Open English Review – Earn $10 to $13 Hourly as a Language Tutor

Today we have an Open English review for you to break down what working for them as an English language tutor is all about.

Open English is a language school that hires native English speakers to work remotely from home teaching English to non-native speakers. The school has been around since 2007.

In our Open English review below, we explain what they pay, who can work for them, what your schedule looks like, and more.

ESL jobs that are work at home are growing fast in popularity, so this may be a great opportunity for you if you meet the requirements to apply.

How much does Open English pay?

Pay is between $10 to $13 hourly according to Glassdoor anonymous salary reports for teachers. Sometimes you also get bonuses.

While this is not one of the high-pay ESL remote companies, there are still some features that may have you interested in working with them.

What are the requirements to become an English language tutor?

You have to be a native English speaker with an American accent, and you also must have some experience teaching the English language to people who don't speak English natively.

It's also important that you are able to speak Spanish conversationally. You can work from anywhere in the world provided you meet these requirements.

Additionally, you need a good Internet connection, and you must be somewhat tech-savvy when it comes to navigating the Internet and using web-based programs.

While it may not be required to work here, it's always a good idea to have an English language certification under your belt.

Groupon offers this for a very low price, and you can complete the training within a few months.

How do you apply to become a tutor for Open English?

The Open English website has a short form you can fill out. You have to include basic personal info (name, mailing address, etc.) along with your hours available to work, employment history, technology experience, and your experience teaching English to non-native speakers.

They also want to know if you can speak Portuguese because they are adding some native Portuguese speaking students to their program.

In addition to these things, you have to upload a recording of your voice (I'm sure this is so they can hear your accent to be sure that you do, in fact, speak English natively). The form also has a field to upload your resume, but this is optional.

How do you tutor for Open English?

You work at home teaching English to non-native English speaking students over the Internet.

You and the student interact with each other by both speaking to each other and using multi-media learning content that is accessible to both you and the student over the Internet.

What is the schedule for Open English?

The job is flexible and you can schedule yourself for shifts when you know you can work. You can also change/drop shifts very easily when it's needed.

However, you are limited to 26 hours a week, so this could never be more than a part-time work at home job.

Does Open English hire people outside the United States?

When you apply, there is a section for “country,” and they also ask if you're currently living abroad, so I'm guessing that as long as you are a native English speaker with an American accent, you can apply even if you don't live within the United States.

Final Thoughts on Open English

If you meet all the requirements, you might enjoy this. The 25 hour a week commitment may seem like a lot for some of you who don't want to work that many hours every week, however.

The website is very well laid out and easy to navigate. The only thing I'm not sure about is exactly how much a person could expect to make.

The compensation says “$8 to $11 per class” but there is no word on how long classes usually are.

If classes don't take that long, that could be a nice rate, but if classes drag on for a couple of hours, then not so much! Use your own judgment here. If you're an English speaker who can speak Spanish or Portuguese, it's probably worth checking into provided you can commit to that many hours every week.

Want to apply at Open English?

If our Open English review has you interested in applying, you can go here to apply for the Open English tutoring position.

Good luck!

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16 thoughts on “Open English Review – Earn $10 to $13 Hourly as a Language Tutor”

  1. Hello! When I go to the Open English website, it does not allow me to click on any sort of application to apply to teach online. I’ve also struggled a lot to find any way to contact someone at Open English! Any tips on another way to find the application?

    • On this page – under that second section, it lets me click the link for “submit a contracting proposal.” Does it let you click it?

  2. I’ve been working for Open English for a few months now and I highly recommend it. They hired me in the middle of getting my TEFL certification with TEFL Express, so being certified isn’t necessary. When you apply, you have to upload a recording of yourself in Spanish (or if you speak it, Portuguese) pretending to reassure a shy student. Part of the hiring process is a 20 min mock teaching session on Camping with an teacher who pretends to be a student. No video, just audio. The most impressive thing is all the information you get during the hiring process. They explain everything!

    They start you off at $9 per hour. My paycheck goes straight to my bank account twice a week and always on time. You are an independent contractor (aka self-employed). There is no hourly requirement. You could teach only one class a week if you wanted to. You use to set your scheduling preferences. Classes are available to students 24/7, so you can work anytime. You just can’t work more than 35 hrs per week. You can also drop a class or pick up a class that someone else as dropped. There is always a class to pick up, if you didn’t get assigned the schedule you prefer. I don’t like having back to back classes, so I drop and pick up classes to accommodate that.

    They have quarterly contracts. So about every 3 months OE reevaluates how many teachers they need and renew contracts accordingly. Unless you are absent a lot, you usually get renewed. With each contract renewal you can ask for a raise. OE provides the teaching material and they provide Adobe Connect (which is a lot better than Skype). There is no training, but they do provide a monthly newsletter with tips and you will be assigned an Instruction Coach who will answer any of your questions and will give good advice.

    There are two different subjects taught every day, which changes day to day. (Ex. Tuesday- Colors and Travel; Wednesday- Family and Airports; Thursday- Sports and Animals) You have to be prepared to teach both subjects at three different levels: True Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate. They provide a calendar of subjects so you can prepare ahead of time. And they provide the material that you can download ahead of time so you can prepare for all three levels of students. You won’t know which level you are teaching or what subject until the class starts because it is based on who signs up for the class at that particular hour. If not enough people sign up for the class, you will be compensated for answering students’ submitted questions or for correcting students’ short essays. (Ex. What does “a man of his word” mean? or Yesterday I go to an movie.)

    If your Spanish is not that strong, you will have only a few students who do not know any English at all, but most know enough broken English that communication will be easy. Or you will have at least one student who can help you communicate with the rest. The class is for 45 minutes with an average of about 5 students in the “classroom”, but you will be compensated for 1 hr because after each class you give each student who attended some written feedback and then you get ready for the next class. There is no video, just audio. Your students cannot see you and you cannot see them.

    If you have any technical difficulties, such as your students not being able to hear you, there is a Help button and an experienced teacher will try to help you troubleshoot and if nothing works they will teach your class instead and you will be marked as absent. Also, many of your fellow teachers live abroad.

    The students also have interactive lessons on the website that they can do on their own time. The more lessons they complete, the higher they move up from True Beginner to Intermediate.

  3. I also worked for OE and was hired pretty quickly because I do speak Portuguese and Spanish in addition to being a native English speaker. I’ve had teaching experience in ESL in other formats, and let me tell you, teaching online was the worst possible experience. This might just be a personal preference but it felt like working for a machine and not like any job where you get to really put yourself and your creativity into the lesson. Lessons are rushed and you are constantly being monitored for very specific things. I could never get the hours that I wanted to work and although classes are only 40 minutes long, you often have to work 5-6 in a row with only a 5 minute break between them to go to the bathroom or get water.

    That said, the students I had were great — as they always are — but you really miss having that personal connection in teaching them and they barely have any time to input their own ideas or responses into the lesson. As people mentioned above, everything is predetermined and pre-made, very corporate-style and I don’t think that meshes very well with teaching. I know people have had great experiences working with OE but the stress, time, and isolation (you are sitting by yourself with just a computer for hours and hours on end) were definitely not worth the money for someone living in the U.S. I could see this as being ideal if you were living abroad in a country with a cheaper standard of living and where their daytime hours were nighttime hours in Latin America (prime teaching time), but it wasn’t for me.

  4. Not a teacher related topic, but about the course:


    I liked immersion, you can practice pronunciation there following a video you see, and this tool is capable to tell you exactly which word are you pronouncing wrong.

    I liked live sessions, but then they start to turn like a mock, teachers say: good good good, but you are just reading what you see on some text.


    I wrongly bought this course thinking live sessions would improve my English, although subjective, these classes are not very interactive.

    If you are a decent English speaker you will leverage this course in about 15% of the time. You could learn more quickly with what you read on Internet.

    Delayed client attention, ugly graphic design in platform, seems done to IE6 or something like that. Scroll bars are not so responsive, background has no life.

    7 trial days that are not enough to make a decision.

    If you passed those 7 days, they don’t care how unsatisfied are you, they just put contract over client satisfaction.

  5. I have worked for OE now for not quite 2 years, and have very mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it’s a great way for student to learn English; many DO learn English quite well if they are constant with their classes, and the way the system is set up is EXCELLENT for them. They get great support from mentors, tech support, and of course, teachers! I can also say that my co-workers and supervisors, for the most part, are great and a pleasure to work with. The company has done a very nice job at fostering an environment of cooperation, respect, and sharing of ideas, and many contractors liken the work environment to that of a “big family”.
    From a labor standpoint, there aren’t as many good things I can say. First, we are counted as independent contractors, though we are essentially treated as employees (we only control our hours to a point as we are scheduled through an online scheduling system based on our availability and demand, and certainly have very specific guidelines to follow in terms of how we are to carry out our duties). Though this is probably not legal, it is not an American company, and has basically told us that it doesn’t answer to the IRS – we don’t get any kind of tax forms, and I’m sure their lawyers know what they are doing in terms of keeping its workers in a legal grey area where labor laws are concerned. Different sections of the company are also based in several different countries, all well-known tax havens. I’ll be curious to see how long it can get away with this as it grows. As independent contractors, we of course have no benefits or security, and when student attendance goes down, many are scraping for hours to make ends meet…this is especially pronounced around Christmas time, when pretty much everyone sees their hours cut down sometimes to a quarter of what they’re used to. So, my advice is this: it could be a fun second job to earn some extra cash, but if it’s your only job, watch out…especially if you live in a country with a high cost of living.
    Normally payment is received on time, but the incidences of late payments has been been increasing lately. Pay for teachers starts at $9/hour, and goes up every 3 months (10 after the first 3 months, 10.50 after the next, 11 after the next, and 12 after 2 years in good standing). The pay is definitely low for what they ask for, but a great many OE teachers are people from English-speaking countries who are living in Latin America, where that pay is actually quite good, and this is what allows OE to keep our wages suppressed even though it’s obvious that it’s no longer the little start-up it once was, but a thriving, huge company: they know most of their workers will accept it because it’s better than making $6/hour at a regular brick and mortar English institute in Latin America. It seems that many workers are actually missionaries who are primarily in those countries doing mission work, and who work at OE to support themselves while living outside of the country. So again, if you live in a relatively poor country, OE could be a good option, but don’t be looking for a raise anytime soon…they’ve made it pretty clear that it’s not in the cards no matter how successful the company itself becomes.
    To those thinking about applying: OE is looking for Portuguese-speakers mainly (but haven’t found too many willing to work for that low price), and as far as I know isn’t really considering anyone that doesn’t speak Spanish or Portuguese as a second language; the days of hiring teachers with no 2nd language skills are over.
    I hope you all find this helpful!

  6. I worked for Open English for approximately 4 months. Most times they paid on time and there were a few times they had glitches in their system that resulted in a late payday. You must have a US bank account or US paypal account in your name to be paid. You are not given the minimum of 20 hours a week to work if you are low on the seniority pole rather you have to constantly monitor their work trade board to try and pick up hours that others are trying to give away or trade. You have to be fast to pick up these hours as it’s like a feeding frenzy in a shark tank. The students are great. On average, you teach from 1 to 5 students per 40 minute class. Open English has a corporate atmosphere where everything and every response has been developed and calculated and I see this as one of their weaknesses but also understand their business model. You quickly learn that if you run into a small problem or area where you need help you are given the approved corporate/party line and there is no variation on this. Every five days you are “monitored” by a quality assurance person who rates your performance in class as a teacher. Like everyday life, these “monitors” are varied in their experience and personalities. Most are helpful and gracious while others seemed to have a big head and enjoyed their level of power over others. That is what drove me away from Open English. The experience of a rude “monitor”, that probably didn’t have the same level of experience or education in ESL that I do , yet had the power over me to make my life difficult. My student approval rating was excellent and many times my students told me I was the best teacher they had in Open English. My direct supervisor always complimented me on being an excellent teacher but the experience of being monitored by a rude and inexperienced person was belittling and frustrating.
    I wish all the students of Open English success and hope the company has staying power. I suggest they examine their corporate atmosphere a little closer and be aware of the dangers of too much “corporate speak”. They might be missing some important stuff.

  7. I have always worked hard to build Open English’s good image. In all my writings I put them on a pedestal! I used to write how much they are innovative and strive to empower people. How many times have I left my family and worked until late hours, including weekends. I was corteous and cooperative. I was proud to work for this company, but what for? To then see that they are just the common image of capitalists, who succeed by stepping on people, knocking down people who help them build a good image of them. Instead of empowering people, as they say in their advertisements, what they did was ruin their own loyal employees, putting us unfairly on the street. I had a decent job before Open English, and I innocently left my job because I believed in working for Open English. What am I going to do now? I’m unemployed, on the street, with two children to support. Have they forgotten that they were humble people and they started from scratch? Have success and fame gotten in their heads and they became cold and unfair? How many decent employers do everything to maintain the employment of their collaborators, and do everything to cut expenses and find other solutions before kicking out their faithful employees? They could have transferred me to another department, or propose to reduce my hours until I found another job. They could have been human! Isn’t it what they claim? Being human? However, they were not very human towards me and my colleagues when they cruelly put us on the street, were they? May they know we’re not just another one of their luxurious shoes, which after using for a few months, they get tired of them and throw them out to buy new ones. May they know that their employees are the ones who helped them build their positive image, and we are not disposable objects! We are decent, hardworking people with families to support, and with children who depend on us. Shame on you, Open English, running the businesses in a manner so unjust and inhumane! The words that are in the media can build the image of Open English as decent and humane, but actions speak more than words, and your actions with your employees were despicable. Grow up without putting down people around you! Be good people!

    • So sorry for your situation, Mari. Just so you know, there are several other companies out there that hire people to do ESL tutoring that you may want to check into. There are several listed here in my Education section:

  8. I currently work for the company. I speak no Spanish. The pay is 9-12 us an hour, supervisors
    start at 14. Great students, great company, but getting paid can sometimes be a pain in the ass.

  9. Hi, I also would like to add on top of what the previous two people stated, there are many growth opportunities that offer higher pay. I was promoted within my first 4 months and got a $3 pay raise. It is a great company to work for and everyone is very kind.

  10. As another OE Instructor I would add this. Think Facebook, which is for everyone, then think how fast it expanded. Then think of a 5 year old company in a niche market that has nearly 40,000 students, more than 300 teachers, and gives 9000 classes a week. If that sounds too good to be true, well, you’d better believe it. It is difficult to find even the smallest fault with OE’s operations. It is extremely well funded and is operated in all areas just as well as a top class bricks and mortar school – no scratch that, better!

    This is the first place I’ve worked in my life where I’ve been REALLY appreciated by both staff and clients (students). It’s a revelation for me!

    This really is a first class opportunity, and to answer the question in the article about how much a person could expect to make, that’s up to you. You will get the hours more or less you ask for (15 per week is now the minimum due to the expansion in the teacher base) but could ask for more than 40 per week. With the regular pay raises and fast promotion opportunities, up to $25-30000 USD a year is within reach, and possibly more. Maybe by US standards that isn’t so good, but if, like me, you live in Latin America, it’s excellent – and all earned from the comfort of your own home, and in your chosen hours.

    I think you’ll be hearing a lot more about Open English in the future!

  11. As a live instructor at Open English, I would like to provide some input for future applicants.

    Now, you only need to devote 20 hours of your time a week. The starting pay has been raised to $9 a lesson. Yes, it may seem like little compared to other TEFL jobs (but a lot compared to some others – I only made $6 an hour in Argentina and I had to do my own planning for hour and a half long lessons), but you are not required to plan any lessons, and you only teach for 40 minutes and you welcome students and get to know them for 5 – 10 minutes before that. You only need to add your own personality to the lessons they provide.

    It is not required to be bilingual to be hired, but a knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese is desired. Some of my coworkers speak zero Spanish and Portuguese, and OE offers free Spanish and Portuguese lessons to their teachers if they so desire to learn. Additionally, if you do not have a North American accent, they will hire you if you meet the credentials. We have several teachers from the UK. And no, it is a not a requirement to live in the US.

    Essentially, it is like most every other job. They have a certain set of guidelines, but if you are strong in most areas and don’t have much experience in a few, you will still be considered.

    The pay schedule is on the 15th and last day of every month, and they DO pay on time.

    It really is a great working environment, even though it’s all online. OE is a company that really cares about providing the best for its employees and students. The students and teaching team are wonderful! I’m really happy I work there!


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