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ESL teacher in front of class: ESL teacher: are ESL teachers in demand?

You might be wondering:

Are ESL/TESOL teachers in demand?

Yes! There are over a billion people currently learning English globally.

As a result, online teaching opportunities are surfacing around the world to keep up with demand.

Let’s explore the world’s most in-demand countries for online English teachers and the best online teaching companies currently hiring right now.

But first, let’s look at how big the demand is so you can get a better idea of the opportunities set before you.

Plus, we’ll get into a little story that brought me to an exciting revelation.

Woman teaching English online outside. ESL teacher: are ESL teachers in demand?

How much demand is there for ESL teachers globally?

The number of learners studying English online should jump to 2 billion in the next 2 years.

That means that more than a quarter of the world’s population wants to learn a skill you already have.

One of the most exciting things about teaching English online is that you can reach students living practically anywhere in the world.

From teaching business English online to teaching general and conversational English online to Chinese, Japanese and Korean students, there is no shortage of online English teaching jobs.

Here’s a quick story that shows just how many English language learners exist in the world.


A few years ago, I was backpacking in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I had just finished up two years teaching English in South Korea.

I was also on a tight budget, so I booked myself into an eight-person, female-only dorm in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

One by one, my other roommates returned from their busy days of exploring to take a rest.

As they arrived, I introduced myself. I was fascinated to discover eight women from eight different countries:  Japan, Austria, Korea, Spain, France, Vietnam, the Philippines and Canada.

Each one of us who spoke a different first language. But something connected us all:


Why are so many people so eager to study and speak English?


English became the global language for business and communication. That’s why English teachers are in demand.

Now, let’s jump into where exactly the demand is highest.

Which countries need English teachers?

  1. China
  2. South Korea
  3. Japan
  4. Vietnam
  5. Taiwan
  6. USA and Canada

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Asain child learning English online - ESL teacher: are ESL teachers in demand?

1. China

Strong English speaking skills are a necessity in China. That’s why the country is home to the highest number of English language learners on the planet.

There are 300 million people currently learning English both online and in person.

There are oodles of Chinese education companies hiring college graduates interested in teaching English remotely.

And they’re all especially keen to hire candidates based in North America.

You can teach English online to Chinese students with these companies:

2. South Korea

There’s a huge demand for native English speaking teachers in South Korea.

Teaching English with EPIK or at a hagwon aren’t your only two options, however.

If you’re interested in a remote teaching job, then the demand for online English teachers is expanding almost as quickly here as it is in China.

Parents, in particular, are keen for their children to take after-school English classes.

While I was living in South Korea, many of my Korean friends were either studying for or had taken TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication).

Most companies in Korea, especially those involved with international business deals, require applicants to have a TOEIC qualification to apply.

Many Korean adults are moving to learn English online as a flexible means of preparing for this exam.

You can English online to Korean students with the following companies:

Asian child learning English online.  ESL teacher: are ESL teachers in demand?

3. Japan

Many companies in Japan also look for a successful TOEIC score on their applicants’ resumes. Meaning demand for English language lessons is sky-high among adults and young adults.

Japanese people study English to further their careers and others learn it for a hobby.

Fun fact:

A good chunk of adult students learning English online in Japan study the language to prepare for traveling overseas!

You can English online to Japanese students with the following companies:

4. Vietnam

When I was planning my vacation to Vietnam, I assumed that I might be able to home in on my French-speaking skills when I was there because of the country’s historical ties to France.

While I saw many French bakeries and ate enough banh mi to feed a small town, I also discovered that demand for English language learning is significantly more prevalent.

There is a desire to learn English because young people are fascinated with the Anglophone culture.

It’s not uncommon for Vietnamese songwriters to include English lyrics in their songs.

The popularity of English learning in Vietnam is good news for online English teachers looking for remote teaching opportunities.

You can English online to Vietnamese students with Antoree.

5. Taiwan

Many parents see learning the English language as the key to opening doors for their children to study abroad and work internationally.

It can be harder to find a private Chinese language kindergarten in Taiwan than an English one.

And Taiwan’s Southbound policy and close links with the United States are strong motivators for Taiwanese citizens to improve their English skills.

You can English online to Taiwanese students with the following companies:

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6. United States and Canada

Don’t forget that there are high numbers of English language learners in countries where English is the official language.

So yes, ESL teachers are in demand in Canada and the US.

Immigration brings people of all different nationalities to North America, most of whom are eager to improve their English skills to integrate fully into life in the US and Canada.

The National Center for Education Statistics, says that 10% of students from public schools in the USA are English language learners.

And in Ontario alone, over 25% of students are speaking English as a second language.

You can English online to students based in North America with the following companies:

Woman teaching English online on her laptop: ESL teacher: are ESL teachers in demand?

Wrapping up

These countries may be home to some of the largest English teachers’ markets, but they are by no means the only ones.

People want to learn English on almost every single continent.

Some other great companies are LingoKids in Spain, Latin Hire in Chile, Tandem in Germany and All Right in Russia, to name a few!

While many of us are still keen to take the plunge and move abroad to teach ESL students in person, it’s still not enough to meet the demand.

Online English lessons could solve this growing problem.

Ready to find an online teaching job you can do from home?

Take a look at our previous post on the top companies hiring online English teachers right now!

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