If you're an ESL teacher or an aspiring teacher you've probably heard of the online teaching platform, Preply.
Preply has innovated the way online English learning works empowering both teachers and students to control their own schedules, pay and time dedicated to learning and earning.
But how does Preply work exactly?
In this article, we're deep-diving into everything you need to know about Preply and how to be as successful of the modern teaching platform.
In the simplest terms, Preply is an ESL platform that connects language learners with teachers.
While most ESL companies take control over schedules and lessons, Preply hands everything over to students and teachers.
This means, as a teacher, Preply works as a platform to advertise yourself to students.
Preply uses an algorithm to connect students to teachers, which makes getting your teaching profile perfect, which is explained in more detail in this article.
How To Start Teaching With Preply
Unlike most ESL teaching platforms, you do not need to be a native English speaker, nor do you need teaching qualifications or a degree.
That's just one of the reasons Preply is featured as a top choice as one of the best ESL companies for new ESL teachers.
Preply also doesn't require tutors to meet any hourly or weekly teaching quotas, meaning you can work when you want and from where you want.
However, as Preply is a competitive-based teaching platform, teachers are competing against other teachers for students and visibility. Due to this it's highly recommended teachers have a TEFL qualification, at the very least.
Getting a TEFL Certificate to Teach on Preply
While Preply doesn't require a TEFL certificate, you may have a hard time attracting students without one. This is due to the high competition for students, who favor qualified and more professional, experienced teachers.
While there are hundreds of TEFL options out there, it's important the certificate is accredited, especially as many ESL platforms won't accept non-accredited TEFL certificates. The most TEFL popular option is Premier TEFL which features a range of ESL courses and which can be completed entirely online.
Teaching IELTS on Preply
If you want to really stand out on Preply, getting IELTS certified is a great strategy.
IELTS is a cheap, affordable, and fast certificate to attain that allows you to teach IELTS preparation (exam prep) to students currently studying for their exams.
Adding an IELTS certification to your Preply profile can give you an upper hand when it comes to securing jobs and students. This is because students will specifically search keywords in Preply including IELTS and your profile will appear in these results giving you more exposure and potentially yo secure new students.
Like TEFL courses, Premier TEFL is an affordable and trusted IELTS course provider.
How to Get Hired on Preply?
Preply is one of the easier online ESL platforms to get hired with. This is because there is no interview process. You simply sign up and fill out a profile, which is sent for review by the Preply team. Successful applicants will be able to further edit their profiles and start reaching students.
But while it's easy to get hired, it's not always easy to get students - this is where the real challenge of Preply lies. To become successful on Preply you're going to need a standout profile that gets you visibility from English learners.
How to Make a Preply Profile Stand Out
Make sure your profile photo is clear, professional, and friendly. Your image is the first thing potential students will see and whether you like it or not, they will undoubtedly form an option about you on this photo alone.
A serious non-smiling photo might portray completely different to an image of you smiling. Just think, if you were a student, what kind of image would appeal to you most? A good exercise is to search through current teacher profiles and choose 4-5 teachers of similar age and gender to you that you would want to talk to based on their image alone.
Preply profile photo tips:
- Have a clear background
- Make sure you're the only person in the photo
- Be sitting upright
- Ensure there is good lighting
- Stay away from selfies
These Preply profile photos are some great examples:
Preply Introduction video:
Introduction videos are extremely important in Preply. Potential students will use these videos to determine which teachers to book. You've already interested a student enough to want to learn more - this is your time to shine and secure a student.
Tips to make a great Preply intro video:
- Be friendly and welcoming
- Keep it less than 2 minutes long
- Show your personality
- Explain your teaching experience, qualifications, and areas you specialize in
- Let potential students know the best way to contact you
Your intro video must be filmed horizontally and cannot contain your personal information.
Preply Profile section:
Your written profile section is all about selling yourself. You want to catch a student's attention with keywords that highlight your specialties and personality.
Profiles are separated into three sections: headlines, description bodies, and subject descriptions.
How to make your Preply profile stand out:
- Headline: Write an eye-catching headline that states your specialties
- Description: Include your experience, qualifications and teaching methods
- Description: What makes you a good teacher?
- Use a friendly tone throughout your profile
There is also a subject section where you can explain each teaching subjects you offer. This is a good chance to win students with short, but strong, subject descriptions.
Here are some tips for your subject sections:
- Don't leave subjects empty
- Explain each subject clearly and concisely
- Include details
- Make every description unique (don't copy and paste the same descriptions)
It's essential to make sure your grammar and spelling are immaculate, so we always recommend a proofreader like Grammarly that will point out any grammar or spelling mistakes - the best part? It's free.
How Do Preply Lessons Work
All Preply lessons are one-on-one classes. These classes are decided by the teacher, who gives students an availability calendar from which they can book lessons.
Tutors are able to teach 50 different languages, which means Preply is also a good choice for multi-lingual teachers.
Preply’s Booking System
Preply classes can be booked in two ways:
- Reaching out to student offers
- Student books through tutor search
The tutor search feature is the most important means to get students. Potential students will filter and scroll through teacher lists which show:
- Tutor name
- Native Speaker
- Number of active students
- Pay rate
- Profile snippet
Students decide on a teacher based on these results.
Tutors who teach more often will appear higher in the search results.
Preply’s Peak Teaching Hours
Peak teaching times will vary depending on your location and the location of your students.
If you are specifically targeting a geographic region, then use mornings and late afternoon hours (local time) as a base for their peak times.
How Much Can You Earn on Preply?
Preply teachers set their own pay rates on the platform.
However, this does not necessarily mean you'll make great money right off the bat. Remember, you're competing with a lot of qualified teachers at competitive pay rates.
Establishing your pay rate depends on a number of factors:
- Your qualifications
- Your experience
- The demand for your specialties
- The students you're targeting
Preply states average US teachers make $550 per week. On average teachers earn between $15 - $20 per hour.
Preply’s Commission Structure
Important note: Preply takes 100% commission of your first lesson and between 18% - 33% commission from then on based on how much you've taught. Similar to a loyalty system.
How Preply Commission Works:
- Teach 0–20 hours = 33% commission deducted
Teach 21–50 hours = 28% commission deducted
- Teach 51–200 hours = 25% commission deducted
Teach 201–400 hours = 22% commission deducted
Teach 400+ hours = 18% commission deducted
What To Do in Your Preply Application is Rejected
While Preply generally has high success rates, it is still possible your job application will get rejected.
However, this does not mean all is lost. If you're adamant enough, you can find out why your application was rejected and see if you can correct any correctable things in your application to get accepted.
To increase your chances of being accepted, here are some steps you can take:
- Review the rejection email: Carefully read the email sent by Preply, which (hopefully) explains why your application was rejected. This can give you insight into areas you need to improve.
- Focus on improving your profile: Update your profile with any relevant information, such as teaching experience, qualifications, or certifications. Make sure that your profile is complete and accurate, and that it reflects your skills and abilities. Review this blog post to ensure your profile is at a high standard.
- Seek feedback: Reach out to Preply's support team and request feedback on your application. They may be able to provide you with constructive feedback and tips on how to improve your profile.
- Reapply: Once you've made the necessary improvements to your profile, you can reapply for a teaching position on Preply. Make sure to include any new information or certifications you've acquired since your last application.
5 Teaching Tips for Working at Preply
Preply is a platform that rewards active teachers. The more you teach the less commission and higher you'll appear in student searches.
Here are my top tips for working at Preply:
- Create an excellent profile
- Reply promptly to student messages
- Highlight your specialties and target niche students
- Dedicate time to teaching on Preply
- Start with a lower pay rate and build-up students
The Pros & Cons of teaching with Preply
Preply isn't for everyone, but for those who market themselves well can become successful on the teaching platform.
- Access to a large student-base
- Unlimted teaching potential
- Set your pay rate
- No hourly quotas
- Teach multiple languages
- High commissions when starting
- Competitive platform
- Need to spend time marketing yourself
- Teach first lesson for free
Is Preply right for you?
As a free marketplace for teachers, Preply could be your number one ESL job, or it could be a flop.
If you're willing to create a strong profile and be proactive, Preply will likely work well for you.
The great thing about Preply is it's easy to get onto the platform and try it for yourself.