First off, let’s get some context out of the way!
Why the huge demand for ESL teachers in China?
As the world’s biggest ESL market, the fact that demand for English-speaking teachers is growing at an explosive rate in China is hardly earth-shattering news.
Sidenote: If this does, in fact, come as a big surprise to you, then we recommend you check out our previous blogs on teaching English in China to get all caught up!
But this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to physically relocate to China to land a job teaching Chinese English language learners.
Teaching English to Chinese students online: A growing market of opportunity for North American teachers
With the exploding demand for native English-speaking teachers in China, there’s probably never been a better time than right now to teach English online.
Thousands of new Chinese students are taking English lessons online on a daily basis, and it just so happens that they’re mostly looking to learn English from teachers in the US and Canada.
Well, the reality is, right now there’s simply not enough English-speaking teachers living in China to service the millions of students currently learning English there.
As a result, many Chinese students are instead turning to learning English online from teachers living in the US and Canada. Due to the surging demand, there’s no shortage of career opportunities for North Americans looking to teach online.
Right now, for example, VIPKID, China’s online English education platform, is looking for a whole bunch of Americans and Canadians to join its 30,000-strong North American teacher community.
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If you fit the bill (that is, you have a Bachelor’s degree along with a year of classroom experience), you’ll be teaching 1-1 English lessons online to VIPKID’s more than 200,000 students, ranging in ages from 4 to 12, all across China.
We’ve already covered what you need to know to get ready to teach online, but are you still trying to figure out whether teaching English online is the right move for you in the first place? Here are just a few benefits of online English teaching jobs to help you make your mind up!
1. The earning potential can be huge
There are a wealth of opportunities to teach English online. VIPKID’s over 200,000 online learners makes it possible to teach abroad, while not actually living abroad! There’s no need to run around applying for teaching jobs abroad and going through the inevitable hoop jumping and hassle involved in packing up and moving to a different country for a new career opportunity.
While you can expect to earn around $19 an hour teaching English online, on average, here’s a quick breakdown to give you a better idea of how teaching with VIPKID can help you boost your income:
No. of hours teaching English online with VIPKID
Monthly salary teaching English online (USD) with VIPKID
1 - 1.5 hours daily
3 -5 hours daily
Like most online teaching jobs, there are very little overheads involved in teaching ESL with VIPKID. You’ll need a stable internet connection, a laptop, a built-in or external webcam, a headset and a quiet, well-lit space to teach English lessons in, all of you which you’ll more than likely have at your disposal anyway!
1. You can have control over your schedule
Whether you're a student or working part-time or full-time (as a teacher or otherwise), teaching English online is great for anyone looking for the flexibility to set their own working hours. Depending on where your students are located, you’re not bound by the 9-5 life.
You don’t have to take your teaching 100% online from the get-go, either - teaching English online is a great option for certified teachers working full-time who also want to supplement their existing income. You can work the hours that you want - there’s no risk of having your online teaching work interfere with your day job.
And if you’re not currently working full-time, you can set and customize your online teaching hours to meet the needs of your personal and family life.
For example, not a morning person and hate setting that alarm clock? You can teach English online later in the day. Night owls, rejoice - all you have to do is cut down on your Netflix time in the evenings and teach a few lessons online instead!
The early birds among us can slot in a lesson or two before their regular working day. Want to take a long weekend? You can always teach online for a couple extra hours from Monday to Thursday to offset the extra time you need to take off.
2. You can work from home (or from anywhere, really!)
We all have different motivating factors for teaching English online but one of the greatest things about it is the freedom it affords you.
It can be done from virtually anywhere and anytime. And you’re not necessarily tied to your home, either - anywhere quiet with a decent internet connection will do! There’s no time lost in commuting and the added stress of beating traffic, either.
Teaching English online is also ideal for adventure seekers looking to travel around while earning money. You can experience living as many different countries as you like, without the fear of your savings running out looming over you! And bonus, you can skip the hassle of applying for a working visa!
3. You can gain valuable ESL teaching experience
Trying to break into the ESL industry abroad and want to build up your English teaching experience for your resume? Teaching English language learners online could be the perfect jumping-off point for you.
Take it from us - whether you’re teaching in a physical classroom setting or in a virtual learning environment, you’ll need to hone pretty much the same skills. It’s all firsthand experience that can really help your job applications stand out to prospective employers when you’re trying to secure a full-time job teaching English abroad in the future.
4. You can work in your pajamas
Well - from the waist down, at least! Enough said on that particular perk of teaching English online - who doesn’t love stretchy pants?!
5. And last, but by no means least, it’s easy to get started!
If you’re an online teacher with VIPKID, they’ll make easy-to-use resources available to you. This means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and spend hours of your own time creating learning materials for your students.
VIPKID also have their own training program to help you hit the ground running if you’re a newbie when it comes to teaching English online.
So there you have it, aspiring online ESL teachers - the top 6 reasons why teaching English online is where it’s at! Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below, and don’t forget to get your VIPKID teaching application in ASAP!