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In a previous post we have discussed how you can become an online tutor (a top-notch one). In this follow-up guide we are going to learn everything we should know about online tutoring jobs, and how to find them through online tutoring marketplaces or independent self-marketing.
Our guide does not assume that you are US-based. We will let you know immediately if an opportunity is open to US residents only, and we will comment on which options we think are “special deals” for non-US based people.
Our guides are detailed because we want to provide you the best content and cover everything you may need. This website is about learning a new profession and becoming great at it, which cannot be done in short articles. As a result, guides like this one end up being long-reads. If you don’t have time to read through the whole guide, the table of contents below is your friend. Feel free to use it to jump to the sections you are interested in.
1. Finding Online Tutoring Jobs: Introduction
Let’s assume we got motivated after reading 5 reasons why tutoring online is great, have done everything recommended in our becoming an online tutor guide, and are ready to start online tutoring. And let’s assume you are an amazing teacher as well, who students would enjoy working with. Still, unfortunately, these are not known by anyone except you in the beginning. The only way to get students and actually start tutoring is to get the word out about your new profession, which is a completely different challenge.
This is the reason why many companies have dedicated marketing departments: The fact that you provide top-quality service does not mean that people will know about you, and will work with you. Since you are on your own as an online tutor, you need to handle both aspects: Providing top-quality tutoring sessions and marketing your services. This article focuses on the latter.
There are two main paths you can take to find students. The first one is utilizing the online tutoring marketplaces, and the second one is doing your own marketing independently.
1.1. Marketplaces to Find Online Tutoring Jobs:
There are online tutoring marketplaces that serve as intermediaries between students and tutors. Typically, you register as a tutor, the website allows you to meet with students (you apply to their postings or they apply directly to you), and marketplaces get a cut from your income.
Their biggest advantage is, as you build good ratings and reputation over time, you don’t have any difficulty finding new students. It is possible to become a high-earning online tutor only by focusing on one marketplace, without doing any extra marketing. Also, if you don’t have stellar credentials (for example, if you are a college sophomore without any teaching certificates) students still are going to choose you because of your ratings and reputation.
Some disadvantages are: Online tutoring marketplaces either charge a high commission or pay you a flat-rate.
1.2. Finding Online Tutoring Jobs Through Self-Marketing
If you don’t want to pay high commissions or having to work for a flat-rate, an alternative path is, you can try marketing your own services. This way, when you find students, no one is going to ask for a commission, and you are going to be able to charge as much as you want.
Marketing your own services can be done in numerous different ways, but some most popular options used by almost every independent online tutor are:
- Creating a website
- Creating a Facebook page
- Posting to advertisement websites (like Craigslist, Nextdoor, Thumbtack)
- Asking for referrals (word of mouth)
- Trying to reach out to your local community (Posting flyers, attending local events
Some advantages of this path are, as mentioned, no one takes a cut from your earnings and you set your own hourly rate.
Some disadvantages are: Since you are going to be competing with well-established online tutoring marketplaces in search results, it is challenging to find students through search engines like Google. You don’t have access to the large student databases in online tutoring marketplaces too.
I would say due to the aforementioned disadvantages, it is harder to find your first student in the latter independent path compared to the former online tutoring marketplace path. However, once you set up your operations and managed to build a good reputation, earning potential for the latter is typically much better. I think it would be fair to call this second path the “higher effort higher possible return” path. In this path your credentials and marketing skills matter more.
1.3. Following Both Paths Simultaneously
Even though most tutors follow only one of the paths described, they are not mutually exclusive. You can register to an online tutoring marketplace, build reputation there, but can also have a website of your own and market independently.
You can use them to supplement each other. For example, you can mention your stellar reputation on the online tutoring marketplace on your own website, to attract more students.
However, to succeed in either one of these paths requires dedication and hard work, therefore trying to follow both simultaneously is going to require more effort. Again, a “higher effort higher possible return” situation.
1.4. A Note for Online ESL Teachers – Tutors
Feel free to skip this section if you are not an English as a Second Language (ESL) tutor.
This website focuses on online tutoring in general, which covers pretty much every topic, ranging from history to math. Online tutoring marketplaces we mention in this post are the ones that allow you to tutor a wide range of topics, including ESL
However, if you are interested in ESL tutoring, there are numerous websites dedicated only to teaching ESL that we do not mention in this post. We do not go into details about ESL teaching platforms because we don’t have experience in them. If you are interested in learning about online ESL teaching websites, you can refer to the table here: ESL teaching websites table part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5
The table is made by International TEFL Academy, all credit goes to them.
2. Marketplaces to Find Online Tutoring Jobs
2.1. How Did We Pick the Online Tutoring Marketplaces to Evaluate?
There are many of them. but we are going to evaluate 4 of the most prominent ones in detail. We hope that this is going to be enough because if you are a good online tutor, you almost definitely are going to succeed in one of these four.
How we determined the list to evaluate:
- We picked the biggest and most well-established companies. Companies in this post have thousands of tutors, and dozens of reviews on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor. The reason is, we want to be sure that the company won’t disappear in the next few years. It would be very unfortunate if you build all those ratings and reputation, but your hard-earned reputation goes to waste because the website shuts down.
Our list is in alphabetical order:
- Chegg: 20 USD/hr flat, tens of thousands of tutors, all nationalities OK
- Wyzant: You set your own rate, they cut 25% commission, tens of thousands of tutors, US Only
- Varsity Tutors: 15 USD/hr, tens of thousands of tutors, US Only
- Tutor.com: 9-15 USD/hr, thousands of tutors, US or Canada Only
If you are not US-based, I am sorry that 3 of these 4 options are US only. The biggest online tutoring companies are US-based. I added a special section for you at the end of the Chegg section to discuss your other alternatives.
Some aspects all these companies have in common are:
- Flexible hours of work
- You need to be 18 at least
- They are competitive (many tutors try to find students) and your odds get better as you build ratings & reputation. Most challenging days are the first days.
Rather than telling you about their formal company details, we will focus on what we think is important (Especially on other tutors’ feedback). For further business details on each company you can Google them and check out their Wikipedia.
- Hourly Rate: 20 USD/hr, prorated to the minute
- Weekly payments via PayPal
Chegg is one of the most popular online tutoring marketplaces, and many tutors’ go-to place for finding online tutoring jobs. It accepts tutors from all counties. You can do both live online tutoring sessions, and written ones (Students share a task, you solve and get paid, no real-time communication.)
You can only apply once (reapplication is not allowed). Application process is pretty much straightforward without an interview. You need to provide a Facebook address for ID verification.
On Indeed, based on 53 reviews from tutors, Chegg’s scores are:
- Work-life balance: 4.0/5
- Pay Benefits: 3.6/5
- Job Security & Advancement: 3.2/5
- Management 3.6/5
- Culture 3.8/5
On Glassdoor, based on 33 reviews that mention tutoring, Chegg’s score is 4.2/5.
To see the Chegg reviews, you can click on the Indeed and Glassdoor links. In addition to the Indeed and Glassdoor reviews, below we share some of the most rated Reddit comments about tutoring at Chegg:
2.2.1. Chegg: Non-US National’s Special
You can skip to the Wyzant section if you are US-based.
If you are not US-based, then Chegg is the only option among the four online tutoring marketplaces for you. Is it a good deal though? What are Chegg’s alternatives? Let’s try to answer those questions.
- Does Chegg pay well? Whether 20USD/hr is a good pay or not depends on where you are from. If you are from a country that is similar to the US in terms of wealth, then 20 USD/hr may not sound good to you. However, if you are from a country where GDP per capita is much lower compared to the US, then making 20 USD per hour in that country is going to be much more rewarding. Therefore only you can answer this question, there is no one answer for everyone.
- What Are Chegg’s Alternatives For You? I can only evaluate the online tutoring marketplaces in the languages I know. If you are from a country that is similar to the US in its wealth, but does not speak English (for example: Germany), there could be websites in your language that pay more than Chegg does. It is worth checking your local options. However, again, if you are from a country with a GDP-per-capita much lower than that of the US, your local online tutoring marketplaces will pay almost certainly lower than Chegg does. For example, I am originally from Turkey and I know Turkish. A quick research yields that Turkish online tutoring marketplaces pay a fraction of what Chegg pays per hour. This is not surprising because Turkish people’s spending power is lower.
To summarize, depending on where you live and what your alternatives are, Chegg could be a mediocre side job or a great blessing. Only you can evaluate and decide.
Since the other 3 online tutoring marketplaces do not accept non-US tutors, you can skip to the “Finding Online Tutoring Jobs Through Self-Marketing” section if you want to.
(US-based people only)
- Hourly Rate: You set your own rate. They take 25% commission.
- Payments via direct deposit, once per 15 days or a month (You choose)
Wyzant is the online tutoring marketplace I am most experienced with, and I am very satisfied with my own experience. You can teach both online and in-person (I have experience only doing online). There is no limit to how much you can make an hour. As you build a solid reputation, you are able to charge high hourly rates. They report that their highest earning tutors make more than 100k a year. They most likely are in-person tutors, but you can make significant amounts by online tutoring as well.
I tutor college-level physics and I was able to charge my first 79USD/hr (translates to 60 USD/hr profit) 16 days after I have done my first session. I can possibly charge even higher now but I don’t actively tutor anymore, to focus on my PhD. Therefore I am a first-hand witness to the massive earning potential on Wyzant.
Registration is pretty straightforward, no interviews. You find most of your students by applying to students’ postings (this may change if you become a superstar tutor). Initially you charge less to attract students despite your lack of ratings, but you increase your rate gradually.
On Indeed, based on 361 reviews from tutors, Wyzant’s scores are:
- Work – life balance: 4.2/5
- Pay Benefits: 3.3/5
- Job Security & Advancement: 3.3/5
- Management 3.7/5
- Culture 3.8/5
On Glassdoor, based on 58 reviews that mention tutoring, Wyzant’s score is 3.5/5. (Note that these reviews include in-person tutors’ experiences as well.)
To see the Wyzant reviews, you can click on the Indeed and Glassdoor links. In addition to the Indeed and Glassdoor reviews, below we share some of the most rated Reddit comments about tutoring at Wyzant:
Note that these people are tutoring in person but their comments are still giving an idea on the legitimacy of Wyzant.
2.4. Before We Continue Further
The remaining two online tutoring marketplaces pay less for an hour, compared to the two we have discussed already. Our goal on this website is to make you a top-notch online tutor and we think if you are tutoring in English you should be making at least 20 USD/hr. We believe, given that you can teach in English, are a good teacher, and follow the recommendations on our website, you will succeed on one of the tutoring marketplaces that pay 20 USD or more.
For this reason, we only summarize the remaining options, which pay less than 20 USD per hour.
2.5. Varsity Tutors
(Us-based people only)
- Hourly Rate: 15 USD/hr for online tutoring
- Pays via direct deposit, once per a couple of days
On Indeed, based on 283 reviews from tutors, Varsity Tutors’ scores are:
- Work – life balance: 4.2/5
- Pay Benefits: 3.0/5
- Job Security & Advancement: 2.9/5
- Management 3.5/5
- Culture 3.6/5
On Glassdoor, based on 350 reviews that mention tutoring, Varsity Tutors’ score is 4.2/5. (Note that these reviews include in-person tutors’ experiences as well.)
To see the Varsity Tutors reviews, you can click on the Indeed and Glassdoor links. In addition to the Indeed and Glassdoor reviews, below we share some of the most rated Reddit comments about tutoring at Varsity Tutors :
(Us or Canada-based people only)
- Hourly rate: 9 to 15 USD/hr for tutoring, 5.5 USD/hr while waiting for students.
- Pays monthly via PayPal
You get paid for the time you are waiting, but you have very short time (less than a minute) to respond to student requests. So you should be active.
On Indeed, based on 108 reviews from tutors, Tutor.com’s scores are:
- Work – life balance: 3.9/5
- Pay Benefits: 2.6/5
- Job Security & Advancement: 2.8/5
- Management 3.3/5
- Culture 3.2/5
On Glassdoor, based on 149 reviews that mention tutoring, Tutor.com’s score is 3.3/5. We couldn’t find any informative and sufficiently upvoted Reddit comments about tutor.com to share.
2.7. Marketplaces to Find Online Tutoring Jobs: Conclusion
If you would like to utilize online tutoring marketplaces, our final recommendations are as follows:
- If you are US-based, definitely consider Wyzant. It has the highest earning potential. In light of the info we have discussed, we think the second-best option is the Chegg.
- If you are from a country that has a GDP-per-capita much lower than that of the US, and if you can teach in English, Chegg can be a great source of income for you.
- If you are from a country that is similar to the US in terms of wealth per person, than how lucrative Chegg for you depends on how it compares to your local online tutoring marketplaces.
3. Finding Online Tutoring Jobs Through Self-Marketing
This means finding your online tutoring students with your own marketing skills, rather than utilizing the online tutoring marketplaces. How this can be done is not a simple question to answer, there are a million different ways you can market yourself. We will explain some of the most common methods independent online tutors use to find students.
3.1. Creating a Website
If you are a self-marketing tutor, a website is a must. It serves as your online business card. In addition, if you put in the effort to create great and unique content (like writing a blog) you can attract search engines’ attention and students can find you on search engines like Google as well.
For online tutors, the most popular two paths to create websites are:
- WordPress: You can utilize the free (and amazing) framework called WordPress. If you do so you only have to pay for the most basic requirements of the website and can create a website for as cheap as 5 USD/month.
- Wix: Wix is a platform specializes on creating websites for non tech-savvy people. You can create pretty much everything by simple drag and drop mechanisms. For tutors’ needs it typically costs around 20 USD/month.
You can use either one of the options without coding knowledge.
Creating a website that is completely free is not possible if there is no sponsorship or ads are involved. You at least have to pay for the name of your website (the domain).
Since WordPress itself is free, and widely popular, many website providers give you the option of “one-click WordPress install”. Some of them have special “WordPress hosting” packages (Our website also uses WordPress framework and works on SiteGround WordPress hosting). Learning WordPress takes a bit of time for the first-timers but if you are willing to invest in a couple of hours to learn it, it is like a superpower.
Learning WordPress is going to help you create websites for pretty much any purpose, and keep your website costs as low as possible. There are great YouTube videos teaching you “creating a website with WordPress” basics in less than an hour. You can click here to watch our favorite one.
Wix is a popular choice among tutors as well. It is a bit more pricey, but they guide you through creating your website step-by-step. Even though WordPress is easy to use once you learn, I think it is fair to say Wix is easier to use. We recommend this video for a tutorial on creating websites via Wix.
We cannot provide a detailed feedback because we never used Wix. Tutors who use it mostly like it.
3.1.3. Which One to Choose
There is no one answer for everyone. Our suggestion is as follows:
- If you have even a slight interest in being able to create various websites, or an extra interest in web design, we definitely recommend investing a couple of hours to learning WordPress.
- If you are not excited at all about the idea of creating a website and it feels like a burden, we recommend using Wix.
3.1.4. Search Engine Friendliness
When online tutors create websites, they definitely want to meet and work with students who found them on search engines like Google. However, this is not simple. Students typically search for the name of the topic they are interested in, and you are competing with the biggest online tutoring marketplaces in search results. For this reason, unless the topic being tutored is a niche one or the website has a great blog, many tutors barely get any visitors to their websites through Google. If you experience this you are not alone.
There are two ways to change this. But before explaining them, let us warn you that for the purpose of finding online tutoring students, the effort they require can be an overkill. You can read and decide for yourself.
The first one is called SEO: Search Engine Optimization. This is a huge topic on its own, therefore we will only be able to summarize (You can check out this topic if you are extra interested). In short, search engines prioritize websites with rich and unique content. Therefore if you want to rank higher on Google, you should create great content and attract Google’s attention. For tutors, this happens mostly in the form of writing a blog.
For example, if I am a physics tutor, and write blog posts about various physics concepts, a student searching for that physics concept can also land on my website. However, writing a unique blog and waiting for Google to promote you to the result page you deserve (which typically takes months, and not certain to happen) requires hard work and dedication. For the purpose of finding online tutoring students, other marketing strategies can work better in terms of returns for your effort. SEO path is a high effort high possible return route.
An alternative path is SEM: Search Engine Marketing. This basically is paying Google to promote you in search results. Whenever someone clicks on your ad (your website on search results) they charge you a specific amount (The Google Ads average ıs 1-2 USD/click, but your specific cost per click depends on many factors like keyword, language, location). SEM is also a very detailed subject that you can easily spend hours learning, but if you are interested in learning the basics we recommend watching this video.
3.2. Creating a Facebook Page
As the name implies, this method is pretty straightforward. You can create a Facebook page for your tutoring business, invite friends and family to follow it, and you can try to raise awareness by promoting your Facebook page. You can share valuable free content to attract extra attention to your Facebook page.
3.3. Posting to Advertisement Websites
There are popular advertisement websites that online tutors use, some of the most well-known are Craigslist, NextDoor, Thumbtack. Depending on where you live, there could be popular local advertisement websites as well. You can utilize them to let the world know about your online tutoring. If advertisements expire after a certain amount of time, you can make a schedule for posting your services to that website regularly.
If you want to post a flyer to those websites, or want to create flyers for any reason, you can check out Canva’s tutor flyer templates. They are mostly free.
3.4. Asking for Referrals (Word of Mouth)
If you are a good online tutor, it is very likely that you will have happy students and parents. Whenever you get the chance, you can kindly ask them to recommend you to the people they know. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool especially if you are a good online tutor (your students and their parents are willing to recommend you).
3.5. Trying to Reach Out to Your Local Community
Yes you aim to become an online tutor, but local marketing is still important. The reason is, you can try to get students initially for in-person tutoring, and then explain to them how amazing your online tutoring sessions are, and how they are virtually no-different than in-person sessions. If you can convince your student with the help of a demo session, then you have an online student who once was an in-person student.
To utilize this method, you can post flyers in your neighborhood to the places that allow, and attend local events (Again, if you want to use a flyer template you can check out Canva). You can do community service to let others know about your tutoring. You can ask local schools to add you to their tutors list. And when people contact you for tutoring, you can let them know about the online option.
3.6. Other Methods
How many ways are there to advertise your online tutoring? A carpet-cleaning business? A laundromat? Or, advertise anything? The answer is, infinite. What can be done depends on your imagination. We discussed only the most popular marketing methods for online tutors (To prevent this already-long article from getting longer). If you are interested in learning other methods, you can grab any marketing resource you like and start reading/watching it! Any marketing strategy can be used to promote your online tutoring as well, and there is no limit to what can be done.
We have discussed how to market your skills and find online tutoring jobs in this guide. We evaluated the two main paths, which are utilizing the online tutoring marketplaces or marketing our businesses independently. For either one of them we shared our honest and detailed opinions on what the best strategies are.
We hope you found value in this article. If you have questions or comments, please share them in the comments below, so that we can learn from each other and become better online tutors altogether!
This section serves as an appendix for some specific topics and questions and can be skipped if the titles don’t attract your interest.
A.1. Online Math Tutor Jobs
Math is one of the most lucrative topics to tutor online, and there definitely is great demand for it. When searched for “Online Math Tutors”, Chegg alone shows more than 6800 tutor profiles. Even though other marketplaces do not provide exact numbers, we can assume that there are even more math tutors on, for example, Wyzant.
There are students looking for elementary math tutoring, and there are students looking for advanced topics such as complex analysis. No matter which one is the topic you are interested in tutoring, you can utilize our guide articles to achieve amazing results. The advice you will find on this website is going to help you become an expert math tutor.
A.2. Online Tutoring Jobs for College Students
If you are a college student looking for an online tutoring job, good news, all the advice discussed in this article apply to you!
Teaching credentials or certificates can give professional teachers a boost when starting out, however, after a certain point the most important factor for obtaining new students becomes the ratings and reviews you accumulate. Therefore if you can keep your initial students satisfied with your online tutoring, and if they leave enough good ratings and recommendations for you, you can compete with professional teachers and you can charge as much as they do.
Online tutoring is a profession with a low entry barrier, you don’t have to have any degrees or certificates. As long as you are a good teacher, you can achieve great results as a college student. We highly recommend reading all the detailed resources on our website to start and succeed in your online tutoring journey!
A.3. Online Tutoring Jobs for Teachers
As we always say here in Online Tutoring Mastery, the only prerequisite to becoming a great online tutor is to be good at teaching. If you are a teacher good at teaching, good news, you have a massive advantage! If students and parents are willing to pay you for your teaching in-person, you will almost definitely succeed in online tutoring as well.
All the detailed advice discussed in our website and our guides apply to you. We highly recommend browsing our website further, we hope you will find great value in our guides!
A.4. Online English Tutoring Jobs
If you are an ESL tutor and have read this article, you should have seen the special section we have written for the ESL tutors (Section 1.4 of this article). As we discuss in that section as well, if you are an ESL tutor, there is a great variety of extra online tutoring platforms you can use to teach English. Many of them teach only English.
However, we highly recommend reading this article and evaluate whether the online tutoring marketplaces we discuss are good options for you or not. You may be able to achieve a better hourly rate by registering to another online tutoring marketplace, or by doing your own marketing following the advice we share. You can use your ESL teaching skills to find students who need editing/reading support etc.
ESL tutoring is different than tutoring other subjects in some aspects, however, we still think that you will find great value on our website.
A.5. Online Tutoring Jobs Frequently Asked Questions
There are various ways! You can register to online tutoring marketplaces like Chegg or Wyzant, or you can do your own marketing to find online tutoring students. These options are not mutually exclusive, you can utilize both channels.
This depends on individual preferences. Some like Chegg because of its regular supply of new students, and the fact that it accepts people from all countries. Some like Wyzant because it allows you to set your own hourly rate. Even though the best changes from person to person, we have compared the top four in our post.
This is very subject dependent. For topics like elementary math, you may have to start around 20 USD/hr to find your first students, but then as you build a reputation you can charge more than 50 USD/hr. For more advanced topics, rates like 80-100 USD/hr are possible.
We cannot talk for all of them, however, the ones we discussed in this post are definitely legit. They are large companies paying thousands of dollars to their tutors each month. We served as tutors on some of them and can confirm that these tutoring marketplaces are 100% legit.