Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Working From Home as an ESL Teacher: PROS and CONS

I have been working from home as an ESL teacher for almost 3 years now and here are some mishmash of thoughts and experiences:

  • It's an easy peasy job, but it gets boring. No career growth, no promotion. So if title matters to you, then being an ESL teacher isn't for you.  
  • The highest salary that I got was Php 30,000 and the lowest was about Php 18,000 (when I was still new). My average salary is about Php 25,000. You can earn as much as Php 45,000 if you are working full time. Kaso, hindi kaya ng beauty ko 'yan. Too lazy to be working full time.
  • I work 6 to 7 hours a day five times a week. If may pangangailangan, I add more slots. Depende lang talaga sa mood ko. But my usual target is Php 22,000. 
  • There's five percent tax being deducted from my salary. 
  • No SSS, PhilHealth, insurance and all those benefits.
  • No work, no pay.
  • I can wear decent t-shirt lang.Sometimes  (I mean, most of the time) I don't wear bra! haha! Basta shirts lang na may print sa harapan and hindi mahahalata ang nips, okay lang yan. Besides, they will only see your shoulder area.
  • No 13th month pay, but my company gives me bonus naman. Last December, I got Php 7k as a bonus. Not bad na rin
  • Getting in is difficult, but if gamay mo na ang industry, it's easy to stay na. My demo was a disaster but I'm glad my company gave me a chance. Now, I'm one of their popular teachers kasi na pupuno talaga ang slots ko and they have been asking me to add more slots but no can do. Too lazy for that. 
  • Brownout and poor internet connection are your enemies. I'm thinking of investing on a generator. I checked sa Ace Hardware. Mga less thank Php 20k lang ang isa. 
  • You have to invest in your own equipment. Mahal din ang mga earphones and all that gadgets. 
  • Japanese people are very polite. You have to be respectful though. They don't mind talking about sensitive topics, like religion and politics, just as long as you are polite about it. 
  • As in, since I have been teaching online, I have become aware of current events. You have to keep up with current events kasi my upper intermediate to advance students ka then if you are talking about North Korea or territorial problems of Japan and wala kang ma share, nga-nga!
  • I prefer adult students than children. Good thing is 90 percent of my students is adults. 
  • Company matters to me. When I was searching for a company three years ago, I wanted to be a part of a small  and growing company with good staff. My company is growing, all right. They now offer free accommodation for office-based ESL teachers. 
  • It gets boring. Example, when Kim Jong Nam was assassinated, I had to talk about it almost every hour and every day for two weeks. So if may major world events, be prepared to talk about it endlessly. 
  • No officemates. It's a pro and a con. Pro kasi no more office politics, Con kasi it gets boring. Buti at my dogs ako. 
  • Not having to deal with traffic jam. I didn't realize how bad the traffic here sa Cebu until I got here, especially sa my old bridge (Mactan-Cebu City). Almost anywhere, traffic na din dito sa Cebu. 
  • I can enjoy my house and my dogs and I can choose when I want to work.

The advantages outweigh the disadvantages so I'm sticking to this industry for a while. 

Some people ask me, do you feel tired working online? I always answer them: Tanang trabaho kapoy, that's why they call it "work". Duh. 


  1. I agree to everything as a freelancer and self-employed knowledge worker, except for the co-worker part since i don't have dogs but a cat. :D Long time lurker here.

    1. Hi Ms. Kai! I'm glad you can relate. I also have adopted cats too. Neighborhood cats lang which I've been feeding almost every night.

  2. "There's five percent tax being deducted from my salary. No SSS, PhilHealth, insurance and all those benefits."

    Is this the set up for those who work online in the Philippines? Or depende sa company?

    Kudos to your dogs for keeping you in company. Other companies overseas also have dogs in their office and also have profile pictures and bio in the About the company page.

    Ever thought of venturing to other online work like virtual assistant or writer (for other blog/company) etc.

    1. If you are affiliated with companies na base sa Philippines, they will withhold tax. Most freelancers don't pay taxes, I've heard. Thanks for dropping by. :)

  3. I agree with everything you said. I've worked as an ESL teacher too, on and off, for 5 years now. At first, it was scary and very new to me. I also have students from all ages. Younger kids are the toughest because I need to be energetic and happy all the time. I'd say the pros outweigh the cons though, especially dealing with traffic in Cebu. Ugh!

    1. Yah, one of the things I don't like about teaching kids is may mom na naka abang during my lesson. Awkward to the max. I'd rather talk to an advance student as opposed to someone hovering over my class. Thanks for dropping by, Ms. Ira.

  4. Hello Ms. M! I am planning to work as an ESL Teacher when I go home for good... I hope I can do it and earn same as you.. hehehe I already computed the approximate expenses so I do really hope and pray.. You have mentioned that "You have to invest in your own equipment. Mahal din ang mga earphones and all that gadgets."If I may I ask, what equipment are you using and what do you recommend in terms of brand for the headset and all? Thank you so much! God bless and more power!

    1. Hi po. Simple equipment lang po. Headset with noise cancellation feature and laptop/PC. optional is mouse, back up wifi connection and generator. I would love to upgrade into fancier computer chair. If may sale sa inyo, esp. abroad, mag collect kana. Cheaper sa abroad than here. :)

      Thanks for dropping by.

  5. Good to hear from you again.


    Have you thought of considering solar panels instead of generator?

    Luv the last part "Tanang trabaho kapoy, that's why they call it "work". LOL!!


I'd love to hear from you. I read and appreciate all comments. :)