How to Teach English Online without a Degree (And Get Paid Well for It!)

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Who doesn’t want to be free from the perils of a day job, sitting behind a desk and daydreaming about being your boss, maybe even while traveling the world? The advent of the online education industry has opened multiple avenues just to this effect.

English is, undoubtedly, the most prominent language used in official communications and the demand for English speakers and communicators is ever increasing. Thus, the demand for people who can actually teach English to the non-English speakers is booming as well.

If you have are a fluent English communicator and have a passion to teach while also getting paid for it, of course, then teaching the language online is just the right thing for you. There are numerous web portals that offer projects to teach English online and pay the teacher on an hourly basis. You don’t even need a bachelor’s degree to be able to start your classes.

This is a splendid income source for students, housewives and other people who want to have a side hustle or even a full-time working job as an online teacher while traveling around the world. You get to interact with people from all over and build your way towards a successful online venture.

If that doesn’t sound awesome, what does, really?

Without much further ado, let’s check out how you can earn by teaching English online without possessing an official college degree.

Teaching English Online

Teaching English online basically means teaching the language to the non-native English speakers via the internet, either through video chats or normal text chats. Some websites also offer you to design your own course and bid for your time.

You can set your own schedule according to the hours you can devote to the job and teach as many students as you want. They can be taught in a group or even one-on-one, whichever the most convenient for you.

Here’s what you need to get started if you want to teach English online:

  • A laptop or a desktop, or even a smartphone will do in certain cases.
  • A fast and reliable internet connection.
  • You should preferably be a native English speaker but it’s not a strict requirement and can be conceded in case of great communication skills in the language.
  • Be 18 years of age (for most platforms).
  • Good presentation and interpersonal skills to be able to teach kids of all ages.
  • A genuine love for teaching or just be good at it, even if you don’t love it!

Teaching English without a Degree

While there are several portals that ask you for a bachelor’s degree or an ESL certificate. Being TEFL certified can really boost your profile and make it easier for you to find a job as an English tutor.

However, there are multiple portals that require no degree and no certification as long as your profile stands out. Let’s take a look at some of these websites where you can register as an English language tutor without having a degree.

Magic Ears

Based in Beijing, Magic Ears is an online portal that recruits native English speakers from the U.S and Europe to teach English to kids between 5 to 12 years of age in China.

The online portal offers a creative and fun environment for students to learn the language efficiently and also provides its teachers with plenty of growth opportunities. The teachers on Magic Ears and go on to become interviewers, social media managers and trainers, among other roles.

Here’s how what you need to become a tutor on Magic Ears:

  • You either need to have an ESL certification and be a native English speaker with more than 8 months of teaching history or possess a bachelor’s degree with 2 years of experience.
  • However, since we are focusing on teaching without a degree, Magic Ears allows you to register on its portal even if you do not have any certification or degree or a teaching experience.
  • You need to make a video introducing yourself and pitch yourself for the job while showcasing your teaching skills.

Application Process

  • Fill out and submit the online application form.
  • Record your demo video and submit.
  • 2 phases of training and workshop.
  • Take your first trial class.
  • Pass the background verification process.
  • Start teaching!

Payment terms

Magic Ears pays on a per class basis. The basic pay is between $9-$11, depending upon your credentials. There are several incentives offered depending upon your teaching style and performance.

For a 30 minutes session, you can earn between $9-$13 and for a 60 minutes session, you can earn between $18-$26, which is substantially high after taking into consideration what some other portals pay.

The payment is made via bank transfer or via Paypal on the 10th of every month.


Cambly is a popular platform for English tutors who want to earn while teaching English online without any degree or certificate.

There are absolutely no pre-requisites except for the fact that you need to be awesome at communicating in English and teaching the same. You don’t even need to be a native English speaker, which is a rare allowance in the online English teaching world.

Cambly does not ask for any prior experience for becoming a teacher on its platform. It offers classes via its mobile application where you can teach students through text chatting, which is very convenient.

The teachers can set their own hours and work according to their schedule on the go. It is a global app, so as a teacher you get to interact with students from all over the world, be it Russia, Middle-east, China, Brazil, etc.

How to Register

Cambly asks for your date of birth and the source where you found about Cambly on signing up. Post signing up, there is a connection test to check the reliability and performance of your internet connection.

Once your system clears the connection test, the next screen asks you to record a short video about yourself, introducing yourself to their team and telling them about your interests, experience and anything else you want to include. You can record the video as many times as you want before hitting submit.

Once you submit the video, you’ll hear from Cambly if you are selected.

Payment Terms

Cambly pays $0.17 per minute, which means for a session of one hour, you get paid $10.20. You can log in and teach at any time of the day even for a few minutes through text messaging.

The payment is done through PayPal, so it’s necessary to have a PayPal account.


Italki is a China-based online platform that offers an opportunity to native and non-native English speakers to teach the language online.

Italki is more like an online marketplace for language freelancers wherein you teach a host of languages, including French, Arabic, Mandarin and Russian, among a lot of others. The interested tutors do not need any certificate or official college degree to become a language teacher on Italki.

The popularity of the platform can be gauged by the fact that it has over 5,000 registered language tutors and over 3 million students.

As an English teacher on Italki, you can set your own rate and your own working hours. The students then select the class timings according to the schedule posted by you, thereby making it extremely convenient for you as a teacher.

Getting Started

To get started, you need to register on the platform and design your own curriculum. Since it’s a marketplace, it does not come with a standard course and you have the flexibility to create your own course.

Post that, you enter your hourly rate and then simply wait for students to contact you to teach them. The payment is taken care of online by Italki and you don’t need to approach the client for the same, unlike other freelance marketplaces.

Italki also offers a database of resources you can use to enhance your profile and drive more students to your teaching course. On an average, you can earn about $15 for half an hour by teaching English online at Italki.

Verbal Planet

Verbal Planet is also an online marketplace for language tutors, similar in concept to Italki. The platform allows you to teach English and many other languages even without holding a degree or a language certificate. You can find over 30 languages listed on the platform which you can teach.

There is no contract that the platform asks you to sign. You are your boss which means you set your own schedule and your own rates. Therefore, it is quintessentially a freelancing platform.

However, Verbal Planet is selective when it comes to approving the teacher’s profile. In order to register with the platform, you need to create your teaching profile which needs to be first approved by their team.

Post approval, you can begin to sell your time and skill for a fee that is set by you. On average, if you are just starting and have no particular experience or certification for teaching English, you can start with a $15 rate for a 45 minutes session. Once your profile gains more views and students as customers, you can increase your rates. Therefore, there are no fixed rates and you can change them as per your experience.

The teaching method is via Skype, therefore you need to ensure that you have a stable and reliable internet connection with a good camera.

The payment is done via PayPal and is directly transferred by the customer, i.e your students. Since the students are spread across the globe, you also get the opportunity to interact with a plethora of cultures.

Same Speak

Same Speak is one of the easiest platforms available online to earn money by teaching English. It does not require any certification or degree to accept you as an English teacher.

However, you need to fulfill the following conditions to register on Same Speak:

  • Be a minimum of 16 years of age.
  • Be a native English speaker, i.e, English should be your first language.

The platform does not require you to possess any prior English teaching experience as long as you fulfill the above two conditions. The entire course material is provided by the platform itself and you don’t need to prepare anything on your own.

Unlike other language teaching portals, this platform only focuses on English and calls teachers as ‘personal conversation coaches’ that teach non-native English speakers in a real-time environment. It follows the communicative language teaching approach which involves engaging the students in practical conversations and activities that enhance their natural spoken English.

The sessions are conducted through Skype video calling. Therefore, you need to have a fast internet connection and a computer or a laptop with a good camera. For every half-hour session you take, you get paid $10, which is a good deal considering it does not require any previous experience or certification.

Same Speak takes the onus of connecting you with the students so you only have to focus on coaching them. Once you have registered and have been verified, you’ll receive access to all coaching material. They also provide you with the audio of a sample lesson to ease into the teaching role.

The payment is done via PayPal, so it’s essential to have a PayPal account prior to registering. The earnings are released every Friday.


Tutlo is another easy way of earning quick cash while teaching English online. To be registered on Tutlo as an English teacher you need to be a native English speaker, a native of the U.S, U.K, Canada or Australia.

Tutlo is based in Ireland but has students all over the world, so you will be interacting with students from multiple countries. You don’t need to have a college bachelor’s degree or a TEFL certification to become a teacher on Tutlo.

Here’s what you need to be in order to become an online English teacher on Tutlo:

  • A native English speaker.
  • Above 18 years of age.
  • Some amount of teaching experience (but not mandatory).

The course materials are provided beforehand by Tutlo so you don’t need to worry about that. Also, for people who have no certifications and no prior teaching experience, there are plenty of materials available to seek guidance from.

How to Register

To register on Tutlo, you need to fill a short online application form entailing your personal details as well as the details about your internet connection with respect to its download and upload speed.

You also need to make a short video introducing yourself and explaining your interests as well as teaching experience. You need to be a good communicator to be selected for the job. The length of the video required is 3 minutes.

Payment Terms

For every one hour class you take, Tutlo pays $11. The payments are released at the end of every week via PayPal. Therefore, you need to have an active PayPal account to work with Tutlo.

The Final Word

There are no dearth of options for people who do not possess a college degree but want to teach English online and get paid for it. Even not being a native English speaker is no longer a hindrance.

Knowing English for non-native speakers can be a critical element in terms of career progression and other opportunities. Therefore, there is a raving demand for English speakers who can teach the language to such individuals.

Hence, it has become extremely convenient and simple to register on any of the websites mentioned above and start earning as per your potential!

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