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Military Spouses Overcome Employment Obstacles by Teaching English Online

At Promise, about half of us are from Military families. We’ve experienced how it is to move across the country or the world every couple of years, how it is for one parent to be away for weeks or months at a time, and how challenging it can be for a military spouse to find stable employment. So, when we think of people who can most benefit from becoming online English teachers, military spouses and significant others are naturally the first group to come to mind.

In “Military Spouses in the Labor Market” (2018), the Council of Economic Advisers describes how military spouses are far less likely than others of the same age and qualifications to participate in the labor force. Further, even when employed, they tend to earn considerably less than would be expected for their demographic and are more likely to be employed part-time when they would prefer to be employed full time. Significantly, they are more likely to work in occupations that require state licensing while also being far more often required to move across state lines. This means that every time they move, they have even more obstacles to cross before continuing to work.

These factors add up to a challenging situation, but there are many solutions. It is often suggested that military spouses work online, though this frequently takes the form of multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes. MLM schemes are known to call for a major up-front investment and are infamously disappointing in terms of income, interpersonal relationship development, and career growth. Rather than jumping into product sale schemes, military spouses can train for a career that is flexible, professionally and financially rewarding, and unaffected by state licensure laws.

One such career is online English teaching. Online English teachers can work through a company that matches teachers and students, an agency where students choose a teacher, or through a completely independent freelance operation where the teacher recruits students through online advertising. After training, teachers generally start with a company and then begin to build an independent freelance business once they have some experience. Company hiring requirements usually (but not always) include a bachelor’s degree in any subject, and most require a TESOL certificate.

There are many TESOL certificate options. The majority do not prepare trainees for the distinct challenges of online teaching, and many are designed only to be a quick and cheap qualification to add to one’s resume. Regardless of your resume, it is best to seek effective training in a new career before expecting to be successful. Promise Opens Doors TESOL/TEFL Certificate Program for Online Teaching has been rigorously designed to provide engaging, individualized, highly effective training for aspiring online English teachers. It guides trainees through every aspect of online teaching and concludes with a teaching practicum in live online English lessons, with feedback and coaching from experienced teachers throughout the program.

Check out our program options at, and contact us with any inquiries about training or job opportunities.


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