The emergence of online teaching has opened opportunities to a more unbound lifestyle. Banking on the flexibility of the job, many pursue this line of work in hopes of having a better work-life balance.
Working remotely has always been a way to fund travels. And what used to be work reserved for programming and graphic design has also become available to any English speaker with a good internet connection and laptop. Now one can indulge in both teaching and traveling while still making a decent wage.
While teaching English abroad is awesome in its own right, teaching English online is a great option to have life-changing adventures and immersing in foreign cultures without the need to be tied down to one place. There is enough financial freedom to hop from one place to another and still have the chance to build a teaching schedule you can work with. But how does one start an ever-changing way of life?
There are countless opportunities for both native and non-native English speakers to make a living with their computer. Companies have grown and a lot more have entered the arena, thus, the number of online teachers has risen steeply where LinkedIn reports that there are over 40,000 members with the job title. This means online teaching is not just a trend waiting to die down, it is on the rise and there is a plethora of opportunities waiting. Below are steps on how to start your online teaching career while traveling.
1. Getting a TEFL certificate. Whether you are a teacher or not, the first thing you need to add to your resume is a TEFL certificate. This will help you acquire skills needed to teach the English language. Other than that, it is a requirement to have one if you are new to teaching and some companies do require you to have one. It will help you qualify as a candidate and cover all the bases to prepare you for the job.
2. Look into the most common requirements. When it comes to online teaching there are three core requirements which are being a native speaker, having a degree, and good internet and equipment.
However, the first two requirements are subjective to each company but keep in mind that you need to consider the differences in the pay.
3. Earning expectations. Anticipate earning between $14 to $25 per hour. Of course, the pay depends on one’s qualifications, experience, getting bonuses, and promotions. Classes typically last 30 minutes and are a great way to prove and improve your skills. So, it is also up to you how many hours you want to work per day. Established teachers can pull at least $1000 per month.
4. Set up your online payment. Online schools normally pay teachers through PayPal or direct deposit. If you do not have anything set up yet, start one now so you can get paid easily.
5. Forming a general schedule. While it may look like online teaching or any remote work is a bit romanticized in job ads, the job entails endurance and perseverance. No matter where you are travelling, your students are stationary. This means timing is important especially when you must consider time zones. And like a classroom-based teacher, you also have to fill out class and student reviews after every class before you start the next one. Time management is key to a successful and stress-free lifestyle such as this.
6. Plan your travels. Like how you usually take a trip with a complete itinerary and budget, plan your travels accordingly. Make notes on how to stretch your money on the road. Book cheap accommodations that offer private rooms, so you have a noise-free space for work and always make sure to have WiFi connection.
7. Take precaution. This industry is young and ever changing. You may find that income can sometimes be inconsistent and there are many variables that change your working condition. So, plan well before immersing yourself. Do not quit your regular job before trying online teaching and hold off on traveling. Start working remotely in the comforts of your own home until you find your footing. And lastly, have an emergency fund that will last you at least three months for peace of mind.
8. Finding your dream online teaching job. Once you are ready, start perusing the internet for online teaching jobs! It is time to put yourself out there so you can start teaching right away. One google search will show you a lot of companies are constantly looking for online teachers, and Preply is one of them. Keep in mind that it is best to get the job first before you leave your home, so you have financial security while traveling. Do your homework on which company would suit you. Take the time to research which ones align to your personal and teaching goals.
Now that you have a better understanding of how such a lifestyle can be achieved, the obvious is that it may not be for everyone.
However, pursuing it and achieving such a feat can work wonders for you. Unlimited flexibility in time and space if you have reliable internet and good equipment so you can make money and do something you love. Most teachers start with 20 up to 25 hours per week but it is up to you to do more or fewer hours. Of course, as said before, your earning will depend entirely on how many hours you put in, and that depends on your goals.
Another benefit to consider is escaping the traditional 9-5 and workplace fatigue will be beneficial for your overall health. And finally, being able to live by geographical arbitrage not just in one country but all over the world.
Working remotely as an online teacher is not easy, but so are all the other jobs whether in traditional work spaces or in the comforts of one’s own home. What is important is to be able to do something worthwhile with the time given.