One of the most rewarding online professions is teaching English to students in China, as well as everywhere else around the world. While becoming an ESL/TEFL teacher may seem complicated, the process itself is pretty straightforward.

It is a fact that the demand for online English teachers is growing and that you do have an advantage as a native speaker. China does come off as the most demanding market, given that the population of this country counts 1.5 billion people.

In this article, we will discuss what an ESL/TEFL certification is, the benefits of becoming an online English teacher, and how to apply. Let’s get right to it!


How to Become an Online English Teacher with ESL/TEFL Certification

What is ESL/TEFL? 

These two terms do stand as acronyms – while ESL does point out to “English as a second language”, TEFL is an acronym for “Teaching English as a foreign language”. The third relatable term is TESOL, which is much similar and points to “Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages”. 

In most cases, whether you want to become an online or a school teacher, you will need this type of certification. What is so great is that you don’t have to possess any prior education or teaching experience to get a job as long as you do have this certificate. How to acquire it?

In order to be awarded an ESL/TEFL certification, there is a couple of requirements that you will need to meet. Firstly, it is going through at least 100 hours of coursework, as well as anywhere from 6 to 20 hours of practicum. 


Additionally, you will need to have an accredited curriculum and instructions provided by an ESL/TEFL instructor. 

Keep in mind that although you will want to invest extra time in finding a relevant TEFL course online, and acquiring a certificate this way will qualify you to become an online English teacher!

Benefits of Online English Teaching

There are several advantages to opting for online English teaching, compared to teaching in schools to native speakers. First and foremost, is that the earning potential is quite great. 

Thus, if you are using VIPKD (which has more than 200,000 online learners), you can earn above $800 if you teach just 2 hours a day, as well as more than $2000, for all of you that invest 3-5 hours on a daily basis. 


These numbers are for 30 days of continuous classes that you can do from the comfort of your home or wherever you are currently. Thus, it is great to know that not only will online English teaching yield you a nice income, but flexibility is a huge advantage as well. 

One of the coolest points about this experience is that you help non-native speakers with fluency and perfecting their English, and you will also get an opportunity to meet other cultures and maybe even learn the basics of their language (Mandarin, etc.).

Getting Started as an Online English Teacher

As we have mentioned above, there is nothing much complicated about becoming an online English teacher as long as you have an ESL/TEFL. What this means is that getting a course done for this certificate is the first step in the process. 

Along with that, you will want to ensure a steady internet connection, as well as a computer setup that you can rely on. This is because, in most cases, the software and the students are thousands of miles away, and, therefore, are quite tech-demanding.

While you can always search for attractive job posts right from the start, another good tip is to make your first job with an established company. 

Yes, the earning may be somewhat lower, but you will still get the much-needed online English teaching experience that will propel you to better pay in a couple of months (at the same or another company).

Most Important Tip for Online English Teachers

Something that most ESL/TEFL online English teachers overlook is the importance of marketing. 

Thus, when you start applying for classes independent from a company, you will want to highlight all the important info, including what certificate you hold, whether you have graduated, your previous teaching experience, as well as if you are a native English speaker.

Keep in mind that native speakers have a huge advantage and are much likely to get great pay. However, this doesn’t mean that a TEFL non-native can’t enjoy all the perks of online teaching as long as you highlight other traits that you have and present quality in practice

How to Become an Online English Teacher with ESL/TEFL Certification


There is no doubt that teaching online is not only profitable but also exciting and fun. We sincerely hope that our article has helped you understand the basics of this profession and the points that you will want to focus on the most. Good luck!