Kelly’s Education Review Summary

Hong Kong-based Kelly’s Education delivers online 1v1 English and Mandarin lessons to children. They hire UK, US, Canadian and Australian teachers with degrees, teaching certificates and experience of young learners. Pay is $14-20/hr (bonus dependent), applications are simple, but you must offer good availability.

Pay (per hour):$14-$20
Language/location requirements?Native Speaker in English or Mandarin/
UK, USA, Canada, or Australia
Degree required?Bachelor’s or higher
Teaching certificate required?TEFL/TESOL/CELTA/DELTA
Teaching experience required?1+ year with young learners
Student age?3-15
Class size:1-2
Hours:No minimum hours
Classes between 9am-10pm (HKT), Mon-Sun
Peak times 12-6pm

Kelly’s Education Pros and Cons


  • Pay is ok
  • Bonuses/incentives
  • Simple application process
  • Leave is permitted with notice


  • Restricted to certain nationalities
  • A degree, language teaching certificate and experience are all necessary
  • Candidates must offer good availability
  • Only for teachers of young learners (no adult students)
  • Financial penalties for emergency/short-notice cancellations without evidence
  • A relatively small company with limited (and mixed) reports from existing teachers

Is Kelly’s Education Legit?

Kelly’s Education is a legitimate language learning company that was founded in Hong Kong in 2018. It has since added offices in Shenzhen, Moscow, Dusseldorf, London and New York, with thousands of children taking their English and Mandarin classes online. It is not to be confused with the similarly-named Kelly Education, who supply substitute teachers to US schools.

Here is a video introduction to the company:

What Is Kelly’s Education?

Kelly’s program caters for learners between the ages of 3-15 years, mostly through 1v1 online English and Mandarin lessons. Occasionally there are requests for other languages, and some classes involving older children will be 1v2.

The platform used is ClassIn, and courseware materials are provided which have to be uploaded before the lesson. Regular feedback and progress reports must be written up afterwards.

This video shows clips of Kelly’s Education classes in action:

Kelly’s Education Salary Information

The Kelly’s Education pay rate starts at $7.00-$7.50 per 25-minute class ($14-$15 an hour). However, this can be boosted with a number of bonuses:

  • Attendance bonus: $1 per class for attendance
  • Lesson bonuses:
    • $1.00 for 30 hours in a month
    • $1.50 for 60 hours in a month
  • $3 per sign-up from trial class
  • $5 per student renewal

An annual pay review is also conducted.

Kelly’s Education Pay Schedule

Kelly’s Education wages are paid on the 10th of each month via direct bank transfer or PayPal.

Kelly’s Education Hours

Kelly’s Education services take place between 9am-10pm, Monday to Sunday (Hong Kong Time). The most in-demand (peak) times are 12-6pm.

While there are no minimum hours requirements, Kelly’s prefers teachers with a large amount of availability covering most times and days, and slots should remain fixed once opened. A pay bonus is available to those who can teach 30 or 60 hours in a month.

Kelly’s Education classes are 25 or 50 minutes in length.

Teachers are suggested to parents for regular classes or they may convert their own trials. Most students will book 2 or more classes a week, scheduled at a consistent time.

Holiday or casual leave is considered on a case-by-case basis if it is requested at least 2 weeks in advance. 2 emergency leaves are permitted per month, so long as proof and 24-hour’s notice is given, otherwise there is a $10/lesson penalty.

The employment contract is for 12 months and can be renewed. The resignation notice period is 1 month.

Kelly’s Education Requirements

You must meet these requirements to become a Kelly’s teacher:

  • Native Speaker from the UK, USA, Canada or Australia
  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher
  • TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, or DELTA certified
  • At least 1 year of experience teaching young learners
  • A fun, lively and energetic teaching style
  • Able to teach on ClassIn or willing to take training

While there is no minimum hours requirement, candidates are more likely to be considered for an interview the more availability they can offer (i.e. including mornings, evenings and weekends).

Kelly’s Education Technical Requirements

  • PC, Mac or laptop (teaching on phones or tablets is not allowed)
  • Operating System: Windows 7, 8, 10 or higher / Mac OS 10.X or higher
  • CPU: Intel i5 processor or higher
  • RAM: 4GB or higher
  • High-speed internet connection: 25 Mbps (test your internet speed)
  • Webcam
  • Headset with microphone

Kelly’s Education Hiring Process

To lodge a Kelly’s Education application, simply email their recruiter with your:

  • CV/resume
  • availability in Hong Kong Time
  • 1-2 minute video (recorded on your phone is fine) discussing your experience with young learners or a previous recording showcasing your teaching style
  • ‘Kelly’s Education’ should be written in the email subject line.

The Kelly’s Education interview with a member of their hiring team is conducted over Zoom and involves a 15-minute mock lesson.

As part of the Kelly’s Education onboarding process, you must complete 8-10 hours of unpaid, online training involving self-study and live sessions before you can start teaching.

Kelly’s Education Reviews – What Is It Like Working for Kelly’s Education?

The Kelly’s Education Glassdoor page gives the company an overall rating of 3.7 out of 5, with 72% willing to recommend them, though this comes from just 10 contributors (at the time of writing).

I have extracted all the comments from teachers, who talk positively about the course materials, students, work/life balance, support staff, and training, but complain about the payment punctuality, minimal opportunities for pay rises, and financial penalties, whilst the rates of pay and scheduling system receive mixed views:

  • Advantages:
    • “Good pay for company outside mainland china.
    • So many courses to teach to a variety of students. Good pay for company based outside mainland china.
    • Easy work from home for up to $20 if you work 120 a month.
    • Very good work/life balance, allows creative and holistic approaches to teaching, supportive staff, good developing lesson materials with upgrades and improvements all of the time.
    • Create your own flexible schedule.
    • Kelly education is very on top of training and teachers’ attendance.
    • In theory you can really tailor your own schedule.
    • Some progression in the company/career opportunities, slight pay rise for long standing teachers.
    • Create your own schedule. On-time payments. Knowledgeable staff to answer any questions.
    • There is no good to work at this company.”
  • Disadvantages:
    • “Not many opportunities for pay increase.
    • Sometimes don’t pay on time.
    • Emergency rescheduling results in financial penalties.
    • In practice they will call you multiple times a day for jobs even when you have a job scheduled for the day they are calling about. Any day you don’t take a job they want you to schedule in advance.
    • Income is not great. Very sensitive acceptance system, if you accidentally click accept on a job then you must do it, cancellation has consequences.
    • Pay depends on the schools you choose to work for.
    • Pay for any teacher really isn’t the greatest.”

Another teacher’s review can be found in this Kelly’s Education Reddit thread, which is a lot more critical about the scheduling, blame culture, poor communication, company attitude, mistakes in materials, payment punctuality (again), and overbearing staff. This was written over 3 years ago, however:

Kelly's Education Reddit review

Conclusion – Is Kelly’s Education Worth Considering?

For those who lost jobs in China once that country stopped hiring foreign teachers, Kelly’s Education may hold some appeal. Though based in Hong Kong, the company bears some resemblance to Whales English and provides similar students in the same time zone. However, existing employees have left question marks regarding Kelly’s payment punctuality and pressure to work according to their preferred schedule and not the teacher’s.

To apply for Kelly’s Education jobs, email your CV, availability and video. For other opportunities, explore our full list of online teaching companies.

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Dr Daniel Spence

Daniel Spence is the founder of Online Teaching Review. He has been an international teacher since 2008, an award-winning academic, author of two books, and holds a PhD, MA, BA (Hons), and TESOL.

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