The Covid-19 lockdown has seen a global increase in demand for online English teachers. 

In South Africa, 370 000 jobs are at risk, according to the South African Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Review, although industry experts consider this a conservative estimate. 

With average salaries between R190 and R560 per hour, depending on experience, teaching English online could be the solution for South Africans who find themselves struggling to make ends meet due to Covid-19 job losses.


Many companies that match up teachers with students do not have enough teachers to cope with current demand. “There are currently thousands of online teaching jobs available to South Africans, listed on the internet. It’s just a matter of getting qualified and finding a way to teach online that suits you,” says Tom Gibbons, Director at The TEFL Academy, South Africa’s leading course provider of teaching English as a foreign language. 

“For those who have suddenly found themselves without an income, it’s critical to think innovatively about making money. A TEFL qualification lets you teach from anywhere in the world – creating a unique opportunity for fluent English speakers to earn money from home,” says Gibbons.

In terms of working hours, many of the large online teaching companies are based in Asia. This means peak teaching times are Monday to Friday, 11:00 to 16:00 South African time, and 13:00 to 16:00 on weekends. Alternatively, teachers can set their own hours by adding themselves and their qualifications to an existing agency database where TEFL learners all over the world can easily find them.

An online TEFL course can be completed within four to six weeks and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. To help prospective teachers prepare for teaching online, the TEFL Academy has introduced live webinar classrooms, where TEFL teachers can practice teaching with other teachers standing in for students – a first in the online teaching space. 

“The live webinars simulate the full online teaching from home experience, providing every TEFL teacher with hands-on knowledge in terms of running an online class,” says Gibbons. “It’s a great starting point because employers always looking for someone with experience.” 

In order to teach English from home, all you need is the following:

  • A legitimate TEFL qualification
  • A stable internet connection
  • A pair of headphones
  • A microphone
  • A webcam
  • A method to receive payments, like a PayPal account

Offering accessible, flexible and cost-effective ways to get TEFL qualified, The TEFL Academy provides internationally accredited and regulated online courses. Their How to Teach English Online guide helps qualified teachers find work, offers advice on how to get qualified and provides a list of equipment needed to teach online. For more information, visit