Recently, I had mentioned, in a Facebook group for expats living in the Philippines, that I earn money teaching English online. Shortly after posting the comment I started receiving private messages from other expats who are interested in teaching English online. I figured that I might as well add a post here sharing some information. Let’s take a look at a few of the more common questions that I have been getting.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is teaching English difficult?

Well, that depends on your temperament. Just like with any other job, there are days where I absolutely enjoy myself and so it is easy. However, there are those days where I absolutely dread every single class or even specific students.

I mentioned temperament because this job really does require patience. If you are not a patient person, then this job may not be for you. Teaching children and beginners requires even more patience.  If you do not have patience then you will find yourself getting aggravated and wondering why your student is having such difficulty with, what you consider to be, simple concepts.

2. How many hours do I have to work?

Well, that depends on the company. Many, if not most, online English companies allow you to choose your own hours. Some will let you have total control, but others require you to submit your schedule and not change it for a week or a month or whatever.


The company I work for, 51 Talk, allows you to open and close slots (25 minutes per slot) up to 30 minutes before that time. However, once a student books that time slot, you are locked in and failure to show up for the class does carry a pretty stiff penalty. In addition, they require you to make yourself available for a certain number of peak time slots per month. I forget the exact number but I believe it is sixty peak hour slots per month. Again, I do not remember exactly, because I do this full time, so I am always way over the required minimum number.

Update: I have confirmed that Sixty peak hour slots per month is the correct amount.

3. How much money can I earn?

Well, that depends on several factors, but I have heard of guys making upwards of $4,000 a month. This may not be very good if you live in Europe, Canada or the United States, but here in the Philippines, that is pretty good.

(Click here if you’d like to learn more about the cost of living in the Philippines.)

4. Can I earn 100,000 pesos / month by teaching English online?

The short answer is yes. However, how easily you can do it depends on two main factors.

  • Number of hours worked
  • Hourly rate

Number of hours worked

I do not like to teach more than 3-4 classes in a row. I try to break up my day by building in short breaks. My usual schedule looks something like this.

9 AM – 1030 AM
11AM – 1230 PM
2 PM – 3:30 PM
4 PM – 5:30 PM
7 PM – 8:30 PM
9 PM – 10:30 PM

Again, I would like to reiterate that this is the schedule I keep. This is what works for me. Your schedule might look drastically different. You set your hours based on what is best for you, as long as you maintain the minimum number of peak hours required per month.

(Keep in mind that you will have to learn the 24 hour clock, a.k.a. “military time”.)

Many people like their weekends off, but Friday-Monday are usually my busiest days. Tuesday-Thursday are my slow days. Everybody has their own trends, and these are mine. Your booking  patterns might be different.

dollar bills fanned out by a notebook computer

Pay Rate

Another important factor is your pay rate. For example, (American Academy) starting salary is $7.50 per 25-minute class ($15 per hour). The pay rate jumps with each promotion.

I am currently making $22 an hour ($11 per class). So, I can make 100K pesos in less than 200 classes or 100 hours, spread out over a month.

5. How will I be paid?

The company will do a direct deposit or Paypal. Personally, I use PayPal, but it is really up to you.

6. How often will I get paid?

Salary is calculated based on the 1st of the month to the end of the month.  Typically, salary is paid during the first week of the following month. However, contractually, the company can wait until the 12th of the following month, should they need to.

7. What are the requirements?

  • You need to be either American or Canadian.
  • You need to be a native English speaker. In other words, English must be your first language.
  • Teaching experience is not required, however, it is a big plus.
  • A four year university degree is also a HUGE plus.
  • A wired DSL connection, but a fiber connection is better, obviously.
  • A relatively new computer.  You might be able to use a tablet, but it would have to be a Windows 10 tablet. This has not been confirmed, so better safe than sorry and have a PC or a Mac. However, I do recommend a PC, because I’ve heard some stories from Mac using teachers and they’re not happy ones.

8. How do I get started?

Simply fill out this form and someone from 51 Talk will contact you about an interview. Obviously, you want to make sure that you have your resume ready to send to them.

An offer of assistance

If anyone has any questions or wants any further advice, feel free to leave a comment below. Another option is to leave a comment on our Facebook page.

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