EF, or Education First, is a company that has been in the teaching industry since 1965. They have since moved into the realm of online and have gotten excellent reviews from FlexJobs—as one of the top 100 remote jobs and a company to watch.
EF is the only United States-based Teaching English as a Foreign Language school that offers remote work with a global presence. The company’s mission is to open the world through education. They launched their English online school in 1997 and has since helped millions of students learn new languages. The EF student-base ranges in age, and the global network has over 600 schools in over 100 countries.
What’s It Like Working for Education First?
EF operates schools and online platforms to help students learn conversational English. EF remote work teachers are given the best tools to teach. They want to combine in-person and one-on-one lessons to help create a better way to learn. The individualized attention allows all students to solidify their skillset and discover new ones with language—and helps them experience an international perspective.
The video class is generally twenty-five to thirty minutes long and will help the child interact with you as though you aren’t across the world. The lesson plans are preloaded into your online classroom and based on the student’s current study.
There are no mandatory teaching props or backdrops required; you can use a personal style to teach each student and will work with parents to discover how each child learns best. There is a consistency that comes with learning, and many parents want to book several months of lessons upfront. There is an opportunity for you to get repeat students and build a great student-teacher-parent relationship.
What You’ll Need
A bachelor’s degree is required for most English as a Second Language jobs. However, that bachelor’s degree does not need to be in education. It can be in any subject. You don’t even need any teaching experience to apply.
EF offers a self-paced training period that is required should you get the chance to work with them. It usually takes people about a week to complete. They are looking for residents of the United States who are living and authorized to work, and someone who is fully fluent in English.
Other skill sets they’d like you to have is that you are comfortable working with technology, headsets, and have reliable WiFi.
You will need to acquire a 40-hour TEFL, or Teaching English as a Foreign Language, certificate prior to signing your contract. Luckily, this is pretty easy to acquire online today.
While you don’t have to have a teaching degree, you will be required to get a background check. This procedure is standard in any teaching position.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Pay?
The website claims that you can make up to twenty dollars an hour. What this means is:
- You start at a base fee of $13.20 for a half-hour class
- You will have class and achievable incentives to get you to the $20.00 an hour
Some of these incentives are working during “surge hours,” which is 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. NYT from Monday through Thursday, and 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday’s. The fee for working during surge hours will add an additional $2.80 to the $13.20, which brings your payment up to $15.00.
Other bonuses you can receive is a $2.00 student service fee if you don’t cancel your class within 24 hours of the course (for one month). And the ‘45,’ which is a $2.00 extra fee to teach more than forty-five classes in one month, the eligibility for the fee renews at the start of each month.
They do offer additional rewards for the number of classes you teach, as well. EF has a set number of milestones for each teacher to reach. The milestones are rewarded with a bonus fee that varies. You can find a table on their website here with current bonuses.
Payment is once per month by direct deposit (after receiving a physical check the first one to three months while your bank account is being validated). Payment is currently on the 26th with teachers invoicing by the 5th for the prior month’s classes.
Is Teacher Support Provided?
If you are a teacher who has questions after your classes are scheduled and start, fear not, they offer twenty-four hours of support and are a company based in the United States.
How Does Scheduling Work?
EF really pushes for teachers to work through the surge hours. With the time difference, and if it pans out that your students in China could be attending your class any time between 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. weekday mornings here in the U.S. However, courses can be scheduled at any time throughout your workday. Getting the right amount of work for you will depend on how flexible your schedule can be with the parents and students.
Extra Info and Need to Knows
Working with EF is an independent, contracted position. Their website claims that most contracts are six-months with an option to renew automatically for each party (i.e., you and EF). You will be responsible for your taxes, as EF will not withhold these from your pay.
When applying, the process seems simple, you submit your qualifications, have an initial call, and then a secondary call to discuss the contract and to get you started on training and with the teaching platform.
Reviews found at Indeed and Glassdoor show about a 3.5 to a 3.8 review scale out of five stars.
At Glassdoor, 181 reviews rank a 3.8 out of five stars. Many pro comments have to do with classroom organization, the students, the environment, and the EF support staff. The cons tend to mention pay, hours, and the unpredictability of the parents.
At Indeed.com, there are 577 reviews with a star ranking of 3.6 for work-life balance, a 3.9 for culture, a 3.2 for pay and benefits, a 3.3 for job security, and 3.4 for management.
Many of the comments centered around the positives of working at EF were working with children from another country, a dynamic work environment, and the control you have over the content (lesson planning). The negative reviews centered around the unavailable and unsupportive management and the parent cancelations.
FlexJobs.com voted EF that they are in the top 100 rankings for remote work. The positions are contracted and flexible to your schedule, although they do push for specific hours to meet their client’s needs (most will live in China). The positives seem to be that you control the content, and you get to work from home with international students. The cons center around the payment schedule and the unpredictability of the students and their parents.
If you are looking to get part-time remote work, this seems to be a great job to go for, especially if you are interested in teaching. You don’t need a teaching degree to work as a remote EF instructor and the pay is competitive.
If those sound like something you’re into, check out EF to see if it is the right fit for your job needs.