be teaching online!) and a certificate to teach your chosen language (TEFL, CELTA, etc.).
Pay rate: Minimum of $10 per lesson (professional teachers) or $5 per lesson (community teachers)
italki has two types of teachers—professional teachers and community teachers.
Professional teachers are required to have a certification or experience in the language they want to teach. On the other hand, community teachers are only required to be native speakers. (Some teaching or tutoring experience won’t hurt, though!)
Community teachers generally assist students with conversational studies and speaking. You can set your own rate, though you may want to follow the site’s recommended best practices for such. They take a commission from each of your classes in return for using their platform.
Pay rate: Between $15-$25 per hour (may vary depending on what language you teach)
Verbling requires all applicants to have previous teaching experience. You don’t need to be a native speaker of the language you want to teach, but you do need at least a C2 level proficiency (or its equivalent). Bonus points if you have a formal teaching certificate!
Verbling takes a 15% commission from your hourly rate. To quote their website, your earnings depend on your “rates, availability and the quality of your profile page.”
Pay rate: $8 per 25-minute session
The only real requirement to sign up for SkimaTalk is that you’re a native speaker of the language you want to teach. You should also be comfortable teaching students over Skype. If you have previous experience, it’s a plus but not required.
Other than that, you have full control over your schedule and where you want to work. According to their website, their top teachers earn over $1,000 per month.
Pay rate: $8 per hour minimum; maximum may vary
Cafetalk is another platform that allows you to set your own hours. Their requirements for tutors depend on the language you want to teach.
For example, as an English speaker, you’re required to have native or near-native proficiency in the language. If your proficiency isn’t near-native, you can make up for it by being fluent in Japanese.
To help you along with your Japanese fluency, you can immerse yourself in authentic materials through a program like FluentU. There, you can find videos with interactive subtitles you can use to look up the meaning of a word, how it’s used, tips on how to use it and other videos that use the word.
Pay rate: $6.5 to $13 per hour
Like most of the options listed so far, Learnlight offers plenty of flexibility in terms of the hours you can set and the lessons you can design.
A couple of their cool features are a library which you can pull lesson materials from and a progress tracker that helps your students stay on track with their learning goals.
However, their tutor requirements are pretty stringent. You need to have a foreign language teaching certificate, at least two years of teaching experience and proficiency in the language you want to teach.
5 Job Sites for Finding ESL Teaching Work
I remember back when I started out in the ESL game, I could barely find any job boards that specifically listed ESL jobs. Thankfully, times have changed and these boards usually have a healthy supply of work for you to pick from.
This is, in my opinion, the holy land of teaching jobs!
As I write this, the site has over 5,700 positions in 53 countries. That’s over 5,700 chances of landing a job that suits you and your preferences.
Depending on where you are, you can easily sort the jobs on this site by location. You can also check out the links to specific job opportunities as well as courses you can take to up your ESL teacher game.
10. Dave’s ESL Cafe
Every day, Dave’s ESL Cafe posts ESL/EFL job vacancies from around the world. If you’re currently based in China or South Korea, the site also has dedicated job boards for you.
Dave’s ESL Cafe doesn’t only have job boards, though. You can also post your resume on a forum where potential employers can find you. And if you have any thoughts to share about the jobs you come across on the site or teacher training, there are forums dedicated to those too!
The site is exactly what it says on the tin: a place to find ESL online teaching jobs from all over the globe.
Like TEFL.com, ESLJobs.com allows you to filter jobs based on location. If you’re a digital nomad, I suggest ticking only the “Online” box.
The quality of the jobs can be variable, though. If you’re required to pay whoever’s hiring you to hire you, you’ll want to steer clear of that job post and look somewhere else.
I’ll be the first to admit that Craigslist isn’t the most reputable site for jobs—or anything else, for that matter. That said, it may be worth going through it for ESL teaching jobs online.
Again, depending on your location, you can filter jobs accordingly. You can further whittle down your selection by typing “online ESL teaching job” (or something similar) in the search box of the specific Craigslist site you’re on (e.g., Tokyo, Seoul, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, etc.).
Since, as I’ve said, it’s not exactly a reputable site, it’s important to do your due diligence when searching and applying for jobs on there.
If you’ve been working online for a while now, you’re probably familiar with this site. Like Craigslist, the quality of jobs on this site varies from “wow, I can’t believe I didn’t find this employer before” to “in hindsight, I really shouldn’t have sent them my application in the first place.”
Still, I wouldn’t recommend this one to you without reason. I was able to find a couple of decent online ESL teaching jobs here—after wading through the online equivalent of a ton of muck. Just make sure you read the ads carefully for any potential red flags and you should be good.
Assuming your cover letter and resume are already done, and you give yourself half an hour, you could easily apply to at least five of the above.
You never know: if you’re qualified enough you could very realistically bag a job teaching online!