Tutoring and teaching students online are becoming one of the fastest-growing ways for people to make money over the internet.
In many cases, you don’t even need a teaching license to get started with this job, making it a solid way for stay-at-home parents and college students to get some extra income.
iTutorGroup is one of the companies that offers a way for people to make money teaching students from the comfort of their homes.
There are a lot of similar companies on the web today and this is one that doesn’t have quite as much information floating around about it, so I wanted to do some research to see how it all works and whether it’s a legit teaching opportunity.
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In this review, I’ll cover the requirements for becoming a teacher with iTutorGroup, how the application process works, what other teachers have said about it, and whether it’s a legit way for you to make some money online.
What is iTutorGroup?
iTutorGroup has been around since 1998 for the sole purpose of bringing English to people in other countries in a simple, accessible way.
The company doesn’t just teach students though; it also teaches business owners and their employees how to communicate in English, so they can create a more inclusive and global company.
iTutorGroup has received some prestigious awards since its creation, like being named in the top 100 of Red Herring’s global companies list and the winner of Enterprise of the Year for Most Growth Potential from the APEC Chinese Enterprise Valuation Panel.
Over the years, iTutorGroup has branched out into other child companies that aim to bring the Chinese and English languages closer together in schools, corporations, and basic human interactions.
Like similar tutoring companies, iTutorGroup contracts with teachers to assist students in their learning through its online platform. Depending on your goals and expertise, you can teach for any of the company’s child companies.
iTutorGroup offers various work from home opportunities where you’ll still have access to a support team that can assist with technical issues, training, and other resources to help you with your career. Thanks to its large student database and 24/7 operation, you can even have a flexible schedule that lets you work around another job, your family, and your personal life.
iTutorGroup’s Child Companies
iTutorGroup is a family of online tutoring companies that help students of various ages learn English in different countries. The overseeing company consists of the following child companies that focus on English language learning:
- vipabc: Teaches English in Japan.
- TutorABC: English tutoring in China and Taiwan.
- vipJr: Teaches English and other important subjects, like math, to children ages 5 to 18 in China.
- tutorJr: English tutoring for Taiwanese children ages 6 to 18.
- TutorMing: This company focuses on teaching global corporations the Chinese language.
Pros and Cons of Teaching with iTutorGroup
Any work from home job is going to have its ups and downs. Tutoring is no exception. Although most tutoring jobs allow you flexibility and the opportunity to use your skills in your own way, you’ll still need to treat it like a job because it’s an important one. Based on research about iTutorGroup, here are some of the pros and cons you should expect if you choose to work with the company:
- You can have a flexible schedule personalized to your needs. The company offers a wide range of schedules for tutoring sessions, but you can also let the company know your unique scheduling requirements and it will try its best to accommodate you.
- iTutorGroup supplies all lesson plans for your students, so all you need to do is teach.
- iTutorGroup promotes conversation-focused tutoring that allows you to have real conversations with your students that they can get involved with.
- 24/7 management and technical support is available to help you get your job done accurately.
- Teachers can be eligible for bonuses based on their performance and class feedback.
- Although there’s flexibility in scheduling, teachers are still required to work through some of iTutorGroup’s peak tutoring hours, which will be discussed during your interview.
- The application process is rigorous, consisting of a self-test to test your technology and tutoring skills.
- This company isn’t best for beginning tutors or those without a college degree; there are some strict professional and educational requirements for becoming a tutor with iTutorGroup.
- Payments are only once a month.
What are the Requirements for Becoming a Teacher with iTutorGroup?
iTutorGroup has specific requirements for its teachers that outline the professional and educational experience they’ll need right down to the technical requirements to get started.
If you’re a beginner without previous tutoring or teaching experience in English language learning, then this company won’t be right for you. However, there are plenty of other online tutoring companies that hire beginners, so you may want to look into those options.
Computer and Internet Requirements
You’ll communicate with your students from home via the internet, so it goes without saying that you’ll need a reliable computer and internet connection. iTutorGroup requires you to have a broadband internet connection connected by an Ethernet cable, which means Wi-Fi isn’t allowed, simply because it’s not as reliable.
Your computer must be running Windows 7 or 8 with all updates installed, or your Mac can run OS 10.9 or higher. You’ll also need a webcam that can run HD video and a headset.
iTutorGroup’s software can work with Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Safari browsers, given that you’ve updated them to their latest versions.
It’s not enough to just have all of this on your computer though. You should also know how to operate everything with ease so that there are no hang-ups when you’re trying to communicate with students via your sessions.
Personal and Professional Requirements
You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to get hired by iTutorGroup. You’re not required to have a degree in English, teaching, or another relevant field, although this might help you move further in the hiring process.
You do, however, need a TESOL/TEFL or equivalent certification and at least one year of teaching experience. The type of experience isn’t strict, but the company does want to know that you have proven experience articulating your thoughts to a class and having them respond in a constructive way.
It’s also important that you have a quiet workspace free from distractions (kids, pets, phone calls, etc.). You should treat your class sessions just like you would in a traditional classroom, so having an office with a closed door is a major advantage.
Your personality can get you farther in the hiring process too. iTutorGroup specifically looks for people who are self-motivated since you’ll be working from home and need to push yourself to get work done. You’ll also need to be able to motivate your students and speak to them in a clear, concise way, so excellent communication skills will work to your advantage.
The application process for iTutorGroup is two parts: the initial application and the proficiency test.
To start applying to iTutorGroup, you can click the ‘Become a Teacher’ link on the main page. This will start the process by asking for your personal information and credentials. You should set aside about 20 minutes for this part.
Be sure to have your resume on hand that details your education and professional experience because you’ll need to upload it to the system along with your application.
After you complete this part of the application, you’ll move onto the proficiency test. Allow yourself another 20 minutes or so for this part, which will test your ability to teach English language learners. The test will check your understanding of English by asking spelling and grammar-related questions and may also ask some questions related to your teaching and classroom management skills.
Self IT Test
The self IT test is a quick, 5-minute test you’ll need to take before you get hired. It tests your internet connection and computer setup to ensure that everything is working properly for you to conduct classroom sessions without an issue.
All you’ll need to do for this test is allow the software to connect to your internet and computer and let it run the test. Be sure to have your headset and webcam turned on, disable antivirus software, and avoid running any other programs while it runs.
You can continue running this check whenever you want, like before starting a session, just to make sure that everything related to your computer works like it needs to.
Interviewing Using TutorChat
TutorChat is a handy piece of software that iTutorGroup uses to communicate with teachers who have made it to the final stop in the application process: the interview.
TutorChat is an online messaging system that lets you connect with your recruiter to answer questions. There won’t be any awkward phone calls or video interviews. Just connect to TutorChat and answer the questions your recruiter asks.
From what other iTutorGroup teachers have said, the interview only takes a few minutes and includes relatively simple questions about yourself, your classroom management skills, and your experience.
What’s Teaching with iTutorGroup Like?
Even if you fit the bill for iTutorGroup’s teaching requirements, it’s a good idea to know more about the company’s teaching positions to make sure they’re right for you. Here are some of the most important things to know about how it works:
What You’ll Do
The teaching positions at iTutorGroup are conversation-based, meaning that you’ll carry out most of your teaching through direct, interactive conversations with your students.
You’ll be known as a “consultant.” This isn’t a traditional lecture-and-listen type of teaching job. Instead, you’ll be carrying out the lesson plans the company gives you through meaningful conversations in which your students can engage and learn English.
Your lesson plans will vary according to the level of English and age of your students. You can talk to your recruiter during the interview process about teaching students in your desired age range or speaking level based on your previous teaching experience.
The pay you’ll receive as a consultant may differ than other consultants. The website doesn’t state a set pay rate for its consultants. Instead, it mentions that your pay rate will vary based on “experience and other qualifications.”
You will get paid per session, so the more you’re able to work, the more you make. iTutorGroup pays consultants once per month with wire bank transfers.
Many consultants who have reviewed iTutorGroup online agree that the pay isn’t incredible. Just to give you an idea of how your pay rate might vary, check out Glassdoor. For the same position, you’ll see that most rates range from $7 to $10 per hour.
You’ll also have opportunities for bonuses based on feedback from your students and the number of students in each class.
Scheduling and Flexibility
One of the things virtual tutors tend to love most about the job is that it’s usually flexible. iTutorGroup also offers some flexibility that consultants love.
Although there are some peak periods you’ll need to work within since the company operates 24/7 and needs consultants to handle every hour of the day, you’ll have some wiggle room with your schedule. The company offers several schedules to choose from and allows you to customize them, within reason, to fit your life.
Your students can rate you after each session. They’ll answer a series of questions that pertain to your teaching style and how much they felt like they could learn with you as their instructor.
These ratings are important because they’ll directly affect your bonus you can receive for each session. The better your feedback, the better your chance to get a bonus!
You’ll have access to your feedback in the same place you’ll find your monthly pay totals. This area will also show you how much of a bonus you received, if any, for that session based on your feedback.
What Do iTutorGroup Teachers Say About the Company?
iTutorGroup has some mixed reviews from past and present consultants on online job search sites like Indeed and Glassdoor, but I’d say the positive remarks outweigh the negative ones. Here are a few of the most prominent topics consultants discuss about iTutorGroup:
By far, excellent flexibility is the one thing that most consultants agree on about working for iTutorGroup. Consultants like that the company backs up its claims about having a flexible work schedule that meshes with consultants’ families and personal lives.
Management is one area that many consultants agree is lacking. Although the company claims that consultants have access to staff members in case of technical or other issues 24/7, most consultants who have left online reviews about the company don’t agree.
Some people have said that recruiters don’t seem to know everything they should about the process and can’t answer some questions that potential consultants have. Others note that it can sometimes be very difficult getting a hold of staff when a problem arises.
Many consultants love that their ratings can increase their chance for bonuses and give them the opportunity to see what they’re doing well and what they might need to improve. But there’s a major flaw that some also point out: a lot of students will never take the time to rate their instructors.
When that happens, you’ll have less chance of receiving a bonus. The company has made comments on some reviews about this, though, stating that there are some changes in progress that may encourage more students to rate their instructors to curb this issue.
iTutorGroup’s pay rates are fair to some and unfair to others. I assume that the discrepancy lies mostly in the fact that some consultants get paid a higher base rate than others and some have more bonuses due to their work performances.
The only way to know for sure what your pay will be like is to talk to your recruiter about it before being hired on. Be sure to ask about the bonus structure and how much you can expect to make with the number of hours you plan to work each week.
Is iTutorGroup a Legitimate Place to Teach Online?
Yes. From the research I’ve gathered about iTutorGroup, it’s a legitimate company that strives to be one of the best online tutoring solutions, both for its students and its consultants.
Like just about any company, iTutorGroup has some flaws and its consultants have different experiences working there. While some get through their sessions and monthly payments with no hiccups, others seem to have problems getting their students to give them feedback which means fewer bonuses and lower pay.
Your experience with iTutorGroup relies heavily on your ability to motivate your students and manage your online classroom. You’ll likely be more successful with this company if your students have an incredible experience every time they sign into a class session.
If you’re interested in teaching English online to foreign students, then iTutorGroup is a solid company for which to apply.
The company has grown rapidly in the years its been in existence, so you may run into some bumps in the road from its growing pains. However, from reading through its responses to consultant reviews, it’s clear to me that iTutorGroup cares about its consultants and making their jobs easier and more meaningful.
Have you ever tutored online? Have you worked, or considered working, with iTutorGroup? We’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment!