By Lynda Galea
Dreaming of that work-from-home life where pants are optional? Perhaps becoming a digital nomad while you bounce from country to country and work when it suits you is more your style? Whatever it may be, teaching English online is making this possible for thousands of people around the world - and it's here to stay! But before you embrace a pants-less work environment, make sure you have the basic qualifications to teach English online covered!
1. TEFL Certification
Being a native or fluent English speaker is a key part of teaching English online, but that alone does not qualify just anyone to take charge of a student’s future with the English language. Online language schools typically require their English teachers to hold a legitimate (accredited) TEFL certificate so that they know what training and skills a prospective English teacher possess.
If you don't have an accredited TEFL certification, then this is your first step. International TEFL Academy offers an Online TEFL class, hybrid, and In-Person classes in 25 locations globally. Learn more about ITA's TEFL classes and get your free brochure here.
2. 4-year College Degree
While this is not always a mandatory requirement, you will find that a majority of the reputable teach English online employers require that all their teachers hold a BA.
Demand for English language education among online students remains high, and a native English speaker is the ideal educator for this language education. It is extremely common for online language schools to prioritize a 4-year degree in additional to a TEFL certification when seeking English teachers, even if your degree is unrelated to education! Your 4-year degree can be in any field or subject matter - Marketing, Arts, Computer Science, Civil Law... you name it, it'll work - so long as it is a 4-year BA.
3. Device Requirements
This may seem obvious enough, but the following items are required to teach English online:
Device: Desktop computer or a laptop. A small number of online schools work via an app-based platform in which your cell phone or an iPad may be used. Make sure the teaching platform your online employer uses is both Windows and MAC compatible. Hujiang for example, is only compatible with a Windows operating system.
Camera: A HD external camera or a HD integrated camera (most laptops these days come with in-built cameras).
Headset: Use a headset with a microphone for clearer communication and to help omit background noise.
4. Internet Requirements
It should go without saying that you will need a fast Internet connection to teach English online. Most online employers require a wired connection (instead of WiFi) and a majority of them even have upload and download speeds you will need to adhere too. During the interview process, you will likely be asked to you conduct a speed test so they can confirm that your Internet speed will satisfy their requirements and not drop out mid-class. Not sure how to check your Internet speed? You can do it here.
Here are just a few Internet speed requirements requested by online schools:
VIPKid: Wired DSL Internet Connection - at least 20 Mbps
DaDa: Upload speed at least 2Mbps & download speed at least 10Mbps
Magic Ears: Min. requirement for both download and upload speed is 10Mbps
Hujiang: Internet speed over 10Mbps
5. Next Steps
Great – you have the basic requirements to teach English online covered. Now head on over and check out our guide on how to make money and travel the world through teaching English online.
Want to Learn More about Teaching English Online?
If you are excited about teaching English from either the comfort of your own home or anywhere in the world, contact us about TEFL certification options and get ready for a great adventure!
- Teach English Online: Your Guide on How to Make Money & Travel the World [Downloadable]
- Teach English Online Employer Comparison Chart [Downloadable]
- Teach English Online: Employer Index [Downloadable]
- Teach English Online: How to Create a Killer Resume
- Teach English Online: How to Create a Killer Cover Letter
- 6 Essential Supplies & Classroom Props for Teaching English Online
- 9 Tips for Staying Healthy While Teaching English Online
- ITA Alumni Online English Teaching Facebook Group
About the Author: An accomplished traveler (she's visited 36 countries!) and blogger, Lynda Galea hails from Melbourne, Australia. When she's not working with the ITA team spreading the word about teaching and traveling abroad, Lynda enjoys taking in a new film, eating dumplings, and of course, snuggling with her beloved kitty, Sooty.