Published 13th June 2019

extra money

As a TEFL teacher, your main focus is on teaching English as a Foreign Language. Or is it? While we all hope we’ll land an amazing TEFL job with an unbelievable salary, this isn’t always the case. We might find that we teach only in the mornings or only four days a week or not in the summer. If this is the case, we might need to find ways to supplement our income without getting another full-time job. Below we have provided five ways you can make extra money while teaching abroad.

5 ways to make extra money while teaching abroad

Teaching private lessons

If you have free time during the day or on weekends, you can find yourself a few private students to up your income. Private students are great to have because your lessons are usually flexible in terms of scheduling and most of the time you can conduct your lessons in a coffee shop – what’s not to love?
Top tip: don’t sell yourself short. Make sure you set your lesson rates at a fair price for your time and effort. Remember, your students are paying for the privilege of one-on-one lessons.

Teaching online

If you’d rather stay home in your time off, or if you’re looking to make extra bucks during school holidays, try your hand at online teaching. It’s not for everyone and can take some getting used to but if you find you enjoy it, it can be a great way to earn a little money on the side. And you can do it wherever and whenever you want.
Top tip: Don’t be shy. Advertise your online lessons whenever and wherever you can, you’ll be surprised how well word of mouth works.

Freelance work

Put your English knowledge to good use! Sign up to online freelance platforms like Upwork and find work writing, editing or proofreading.
Top tip: Branch out and work on projects not only related to teaching. You can quite easily earn a few bucks proofreading an Archeology thesis or writing a marketing article.


If you’ve got a way with words and an eye for photography you should consider starting a blog. Being a TEFL teacher means a travel blog would be a good fit but you could really blog about anything you want – teaching, beauty, living abroad. Once you’re established as a brand and have a following you can make money through advertising or sponsorships.
Top tip: If you are living in an interesting place, even the most everyday occurrences for you would be interesting for someone else. You already have a huge following in TEFL teachers who are interested in teaching wherever you are.

Au pairing

Being a TEFL teacher will make your CV shine as an au pair. If you’re living in a non-English speaking environment you should be able to find a family that is looking for an English-speaking au pair to look after the children in the afternoons or on weekends and do homework.
Top tip: Do a first aid course before you leave home. This will make you that much more attractive to families looking for people to look after their children.

So now you know about 5 ways to make extra money whilst teaching abroad.


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