Do I need a TESOL to teach English online?

Do I need a TESOL to teach English online?

If you want to get into the lucrative market for teaching English online, but don’t have a TEFL or TESOL qualification, then this is for you.

Of course, as a TESOL course provider, we are always going to recommend you do some training. However, when it comes to the  growing online English teaching market, while most employers expect a TESOL qualification, many others don’t. So if you don’t have a TEFL/TESOL, or are part way through a course but haven’t completed, read on…

Where do I start?

Firstly, you’ll need to make the most of any qualifications or experience you have. So put together a clear, coherent CV. We show you how here.  Ensure relevant qualifications and skills are highlighted. If you are a native English speaker, even better, you are half way there. A degree in any subject is also highly valued.

If you have started a course, say so. Some companies will take you on the strength of having commenced a formal TESOL, but may want you to complete within a certain time. At Global English TESOL we support our trainees with a course confirmation letter on headed paper if needed. This can really help.

Where are the jobs?

Firstly, I’d recommend heading over to the Goodairlanguage 'hiring now' list. Please note, we can't vouch for the integrity of all the companies on it but it is a great place to start and you’ll also find a summary of the main companies. 

Note that recruitment needs change quickly so this list is regular updated. Come back weekly and refresh the page.

Secondly, in terms of companies we know, Palfish free talk option could be a good start. (Their Kids programme requires TESOL certification.) One of our trainees has written about working for Palfish.

For teaching more independently and perhaps to adults, you may want to try the more conversation-based Cambly - thirty minute conversation chats from your mobile via their app. Or, why not set yourself up as an independent tutor on italki or verbling? For these you’ll need to be prepared to offer some free trial lessons to find new students. Again, we can help. Look at this great video of how to conduct an online trial English lesson to adults.

Will a TESOL course give me more job options?

Quite simply, yes. A good 120 hour industry standard TESOL will give you vital teaching skills and confidence, lead to more online teaching job options and potentially better pay.  

Our TESOL course graduates are teaching with some of the biggest names in the industry, thanks to their Global English TESOL qualification.

The market is huge but recruitment criteria is tightening up. Teaching online English to Chinese kids is by far the biggest market in the online teaching world. Typical pay for such companies ranges from $16 - 30 USD p/h. But, if you want to get hired by one of these large and well-paying organisations, a degree and a 120 hour TESOL are now such companies' minimum requirements.

OK, where can I get a recommended TESOL course for teaching English online?

Right here on the TESOL Premier course 120 hours - it includes sections training you to teach English online, which most other 120 hour courses ignore.

So, can you teach online without a TESOL?

Yes, but for better skills, confidence, job prospects and pay, a small investment in a quality, accredited TESOL course can yield the best results. Why not start learning and earning today?  


  • Author: William Bradridge
  • Date: 11/09/2020

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Do I need a TESOL to teach English online?