Children all over the country are struggling with distance learning necessitated by the Coronavirus epidemic. That spells opportunity for those with teaching and tutoring skills. There are dozens of online tutoring platforms actively seeking new educators to help those kids stay on track.
“Our [student] sign-up numbers have quadrupled over the past two months,” says Vivian Shen, co-founder and chief executive of Juni Learning, a math and computer science tutoring platform. “We are doubling the number of tutors on our staff and giving our existing tutors more hours.”
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Wide variations in tutoring platforms
However, every platform is different. Some seek credentialed teachers and experienced tutors, while others allow virtually anyone with subject matter expertise to list their services. Additionally, while some platforms provide tutoring in a wide range of subjects and for nearly any grade level, others specialize. The pay and overall treatment of freelance teachers and tutors also varies.
Here’s a look at the 12 best teaching and tutoring platforms, divvied up by platform specialties. It’s worth noting that SideHusl rates platforms based on how well they serve the tutor. However, the best platforms for tutors are also likely to be the best places for parents to find skilled educators, particularly in a competitive market like this one. After all, skilled tutors have plenty of choices. They’re likely to flock to the companies that treat them the best.
Multi-subject tutoring platforms
Wyzant helps tutors of all types to connect with students who need their services. Tutors set their own rate of pay — most commonly between $30 and $60 per hour — and the site takes a 25% commission. Tutor requirements are relatively loose. You must be over the age of 18 and have expertise in the subject area you’re teaching. Tutoring experience is a plus, not a requirement. The site pays tutors twice a month.
TutorMe enlists subject matter experts to tutor kids–grade school to college age–in 300 different subjects. To sign up, prospective tutors fill out an online application that can only be accessed by signing in with Facebook. No Facebook account? You’ll need one. That’s how TutorMe verifies the tutor’s identity. Once the site has approved your application, it will connect you with students that need help in the subject areas you’ve selected. Pay is $16 per hour, billed in 5-minute increments. Tutors get paid via PayPal once a week.
Varsity Tutors hires background-checked tutors for in-person and online instruction, paying between $15 and $40 per hour. Tutors’ biggest complaint against the site is that the $15 pay range is, by far, the most common. On the bright side, Varsity pays tutors twice weekly. Outside of wishing the pay were higher, we found few tutor gripes about the platform.
Chelsea International Education pays tutors well but also requires the most in terms of credentials and background. You need a teaching certificate and at least two years of experience to apply. Tutor pay varies from $15 for tutoring elementary students online to more than $100 an hour for those who coach kids in the subjects needed to get good scores on college and graduate school admission tests.
STEM- focused tutoring
Unlike most tutoring platforms, Juni Learning hires its tutors as part-time W-2 employees. That means that in addition to your pay, the site pays Social Security and Medicare taxes on your behalf –a valuable benefit. Wages start at $20 an hour, with the potential for raises and bonuses. The site asks tutors to commit to working at least 8 hours per week and provides the curriculum.
Skooli is another good site to tutor if you happen to be a math whiz. Specializing only in math — algebra, calculus, geometry and trigonometry — the site pays tutors by the minute, with a 15-minute minimum, to teach online. Starting pay: $25 per hour. But you must have a teaching certificate or graduate degree, and math certifications.
Art and music
Lessonface is an online marketplace that connects students with music and acting teachers, who can teach online or in person. Tutors rave about the site’s intuitive platform and the fact that they can set their own rates, paying the site a modest fee for managing payments and providing student-tutor introductions.
TakeLessons also lets tutors set their own rates of pay, too. But the site takes a big bite — 40% — when you’re tutoring new students.
Teaching English as a second language
There’s been a dramatic change in sites that teach English as a second language. This is mainly because China has barred tutoring of Chinese kids and that’s devastated these three platforms. Nonetheless, these sites remain in business and are attempting to pull in clients from other countries.
Q Kids enlists freelancers to teach English language skills to Chinese kids. Each lesson requires 30 minutes and earns you between $8 and $10. (The $10 rate includes bonuses for performance and attendance.) Teachers are paid once a month — on the 15th — via direct deposit. Teachers are preferred, but anyone with a good personality and strong English language skills can apply. Lessons are prepared for you and taught online.
VIPKID is nearly identical to Q Kids, paying between $7 and $11 per half-hour to teach English as a second language to Chinese kids. The catch with both of these options is that you’re working on Beijing time, which means you’re likely to be working at odd hours in the U.S.
Magic Ears pays a little more than its competitors, but it also requires more of teachers. Paying $18 to $26 per hour, Magic Ears expects you to have teaching experience and an English as a Second Language credential. Like the others, classes are taught on Beijing time.