Online Teaching Platforms to Earn Money

In recent years, online teaching has emerged as a popular way for people to earn extra income working from home. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated this trend, as demand for remote learning surged. While in-person teaching requires formal qualifications and training, online teaching opens up money-making opportunities for a broader range of people. 

With a computer, internet connection, and some preparation, anyone can start teaching English, academic subjects, professional skills, creative hobbies, and more through online platforms. You set your own schedule, curriculum, and rates. It provides great flexibility to earn money on the side, or even full-time income by teaching online.

This guide will provide an overview of the most popular online teaching platforms, the subjects and skills in highest demand, pay rates and earning potential, qualifications required, tips for building your teaching profile, preparing lessons, and successfully starting an online teaching business. Whether you want to share your knowledge with students worldwide or are simply looking to earn extra cash, online teaching is an accessible option worth considering.

Popular Online Teaching Platforms

Some of the most popular platforms for earning money teaching online include:


This platform connects teachers with students from ages 3-18 for small group classes. Teachers set their own schedules, class sizes, and rates. Subjects range from math and science to yoga and mindfulness.

Varsity Tutors

On this platform, tutors work with K-12 and college students in subjects like math, science, foreign languages, and test prep. Tutors go through an application process and set their own availability and hourly rates. Students book sessions and communicate through a virtual classroom space.


Wyzant allows tutors to connect with students of all ages and skill levels for one-on-one tutoring sessions. Tutors list their specialties, qualifications, availability, and rates. The platform then matches them with interested students for online or in-person tutoring.


Known primarily for textbook rentals, Chegg also offers tutoring services focused on college students. After an application process, tutors provide online tutoring in subjects including math, science, business, and engineering. Chegg guides setting competitive hourly rates.


Skooli specializes in online tutoring for K-12 students in subjects like math, science, English, social studies, and standardized test prep. Tutors create a profile highlighting their experience, set their schedule and rates, and then connect with students for individual or small group video sessions.

With a range of platforms catering to different subjects, ages, skill levels, and teaching formats, online instructors have options to find the right fit based on their expertise, interests, and availability. The top platforms make it easy for qualified teachers to get started sharing their knowledge and earning money teaching online.

Subjects and Skills in Demand

Online teaching platforms are seeking instructors in various subjects and skill areas. Some of the most in-demand subjects include:


There is a high demand for native English speakers to teach English as a foreign language (EFL) to students around the world. Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential.


Math teachers are needed at all levels, from basic arithmetic to advanced calculus and statistics. Patience and the ability to break down complex concepts are valued skills.

Computer programming

Programming languages like JavaScript, Python, Java, and C++ are sought after. Technical aptitude and the ability to explain coding are key.  


Music instructors are wanted for instruments like piano, guitar, drums, and voice. The ability to read music and convey techniques virtually is important.

Foreign languages

Teachers fluent in languages like Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, and American Sign Language are in demand. The ability to coach language learning effectively online is vital.

Other niche subjects like art, academic test prep, yoga, fitness training, and more may also provide online teaching opportunities if you have specialized expertise. Highlighting your credentials and experience teaching via distance learning is advantageous.

Overall, excellent communication skills, knowledge of your subject matter, and the ability to engage students virtually are essential for successful online teaching across subjects and skill areas. Choose an area you’re passionate about and qualified to instruct.

Pay Rates and Earning Potential

The pay rates for online teaching can vary quite a bit depending on the platform, your qualifications, the demand for your subject matter expertise, and more. Here are some typical earning potentials:

Most platforms pay anywhere from $15-30 USD per hour of teaching. Some pay per class instead of per hour, with rates averaging $20-50 USD per 45-60 minute class.

Subjects like math, science, technology, and test prep tend to pay higher hourly rates. English language learning also pays well. Rates are lower for hobbies, creative skills, and humanities subjects.

Having an advanced degree, teaching credentials, industry certifications, and proven experience can increase your earning potential. Platforms may offer pay bonuses for high-demand skills.

Many platforms allow you to set your rates once you build up student reviews and ratings on the site. The most successful teachers can earn $50-100+ per hour.

You may earn bonuses and incentives for signing up new students, completing peak-hour classes, teaching high numbers of hours, and maintaining high student ratings.

Most platforms pay monthly by direct deposit or PayPal. Some have minimum payout thresholds before you receive payment.

The opportunity to earn a steady income from teaching online is enticing for many people. With some platforms, it’s possible to make over USD 1,000 per month if you teach enough hours at decent hourly rates. Setting competitive rates and teaching in-demand subjects allows you to maximize your earning potential.

Qualifications and Requirements

Teaching online requires some qualifications and requirements to get started. While requirements vary by platform, most look for the following:

Teaching certificate or degree:

Most platforms require some kind of teaching certificate or degree, such as a bachelor’s degree, TEFL certification, or teaching license. This demonstrates you have training in instructional methods and classroom management.

Subject matter expertise:

You’ll need expertise in the subject you want to teach, demonstrated through a degree or work experience. Math teachers should have a degree in mathematics, English teachers need native-level fluency, and so on.

Teaching experience: 

Some prior experience teaching via online or in-person methods is preferred. This could be formal classroom experience, tutoring, coaching, or mentoring. 

Demo class:

Nearly all platforms will ask you to teach a demo class so they can evaluate your teaching skills. This is usually a 15-30 minute prerecorded sample lesson you’ll submit as part of the application process. The demo class allows you to showcase your teaching style.

Meeting the platform’s requirements is essential for getting approved to teach. Take time to strengthen your credentials through certification, degree programs, or gaining experience before applying. Thoroughly prepare your demo class as well, as it’s one of the most important factors in the application process. With the right qualifications, you’ll be ready to start teaching online.

Building Your Profile

Your online profile is your digital resume and portfolio on teaching platforms. It allows potential students to evaluate you as an instructor and decide if you’re a good fit to teach them. Therefore, invest time into crafting a compelling profile that highlights your skills, experience, personality, and teaching style.

Professional Description: 

Write a short bio summarizing your background, qualifications, teaching approach, and achievements. Explain what makes you qualified to teach your chosen subjects.

Skills & Qualifications:

List all relevant skills, education, certifications, and credentials. Display badges earned on the platform. This establishes credibility.

Video Introduction:

Record a 1-2 minute intro video to showcase your teaching style and personality. Appearing personable and engaging on camera can attract students.

Reviews & Ratings: 

As you start teaching, aim to get positive student reviews. These social proof elements help convince potential students that you’re a great teacher.

Sample Materials:

Provide previews of your course outlines, sample lectures, assignments etc. This gives students a taste of your teaching quality.


Add some professional headshots to build familiarity. You can also include photos of certificates, diplomas, books you’ve authored etc.

With a robust profile covering these elements, you can highlight the expertise and value you provide as an online instructor. This profile is the first touchpoint for students, so making a great impression here is crucial.

Preparing Your Teaching Materials 

When teaching online, high-quality teaching materials are essential for student engagement and comprehension. Spend time upfront developing organized, easy-to-follow lesson plans, presentations, and exercises tailored to your online teaching platform.

Lesson Plans

Create detailed lesson plans mapping out each concept and activity for the class. Outline learning objectives, discussion questions, assignments, estimated timings, and connections between lessons. Well-prepared lesson plans prevent scrambling before each class and support smooth online delivery.  


For synchronous teaching, create visual presentations like PowerPoint slides to engage students. Ensure slides use minimal text, focus on graphics and visuals, and reinforce key concepts. Allow students to download presentations to support note-taking.


Design customized exercises for students to practice new skills, such as worksheets, quizzes, or group activities. Exercises should align with lesson objectives and learning outcomes. Consider including both formative exercises for practice and summative exercises to assess comprehension.

Teaching Methods for Online Instruction

Teaching online requires some different methods and tools compared to in-person instruction. Here are some effective teaching techniques for engaging students in a virtual classroom:

Virtual Whiteboard

A virtual whiteboard allows you to display slides, write, draw, and mark up content in real time during your lesson. This replaces a physical whiteboard and allows you to maintain visual communication and collaboration with students. Popular virtual whiteboard tools include Ziteboard, Explain Everything, Limnu, and Microsoft Whiteboard.

Document Sharing 

Being able to share your screen and display teaching materials is essential for online instruction. This allows you to present slides, worksheets, diagrams, and more to your class. Make sure your document is visible by zooming in on the relevant sections when presenting.

Student Engagement

Getting students actively involved in the lesson is important when teaching online. Pose questions to the class and call on students individually to respond. Use polls, quizzes, and interactive apps to gauge understanding. Break students into small groups for discussions or activities when appropriate. Monitor the chat box for questions and feedback. Engaging students in diverse ways keeps them focused and attentive during the lesson.

Managing Your Online Teaching Schedule

Once you start receiving bookings for online lessons, you’ll need to get organized and manage your teaching schedule effectively. This involves setting your availability in the platform’s calendar system and managing incoming lesson requests and bookings. 

Set your availability

Most online teaching platforms allow you to set times that you are available for lessons. Block out times when you are not available or do not want to teach. Keep your calendar updated regularly.

Manage bookings

When students request lessons with you, you’ll receive notifications. It’s important to respond to requests promptly to confirm or decline the booking. Accept lessons only when you have availability. 

Limit bookings per day/week

To avoid burnout, consider limiting how many lessons you will accept per day or week. On some platforms, you can set booking limits for students.

Space out lessons

Don’t book yourself back-to-back all day. Leave 10-15 minutes between lessons for a break, to complete student feedback, and reset for your next student. 

Utilize calendar features

Use calendar features like recurring bookings for regular students and block out times for administrative work to better organize your schedule.

Avoid over-booking

Be careful not to double-book yourself if you are teaching on multiple platforms. Keep a master calendar of all your lessons.

Get organized

Use calendar apps, reminders, alerts, and other organizational tools to stay on top of your online teaching schedule. Proper planning makes juggling multiple students and lessons much easier.

Pros and Cons of Online Teaching

Teaching online offers both advantages and potential drawbacks compared to traditional in-person teaching. Here are some of the key pros and cons to consider:



One of the biggest benefits of online teaching is schedule flexibility. You can set your hours and teach at times convenient for you, without needing to commute to a physical classroom.

Global reach

With online teaching, you are not limited by geographical restrictions. You can teach students from all around the world. This provides more potential students and earning opportunities.

Less overhead

Physical classrooms incur costs like rent, supplies, utilities, etc. Online teaching does not require this kind of overhead, so more of your earnings stay with you.


Need tech skills

To teach online, you need some technical knowledge and comfort using video conferencing, learning platforms, and other software tools. Not tech-savvy educators may find the learning curve a challenge.

Prep time

Developing an online curriculum and lessons takes time, often more than planning for in-person classes. You need polished digital materials and creative ways to engage students remotely.

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