Cambly Review 2024: Is It Worth It? (My Experience)

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Cambly is a popular online teaching company that provides one-on-one English conversation lessons to students worldwide.

In this Cambly review, we will discuss the platform, the requirements, and pay in 2024. We will also cover what other people had to say about the platform.

Cambly is an excellent opportunity for people who want to earn money by teaching English online (with or without experience). Tutors can work from anywhere as long as they have a stable internet connection. Skip straight to the reviews.

Is Cambly Legit?

A commonly asked question that people ask is if Cambly is a legitimate job. In short, yes, it sure is! I, among thousands of other teachers, have worked there. I receive payments on time every week and have no issues with the platform.

Cambly is a California-based online teaching platform founded in 2012. It allows students from over 100 countries to connect with native English speakers to practice their English skills, especially their conversation and pronunciation skills.

Cambly allows tutors to teach English to students of all levels, from beginners to advanced. The Cambly Tutor platform is for adults, but you can also sign up as a Cambly Kids Tutor.

Sign up and start teaching on Cambly here.

How Does Cambly Work?

Cambly works on a 24/7 schedule that connects tutors to students. Those who pass the application process can tutor anytime and anywhere with a good internet connection, which makes it a great option for those with busy schedules or who live in different time zones.

Cambly is a great place to start teaching English online and learn more about your tutoring style. It is also a place for seasoned teachers who want additional work hours.

How Much Does Cambly Pay?

Probably one of the most sought-after questions on the internet: how much does online teaching at Cambly pay?

  • Cambly offers $0.17 per minute, which is equivalent to $10.20 per hour
  • Bonuses and incentives for peak periods
  • Receive payment weekly each Monday through online banking platforms
  • Sign up for Cambly Kids to receive $0.20 per minute or $12 per hour
  • Cambly Kids often offer bonuses of up to $13.80 per hour
  • Compensation if the student cancels last minute

While Cambly is a great platform to work for, its pay is not very competitive. Teachers earn $0.17 per minute of tutoring, which may seem like a slap in the face to a teacher with many years of experience.

In addition, Cambly sometimes offers bonuses for teachers who complete a certain number of minutes each week or teach during particular times of the day. This is especially the case for Cambly Kids Tutors.

Cambly records the number of minutes you tutor and pays based on this. You may talk for 15 minutes in one class or an hour in another. They issue the payment weekly provided you have made at least $20, which is approximately 2 hours of tutoring.

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Cambly Kids is optional; you do not have to sign up for this. This requires a separate introductory video; you can sign up for it later. Read more about Cambly Kids here.

You earn more if you decide to teach kids on the platform. Cambly Kids (4-12 years) offers $0.20 per minute, equivalent to $12 per hour. If you teach adults, you will earn up to $10.20 per hour.

Cambly now offers group lessons on the platform and additional bonuses for tutors based on their performance! This is a chance to have real-world conversations with 2+ students on topics such as travel, world news and work!

Cambly Tutor Requirements

These core requirements are necessary to be a Cambly teacher.

Fluent English Speaker

You must be a fluent English speaker. Cambly mainly hires English speakers from the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

If you are from these countries or have spent an extensive period living in these countries, consider this a good opportunity. They are looking for teachers with neutral accents.

Excellent Conversation Skills

The lessons are pretty conversational at Cambly. It’s good practice to ask the students what they want to learn at the beginning of the class. You need to keep the conversation going for the duration of the lesson, whether it is a five-minute or sixty-minute lesson.

If you run out of things to say, you needn’t worry! Cambly has its own lesson materials that you can include in the classes. You can grab some worksheets, slides, or pictures from the internet to aid your lessons.

Tutor Age Requirement

You must be at least 18 to apply to Cambly, as you will teach adults.

Usually, everything goes smoothly, but if you feel the student is not behaving appropriately, you can ban them immediately from the platform.

What is Not Required to Teach at Cambly

Cambly is not as strict as some online ESL companies. You can let your hair down and enjoy the freedom of teaching here!

Minimum Number of Weekly Hours

Thankfully, there is no minimum hourly requirement to teach at Cambly. Cambly is a 24-hour platform. This means you can log on to Cambly whenever you have extra time and teach a few classes at any point during the day!

Whether you decide on 40 or 2 hours weekly is up to you. You are not obligated to work a minimum number of hours each week, so even if you decide to quit for a while, you are under no pressure to return.

No Bachelors Degree Required

Cambly does not require a bachelor’s degree to work on the platform. This makes it a great job even for students.

No Previous Teaching Experience

Unlike other online ESL companies, which usually require some prior experience tutoring English, Cambly allows most native speakers to become ESL tutors! This makes it an excellent place to get started teaching online, even if you have zero experience!

No Teaching Certificate Required

You don’t need a teaching certificate to teach at Cambly. If you want to experience teaching for the first time or are interested in teaching English as a foreign language, this platform will allow you to do that.

However, it is worth considering getting a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate for this specific reason:

Cambly Teacher Profiles

When the students come online, they can see all the tutor profiles of those waiting for a call. The students can browse the tutors and select the tutor they think most suits them.

One of the first things the student can see is the teaching certificate, highlighted beside their photo. This is just a theory, but the student might be more inclined to go for the certified Cambly tutor.

How To Get Tefl-Certified For Cambly?

You can apply to a 120-hour online TEFL course at the International Open Academy to get certified. You can upload your certificate when finished so your profile shows up as TEFL-certified.

We have teamed up with the International Open Academy to give you a huge discount. Get the course for 84% off here.

If you are interested in English language teaching as a long-term career or are considering teaching abroad, I highly recommend The TEFL Academy’s 168-hour course. 

This provides a level-5 qualification that will enable you to get the best jobs in the industry. The US and UK governments also regulate it.

In-depth, internationally recognized, and accredited TEFL courses for those who want to teach English online or abroad. Read The TEFL Academy review.

Suitable for some part-time online teaching. Accepted by some teaching companies. Read The International Open Academy review.

Technical Requirements

Do you have a laptop with a stable internet connection? That is half the battle!

Stable Internet Connection

Cambly will perform a device test to ensure you meet their internet speed requirements to navigate the platform. Cambly also allows users to test their devices before the class starts.

Laptop or Desktop with a Webcam

Students need to be able to see you at all times during the call. The teacher needs a laptop or desktop with a webcam.

If you don’t have a webcam, you can buy an external one to fit onto your laptop.

#1 Best Seller

Webcam

Logitech C920x HD Pro Webcam

  •  Plug-and-play camera with a built-in microphone
  • Full HD 1080p video calling and recording at 30 fps
  • Auto brightens or darkens to match the light level
  • Easy installation as it just plugs in via USB
  • Sits on top of your PC or MAC

Lighting

Make sure your lighting is good as well so students can see you.

The lighting doesn’t have to be amazing, just as long as it’s adequate. Sometimes, an overhead light is just not strong enough.

See some lighting ideas you can incorporate during those dark winter evenings or early mornings.

Headset

The students should be able to hear you clearly and vice versa.

Therefore, always wear a good headset that you can ideally plug into your device. A noise-canceling headset with a microphone will help prevent interruptions affecting you and the student.

Noise-Canceling

Headset

Logitech ClearChat Comfort H390 Wired Headset

  • Plug-and-play headset with USB-A port
  • Minimizes background noise for clear calls
  • Mute and volume buttons on the headset cable
  • Suitable for Windows, Chrome OS or Mac OS X
  • Crystal clear audio for Skype, Zoom and other common calling applications

Quiet Classroom

Lastly, be seated in a quiet environment. Noise can disrupt the classroom and frustrate the students, so it’s best to set up an office or classroom space to teach.

Setting Up Your Schedule

  • Create your own flexible schedule
  • One-on-one sessions
  • A relaxed environment to have a conversation
  • Teach as many or as few hours as you want

Students can choose who they call or get matched to your profile. You can pick up the call once you get matched to a student.

You can go online whenever you want and receive students or sign up for priority hours. This means that you can choose your availability in advance.

You will be paid for 15 minutes of your priority hour even if no student signs up. You must wait online and answer all incoming calls during your priority hour.

Students can also reserve classes with you and see your schedule. You are paid based on the number of minutes you chat.

Cambly Application Process

The Cambly application process can be completed in 3 simple steps.

Here is a snippet from my application…

Cambly Tutor Profile

After completing all the steps, you will need to wait until Cambly has approved your application, and then you will be ready to start teaching.

Cambly Review: The Pros and Cons

Like all jobs, Cambly online teaching has its pros and cons.

Cambly Tutor Rating
cambly reviews

Some of the Cambly reviews are outdated, as Cambly has made many changes within the last two years.

For example, Cambly has now introduced two payment methods and has improved the teacher rating system so that the teacher isn’t affected by unfair reviews. Cambly has also introduced compensation if the student cancels their class at the last minute.

Cambly reviews (as updated for 2024):

  • Glassdoor: 3.5/5 star rating based on 1.4K reviews
  • Indeed: 3.3/5 star rating based on 379 reviews

What Do Teachers Like About Cambly?

Based on the positive reviews, building a schedule of regular students is possible with Cambly and can be a very rewarding experience. You can build a regular base of students by asking them when they usually log in and inviting them to meet for another session.

Tutors appreciate the flexibility that Cambly gives them and their fair cancellation policy. Tutors have previously canceled classes on Cambly in emergencies without any repercussions. However, if you consistently cancel classes, Cambly may temporarily limit your account.

Cambly is also a great way to fill up any gaps in your work schedule. You can log in whenever you have an hour or two, turn on your availability, and receive students almost instantly.

Here are what some real teachers say about their experiences in Cambly’s Facebook group called “Cambly Corner,” which I highly recommend you join after setting up your tutor account:

One user gave thanks for all of the experiences (in just one day!): “Yesterday, I learned so much from my students: An adolescent in Vietnam who spoke English equally, if not better than I… a young Chinese superwoman who needed help to finalize her academic address… to be appointed as a brain surgeon…” They also talked to a Turkish student about “communities social problems and his own marriage engagement…” and an Iranian who spoke about their “unpopular extremist religious regime…” Just to name a few!

Another user commented on a very proud moment in the classroom: “My young Brazilian regular of around a year was called into his boss’s office this week. Fearing he had done something wrong, he walked in slowly, only to be asked to translate a meeting his boss was having with an English client! He said thanks to me, but I reminded him that it was his hard work that improved his English; I was just there to facilitate the process.”

What Do Teachers Not Like About Cambly?

The main criticism that teachers have is the low pay. Some teachers provide IELTS prep or have some other specialized skillset. While they are not obligated to teach this at Cambly, they want to help students but are disappointed by the pay.

UK tutors and others are now accepting Cambly pay through Revolut to avoid PayPal fees. This results in a longer wait time to receive payment, as it takes the payment a couple of days to process.

While it is a relatively easy job with little to no preparation required, the 5-minute trial classes can feel like time-wasters. Trial classes are also full of freeloaders who create multiple accounts to get free lessons.

Teachers have also criticized the rating system, as a lower rating can affect profile visibility. However, the rating system has recently been improved to remove unfair ratings.

One user said: “I have a suggestion; not sure how this will go over but, just an idea. Other than the pay, which is very low, Everything else I love about teaching at Cambly. There should be an increase in pay for those who have been with Cambly for a while.”

Can You Make a Full-Time Living Working on Cambly?

Cambly is a great platform for those who are looking for flexible work. However, making a full-time living on Cambly may be difficult due to its low pay and high cost of living.

That said, some teachers have built up a steady group of regular students and earn $1200 or more monthly. For some, the benefits of working from home outweigh the cons.

Here are what reviewers have had to say regarding working on Cambly full-time:

One user commented: “$200 per week consistently is very doable provided that you have a base of regulars who book up your slots. If relying on priority hours it’s a bit hit or miss because some weeks are quiet; it ebbs and flows a bit. It takes a while to get there, but it’s definitely possible to get 20+ hours of bookings each week. I do about 25-26 hours a week almost entirely in reservations.”

Another user said: “It (working full-time on Cambly) is doable. I work Monday-Saturday and I do between 10-15 classes a day. I make about $350 – 400 per week.”

Is Cambly Safe?

For the most part, Cambly is very safe. Many tutors have worked there for several years and thoroughly enjoy it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you won’t meet a bad egg along the way.

Cambly has a strict protocol to ensure their teachers always feel safe. Problems occasionally occur with free trial students, but teachers are told to ban students immediately if they encounter poor behavior.

Cambly has a “Report” button that you can use for inappropriate or offensive behavior, nudity, etc. Cambly support is also available to help with any issues.

Account Approval Process

Please be aware that Cambly may take a while to review your profile and approve your application. You could wait for account approval for days, weeks, or even months. Other times your account is approved in as little as 12 hours. It depends on their teacher requirements at that time.

Cambly receives many applications daily, so make sure your application stands out. Provide a presentable, informative application that describes the kind of person you are. Give a compelling reason why you want to join in your application. 

Taxes

Cambly does not deduct pay for taxes. You are an independent contractor, so you are responsible for paying your own taxes!

Getting Reservations

Tutors need to open some priority hours (one-hour shifts) to reach new students. Tutors should try to open time slots at the same hours every day (even if it’s just one or two hours each day) when building their regular student base.

Your priority time slots may take a few weeks to build up if you are new. Encourage new students that you meet to reserve classes with you.

Another thing to consider is asking the students what they want to learn today. Establishing a rapport with your student will help you earn their trust. You can also check out their Facebook group, the Cambly Corner, for useful tips and resources.

cambly teacher 1

My Cambly Experience: A Teacher Review

While no experience is required, there is a lot of competition to tutor at Cambly, so make sure your profile looks good.

When you sign up, create an amazing 1-3 minute introductory video about yourself and why you want to join Cambly. An upbeat, presentable video will most likely get your application accepted.

My application was not accepted the first time. However, I returned to my profile and created a longer video, as they said my first one was too short.

cambly video

You will receive a notification that you uploaded a new video, and Cambly will get back to you. My account was then accepted!

So, if you find you are waiting weeks or months on end to be accepted, change up your profile in some way and see if you can get approved.

I’ve plugged in a few hours, and it worked out pretty well despite my nervousness.

The students were really nice, and we had some interesting discussions about culture. Within my first hour, I met someone from Saudi Arabia and Japan.

How Does Cambly Tutoring Work?

Worried about what you will speak about next? No problem. You can ask students what they want to practice that day. It may be the case they have a question or topic that they’d like to discuss.

Here are some recommendations as outlined by Cambly:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Find a topic to talk about
  • Enjoy the conversation
  • Leave with a good impression
How Does Tutoring Work on Cambly

Introduce Yourself

You can start off with a simple introduction, such as, “Hi, my name is Tutor Ben. What is your name?”

Find a Topic to Talk About

You can ask for details about their lives, fashion, culture, leisure, work, or school. Cambly has helpful resources for teachers to aid discussions. You can find more topics to discuss here.

Cambly has course slides that a teacher can choose to show the student. Some students like to learn this way, and the teacher can begin on any slide without prior background knowledge or preparation.

If you feel uncomfortable delivering these lessons, you can politely decline the student’s request and allow the student to pick another teacher. 

Enjoy the Conversation

Once you’ve picked the topic, keep the conversation flowing by asking plenty of questions. Listen and encourage the student to expand on their answers. Think about the who/what/why/where/when/how questions.

You can give your feedback in the chatbox. Aim for one correction every five minutes to avoid discouraging the student. You can write your feedback in the chatbox.

My Secret Weapon For Online Teaching

I LOVE using ManyCam, particularly when teaching kids or beginners. It can do a lot of neat tricks and gives your class that wow factor.

Get your own digital props, show pictures (of anything!), use a whiteboard and green screen. Great for explaining things online. See my ManyCam review.

Leave With a Good Impression

With all your hard work on leaving feedback during the lesson, it will now be much easier to leave a good impression.

Give feedback or words of encouragement to the student. You can even assign ‘homework’ such as a short reading. Don’t forget to arrange the next time you will see each other to have some consistency in your schedule.

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Cultural Awareness

Keep an open mind; every culture is unique. You will get students from various backgrounds with different experiences, beliefs, and attitudes.

It’s important to respect their culture, and they should respect yours. It shouldn’t be a problem when communicating with students across the globe.

You will get a lot of students from Saudi Arabia; this is certainly a very different culture from the Western world!

As time passes, you will develop more cultural awareness, and it’s fascinating to hear about their culture and not at all daunting, even as a woman.

Remember that you can contact Cambly should any issue arise, as Cambly supports and values its teachers.

My Recommendation: Is Cambly Worth It?

Cambly is a very interesting platform and a good way to fill your teaching hours while meeting students from around the globe.

It gives confidence to new teachers as it requires no prior experience. It’s an easy job and a way to make some extra cash, which adds up at the end of the month.

Listen, be kind, and ask lots of questions. Make the students smile and feel comfortable. They will be more likely to book classes with you in the future, and eventually, you will have a set of regular students on the platform.

You can learn a lot from students on this platform as you have unique conversations from all walks of life. It’s incredible learning about the world through another person’s eyes.

Cambly Online Teaching Alternatives

Similar companies to Cambly you could consider applying for:

  • Preply: Teach one-on-one or in groups and set your own rates. Adults and kids. You must prepare your own material. Read our Preply review.
  • Allschool: if you have some more experience, you may like to try preparing your lesson material. Average pay is $50 per hour. Read our Allschool review.

You may also wish to read our top online teaching jobs and see if there are any others that you are interested in!

Tutor Now on Cambly

Frequently Asked Questions

what are the requirements for cambly?

You must be a native English speaker over 18 as you will be tutoring adults. You don’t need any experience teaching English.

does cambly take out taxes?

No, taxes are not deducted, and you will need to declare your income as you are considered an independent contractor. State and federal income taxes still apply.

can you make a living off cambly?

Yes, some people make Cambly their full-time income, but you will need to consider your individual circumstances if working at Cambly full-time is a viable option.

When Does Cambly Pay You?

Cambly pays every Monday via your registered payment method. You can check your earnings for the week on your profile.

CAN NON-NATIVE Speakers TEach at cambly?

You must be a native English speaker to teach at Cambly or live and work in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. Check out our English teaching jobs for non-natives.

how many hours can I work on cambly?

You can work as many hours as you like. Some teachers like to work more than forty hours weekly, while others may choose only to work a few hours here and there when they are free. There is no minimum or maximum hourly requirement.

is cambly worth it?

Cambly may or may not be worth it for you. Cambly is a relatively easy job for an English speaker and an excellent side hustle, but the pay is rather low if you want to make it a full-time career.

Useful Links

Online Teacher Toolkit

Be IN The Know

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GEt Certified

Start your teaching journey and get certified now. Watch my YouTube video about how I got started, or read about my experience here: The TEFL Academy review.

START Your First Teaching JOb

New to the world of online teaching or just want to fill some hours in? Curious if this is a career you want to pursue? Check out Cambly to get started. Read the Cambly review.

Highest-Paying Online Teaching Jobs

In my post, I cover a list of some of the highest-paying online teaching jobs. Alternatively, use the curriculum online and find your own students. It’s easier than you think!

ACCEPT PAYMENTS ONLINE and Save money

Use Wise to accept payments from overseas. Wise has the lowest exchange rates that I am currently using right now. Get Wise.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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Bill
Bill
2 years ago

You write that teachers don’t have anything negative to say about Cambly. That is definitely not true. Rude students who sometimes flash their body parts on camera, a totally unfair ratings system, and an unresponsive technical staff are just the tip of the iceberg. Legitimate complaints about working at Cambly can be found in many places online. I worked there until I couldn’t take Cambly’s arrogance and incompetence any more.

Herbert
Herbert
2 years ago

Agree with Bill, Cambly has more than just a couple of negative issues. Students cancelling just before a lesson is one of the main problems I had when working for them. When this happens the student should be charged a percentage of the one-hour fee. Overall, the student is always looked after and tutors are poorly treated.

Abi
Abi
2 years ago

Hi, I am so glad to have found your blog, it’s so useful!! I have tried to search everywhere, but could you tell me if Cambly has other payment options (except Paypal?) such as payoneer? Once again thank you for sharing relevant information! 🙂

Elena
Elena
2 years ago

Hello,, just read your blog and I found it so interesting. Be trying Cambly and update you soon. Just wanna clarify if they accept non-native speakers. Thanks for sharing! Be blessed!

kath
kath
1 year ago

hopefully they will accept application from philippines 🙁

May
May
9 months ago

Hi. Saw thanks for all these useful info. I applied on Cambly last May 7, 2023 and they sent me this email today. I don’t know what I need to improve or should I just resubmit my application with a different email or should I wait for them to probably go over my application again? Pls help.

This was the email they sent me today:
Hi there,
 
Thank you for creating a Cambly Tutor Profile! We have received a lot of interest in our tutoring roles and unfortunately, after reviewing your profile, we’ve decided not to move forward with your application.
 
We will keep your application on file in case it’s a better fit in the future. Due to the large volume of emails we receive, we will not be able to provide personalized feedback.
 
Thank you so much for taking the time to consider Cambly and we wish you all the best!
 
Best Regards,
The Cambly Team