The Complete Guide to Teaching Online with Nicetalk

by: Matt Moran ESL Authority Matt Moran | Last Updated November 26, 2019

Nicetalk Overview

Average Salary
$10/hr
Native Speaker Required?
Yes
TEFL Required?
No
Degree Required?
Yes

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NiceTalk is a modern, flexible app-based company that pays their tutors to chat with Chinese students in  English. Sounds easy? Well today we’ll be taking a look at important factors such as how much NiceTalk pay, how the schedule works, and what it’s like working on the NiceTalk platform.

We’ll also take a look at some tutor reviews and FAQ’s to help you decide whether NiceTalk is the right online teaching company for you. So without further ado, let’s jump into it!

About NiceTalk

NiceTalk is an app-based English learning platform based in China. The company was established in 2015 and is mainly used by adult learners across China. According to their website, NiceTalk is ‘China’s first mobile English learning platform that provides students with instant access to fluent English speakers through one on one video chat.’

Compared to other Chinese English teaching companies, NiceTalk is much more flexible, as tutors don’t have to sign up for a pre agreed number of hours per week. The app operates on a ‘log-in and talk’ style model where tutors can log in and start chatting with students whenever they wish. 

Overview

Before we get into some detailed aspects of working for NiceTalk, here’s a quick overview of what teachers need to know about the company. 

A primary consideration is NiceTalk pays less than most Chinese ESL companies. The company pays an average of $10 per hour. However, due to the ‘log in and talk’ aspect of the job, the company calculates your payment by the minute, so you may not actually earn this much. Check out the pay section of this article to learn more about the payment system for NiceTalk.

The next important thing to note is that NiceTalk only hires native English speakers to their platform so if you can’t prove that you are from a native English speaking country, you will find it difficult to get hired.

Finally, the qualification requirements for NiceTalk are much less stringent than other companies, and they do not require tutors to have a degree. They do state that a TEFL certificate or teaching experience is preferred, but it’s not a deal breaker. This makes it an ideal opportunity for people looking to start their first ESL job.

Now that the most important stuff is out of the way, let’s have a closer look at what you need to become a NiceTalk tutor.

What are the requirements to teach for NiceTalk?

As I mentioned above, you don’t need any specific academic qualifications to become a NiceTalk tutor. Although experience or a TEFL certificate is preferred, the main requirement is that you must be a native English speaker. 

In addition to the personal requirements, NiceTalk also requires all teachers to have:

  • High-speed internet (300kbps upload speed and 500kbps download speed)
  • Updated Android/IOS Operating System (IOS 7.0 or Android 4.0 is required to run the NiceTalk app)
  • A quiet environment for teaching

If you have all of those things, you’re good to get started on making an application.

What does NiceTalk pay?

As we alluded to, working out the pay rate for NiceTalk isn’t all that simple. On an hourly basis, NiceTalk pays their tutors up to $10. However, teachers are actually paid $0.17 per minute of chatting. So, in theory, if you spent a full 60 minutes out of an hour chatting with a student, you would earn $10. Obviously, this is unlikely, and teachers can realistically expect to spend anywhere between 10 and 40 minutes per hour chatting, according to NiceTalk tutors. This means that hour by hour, you’d actually be earning more like $5 or $6, not $10. 

In comparison to big ESL companies like SayABC or VIPKid, this pay rate is extremely low. However, you do enjoy the added flexibility of being able to log in whenever you want. Many teachers choose to use companies like NiceTalk to supplement their other teaching income by working outside of Chinese peak hours (5-9 Beijing time).

The company also pays like clockwork. If you’ve earned over $20 in the previous week, your earnings will be transferred by Paypal every Monday.

What Is the Interview Process for NiceTalk?

Applying for NiceTalk is fairly easy. It doesn’t require any formal interview with any of the staff at the company. Below is a step-by-step guide of the NiceTalk application and interview process. 

Step One – Download the App

The first thing you will need to do is download the NiceTalk app to your smartphone. The app isn’t available on the Google Play Store or on the App Store, so you will need to download it directly from the NiceTalk website. Some teachers were a little unhappy with downloading the app from an unsecured website as opposed to the official app store, but there are tons of teacher reviews advising that it’s nothing to worry about. Of course, whether or not you are comfortable doing this is completely up to you. 

Step Two – Record a Video

Once the app is downloaded, you’ll be prompted to fill in some initial details and then record a short video. Although the video won’t be shown to your students, it will be reviewed by the NiceTalk staff when they’re deciding whether to accept your application, so it’s a good idea to give it your all and prepare what you’re going to say in advance.

Step 3 – Send Video and Complete Profile

Once you’ve sent your video for review, you’ll get a chance to fill in your profile. At this point, you can add details about your teaching experience, qualifications, and education. You can also record a new video for your profile that your future students can watch.

Step 4 – Wait for Approval

Once everything is completed, all you have to do is wait. According to reviews, tutor approval is usually quite quick. 

As soon as the teaching staff approves your profile, you can go ahead and start teaching. It’s as simple as that!

What is Working for NiceTalk Like?

Compared to some other online teaching gigs, it seems that NiceTalk is easy and stress-free. The whole platform is completely app-based, meaning you will be teaching from your phone, which is often a lot easier than using your computer. Although the pay isn’t great, NiceTalk seems like a fairly decent company to work for.

After looking at some reviews, it seems that the general consensus is that classes or ‘calls’ are usually easy to manage as they are all conversation-based. That means no strenuous planning or dealing with angry parents; something that many teachers worry about when working online with children. 

Another huge plus about NiceTalk is that you can literally teach anytime you want. The platform is open 24-hours so you could even teach in the middle of the night if you wanted to! However, as with most companies, there is likely to be peak hours when the platform is busy with students. As such, it’s likely that you’ll end up teaching at similar times each day. If you wish, you can also allow students to make appointments with you so that you can at least guarantee some paid hours during your available working time.

Overall, it seems like a decent option for people that are more concerned about flexibility than financial incentives.

NiceTalk Reviews

Although NiceTalk seems like a good company on paper, it’s always a good idea to check out what experienced tutors think about working on the platform. 

After scouring the internet, I found a mixture of positive and negative reviews. While a lot of teachers were happy with the flexibility that NiceTalk offered them, there were a couple of negative points that kept cropping up. These were:

Lack of Students

Many reviewers of the company touched upon the fact that tutor numbers outweigh student numbers, meaning that you’re unlikely to fill your time when logged into the platform. According to some reviewers, it used to be much easier to find students on the platform. Unfortunately, in recent years, the increase in teacher numbers has meant less work for everyone.

The App

Although most will find it simple to work from a smartphone, many tutors have complained that the app can be glitchy. Others also weren’t happy with the unsecured web download. 

Overall, the company gets a 4.7 out of 5 on Glassdoor, which isn’t bad. Many tutors regard it as a good starter job for people that are interested in becoming online teachers.

So there you have it, A complete guide to teaching English online with NiceTalk.

If you want to know more about the company or make an application, check out their website at http://tutor.nicetalk.com/

In case you have any more questions, I’ve prepared a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about NiceTalk below. If you can’t find the answer here, feel free to ask us in the comments!

Other Resources & FAQs

Can you teach for Nicetalk without a degree?

Yes, NiceTalk Tutors are not required to have a formal college degree of any sort. 

Do you have to be a native speaker to teach for Nicetalk?

Yes. According to their website, tutors must be native English speakers. Unlike many companies, NiceTal doesn’t specify what nationality the tutors must be, so teachers from countries like South African may be accepted.

Do you need a TEFL for Nicetalk?

No. A TEFL certificate isn’t required, but the website does state that TEFL qualifications of any sort and/or teaching experience is preferred.

Matt Moran ESL Authority

Matt Moran

Matt is a writer, former ESL teacher, and founder of Remotely Working. When he’s not busy writing, you can probably find him sipping a flat white and planning his next adventure.

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