How much can I earn teaching English online from home in 2022

On average, online teachers can make anything from $2-$120 per hour, teaching online from home depending on where, how and what they teach.

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2021 has seen perhaps the biggest boom in the online teaching world. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic the online education industry already previously predicted by Forbes to be worth 325 million by 2025 is set to exceed that number as a direct result of the pandemic.

So with that being the case, has this made it easier or harder to earn an online income, teaching in 2021 and to answer the question that many people ask which is, how much do online teachers actually make you will need to consider the various factors below.

If you are wondering ‘how much can I earn teaching English online’ this article is for you. On average, online English teachers can make anything from $2-$120 per hour, teaching online from home depending on where, how and what they teach however the average is about $14 per hour.

We compiled this no nonsense, up to date list of online ESL companies however. These are the rates stated by recruiters so these rates may be very much inflated by the recruiters so that they can try assure themselves a commission bonus.

Since July 2021, for profit, private tutoring platforms in China care banned due to new Chinese Goverment rules. Find out more about that here.


Online teaching platforms
Current rates of pay for Online tutoring platforms

How much can you earn teaching online in 2021?

How much you earn teaching online today, really depends on how you teach online and what you teach mostly. This falls into two broad categories:

1) Teaching online via an online company or platform as they are referred to  as the table above shows.

2) Teaching online as a freelance tutor.

Some teachers often choose to do both options until they have enough of their own private clients and there is a  very good reason for that. Online platforms can often be oversaturated and offer low rates of pay. 


Teach English online

Why, what you teach matters

What you teach can affect how much you can expect to be paid and that often comes down to the simple equation of supply and demand. For example, there are millions of teachers teaching English as a second language and therefore the general rate of pay for online ESL teachers, especially with online platforms is generally lower than say teaching English for degree level  students or potentially  another subject like French or even German.

 If you teach uniquely through a platform whilst it offers opportunities and experience of teaching online, pay increases are rare and so is the possibility of branding oneself as an expert or as a specialist in a particular area which is why so many ESL teachers  eventually  opt for freelance teaching and start their own online teaching schools.

How you teach online ...the options

Teaching for an online ESL platform

The majority of online ESL platforms are located in Asia, mostly in China. Whilst the demand was formally high, since the pandemic many online platforms have had hiring freezes, limited or no bookings and have also enforced lower rates of pay for lessons. Now that the Chinese Goverment   have brought in a ban on online tutoring, it’s even less likley that you will find a job online in China.

Many online tutoring platforms located in China, use foreign teachers to teach their online English lessons or ESL as it is often referred to meaning English as a Second Language and whilst some such as itutorgroup and Magic ears can pay as much as $18-20 per hour the maximum you can stand to get for online bookings from Chinese companies is 3-4 hours per day, due to the changes that the Chinese government made last year. If you are unaware of these changes and how they affect online foreign teachers, please see our article here.

Most lessons with Chinese ESL platforms are on a 1-1 basis, or small groups of up to 4 – 6 children. However the teacher is not paid anymore often for classes with more students in them when they teach through a platform.

However for some that only want to teach a few hours a day or who are simply teaching online as a side hustle than the 3-4 hours a day teaching online for a Chinese platform could equate to £1350 a month which for some may be enough for their needs.

Teaching for online UK schools

Since the United Kingdom founded the vaccine for COVID-19, many online tutoring platforms have seen a sharp rise in foreign students from all over the world including Asia seeking British English tutors for English lessons, Science lessons and IELTS lessons. As you can see from the table above, online UK schools also seem to pay more on average than Chinese platforms for ESL however there is a much bigger market emerging in the UK since the Pandemic and that is due to the fact that most schools and universities in the UK have been closed for many months, the result of this has seen a massive increase in the demand for online lessons and for online tutors being required to teach many different subjects online.

Why teaching in the UK has changed to online

As the UK is seeing a huge increase in the changing style of learning behaviours and therefore in how lessons are delivered since the pandemic. Schools and universities have been closed for many months in the UK and this has developed a heightened awareness and in many cases preference from parents and students for online learning. 

It is predicated that many parents and students are not going to return to the prior way of typical learning in the UK when schools reopen which will mean a decrease in the need for traditional face to face  home tutors.  This also opens up new avenues and possibilities for online tutors and teachers that wish to freelance in additional subjects.

Teaching small group classes online as a Freelancer

Teaching group classes are definitely the way to go for most freelancers or independent tutors because they earn more per lesson. Far more than if they were teaching for an online ESL platform.

The added bonus of this also means less lesson prep. When you teach a group of students you have less lesson material to prepare which means that the lessons you are preparing for, you can really invest a lot of time into to improve teaching quality and the students learning experience.

Marketing is obviously key if you wish to freelance and we recommended taking either our 30 day Teacherpreneur Marketing Challenge if you are trying to find your own online students or our Teacherpreneur Evolution programme which shows you how to set up your own website and bookings systems as well as how to brand and market yourself online in the online teaching industry today.

Offering to teach small groups online are also an ideal way for parents and students to get to know the tutor better before they make considerable investment in booking private 1-1 lessons.

Teaching small group classes online for a company

Three companies that currently offer online freelance tutors the option to host their group classes with them are:

  • Outschool
  • Tutorful

Unlike Chinese ESL platforms these companies allow freelance tutors to set their own rate of pay for each lesson and also allow the teacher to teach what they like and set the time and date of the lessons. This is a real breakthrough as most Chinese ESL platforms have a fixed schedule of being only 3 hours a day.

With these three schools, the companies provide the courseware and of course do all the marketing for the teachers as well.

Outschool is a US based company and they have an open book for lesson choices. Anything goes, more or less on Outschool. However the company is quite well saturated so it can take a while to build up bookings or even a full class. 

Teachers report that they can earn anything from $30 – $100 per lesson but Outschool do take 30% commission of all booked and paid lessons.

Outschool market mostly to children aged 3-14 years old.


Outschool is a US based company and they have an open book for lesson choices. Anything goes, more or less on Outschool. However the company is quite well saturated so it can take a while to build up bookings or even a full class. 

Teachers report that they can earn anything from $30 – $100 per lesson but Outschool do take 30% commission of all booked and paid lessons.

Outschool market mostly to children aged 3-14 years old.


Tutorful is a UK based company and only employ British teachers and tutors. They mainly propose 1-1 private, online tuition but have since the pandemic offered small group classes. Tutors decide how much they wish to charge and the class size. 

Tutorful is aimed mostly at the UK market but ESL tutors also operate here.

Tutors working with Tutorful can hope to earn anything from £30 to £60 an hour but Tutorful maintain 40% service fee until you have taught a certain amount of lessons and then the service fee drops to a lower amount.


Freelance Tutoring

Teaching online, 1-1 private lessons

In addition to group lessons you might want to consider teaching, private 1-1 lessons based around your expertise and experience. This will also define how much you could  charge. 

Other factors to consider when setting up your fees


The first element is going to be the length of the lesson and the amount of lessons booked at any one time. Often freelance tutors charge more for the single lesson and offer small discounts for batches of lessons when booked in 10’s and 20’s. The small amount of discount is potentially worth it if it means that you will have to spend less time and money on marketing.


What qualifications you have and how relevant they are to what you are teaching will also determine the potential scale or lesson rate that you can ask.  When first starting out freelance tutors offer discounts until they have enough students then they increase their prices. 

Where your students are from?

This is such a relevant factor as it can really impact your pricing strategy. A student living in London is not going to have the same expectation of a lesson rate as a student living in Thailand. If you have little or no expereince in general living costs and wages in many countries this little guide here on the average income around the world could be very helpful.

The types of tuition you could provide

There are many different options in how you price your lessons. Fro example, you can offer 1-1 lessons and discount t he lesson rate when booked in 10’s or more.

You can offer group lessons, which could cost the student less and make you more.

You could create a program that students could access via a monthly membership and study alone online. They could top this up with additional lessons.

You could create business seminars if you wish to adults within a particular profession.

You could create mini courses surrounding specific topics that suit your expertise and your market.

These are all ways in which freelance tutors build their businesses choosing the pricing strategy that suits them most.


So to sum up how much can an online teacher make in 2021, working online from home, the response is anything from £600 to £3000 per month depending on how you have structured your teaching options, what you teach and how as discussed above.

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