Are you curious about Zebra English? In this Zebra English review, I'll break down the entry requirements, how the platform works, how much teachers can earn, and you can decide if it's the right platform for you. Don't sign-up for Zebra English until you read this review!
Zebra English Review:
What is Zebra English?
Zebra English is an online English tutoring company based in Beijing, China. It offers AI-based English classes to students, with the option to talk to a native-English speaker to help with the class' subject material.
The company offers to pay English teachers $16 - $26 an hour and you can work from home at your own pace. Zebra English has received mostly positive reviews online, but there are some important things you need to know.
It's not exactly as good as it sounds!
Zebra English Tutor Requirements:
The requirements to work as a Zebra English tutor are typical for online tutoring platforms.
- A bachelors degree or higher
- English native speaker
- Legally allowed to work in US or Canada
- Located in the US or Canada
- TESOL or TEFL or Teaching Experience
- Submit a Demo
The most notable entry requirement is you need a bachelors degree. The degree doesn't have to be related to the teaching industry. If you don't have a degree or previous teaching experience, your application will likely be denied.
Zebra English Hardware & Internet Speed Requirements:
- A desktop, laptop, or MacBook with a camera and microphone
- 4 GB of RAM
- 20 Mbp/s internet connection
The platform does not work in your browser, you need to download the program, either for Mac or Windows. If you do meet the requirements, you can submit an application, and it should be reviewed within a few days. If you're accepted, you'll start the interview stage, which requires multiple teaching demos.
Is it worth the trouble? Here's what you need to know:
What You Need to Know:
Instead of wasting your time, I'll jump right to the important points.
1 - The Majority of Students are Between the Ages of 3 - 8
Most of the time, you'll be tutoring children. While that's not necessarily bad, it's much more difficult than having a conversation with an adult. Unfortunately Zebra English doesn't make it clear that you'll mostly be teaching children.
2 - Rarely Open to New Teachers
Zebra English used to be a good platform but it seems like the quality is dropping over time. Since 2019 there have been reports of new applications being denied for no reason and a lack of work. Today, there's a notice on their website that says they do not have any open positions.
3 - Base Pay Starts from $8 for 30 Minutes
If you don't have previous teaching experience, the base pay starts at $8/30 minutes, with the option to earn bonuses for good performance. With previous experience, the maximum you can earn is $9/30 minutes.
Teaching at Zebra English:
Teaching at Zebra English is quite straightforward. As mentioned earlier, most of the classes are based on AI English learning lessons. Those students are called "trial students" and the student (or student's parent) can book you after two trial classes.
Most of the lessons are during peak hour time which is between 6 pm to 8:30 pm, Beijing Time. It's best to make your profile available during peak hours. During off-hours, it's unlikely that you'll receive a chat request. In other words, there's a lot of down time spent waiting to start a class.
Unlike other teaching platforms, Zebra English uses AI to randomly match students with teachers. The student can decide to hire the teacher after two classes. The automatic booking system allows new teachers to receive work too, instead of having all the work go to the teachers with the best ratings. Students don't pick teachers.
It's also recommended to toggle the 24/hr. booking and set your availability to 12 weeks or more in the future. As for the actual classes, the teaching material is provided and you don't need any props.
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How Much Does Zebra English Pay?
Zebra English's payment is calculated with a base rate and incentives.
You receive small bonuses on top of your base pay for completing a variety of tasks, such as showing up on time, total number of classes completed, and classes taught in a row.
The starting base pay depends on your previous teaching experience. If you have experience with other tutoring platforms, you can submit your finished class evidence.
Base levels per 30 minutes:
- $8 mins - (less than 500 classes completed a year)
- $8.5 (between 500 - 2000 classes a year)
- $9 (more than 2,000 classes a year)
I find the base rate quite low for the amount of experience needed. If you have taught more than 2,000 classes a year, you could be making a lot more with private classes or at a legitimate school.
The average hourly income can increase if you complete the incentives. As mentioned earlier, you can earn a few bonuses here and there, between $0.5 to $1.5.
When Does Zebra English Pay?
Zebra English pays via direct deposit on the 10th of every month.
What Payment Options Does Zebra English Support?
Zebra English only processes payments with direct deposits. It does not support PayPal at the moment.
Similar English Teaching Platforms:
My Final Thoughts:
I think Zebra English a decent online English tutoring platform. However, the entry requirements are a bit strict, the base rate is rather low, the students are mostly children, and they rarely open positions to new teachers. I liked the automatic booking system that uses AI to match students with teachers. Is it something I recommend for the long-term? Not really.
Is There a Better Alternative?
If you want to make money online, I suggest learning how to build your own money-making website. It might sound hard at first but it's quite easy once you learn the basics and use software like WordPress.
Maybe you could even use your website to find students! To learn more about how to build a successful online business, take a look at my favorite training course. Thanks for taking the time to read this Zebra English review.