Let's face it — plenty of students need help with their education. They might need advice for a report they have to submit or there's a challenging research paper that they simply can’t finish before the deadline.
Luckily for those students, there's also plenty of people who have the skills to help them in their time of need (in exchange for a pre-agreed upon fee, of course).
Online tutoring is a great opportunity for both students and tutors because it lets them set their own schedules and work according to their own pace. The student and the tutor don’t have to meet either, so they can manage all their work remotely.
In this post, I'll go over everything you need to know about online tutoring, and I'll also mention some of the best online tutoring opportunities out there, discussing the pros and cons for each so that you can more easily pick which one is the right opportunity for you.
What are the requirements for online tutoring?
It wouldn't be wrong to expect online tutoring to have demanding prerequisites — after all, many companies will give preference to tutors who already have teaching experience or a bachelor’s degree in the subject they want to tutor.
However, while having these advanced qualifications will make more jobs available to you, they aren't actually obligatory to have.
Plenty of online tutors don’t have certifications or years of experience under their belt — while you’re gaining experience and expertise, you can apply to companies with less stringent requirements and change companies for higher pay as time goes on.
How much do online tutors earn?
On average, online tutors earn between $11 to $20 an hour for common subjects. The rates charged by online tutors can, however, be far higher than the ones previously mentioned when it comes to teaching advanced topics such as business English, calculus, or test preparation, where you can see some tutors charging $50 or more an hour.
Your earnings as an online tutor will depend on your education level, specialty, experience teaching, and the company you’re working for. In general, the pay for elementary subjects will be less than college or specialty topics.
Top 10 online tutoring opportunities
Online tutoring is becoming more popular among students, parents, and tutors as time goes on, and for good reason — who wouldn't find the idea of being able to learn from home while being helped by an online teacher convenient? Besides, you can reach this teacher whenever you want to, which is another big plus.
As the demand for online tutoring increases, plenty of new online tutoring jobs and opportunities start showing up as well. Be aware that each company suits different skills and topics, so you might have to check each company out in more detail so that you can find the right fit for you.
With that said, here is a list of the top 10 best online tutoring companies:
Tutor.com is an online tutoring company founded in 1998, and it's a service of The Princeton Review. As of 2020, the company has over 3,000 active tutors.
The company's tutoring jobs include common subjects such as science, math, and foreign languages, but it also has a frequently updated list of specialty subjects that are in-demand such as art history, managerial accounting, individual programming languages, and more.
To become a tutor, you’ll have to fill out the online application, pass a subject exam, and do a mock tutoring session before getting accepted.
Even though the application is thorough, you’ll get paid more than other tutoring companies with less stringent applications and experience requirements.
- Good for tutors who are relatively new to online tutoring
- Wide range of tutor specialties
- Increased likelihood to get hours due to the company being well-known
- Must have prior experience
- The application process is longer and more involved than other tutoring companies
Skooli is an online tutoring site that specializes in language tutoring. It isn’t just for language tutoring, though — it offers a broad range of tutoring gigs in subjects from K-12 up through college. But if you’re a language tutor, there are some great options to be had here.
The variety of language selections is the key to Skooli’s success. Where the majority of tutoring jobs for English-speaking tutors are geared toward teaching English to foreign students, Skooli also has options for tutors in other languages, namely, Spanish, French, and Chinese. ESL tutors are also welcome, but they’re not the only option.
Skooli does tend to pay higher rates than some of the other major online tutoring platforms (around $25 per hour), but the pay comes with some higher requirements.
The company strongly prefers teachers with at least a bachelor’s degree in the field they’re interested in tutoring, a teaching license, and/or a specialized or professional certification (like TESOL for ESL teachers, and so on). Prospective tutors go through “verification,” which includes a background check.
Skooli also has an easy-to-use video platform with a virtual whiteboard. Tutors set their own schedule, and occasionally include impromptu sessions if students mark themselves as online.
- Good option for certified teachers
- Wide range of subjects covered
- Easy online whiteboard program
- Not for beginners since education certification is required
TutorMe is another helpful online platform that connects students with tutors who can offer academic assistance. Signing up is extremely easy and is suitable for beginners and first-timers on both ends.
The tutoring options of the site include more than just test prep, but for tutors who specialize in that field, TutorMe is definitely one of the best online platforms to find work in.
It has plenty of availability for tutors to work with high school students on the major standardized tests (the SAT and ACT), as well as the SAT II subject tests. It’s not just for high school tutors, though — the site offers tutoring for college and graduate entrance exams such as the MCAT, GRE, and LSAT.
Rates are very competitive, starting at about $16 per hour with the potential for bonuses down the line. Becoming a tutor on the site is pretty straightforward, but it does require some specific qualifications, including prior teaching or tutoring experience.
All tutors must at least be enrolled at an accredited university, and those with at least a bachelor’s degree are preferred in the competitive application process. Tutors experienced in test prep who don’t want to work with in-person companies are likely to be a perfect fit.
It's also worth mentioning that the site has a two-way rating system that allows students to rate you so that you can get more jobs as you gain experience. However, this also means that students can give you a negative rating, which will affect your overall score.
- Easy and fast signup
- The website connects you with students automatically
- As your rating increases, you’ll get better opportunities
- You’re paid every week
- The two-way rating system is a double-edged sword
- The starting pay rate is low compared to other online tutoring services
VIPKID is an online tutoring site that specializes in English tutoring for Chinese students, and it's a pretty big market in for online tutors in that regard.
To become an online tutor in VIPKID, you should have at least one year of teaching experience, and if you don’t, you should provide proof that you’ve been offering private tutoring or mentoring. This job isn’t suitable for students or someone who has never tried teaching before.
The interview process is a bit competitive, so you won’t make it unless you’re actually fit for the job. However, you might have a friend who can serve as your referral.
This platform offers multiple bonuses if you’re always on time, more students sign up for your classes, or if you’re teaching more than 30 classes per week. You’ll be paid between $15 and $22 per hour.
Instructors are assigned to work with students in half-hour blocks, which are booked up for one-on-one work rather than group sessions. All you need is a bachelor’s degree (and not necessarily in education or English). However, it's important to note that the company does strongly prefer tutors who already have some teaching or tutoring experience.
It’s a straightforward job that minimizes the stress on tutors: lesson plans come pre-made, and tutors can choose to have as many or as few hours as they want, at whatever times work for them.
- Good pay for experienced teachers who need to make more money
- Extra bonuses if you teach more
- Lots of tutoring jobs available
- The interview process is extremely competitive
#5 Varsity Tutors
Varsity Tutors offers a variety of tutoring services including traditional tutoring and small online group classes. One aspect that sets them apart is that you don’t have to be in college in order to be a tutor, just at least 18 years old. This makes them a good choice for young adults who are looking for a job who may or may not be going to college.
Varsity Tutors has a large client base and conducts their lessons on their live learning platform. If you’re accepted, you’re considered an independent contractor who makes their own schedule. To apply, you’ll submit a copy of your high school transcript and also do a phone interview.
Their tutoring session blocks typically are an hour and a half, which is longer in length than other companies. The good thing about these longer sessions is that you can earn up to $30 an hour, though, and they add up very quickly.
- A great option to make money online
- More teaching options than one-on-one tutoring
- Flexible with great pay
- Longer tutoring sessions
Brainfuse is a site that offers both on-demand and prescheduled tutoring sessions. If you find yourself with some free time, you can log in to find a student wanting a session with very little wait time.
They have a 15-year track record in use in rural and inter-city areas where the bandwidth isn’t the best. Since their system is built for choppy internet, you don’t have to worry about having your sessions interrupted from dropped sessions or connection troubles.
K12 education is featured on the site as well, but there’s a large segment of its tutoring jobs that are targeted at college students and their specific, often detailed needs. The site’s mission is to provide one-on-one tutoring customized to each student’s needs, with the understanding that every student (and every school they may be attending) has different abilities and standards.
Another bonus: If you’re a little camera-shy, Brainfuse’s tutoring can be done all on a “virtual whiteboard,” meaning that you don’t have to stress about a webcam and microphone setup.
The company’s requirements are pretty straightforward, but they do reflect the fact that they’re a little more stringent and specific than other companies might be. Tutors are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in their chosen field, and those with prior teaching or tutoring experience are heavily preferred.
- Wide range of topics covered from K12 to college
- Long track record and classroom platform that works under many internet conditions
- Offers scheduled and spontaneous tutoring session options
- Only hire people with experience
- You need to send a resume instead of applying online
#7 PrepNow Tutoring
PrepNow is a traditional tutoring company that pays well. After you apply and get qualified, they’ll pair you up with students that you’ll tutor one-on-one.
You’ll continue to see the same students ongoing as opposed to other companies where you only see each student once. This is a great option if you like seeing students consistently and can commit to a schedule.
Approved tutors are matched with students looking for help in their area of expertise, who they will work with one-on-one on a regular basis—the same students every time, rather than just whoever is online at any given time. It’s pretty close to a traditional tutoring job for test prep, just online instead of in-person.
The same no-frills approach is present in the details of the job. Tutors are required to have at least two years of teaching and/or tutoring experience, as well as a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (though a teaching degree is not required) and a composite 28 on the ACT or a 650 on the SAT Math and SAT Verbal/CR. Although scheduling is flexible, every tutor must commit to at least six hours per week.
- Great for someone who wants to commit to a tutoring schedule
- Is fairly stable and pays well
- Higher education and experience levels than some other companies
- Less flexible with your schedule
If you’re a current or previous Math teacher, then Yup is the right platform for you. You can teach according to your schedule and help students from across the world.
This is a good place for you if you’re not comfortable working in a different time zone. You must be a US resident and have at least 2 years of teaching experience.
The website connects struggling students with a tutor. All branches of Math like Algebra, Calculus, and Geometry are covered. The student will send you a problem or an assignment and you’ll help them answer it.
You can take as many jobs as you wish per day, and you’ll be paid accordingly. To sign up, you’ll fill in the application form and take a test to show how proficient you are. After that, you’ll a trial online session that mimics a real one.
If you’ve passed these stages, the website will start connecting you with students so you can help them with their work and receive more money. The application process takes about 24 hours and you’ll soon know whether you’re qualified or not.
Once you’re hired, the application will send you a weekly schedule when you should expect students to contact you. Your rate is based on your experience and you’ll either be paid via PayPal or through a direct deposit.
- Suitable for current and retired Math teachers.
- Help students in real-time.
- Work according to your schedule.
- Receive training.
- The interview process is quite stressful.
GeeklyHub focuses on solely helping college students with their homework. This is an on-demand tutoring service and the tutors are freelancers.
How it works is a college student posts a task they need help with. Then, a qualified tutor will accept the task and help them with it. This could be explaining how to do a math problem or proper sentence structure.
GeeklyHub’s AI helps narrow down the tasks so that only the most relevant show up in your account. You can accept as many tasks as you’d like every day.
The average tutor earns $20/hr. Another plus is that you can even choose Payoneer, Paypal, or Skrill as your payout method.
- Well-paying tutoring with lots of flexibility
- On-demand task-oriented tutoring instead of long lessons
- Do as many tasks as you’d like per day
- May not be as steady of an income stream if your subject isn’t requested a lot
- Some people prefer teaching longer tutoring sessions
Tutors.com works by pairing students up with tutors on their job board. You must be registered to post and apply to jobs. Setting up your tutoring profile is free and you only need a GED as opposed to college.
After your profile is set up, you’ll start receiving tutoring requests. As you get more students, you’ll have more chances of earning reviews. Tutors who have lots of reviews are likely to get chosen for more jobs.
Depending on the subject and age level you teach helps determine your pay. You can set up your hourly rate based on your experience.
- Only a GED is required
- Can get clients easier if you have lots of reviews
- If you don’t have reviews it can be hard to get clients
- Some clients looking for quick answers
Online tutoring is a great job opportunity that allows you to increase your income while also giving you the chance to have a flexible work schedule where you call the shots.
While some online tutoring jobs have more rigid requirements than others, the majority of job opportunities in this field don't have strong prerequisites and allow you to accumulate years of experience to get even better opportunities in the long run.