Online education is a booming field, with students from all over the world hungry for help with standardized test prep, learning English as a second language (ESL), and virtually every other academic subject.
In the developing world, millions of people gain access to the internet every year. For them, online tutoring platforms provide invaluable access to high-quality educational resources that are either unavailable or unaffordable in their area.
In more developed places like the United States, students are increasingly turning to online tutoring sessions rather than seeking out local, in-person teachers.
This soaring demand has made online tutoring jobs a lucrative and increasingly popular work from home opportunity. Companies are eager to hire talented instructors (often regardless of whether they have prior teaching experience) and are willing to pay solid rates for their services.
That makes online teaching one of the best legit online jobs you can find. From the flexible schedule to the above-average pay to the fact that you’re making a real difference in the lives of your students, it’s hard to find a better overall gig.
So whether you’re looking to make a little extra money with a part-time side hustle that you can work on your own schedule, or for a full-time teaching job that doesn’t require you to spend all day in a classroom, online tutoring is worth considering.
In this article, we’ve ranked the top online tutoring companies.
For each, you’ll learn a few basic details including:
- The qualifications needed to become a teacher.
- The average hourly wage according to teacher feedback.
- The company’s rating from actual employees and teachers via Glassdoor, the largest employer feedback site.
With that, let’s dive into the rankings.
#1. Education First
Summary: Education First was founded in Sweden in 1965 and now serves 117 countries. It’s a large organization, with 46,500 staff members and teachers throughout the world. EF instructors teach English to kids and adults around the world.
There’s a lot to love about working for EF. Depending on your experience, you can earn as much as $20 per hour to start. And in many cases, you can be teaching classes in as little as two weeks after applying. Plus, you can earn cash bonuses by reaching certain milestones (such as teaching your first 100 sessions).
And unlike some companies, you can work for EF even if you don’t have a teaching degree or prior teaching experience — the company looks at your entire profile and professional background when evaluating your application.
- Qualifications: You must be a native English speaker who loves teaching. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree, but it can be in any field. You’ll also need a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certificate before you start working — but note that you do not need that certificate before you apply.
- Average hourly wage: $20.
- Glassdoor rating: 3.6/5 — 68% would recommend to a friend.
Although EF was founded in Sweden, you’ll communicate and receive payment from a U.S.-based company, which can make the business side of things a little easier to manage.
Summary: VIPKid provides English language instruction for children in China. It’s a big outfit that’s backed by well-known investors (including former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant), and it has strong demand for high-quality tutors. In fact, we’d rank them at a tie for #1 with Education First if not for the fact that because of its name recognition, so many people apply for jobs that it can be difficult to get hired. As a result, it’s better-suited for those with a teaching degree (who will be more competitive applicants).
- Qualifications: You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in any field to begin tutoring with VIPKid. Unlike with EF, you do need to have some kind of teaching experience. However, that doesn’t have to be a formal teaching background — things like coaching youth sports and teaching Sunday school are often enough to satisfy this requirement.
- Average hourly wage: $18.
- Glassdoor rating: 4.3/5 — 86% would recommend to a friend.
Summary: Wyzant is a little bit different than the other companies on this list. Rather than being a company that hires tutors and assigns them to students, it’s essentially a platform that helps connect freelance tutors with potential clients. Think of it like Upwork or Fiverr, but for teachers.
Of course, that setup has pros and cons. On one hand, you have even more control over your schedule than usual. Plus, you can set your own rate — which means you’ll probably end up making more money on a per-hour basis. However, the flip side of that is that you don’t have a built in clientele that’s constantly being replenished by your employer.
- Qualifications: You must be at least 18-years-old, based in the United States, and have a valid Social Security Number. You are not required to have any teaching experience or certifications.
- Average hourly wage: Varies, because you set your own rates. One important note about Wyzant is that you’re actually paying them a commission rather than the other way around. That commission is 25% of your per-hour fee, so keep that in mind when deciding how much to charge.
- Glassdoor rating: Not applicable, because you’re working for yourself!
#4. Club Z
Summary: Club Z hires certified tutors who work one-on-one with students whose ages range all the way from preschool to college — including adults who are going back to school (or attending college in a non-traditional manner).
Unlike EF and VIPKid, which focus on teaching ESL to students abroad (primarily in China), Club Z offers tutoring in the U.S. and Canada. It’s been in business since 1995, so you can count on it for steady employment if you’re selected as a tutor.
- Qualifications: Club Z is looking for educational enthusiasts. They’ll ask if you have an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree, and a teaching degree. But don’t let the lack of a teaching degree stop you from applying, as you don’t necessarily need one to work for the company.
- Average hourly wage: $20.
- Glassdoor rating: 4.2/5 — 89% would recommend to a friend.
Note: Club Z is looking for both in-home and online tutors.
Summary: TutorMe is one of the pickier companies when it comes to hiring instructors, as it looks for candidates hailing from the most competitive universities, including Princeton, Yale, and Berkeley. They offer tutoring in more than 300 subjects at all grade levels.
- Qualifications: You must be at least 18-years-old to work for TutorMe, and you must be enrolled in (or already have a degree from) an accredited university. Finally, you must have experience as a tutor or a teacher.
- Average hourly wage: $18.
- Glassdoor rating: 4.5/5 — 92% would recommend to a friend.
Summary: Chegg is a California-based education technology company that was founded in 2005. It used to focus on textbook rentals (which it still offers), but now also offers a wide range of on-demand educational resources, including tutoring and homework help.
Chegg is tailored primarily to high school and college-level students, and is especially popular among the latter group.
- Qualifications: You’ll need to provide two forms of educational verification — such as a picture of your diploma and a scanned copy of your transcript — that show you’re either enrolled in a four-year university or that you graduated from one. Depending on what you want to teach, you may also have to take a subject test to demonstrate mastery of the topic.
- Average hourly wage: $20.
- Glassdoor rating: 4.0/5 — 81% would recommend to a friend.
Summary: HAWO (also known as 51 Talk) claims to be the biggest online English education platform in China. It’s also publicly-traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was founded by Jack Huang to help give motivated Chinese students a place to learn English from native speakers.
One thing you should know about HAWO up-front — especially if you tend to have an erratic schedule — is that they will deduct money from your salary if you have to cancel a class. If you’re super dependable, this won’t be an issue. But if things tend to come up and your availability often changes on short notice, this might not be the best option for you.
- Qualifications: You must be proficient in English, and you also have to be a night owl. HAWO caters to Chinese students, so you’re expected to work on their schedule rather than yours — which means you’ll need to be available in the evenings to account for the time difference from the United States.
- Average hourly wage: $17.
- Glassdoor rating: No rating currently available.
#8. Elevate K-12 Tutors
Summary: Elevate is a bit different than the other tutoring services on this list because it provides students with online instruction while they’re in school rather than before or after class. That means your work hours will be during the day, which may be attractive for some tutors.
Elevate has more than 650 instructors in the U.S. who work with public, private or charter schools. It offers a wide variety of subject matter instruction, including STEM classes. Again, that can be a boon for certain people as not all companies hire science and math tutors.
- Qualifications: Most of the instructors who work for Elevate are certified teachers who prefer to work at home as opposed to a classroom. Since the company provides resources in actual schools, there are local, state and federal regulations in effect. If you want to work for Elevate, you’ll generally need a teaching degree with an active certification.
- Average hourly wage: $12.50.
- Glassdoor Rating: 4.5/5 — 91% would recommend to a friend.
Summary: Founded in 2015, QKids is one of the new players in the field. With this company, you’ll be teaching Chinese students ranging in age from 4 to 12-years-old. One noteworthy perk of the gig is that you won’t have to create lesson plans, as they’re provided for you.
- Qualifications: You must live in the U.S. or Canada and have a bachelor’s degree or higher. QKids tutors must also be able to teach at least six hours per week, and prior teaching or tutoring experience is required.
- Average hourly wage: $16.
- Glassdoor rating: 4.3/5 — 82% would recommend to a friend.
Summary: Skooli tutors work with students from kindergarten through 12th grade. While some other sites accept college students and uncertified teachers as tutors, Skooli is stricter. Keep this in mind before applying if you don’t have an education degree or teaching experience. Of course, this stricter requirement is why Skooli pays its tutors more than some other companies.
- Qualifications: You’ll need an internet-capable device with a webcam, a good wi-fi connection, and topic-area expertise to get started as a tutor with Skooli. You’ll need to provide proof of your education and teaching certification.
- Average hourly wage: Not available on Glassdoor, but Skooli claims it’s $25.
- Glassdoor rating: 4.3/5 — 62% would recommend to a friend. Note that there are only a handful of reviews.
Summary: Tutor.com launched in 1998, and since then it has facilitated more than 14 million one-on-one sessions. You’ll be able to set a schedule every week, set availability for appointments, or just log on whenever you’re free so you can pick up sessions on-demand.
If you want to speed up how quickly your application is reviewed or accepted, you can take a competency exam in one of the most in-demand subjects. Some of the more sought-after subjects include foreign languages, math, literature, accounting and nursing.
- Qualifications: To work with Tutor.com, you have to live in the U.S. or Canada and meet the tech requirements. You must be available for at least five hours per week and be an expert in your subject. You must also be at least a college sophomore or have a degree from an accredited university.
- Average hourly wage: $11.
- Glassdoor rating: 3.3/5 — 66% would recommend to a friend.
Summary: Yup focuses helping students hone their math skills. The service prides itself on focusing on the fundamentals of mathematical problem solving, rather than simply teaching students how to find answers on a one-by-one basis.
- Qualifications: To be accepted as a Yup tutor, you’ll have to pass an online subject and teaching exam. The minimum age requirement is 18.
- Average hourly wage: $12.50.
- Glassdoor Rating: 4.6/5 — 96% would recommend to a friend.
Online Tutoring FAQ
Below you’ll find answers to some of the questions people often ask about online tutoring. While your experience will vary depending on the company you work for, the information below is broadly applicable and will help you find the right opportunity.
One of the first things you should do is determine your hours of availability. This can help narrow the list of websites you’re considering. For example, if you’re tutoring students who live in China, you’d have to adjust to a schedule that’s 15 hours different than Eastern Standard Time. If that doesn’t work, rule out those options.
Additionally, save yourself time by only applying where your qualifications match up with the site’s stated requirements. Inexplicably, many people ignore this tip and are disappointed when they don’t get hired.
Also, keep in mind that since all of the sites listed are legit online work-at-home companies, you can decide to test more than one. You aren’t locked into only working for one service.
You won’t sign up to be a tutor and start teaching that day. So, keep that in mind if you’re looking to make money quickly. The company will need time to review your application and evaluate your credentials, and there may be an examination and/or interview process.
In general, here’s the hiring process you can expect with the majority of these sites.
1. You’ll fill out an online form and upload key documents, like a cover letter and a digital copy of your college transcript.
2. Then you’ll record a quick video or do a live interview.
3. You’ll often have to teach a sample class for company evaluators.
4. Finally, if you do well in the sample class and are hired, you can start teaching actual students and earning money.
While it won’t happen in one day, it can happen quickly. For example, with Education First, you can be up-and-running in about two weeks.
Interviewing for online tutor jobs is remarkably similar to walking into any job site and doing an in-person interview. The basics are all the same.
You’ll want to:
1. Be friendly, be polite and smile — remember, you’ll usually be teaching children and you can help shape their lives by being an approachable and positive influence. (Plus, their parents will want and expect a friendly face on the screen.)
2. Look clean and presentable. You should dress like you’re going into the office to interview.
3. Be prepared to demonstrate your subject-area expertise.
4. Show that you’ve done your homework to learn about the company you hope to work for. One tip is to search YouTube for sample interviews. For example, search for “VIPKid Interview” and you’ll find a number of videos that can help you prepare.
Despite the similarities noted above, there are also some important differences to keep in mind.
— You’ll need working equipment (computer, webcam, headset, etc.) and a stable high-speed internet connection.
— You should have good lighting, as you don’t want to look like you’re teaching from a dungeon!
— The room you’re teaching from should be clean and free of clutter, and should not contain anything that might distract students’ attention.
In-person jobs don’t require you to have a clean house, but online tutoring is different; students won’t just be seeing you, they’ll also be getting a glimpse into your surroundings.
The Best Online Tutoring Jobs – Final Thoughts
Online tutoring positions are a solid part-time job to earn extra income. Depending on your skills, experience, education and schedule, it’s even possible to use a mix of sites to cobble together a full-time career.
Keep in mind that you’ll need some degree of technical proficiency to do this job. You’ll need to be able to use Skype or the company’s own online platform, and you’ll need to be able to troubleshoot basic tech problems (like internet connection issues) so that your classes can start on time and proceed as expected.
Also keep in mind that while you can earn good money, your hourly rate will depend on all the normal factors. If you have a master’s degree, you’ll make more than if you only have a bachelor’s. Likewise, if you’re a skilled math instructor, you’ll probably make more than if you’re an English teacher.
Still, with all of that said, it’s tough to find a better at-home job if you have the qualifications and love helping students reach their full potential.