Teaching English online with no degree
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How to Teach English Online Without a Degree (+ 14 Places Hiring)

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For years, I’ve had people asking me, “Can you teach English online without a degree?”

It was the one thing holding some people back. They knew English, they had a native English tongue, and they were enthusiastic… Why couldn’t they teach English online?

I started off teaching English in Thailand, and soon after I started teaching English online.

I soon realized I could make money while traveling in Southeast Asia solely by working online as an English teacher. It was a great job, and I’m perpetually reminiscing on those years because they are what started it all for me.

They enabled me to continue traveling for years, and soon I moved on to other ventures, but it DID all start with teaching English abroad and then online.

And while I DO have a degree (in Criminal Justice and International Affairs, mind you), I wanted to provide my readers with the answer they deserved. Can a native English speaker still teach English online without a degree?

Can You Teach English Online Without a Degree?

Yes! Once upon a time, before the real world caught up with sticklers for rules and regulations that often have no practical purpose, you would need a degree to teach English online. But not now.

People who want to learn English as a foreign language don’t really care about a deep understanding of the language.

empty classroom hall
You don’t have to be a grammar nazi in order to teach English online

It’s about conversation more than anything, not winning spelling bees and learning to become the next grammar nazi.

Many students are looking for work that requires fluency in English; the demand is up, which means the demand for English teachers is on the rise as well.

This means you have more negotiating power. When people merely want to be able to converse in English, suddenly, a fancy degree doesn’t seem all that important.

What Do You Need to Teach English Online Without a Degree?

TEFL Certificate

While you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to teach English online, you will need to prove to potential employers that you know what you’re doing. Especially if you’re aiming to use this job as a way to travel, quit your day job, and make some money.

Getting a TEFL is the best way to do this, It’s a mini-course on teaching English!

The certificate for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (aka TEFL) is relatively cheap and pretty simple to get. It can’t hurt you, and it can only make you more marketable. And in this increasingly globalized and free market, marketability is the name of the game.

Here’s how to choose a great and cheap TEFL without getting scammed like I almost did!

Once you have your TEFL certificate in hand, your options expand infinitely.


student reading a book outside


There are tons of TEFL programs out there, and it’s hard to sift through which are actually worth it, trust me, I made a mistake when choosing mine! DON’T BE ME!

I’ve got you covered with the best TEFL program so you can teach English around the world and travel!

50% off with code: nina50

RELATED: How Not to Get Screwed Over While Choosing the Best Online Tefl Course

Fluent in English

Most legit companies will also look for teachers who are native or near-native English speakers. This is especially important if you want to teach English online without a degree, so if English isn’t your first language, you’ll likely need a C2-level proficiency.

It’s also preferred that you don’t have a strong accent, and neutral American and British accents typically are the most preferred.

The Gear

A laptop or computer and a good internet connection are essential for teaching English online.

You’ll want to really make sure that wherever you’re teaching from, your students are going to get a good experience. So, in addition to the basics like a computer and the internet, you’ll also want to invest in a good headset and camera.

headphones on a person with laptop in front
You’ll need a decent headset at the least!

You should also think about what type of background you’ll have behind you. Strive for a white or plain background (AKA nobody wants to see your messy closet in the back).


Some schools require their teachers to have some teaching experience under their belt. This doesn’t necessarily have to be experience teaching English online. It could be volunteering at a language camp abroad, experience tutoring in math, or something similar.

You could get some experience volunteering at your local school or even head out abroad to get a bit of experience teaching English without a degree in other countries abroad!

Not all are going to require this, but obviously, if you have something to show that you kinda sorta have a tiny bit of experience, then you’re more likely to get a job quickly.

Teaching Materials

For actual teaching materials, some schools will provide you with visual aids like power points, while others require you to provide your own stuff. If you’re required to make your own lesson plans, you might get paid more, but if you’re just starting out, I recommend finding a school that helps you out!

man in office behind at desk smiling teaching English online without a degree
Teaching English online without a degree is possible! Woo!

I found it was much easier to get paid less and have the materials provided. My level of effort was almost nonexistent, and it was great. (I mean, come on, I didn’t even wear pants half the time!)

If you’re just starting out, I would say definitely aim for a school that offers resources and classes prepped for you. Otherwise, you’ll not only be teaching for the first time, but you’ll have to lesson plan too, which is a bit much!

Best Schools to Teach English Online Without a Degree

Perhaps moving abroad isn’t for you, or maybe you are already abroad but want to supplement your income a bit. Either way, teaching English online without a degree is a great work-from-home/digital nomad job.

After hours and hours of research and even speaking to other teachers and friends around the world, I did find some schools hiring online English teachers without a degree.

It may not pay all the riches in the world, some may need experience, and most require a TEFL but there are jobs out there that you can nab online so you can teach in your underwear!

woman with laptop smiling because she got a job teaching english online without a degree
Working online means working from anywhere!

Oh, wait, was that only me? Seriously though, no pants are required for teaching online, it’s great!

OK, right, so which schools can you actually teach English online without a degree? Let’s get into it!

👉 Get Your TEFL NOW

This is the cheapest and easiest one to get! Use NINA50 at checkout for 50% off.

Teach English online without a degree at one of these online schools:Notes
1. Open EnglishTEFL: Required
2. CamblyTEFL: Preferred
3. SkimaTalkTEFL: Preferred
4. Lingoda TEFL: Required
NATIVE ENGLISH: C2 level proficiency
5. RypeAppTEFL: Preferred
6. TutloTEFL: Required
7. iTalkiTEFL: Required
8. All RightTEFL: Required
9. AllschoolTEFL: Preferred
10. EngooTEFL: Preferred
NATIVE ENGLISH: C2 proficiency
11. VerblingTEFL: Required
NATIVE ENGLISH: C2 proficiency
12. Learn LightTEFL: Required
NATIVE ENGLISH: C2 proficiency
13. LearntalkTEFL: Preferred
NATIVE ENGLISH: C1proficiency
14. CafeTalkTEFL: Preferred

Tips For Teaching English Online Without a Degree

  • GET A TEFL! – Did we get that yet? Most schools that allow you to teach English online without a degree will certainly want you to have a TEFL, and honestly, without a degree and experience, you should want a TEFL. It gives you a preview of what life will be teaching English online and how to do it properly. Do everyone a favor and grab one.
  • Get experience under your belt. Go abroad to teach a bit, or at the least, if you can’t afford it or have time, find a local school with an ESL program and ask to be a volunteer. This is what I did before teaching abroad, and it was a great experience and made me look damn good on paper.
  • Go for tutoring gigs. Tutoring vs working in a school could work out WAY better for you in most countries and even online. You’re often marketing yourself, so it does take more legwork, but doing private lessons and tutoring could work out way better as there’s often less red tape to go through.
  • Up your skills. Start working on your degree online and mention that you’re working towards it. Start working at a camp with kids, volunteer in a related field, DO something to make yourself look better on paper and to show you really want this.
  • Play up your skills. What skills do you have that are related? Play them up! Talk about being a camp counselor, even if it was a while ago, it can show you love children and teaching. Did you complete some college? Do you have some teaching experience, even if it’s not English? If you want to teach English online without a degree, you’ll need to stand out even more since everything is so impersonal.
  • Be professional. This is a given with anything. Make yourself look good in any way, remain positive, be bubbly, dress right, be enthusiastic, study the school, etc.
  • Understand that you can grow. Not every online school will be your ultimate cup of tea, but remember, you can always grow. We all start somewhere; nobody is a tree, and therefore they are not stuck. Take opportunities, learn and grow from them, and move on to the next one until you reach your ideal place.
  • Have a nice picture. Most places will probably have you turn in a photo or maybe even make a quick video.
  • 120-hours or nothing. Don’t try to slip a fast one, and think you can do the cheapest TEFL with the least amount of effort and get on just fine. You MUST take the 120-hour course, this is the only one that will be internationally recognized and can be used for a work permit if you go abroad. Even if you’re only teaching online without a degree, just get the 120-hour degree as it’s what is accepted.

👉 Get Your TEFL NOW

This is the cheapest and easiest one to get! Use NINA50 at checkout for 50% off.

I really hope this helped you realize it’s possible to teach English online without a degree, and I know you can do it!

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  1. So sorry if this in answered somewhere in your post but when you referencing having a degree, do you mean that you need a BA specifically related to teaching or any bachelors degree? I ask as I am currently a RN and have a bachelors of science in nursing! Thanks!

    1. PS – That’s a great advantage bc you can even specialize in teaching nursing English. Plenty of people want to learn English in that specific field, which isn’t something everyone can do, so definitely look into that. You could even make more money bc of that.

  2. After years and years of going back and forth with this, I think I’m finally going to do it. I saw your post on myTEFL and started talking to them about their programs, and found out I needed a degree to get their placement help. I was torn on doing the internship in thailand because it obviously costs money, but after reading this post about experience and you mentioning the internship in thailand… i feel like its a good sign! I will be stalking your whole blog on abroad travels and online teaching! Thanks for being so helpful and awesome!

  3. Good day. My name is Uys and I’m a South African citizen.
    I possess a BA degree as well as a PGCE qualification and have 9yrs teaching experience. I’m a qualified assessor and moderator. I’m looking for a part time teaching position in Kiev.
    Can you assist me in this regard?
    Sincerely, Uys

  4. This is really motivating and highly encouraging.Thanks for these truthful revelations.I’ll definately and without wasting any more of my time,get down to work.Thanks a bunch!