How To Teach English Online With No Experience

Did you know you can teach English online with no experience, right now? 

No degree or qualifications are needed. 

After a short application process, there are companies that allow you to start teaching English online as soon as you get accepted.

One of these companies is Cambly, a company I have been working for over the last 8 months. 

In this post, I want to share my experience with you in how I went from someone with zero experience teaching English to someone who now tutors full time whilst traveling the world.

Table of Contents

Dan Harmon Teaching English Online
Yours truly teaching english online from my room in Ecuador.

Where To Start Teaching English Online?

So you’re bored. You’re sick of your current job, you want to travel, you want freedom and you desperately want to work remotely? 

This is exactly how I felt last year. I was doing a super boring traffic control job that I hated.

So between looking for oncoming cars, I was desperately googling away, trying to find ways to work online so I could quit… 

The main problem was I had absolutely no skills that could allow me to do so. 

That was the problem anyway until I stumbled upon an article titled “10 companies that let you teach English without a degree”. 

Intrigued by the headline, I clicked and had a quick read. 

After a short scan, I clicked through to company number 1. Cambly…

So, What Is Cambly?

Cambly is an online english teaching company that allows you to tutor english to students from all over the world.

You don’t need any prior experience/qualifications, and you will meet students from all over the world, with some of the most popular countries being; Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Brazil, Japan, and China.

The hours are flexible, and you can make around $8-10 USD per hour. 

If you’re serious about teaching English online with no experience or qualifications or generally prefer video content, please check out this video. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel.  

Applying For Cambly

When you click on ‘Become a Tutor With Cambly’ you will be taken to the application page.

On this page, you will be asked for some basic information about yourself. You can make this super simple but be sure to come across as friendly and enthusiastic as this is what your future students will see when they look at your profile.

You will also be asked to record a short 1-minute video. Again, this video is what students will look at and decide whether or not they’re going to call you, so make sure you talk clearly, be enthusiastic, smile and act like you want to meet people! 

Now as far as the application process goes, I have heard mixed reviews on how quick (or rather how long) the process took. 

For me, however, my application was accepted within TWO DAYS of applying. This was epic, and it meant I could start teaching from that point on. 

Although it was really quick for me, some people have said it took 6 MONTHS to hear back from the team at Cambly. You just gotta apply and see…

Dan Harmon Teaching English Online

How Does Cambly Work?

When you have been approved, you will see your tutor dashboard. This is where you’ll be controlling everything from now on.

Along the top, you will see tabs indicating; Dashboard, Priority Hours, Reservations, Library, History & Profile. 

Priority Hours

Priority hours are the hours you sign up for students to call you. This means you have to answer any call you get within that hour. 

When you are first starting out, the PHs are the best way to meet new students and are just great to get started. (I still mostly use PHs now). 

When I signed up for my first ever PH, (I think I signed up for two consecutive) I won’t lie, I was absolutely terrified. 

I ended up nervously firing out random questions to a Chinese lady, who, luckily, was super nice and friendly (as are most students on Cambly). 

Students choose to call you, and lessons vary in length, usually lasting; 15, 30, 45, or 60 mins. 

Whereas most students you speak to are just looking to have a conversation with a native speaker, some will want a lesson or something more specific. Cambly has lessons built into their platform that is super easy for you to walk a student through. 

There are also quiet times and busy times. I’ve found Sunday & Monday, Australia Time (AEST) is the busiest as this is the weekend in most of the world. 

So it is definitely worth planning your hours to accommodate this. 

It’s also worth noting how many hours you can actually work. 

I find that if I do more than 3 PHs consecutively, I start to lose concentration, and my lesson quality deteriorates, so I would highly recommend doing blocks of 2-3 hours. 

Reservations

After you have completed a few Priority Hours, you might be lucky enough to have a student make a reservation with you. 

If a student enjoys their initial lesson with you, they will reserve another one with you. 

You can set your reservation schedule as part of Priority Hours and/or have a separate reservation schedule. 

A great way to start generating some regular students is to set up the next lesson straight after your first. 

You can do this by sending a student a friendly message saying, ‘it was nice to meet you’, ‘look forward to next time’ or by asking them what you can do for the next time. 

Payment

With regards to payment, the money isn’t amazing on Cambly.

It pays 0.17 US cents per minute and you are ONLY paid for the time you are on call for. So if you were on call for a whole hour, it would be 10 USD per hour. 

However, you are rarely constantly on call even when you are on a Priority Hour, so it is more realistic to expect $7-8 Per hour. 

In my experience, a typical Priority Hour (without reservations) may be;

Student A – 15 Minutes $2.55 

Student B – 30 Minutes $5.10 

With a 15 minute gap in between (that you’re not paid for).  

To be honest I don’t think the pay is too bad, considering you’re someone who isn’t a ‘qualified teacher’ and has no experience. 

On Sunday & Monday – You’re more likely to be getting closer to that $10 per hour mark! Winning! 

After completing any call time on Cambly, you’ll be able to see what you’ve earned on the ‘History’ tab which is really nice to see as you teach. You are then paid every Monday, Los Angeles time (PST) into your PayPal account.

For me, my pay has been paid on time every week without fail. 

Pros

  • Students from all over the world 
  • Genuinely interesting students 
  • Make friends from all over the globe
  • No qualifications needed 
  • No experience needed
  • Work from anywhere
  • Super flexible hours

Cons

  • Low pay
  • PH access sometimes limited 
  • Gaps between calls 
  • Internet connection problems 
  • Occasional rude student (very rare in my experience)

How To Teach English Online With No Experience - Summary

To summarise I think Cambly is one of the coolest jobs you can have. Especially when you’re traveling. 

You’re paid to chat and meet people from all over the world. And although the pay isn’t great, the flexibility you have when choosing when you want to work is really hard to beat. 

So if you’ve already read this far, I would highly recommend applying, getting stuck into a few Priority Hours, meeting some students, and seeing how you go. 

If you love it, then fantastic, you’ll be joining other tutors like me who do this full time. If you try it and find it’s not for you, then you never have to do it again. 

It’s a win-win. 

One last thing I will say is please don’t let the nerves of getting started to prevent you from doing so. Just power through those first few calls and become better and better with each call you get.

Dan Harmon Teaching English Online

Me teaching English online from my room in Ecuador. 

Other Companies That Allow You To Teach English Online With No Experience

In my personal experience, I have only worked for Cambly so far. However, I am currently in the application process for a few other companies.

I figured having the power to teach for a few different companies would be pretty cool. However, many companies now require a TEFL certificate to tutor for them. 

The TEFL certificate basically teaches you how to teach English and costs around $300. 

Although it seems fairly expensive, I would say it is well worth doing in the long run, especially if you want to make it your full-time job. 

I did mine with Premier TEFL, which you can check out here. 

Other companies worth checking out include; 

I hope this article has been helpful for you in learning how to teach English online with no experience and will hopefully be the Kickstarter to your teaching career… 

Teaching English truly is one of the best jobs for full-time travelers! 

Please let me know how you get on with your Cambly application in the comments below, and I look forward to hearing about your first experience.  

In the interest of full disclosure, there are affiliate links within this post. This just means that if you click on a link to Cambly from this page, I make a small commission if you end up completing a few tutoring hours 🙂

Dan Harmon

Dan Harmon

Hello! My name's Dan Harmon and I am a full time content creator and copywriter working freelance as I travel and surf my way around the globe. This blog is where I show you how to do the same.