How do ESL companies pay me?
Online ESL companies vary wildly by pay, though (in general) teaching kids pays more than teaching adults. This is why it is crucial to understand the online English teaching industry and compare how much different ESL companies pay you. But the research doesn’t stop there. Then, in addition, you have to be aware of hidden fees while Teaching ESL Online. One hidden fee is snuck into how you get paid.
Since online ESL companies are based all over the world, they often used services like Payoneer or PayPal to send you your pay. Even companies that pay directly to your bank (like VIPKID) may charge a bank transfer fee. VIPKID lets you suspend your pay until you have accumulated enough money for the banks to waive your fee.
When applying to ESL companies, in addition to finding out how much they pay, be sure to ask how they pay you. Specifically, ask how much you will be charged to get paid by bank transfer. If the answer is “yes”, then ask if they let you defer payment to eliminate the fee.
See Likeshuo as an example:
Likeshuo is an ESL company based in Shenzhen, China. Their student base is Chinese children, teens and adults as well.
Likeshuo‘s pay compared to other ESL companies
Likeshuo’s pay rates are standard for the online ESL industry. As of 2020, Likeshuo wants native speaking teachers to commit to 20 hours per week. Like many other ESL companies, Likeshuo will pay you more if you teach kids. The pay fluctuates, like all companies, but they will pay $16-$26 USD per 45 minute class with children and teenagers. The pay fluctuates, like all companiees- but the pay is roughly $10-$18 USD per class for adults depending on bonuses.
Likeshuo’s Pay Breakdown
- pay is roughly $16-$26 USD per 45 minute class with children and teenagers.
- pay is roughly $10-$18 USD per class for adults
- MINUS $25-30 , the likeshuo 200 rmb transfer fee
Yes, you read that correctly. There is a 200 RMB per month charge to get paid by bank transfer, and there is no option to use Payoneer or a similar service. Note that Palfish forces you to use Payoneer which also charges you, though less.
On Dec. 13, 2020, when I wrote this blog post, that was 30.55 United States Dollars. That is a lot to pay just to get your money. You are teaching two classes for free.
The good news is there is a solution. Defer your pay until you have enough to take it out without large fees. Often, companies let you do this. But, many people don’t know and get frustrated when they see the fees later. Be knowledgeable about the Chinese currency and the exchange rate. Fees like the the likeshuo 200 rmb transfer fee might not make sense to you until you see it in dollars.
When working for Likeshuo, ask them to hold your pay until you accumulate enough to lower the fee for money transfer.
Defer your pay until it warrants being withdrawn
Banks already make a lot of money by holding your money. Don’t give them money to get access to your own money. Don’t pay people to get paid.
When applying to companies to teach English online, be sure to ask how they pay you. If the company charges you to get paid by transfer through your bank or a third party money transfer service, then ask them to defer your payment until it exceeds the threshold set by the bank or service in order to eliminate the fee.
For example, Cambly offers this service automatically.
BOTTOM LINE: Find out if your ESL company charges you a fee to get paid. If so, then insist they defer paying you to keep banking fees more manageable.
If you are interested in this, you may be interested in these posts, too.
- Teach English online
- Teach for LikeShuo: Teaching English Online
- ESL Companies that hire students
- Compare ESL Companies
- Best books for an ESL teacher