Teacher Tom has been working as an ESL teacher for QKids for 12 months. Discover how much he earns, and how you can start teaching for QKids too.
I teach English online through a company called QKids. Like most of these companies, the students live in China. Most of the kids are between five and ten years of age, but you’ll even meet a few students in their early teens.
I make a decent living off of this, considering the circumstances with coronavirus. During the school year, I average about $1,000 a month because I’m in college. During breaks, I’m able to up those numbers to about $2,000 a month, since I’m not studying all day.
Before you apply, make sure you carefully read any requirements I lay out below, because I don’t want you to bump into any surprises if you apply.
- The website says you will need to possess a Bachelor’s degree or a teaching license. Take that with a grain of salt, because I possess neither. I do have an Associate’s degree, though.
- You must possess a TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, or equivalent certification, which is basically just certifying that you took a class in teaching English as a foreign language. If you don’t have your TEFL certificate yet eTEFL Online have a range of options. You must possess this certification (or equivalent) before you apply. Otherwise, they will reject you.
- You must be a US or Canadian citizen
- You should have some experience working with kids.
- As a side note: I have heard that California residents will automatically be rejected due to state-specific tax laws. Sorry if you’re from Cali.
Pros and Cons of QKids
- The website says you earn $16-20 USD an hour. You are paid $8 per 30 minute lesson, or $16 an hour, and $20 being your hourly rate if you are getting all bonuses. Attendance bonuses and performance bonuses dictate whether you make $16 or $20 an hour. However, after you factor out unpaid breaks between lessons and taxes, expect to make more like $14-17 USD an hour.
- A good deal of the time slots are very early in the morning.
- It’s really easy money.
- The kids are cute.
- Flexible scheduling if you like to work nights and mornings.
- They design the curriculum for you.
Typical of every job, they need a resume.
They want you to do a 1-2 minute video of you introducing yourself and talking about your work experiences briefly. After that, read a children’s book aloud. I recommend you visit your local library and look for one with cute pictures. Make sure you read it as if you were reading it to a child. Show the camera the pictures and everything.
In the application, you’ll fill out an availability page of available timeslots. You can email the hiring team to change your schedule at any time. The change typically takes about a week to take effect.
If you make it this far, you will get to install the QKids teaching software. There are 4 different sections of the training, in which you watch videos of how the software is used, how it should look when you’re teaching a lesson, how to act, etc. The training is all unpaid. Woohoo!
You’ll interview twice, and demonstrate your knowledge of the software. You’ll do a practice run with your coach, pretending they’re a child, and you’re the teacher. You’ll go through the entire lesson. You may end up interviewing twice, depending on how the first lesson goes.
After your interview(s), if they decide to move on with the process, you will get to teach some actual lessons. These will be your first paid lessons. In my case, I did 4 trial lessons between two separate days. About a day after having done my trial lessons, I got a message offering a contract.
Congrats! If you’ve made it to the contract, that means you’re going to start teaching lessons soon, and you’ve landed a pretty good side hustle! Something to keep in mind: With QKids, you’re an independent contractor, not an employee. You must file your own taxes at the end of the year, and it is only agreed upon that you’ll work for 6 months. You have to sign another contract to continue working for them after 6 months.
This is a pretty solid side gig, especially for the current demand in work-from-home positions. It’s unfortunate that it’s come to the point where people are getting laid off and looking for new work.