Outschool is an online marketplace for teachers to connect with students all around the world. According to Outschool’s website, teachers make an average of $50 USD per hour. In this post, I’ll share my thoughts on if teaching online with Outschool is worth it and some pros and cons.
Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes. Your earnings and results when teaching for Outschool may vary. I am not a financial advisor. Please check with a qualified professional for questions about your earnings. This post contains a referral link. If you choose to sign up for Outschool using my link, I receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
What is Outschool?
Outschool is an online teaching platform for learners between the ages of 3-18. Both academic (math, reading, science, history, etc.) and non-academic (gaming, dance, crafts, cooking, social clubs, etc.) classes are taught on the platform. Basically, if you can create it, you can teach it!
In order to teach for Outschool you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have full-time residency in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England or Wales
- Be able to pass a background check (once you are approved to teach)
- Be passionate and experienced in your subject area (however, no degree is required)
My Experience Working for Outschool
I applied for Outschool in October 2020. Thanks to some help from my teacher mentor Jenna, I was able to pass the application on the first try. Because I am teaching from Australia, the background check took quite a while. (This is common for teachers in AU, NZ, England and Wales. Background checks for Canadian and US teachers usually only take a couple of hours/days!)
My background check was approved on Jan 1, 2021 and I started listing classes. Before I listed any classes, I chose a “niche” aka a specific type of classes for a set age group.
How to Choose Your Outschool Niche
First, you need to do a bit of brainstorming. What are you passionate about? What can you see yourself teaching over and over? For me, that was dance!
Next, you’ll need to check your experience and qualifications. Do you have any previous experience teaching in this area? What qualifications do you have? I have previous experience working as a dance instructor for kids in multiple countries.
After that, you’ll need to do some market research. Use the search tools on the Outschool website to see what classes in your niche are popular. Look at a few classes and teacher profiles and write down some notes:
- What age range are the classes for?
- How long are they?
- What topics are the most popular?
- How much are the teachers charging?
- When are popular times for these classes?
Finally, decide how you can make your classes unique. While there are many dance classes for young learners on the platform, and they are certainly popular, I decided to incorporate fun themes like mermaids and unicorns with ballet foundations for ages 4-6.
Tip: Start as narrow down in your niche as possible. As you grow, you can always expand to other age ranges or class types.
By the middle of January, I had listed my first classes and was getting my first enrollments. Since then, I’ve taught 259 learners!
My Earnings on Outschool
So, is teaching online on Outschool worth it? As of today, I’ve taught a total of 41 hours in 3 months on Outschool and brought in $2,454 USD after the 30% cut that Outschool takes for managing learner enrollments, their own classroom platform with Zoom and messaging integrations and advertising.
My average earnings during the first 3 months of teaching on Outschool are $59 per hour!
When compared with other online teaching platforms like VIPKid, Magic Ears, Whales English, and more, the pay is A LOT better. However, you must remember that you are in charge of lesson planning and content creation. Outschool is more like a business than just showing up and teaching.
My results are slightly above the average $50 USD per hour. There are teachers who make less than I do, and teachers who make over $100 USD per hour. It’s really up to how much you want to teach, how much work you want to put in, class size and how popular your classes are.
The Pros of Teaching Online with Outschool
There are some things that I absolutely love about teaching on this platform:
- Teach something besides ESL – although I am a qualified ESL teacher, I’m also a qualified dance instructor. I love being able to teach something where I’m not just sitting at a desk all day. There are so many interesting classes on Outschool. Just do a general search and you’ll see what I mean!
- The pay is great because you get paid per student, not per hour – unlike other online teaching platforms, you not only get to choose your rate, but you also choose your class size and how much each student is charged. I currently charge $10 per 30 minute class. (Remember that Outschool takes a 30% cut, so I make $7 per student.) There is also the option to tutor 1:1 on Outschool. Teachers typically charge $1 per minute (after the 30% cut) or more.
- Teach at any time of the day – another fantastic plus is that since students are from all over the world, you can teach whenever you like! I teach from Australia so I get mostly US learners when I teach in the mornings and Asian/European students when I teach at night. A lot of teachers have come to Outschool from Chinese teaching companies because they were tired of teaching so early in the morning.
- The students are amazing – I absolutely love my students on Outschool. They are so sweet and excited to dance. I often have the privilege of being some of my students’ first dance teacher EVER and that is such an incredible feeling. I look forward to seeing my weekly students and meeting new ones in my one-time classes.
- You can teach different types of classes – depending on your preferences and schedule, you can teach one-time classes, on-going classes (like a subscription), multi-day classes like semester classes or camps and even 1:1 tutoring. I currently offer on-going classes, one-time classes and private lessons.
The Cons of Teaching Online with Outschool
Nothing is perfect! Here are some of the disadvantages of teaching on Outschool, in my opinion:
- It takes a while to build up your following – just because you list new classes doesn’t mean they will get booked out. It takes a lot of trial and error to see what time slots are best for your learners and which of your classes are popular. You will most likely teach classes with just 1-2 learners each for 1-2 months, which is of course frustrating! Give it time but also be willing to make changes to your classes.
- You might get bad reviews – a bad review (anything less than 3 stars) can hurt your overall rating and make it hard for potential parents to trust you. Parents can also comment publicly on your class. Just know that all teachers get bad reviews from time to time, and to take them with a grain of salt. It’s impossible to please everyone!
- You have to set money aside for taxes – depending on the tax laws in your country, you’ll need to set aside some money for taxes. Outschool does not provide tax forms and you’ll only receive something from PayPal if you make more than $20,000. My advice is to speak with a tax professional and plan for your situation.
- Class enrollments ebb and flow – depending on the time of year, if schools are opened or closed, holiday breaks and more, you’ll see more (or less) enrollments. This means that your income will fluctuate from month to month. To combat this, always read the Outschool emails and change your classes based on what’s trending. I started ongoing classes in my second month and they are usually fully booked. Right now summer camps are trending.
Is teaching online on Outschool worth it?
From my experience, teaching on Outschool is a great way to make a side income doing something that you love. If you are a creative person, it could be the perfect platform for you!
I think teaching on Outschool is worth it for teachers who are passionate about their subject, willing to put up with the trial and error of getting enrollments, are flexible to trying new things and creative. These types of teachers will THRIVE on Outschool.
However, if you don’t want to create your own lessons, aren’t willing to teach classes with low enrollments, are just in it for the money or dislike trying new technology or methodology, then I don’t think this is the right platform for you. You might do better on a platform with pre-prepared lesson plans.
Want to teach for Outschool? I’m happy to mentor you! Sign up using my link and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know that you’ve used my link. I will personally look at your application, give you suggestions on your sample class description and tips for your application video.
Need inspo for setting up your online classroom? Check out this post on online teaching essentials for every budget.