iTalki is a language tutoring site that provides jobs for both professional teachers and “community tutors.”
Expected pay: You set it
Commissions & fees: 15%
Where: Nationwide (remote)
Requirements: If you want to join as a community tutor, all you need is an identification document (passport/driver’s license), pass a background check and have a stable Internet connection. Professional tutors also need either a teaching certificate, degree in the language you’re teaching or professional experience
iTalki is a language tutoring site that provides jobs for both professional teachers and for so-called “community tutors,” who qualify with nothing more than proficiency in a language. The site teaches all major languages and posts weekly updates of the languages that require tutors.
Tutor’s set their own rate of pay and determine their schedule. However, they are asked to promptly respond to lesson requests. The platform takes a 15% commission for providing marketing and payment processing. Teachers are paid twice monthly via PayPal, Payoneer or HyperWallet.
What we like
If a student doesn’t show up for a lesson, the teacher has the right to be paid in full. The site encourages teachers to accept rescheduling requests if the student had an emergency or accident. However, it’s not required.
What we don’t like
Although teachers set their own rates of pay, your ability to charge reasonable rates is likely to be affected by teacher competition when you’re teaching a popular language, such as English, French, Spanish or German. Several teachers have complained that there are so many people teaching some languages that your ability to charge more than a few dollars a lesson is suspect.
The site’s terms also state that the teacher’s electronic wallet is the property of the site — not the teacher — until after the money is withdrawn. If you are kicked off the site, whatever pay is in your wallet can be taken by the site.
While we did not see any complaints about iTalki absconding with teacher pay, it’s important to note that the site does have that right. Do not leave your pay to accumulate here unless you’re willing to take that chance. The site allows you to cash out twice a month, as long as you have at least $30 in your earnings wallet.
If you’re interested in teaching English — or any subject — online, we’d also suggest you check out our blog post on 12 best tutoring platforms. If you sign up with iTalki, hold firm to reasonable rates for your time. Remember that you can register to teach with as many tutoring platforms as you like. Wyzant, which also lets you set your own rates and has millions of customers, is a good alternative.
What their tutors say (from Indeed):
I have worked on Italki for 3 years. It is hands down the best platform for language instructors. You can control your compensation & work schedule, and Italki provides decent support if any issues come up.
I have taught hundreds of classes on Italki. It allows you a lot of freedom on how to conduct your classes as long as students are happy. It is easy to get into. But the pay is very low, as it is a market place it is very easy for students to go to another teacher. There are thousands of teachers competing with each other. Pay can be below minimum wage in the USA even though you set your own rate. The job is not meant to be full time and it is intended to be a side hustle.
Great to meet new students and manage your own time. Teachers work independently, plan their lessons, select their own materials and teach students 1-1 or in groups.
I’ve worked for a while on iTalki teaching English and Russian. What I really like about the site is how easy it is to find students – or more specifically, for students to find you. As a native English teacher fluent in Russian, I find I have quite a high level of demand from Russian-speaking students. It’s also totally flexible. You choose when you’re available to work and how much you charge for your various lessons. I like that you can offer different kinds of lessons and packages and price them accordingly. What I also really like is that students can’t just no-show you at the last minute and expect to get away without compensating you for your time. But the amount you can realistically charge due to the sheer number of other English teachers on the site is limited. The most I charge is $22 per hour.
This is absolutely ridiculous. I just received a notification that my application had been rejected because they already had such a large number of qualified teachers. I’ve spoken english every day of my life, have several years of teaching experience and I will guarantee you my english is far better than the thousands of teachers they have listed whose first language is even listed as being Chinese, Malaysian, etc. Who are working for 2 dollars an hour! Absurd!!!! It’s ridiculous. They have so many teachers working for almost nothing whose first language is obviously not even english. Just look through their lists!!! The quality is laughable. The guy from customer service who communicated with me couldn’t even speak english well! English-language sweatshop!
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