An Honest Palfish Review: Teach and Make $22/hr?

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Palfish is an app that allows you to chat with adults and children around the world, all while earning cash in doing so.  Its main goal is to help adult and children learn the English language.  In some cases, it’s as easy as chatting with someone and that’s it!

It’s one I have mentioned before, such as in my teach English online without a college degree and 31+ best ESL teaching jobs post.

And, while I didn’t talk about it much in detail, I found it to be a great choice if you want to make money with your phone and teach English online without the need for a college degree.  Since so many ESL companies do require a college degree, this potentially can be a breath of fresh air if you want to teach English online but don’t have a degree to do so.

Working for Palfish Reviews

In today’s review, I want to check out Palfish and let you know how to sign up, what you can earn as well as what the internet is saying.

Is it worth your time?

Should you join?

As in all of my reviews, I’m always honest, only recommending services I personally would use.

Teaching Options

Before I talk about signing up, I want to briefly mention the few programs Palfish offers.  The only reason I put this first is that each program has its own requirements, which will I get into the next subheading.

To start making money with Palfish, it can be done in one of two ways.  You can either use the FreeTalk option, which is just that — talking freely with someone else and helping them with the English language or you can teach Chinese children through an education platform known as the Official Kids Course.

Whichever option you choose, you must understand that you must abide by certain requirements as set by the company.

Signing Up Requirements

If you want to sign up, it’s not as easy as registering and that’s it.  Unfortunately, you will have to go through a lengthy application process.  Depending on which option you choose, the signing-up process varies.

Free Talk / Live Streams

If you want to solely use the free talk options, then there are no requirements or qualifications necessary.  You get to set your own rates and you don’t need to commit to the platform like you do in the Official Kids Course.

This is the best option to start with if you have no teaching experience or qualifications.

Just create an account, modify your profile and then market yourself on the platform to start making money.  This is a much harder option, but it can pay.  It just depends on how well you sell yourself.  In most cases, you can start in less than 48 hours.

Official Kids Course

If you’re interested in the Official Kids Course, then there are more qualifications involved.

For one, you must commit to at least 3.5 hours a week.  And, of the 3.5 hours you work, they must be during peak Beijing, China hours, being 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week or 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  The requirements are not asking of much, just that you meet 3.5 hours a week.  So, whether you work one hour a day or complete all three+ hours in a day, the company doesn’t care.

You must also be a native English speaker and reside in either the U.S., Canada, UK, Ireland or Australia.

Lastly, they do ask that you have a TESOL, TEFL or teaching certificate.  If you do not have a certification of any kind, you can always get one for less than $100, sometimes much less, through online academies such as the International Open Academy.

Unlike the free talk, you do not get to set your own rates, but it is said you can earn up to $22 per hour.  You can earn bonuses as well, but I will be sure to talk about this later on.

How to Sign Up

To sign up, you can do so via the Google Play app or iTunes.  Whichever option you choose, don’t be alarmed if you’re seeing nothing but Chinese lettering.  This is the right app to download.

Once you download it, you will be able to sign up and everything will be in English.

During the registration process, Palfish will ask for your phone number so that you can verify it.  Once you verify your number, you will be taken to a registration page where you can enter your personal details such as your name, gender as well as where you live.  You will also be asked to upload a photo.  This takes five minutes at most.

Immediately after you fill out this information, the app will then ask you to complete your information by completing the introduction process as well as a recording.

If you pass the application process, you can then choose the time slots you’re available.  Only choose the slots you can teach and remember to commit to at least 3.5 hours.  In the beginning, Palfish will open slots automatically for you, so be sure to change these the minute you get approved.

After you confirm your schedule, you will then after to fill out your profile more in depth so that you can sell yourself.  This is the profile that potential parents see when they want to use you as their child’s teacher.

Pay close attention to the introduction as this is what the parents will first see when clicking on your profile.  Be sure to include your skills, experience, education as well as what kind of teacher you.   You will also be asked to upload an audio intro so that they can hear you as well.

Aside from the introduction, you will be asked to upload your ID confirming your nationality, input your teaching certificate number as well as enter your bank account information.

After submitting all of this, it can take anywhere from two to five business days before your profile is verified.  From there, it’s just a waiting game.

The Interview

If Palfish verifies and accepts your profile, you will then have to go through an interview process.  As a keynote here, they only alert you through your app, not email, so make sure you pay close attention to your app as this will alert you to book an interview.

While you may be thinking it’s going to be an interview, similar to that of a traditional job, it isn’t.  Instead, what you can expect is a “demo class,” which you will record and submit.  When I applied, for instance, these were the rules I had to follow:

During your interview booking time, you can enter the class and read your class material.  You can also test your equipment to ensure it’s working as well as get to know the interactive classroom.  Be sure to show up to the classroom early as this can help you better understand how to use the classroom and create a successful interactive learning experience.

Once it’s time to record, simply follow the directions and record your demo.  At this time, no one is watching you, so treat it like a video recording you would do from your computer.  After your video completes, it will automatically send it to Palfish, where you will then wait for up to 72 hours to receive your results.  If approved, Palfish will contact you through the app.


If you pass the interview stage, you will then have to read the “official handbook and training materials.”  It’s very important that you read this information as the company will quiz you to ensure you know the rules and what’s expected of you.

Like any quiz, it’s as easy as reading the material and completing the quiz.  The app gives you 48 hours to complete the quiz and you can test as much as you want.

Teaching Classes

For both children and adults, classes will be set up as a one-on-one setting.

Free Talk

In the free talk courses, you will simply talk with someone 1-on-1 with no curriculum involved.  You can simply chat as you would a friend.  There are no time constraints, either and you can simply log in and start working whenever you agree upon a talking time.

You can teach between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Beijing time and you don’t have to worry about any lesson plans.

Official Kids Course

If you’re teaching children, ages range from three to 12 and they reside in China.

In this case, you will have to use the official PalFish official course material.  However, there are no lesson plans to prepare, no correction homework nor do you need to talk with the parents as a traditional classroom teacher would.  It’s simply teach and that’s it.  You are expected to use your own props and create a classroom-like setting.  Sessions are 25 minutes long.

As mentioned, you do need to commit to certain times throughout the week.  Unlike the free talk option, where you can teach whenever, the kids courses are only available form 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Beijing time on weekdays and 10:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Beijing time on weekends.   If you want to see what time it is in Beijing right now, I recommend using this free time converter.

How Much Do You Make With Palfish?

Depending on the option you choose and your experience, it varies.

If you strictly use the free talk option, you can set your own rate, with averages reportedly between $10 to $45+ per hour.  Some classes may pay by the minute.  The company will take a 20% commission on any confirmed booking.

As for the kids course, you can make up to $18 per hour, according to the company, with a $15 bonus offered whenever a “trial” student converts into a paying customer.  As you move up the levels within the program, you can make more per hour.  The longer you work with them, the more you can earn.

Payments are sent out when you hit at least $30 in the month.  If you live outside the United States, the company pays via Payoneer, which is a platform similar to that of PayPal.  The only downfall is that the bank charges $3 for every payment.

What the Internet Is Saying

As in all of my reviews, I love to go online and see what the world is saying.  In this section, I will break down both the pros and cons, letting you know what others think about working with Palfish.

The Pros

  • it does not require a bachelor’s degree to join
  • you’re able to teach from your phone or tablet
  • the hiring process appears to be simpler than competitors
  • easier to connect with students for bookings
  • good training
  • pay increases as your work with the platform

The Cons

  • have to commit to 3.5 hours a week
  • most classes are trial, which means you may teach the same lesson over and over
  • some teachers say there isn’t enough material to fill the time
  • have to market yourself through the “social network” to gain new students
  • lots of competition

How to Succeed

If you’re interested in the platform, there are a couple tips I wanted to share with you to increase your chances of landing more students.

First, be sure to set your prices lower if you don’t plan on teaching kids.  In doing so, it can encourage students to book you and then leave you reviews, which can help you increase your bookings in the future.  Keep in mind that you can only change your pay rate twice a month, so be sure to know what you’re comfortable in working for.

As for teaching the kids, you will have to set up your profile similar to that of a social media profile.  This means that you should update it just as you would your Facebook, Instagram, etc.  The company uses what’s known as “moments,” where parents can see your recent status updates.  If they see something of interest or just see that you’re active, then you can increase your chances in getting a booking.  Just be aware of this aspect and don’t let your profile go stale!

Final Thoughts

If you really want to teach English online and don’t have the college degree to do so, then Palfish may be a great option to consider.  It’s a reputable company with a ton of opportunity that pays a semi-decent hourly wage.  While not everyone gets approved, you can always read through the many interviewing strategies online and through YouTube to help increase your chances at getting hired.  With a little practice, you can soon find yourself with access to the platform.  However, if you don’t want to teach children, then you can get started right away.  Just remember that you will have to market yourself more aggressively as more children use the apps than adults.

Now, if you already have a college degree and want to teach English, then Palfish can still be option, but I wouldn’t put it at the top of my list.  While the company is okay, they don’t have the best ratings out of its competitors.  For that reason, I highly recommend you check out the more than 31+ ESL companies that work just like Palfish.  There are a lot of companies on this list, but what you will find out is that some pay a lot more than Palfish and don’t require the weekly commitment.

For now, if you want to teach English online, Palfish is one to keep on your list for sure.  While it isn’t the best ESL company online, it isn’t one I would ignore, either.

If you’re currently a member or you’re thinking about joining, feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. You won't find gimmicks here. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I graduated from Arizona State University, and I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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