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Teaching online is a great side income and provides a means to begin working from home.
There are more companies than ever moving online. Jobs are abundant if you know where to look, and more students are joining companies to learn online.
You may also be interested in: The Best English Teaching Companies.
How Do You Get Paid By companies abroad?
How you choose to receive money from online teaching companies will have a noticeable impact on your paycheck each month. Unfortunately, receiving money from a foreign company can lead to high exchange rates and fees, so you need to try and get the best bang for your buck.
That leads us to the question, what are the best payment options, and which ones should you join? Let’s look at seven popular methods now and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each payment method.
1. Bank Wiring
If you live in the US and have a US bank account, collecting money from online teaching companies that pay in USD is probably the easiest method.
If you are receiving money in a foreign currency, bank wiring can be expensive as it would mean converting currency received by companies or students. It can incur a flat fee and unfavorable exchange rates. You can check the details for sending and receiving money internationally with your current bank.
You may set up a US bank account with certain banks if you are Canadian. However, you will incur unfavorable exchange fees when converting the money to CAD.
Wise (formally Transferwise) is my number one recommendation for receiving money for those who don’t have a US bank account.
You will be asked to fill in your details when you sign up. When you do, you can receive your bank details for different currencies.
Wise uses the mid-market currency exchange, so you won’t be affected by poor exchange rates.
When you receive money in your Wise account, you can spend it with your Wise card, save it or transfer it to your bank account.
Wise complete fees amount to approximately 0.5% of the transfer’s volume, which is amazing. The website lets you view fluctuating exchange rates, and you can sign up for free rate alerts.
Wise is highly rated on Trustpilot, and it’s a great platform for receiving foreign currency from teaching companies.
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Payoneer maintains an excellent 4.6-star review on Trustpilot and is nominated in Forbes’s top 50 Fintech Companies of 2020.
You must wait a few days to be approved when setting up a Payoneer account. Be aware of potential delays when signing up. It also could take several weeks to receive your Payoneer MasterCard.
Payoneer allows you to receive and make payments. They charge a 2% currency conversion charge on incoming payments, which is more expensive than Wise. You can see the exchange rate before you finalize your transfer.
Payoneer integrates well with other platforms, such as Amazon, Airbnb, and Upwork. Therefore it is suitable for receiving money as a freelancer or small business.
It is available in many countries worldwide, making it a good way to accept student payments.
PayPal is a safe and secure platform for sending and receiving money. It takes 2-4 days to transfer money to your account.
PayPal charges higher fees than the other platforms. The transfer fees can range from 0.3% to 7.4%, depending on the country. You can set up a multi-currency business account to accept currency from abroad. They also charge high currency conversion fees and ATM fees.
While it is a more expensive option, clients may feel safer when choosing PayPal. People like to use it because of the anonymity when making payments and not to have to enter their credit card details on a stranger’s website.
You can also send Paypal invoices and receive payments quickly. This may be suitable for on-the-spot negotiation and securing clients.
If you sell your digital ebooks or courses, you can share your product with Gumroad.
Gumroad has high enough processing fees, at approximately 5% + 0.25c. They take the payment for you, depositing it directly into your bank account.
It is easy to use, and you don’t have to worry about self-hosting and let Gumroad do the work. You can accept payments through credit card or Paypal and collect taxes from people living in the EU.
If you want to receive payments directly from your website, you can use a Stripe plugin to accept payments.
This incurs lower fees than Gumroad and PayPal. You will have to go through an application and setup process. Once everything is in working order, you will be ready to receive payments.
Stripe charges 2.9% + $0.30c. SSL certification will be required on your website so that customers can make secure payments on your website.
Stripe connects to Alipay, so it may be a good way to receive payments from clients based in China.
SamCart is a funnel system similar to Clickfunnels. It can help promote your lessons and courses but can be a little pricey if you don’t have many students.
SamCart is definitely for the teacher-entrepreneur who wants to create and sell products. It is suitable if you have multiple products to sell, as it can greatly increase the average order value of each customer.
It starts at $99 per month. You can also charge subscriptions to your customers, allow them to sign up for free trials, and more. Start your 14-day free trial with SamCart
Who Can Earn Money Teaching Online?
If you have expertise in a particular subject, there’s a good chance you can earn money by teaching online courses or classes.
If you are a certified teacher, many online platforms will allow you to teach courses to students worldwide. These platforms typically take a cut of your earnings, but they can be a good way to get started.
You can teach English online to students through platforms like Cambly and LingoAce. These companies will provide you with everything you need to get started. You can typically set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want.
How Much Can I Get Paid to Teach Online?
You can get paid to teach English on an hourly basis, although some companies pay you whether your schedule is booked or not.
Some teaching companies provide all teaching material. This requires much less work on the part of the teacher, and all they have to do is show up and teach! They give performance bonuses, such as “on time for class” or “homework completion” bonuses, to teachers to motivate them to work hard. Teachers usually earn $10-$25 per hour working for these companies.
Alternatively, there are platforms where teachers can set their own rates and have their own courses too, which have higher earning potential! For example, if you take a group of students at $15 each, you could make $100 per hour!
There are many ways to earn as an online teacher, from teaching to writing content to making videos. So there is no perfect answer to this question as the range varies dramatically.
Find Out More: Ready to Become a Teacher Entrepreneur?
Will I Get Paid for Lesson Planning?
Some ESL teaching companies require no lesson planning! The companies have their own teaching material, so you can log in to your lesson and begin teaching!
It may be a good idea to look at the lesson beforehand to see what you’ll be teaching that day and if you need to prepare any props if you teach young students.
Usually, after the lesson, teachers are required to write a short comment or feedback report to let the students know how they are doing.
Do I Receive The Same Pay Each Month?
Teaching English online does not guarantee the same payment each month.
While teachers set up their schedules however they like, they can choose to teach fewer or more hours depending on their circumstances.
While 100% of the teachers’ schedules may not be fully booked, companies endeavor to book as many of their slots as possible.
Teachers can always add more hours if necessary or teach for multiple online companies, so they can always be sure to fill in their hours.
It’s really up to the teachers how much they want to work.
How Do I Pay Taxes?
When these companies hire you as an independent contractor, you are responsible for your own taxes. This will depend on your own state law and jurisdiction. Always set aside some money to pay your taxes, don’t forget!
There are multiple ways to accept payments when teaching online. We recommend using Wise and Payoneer when possible. Wise has some of the lowest fees available on the market.
If you are selling courses, you may want to consider Gumroad if you don’t have any hosting. If you have a website and self-hosting, you could consider using Stripe to accept payments.
Leave aside some money each month for your taxes, and keep track of your payments.
Sign up for an online teaching company if you haven’t already. Best of luck!
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.