“A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student.” – Henny Youngman
Henry “Henny” Youngman was an American comedian famous for his one-liners. But, as a master violinist, Henny also understood the value of good instruction. And so do we. Although, things have changed a bit since the 1930’s when Henny released his hit single “Take my wife, please.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had the best experience with my teachers. I think the feeling was mutual. I remember asking Mr. Mack, my geography teacher, if you could see the names of continents from outer space.
He certainly didn’t appreciate humor like Henny. I spent the rest of the class cursing Mack Daddy in the detention room. Big Mack and I never got along. But I digress.
The world of teaching has changed significantly with the advent of Al Gore’s internet. You can now find online tutoring jobs with a few keystrokes and earn some serious side income. Further, with communication tools such as Skype, you no longer even need to leave your home or get dressed to teach online. We do suggest the latter however, to avoid awkward moments.
The online learning industry is poised to make $107 billion in 2015. More specifically for us, the online tutoring industry was worth $7 billion in 2014. By the end of 2015, this industry was worth over $13 billion.
Although this space is crowded, this article will outline the most popular services that you can leverage now to make some money.
If you have a teachable niche, then online tutoring jobs in the sharing economy can be very profitable.
By niche, we mean almost anything. As you will see below, hundreds, if not thousands, of topics have students ready to pay. It can be traditional topics such as math, science, languages, or computers. Or, it can be obscure topics such as humor writing, public speaking, oyster cooking, or talking to giraffes. I’ll let you guess which one of those I made up.
Let’s move on to look at the specific platforms operating in the online tutoring jobs space.
“I mostly rely on Wyzant for my income and I’m not even at the high-end, my rate is pretty high at $120 but I’m not logging more than 5 to 10 hours a week.” – Huzefa, The Traveling Dutchman
WyzAnt, or “wise ant,” is a digital marketplace for tutors that operates in all 50 U.S. states, and has approximately 80,000 active tutors.
The website also boasts over two million registered users. As a WyzAnt tutor, you can teach both online or in-person. WyzAnt currently features over 20,000 tutoring jobs in the U.S.
According to WyzAnt, its highest paid tutor in 2013 earned $120,000. The other top tutors on WyzAnt earn $50,000 or more per year. In 2014, the company had made $100 million, the majority of which was paid out to tutors.
Interestingly, a WyzAnt tutor is within 10 miles of 97% of the U.S. population. Talk about coverage! As good as Verizon.
WyzAnt tutors earn $45 an hour on average. In total, WyzAnt tutors have earned more than $64 million.
When you first begin, Wyzant takes a large portion of your profits, 40% to be exact. But as you increase your hours tutored on the platform, that drops to 20% eventually. If you bring in your own students, Wyzant takes only a 5% commission.
The teachable subjects on WyzAnt are numerous: sciences, math, languages, computers, reading, writing, and much more.
So what do you have to do to become a tutor? You do not have to be a certified teacher. You simply have to be 18 years of age, live in the U.S., and have a valid Social Security Number. You can sign up for free on the WyzAnt website and start searching for online or in-person tutoring gigs.
As part of the application process, the WyzAnt staff will ask you to write a subject proficiency exam to ensure that you are capable of teaching what you want to teach.
The WyzAnt website has tools to help you keep organized and to schedule lessons. Once you begin tutoring, you will collect student ratings and reviews that you can then feature on your profile.
Udemy is another popular service for online tutoring jobs. It is however, slightly different than the others.
At Udemy, you can create your own courses and then sell them to students. This is different than live tutoring. In this sense, Udemy can be more cost effective because you create a course once and then sell it multiple times.
Victor is a freelancer who got his start on YouTube but has since moved to Udemy. Victor developed several popular web development courses on Udemy in English and Spanish. Over 50,000 Udemy students have signed up for Victor’s courses, and he has since earned over $900,000. Call Victor if you need a loan.
Udemy has 18,000 instructors serving eight million students with 30,000 courses. Udemy students are spread out across 190 countries.
To create a course, you simply upload a video of you teaching or record your voice to a video you create. You can use PowerPoints, PDFs, audio, as well as conduct live classes. You do not need to be a certified teacher to put a course on Udemy.
The Udemy topics range greatly: entrepreneurship, music, technology, arts, science, fitness, languages, etc. Most courses on the website are priced between $30 and $100.
According to Udemy, 96% of their instructors make money on the website, averaging $7,000 of total income. Of note, Udemy’s top 10 instructors have earned a combined $17 million. Let that sink in. Then call Victor again for that loan.
Udemy offers instructors a number of design tools to help create online courses. Udemy also has a huge support center with resources for instructors. Once you sign up, Udemy also has an instructor community center on Facebook where you can connect with other instructors.
For Udemy income, there are two options. You can promote your own course and keep 97% of the revenue (3% of the revenue goes to Udemy for transaction costs). Udemy will teach you how to market your course should you need the help. Or, you can allow Udemy to promote your course, but you only keep 50% of revenue.
A typical Udemy course has one to three hours of content, with a minimum requirement of 30 minutes. Udemy gets over four million monthly visitors on its site.
Although the average Udemy course is priced between $30 and $100, it’s suggested that you price your course, when you first start, at the low end of the scale. This can be between $10 and $30.
With eight million Udemy students and over 30 million course enrollments, there’s a lot of money to be made.
Skillshare is like Udemy, but with a smaller market. Skillshare is a marketplace for online classes that focuses on shorter lessons, each video being just a few minutes long. Most classes can be completed in an hour.
Skillshare has one million users and over 2,000 classes. You do not need to be a certified teacher or have any teaching experience to teach on Skillshare.
There are currently 1,000 teachers on the Skillshare platform who average $3,500 in earnings per year.
Skillshare has many different subjects available such as music, technology, creativity, photography, entrepreneurship, design, DIY, crafts, fashion, and more.
Skillshare focuses on doing rather than teaching, so there’s more interaction with their courses. Skillshare also emphasizes that students should complete a specific project in each course. Students can upload their projects to the course page for everyone to see.
Instead of paying per course, users of Skillshare pay a monthly fee, and instructors are then given a percentage of the monthly fee based on how many people attend their courses.
Skillshare also has an awesome Teacher Handbook that is a good reference for anyone who wants to teach online.
Chegg Tutors, formally known as InstaEDU, is another online tutoring jobs platform that employs over 4,000 tutors. This is not to be confused with “Chugg,” the app for your local college’s fraternity.
Chegg covers many different subjects including math, science, programming, business, languages, and humanities, amongst many others. Over 2,500 subjects are being taught on Chegg Tutors.
What sets Chegg Tutors apart is its dashboard, which allows for live chat, video, the uploading of documents, and a shared whiteboard.
Chegg Tutors pays out a standard $20 an hour to tutors. Chegg’s customer base includes 30 million high school and college students, a huge market primed for you to tap into. All you need to do is sign up.
Getting your first couple of students as an online teacher is the most difficult part. Once you get a group of students who know you, as well as receive positive ratings, you will enjoy returning customers. This will make it easier to find new clients.
There are many other online tutoring jobs websites that we like here at the Casual Capitalist. Here are a few honorable mentions.
ITalki: If a language is your specialty, then ITalki is worth checking out. This website connects foreign language learners with online teachers for paid tutoring sessions.
TakeLessons: This is another online tutoring jobs platform. On this site, tutors have earned over $34 million. Tutors operate in over 2,800 cities across the U.S. Takelessons.com has a mobile app and provides a business dashboard where you can manage all your lessons, earnings, and clients.
For online tutoring jobs you need virtually zero startup costs, a teachable niche, and an internet connection. The value of this growing industry almost doubled between 2014 and 2015, to $15 billion. This is a result of a growing demand for online tutoring jobs.
Online tutoring jobs are also perfect for platform stacking. If you develop a Wyzant profile and are able to get paying students, why not take that exact same tutor profile and post it to Chegg and Skillshare? Why not take your standard curriculum, and develop a quick online course via Udemy? Teaching on all these different platforms will also help drive traffic to your other profiles.
You do not need to be an expert to teach or tutor; you simply need to be expert enough. Surely there is a hobby or expertise that you have that you can teach to others.
Math? French? Chemistry? Writing? Throat singing? Vegan yodeling? If you have a teachable niche, then you should seriously consider a few of the platforms listed above.
Before long, you will be the guru of your respective teaching niche.
Glenn Carter is a sharing economy expert and is sharing his passion for side income through new digital platforms with his readers.