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How Will I Get Paid as an Online English Teacher?

You’ve worked hard during the month, sprucing up your background, making props, inventing games, revising lesson plans, and teaching English lessons online with an enviable energy to your eager students. The time has come to be rewarded with your well-earned salary!

So, how will I get paid as an Online English teacher?

Salaries for teaching English online are either paid once a month or bimonthly on agreed-upon dates. Teachers can expect to receive their salary by means of direct bank deposit, or via other commonly used payment apps such as PayPal, Payoneer, or TransferWise. 

Let’s take a closer look at these three free-signup payment apps.


As a digital payment system, PayPal is probably the most common, and it was founded by South Africa’s own Elon Musk! The tricky issue with this online service is that the only way to withdraw money from your PayPal account is by having a First National Bank (FNB) account or if you bank with another provider, you’ll need an FNB Profile that’s linked to your bank account. Once that’s set up, on PayPal you will select the option to transfer your money to your FNB account, then go to your FNB account and under the PayPal services tab, click on Withdraw from PayPal and the amount in USD you want to withdraw. Bear in mind that PayPal charges about 2% in withdrawal fees, so make sure there’s enough in the account to cover this. You can expect the money to be in your bank account between 3-8 business days. 


Easy to sign up for, Payoneer has many benefits, including receiving funds from over 200 countries in 150 different currencies. This payment service is particularly useful if you are a freelance online English teacher. To withdraw money into your account, simply add a new bank account, select the Withdraw tab and click on ‘To Bank Account’. Choose the currency you want to withdraw from, review the transaction details, and click ‘Withdraw’! Expect the money to clear in your bank account 2-5 business days after you’ve received an email confirming withdrawal. The one downside to Payoneer? Beware of their withdrawal fees! While they charge low fees for withdrawing in the same currency, Payoneer charges a 2% fee above the mid-market rate when withdrawing in a different currency. 


While currently sending money from South Africa via TransferWise to another country is not an option, you can still receive payments via this platform. Once your payment has been made to TransferWise, it takes up to 3 days to convert the currency and reflect in your local South African bank account. 

Need other options? 

Depending on the online English teaching company or companies you’ve signed with, your current location as a teacher travelling abroad, or as a freelancer with students from various countries and requests, other online payment services worth researching: CurrencyFair, PayFast, Mobipaid, or Revolut. 

No matter the payment method, realise that the fluctuating exchange rate determines how much you’ll actually receive in ZAR. Therefore, plan ahead by saving – should your salary only be paid days later than bills are due, and set aside some moolah for those transfer fees.

Finally, all details relating to salary amount, payment date, and method should be clearly stipulated within your contract’s salary section. Study that section and ask questions for clarification before you sign on the dotted line!

Check out this blog post to learn about how much you can potentially earn as either a freelance or contracted online English teacher.

Yearning for that foreign currency earning? 

Qualify as a TEFL teacher with our accredited 120-hour TESOL certification, and land that dream online English teaching job!