Over the last few years, more people have been embracing the nomadic lifestyle, leading to more travelers taking online-based jobs. One of the most lucrative options is teaching languages online, with English being the most popular language. But some of you might wonder, doesn’t one need a bachelor’s degree to apply? Here’s the short answer: you don’t.
Yes, there are companies that let you teach English online without a degree! Some don’t even require teaching experience. If you are a native or fluent English speaker and you want a flexible schedule and the freedom to work anywhere, this is definitely the job for you.
What do you need to teach English online without a degree?
You can teach English online without a degree. A caveat though; there are still requirements.
- You must be a native English speaker. Folks from the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Ireland have an advantage to become an online English tutor. Some websites allow non-native English speakers to teach, provided they can prove fluency and they have teaching certifications.
- You’re ESL- or TEFL-certified. A bachelor’s degree may not be necessary for companies that teach English online but most do require ESL (English as a second language), TESL, TEFL, or TESOL certifications. These certificates prove that you have the skills to teach English as a second or foreign language.
- You love teaching. Some websites will allow you to teach English online with no experience but your passion for teaching has to show through. Plus, you’ll have much more fun with this job if you enjoy teaching.
- You have the equipment for teaching online. A good working laptop is ideal, although a smartphone or a tablet would also suffice. Even more important is a reliable internet connection and a good microphone.
Do you need an ESL or TEFL certification to teach English online without a degree?
It’s possible to teach English without a bachelor’s degree but you’ll want to at least have an ESL or TEFL certification, especially if you plan to teach Chinese students English online. China has passed a law that requires all online English teachers to have a TEFL certification or a traditional teaching license.
Not all companies require a certification but you’d certainly have a leg up on the competition if you’re certified.
There are a few types of ESL certifications:
- TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) – This certification is for teachers who want to teach English abroad or online to foreign students.
- TESL (Teach English as a Second Language) – This is used by those who are teaching English in their own country to someone who needs to learn English as their second language.
- TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) – This is for those who want to teach English either abroad as a foreign language, or in a country that speaks English as its native language.
- CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) – This is the more expensive version of TESOL, and is a program sponsored by Cambridge University.
These certifications have somewhat different meanings and scope but they are all widely accepted and used interchangeably. However, most teachers recommend getting TEFL and TESOL courses.
If you’re a native English speaker, you’re probably wondering why you still need a certification. Well, speaking a language is very different from teaching a language. In ESL courses, you’ll learn best teaching practices which is important if you have no prior teaching experience.
How do you get certified? A quick Google search will lead you to various ESL online courses. Just make sure to sign up for an accredited course and get at least 120 hours of learning (the minimum requirement in most companies).
With that out of the way, here are the 13 websites that lets you teach English online without a degree.
Websites that allow you to teach English online without a degree
PalFish is an online English platform where native speakers can teach Chinese kids and adults. What sets PalFish apart is that all lessons and the entire teacher application process is done through its smartphone app.
The company currently offers two programs: PalFish Teacher (free talk for all ages) and PalFish Official Course Instructor (for kids). Both programs require native speakers and teaching certificates like TESOL and TEFL.
Pay: You can set your own rates under the PalFish Teacher program, while you can earn up to $22 per hour plus bonuses under the Official Course program.
Hours: No minimum hours for PalFish Teachers. The PalFish Official Course Instructors program requires a minimum of 10 hours per week.
How to apply: Download the PalFish app. Be ready to provide your phone number, a teacher bio, certification information, and an audio recording of your self-introduction. You’ll also need a Payoneer account where you’ll receive your salary. Verification of your application will take 2-3 days.
If you want to teach English online without TEFL or TESOL certifications, Cambly is one of the best choices. This website requires no teaching certificate, no bachelor’s degree, and no prior teaching experience. How cool is that?!
The downside is that the pay isn’t as high as others on this list. But Cambly only requires its teachers to be native (or near-native) speakers and have good teaching device and fast internet connection so it’s great for entry-level English tutors. Lessons tend to be free-flowing and are more conversational than structured.
Pay: $0.17/min ($10.20/hour) on Cambly and $0.20/min ($12.00/hour) on Cambly Kids. You can cash out via PayPal.
Hours: No minimum hours required
How to apply: Create an account here. Cambly will assess your teaching gear and internet connection. Prepare to write a short bio and record a fun introductory video that highlights your English skills.
Italki is a global platform that offers over 130 languages, with English being the popular one.
There are two types of teaching profiles – professional teacher or community tutor. The Community Tutor program is ideal for aspiring teachers with no degree, certification, or prior teaching experience. A certification and prior experience are required for professional teachers.
For both programs, teachers need to be native English speakers or at least have advanced (C2) proficiency.
Pay: Teachers set their own rates, from a minimum of $4 per lesson. Community tutors typically make about $9-$13/hour while professional teachers make $15-$19/hour. Italki takes 15% commission from all class fees.
Hours: You can make your own teaching schedule but classes are usually 30, 45, 60 or 90 minutes long.
How to apply: Sign up here. Make sure that there are still available spots for English teachers. Prepare a 1-3 minute video introduction that showcases your English skills, teaching style, and personality. Show your teaching certificate if you’re applying to be a professional teacher.
If you wish to teach English online from home, AmazingTalker is another platform to consider. This website boasts 80 languages, including English, and over 500,000 language learners.
Native speakers don’t need a degree or certificate but English teaching experience is a must. Teachers also prepare their own teaching materials to customize it for their students’ learning goals.
Pay: You can set your own rates. Most English teachers charge $15–28 per 50 minute private lesson, and $6–10 per 25 minute trial lesson. AmazingTalker takes a commission fee of 0-15% to cover the costs of running their online platform.
Hours: No minimum hours required
How to apply: Fill up the application form here. You will be asked to record a trial lesson and undergo training if hired.
Specializing in group sessions of 3-5 students, Lingoda is also a great website for those who want to teach English online without a degree. But it does require native fluency, a TEFL certification, and at least 2-3 years of teaching experience.
Pay: $8-$13/hour, set by Lingoda
Hours: Minimum of 5 hours per week. Classes can be booked months or hours in advance.
How to apply: Apply here. Fill out the form, submit your certification and indicate your teaching experience. You will undergo an interview and if you pass, you will have to take an online onboarding process.
Preply gets over 100,000 active language learners annually so you will have no trouble finding students if you wish to teach English online without a degree.
You only need to be a native or fluent English speaker and equipped with a reliable internet connection, quality camera, and a microphone. Teaching experience or certificates are recommended but not required.
Pay: You can set your hourly rates. Popular tutors can earn up to $550 per week.
However, Preply charges hefty commission fees. It takes a 100% commission fee for your first lesson payment with every new student. For all subsequent lessons, the commission varies from 18% to 33%. So as a teacher, you can make money by booking repeat students.
Hours: You can set your hours. No minimum required.
How to apply: With either an email address or a Facebook account, you can sign up here. Create your profile, add an engaging video introduction and your availability schedule. Due to the high volume of tutor applications, only accepted teachers hear back from Preply.
Founded in Japan, SkimaTalk helps English learners find the best teachers from all over the world and start learning through one-on-one English classes. If you’re a native English speaker, you can teach English online without a degree or TEFL certification. The caveat? You have to conduct three classes for free to ensure that you’re a good fit for the site.
Pay: You can set your own rates. New tutors charge between $7–10 per class, while more experienced and certified tutors usually charge around $10–15 per class. Tutors receive monthly payments via PayPal.
Hours: No minimum hours required. Classes are 25 minutes each, and you must submit feedback for your student within 24 hours of the class.
How to apply: Sign up here. Set up your profile, create a good introductory video, and take a few simple tests.
Self-motivated and energetic aspiring tutors can also teach English online without a degree via the mobile app Rype. Language learners on this site can purchase a subscription package with a number of 30-minute long lessons, paid via PayPal each month.
A bachelor’s degree is not required, nor is a TEFL certification necessary. However, applicants must have previous experience teaching students, fast internet connection, and high quality audio and video webcam.
Hours: 10 hours a week minimum availability
How to apply: Sign up here. Share your basic information and teaching experience. A Rype expert will assess your experience, skill set, and teaching style to see if you’re a good fit for the platform.
OKPanda is an app-based language platform that offers 25-minute lessons with expert (not necessarily native speakers) teachers. Most students learn English to travel, to study for TOEIC, or for an exam. Majority are from Japan and Korea.
Most lessons are done via video but lessons via audio or chat may also be provided. Teachers also have to provide brief feedback after completing lessons. This is a good choice for those who want to teach English online without a degree but a TEFL certification will give you an advantage.
Pay: You can charge $1.50 to $5 USD per lesson (up to $10 USD / 50 minutes) depending primarily on accent, experience, foreign language skills, and teaching qualifications.
Hours: Minimum of two (2) hours per day, 4 days per week
How to apply: Sign up and take your assessment here. You also need to give a video introduction.
10. Open English
If you’re a native North American English speaker with a TEFL/TESOL certificate, you can teach English online without a degree via Open English. This website is the most renowned online English school in Latin America and it offers live classes 24/7, perfect for tutors who want to pick night teaching shifts.
One year of teaching experience is a must if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree. You also get an advantage if you can speak Spanish and/or Portuguese.
Pay: Between $10 to $15 per hour, paid via PayPal
Hours: Minimum of 10 hours each week, including 5 peak time hours
How to apply: Send your resume here. You have to record a voice sample. A speed test for your internet connection and a grammar quiz will also be conducted.
This Polish-based platform lets you teach English online without a degree. Although open to students around the world, you will be mostly doing one-one lessons with Polish business professionals, children, and adults.
Both native and non-native speakers may apply, as long as they have minimum of 6 months English teaching experience, teaching certificates, and at least 5mbps internet speed.
Pay: $5-$11 per hour
Hours: No schedules. Lessons aren’t pre-booked, so you can just log-in at your convenience and teach on-demand.
How to apply: Fill out the form, submit the required documents, and introduce yourself in a short video. Don’t forget to test the speed of your internet connection before submission.
Another website that lets you teach English online without a degree is Cafétalk. The name itself gives the impression of a fun platform. Lessons are not limited to language; students can get lessons on music, yoga, art, and even fortune telling.
Language tutors can create their own lessons which are then taught via Skype. The site also has a lot of promotional tools to help you get the audience you need. There’s also free tutor counseling available.
No degree or TEFL is needed. You must be a native English speaker but tutors who also speak Japanese, Korean or Chinese and/or have lived in an East Asian country are especially welcome.
Pay: You can set your own rates. Tutor fees start off at 60% of the lesson price and increase depending on lesson sales with the highest possible fee percentage at 85%. Payment is sent every month through Payoneer, Paypal, or directly to your bank account.
Hours: You’re free to set your own hours and lesson duration.
How to apply: Sign up here. Fill out your profile and take a simple interview. It may take 7-14 days for Cafétalk to get back to you, or even longer if there are plenty of applicants before you.
Last, but definitely not the least, you can opt for Verbling if you wish to teach English online without a degree. It is one of the most popular language learning websites and boasts a huge international community.
Based in Sweden, Verbling requires English teachers to be native speakers or at least have C2 fluency level. No degree or certification is needed but a relevant teaching experience is required.
Pay: Teachers set their own rates. You can cash out anytime through PayPal, TransferWise, Payoneer, or Verbling Credit.
Hours: No minimum hours
How to apply: Create an account here. Fill up the form and submit a video introduction. You will receive an email from Verbling within the next two weeks whether you are accepted or not.
There you have it! With teaching experience, certifications, and a burning passion for teaching you can start teaching English online without a degree. A great way to earn while doing what you love from anywhere in the world, if you ask us.
Hop on to our next article if you want to teach languages online apart from English. And if you have experience teaching on any of these platforms, do share your thoughts by dropping a comment.