Make Money Teaching Online from Home with these 10 Companies

By Editorial Staff •  Updated: 02/20/21 •  Teach Online

You have a lot of different options when it comes to teaching English online from home as a way to earn a side income. Yes, there are a lot pros and cons to teaching online, but once you get yourself established, it’s a great work from home side income.

The two main paths you can follow with online teaching are to work for an online teaching company (like VIPKID) or to go the freelance route (like Fiverr).

The advantages of working with an online teaching company are that it’s easy and has a built in community of fellow teachers and students. There are numerous Facebook groups you can join and each platform typically has some type of built in forum. For example, VIPKID teachers have the “Hutong” to post questions and ask for advice.

How to Get Started

To get started with an online teaching platform you simply go through the hiring process for your online teaching company of choice and then once hired the platform provides the students, teaching material and payment. All you have to do is show up and teach.

This is easier than going the freelance route because you have less working parts to handle yourself. However, the pay is also less too. If you decided to go the freelance route you can earn a much higher hourly rate but you need to create your own materials, source your own students through your own marketing, figure out how to actually conduct class (most use Zoom) and so forth.

Requirements to teach online

So what exactly are the requirements to teach online? If you’re going with an online teaching company based in China you’ll need a degree from an accredited university. This is because in the ESL world a degree is legal requirement to get a work permit regardless if it’s online or not.

You’ll also need to be a native speaker as non-natives want to learn with native speakers. There are opportunities to teach English as a non-native but the pay is quite low. For freelance, you don’t need a degree but you will have to demonstrate some type of qualifications to have any success.

Last are the technical requirements to teach online. Here at Teach and GO we have a dedicated guide to the most essential online teacher tools including headphones, laptops, props, microphones, webcams and so forth.

10 Excellent Companies that let you teach English online from home

With that out of the way, here is our constantly updated list as to the best companies and platforms to be aware of in the online teaching space. This content is updated monthly so make sure to bookmark it and share it with anyone who would find it helpful.

VIPKID – The industry leader

VIPKID is currently the industry leader in the online teaching space and the most reliable and stable company to work with. With students from northern China and roughly 50,000 online teachers based in America, Canada and abroad – if you’re looking for a good paying online position you need look no further than VIPKID.



VIPKID is a process to get hired as they pay well and have high standards. It also takes a month or so to start getting steady bookings. Once accepted and established, it’s simply a matter of opening classes and teaching.

UPDATE: Online teaching has been banned in china and VIPKID is going to be changing their business model. You can still apply, but the format and students are not set yet.


Teach online with the #1, most highly rated online teaching platform.

*See our dedicated review of VIPKID for more.

Outschool – The creative online teacher option

Outschool is a unique marketplace option for the online teaching space, instead of being restricted to teaching English to young learners like most platforms you can teach whatever class you want on Outschool: Art, history, science and more.

Outschool is designed to be a marketplace of interesting courses for students across the world aged 5 to 18. You don’t need a degree to be a teacher as it’s a US based company (and you’re considered an independent contractor, not a teacher), but you do need to demonstrate subject mater expertise when applying.

Once accepted, you simply create your class, price it and wait for students to enroll. If you have a deep interest or knowledge on some specific field of interest, consider making a class on Outschool.




The afterschool marketplace. Teach what you know and love.

*For more, see our Outschool review.

Fiverr – The freelance option.

Fiverr is a professional services website and is a surprisingly good option for teaching any language you’re a native speaker of on. What’s great about Fiverr as well is that they are a simply freelance market place.

That means anyone can sign-up and create a gig. Unlike Outschool where there is a vetting and application process, Fiverr is a true freelance option and the success of your “gig” will be based on the value deliver.

On top of that they only take 20% instead of 30% as a commission and you can teach any sort of student, not only young learners. The downside is that they are a broad professional service website and not as niche as Outschool.




The professional service marketplace.

*Learn more about teaching on Fiverr.

QKids – A fun online teaching company

Qkids is big platform that has over 100,000 Chinese learners aged between 5 and 12 years old. Class is about 33 minutes long in all with a scheduled 10 minute break in between back to back classes. Which makes it impossible to teach 2 classes in 1 hour.

However, the company books you instead of the parents booking you. If you’re looking for an excellent alternative to VIPKID check out Qkids.




Start teaching online with this excellent company.

*Learn more about QKids.

Magic Ears – An innovative platform

Magic Ears operates a little different than other online teaching companies. Teachers once hired are assigned various ranks that dictate pay as well as booking rates. As teachers get promoted in rank they earn more and are able to get more hours with ease if they choose too.

If you’re looking for something that you could do full time, Magic Ears may not be the right choice. But if you’re looking for something part time, Magic Ears is an excellent option.



UPDATE: Magic Ears is still online, but they are functionally out of business due to the online teaching ban from China. They are still hiring at the moment to help fulfill packages parents already bought for their students.

Magic Ears

Start your online teaching journey today.

*Learn more with our Magic Ears review.

Palfish – Phone app for all nationalities

Palfish is a phone app that offers two programs to language learners. The first option is called “free talk” and you simply have conversations with adults or young learners. You get paid per minute to have conversations.

The second option is a higher paying dedicated kids program that native English speakers can apply to. While Palfish is open to all nationalities, the kids program is restricted to native English speakers.

If you’ve been looking for an easy to use alternative app to teach on your phone or tablet, Palfish is a great part time choice.



UPDATE: Palfish is still in business, however they have drastically reduced pay for their teachers due to the online teaching ban in China.


Teach English online with your phone or tablet today.

iTalki – The professional language marketplace

What makes italki unique is that they are not an online teaching company like the other on the list. Instead, they are a marketplace for language learners of all languages.

With italki you can find teachers for any language, not only English. The advantage of italki is that you have a bit more control over your hours and pay than working with an online teaching company, but the converse of this is that you don’t have the same schedule week to week and you have to make all the teaching material yourself.

You can charge however a much higher rate for your time. But again, while you can charge a high hourly rate, it depends on if students are willing to pay.




An online teacher marketplace for languages.

Preply – A fast growing language marketplace

Preply is the main competitor to iTalki. It’s a marketplace for language learning and is great choice for any teacher to teach their native language. If you wish to teach English, you must be a native speaker.

Classes are 1 on 1 and conduced through Preply’s own internal platform. This makes scheduling and teaching classes much more easy for the teacher.

Last, you primarily teach adult students so if you’re looking for an alternative away from young learners, this is it.




An easy to use marketplace to teach class and find students.

Skooli – The professional tutoring platform

Skooli is tutoring platform for licensed, professional teachers. They are ideal for any current or retired teacher looking to make a either a part time or perhaps even a full time income from home.

The requirements to become a tutor ok Skooli are quite high. You will be required to have a bachelors degree at a minimum in education, English or related field to what you wish to teach.

Lessons are 1 one 1 and conducted through Skooli’s own internal platform. The starting pay for new tutors is around $25 an hour.




The professional tutors choice.

Cambly – On demand conversations

Cambly is a platform that connects language learners with native speakers for conversations. You’re strictly having conversations with adults instead of teaching pre-made lessons to children. As such, this casual nature is excellent for language learners to have situational advice on topics like punctuation, grammar as well as slang.

No degree or teaching certificate is required as you’re not considered a teacher. The only requirements are that you’re a native English speaker and you have a access to the internet and are using a laptop with a webcam and a pair of headsets.




Casual conversations to help improve non-natives with their speaking and listening abilities.

*Learn more with our Cambly vs Palfish comparison.

Get started teaching online conclusion

So that’s it for our guide on your best options for teaching English online. You can go the freelance route which requires more up-front work but higher pay or you can sign up to an online teaching company.

In general, our favorite on the list is VIPKID. They are the right mix of easy to teach, materials provided for you, reliable bookings and decent pay.

Editorial Staff

I'm David Unwin and I head the editorial staff here at Teach and GO. I've taught as an ESL teacher in Thailand for 5+ years at all levels of education, from elementary to University. I was also one of the first 1000 VIPKID teachers. I and my team now share my extensive experience as a teacher here at Teach and GO. Learn more.