7 Best Platforms to Teach Chinese Online (and Make Money) in 2022
If you can speak Chinese and are on the lookout for online jobs, one of your best options is to teach Chinese online.
Chinese language schools aren’t the only place Mandarin students go to learn anymore. Online classes have become the cornerstone of modern language teaching ever since the pandemic. Now, students all over the world can study Chinese whenever they want, wherever they want, and you can be the one teaching them.
Whether you’re a seasoned Mandarin teacher, a newbie with no experience, or any Mandarin speaker looking for the opportunity to earn a full-time or part-time income while sharing what you know, this definitive guide will help you do just that – we will walk you through all the reputable platforms where you can teach Mandarin online plus details on pay, hours, requirements, and how to apply.
We’ll kick this thing off by listing the best platforms at the beginning.
Best Platforms to Teach Mandarin Chinese Online
Now, to help you decide which Mandarin teaching platform is right for you, we’ve compiled a few details of each of the companies.
Let’s dive in.
italki is one of the best sites to begin building your teacher business if you’re looking for an online platform to teach Mandarin Chinese.
Founded in 2007, italki is currently the world’s largest platform for language teachers, with 5 million + students across the globe (no shortage of students!).
italki accepts two types of Chinese teachers – professional teachers and community tutors. Each applicant can choose only one teacher type.
Professional teachers can often charge more than community tutors, but they must first provide documents or proof such as a diploma or teaching certificate (e.g. CTCSOL – 国际中文教师证书) showing their professional training. A community tutor, on the other hand, can be any native (or near-native) Mandarin speaker who enjoys teaching informally.
The application process to become an online Mandarin teacher on italki is easier than on most other websites – no demos or interviews are required, but you do have to prepare a short video introduction to attract prospective students.
The great thing about teaching Mandarin on italki is that you get to set your own pay and schedule, and you have complete freedom on how to conduct your lessons as long as your students are happy. The platform also offers teachers great training and teaching resources. According to online reviews, most teachers had a good experience with italki support when issues came up.
The only downside is that as italki is one of the biggest teacher marketplaces out there, you will be competing with over 1300 Mandarin teachers on its platform (as of 2022). And honestly, the market seems to be over-saturated right now due to the high increase in applications from Covid-19.
However, in my experience, once students pick a teacher they become quite loyal. So take the time to develop your online profile as this is what initially attracts new students.
Company: Hong Kong
Hourly Pay: You can set your own rate anywhere between US$5-$80 per hour; typically a professional teacher charges US$15-25, while a community tutor charges US$10-15usd.
Commission: italki takes 15% commission for every lesson you teach
If you wish to teach Chinese online without worrying about how to get students, AmazingTalker is a great platform. The Taiwan-based company is one of the fastest-growing italki alternatives in the market. Their ads turn up just about everywhere on the internet.
AmazingTalker team manually verifies and approves tutor profiles. To qualify as a Mandarin tutor on its platform, you must either have a certificate in teaching Mandarin or experience in 1-on-1 Mandarin tutoring or related classroom teaching. There is no interview, but you will need to teach a 25-minute demo lesson should your application pass the initial review.
Like italki, Mandarin tutors on AmazingTalker can set their own schedule and pricing besides lesson planning and teaching. All tutors are paid monthly.
What’s great about this site is the community support. You can tap into a variety of training resources and join teacher’s groups within the site and get support from “mentors” in dealing with the common challenges of teaching Mandarin online. After you gain experience and start to work as a mentor yourself, you can get bonuses through training new tutors.
Hourly Pay: On average, teachers charge US$15-25 per 50-minute session. You can set your own rates based on your experience and expectation.
Commission: starts from 15% and drops continuously to 0% as you earn more via the platform. Besides commission, regional transaction taxes amounting to 5% plus a transfer fee of 3% will also be deducted from your earnings.
Preply is one of the most popular sites if you wish to teach Mandarin online. The site also offers lessons on lots of other subjects besides languages, from art to marketing.
On average, hourly rates charged by Mandarin tutors on Preply are lower than italki and AmazingTalker. Preply also requires teachers to pay a higher commission than most other websites. Therefore, it’s not the best idea to resort to Preply as a full-time, stable source of income.
That said, Preply does not require any specific certification or Mandarin teaching experience (though recommended), so it’s a great place to get started if you have none or intend the job to be a side hustle to supplement your regular income.
Another advantage of Preply is it’s one of the few companies in which tutors can receive payment immediately following class and withdraw anytime. Other companies typically pay tutors at the end of the month or on specific pay dates.
Hourly Pay: You can set your own hourly rates. Usually US$10-25 per hour.
Commission: 100% for the first trial lesson. 33 to 18% for all following sessions, as per the number of completed lesson hours with students (more tutoring with Preply, less commission you will pay).
Verbling is another viable option for those experienced teachers who want to teach Mandarin online.
From a teacher’s perspective, I would say Verbling is better than its major competitors like italki as the site offers fewer Mandarin teachers who also charge higher rates in general (negative for students though), and salary can be cashed out once a week.
Verbling has one of the most strict application processes among online Mandarin tutoring platforms. Only those teachers with a certificate or verifiable teaching experience will be considered. And you do need to know your stuff – once you pass the initial selection, an interview will be waiting for you.
A strong internet connection – a minimum download speed of 10Mbps and upload speed of over 1Mbps – is also required to teach on Verbling.
Hourly Pay: You can set your own hourly rates. Usually US$20 per hour.
Commission: 15% is deducted from all formal lesson earnings (all teachers earn US$5.10 for their trial class)
Another good option to teach Mandarin and earn money online. Like other online language teaching websites, Livexp matches motivated learners from all over the world with native teachers.
You can give lessons either from the Livexp app or right from the website. As a relatively new platform, Livexp is trying to shake up the industry with a dark user interface, weekly payouts, and zero commission – which is my favorite thing about teaching Mandarin on Livexp: you get to keep 100% of the prices you set for lessons (they just charge students 15% more than the price you set).
Livexp provides opportunities for everyone. You don’t need to provide any certificates to become an entry-level Mandarin teacher on its platform. You won’t earn big bucks at first, but it’s an excellent platform to use if you are just starting in the industry and want to build up some reviews and experience. And when you have more experience and receive positive feedback from your students, you can increase your rate gradually.
Hourly Pay: You can set your own hourly rates. Usually US$10-30 per hour.
Founded in 2021, LanguaTalk is very new to the market, but online reviews bode well for its future.
LanguaTalk may look similar to italki but has some advantages those big sites don’t.
First of all, LanguaTalk provides more personalized support for tutors. While many websites allow students to cancel on the day of their lesson, LanguaTalk protects tutors with a 24-hour cancellation policy. And their default lesson length is 55 minutes instead of an hour, allowing tutors to have a quick break when they have back-to-back lessons.
LanguaTalk also limited the number of tutors on their platform to give each new tutor a fair chance at receiving bookings.
Since LanguaTalk has just launched Chinese teaching and started recruiting Mandarin teachers, now is a good time to join and grow your teacher business with them. Just note due to banking regulations, LanguaTalk cannot send payments to banks in China and Taiwan yet, and you’ll need a bank account in the countries listed here to be accepted as a teacher.
Hourly Pay: You can set your own hourly rates. Typically US$15-30 per 55-minute session.
Similar to other sites, Classgap provides you with a Mandarin student base (mostly from Spain), an in-house virtual classroom, and the freedom to set your schedule, price, and working location. And you get paid at the end of every month via PayPal or bank transfer.
You probably won’t make lots of money for teaching on Classgap – most of the Chinese teachers registered on the platform charge under US$20 per hour, but this is a great opportunity if you are a university student seeking part-time work or a new online Mandarin teacher who wants to gain some experience.
No experience or teacher certificate is required. The only constraint to becoming a Mandarin tutor on Classgap is age (you must be over 18). Simply make sure you have a decent webcam and a good internet connection, and the world is your oyster.
Hourly Pay: You decide your own rate. Typically US$10-20 per hour.
Commission: starts at 20% and decreases to 10% the more hours that you teach
Other Legitimate Platforms to Teach Chinese Online
There are plenty of online Mandarin teaching jobs that pay well in 2022 if you know where to look and how to promote yourself. If you haven’t landed one browsing through our recommended platforms, here are more options.
To start with, many Chinese language schools based in China offer online tutoring in addition to classroom teaching. These include top schools like LTL, That’s Mandarin, and GoEast Mandarin. They have job openings for online Mandarin teachers from time to time.
There are also online-only Mandarin schools that follow a similar principle, like TutorABC Chinese, eChineseLearning, and TouchChinese. These schools usually have the whole curriculum ready to go, so there is no extra hassle involved when it comes to preparing lessons if you apply to work there.
Additionally, some global online language schools like Vivaling, Fluent City, and MyLingoTrip have started to offer Chinese lessons as well if you are looking for more online Mandarin teaching jobs and opportunities. Each of these sites has different standards and rules for hiring their teachers, usually requiring previous experience, a relevant certificate, and passing an online interview with the company.
Other Mandarin teaching sites are designed for teaching kids, perfect if you are a kid lover. Some of the most popular ones include Lingo Bus, LingoAce, Wukong, Koala Know, LFKID, and PPtutor. Most of these kids are overseas Chinese who already have a fair base in Mandarin, and your goal would be to help them grow even further.
Finally, you can register as a Mandarin tutor on local tutoring websites which allow you to offer Mandarin lessons both online and in person. Just note these companies usually require applicants to live in the country or region they operate in. For instance, Wyzant and Tutor.com only approve US residents with a Social Security Number while Tutorful accepts applications within the UK only.
Teaching Chinese Online FAQs
Is teaching Chinese online worth it?
While we don’t suggest anyone quit their current job to pursue a career as an online Chinese teacher, teaching Chinese online can be a good way to supplement or diversify your income streams. It’s a good option if you enjoy the flexibility and being your own boss – you get to dictate your own hours and rates, and work from wherever you want without time wasted on the road and traffic. Besides, sharing what you already know with people interested in the Chinese language and culture can be a great way to bring more fulfillment and joy into your life.
How do I start teaching Mandarin online? How do I become an online Chinese teacher with no experience?
Mandarin teaching experience or none, if you’re willing to accept lower-than-average rates on Mandarin teacher marketplaces, you can get started right away with a decent webcam and a stable internet connection. Go to platforms that don’t require certification or teaching experience like Preply or Livexp, apply to them, and get to work.
Be creative, prepared, flexible, and patient when you give lessons. Seek help, experience, and advice from other teachers. As you get more proficient in your teaching and more students leave positive reviews confirming what a great teacher you are, you can adjust your rates accordingly.
How much do online Chinese teachers make?
Most Mandarin teaching platforms allow you to set your own rates. As long as you are qualified for the work you are delivering, how much you charge and make is really up to you.
That said, you might have to work for a little less, like US$10 to $15 per hour, when you’re just starting out, but as soon as you have started to build up a reputation in the industry and worked out how to teach Mandarin online, your rates can go higher.
You can also look around at the platform you have chosen and see what other people charge. Many popular Mandarin teachers on reputable online platforms charge US$30-50 per hour and you could expect to earn the same as time goes on.
How do online Chinese teachers get paid?
Every platform will have its own methods for paying teachers, but typically you’ll need to set up a PayPal or Payoneer account to receive money. Make sure you understand the payment terms before you begin teaching. If you’re unsure, ask the platform.
Do I need to pay tax tutoring Chinese online?
As a freelancer Chinese teacher registered on tutoring platforms, your country will usually expect you to report your income and pay taxes associated with self-employment.
Ready to Become a Successful Online Chinese Teacher?
There you have it! The best platforms for you to teach Chinese online!
Now, to stand out as a great Mandarin teacher on the internet, you should maximize the use of our site ImproveMandarin.Com, where we produce comprehensive guides and inspiring tutorials for everyone in the Chinese learning and teaching community.
For starters, check out these articles to help you teach Mandarin online more effectively.
- Simple Chinese Words and Phrases for Beginners
- Basic Chinese Grammar Rules
- Chinese Numbers: The Complete Tutorial
- Basic Chinese Measure Words
- The Comprehensive Guide to HSK Test
We’ve also reviewed other resources like Chinese learning apps, podcasts, YouTube Channels, and online courses. Take a good look around to see how others are teaching Mandarin to create your very own lesson plans.
We hope our article has pointed you in the right direction to start your online Mandarin teaching business. Have fun teaching!