How to Teach English Online in the UK (10 Companies Hiring)

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If you are looking to teach English online from the UK, you’ll want to:

  • Have a TESOL, TEFL or CELTA certificate 
  • A Degree (in any subject– for some jobs)
  • Find companies that hire those from the UK
  • Set up your classroom at home 
  • Set up Wise (to accept money internationally)
  • Enjoy teaching!

Click here to get 84% off your International Open Academy Certificate. They will provide you with a certificate number that you can use to apply to many online teaching companies we recommend.

Online Teaching Options for the UK

  1. Palfish
  2. iTutorgroup
  3. Dada
  4. Preply
  5. English First
  6. Whales English
  7. Tutor Supply
  8. Boxfish
  9. Barons English
  10. First future

Update 2022: Many of these online ESL companies have been shut down due to the new China policy. Please see our best online teaching companies here.


  • Requirements: TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification, no degree required
  • Pay: up to $30 per hour
  • Equipment: Tablet or phone, nice teacher background, headset, reliable Wifi connection
  • How to Apply: Basic information, recorded interview, and short teacher quiz

Palfish is an online teaching app that connects teachers from the UK to students in China. Read my full Palfish review.

Palfish is an app that provides multiple approaches to teaching:

Freetalk: enables teachers to charge their own rate. This means they can set up to $40 per hour and accept students’ calls anywhere in China. Teachers typically earn $10-$18 per hour doing this.

Kids Course: if teachers have an ESL certificate, they can apply to teach the kids course. Teachers must set up a compelling profile with a bio description and photos. Kids can choose to book classes with the teacher. 

Pay for the kids’ course is between $16-$21 per hour. There is also a 200 RMB (US$29) bonus for new student signups.

Teachers can work morning to night on this app– there is really no limit. Their peak hours (most demanded) are from 5:30 pm-9 pm Beijing Time. This is roughly 9:30 am- 1 pm in the UK.

A lot of teachers choose Palfish due to its flexibility. Set your schedule each week to your preference. A minimum of four teaching hours per week apply.

Apply to Palfish.

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  • Requirements: TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification, degree required
  • Pay: up to $22 per hour
  • Equipment: laptop, nice teacher background, headset, reliable Wifi connection
  • How to Apply: Basic information, recorded interview, and short teacher quiz

iTutorgroup is one of the world’s largest language platforms that allow teachers to teach adults and children from China and Taiwan. Read my full iTutorgroup review.

Teachers typically earn between $1500-$2000 per month at iTutorgroup. They offer multiple types of classes, such as adult, young learner, and demo classes. 

Some classes are 25 minutes long, and some are 45 minutes long, with breaks in between to complete student feedback. Classes can hold up to 6 students.

Teachers must commit at least five hours per week, and their full curriculum is provided for classes.

iTutorgroup needs teachers available to teach at the weekend.

Apply to iTutorgroup.

Teach English Online Jobs UK


  • Requirements: TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification, degree required
  • Pay: $15-$21 per hour
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, reliable Wifi connection
  • How to Apply: Basic information, interview with an employee, submit documentation, contract signing.

Dada is an online educational platform for children and teenagers in China. Read my full Dada review.

Dada was once one of the leading online teaching companies in the industry; however, it took a hard hit during the pandemic but seem to be on the mend now after being taken over by TAL Education.

Dada works well for teachers who are willing to work long hours, as their bonus structure rewards teachers who are working more hours in the month.

Teachers enjoy working at Dada because they are not very strict, unlike the other online ESL companies based in China. Teachers work with the same students for many months, or even years, and can teach at their own pace.

Classes are 25 minutes long, and there is no lesson planning required. 

Apply to Dada.

Teach English Online

You may also be interested in: The Best English Teaching Companies in 2022.


  • Requirements: no certifications required, teaching experience is recommended
  • Pay: set your own rates; $15-$20 per hour is the typical rate
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, reliable Wifi connection
  • How to Apply: apply to the Preply website; you’ll hear back from them in 5 days

Preply is an online teaching marketplace that connects students all over the world to native English teachers. Read my full Preply review.

Teachers teach their own material, and students can sign up for a trial lesson before purchasing a package. 

Teachers are not just limited to teaching English. There are hundreds of subjects on Preply, including hobbies, art and school subjects.

In exchange for marketing your profile, Preply takes 18%-%33 commission on earnings. The more hours you work per month, the fewer commissions teachers have to pay on earnings.

English First

  • Requirements: degree required, ESL certification preferred
  • Pay: $12 to $20 per hour 
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, reliable Wifi connection
  • Tech Requirements: 5mbps upload speed, 15mbps download speed
  • How to Apply: apply to the Preply website; you’ll hear back from them in 5 days

English First allows educators to teach children and adults online from the comfort of their homes.

EF provides all the setup instructions, support, and materials so that teachers feel confident teaching Chinese adults and children online.

Teachers have the option to pick their own hours, class size, and courseware.

What makes English First unique is that they also offer teachers to teach online in their Shanghai office in China. This means that you have the opportunity to work online and travel.

Apply to English First.


Whales English

  • Requirements: degree required, ESL certification required, minimum of 1-year teaching experience
  • Pay: $18 to $30 per hour
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, reliable Wifi connection
  • How to Apply: Apply to the website, do an interview, submit documentation sign a contract.

Whales English is another online education platform based in China. 

They have a strict approval process for teachers, and depending on their skills and qualifications, they could earn up to $30 per hour. 

Teachers can expect to teach up to two students in a 50-minute class.

The schedule is fixed for an extended period of time as tutors have the same students.

Apply to Whales English.

Tutor Supply

  • Requirements: QTS/teaching qualification, DBS, and relevant work experience
  • Pay: $22 to $32 per hour
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, reliable Wifi connection
  • How to Apply: Apply to the website, do an interview, submit documentation sign a contract.

Tutor Supply hires those who have the right to work in the UK. They ask that teachers have an ESL certificate. A Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is a bonus.

Tutors can work from morning to evening Beijing time and can teach children and adults. A commission fee applies to their earnings after each lesson, but no other fee is charged on earnings.

Pay is £20-£30 per hour, and there is an additional £5 bonus structure for every extra student in the class.

Apply to Tutor Supply.


  • Requirements: bachelor’s degree, ESL certificate, over one-year of online teaching experience 
  • Pay: up to $24 per hour
  • Equipment: smartphone or tablet, headset, reliable Wifi connection
  • How to Apply: Apply to the website, do an interview, submit documentation, sign a contract.

Boxfish is a company that allows teachers to connect with students in China.

Boxfish offers teachers a flexible schedule with no time zone restrictions.

Teachers can teach two types of classes: on-demand classes and one-on-one classes.

Teachers can flexibly log on when it suits them and teach on-demand classes. These exciting lessons include 5-10 minute reading or review lessons to help students with what they’ve just learned.

Teachers can also 25-minute one-on-one classes and one-on-four classes. Classes are conducted on a phone or tablet device.

For each 5 minute class, teachers can earn $2, meaning they can earn up to $24 per hour. Each 25-minute lesson will earn teachers $11.

All teaching material is provided on the app. Teachers have to download the lesson material ahead of class.

Apply to Boxfish.

Barons English

  • Requirements: completed at least three years of university, ESL certification, online teaching experience preferred
  • Pay: $15 to $22 per hour
  • Equipment: laptop, webcam, headset, reliable Wifi connection
  • How to Apply: Complete the application form on their website; if shortlisted, they will contact you to arrange a Skype interview

Barons English is hiring those who live in the UK and are looking to teach business professionals, college students, and children living in South Korea, Japan, and China.

Lessons are one-on-one and conducted on Skype. Each lesson is 25 or 50 minutes and students can choose their teacher.

Apply to Baron English.


First Future

  • Requirements: degree required, ESL certificate, at least one year of teaching experience
  • Pay: up to $20 per hour
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, reliable Wifi connection
  • How to Apply: Submit CV and video introduction, do an interview, submit documentation, complete training.

First Future is an online teaching company that conducts classes with Chinese children and adults. What makes First Future different is their fixed and flexible schedules, which teachers can choose between.

Their flexible schedule allows teachers to add hours as they please.

The fixed schedule cannot be changed, but you are paid for all the hours you have set, whether you have a class or not. 

The company pays roughly $17 per hour (including bonuses). Teachers who teach on weekends are entitled to $1 extra per hour. 

First Future has many other opportunities for teachers to work on specific projects, which pay more (up to $20 per hour).

Apply for First Future.

Other companies worth considering:

  • Italki
  • Amazing talker
  • Voxy
  • Lingoda
  • Landi
  • Verbling
  • Learnlight
  • Blingabc

Set up Your Classroom

The basic requirements for teaching online is a working laptop (preferrably with an 8GB RAM), headset, and webcam.

You will also need to pay attention to your home environment where you plan to teach. This should be free of disturbances and well lit.

Teachers are expected to wear a shirt or sweater, nothing revealing for online teaching. 

Some cultures are more conservative. Depending on the company, some teachers are asked to cover their tattoos and piercings. 

Your teaching background is also of vital importance, especially if you are teaching children. Take a look at our best teaching backgrounds.

Having a nice teaching background can also score you bonus points in the interview.

In Conclusion

There are many online teaching companies for those eligible to work in the UK. It just takes a bit of searching, but the companies mentioned in this article are the popular choices!

Don’t forget to apply to more than one company. This increases your chances of being hired and finding a position that suits you. 

Useful Links

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.

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