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Brainfuse Review Summary

Brainfuse offers tutoring and academic help in many subjects to American school and college students. Tutor pay depends on the subject (usually $12-17), and you must be a US resident with a degree and experience. Hours are flexible, but bookings are challenging, and many tutors feel unsupported.

Pay (per hour):$12-$17*
Location/language requirements?USA
Degree/diploma required?Bachelor’s or higher
Teaching certificate required?No
Teaching experience required?Yes
Student ages (adults/children)?Both
Class size:1-4
Minimum availability (per week):0
*depending on subject

Brainfuse Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Long-established company
  • Flexible schedule
  • Caters for a variety of subjects, levels, and types of student support

Cons:

  • Low rate of pay for the qualifications required
  • Must have a Bachelor’s degree or higher (at least a Master’s for Higher Education tutors)
  • Rigorous application process
  • Not always hiring
  • Competition for students
  • Company supports students over tutors

What Is Brainfuse?

Brainfuse is a US education company, founded in 1999 and based out of New York, that has provided over 3 million virtual tutoring sessions to students of all ages. Brainfuse online tutoring offers several services, including libraries, a digital learning platform, and support for job seekers, veterans, K-12 schools and higher education. Tutors can teach video lessons, assist with homework, provide test preparation, create study tools, and give essay writing feedback through the Brainfuse writing lab. The online learning platform allows tutors to provide both synchronous and asynchronous instruction from a desktop or mobile device.

Here is a video introduction to Brainfuse:

Is Brainfuse Legit?

Brainfuse is a legitimate company that was established in 1999 by Co-founder and Director Alex Sztuden. It has been recognized by the Modern Library Awards, winning Platinum three years in a row for its HelpNow program, acknowledging exceptional services and products within the library community.

How Does Brainfuse Work?

There are many different opportunities for teachers to assist students, whether that be live tutoring through the Brainfuse classroom, chat help, or giving written feedback on essays. Here is a screenshot showing what the interactive Brainfuse whiteboard looks like:

Brainfuse whiteboard Brainfuse classroom

Brainfuse offers regular and live assistance in dozens of subjects for students from third grade up to higher education. Students can request help directly through the Brainfuse tutor match system:

How Much Does Brainfuse Pay Tutors?

Brainfuse tutor pay varies by subject. For example, Online Physics Tutors and Online Statistics Tutors both receive US$17 an hour, while an AutoCAD Engineering Tutor will earn $16. The Brainfuse Indeed page, where open positions are often advertised, provides an average hourly pay rate of $12.37 an hour, while Careerbliss reports it as $14.

Tutors can be paid either by a check through the mail or by direct bank deposit. Payments are distributed every other Friday. 

Brainfuse Hours

The hours for Brainfuse tutor jobs are flexible, with tutors taking charge of their schedules. Classes run Monday to Friday, and there are no minimum or maximum hours that a tutor can work. A named drawback is that it can be difficult for tutors to get bookings with students as they have to regularly compete for jobs with other educators.

Brainfuse Requirements

Brainfuse employment is dependent on tutors:

  • residing in the United States 
  • possessing a Bachelor’s degree or higher (Certified Higher Education Tutors require a Master’s degree)
  • having prior teaching or tutoring experience
  • owning a functioning personal computer with a webcam, microphone, and reliable internet connection
  • submitting to a background check

How to Apply for Brainfuse Jobs

In order to get hired, tutors go through a challenging application and training process that requires background and reference checks, screening interviews, skills tests, and lots of preparation.

  1. The Brainfuse careers page directs prospective tutors to email their resumes to jobs@brainfuse.com. The company will review this and send a code for you to gain access to the registration site and continue your application.
  2. Applicants do a screening interview, where they are assessed for their ability and enthusiasm to work with young people online. 
  3. Candidates then move onto a simulated session/proficiency test in their subject. This also assesses the applicant’s ability to explain ideas clearly in a way that is most beneficial to the learner. 
  4. The final round of selection includes reaching out to the applicant’s referees to validate their work history, along with a fingerprint/criminal background check. 
  5. Once a tutor is hired, they are trained in Brainfuse’s teaching protocols and techniques, and learn about its instruction methodology and the objectives that should be taught academically while working for the company.
  6. Tutors are monitored regularly by the curriculum team, who watch sessions and examine transcripts to evaluate their performance and provide feedback.

Brainfuse Reviews – What Is It Like Working for Brainfuse?

According to the Brainfuse Indeed page, the company is rated as 2.8 out of 5 on average, while the Brainfuse Glassdoor page scores the company slightly higher at 3.3 out of 5 overall. Both websites provide mixed reviews from previous employees.

The company’s collaborative atmosphere, clear sense of purpose, ability to help students, and flexibility of time and location are all mentioned as positives of working at Brainfuse (below are some direct quotations):

  • Indeed: 
    • “Brainfuse always has an eye towards the future and ways to improve. There is definitely a collaborative tone to the company and knowing that your voice is being heard is tremendous. At times, there is a lot expected of you, while you’re also provided opportunities to take ownership of your responsibilities. Perhaps the most significant positive that you come across frequently is the impact our work has on students of all ages.”
    • “As a writing tutor at Brainfuse, I had a very flexible schedule and could pick my own hours.”
  • Glassdoor: 
    • “Flexible, can work when you want. You can work from home.”
    • “Reliable work to do. Many papers to review. Decent pay and good time to improve your own proofreading and critiquing skills.”

Brainfuse Indeed reviews list quite a few negatives too, including the absence of a supervisor or someone to approach with questions, little training and support, low financial compensation, and a lack of personal appreciation. Reviewers state that Brainfuse’s priority is student satisfaction, not that of its educators. Quite a few reviews complain that when a problem is raised, the company sides with the student, jeopardizing the tutor’s standing on the platform.

Brainfuse Glassdoor reviews are aligned with many of these drawbacks, whilst also mentioning that tutors receive negative feedback and complaints from students that cannot be challenged. This inequity leads to a power dynamic that makes it difficult to feel supported by the company.

Here are direct quotations covering some of these tutor difficulties at Brainfuse:

  • Indeed: 
    • “If you get a student who pushes for you to just do their homework for them ultimately Brainfuse will support the student, not you and will reduce or eliminate your workable hours punitively.” 
    • “I started reviewing papers and then began online live tutoring. I enjoyed both, but I was really only making about $8 an hour reviewing papers because it could take me an hour to do one essay review. I was fired from online tutoring because they said I was “personal” with a student. All I did was let the student vent about their personal life. It’s too bad because I loved tutoring online and I was good at it– I had many positive reviews. Also, after I couldn’t tutor online anymore, I didn’t get any more essays to review. The weird thing is I was never trained and never had a supervisor. There was no one to go to with questions, etc.”
  • Glassdoor: 
    • “Sometimes very challenging to get hours. Students can be rude and management does nothing to help. Can have three or four students at the same time, and you are not allowed to tell the students you have more than one, so they are impatient.”
    • “Don’t expect much support from anyone, and hope you don’t need to transfer a student. They also offer subjects that they have nobody to tutor for.”

Conclusion – Is Brainfuse Worth It?

Brainfuse offers the opportunity to tutor a wide range of levels and subjects, some of which are less-commonly found online. It provides variety beyond virtual classes, with homework help, test preparation, and writing assistance also catered for. However, while schedules are flexible, there is no guarantee of students to fill those hours as competition from other tutors is high. The pay is also not the best considering the qualifications required, and support from the company has been found wanting.

You can begin the Brainfuse sign up process by emailing your resume to jobs@brainfuse.com.

A list of other non-China companies can be found here.

Contact us to help update this article, share your experiences, or suggest other companies to review.


Dr Daniel Spence

Daniel Spence is the founder of Online Teaching Review. He has been an international teacher since 2008, an award-winning academic, author of two books, and holds a PhD, MA, BA (Hons), and TESOL.

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