A guide to online teaching salaries: What to expect

There’s way more focus on online teaching salaries than ever before. As the world of web-based teaching booms, whether because of the pandemic or due to changing learning trends around the globe, more and more people are wondering exactly what they can earn by swapping the traditional classroom with a digital one.

That’s where this guide comes in. It will run through a few of the aspects of online teaching salaries so you can get an idea of the type of pay packet that comes with these sought-after internet TEFL jobs. You’ll see that, just as in classic teaching positions, different schools pay different amounts. There’s also a big spread of different salaries related to different sorts of online teaching positions. Let’s take a look…

A guide to online teaching salaries: What to expect

How are online teaching salaries calculated?

One of the main things you’ll need to get used to when you make the hop to teaching online is the hourly salary. The vast majority of these sorts of jobs are calculated on a per hour basis. That’s different to the in-person jobs that you might be more used to, when it’s common to be offered a monthly package of a certain number of Thai baht or Chinese yuan, for example. It does make sense, though. Online jobs bring an added level of flexibility, meaning hourly wages are better suited to schedules that can change literally by the day.

What are the best online teaching salaries?

The crème-de-la-crème of online teaching pay packets typically sit at the $25-30/hour mark. Right now, that’s the height that you’ll find in the industry. As you might expect, they come with the most respected schools, and often the places that have been on the scene for a while. The flip side is that requirements for would-be teachers are going to be pretty high, too. You’re looking at a resume that’s got a college degree, a good professional TEFL course of at least 120 hours (though we’d say our online 140-hour course is a better option), and some teaching experience to boot.

What are average online teaching salaries?

Most start-out teachers in the online world can expect to earn anything between $15-22 an hour. That’s the going rate for a session and is now generally accepted across the board. You might find that European- and US- based schools pay a little more than Asian schools, but that’s not always the case. Also be sure to double check what each school defines as an ‘hour’. We’ve seen instances where it’s actually just 45 minutes of teaching. In other places it’s the full 60.

Teachers online

What are online teaching salaries for non-native teachers?

Non-native English teachers can expect to see a much lower hourly wage. Fair or not, it’s just the way the cookie crumbles, at least for the time being. That said, the remote nature of this work means you are free to do it wherever you please, so you can cut the outgoings by picking to live somewhere suitably affordable. But, back to the numbers: Non-native speakers are looking at anything between $4/hour and $12/hour, although most schools will pay $5-8.

Can I negotiate my online TEFL salary?

In most instances, yep – you sure can! However, we’d urge caution. First, get a feel for the sort of school that you’re applying to. Check the reviews. Look at Glassdoor for past-employee opinions. It might be that the offer they’ve made you is set in stone. Or they could be open to tweaking the wage up. If you do want to put in for a slight raise, do so professionally. Outline your expectations and back up your reasons by quoting past experience and qualifications. If they say no, then that’s okay. Move on to the next challenge or think about whether you want to accept.

Teaching online salaries

What to watch out for when considering your online teaching salary

There are a few things that are worth watching out for when you come to weigh up your new job offers from online schools. It’s not always the case that the top wage is the best wage. Think: Does this school offer learning materials? Is there a multimedia online platform? Will I need to do extensive lesson planning on top of my contact hours? All of these things can have a major effect on the actual time you spend working and on the style of work you will have. If you’re going to be asked to do all the extras, then it might mean that the bigger hourly number isn’t actually worth it!


Are you thinking about becoming an online TEFL teacher? Check out our complete guide to teaching online this year.

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