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TutorOcean Review Summary
TutorOcean is an online marketplace for teachers to create a profile to attract students in a range of subjects. Pay rates and hours are set by tutors, there are no mandatory qualifications and the sign-up process is simple, though a 10-20% commission is deducted, and some teachers complain about a lack of students.
|Pay (per hour):
|Set by tutor (between $5-$200)
|Teaching certificate required?
|Teaching experience required?
|All ages/levels (children are supervised)
|1v1 tutoring, online and in-person
|Flexible, no minimum hours
TutorOcean Pros and Cons
- Minimal requirements with no mandatory qualifications
- Quick and easy sign-up process with no interview or teaching demo
- Wide range of subjects
- Set your own pay rate and hours
- Commission fee of up to 20%
- Must create your own teaching materials, which takes unpaid prep time
- Competition for a limited number of students
- Small number of teacher reviews
Is TutorOcean Legit?
TutorOcean is a legitimate tutoring platform that was founded in 2018 in Ottawa, Canada, though it recruits teachers and students internationally. The company’s legitimacy is underlined by being adopted as the official tutoring platform of several major colleges, including McMaster University, Georgia State University, and Maryville University among others. They have also been featured by leading news publication The Los Angeles Times, and have a 97/100 trust score from Scam Adviser.
What Is TutorOcean?
TutorOcean is an online teacher marketplace that connects tutors and students from over 100 countries.
While most classes are conducted online, in-person tutoring can also be arranged.
Students may be of any age/level, though children have to be supervised during their sessions by a parent or guardian.
Here is a short video introduction to the company by founder and CEO, Will Li:
How to Use TutorOcean
As is typical of other teacher marketplaces, TutorOcean tutors create a profile advertising their services on the platform. Students then search by subject/course, and filter by level, hourly rate, location, language, rating, and gender, before messaging any tutors they are interested in hiring.
Tutors and students can message one another and schedule sessions through the TutorOcean app, though live online tutoring must take place through a desktop or laptop computer equipped with a compatible (Chrome or Firefox) browser.
The bespoke interactive virtual classroom supports High Definition video and audio, typing, drawing, document sharing, and code editing. You can test it through the TutorOcean demo link, or watch a demonstration in this video:
TutorOcean offers daily training webinars for aspects of the platform that tutors might require help with.
TutorOcean Salary Information
Independent tutors set their own TutorOcean pay rates, ranging between $5-$200 an hour (in US or Canadian dollars). Those working through an associated school tutoring program have their rates set by the program administrator.
Note that most tutors offer a 15-minute free session to attract new students.
How Does TutorOcean Pay?
Tutors are expected to create and connect a Stripe account in order to receive TutorOcean payments. These are processed within 48 hours of a session ending, and take up to 7 days to reach your connected bank account.
PayPal is accepted for countries where Stripe is unavailable. PayPal is also used for any session packages or assignment reviews sold by tutors outside of Canada, or if a student applies a coupon/credit to their purchase. In this instance, so long as there is a minimum balance of US$40, then payment is processed on the first business day of the month.
TutorOcean Commission Charges
Another characteristic of online teacher marketplaces is that of commission or ‘service’ fees. TutorOcean deducts 20% for any bookings received from the platform. If tutors refer their own students, then the amount is 10%.
TutorOcean Hours and Schedule
TutorOcean tutors decide their available hours by setting their own schedules.
Students are allowed to cancel a class with 24 hours’ notice. Otherwise, if a student is late or doesn’t show, then it is at the tutor’s discretion whether to bill them for the full amount, extend a session to cover the missed time, or reschedule.
A tutor no show is credited back to the student and their search ranking is negatively affected if they miss three or more sessions.
There are few formal requirements, and no mandatory qualifications, to become a tutor with TutorOcean:
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- Have a Stripe/PayPal account to receive payment
- Access to a laptop or desktop computer with:
While TutorOcean asks for photographs of your diplomas or certifications as part of the application process, you may still apply without these if you can make a written justification as to why you feel qualified to tutor your subject.
TutorOcean Application Process
You will then be presented with this screen, which will ask you to complete the following information:
- Upload Your Cover Photo
- Upload Your Profile Photo
- Add Personal Information:
- First and last name
- Email address
- Mobile phone number
- Profile Tag (A unique identifier at the end of your profile URL)
- Headline (A short phrase about your expertise)
- Description (Elaborate on your expertise)
- Rate ($/hr)
- Currency (USD or CAD)
- Tutoring Experience (Number of years)
- Street Address
- Zip/Postal Code
- Media (Your YouTube videos, teaching tutorials, and pictures may increase student engagement by 10x)
- Courses you Teach
- Subjects you Teach (up to 15)
- Student Levels you Teach
- General Availability
- Add Education
- Add Certifications / Diplomas
- Upload clear photos of your diplomas or certifications. If you are currently in a program that you have not yet completed, upload a photo of your Student ID card or your most recent transcript. If you cannot do this then please describe in a few words below why you feel you are qualified to be a tutor.
- Work Experience
- Add Languages (Select your “Native proficiency” first, before selecting secondary languages)
- Policy Agreement. By checking the box, you agree to:
- All TutorOcean Terms & Conditions.
- Adhere to all TutorOcean Policies.
- Not communicate with their students outside the TutorOcean platform.
- Not accept payment directly from their students outside the TutorOcean platform.
- Non-compliance will result in your account being terminated.
Once you have submitted this, it can take a couple of business days for your profile to be reviewed. Any queries can be directed to [email protected].
TutorOcean Reviews – What Is It Like Working for TutorOcean?
The TutorOcean Glassdoor page provides an overall score of 4.2 out of 5, with 74% willing to recommend the company, though this comes from just 17 reviews across all employees (at the time of writing).
For ease, I have extracted all the comments specifically from tutors. These praise the flexibility, meaningful impact with quality students, and good UI, though there are complaints about the service fee and seasonality, and mixed views on the support available, number of students, and earning potential:
- “This is a flexible opportunity.
- You create your own hours.
- Flexible – set your own rates and hours.
- Made meaningful impacts on student’s academic experience.
- This is a very good part-time job to do remotely.
- Great network, fast support team. Good UI to market.
- Self-set hours – Decent amount of requests. – High quality students. – possibly high pay; I receive requests with a rate over $100 per hour – ability to accept or reject requests at one’s own disgression.”
- “There is no live support available.
- I have been on tutor ocean for a month now and not one student its like dead, not much ways to get students accept [sic] for social media which i will not be willing to so. not recommended.
- Can be difficult to get clients.
- Working 24/7 if you want to make a decent wage tutor ocean takes a large cut of your pay – up to 25% they send you ‘opportunities’ to tutor students then never follow up when you say yes.
- The pay is capped when you are a tutor for an affiliated university.
- Some students are scammers and there are more tutors than clients.
- Not enough work to be full time. Maybe part time, but it is spotty sometimes. – seasonal demand for many subjects.”
There is just a single TutorOcean review on Indeed (from 2019), which also mentions a lack of student bookings, as well as slow communication and poor management:
Conclusion – Is TutorOcean Worth It for Tutors?
There are no great surprises with TutorOcean. They are another teacher marketplace that offers tutors online real estate to park their profile in exchange for a percentage of future earnings. The reality is most teachers will rarely have to pay this commission because they often outnumber the available students, making it very difficult to stand out amidst the competition.
Still, it doesn’t take much time to create a profile should you wish to cover all possible bases, though I wouldn’t expect a lot of bookings from TutorOcean unless you have a particularly unique or in-demand offering.
Make sure you check out our full list of online teaching jobs.