An online tutoring job is a great side hustle to make extra income, help others, and gain work experience. Virtual tutoring allows tutors and students to get around traditional obstacles such as location and distance and revolutionizes education. Students and tutors are meeting for online lessons from everywhere in the world!
That means there is a lot of opportunity for you to get started with a virtual tutoring side gig. There are also plenty of platform options to choose from. Of course, you can begin independently. However, an existing platform’s infrastructure, support, and reach add many benefits and remove a lot of hassle.
You may have already started working online and want to continue growing your side hustle on new platforms. That’s great too! We’ll review a few essential factors when deciding where to offer your services.
Choosing the right platform(s) to sign up for can significantly bolster your resume, tutoring experience, and income.
3 factors to consider
1. Is it user-friendly?
For this kind of job, you should seek out a user-friendly platform. How can you expect students to easily find you if you need help figuring out how to create a profile in the first place?
Look for whether you can customize your profile to stand out. For example, do you have the ability to add and remove lesson offers? Also, does the platform have a reliable support team? These aspects can make your online tutor job much easier or turn it into a total headache.
For example, if you see in reviews that users say they are having difficulty navigating the website or contacting support, that’s a huge red flag. That not only means they’re annoyed but that they’ll probably also give up and miss out on your profile.
It’s also best to look for other key usability features, such as the freedom to choose how to meet with a student. While you can use great online tutoring tools during your lessons to engage students, you should have a good foundation on the platform and the freedom to teach how you want. Do you prefer Zoom? A video interface on the platform itself? Check out the companies’ structures and select your preference.
2. Are there growth opportunities?
Part of building a side hustle or business is finding ways to grow. You want to be able to improve professionally and personally as a tutor. First and foremost, you must have access to students who need lessons so you can expand your client base and put money in your pocket.
Does the platform’s support team assist you with connecting to students? For example, is there a way you can view students’ requests’ on a site like Lessonpal? This ability gives you more control over your tutoring opportunities.
Also, identify whether you’ll be able to learn skills and build your resume while working for the platform. Some platforms offer training sessions or opportunities to learn from other tutors, which can help you advance.
3. What is the commission fee model like?
Another aspect to look into when applying is whether the platform takes a cut of your pay and how much. As a tutor, you should seek a platform that takes the lowest possible amount from your lesson revenue so you can end up with more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.
High commissions hurt for several different reasons. When platforms charge high commission fees, this often causes teachers to drive prices up in order to get paid fairly.
So, the price falls on the student, who is overcharged for their lessons. This makes classes more expensive and less accessible than they should be!
If tutors want to keep their rates lower for students, they don’t get paid nearly enough after a company takes its commission fees. This is one of the most important factors to keep in mind before applying and diving into this kind of work.
Keeping in mind the above points, here are some top platforms to work with.
Top online tutoring jobs
Lessonpal is an affordable, accessible online tutoring platform. You get more money in your pocket from your lessons because Lessonpal only takes 10% of generated revenue, which is WAY lower than most!
Additionally, you can create a customized profile to highlight your background, experience, and the lessons you offer. Plus, you record an introduction video to share more about yourself and showcase your personality to prospective students.
Furthermore, customer support is incredibly responsive and helpful. They work hard to match students and tutors. The team also directly offers recommendations to students looking for tutoring, which helps connect tutors and students.
Additionally, there is a feature where tutors can view tutoring requests posted by students on the platform. As a tutor, you can respond to requests and offer custom packages and free trials.
Finally, Lessonpal tutors can participate in office hour sessions to learn how to improve their profiles and get tips for success. These sessions are put together to help tutors grow and thrive.
The requirements to be a tutor on Lessonpal are:
- Be passionate and knowledgeable about what you want to teach
- Have strong communication skills
- Have reliable infrastructure for delivering lessons; strong Wifi connection and webcam.
- Maintain an active PayPal account to receive payment
Varsity Tutors is a platform focused on school-aged students with an academic focus and supplementary extracurricular learning.
One of its unique advantages is that the platform offers group and recorded online lessons. This is a huge pro if you prefer teaching more students at a time rather than one-on-one lessons.
The downside is that they charge a high commission compared to other sites, ranging from 60-80%. Some students also prefer that their tutor can keep every class the same. However, most prefer to stick with the same tutor and build a relationship.
These are the requirements to tutor with Varsity Tutors:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a US or Canadian national
- Have strong communication skills
- Boast subject matter expertise
Wyzant is a popular tutoring platform for high school, college, and adult learners. Many users enjoy it because it is very secure. The platform handles all communication and payment.
Like Varsity Tutors, the site takes a high commission. They take 25% from tutors and 9% from students. Unless the teacher refers a student to the platform, they disregard the tutor fee and only take 9% from the student. Tutors can take on the 9% fee themselves instead of passing it to the student, which lowers their payout.
Here are the requirements to be a tutor on Wyzant:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Reside in the United States
- Have a valid Social Security Number
TakeLessons is a platform focusing on adult learners, musicians, actors, dancers, language learners, and similar creative skills. So if you are an expert in creative arts, you could do very well on TakeLessons!
TakeLessons allows you to set your own rates. Moreover, the platform offers live group lessons, which can be great for tutors who prefer teaching more students simultaneously. To be a tutor you must be 18+ to be a tutor on the platform. Here are the other requirements that the company outlines on its website:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have a valid Social Security Number and US bank account to get paid
- Teach at least one of the subjects endorsed by TakeLessons
- Have at least one available teaching location (online, studio location, or willing to travel to students)
- Be able to maintain open teaching hours
- Have a valid, U.S.-based mobile phone number
These are pretty flexible requirements! However, like the rest, TakeLessons’s fee is also steep and is a big negative. They take 20-40% of your earnings. For the first five lessons (with each student), the cost is 40%, which means it takes time to generate meaningful income. Plus, if you only give a few lessons to a student, then you won’t reach the point where the fee is lowered.
Preply is a platform that offers various subjects and is especially popular for language learning. Students can browse profiles of qualified tutors and select the ones that best match their needs, preferences, and schedules.
Preply’s revenue cut rates can be as low as 18%, but tutors have to hit the 400-hour mark before it lowers to this rate. Here’s the amount that Preply takes from tutors:
- 0–20 hours taught: 33%
- 21–50 hours taught: 28%
- 51–200 hours: 25%
- 201–400 hours: 22%
- 400+ hours: 18%
These are the requirements to be a Preply tutor:
- Be 18 or older
- Have a laptop or desktop computer and webcam/microphone
- Have a stable internet connection
- Enjoy sharing knowledge and making a difference in students’ lives
- Have outstanding communication skills
The big picture
There are plenty of options out there to choose from. Researching and applying for the platforms that best fit your personal, professional, and financial goals is essential. It’s also best to go with a company offering you support, infrastructure, and the most possible earnings. Check out a more in-depth comparison of Lessonpal vs. Wyzant that breaks down the key differences.
At the end of the day, Lessonpal puts more of your hard-earned money in your pocket than other platforms. Plus, Lessonpal has reliable support, a user-friendly platform, and offers opportunities to grow as a tutor.
Are you a teacher looking for even more ideas to make a side income? Check out some of these 10+ business ideas you could try to earn more money!