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Already a TEFL Teacher? 5 Ways to Boost Your Online Teaching Salary

online teaching salary increase


Use extra conversation classes to speak more contextually with students about their own lives and interests. This helps your ESL students to grasp the important vocabulary that’s relevant to their lives.

If you currently only teach group lessons, this is a big winner to boost your online teaching salary. You can put up your online teaching salary per class as you are offering one-on-one conversational meetings, which is an upgrade from group English lessons.


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If you’re already an online English teacher, you’re likely to be making a pretty steady wage. For those who work for an online language school, you’ll get regular pay for pre-agreed hours. If you work as a freelance English teacher, you’re likely working toward a steady flow of clients.

But how do you boost your online teaching salary?

While the hourly pay from your online language school may work for a while, it’s a good idea to scale your online teaching career with supplementary sources of income.

What most people don’t realise is that it costs much more in time and effort to find new ESL students than it does to upsell to your existing English students.

Here are five killer ways to increase your online teaching salary by working with your existing online English students.


How to Boost Your Online Teaching Salary


boost your online teaching salary


Don’t get locked into thinking that the only way to boost your online teaching salary is to get a pay rise from your online language school.

While this certainly is a possibility, often these English businesses have very strict criteria for moving online teachers’ salaries up.

Instead, look at how you can diversify your teaching income stream. Not only does this give you extra cash on the side, it also helps you create a little resilience in your online teaching career.

Imagine that your online language school goes bankrupt. You lose your online teaching job and all of your teaching salary.

By using these five methods, you can upgrade your online teaching wage and have something to fall back on.

Where the average salary teaching English online equates to about $18-$25 a hour, there are plenty of ways to add private English tuition to your regime to earn a higher online teaching salary per hour.



[Method #1] Boost Your Online Teaching Salary: Offer online conversational English classes


english conversation classes high teaching salary


With many of your students, you really only get to spend an hour or two a week. With such little time, you may find you have to stick rigidly to the curriculum.

On the one hand, this means that your online students are learning new English skills at a fast pace. However, on the other hand, it means that practice time is limited.

If you’re looking to uplift your salary for online teaching and help your ESL students grow, why not offer extra conversational classes to your existing English students?

By offering conversation classes, you can tailor the content and skill-learning process to suit the individual ESL student.

Use extra conversational classes to speak more contextually with students about their own lives and interests. This helps your ESL students to grasp the important vocabulary that’s relevant to their lives.

If you currently only teach group lessons, this is a big winner. You can put up your online teaching salary per class as you are offering one-on-one conversational meetings, which is an upgrade from group English lessons.

Say, you are earning $20 an hour to teach a private class, charge $25 an hour for one-to-one English conversation classes.

Top Tips:

  • Sell bulk conversation classes. Rather than having a monthly fee where a student can cancel any time, have them pay for 10 weeks of classes upfront. That way, if they drop out, you don’t lose out.
  • Offer your students an early bird discount on your new conversational classes. Give 25% for those who sign up in the first month.


Not sure where to start with conversational English classes? Check out this guide with a bunch of conversation starters for your online classroom.

Convo Class Ideas



[Method #2] Boost Your Online Teaching Salary: Start an online English book club


english book club online teacher salary


As you continue to teach your online students, you will see a stark improvement over time. In fact, often your students will improve very quickly.

Where conversational classes will help to enhance speaking and listening skills, a book club can amplify your ESL students’ reading and reading comprehension skills.

While definitely a better option for more advanced students, you could still present this idea to those struggling. Perhaps the extra focus on reading is just what they need.

Have your students read an English book that’s appropriate to their age and skill level. Prepare a set of questions for your book club and have your students discuss the ideas within the book.

Discuss new vocabulary and cultural ideas. Draw attention to interesting uses of grammar and colloquialisms.

Have students discuss among themselves, while you mediate the debate.



[Method #3] Boost Your Online Teaching Salary: Suggest advanced classes for your star students

You’ll undoubtedly find that some students have a knack for learning English. The problem is that many online language schools make you stick to a stringent curriculum.

You may find some of your students getting bored, leading to a lack of engagement in the classroom. This is particularly apparent in group classes where some students excel above the others.

If your English students don’t feel challenged or stimulated in your lessons, you’re in danger of increasing your drop-out rates.

Instead, why not pick out the top students and suggest extra advanced classes? This way you still make your average online teaching salary from regular classes, plus a little extra from advanced classes.



[Method #4] Boost Your Online Teaching Salary: Set up a monthly business English masterclass

The subscription model is a great way to make regular extra income as an online teacher.

Why not offer a monthly business English class to your ESL students? If you teach adult students, you may find that they need advanced vocabulary and grammar lessons to improve their formal and business English.

With an online masterclass, you’ll also find you can build a community online and advertise your masterclass through social media.

On a monthly basis, set up a Facebook Live video in a private group. Cover different aspects of business each week. For example, in your business English masterclass, you could offer masterclasses on:

  • The vocabulary for closing a deal
  • Persuasive language for marketing
  • Instructional writing to help explain your product
  • Leadership vocabulary 
  • How to write training materials
  • Common business jargon and what it means

You can also use Zoom and other meeting softwares, however, Facebook Live allows students to ask questions in the chat as you go. 

It also means you build a community and your masterclass students can share relevant material in one centralized place.



[Method #5] Boost Your Online Teaching Salary: Create booster workbooks for your students


worksheets online teaching income


Some of your students may need extra help with reading and writing. Worksheets are a top way to do this, as they require both skills.

Why not create full workbooks for your students to carry out projects over and above their classwork? Task them with long or short reading comprehension tasks accompanied by writing work to assist with comprehension and written skill.

Create a project with 10 weeks’ worth of work and sell this as a ‘Reading and Writing’ package to your existing students.

Not sure what activities to incorporate? Check out our TEFLPros activity book for 72 engaging English learning activities.

72 TEFL Activities



So, what’s next?

If you want to boost your online teaching salary, there are plenty of options. Offer extra classes that help hone in on the different facets of learning English, or push students to take advanced classes to enhance their skills

If you’d like to chat to us about how you can boost your online teaching salary, drop us a line today. We have plenty of experience earning as online teachers, so we’ve always happy to help. Don’t hesitate to email us at jos@teflpros.com or whit@teflpros.com


Want more ideas on how you can create tools to boost your online teaching salary?

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