Which Online ESL Company Is Best, VIPKID, QKids, SayABC, or DaDa?

Many professionals have been looking into the plethora of online teaching platforms that are popping up. Specifically, the ESL tutoring companies based in China, have been marketing themselves as flexible, easy to teach, and allows remote work. Based on what I learned from a year of applying for remote work, these companies are legitimate ways to make some extra money.

In this article I focused on the 4 largest and most widely known companies that pair teacher’s with children (If you are interested in comparing 51Talk click here). To assess them I created a ranking system based on their pay, ease of booking students, hiring process, and company reviews. Since all of these companies come with some type of curriculum (that means minimal prep work), I did not include that in the scoring process. The total points each company could earn was 16. The winner of each category received 4 points, second place winner received 3 points, third place winner received 2 points, and the last place company earned 1 point.

Being that all of these companies had similar hiring processes (apply, demo lesson, receive feedback and training), I used glassdoor’s percentages on positive interview data. Every company required education and some experience. Additionally, the average review data was taken from Indeed, glassdoor, and Facebook.

Here’s the quick and dirty results, but keep in mind, there are several other factors that you may want to read about below:

DaDa – 14 points

Qkids – 12 points

VIPKID – 8 points

SayABC – 6 points

To assess the ESL teaching companies VIPKID, QKids, DaDa, and SayABC, a ranking system was created based on their pay, ease of booking students, hiring process, and company reviews. Bein

The Breakdown

1. DaDa

  • Pay – $16-$25 per hour (2 lessons per hour): 4 points
  • Booking – Fixed and reliable teaching time: 4 points
  • Reviews – Average review of 4/5: 3 points
  • Hiring – 80% positive interviews: 3 points

DaDa wins marginally in front of QKids basically due to slightly less contractor satisfaction. However, when you look at the two companies side by side, ESL tutors appear to be able to consistently count on earnings with DaDa over Qkids. DaDa comes in a clear lead due to reliable classes, half payment if a class is cancelled, overall positive reviews, and ability to earn more over time with bonuses. Click these links to read the Indeed and glassdoor reviews.

Note: Formally named DaDaABC

2. Qkids

  • Pay -$16-$20 per hour (2 lessons per hour): 1 point
  • Booking – Class is set weekly based on your hours: 3 points
  • Reviews – Average review of 4.5/5: 4 points
  • Hiring – 83% positive interviews: 4 points

Qkids coming in second place was a surprise! Since VIPKIDs appears to be more common, it was assumed that they would be near the top of the pack. Tutors love Qkids. There are lots of positive reviews on Qkids. The reasons this company was placed in 2nd place was due to a lower earning potential, and unclear information about how the classes are actually booked. If working for a great company is the most important factor for you, definitely consider QKids. Click these links to read the Indeed and glassdoor reviews.


  • Pay – $14-$22 per hour (2 lessons per hour): 3 points
  • Booking – You set your hours and then parents pick you: 2 points
  • Reviews – Average review of 3.95/5: 1 point
  • Hiring – 53% positive interviews: 2 points

VIPKID earned a lower spot due to slightly lower reviews, strict teacher cancellations policies, and occasional difficulties actually booking students. Some ESL contractors complained that VIPKID created competition between tutors since the parents in China were in complete control of the booking. Many people complained that VIPKID was too quick to terminate it’s ESL contractors. On a positive note, VIPKIDs has the easiest system to increase your hourly income, and pays ESL tutors their full hourly rate if a student cancels within 24 hours. Click these links to read the Indeed and glassdoor reviews.

4. SayABC (break off from VIPKIDs)

  • Pay – up to $21 per 40 minutes: 2 points
  • Booking – Computer matches you with potential parents based on a set criteria: 1 point
  • Reviews – Average review of 4.15/5: 2 points
  • Hiring – 17% positive interviews: 1 point

SayABC was by far the weakest scorer of the ESL companies. While their pay was fine, and their reviews were really not too far off from the rest of the group, the hiring process appeared to be rough compared to the others. The take aways here were while there was nothing really wrong with this company, it really did not have anything special about it either. Click these links to read the Facebook and glassdoor reviews.

Interested in comparing 51Talk as well? Read my follow up article.

If you are looking for a list of ESL tutoring or teaching jobs for adults, check out this list from Real Ways To Earn Money Online.

Comment below with your experiences or questions about teaching online ESL classes!

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