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teach online to chinese students

Best Companies for Teaching English Online to Chinese Students in 2024

*Disclaimer: the online ESL landscape in China is changing and some of these companies may be affected by the laws and regulations limiting online learning in China or reducing the pay for teachers.

Are you looking to teach English online to Chinese students but not sure where to start? This article is your golden ticket. We dive into the best companies hiring in 2024, detailing their requirements, pay rates, and the unique opportunities they offer. Whether you’re a seasoned educator or new to the scene, this guide is essential for navigating the rewarding path of teaching English online.

Best Companies for Teaching English to Chinese Students Online

EF Education First

english first

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



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.

Want to learn more? Read our in-depth Preply Review and decide if this is the right company for you to teach with!

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



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 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: $12 to $16 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



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



Read our in-depth Cambly Review for 2024

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

51 Talk


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

Lime English

lime english

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



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



VIPKID is among the best places to teach ESL to Chinese students because of its 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


best companies to teach english to chinese students online

BlingABC used to hire teachers only residing in China, but they have recently opened up to teachers living outside of the Chinese Mainland! The pay has been reduced from its once $20 highs and is now closer to $12 to $15 per hour.

  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree
  • Rate: $12 to $15 hourly
  • Class Times: 6 PM to 9 PM BJT Monday-Friday; 9AM-9PM BJT Saturday, Sunday
  • Minimum Weekly Hours: None

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

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

    You’ll need to have an uninterrupted connection if you do video lessons. 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. Because Windows and Mac 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.

FAQs About Teaching English To Chinese Students Online

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?

Most teachers with general qualifications and 120+ hour TEFL can expect to make between $9-$15 starting off. You’ll need to consider your qualifications, your past experience, and the platform you’re working with as well as the time to build up your student base.

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.

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.

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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