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21 Best Companies to Teach English Online to Chinese Students in 2021

There’s a huge demand for people qualified to teach English online to Chinese students. Many Chinese people choose to study English for business-related or social purposes. Even if you don’t speak Chinese yourself, there are many resources available to teach Chinese kids English through the internet.

The 24 Best Companies for Teaching English to Chinese Students Online

VIPKID

vipkid
5 Stars

VIPKID is our top overall recommendation because of the flexibility and high rate of pay. You can set your own schedule and teach students one-on-one without needing to worry about class times. In addition, all of the lesson plans are pre-made, so you don’t need to sink time into building your own curriculum.

There are more than 800,000 students who currently use VIPKID, and over 100,000 teachers have come aboard. Glassdoor rates the company as one of the best places to work when you’re teaching English to Chinese students online. Every contract has a six month minimum of commitment, but you can choose how much or how little to work during that time period.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree
  • Rate: $14 to $22 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 PM to 12 AM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 7.5

DaDa

dada abc
5 Stars

DaDa ABC is another company that makes our list of the best options. You will need to have previous teaching experience and a college degree, but the pay tends to be higher than most other jobs. DaDa is partnered with the TESOL Institute itself, which means that it adheres to rigorous standards when providing Chinese students with English education.

All students are between the ages of 4 and 16, making this a great choice for teachers who want to work with kids. You’ll undergo tutoring sessions in a one-on-one format. The company has an internationally recognized curriculum that is praised by various institutions for its effectiveness.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, certification, 2+ years of experience
  • Rate: $14 to $25 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 PM to 9 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 6

Magic Ears

magic ears
4.5 Stars

Magic Ears is an ESL company that has its own online platform for students aged 4 to 12. If you want to work with younger students, this is a good choice. The company’s stated mission is to give teachers the best career opportunities while putting students in touch with global classroom resources.

Each classroom involves one teacher with four students. This fosters a more collaborative and engaging learning environment than one-on-one tutoring sessions. You can earn up to 26 dollars an hour, and the hours are flexible enough for you to choose whatever works best for you.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, 1+ year of experience
  • Rate: $12 to $26 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 PM to 9 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 1.5

EF Education First

english first
4 Stars

EF Education First is a company that connects teachers to international students so that they can work from home. Classes take place every day throughout the year, so you can choose the days that work with your schedule. You might teach adults or students, and you have the option to teach one-on-one tutoring sessions or group classrooms.

Each teacher has access to an online classroom with lesson plans, teaching tools, and optional resources. Since your teaching materials are pre-made, you don’t have to worry about designing a curriculum. You can set your schedules in advance and find out how much you’ll earn in any given month.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree
  • Rate: $10 to $17 hourly
  • Class Times: 9 AM to 6 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 5

Skooli

skooli
4.5 Stars

Skooli is a company that allows teachers to connect with students about multiple subjects. They also teach English to international students. Unlike many other companies, they have a flat pay rate of 25 dollars per hour. Every time you amass 100 dollars, you can request a payout.

The interactive teaching platform uses Google Docs and other technology. Each teacher will create a profile with an introduction video. Students will then decide whether they want to use your practice. As such, this opportunity works best for teachers who can make an appealing introduction.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, certification
  • Rate: $25 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 AM to 3 AM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 15

Qkids

qkids
4 Stars

Qkids is an ESL company that strictly hires teachers who come from Canada and the US. You must either have a bachelor’s degree or be enrolled in a bachelor’s program at an accredited school. Classes are made up of one teacher with up to four children, and you’ll teach during peak classroom times in China.

Students with this school range in age from 5 to 12 years old. Each of the classes is 30 minutes long. You will be provided with your own teaching materials, so you don’t have to make your own curriculum. The job interface is also joyful and colorful, encouraging learning in younger children.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree or current enrollment in bachelor’s program, 2+ years experience
  • Rate: $16 to $20 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 PM to 9 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 6

Looking for more options? Check out these 15 Best Places to Teach English Online to Korean Students

iTutorGroup

itutorgroup
4.5 Stars

iTutorGroup also goes by the name TutorABC. This Shanghai-headquartered company has been in business since 1998. In the past, pay raises were largely dependent upon student ratings. But the company has recently shifted to more experience-focused pay raises instead.

If you complete a certain number of hours each week, you can also earn pay bonuses. The longer you continue working with the company, the better your bonus rate will be. Classes might be one-on-one tutoring sessions or small classrooms of up to six students. Materials are provided for you, and you’ll be teaching adults or children.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, certification
  • Rate: $5 to $22 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 AM to 12 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 5

Gogokid

gogokid
4 Stars

Gogokid is constantly seeking new teachers who can teach English to Chinese students. They sometimes offer teacher incentives, in which you’ll be given a pay bonus for signing up at certain times. Classes are flexible, so you can teach at any time during the day in Beijing.

All classes are structured as one-on-one tutoring sessions. Since the students range from age 4 to 12, this is a good choice for people who want to teach English to younger groups. Pay rates vary depending on your performance ratings, past experience, and number of online hours. You’ll need a camera, laptop, and headset to conduct your lessons.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, certification, 2+ years of teaching experience
  • Rate: $14 to $25 hourly
  • Class Times: 9 AM to 9 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 10

SayABC

sayabc
4.5 Stars

SayABC is a subset of VIPKID. As such, it has much of the same flexibility and excellent pay. One forty-minute lesson can pay up to 28 dollars, with each lesson having a base payment of 15 dollars. The SayABC setup is exclusively classrooms made up of four students. You will commit to teaching one class for three months.

If you are taken on as a teacher, you will need to commit to a three-month contract. If your attendance is good and your classes are well-reviewed, you can easily have that contract renewed at the end of your first class. The scheduling isn’t as flexible as with some other jobs, but the high rate of pay makes up for it.

  • Requirements: Associate’s or bachelor’s degree
  • Rate: $15 to $28 per 40 minutes
  • Class Times: 6 PM to 9 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 5

Italki

italki
4 Stars

Italki is known for being one of the best places for non-English speakers to look for English teachers. Rather than being an online school, the company functions as a ‘matchmaking’ site for teachers and students. Freelance teachers can post their services and prices, and students can decide whether your expertise is right for them.

The platform is rather competitive, since most freelance English teachers use it. However, it also has more students than almost any other ESL platform on the internet. You’ll get the best use out of it if you have a detailed profile, solid introduction video, and unique teaching angle that stands out from the rest.

  • Requirements: None
  • Rate: $3 to $35 (self-set)
  • Class Times: 6 AM to 3 AM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 0

Cambly

cambly
4.5 Stars

Read our in-depth Cambly Review for 2021

Cambly is set up to let English learners speak to an English tutor whenever they need a lesson. You can talk to many different students and sink multiple hours into the site. Though they only hire native speakers, you do not need to have a college degree or certification. That makes it a great choice for people who want to teach English without a degree.

The number of students you’ll have depends on the time of day. During peak teaching hours, there tend to be many students online. But if you’re working during the night in Beijing, you’re less likely to find matches. You can speak to students at a flat rate of 10 dollars an hour, which raises to 12 dollars an hour when working with kids.

  • Requirements: None
  • Rate: $10 to $12 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 AM to 3 AM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 0

Classtalk

classtalk
4 Stars

Classtalk is a resource that allows you to teach Chinese students between the ages of 6 and 10. For new teachers, the average pay rate is about 20 dollars per hour. Your pay rate will be higher if you teach more classes during each month. All teaching materials are prepared ahead of time, and the school has its own system of teaching.

Teachers must be available for at least eight hours every week. It’s best to be available during peak teaching hours in Beijing. All payments are made securely through Paypal.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, 1+ year experience
  • Rate: $20 to $30 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 PM to 9 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 8

PalFish

palfish
3.5 Stars

PalFish is an ESL company that has developed its own app to teach a variety of English skills. You might teach students international English standards, phonics, and grammar. Teachers are able to set their own rates, and a TEFL certificate is recommended but not required.

The company is currently looking for teachers who can work with younger students. To apply for this program, you must be a native English speaker. You might be working with students as young as 3 years old.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, certification preferred
  • Rate: $10 to $30 hourly (self-set)
  • Class Times: 6 AM to 3 AM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 4

Landi

landi
4 Stars

Landi is an ESL company with tutoring sessions that you’ll do with one or two students simultaneously. Since the company provides the majority of teaching material, you don’t have to do much lesson or curriculum planning. You are required to be available for at least 12 hours each week.

The immersive teaching system used by the school is based on Content and Language Integrated Learning engineering. This immersion applies to students from preschool age to high school.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree
  • Rate: $10 to $18 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 PM to 9 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 12

51 Talk

51talk
3 Stars

51 Talk is an ESL company that mostly hires English speakers from the Philippines. However, they may be interested in hiring native English speakers as well. The most important thing is that you have a neutral accent. The company is frequently looking for new teachers to handle the student load.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, 1+ year of teaching experience
  • Rate: $7 to $11 hourly
  • Class Times: 9 AM to 12 AM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 35

Whales English

whales english
4.5 Stars

Whales English Elite Education is an online school with more than 70,000 registered students. The company is looking for English teachers from Canada, the US, and the UK who have neutral accents. It’s preferred that you teach during peak teaching times in Beijing.

Each class follows a curriculum for a different group subject. You will be working with two or three students between the ages of 3 and 18. Lessons are 50 minutes long. If you work with the company for a long time and have significant experience, your pay rate may be higher than 30 dollars per hour. All courses also have an 83 percent renewal rate, so you can teach the same one multiple times.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, certification, 1+ year teaching experience
  • Rate: $18 to $30 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 PM to 9 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 8

Lime English

lime english
4.5 Stars

Lime English is a relatively new company that aims to connect Chinese students with English teachers. Rather than focusing on speaking, they are looking for teachers who can help students with writing and reading. If you’re comfortable with teaching and correcting written English materials, this is a good choice.

The majority of students are children who range from 5 to 12 years in age. You can set your schedule flexibly according to your needs. Teaching bonuses are available to those who work for extra hours or have superb ratings. While a certification is preferred, it isn’t a necessity.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, certification preferred
  • Rate: $16 to $25 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 PM to 9 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 10

VIPX

vipx
4 Stars

VIPX is a subset of TAL, which is among the largest public education resources in China. The company hires English teachers who can offer one-on-one tutoring sessions to Chinese students between ages 4 and 15. This platform has one of the highest booking rates on the market, with about 90 percent of teachers being booked for classes.

You will be working with teaching materials provided by Cambridge and National Geographic. The company uses Future Cloud, an interactive platform that allows students to communicate directly with teachers. After each lesson, you will have 24 hours to give feedback on the student’s performance.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, certification
  • Rate: $20 to $22 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 AM to 9 AM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 8

I Coach U

icoachu
4.5 Stars

I Coach U is an ESL company that connects native English speakers to Chinese students. Based in Wuhan, the company uses an online teaching platform to create online classrooms and tutoring sessions. You might teach several students at once, or just one student at a time. For English teachers living in China, you might also have the ability to work in onsite classrooms.

Courses are ready-made, so you don’t need to plan your own lessons. The company also employs a technical team who is available 24/7 to help with any streaming issues during your lessons.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, certification, prior experience preferred
  • Rate: $22 to $28 hourly
  • Class Times: 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 0

Preply

preply
4 Stars

Preply is a learning platform that you can use to create your own teaching profile. Students will browse profiles and decide whether your English lessons work best for them. There are Chinese students of varying ages who use the platform.

If you’re a popular tutor on the site, you can earn up to 550 dollars per week. The more time you spend on the site, the more opportunity you’ll have to connect with new students.

  • Requirements: None
  • Rate: $10 to $45 hourly (self-set)
  • Class Times: 9 AM to 9 PM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 8

Skimatalk

skimatalk
3.5 Stars

Skimatalk is an ESL company that teaches students from Chinese and Japanese backgrounds (See more places for teaching English to Japanese students).They are constantly looking for native English teachers who can teach Business English. Most students are business professionals looking to improve their English skills prior to important meetings.

All lessons are taught in 25-minute blocks. You can earn about $8 for every lesson after taxes and fees. Some students look for teachers who specialize in certain ESL exams, so if you have a strong background in international English tests, you’ll have an advantage.

  • Requirements: None; certification preferred
  • Rate: $10 to $16 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 AM to 3 AM
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: 15

Teacher Requirements to Tutor Chinese Students Online

Different online teaching companies will have different requirements for you to meet. As a general rule, if you have fewer qualifications, you’ll be working for a lower rate of pay.

Some sites allow you to join without any degree, experience, or certification whatsoever. You can then post your rates and teaching materials to entice students. That said, students are unlikely to choose you if you can’t demonstrate a strong English teaching background.

TEFL Certification

A TEFL certification is a must-have if you want a job with a solid rate of pay. It shows that you have studied how to teach ESL students English. You don’t need to have prior teaching experience or a college degree for your certification. All you need is a solid degree of English fluency.

Our TEFL Hero 120-hour course will teach you everything you’ll need to be an effective online English teacher… and we’re accredited!

Get Certified to Teach Anywhere!

Some schools and platforms consider a TEFL certification more important than a college degree. TEFL courses are used all over the globe. They are an international standard for ESL teaching. As such, they are recognized by governments and institutions on every populated continent.

Native or Otherwise Fluent English Speaking

If you want to teach English, you must be a fluent English speaker. Most companies only hire native English speakers. If you speak English as a second language yourself, you must be fluent enough to correct other people’s errors and hold a flawless conversation.

Your accent also makes a difference. Some companies look for teachers with British English accents, while others look for neutral American accents. You can find out what type of accent a company is seeking by looking at their teaching requirements.

Bachelor’s Degree for Higher Pay

A college degree will give you a higher rate of pay. Though you may be able to secure a solid position with nothing but a TEFL certificate, most programs give priority to college graduates.

If you’ve gotten your bachelor’s degree, you have four more years of formal schooling than a high school graduate. This makes you more qualified to teach in the eyes of the Chinese companies, so you can charge higher rates. A master’s degree gives you an even greater edge.

Availability During Peak Beijing Class Hours

If you’re not living in China, you will need to get familiar with the Beijing Time. Thankfully, you don’t need to worry about any other time zones, since China just has one!

You’ll want to be available during Beijing’s afternoons, which is when the peak classroom hours are. If you live in the US, this will likely be in the evenings for you. Expect to be working 6 to 10 PM on the weekdays and 9 to 11 AM on the weekends (Beijing Time).

Prior Teaching Experience

You don’t necessarily need prior teaching experience for every ESL job. But many postings require at least a year of previous experience, with several preferring at least two years. Different company requirements vary in their definitions of what counts as “experience.”

If you’ve taught English before, you have a trustworthy degree of knowledge. You can handle mishaps with the students and work on issues that a new teacher might not be familiar with.

Technical Requirements for Online Teaching

teach english online to chinese students

Of course, if you want to teach online, you’ll need to meet certain technical requirements. Every online platform will have its own technology requirements, but these are some of the basics.

Internet Connection

Obviously, an internet connection is paramount when teaching online. You’ll need to have an uninterrupted connection if you do video lessons. Consider connecting your computer to your router with an Ethernet cable to stabilize your connection.

An ideal connection for online teaching should be a speed of at least 2Mbps uploading and 10Mbps downloading.

Windows or Mac System

You’ll need an operating system that can access the platform. Some platforms might work within your browser window, while others might need to be downloaded onto your computer itself.

If you do need to download the platform, you’ll probably need a Windows or Mac computer. Since these are the most common operating systems, they are the most likely to be compatible with whatever platform you use.

Webcam

When you’re having video lessons with your students, you’ll need your webcam to show your face. You can use the webcam that’s built into most modern computers, or you can get a more advanced model on the market.

Headset

A headset is helpful because it allows you to hear your students better, and it allows them to hear you better. With a quality microphone, your students will be able to understand your pronunciation and your conversation in ways they couldn’t with a standard computer mic.

Brightly Lit Room

Chances are, you’re not teaching during peak daylight hours, so you’re going to need to invest in some form of lighting to brighten up your classroom. Brighten your room with a lamp or other form of lighting such as a selfie ring light that will help to brighten up your face during classes.

You might also consider adding some decorations to your walls to create the perfect online classroom feeling.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq

Do you need to know Chinese to teach English online?

No! You don’t need to know any Cantonese or Mandarin to teach Chinese students. Even in China itself, in-person English instructors aren’t expected to know Mandarin or Cantonese. Some schools even prefer that you only speak to students in English, as this helps with immersion.

How much can you really make teaching English online?

The amount you can make depends on a lot of different factors. You’ll need to consider your qualifications, your past experience, and the platform you’re working with. You’ll also need to consider the type of teaching you’re doing and the type of student you have.

For example, ESL teachers often make more teaching Business English to adults than casual English to younger students.

Interested in teaching Business English? Check out our guide on How To Teach Business English

That goes especially for teachers with a Master’s degree or other significant level of education. Some platforms let you choose your own rates, while others have rate ranges that vary depending on your background.

It’s very possible to make a living wage teaching English online. You just have to find the platform that you can excel in.

Can you teach English online while traveling?

It’s very possible to teach English online while you travel. In fact, many people who travel full-time choose to teach English online as their job. Since you aren’t bound to a physical classroom, you have much more flexibility in your travel freedom.

You will need to make some concessions, though. For example, you’ll need to have longer stays in one place than you might otherwise. This allows you to set up and maintain your classroom. You’ll also need to have portable classroom materials.

Another potential caveat is that you’ll need a stable WiFi connection. Depending on where you’re staying, that might not always be a guarantee. Just make sure that you’re creating an environment that’s conducive to learning, and you can travel as much as you want!

Final Thoughts

If you want to teach English online to Chinese students, there are dozens of options available to you. These companies all range in their classroom setup, flexibility, student age, and teaching methods. The right one for you will vary depending on your qualifications and needs.

Our top overall recommendation is VIPKID. The company offers one of the easiest platforms to use with your students. It also has a high starting rate of pay that only grows as you gain experience and trust.

If you want to begin teaching English online but aren’t sure where to start, a TEFL or TESOL certification program is key. Most companies require you to complete one of these training programs before you can be approved to work with ESL students.

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