The average full-time worker in America currently earns around $887 per week, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Assuming this is based on a 40-hour work week, that means the typical worker earns around $22 per hour, on average.
Why am I telling you this? Because it gives us a target, that’s why.
We’ve already talked a lot on this site about how online tutoring/teaching can be a great way to make some extra cash, but a lot of the ESL websites we’ve covered pay significantly less than the national average.
This is still a great amount to earn as a side hustle, but what if we want to earn a real, full-time income by teaching online? Are there any online teaching companies that pay as much as the national average?
The answer is yes, there are lots, and we’re going to help you to find them with this list of 14 online teaching companies that pay $20+ per hour.
Let’s start with…
Pay: $14 – $22 per hour
Despite being probably the most well-known online ESL company out there, VIPKID is one of the lowest-paying online ESL companies on this list. That being said, it’s also one of the most well-established and reputable.
They also pay up to $22 per hour, which means that teachers that are offered rates of pay towards the top of this range meet our minimum $20/hour requirement. As such, it had to make the list.
Unlike the other platforms mentioned so far, which have all involved group classes, VIPKID tutors teach 1-1 classes, which is either a blessing or curse, depending on your perspective.
VIPKID teachers have stable contracts and submit their availability a month in advance, meaning it’s still pretty flexible. All teachers must be eligible to work in the US or Canada, have a bachelor’s degree, and be able to demonstrate some kind of teaching or tutoring experience.
If you’d like to find out more, check out our VIPKID review.
Pay: $18 to $25 per hour
Unlike Magic Ears, Landi tutors teach only 1 or 2 students per class. Landi is one of the most reputable online ESL employers on the market and has one of the most well-thought-out curriculums and class materials.
They follow the ‘peer study’ method of language learning, in which teachers are facilitators which guide the students to learn from each other via competition and cooperation. This takes some of the weight off the teacher’s shoulders and helps students to learn more.
Landi teachers need to hold a degree and be native English speakers from the US, UK or Canada.
Once you’re hired, you’ll need to commit to a minimum of 12 hours per week during Beijing beak times. This means you’ll be teaching during Beijing weekday evenings and weekends.
However, Landi also offers a lot of flexibility and allow teachers to adjust their schedule week to week based on their availability. They’re also happy for teachers to work remotely, from anywhere in the world, as long as they have access to a laptop and the internet.
Pay: $21 per 40-minute class ($25+ per hour)
SayABC pays a $15 basic rate per 40-minute class, plus an extra $6 per class when you teach 9 lessons in a row without absences. Seeing as you get the extra $6 for just turning up for your job, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll get it the majority of the time.
It’s difficult to translate $21 per 40 minutes into an hourly wage. Technically, it should mean you can earn over $31 per hour, but taking into account that there will be at least a ten-minute break between classes, it’s more likely to be around $25 per hour.
SayABC is also fairly flexible as you only have to commit to a 5-week schedule at any given time, meaning you can change your availability from month to month. Throughout the 5 weeks, you’ll teach the same group of 1-4 classes for 9 lessons in a row.
The scheme of work for the 9 lessons, along with all lesson materials, are prepared for the teachers in advance, so there’s little to no preparation time needed.
To get hired with SayABC, you’ll need:
- To speak English at a native level
- Have a Bachelor’s degree or above
- Have at least 1-year teaching experience
I’ve already written an in-depth review about SayABC here, which you can check out if you’re interested in finding out more about them.
4. Magic Ears
Pay: $18 to $26 per hour
Magic Ears is a 1-to-4 English teaching platform which connects English speakers from the US or Canada to students in China aged between 4 and 12.
1-to-4 refers to the class size, which means that you’ll be teaching more students per class than you would be for many other platforms, but it doesn’t really make things much harder.
In fact, many teachers prefer teaching group classes as the students can learn from each other as well as the teacher.
The basic pay rate is $9-11 per 25-minute lesson plus 5 minutes of post-class assessment, depending on your qualifications.
On top of that, you can get a $1 bonus each class you teach for punctuality, and a $1 bonus for each class if you teach over 60 peak-time classes each month.
These bonuses are fairly easy to attain so if you can line up back-to-back classes, it’s very possible that you’ll come out with $26 per hour – far above the national average we mentioned earlier.
At the very least, you’ll come out with $18 per hour, which isn’t bad!
Pay: $24 – $30 per hour
Never heard of this company before? I hadn’t either. That’s probably because 31abc is a relatively small and relatively new online English platform based out of Shanghai, China. However, they also offer one of the best pay packages on the market.
The basic pay rate is between $20 and $28 per hour, plus an extra few dollars in bonuses for performance.
Most new teachers are offered starting rates of around $22-$23 per hour, which is still pretty good, but this goes up substantially the longer you teach. Every 1,000 classes you teach, your pay rate can jump up a few dollars, as long as you’re judged to have performed well.
Class sizes are either 1-1 or 1-2, and students are aged between 5 and 15. You need a Bachelor’s degree and must have native-level English.
You can set your own schedule but must work during Beijing-time evenings Monday to Saturday.
Pay: $18-$22 per 45-minute lesson (up to $29 per hour spent teaching)
ESLstarter is a reputable online ESL platform based out of the UK. Despite being based out of the UK, they only hire teachers who are US or Canadian passport holders. They also require their applicants to have:
- A Bachelor’s degree
- At least 6 months of formal teaching experience
- A teaching certificate (preferred)
If you fit the bill, you can earn $18 per 45-minute lesson, plus bonuses.
Teachers get a flexible teaching schedule and can choose from a list of assignments, most of which will run for around 10 weeks. You also have the stability of a 12-month renewable contract.
Assignments are only available during Beijing evenings, Monday to Friday.
Pay: $15 – $26 per hour
Nicekid (also known as 98kid) is one of China’s largest online English teaching companies. They offer 1-on-2 classes for Chinese K-12 learners.
The nice thing about Nicekid – no pun intended – is that they offer very stable contracts. They offered guaranteed hours/classes and require teachers to commit to a regular schedule of a minimum of 12 hours a week.
While this does mean they’re a little less flexible, it also means you’re guaranteed a healthy paycheck each month. Pay is between $15 – $26 per hour and bonuses are available. Classes are throughout the weekdays during Beijing evenings.
Teachers must have native-level English speaking ability, a TEFL certificate, and some teaching experience.
They’re one of the few companies that don’t require teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree as long as they have a TEFL certificate!
8. First Future
Pay: $15 – $25 per hour (for native-level English speakers)
First Future is a little more confusing than the other platforms we’ve talked about so far when it comes to the pay rates as their booking and payment structure is very different.
They’re a platform that provides ESL services to schools and companies, which means teachers could be teaching customized lessons to adults, business professionals, or young learners of all ages.
Class sizes also vary between 25 and 45 minutes and take place during Beijing peak hours (evenings and weekends). You can choose either a fixed or flexible schedule.
The former guarantees you a booking rate and a minimum number of paid working hours, regardless of whether or not the student turns up to class. The latter means you set your own schedule but aren’t guaranteed bookings.
According to this OETjobs listing, non-native English speakers are offered a reduced pay rate of $8-$12 per hour, and bonuses are available. All teachers must have a Bachelor’s degree/TEFL certificate.
9. Bling ABC
Pay: $24 – $32 per hour
Bling ABC is another one of the highest-paying online teaching companies out there. They pay a basic rate of $21-27 per hour depending on qualifications, which can be boosted up to $24-32 with additional bonuses.
They also claim to pay up to $51 per hour for exceptional applicants with extensive experience and excellent performance.
They’re also a huge company with over 1.6 million students, which means they can offer guaranteed hours. Once you’ve signed your contract and created your schedule, you teach the same group of students regularly in 1-3 class sizes.
The basic Bling ABC job requirements are:
- Native-level English with a neutral accent
- A Bachelor’s Degree or above
- A TEFL certificate or equivalent
You’re in charge of your own schedule and set your own rates, but according to but according to OETjobs, the average rate that English teachers charge for a 45-minute class is $22, which puts it way above the $20 per hour line.
Some teachers on the platform charge upwards of $35 per class and get hundreds of bookings, so the earning potential really is very high – you just need to know how to market yourself correctly.
I’d recommend adopting a ‘penetration pricing’ mentality at the start, and charging lower rates of just $15 or so while you gain some positive reviews. Once you’ve built up some momentum and have a few reviews to validate you, you can up your rates. Soon, you’ll be earning way above our $20 threshold.
While this competitive environment might be off-putting for those of you that would prefer a stable employment contract, it does come with a ton of benefits. For example, it offers absolute flexibility and allows you to pick and choose when you work and the lessons you teach.
You’ll also probably be working with adults a lot more than you would be with the other platforms, which a lot of tutors prefer. The platform also doesn’t charge any management fees so that you can keep 100% of the rates you charge.
You can teach any language you’re proficient in and don’t need a Bachelor’s degree or any other qualifications to sign up.
Pay: $25 per hour
Skooli is another marketplace like VerbalPlanet, but with much more stringent requirements. It’s a tutoring platform which accepts only professional teachers who are experts in their chosen subject area.
When assessing applicants, recruiters will look for:
- A Bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate from your home state
- Higher Education qualifications like a Master’s degree or PhD
- A specific qualification in your subject area, such as TEFL certification for English teachers.
If you have one or more of the above, you might be able to tutor for Skooli.
If/when your application is approved, you can just log on whenever you want to teach and start tutoring. You don’t need to commit to any schedule in advance, so it’s very flexible.
Unlike VerbalPlanet, you don’t set your own rates. You’re paid based on the amount of time you spend tutoring at a flat rate of $25 per hour, which is still very good.
Pay: $17 – $28 per hour
USKid is another relatively new but growing learning platform based out of China. They’re backed by Baidu (China’s version of Google), so they’ve got big hopes for the future.
As you might have guessed by the company name, they only work with tutors who have experience working in classrooms in the USA or Canada. Tutors also need a degree or equivalent higher-level qualification.
The classes are 1-on-1 and their courseware puts a lot of emphasis on songs and chants, so you’ll need to hone your singing voice if you plan on applying!
Pay: $22 – $30 per hour
This is a new company and, as such, they don’t seem to have a strong online presence just yet. There’s no official teacher application page listed on Google, but they have advertised vacancies through sites like TotalESL and OET Jobs, and are accepting applications via email.
The thing that struck me immediately about Enpark is their class sizes – they’re huge.
Teachers are expected to teach classes of between 10 and 15 students, which is at least three times as many as the other group teaching platforms on this list.
That being said, they also pay a very respectable rate to compensate for it!
Enpark students are aged between 3 and 9 years old, and teachers must have a degree or preschool teaching experience.
Pay: $20+ per hour ($10 per 25-minute class)
BOXFiSH claims to be the number 1 K12 English app in China, with over 5 million students using the app.
It’s similar to PalFish in that tutors teach from their smartphone or tablet, which is great for anyone who doesn’t have access to a laptop or desktop computer, and for those who like to work on the go.
Another great thing about PalFish is that it’s very flexible. You set your own hours via the app and are matched with students, meaning you can earn money in your free time, wherever and whenever you choose.
There are three different types of classes you can teach through the app. These are:
- Live lessons
Live lessons don’t need to be scheduled in advance. During certain periods, you can simply log on and start receiving calls from students looking for live lessons.
- Pre-scheduled classes
Pre-scheduled classes are – you guessed it – classes which students book in advance based on the availability you set
- Feedback functions
This is like talking via recordings. You record a 1-minute response to a student’s voice message and send it back to them.
Other Ways to Earn $20 an Hour From Home
That’s it for our list of online teaching companies that pay more than $20 per hour, but if you haven’t found what you’re looking for, don’t give up just yet.
There are plenty of other great ways to earn $20 per hour from home outside of teaching.
We’ve talked about lots of full-time jobs you can do from home in articles like this one, but here’s a quick list of other work-from-home ideas you might want to try:
Good luck and happy frugaling!