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Working at Tutor.com — Reviews by Employees

Learn what employees have to say about Tutor.com pay, work/life balance, care potential, job security, and much more by reading our anonymous employee reviews.

Reviews of Jobs at Tutor.com

3.9Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect3
Benefits3
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth3
Location5
Co-Workers3
Work Environment5

From Ithaca, New York — 09/19/2010

I am currently in my third year as a tutor at tutor.com. I have tutored over 1200 individual sessions and have experienced all manners of errors and the different caveats of working for this company.

Tutoring online sounds like a sweet deal, and in many ways it is. You're sitting at home typing to a child who needs help, guiding him or her as needs to be and making some decent coin for what amounts to mainly surfing the Internet if you have a firm grasp of the content (I can multitask watching a video and helping a student solve simple algebraic expressions quite easily). In that same vein it can get pretty boring since there tend to be overarching themes at different times of the year as lesson plans homogenize. A whole night of solving for x. A week of explaining dimensional analysis over and over. It's not terrible, since you get better and better at it, as well. Tutoring can really solidify your own knowledge and hone your ability to explain things.

The pay is fair, I'd wager. If you're too lacking in initiative to gather your own clients for local tutoring, then you should be satisfied with a pay cut. Currently I get paid a solid wage since I was promoted to tutor level 2. Along with the per-session incentives, it amounts to around 13$ an hour, give or take depending on how quickly the turnover is for students that evening. If you schedule and wait, you get paid, but it is rather measly, around 5.50 per hour. Also, the fact that tutor.com hires you as a contractor means you get zero benefits (understandable) and no tax taken out of your check, which can be problematic if you're disorganized.

The students themselves, as mentioned before, cover the whole range of enthusiasm for learning, from people who are a complete joy to panicked rude children that have no qualm insulting you if they do not understand. Some days of tutoring go better than others in this regard, with a skew toward kids who simply do not understand (which is not a surprise, since they went to the trouble to find an online tutor). These kids can be frustrating, but if you follow the policy laid out during your training and assessments, you will be able to quickly deduce the student's level of comprehension so you can continue appropriately. I was poor at this in my first year and improved steadily my second. I feel I am a rather seasoned pro now, and I have very few poor results. Some of the positive comments you receive from the students can make you smile. They say some nice things sometimes, and that makes it fun.

The work can be mentally exhausting, and the pay is not a living wage, but for some extra coin to make your ends meet, if you can spare 2 hours a night you will end up making around 600$ extra per month, which is nothing to shake a stick at. I commit myself to earning 1000$ a month to build by abilities and credentials. Being able to help the majority of students I encounter is a significant bonus. All in all I would definitely recommend working for this company. They stick to their policies, and I have never had a single late check in the 20+ pay periods I have been working with them.
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4.4Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits4
Job Security4
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth4
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment5

From Portland, OR — 04/28/2010

I have been working for Tutor.com for close to a year now. I originally posted comments back in November and I looked over them again. They are still accurate, but I now feel that this job is one of the best I've ever had.

Here are some comments especially for new tutors and some responses to the comments below:

1. Don't give up. I have good days and bad days, but my ratings are rarely, if ever, the result of an arbitrary student. Bad ratings are often the result of a combination of a frustrated student and my inability to help as well as I should. It helps to inform the student that you're having trouble explaining a concept and ask for their patience. Reassure them that you will not let them go without figuring it out or transferring them to a tutor who can help them better.

2. Bad ratings are not the students' fault. I love the comment below that says, "tutor.com yelled at me because I was rude to the student." How about not being rude. I know, it's easier said than done. I once had a student who skipped several words in her word problem and made it impossible for me to understand what the problem was asking her to do. I kept asking her clarifying questions and she kept saying "it's in the problem." I kept telling her she had written it down wrong and asking her to reread it, which she couldn't seem to get through her head to do. I most definitely was rude to her. And you know what? I shouldn't have been. There are specific things we are given to say to students who do not communicate with us well. Use the prescripts or develop your own and avoid telling the student, "you should pay more attention to what you write," like I did. The correction I received from my mentor was deserved.

3. The mentor review process is awesome. It is just what we need to keep us on our toes. Knowing someone is watching, or might read my transcripts, makes a big difference in how I speak to a student. Those who seem to get, "yelled at for minor offenses" are likely not doing so well at their jobs. Try harder and you'll get less correction.

4. Tutors are not "terminated for no reason." That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Tutor.com needs tutors. They don't get rid of them for "no reason." Recently, a few tutors were terminated--one for typing inappropriate comments in the chat box that they meant to type into a simultaneous chat with an adult. Can you say "STUPID?" This is too easy to do. Don't do other things while tutoring and you pretty much can stay at your job. Believe me, if you're tutoring correctly, you have very little time for other activities. There's always something to look up or research. I certainly hope one who was terminated was the moron "watching porn" while tutoring. Only the bad tutors are upset about being watched and corrected. I like that I have someone more experienced to turn to for help.
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3.5Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect2
Benefits3
Job Security3
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth3
Location5
Co-Workers3
Work Environment5

From NY — 01/17/2010

Positives: Location (your home), flexible schedule, somewhat decent pay.

Negatives: Disrespectful students (don't let this bother you, but they usually get mad for not giving them an answer straight away, which is what you are directed specifically to not do), unimaginably dumb students (could be considered a positive because you can get time=money explaining everything to them, like someone already said here, but I found it frustrating), very small number of students who are actually enthusiastic about learning.
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3.9Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect3
Benefits3
Job Security4
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth3
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment5

From Portland, OR — 11/16/2009

I haven't worked at Tutor.com for very long, but I think it's a great job. I was concerned about the comments that tutors weren't being paid on time, so I watched for my paycheck in anticipation. But so far, they've been paying me on time.

For anyone considering it, here are the pro's

1. The students--When you have a good session with a student, it feels like a million bucks. When the student gets it, and can explain it back to you, it's awesome. Students often tell me that I explain things better than their teacher. I just love it when they understand it and can go back to school with confidence.

2. Working at home is the obvious one. I stretch out around my desk with references, a calculator, and scratch paper and I'm good to go in my PJs.

3. Pay--in spite of what others say, work-at-home jobs generally don't pay even minimum wage. $9 an hour to start is not bad (although if they lower it any more, I'm gone on principal). They do only pay $5.50 per hour while a scheduled tutor is waiting for students. But, heck, that's $5.50/hr for doing nothing. Where else can you get that? And besides, the waiting is minimal.

4. The whiteboard classroom and the chat system they use is superb. This makes it much easier to teach a concept when you use the whiteboard properly.

5. Organization--they have it down to a science. The scheduled tutors get priority when it comes to assigning students. "Floating" tutors can also get students during busy times, but they won't always get students waiting. Tutor.com "holds" students in a queue unless there is a longer than usual wait. That way, when you are working your scheduled hours, you are pretty much guaranteed to get student after student with very little wait time in between. They keep track of all your sessions so you can go back and review them later, and they show you the student's comments from their survey.

6. Rapid-fire Tutoring--This is like the Super Cuts of tutoring. You get question after question in rapid sequence. You can't help getting good at explaining things fast with a general guideline of 20 minutes to finish up. This may not be my last tutoring job but it will be the one that teaches me how to do it.


Here are the cons:

1. The students--yikes! They sometimes think tutor.com is Cliffsnotes. They won't read a book, they'll expect you to tell them all about it, and then, when you don't, they give you a lousy rating. Sometimes they're just plain dumb. You can explain something in a very clear and understandable manner, and they just don't get it. And they often don't know their own language. The foreign speakers I get are very good at writing in English with a little help. The native speakers are sometimes unbelievably bad. They send an essay for me to proofread and I don't know where to start. Some of them are so badly written from start to finish that I just want to tell them to scrap it and try again. Then there's the students who don't know what their assignment is and want you to figure out what they have to do. Or the ones that don't remember the basic principles of the subject they were taught in class so you have to cover the most basic things with them. It can be frustrating. Fortunately, these students are less than half of the students I get.

2. The support--you do get responses from people in tutor support, but it often feels like you have no one to talk to. I do have a mentor and she's nice. But it took her ten days to send me an initial evaluation. I really needed feedback sooner. And I need to talk to her about the failures without feeling like I might lose this job. She has given me a few things to work on and her evaluation of my performance was very accurate. I hope she sees my improvement.

3. The tutoring--it's harder than you'd think. You never know what question is going to hit you. My first day was awful. I think I did everything wrong and sounded very unfriendly. I was discouraged and wished I had someone to talk to, but there was no one. You really have to know your subjects and you have to know what the student is asking. Sometimes that's hard to get within the allotted time.

4. Rapid-fire tutoring--I know I said this was a pro. But it's also a con. Constantly conscious of the time I'm spending with each student, I try very hard to finish with them within 20-30 minutes. Sometimes that just doesn't work. In fact it's often impossible. The students don't always respond to you quickly (some of the belong to the Christopher Columbus school of typing where you discover and land after a long voyage). Sometimes you just strike the wrong chord with a student and they hang up on you. Sometimes it's hard to do any research or figure something out thoroughly with the time hanging over your head.

All in all, I think it's a good job. But you can't expect it to pay like private tutoring or be like private tutoring. It all becomes worth it when your student says, "I get it. You're the best tutor I've ever had."
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3.2Rating Details
Category
Pay3
Respect3
Benefits1
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth3
Location5
Co-Workers2
Work Environment3

From New York — 09/21/2009

I'm not sure why there are so many terrible reviews on here. I've been tutoring for 2 years on here, and everything has been pretty much what I expected it to be. The salary table is clearly laid out for you if you request it, and you'll quickly be promoted if you're a decent tutor.

I teach at a University in town, and tutor math and physics online when I'm writing lectures, grading, etc. Tutoring requires almost no effort on my part (I have to type something maybe once a minute because it usually takes the students forever to work through a step), so I'm getting paid an additional $13 an hour to do basically nothing.

I've had four mentors so far, and only one wasn't great. The only problem I had with that one is that she would send me messages about my sessions without reading the sessions first, so it was a waste of time.

The only negatives I see are that there are no benefits, and some of the other tutors on here are really bad at their subjects. Once a week or so, I get a transfer from a tutor that has completely confused the student by solving a problem incorrectly, and that's always a hassle to work out.

If you're looking to make between $10 and $15 an hour a few hours a week by sitting at your computer and playing games, watching porn, etc., while helping someone work through a problem, then this is a great job for you. If you're looking for full-time work with benefits and a sense of fulfillment at the end of the day, then I'm not sure why you're thinking about becoming an online tutor in the first place.
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3.6Rating Details
Category
Pay3
Respect4
Benefits3
Job Security3
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth3
Location5
Co-Workers3
Work Environment5

From US and Canada — 06/05/2009

I've been a tutor with Tutor.com for over a year, and this job meets my needs well.

The pay rate is low, but this is reasonable for the nature of the work. Tutor.com pays $10 an hour, and my private clients pay $25. However, I have to find and retain these clients, work around their schedules, make long-term commitments, travel to their homes and schools, address complaints, and so on. For $25 an hour I run a business; for $10 an hour, I just tutor.

I have great flexibility in how many hours I work each week and when I work them. I teach several high-demand subjects (higher math and science), so I have no trouble getting scheduled hours or floating sessions. (With other subjects, your mileage may vary.) With such flexibility, it's easy to earn extra money tutoring while working a full-time job or caring for children -- I've done both.

As for the mentoring system, I'm sure there are good mentors and poor ones. My mentor has been a mentor in the fullest sense of the word, encouraging me and answering my questions.

I do have some complaints about the company, mainly that information is provided to the tutors in a disorganized fashion. I'm never sure whether to look something up in the policy manual, or the resource center, or my stash of old emails and announcements, or just skip straight to asking my mentor.
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3.3Rating Details
Category
Pay3
Respect3
Benefits3
Job Security3
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth2
Location5
Co-Workers3
Work Environment5

From Mentor, OH — 06/01/2009

I am new to Tutor.com...I have been a tutor for almost 7 months. I am a stay-at-home Mom and I just happened to find their site. Now...I have a Mechanical Engineering degree from Purdue University, so I know what a CAREER is and what kinds of funds it brings into the home....but life happens and I need to be home with 3 children.

I took their tests and passed the long screening process. I can understand everyone's frustration about not being paid enough...or that the executives get MUCH more than the tutors...BUT then I think to myself...I am a Tutor I..I make $10 an hour. If I wanted to, I could squeeze in about 15 hours a week....THAT's $600 a month. After taxes...that's going to pay for my groceries. Not a bad deal since I don't have to drive anywhere...I don't have to worry about how I am dressed...I just have to teach.

Lifeguards on the California beaches get paid an average of $8.50/hr. Fast food doesn't pay much more than that. Hourly work is about the same pay. So working for Tutor.com isn't a lifestyle change...but it is a way to make great money to help pay for necessities. Even if you worked an hour a day....that still leads to $240 a month. If anything, I just stash it away for our (possibly) a vacation fund.

I'm not complaining, I don't know why others are. Did you really think that you were going to make a career out of this? Or did you work for some extra income? I like working for them. Sure, some things can change...but in this economy ANYTHING helps.
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4.9Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Syracuse, NY — 12/25/2008

One of the coolest ideas and people on the Internet. I work from home. I choose the hours. I help lots of kids and I get paid. Tutor.com employees seem like they care about us and they provide lots of help so we can teach kids well. Only wish I could do even more tutoring.
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