Comparing The Best ESL Teaching Jobs

Comparing The Best ESL Teaching Jobs

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure  

This is a cool post about the best ESL (English as a second language) teaching jobs that I have come across. But I have to say, this isn’t a post about HOW to become an ESL teacher – there are so many of them out there and you’ve already read a lot of them (right?). This is about the BEST ESL teaching jobs out there and how much you can make.

Teaching English as a second language is a popular job choice for digital nomads, stay at home moms, and teachers who need extra money during the summer.  And why not ?  It’s a flexible way to make a full-time income or pick up extra cash.

And the coolest thing: It can be done at home or abroad…you don’t have to live in the same country as your student base, as so many home-bodies and wander-lusters have discovered.

A while ago, I wrote about what it takes to teach English to foreign students, focusing on the popular ESL company VIPKID. And to be honest, most ESL companies follow the same standards and criteria.  Cool.

But with so many ESL companies ripe for the picking, how do you know which one is the best for you and what you hope to earn ?

So I wanted to take a deeper look and scope out the best companies where you can teach English online and make money from anywhere on the planet. Except maybe the sewer…probably a bad internet connection down there.

I’m happy to share my comparison of what I think are the top 5 ESL companies so you can get started earning a nice living helping foreigners learn conversational English.

Here they are:


Best ESL Teaching Jobs

Because there are practically thousands of companies that hire people to teach languages, I set some important criteria to scale down the options to my top 5 picks.  They are:

  • Class / Students: The age of students, the teacher to student ratio and the length of class
  • How you get the work: whether the company or parents viewing your profile set you up with students
  • Platform: How you will teach and communicate with students, peers and parents (if necessary) as well as ease of use
  • Lesson Plan: Whether or not you create the lesson plans
  • Pay: The pay varies among these companies and what you earn is dependent upon the number of classes you teach.
  • Qualifications: As far as qualifications are concerned, usually a Bachelor’s degree and native fluency in English is needed. Although, depending on the company, sometimes a TEFL certificate, or other specialized training similar to teaching is all that is necessary, such as coaching, or mentoring.
  • Contract: The length of the contract, if there is one
  • Commitment: This is the amount of time, or hours, you are required to teach both minimum and maximum
  • Schedule: How your teaching schedule is determined

Ok, now that you know how I selected these top ESL companies that let you work from home,  let’s get to them.



VIPKID is one of the most popular ESL companies for North Americas, teaching English to children who live in China.  Having been around since 2013, this company is going strong with over 200,000 students from 300 cities.

They encourage teachers to participate in the “meet-ups” and network with other teachers, a great way to pick up tips for a better teaching experience.


  • Pay is $14.00 – $22.00 per hour paid via direct deposit between the 10th and 15th of each month
  • You are eligible for a raise if your contract is renewed
  • Classes are 1:1 with Chinese children aged 2-15+ .
  • Classes last 25 minutes plus 5 minutes for teachers to leave comments
  • Parents select the teachers so a parent-friendly profile is necessary
  • The platform is Power Point Based
  • They create the lesson plans for you
  • No minimum or maximum required hours
  • Set your schedule weekly, one month in advance, and work as little or much as you want


  • You are not paid if you don’t have students
  • You have to be a native English speaker from Canada or the US
  • You do not need to speak Mandarin or Cantonese
  • Bachelor’s Degree and teaching experience is required
  • You must have a solid internet connection.  If your internet cuts out for more than 3 minutes your class is cancelled
  • Your schedule must be set one month in advance
  • Contract only lasts for 6 months but can be renewed
  • You need to purchase a headphone

Learn more and sign up with Vipkid


Best ESL teaching jobs



QKIDS is another great choice for North American residents with a Bachelor’s degree. They connect 100,000 Chinese students who want to learn English as a foreign language to qualified teachers who want to start their day with cute, smiling children.

Qkids let you set a flexible schedule, working on their easy-to-use platform, and it appears the staff is very supportive.


  • $16.00 to $20.00 an hour
  • Classes consist of children ages 5-12 years.
  • Each class lasts only 30 minutes
  • Qkids book students for you so you don’t have to cater to parents
  • Their platform is easy to use
  • They create the lesson plans for you
  • Flexible contract term but you have to commit to your schedule.
  • You’re paid even if no students
  • You can work at least 6 hours a week up to 19 hours a week
  • Choose your schedule once and commit to it


  • You will teach up to 4 students per class
  • Only North American residents can be teachers
  • You must have a Bachelor’s degree or are currently enrolled in a university program.
  • An English teaching certificate is preferred (TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, ESL)
  • This is considered a part-time teaching gig
  • You need to have a headset with a microphone
  • They prefer you have a cable internet connection

Learn more and sign up with QKids



Magic Ears has only been around since 2016 but they are quickly become one of the most popular ESL portals among Chinese students.

Teachers are given feedback on a regular basis with encouragement to continue to grow with the company


  • Pay is $18.00 – $25.00 per hour
  • You will teach Chinese Children aged 4-12 years.
  • Classes last 25 minutes with 5 minute student evaluation
  • Magic Ears assigns students to teachers
  • You will use their platform
  • Lessons are created for you


  • Class size can consist of up to 4 students
  • You have to be a native English Speaker from USA or Canada with a Bachelor’s degree
  • 6 month contract
  • You are expected to work a minimum of 5 hours per week

Learn more and sign up with Magic Ears



DaDaABC is a one-on-one English education platform for students between the ages of 4 and 16. They want teachers who are native English speakers to help each student improve their daily conversational skills, expand their vocabulary, and build their confidence to communicate with others in English


  • You are paid up to $25.00 an hour
  • Teach 1:1 with Chinese Children aged 4-16 years.
  • Classes last 30 minutes (some exceptions)
  • Parents select the teachers but DaDaABC fills your schedule
  • You will use their platform
  • They create the lesson plans for you


  • 6 – 12 month contract
  • You can work a minimum of 2 hours a day and 2 days a week, no maximum.
  • Teachers average 15 hours a week
  • You let them know your available hours and they select the times you work
  • This is a part-time teaching job
  • You need a headset with a microphone

Learn more and sign up with DaDaABC


Teach English as a foreign language



Italki is a interesting twist to the ESL world and a bit different from the other companies I listed above. You won’t be teaching English to Chinese students, instead, you apply to teach your native speaking language.

Setting your own rates, schedule, and lessons, you will teach via Skype, Facetime, Hangouts, or QQ. Another twist to this ESL company is their characterization of teachers: A professional teacher if you have a teaching degree, or a community teacher where you just need experience leading children (youth minister, coach).


  • You set your own fee
  • There are two levels of teachers: Professional and Community
  • Professional Teachers charge an average of $25.00 an hour and Community Teachers charge on average $12.00 an hour.
  • Classes are 1-on-1 and you teach any language you’re fluent in
  • You students may be children or adults
  • Students / parents select their teachers so your profile has to cater to them (consider how your profile looks to them and create it in a way that represents your best YOU)
  • You will teach via Skype, Facetime, Goolge Hangouts or QQ
  • You set your own schedule


  • You have to create the lesson plans
  • italki will take 15% commission of your completed lessons
  • You can be one of their two types of teachers: Professional Teacher, where a teaching degree is required, and Community Teacher where you just need experience leading children (minister, coach…)
  • No contract
  • No minimum or maximum required hours

Learn more and sign up with italki


Ready To Make Money Teaching English As A Second Language ?

Ready to start teaching English to students who live in a foreign country ?  I say “go for it”.  It’s such a rewarding way to make money, especially when your students shine.  And as a little bonus to help you get going, here is a great post that has some awesome ESL tips to help you be a success.



Best ESL teaching jobs you can do from home


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