One of the most important things to do when living in your RV or camper is to maintain income. As you travel all over, the last thing you want to happen is to run out of money. The easiest way to make money while living the nomad life is to work online. Teaching English online is a great way to make good money per hour and have a really flexible schedule. This is the perfect option for RVers, van lifers, or any traveler that likes to go off-grid.
The requirements to get these jobs are fairly simple. Most require a bachelor’s degree and some experience with kids. For the most part, you need proficient English language skills. Many who try teaching English online make good money between $19 and /425 per hour, and enjoy the flexible scheduling. It is important to note that you need to pay attention closely to ad advertising for English teachers online. While it’s not a complete scam, many ads are misleading and present you with the absolute best-case scenario. There are pros and cons to working as an online English teacher, so it is important to know these before you sign up.
- Working from the road. You get the freedom to be location independent. As long as you have a stable internet connection and a quiet place to teach you can work from pretty much anywhere.
- The hours. The company headquarters are typically overseas (China, the Philippines) and you will be teaching children who live exclusively in those areas. This means you need to work on Beijing time. The most popular hours that students sign up for are 6pm-8pm Beijing Time, which is 6am-8am EST or 3am-5am PST.
- The way your schedule works is that you open up time slots for when you’re available to teach, and the students sign up for the times they want to take the lesson. Each lesson is only 25 minutes. If those hours do not work for you, do not fret, you can open up your classroom anytime between the hours of 8am-9pm Beijing time for students to select a time.
- There’s very little preparation required. It takes a week or so to get used to things, but then the lessons become repetitive and easier to manage. Most days, lesson review will be about 10 minutes in which you need to prepare the necessary materials (i.e., props, flashcards, etc.)
- The pay is decent. You’re not going to get rich but it is a decent way to earn money when living on the road. The starting rate is about $7 per 25-minute class, plus a $1 incentive just for showing up, so a total of $8 per class. If you finish 30 classes a month, your pay goes up to $8.50 per class, and if you teach 45 classes per month, your payment increases again to $9/class. That’s $18 for 50 minutes of classroom time. Which is pretty good for the amount of effort required.
- There is a friendly community of teachers. There are hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated to online English teachers. There are even in-person clubs and meet-ups where teachers can come together and share tips and general camaraderie.
- Very little accountability on the student’s part. Since the classes are fully virtual, and you may not be teaching the same student more than once, it’s tough to know what level your student will be at when entering the lesson. Specific lessons require homework, but there is no incentive for the students to complete the homework. It can be frustrating and reflect poorly on the instructor if the student doesn’t perform well or show that they’re progressing.
Parents help them a lot. There are many occasions where students’ parents were sitting behind the computer feeding them the answers. This does not help the child and is essentially a waste of the parent’s money.
- Connectivity issues. Sometimes, the students have very slow internet connections, and since classes are only 25 minutes, this eats into valuable teaching time.
Not ideal if you want to travel a lot. While this is technically a remote job, it is not ideal for a person that travels frequently. You need a very solid internet connection to make it through the lessons, and frequent connectivity issues will get your contract terminated.
- Canceled contracts. There have been cases where contracts are canceled with no warning. In cases of illness when a teacher cannot conduct a class, contracts have been terminated, which is deemed unfair. Many of these online companies also make it difficult to have another teacher cover your class, and once your slot is booked, it’s almost impossible to cancel without being penalized.
- You need to heavily capitalize on referrals, to reach your full earning potential. Essentially, you are a teacher/recruiter which is important to know before you sign up. Many sign up not realizing this.
Top Companies For Teaching English Online
Any industry has its pros and cons, but overall, teaching English online is a great way to bring in some cases when you are living remotely on the road. If this seems like a job that will work for you, the three companies below are rated as being the most popular and ideal to sign up with.
VIPKID hires native-English speaking US/Canadian applicants with a bachelor’s degree to teach English to Chinese students, aged Kindergarten through 9th grade. The pay can reach as high as $22 USD/hour. Log onto the VIPKID portal, and click on as many 25-minute time slots you want. VIPKID teachers make between $14 – 22 USD an hour (teachers are given a base salary of $7 – 9 per 25-minute lesson). Your base salary depends on your performance in your interview and demo lesson. On top of the base salary, there are a number of participation incentives and bonus opportunities. It is important to note that if a teacher does cancel a lesson with less than 24 hours notice, they will take a deduction from your pay.
Qkids hires native-English speaking US/Canadian applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree and hold a teaching license or ESL certificate. You will be teaching Chinese students from Kindergarten through 6th grade. You can receive up to $20/hour. Teachers receive a base pay of $16 USD per hour with a $1 attendance bonus for being on time in addition to other performance bonuses. There is a required commitment for a minimum of 6 hours per week.
Gogokid hires native-English speaking US/Canadian applicants with a bachelor’s degree who will be teaching Chinese students, Kindergarten to 6th grade. Teachers can receive up to $25/hour and there is a limited-time offer extended at time for a $300 USD bonus. Gogokid is one of the highest paying online English teaching companies, paying their teachers $14 – 25 per hour and teachers can choose their consistent availability during the following times (EST):
Monday – Friday, from 6 – 10 am
Saturday – Sunday, from 9 pm – 10 am
Teaching English online to overseas students is a great way to fill time when you are living on the road and a good way to get some extra cash. Just make sure you get a good internet connection and meet the hiring requirements and you will be good to go.