How much money can you make teaching online? Plus pros and cons

How much money can you make teaching online, pros and cons of online teaching

During the lockdown, many hard-working people found themselves broken out of their financial securities, now seeing them having to delve into the online world in the hopes of finding a means in which to generate an income.

Luckily for many, relief came in the form of online teaching with many South Africans beginning to realise, being bound to an 8-5 job actually held many limitations not found in the online world. 

Such has been the development of online learning, that in July of this year, Think Digital College’s chief executive, Janessa Urquhart, a campaigner for e-learning claimed contact-less education has always been inevitable in South Africa.

Furthermore, an international survey by The TEFL Academy, reveals the number of people obtaining online TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualifications has seen a global increase following the outbreak of COVID-19.

And when looking to the future of education, online teaching has exploded with teachers earning fists full of cash from the comfort of wherever they want to be, as they just need a laptop and an internet connection.

According to Tom Gibbons, director at The TEFL Academy, there are thousands of online teaching jobs available to South Africans, listed on the internet. He claims it is just a matter of getting qualified and finding a way to teach online that best suits you as an individual.

Depending on experience, Gibbons explains South Africans can expect to earn average salaries of between R190 and R560 per hour. With this in mind, acquiring a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) qualification is now an option which will open new avenues of revenue for people.

Gibbons elaborates that a TEFL qualification allows you to teach anywhere around the globe, creating an exceptional opportunity for fluent English speakers to earn money online.

In terms of working hours, Gibbons points out that many of the larger online teaching companies are situated in Asia. Due to this, peak teaching times are usually Monday to Friday, from 11am to 4pm South African time, and then 1pm until 4pm on weekends.

Additionally, teachers can also set their own hours and by adding themselves and their respective qualification/s to an existing agency database they can make it easy for TEFL learners to find them.

When looking at the requirements to get the process underway, Gibbons states, all you need to start the process is the following:

  • A legitimate TEFL qualification.
  • A stable internet connection.
  • A pair of headphones.
  • A microphone.
  • A webcam.
  • A method to receive payments, like a PayPal account.

To help those wanting to undertake the joys of online teaching, The Newcastillian-Online News lists five online teaching companies for South African teachers:

Benefits of Online teaching:


  • Teaching online offers flexibility in that you can choose the hours in which you work. This is especially beneficial for parents with small children at home.
  • Due to the flexibility, you can travel anywhere in the world or country and still give classes, as long as you have a good internet connection.
  • You can have a second job, thereby earning an additional income.

From a health and safety aspect:

  • Online teaching safeguards you and learners from illnesses such as COVID-19.
  • Violence and crime in class do not become a cause of concern. Especially, if you live in an area known for serious crimes.

Discipline and control:

  • With parents and learners paying tutors per hour for the individual lessons, the tutor is taken more seriously.
  • When teaching multiple children online, teachers have more control over their classes. This is unlike traditional classrooms where managing a large number of children can be problematic at times.

No commuting:

  • This means you are able to save costs and frustration on petrol costs, wear and tear on your vehicle, plus traffic.
Disadvantages of online teaching
  • Intense self-discipline and unique curriculum creations.  
  • A lack of face-to-face interaction and self-isolation.
  • No steady income until up and running

Looking at both the advantages and disadvantages, what are your thoughts? Would you consider online teaching? Share your thoughts and views with us in the comment section below.

Author: Quinton Boucher

Edited: Calvin Swemmer


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