Teach English Online to Chinese Students (10 Companies Hiring)

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Many companies allow you to teach English online to students in China.

ESL teachers are highly demanded in China, and online education has soared due to the coronavirus.

The Chinese government requires that all teachers have a 120-hour ESL certificate to teach English online. I recommend checking The 120-hour International Open Academy TESOL course. They will give you a certification number upon completion, which you can upload with your application form. This is a quick and easy course to complete.

Many online teaching companies allow teachers to work from home with their own flexible schedules. Here are some of the top online ESL companies that enable you to teach students from China.

Teach English Online to Chinese Students

  1. Magic Ears
  2. Gogokid
  3. Palfish
  4. Qkids
  5. VIPKid
  6. Dada
  7. Boxfish
  8. Whales English
  9. Zebra English
  10. First Future

It’s best to apply to multiple companies when deciding to teach online. You can work for more than one company and decide which company you want to allocate most of your hours to.

1. Magic Ears

  • Requirements: Hires from native English speaking countries (US, Canada, and South Africa), one year of teaching experience, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate, degree required
  • Pay: up to $26 per hour
  • Equipment: high-speed internet, headset, webcam
  • How to Apply: fill out your information, complete a recorded interview, and trial demo.

Magic Ears connects teachers to students between the ages of 4-12 years old from China. 

Magic Ears pays up to $26 per hour for teachers from the US and Canada. They pay up to $12 per hour for teachers from South Africa.

Magic Ears requires teachers to have some kind of ‘teaching’ experience, but not necessarily in the physical classroom. Coaching, volunteering and mentoring experience all apply.

Magic Ears operates a 1-on-4 model, with up to four students in the classroom. Lesson material is provided.

Teachers are also guaranteed a certain number of hours in their schedule, as the company books classes.

The peak hours (busiest time slots) are from 7 pm to 9 pm Beijing Time. You can convert this to your timezone here.

For more information about Magic Ears, see our Magic Ears review.

Apply to Magic Ears.

2. Gogokid

  • Requirements: Hires from the US and Canada, one year of teaching experience, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate, degree required
  • Pay: up to $25 per hour
  • Equipment: high-speed internet, headset, webcam
  • How to Apply: fill out your information, complete a recorded interview, quiz, and submit documentation.

Gogokid is an ESL company that is owned by Bytedance. They are also responsible for the hugely popular Tiktok app.

Gogokid is a platform that caters to students between the ages of 3-12 years old. Classes are one-on-one, and lesson material is provided.

The busiest period at Gogokid is from 6 pm- 10 pm Beijing Time. You can convert this to your timezone here.

Check out my Gogokid review for more information.

Apply to Gogokid.

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3. Palfish

  • Requirements: Hires from native and non-native English-speaking countries and the Philipinnes, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate
  • Pay: up to $25 per hour
  • Equipment: high-speed internet, headset, webcam
  • How to Apply: fill out your profile information, complete a recorded interview and submit documentation

Palfish is a popular teaching app for children and adults living in China. 

Palfish have kid courses conducted by native English teachers. They pay $16-$22 per hour and tutors teach lessons to 3 to 12-year-old students.

Palifish also has free talk classes that accept native and non-native English speakers. English speakers can accept calls from adults and children on the platform. Teachers can set their own rates and usually earn $10-$18 per hour on average.

Palfish also has the Kids Course exclusively available to Filipino teachers. You can find out more information in my Palfish review.

Palfish classes are one-on-one, all lesson material is provided, and feedback can easily be completed after class. 

Apply to Palfish.

4. Qkids

  • Requirements: Hires from the US and Canada, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate, and degree required
  • Technical Requirements: 2mbps minimum upload speed, 4mbps minimum download speed
  • Pay: up to $20 per hour
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, webcam
  • How to Apply: fill out your details, demo interview 1, demo interview 2, trial class, and background check.

Qkids is a popular online ESL company that provides lessons to children between the ages of 4 and 12. Teachers must reside in the US or Canada.

Qkids hold classes with up to 4 students, and teachers must teach a minimum of 6 hours per week. 

The pay starts at $16 per hour but works out at $20 per hour if the teacher gets all the bonuses for being on time and performing well. 

Classes are thirty minutes with a ten-minute break in between. Peak hours are every day, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. For more information about Qkids, see my review.

Apply to Qkids.

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5. VIPKid

  • Requirements: Hires from native-English speaking countries such as the UK, US, and Canada, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate and degree required
  • Pay: between $15 to $21 per hour
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, webcam
  • How to Apply: fill out your details, demo interview, training, mock class, contract signing.

VIPKid is another online ESL company that teaches children in China between the ages of 4 to 12. VIPKid grew very fast in the last few years and was noted by Glassdoor as one of the top 10 companies to work for in 2020.

VIPKid operates one-on-one classes. Teachers are recommended to provide their availability for one month in advance. All lesson material is provided for teachers.

VIPKid operates a bonus system whereby the more hours a teacher works, the more pay they receive. The average teacher’s pay is roughly $19 to $20 per hour.

For more information, see my VIPKid review.

Apply to VIPKid.

6. Dada

  • Requirements: Hires from native-English speaking countries, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate
  • Pay: between $15 and $21 per hour
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, webcam
  • How to Apply: fill out your details, attend an interview, provide documentation.

Dada is an online ESL teaching company that teaches students between 3 and 15 years old. 

Teachers working at Dada conduct one-on-one classes with lesson material provided. Dada operates a bonus system for teachers, so the more hours they work, the more they get paid. 

The peak hours are between 6 pm-9 pm Beijing Time. There are no minimum hours required. Teachers can take up to eight hours of leave each month. They can also provide long term leave if they give notice two weeks in advance.

For more information, read my Dada review here.

Apply to Dada.

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7. Boxfish

  • Requirements: Hires from the US, UK, and Canada, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate and degree required, over one year of teaching experience required
  • Pay: up to $24 per hour
  • Equipment: tablet or phone, headset, webcam
  • How to Apply: fill out your details, attend an interview, provide documentation.

Boxfish is an online teaching company based in China. As a Boxfish tutor, you need a tablet or phone to teach classes. They have specific equipment requirements, which you can check if you choose to “apply” below.

Boxfish tutors work from 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm Beijing Time. Classes can be on-demand classes (teach class any time you are available) and one-on-one and one-on-four classes that are 25-minutes long.

Boxfish offers a competitive salary and 24/7 support service for teachers.

Apply to Boxfish.

8. Whales English

  • Requirements: Hires from US, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate and degree required, over one year of teaching experience required
  • Pay: between $18 to $27 per 50-minute class plus performance-based bonuses
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, webcam
  • How to Apply: fill out your details, attend an interview, provide documentation

Whales English is an online ESL company that caters to Chinese children aged between 3 to 18.

There are 2-3 students in each class and peak hours are from 6:55 pm-9 pm each day. You will have the same students for the whole semester (about 25 weeks).

Teachers earn an average of $1500 per month working for Whales. There are opportunities for career advancement and progression.

The minimum contract term is 12 months. Teachers can also teach subjects other than English, such as history, science, and social sciences. 

Apply to Whales English.

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9. Zebra English

  • Requirements: allowed to work in the US or Canada, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate and degree required, over one year of teaching experience required
  • Pay: between $16 to $24 per hour
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, webcam, stable internet connection (ethernet recommended)
  • How to Apply: basic information, demo test, teacher briefing, BC, and contract

Zebra English is a well-known education platform in China, which provide teachers with regular students and a stable teaching schedule.

Teachers can open slots on the booking page for that week only or allow their schedule to repeat for several weeks. Teachers can, therefore, build up a consistent student base.

Classes are 25 minutes long, with a five-minute break between classes. Peak hours are from 6 pm to 8:30 pm on weekdays and 8:30 am to 8:30 pm on weekends.

Students are very young, about 3-7 years old. The children review the material before class during the week. This makes classes much easier for the teacher.

Apply to Zebra English.

10. First Future

  • Requirements: native and non-native English speakers, TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate and degree required, one year of teaching experience (online or face-to-face)
  • Pay: $12 base pay but $17 per hour is the average after bonuses (more for specialized projects)
  • Equipment: laptop, headset, webcam, wired connection
  • How to Apply: complete basic information, attend an interview, receive training

First Future provides lessons to children and adults online. Teachers are from worldwide, as they are said to hire both native and native-like English speakers.

First Future operates fixed and flexible schedules for teachers. If teachers choose to join the fixed schedule, they will be paid your base rate whether they’ve taught lessons or not.

First Future has a range of special projects for teachers. These come with a higher starting pay. Teachers can have one-on-one or group classes.

Teachers earn an average of $17 per hour. The base rate is $12 per hour, payable to teachers whether they receive classes or not.

Peak hours are from 5 pm to 9 pm on weekdays and all day at weekends.

Apply to First Future.

In Conclusion

Many online teaching companies are hiring in China. Many teach young children, but other companies teach adults, such as First Future. 

It’s best to apply to more than one company to increase your chances of getting hired and having a booked schedule.

Check out the information below for more details about companies hiring across the globe.

Useful Links

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I am a 24-year old online ESL teacher from rural Ireland. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK and Europe. This blog aims to help educate you on the existing possibilities of becoming an online teacher. Please show some love and support by sharing this article with others. Thank you!

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