When it comes to online English teaching, a lot of the companies out there offer a very similar package.
Cambly, on the other hand, offers a completely different kind of package.
We’ve already written in detail about exactly how Cambly differs from typical ESL teaching companies like DaDa here, but today, we’re going to be taking a closer look into what it’s actually like to work for Cambly.
Cambly's model is just about as different as it can be from the average online teaching gig – but this doesn't necessarily mean its better.
You will find some teachers that swear by Cambly, and others that wouldn't even consider working there. It would be absolutely fair to say, then, that Cambly isn’t right for everyone.
But that begs the question, would Cambly be the right choice for you?
In this article, we'll look into the Pros and Cons of working for Cambly, and answer common questions like ‘how much can you make with make with Cambly?’ to help you decide whether this is a company you'd like to work for.
Now let’s get started with pro number 1…
Pro #1 – Flexibility
Cambly is much more flexible in many ways than other online ESL companies. First and foremost, Cambly is a login-and-talk style company, which literally means you can log in any time you want and start making money.
In theory, this means you can work as much as you want, when you want – but there is a catch.
Cambly's priority hours system allows teachers who book their teaching slots in advance to feature higher on the teacher list than those who have just logged in, meaning that they will receive more calls.
These priority hours can only be cancelled up to 12 hours in advance, meaning that if you want to have the best chance of receiving calls, you need to commit to a set schedule.
This is still much more flexible than other alternatives, though, as you can decide whether or not you want to book priority hours each day and aren’t locked-in to doing this every week.
Another point worth mentioning in regards to flexibility is the fact that Cambly is a 24-hour platform. This means you can log in for as many hours as you want (24 hours straight, if you can manage it) which makes it about as flexible as it’s possible to be.
Con #1 – Classes Aren’t Guaranteed
The flipside of not having a set schedule means that Cambly aren’t obligated to guarantee you any classes during the times you do choose to log on.
According to most Cambly reviews, new tutors on the platform should expect to receive calls for about 50% of the time they’re logged on.
This can vary, though, and sometimes you can be online for an hour or more with no calls coming through. Other times, you might have back-to-back calls for hours.
This can be frustrating as you never really know how much money you can earn through Cambly from week to week.
Most of us have bills to pay, and the security of knowing that you’ll get some minimum amount on your monthly paycheck is important. This means that Cambly is potentially more useful as a side-income to supplement your regular, guaranteed income than it is as a sole source of income.
It is a great job to do alongside a more schedule based company like DaDa. Check how they compare by clicking the image below:
Pro #2 – You’ll be Working With Adults
A lot of people out there like working with children, and if you do, good for you! That means you’ll have no problem finding a rewarding online teaching role, as most companies work with young learners.
But for others (like me), working with children can feel a little draining, which makes the fact that Cambly is a platform with mostly adult students a huge bonus.
With adults, you can have real genuine conversations about topics you’re both interested in. You don’t need to worry about your student running off to play with their toys if your class gets too boring, and you can focus more on actual conversation practice and less on behaviour management.
Another company that allows you to work with adults is Hujiang. Read more about them by clicking the image below:
However, there are some disadvantages that come with working with adults, which brings us on to our next point.
Con #2 – Inappropriate Student Interactions
Most of the students on Cambly are great and are just looking to practice English with a native speaker.
There are, however, a select few who choose to use the platform less like a learning environment and more like a dating app.
It’s not uncommon for students to strike up inappropriate conversations, especially with female teachers – or at least that’s what I’ve heard from several female teachers currently working on the platform.
Fortunately, Cambly are aware of this issue and have taken steps to improve the situation for teachers, which we’ll talk about more in the next point.
Pro #3 – Teachers Have More Control
In typical ESL classrooms, the student is king. This leads to a situation where the teacher can sometimes feel like they’re jumping through hoops to impress the parents or teaching staff against their better judgement.
Fortunately, this isn’t the case with Cambly.
On Cambly, the teacher can drop any call that they feel uncomfortable with continuing. They can also refuse to speak about any topic they feel is inappropriate or that they’re just not happy talking about.
As long as you do it professionally, you are free to manage your students in the way that you see fit. It’s much more of a two-way street than with other ESL companies.
You can even ban students at the touch of a button if they misuse the platform or do something really inappropriate.
Con #3 – Low pay
Our final con is perhaps the biggest downside to working with Cambly – the pay.
Unfortunately, the low barrier to entry and great job perks means that Cambly pays its teachers significantly less than the industry standard.
Cambly pays $0.17 per minute of tutoring, which works out at just over $10 per hour that you’re on a call. As you’re unlikely to fill your schedule completely, you’ll probably earn around $5-8 per hour instead.
This isn’t great by western standards, but the silver lining is that you really don’t have to work very hard for that money. Calls are mainly just conversation practice – it’s just talking, and there’s little teaching or planning required.
Click the image below to discover how much DaDa pays online English teachers:
Cambly PROS and CONS – Final Thoughts
Those are the main advantages and disadvantages of working with Cambly – hopefully, it’s given you some food for thought.
Working with Cambly can be a great way to make a little extra cash and can fit in perfectly as a side hustle alongside a scheduled online ESL teaching job.
If you want to apply for Cambly, click the button below:
Or check out one of our other articles on companies like Hujiang and DaDa: