View Full Version : OT VERY OT Hour pay rates for online learning

Susan P.
05-15-2007, 06:22 PM
I am an online tutor specialist and applied recently for a US based learning institution position. They pitched competitive rates of pay but I was shocked to see that meant under $13 an hour for someone with a doctorate. I've seen various people here say they've done distance/online programs and I'm curious as to what you may have paid for your course etc. If you tutored even 6 students (I've been used to 60+) that is a very large workload and responsibility for such a low rate of pay. I'm interested in comments from US folk about this and what rates of pay you know to be reasonable for this type of work.

05-15-2007, 06:44 PM

Have you tried looking up the tuition fees at various universities? I pay regular tuition fees even though I only attend distance learning classes at a major university. I pay close to $600 per course (three credit hours).

Susan P.
05-15-2007, 06:50 PM
Hi auburnchick. Here for a doctorate the major lecture of the week would garner you over $100 per hour. Online tutor rates vary but a competitive rate here would have been around $83. I may have expected a little less from a US place (just differences in costs etc) and then less for a private institution but I would have thought $50 an hour about as low as they should have gone. I will look up a few places in the US however now just to see.

Susan P.
05-15-2007, 07:13 PM
It's a little hard to determine because some Uni sites 'lock out' external viewing or don't openly put sessional pay rates on sites. Others did and it looks like the under $13 for a doctorate is lower than some places but what others would offer (depending on reputation and 'standing' of the institution etc). Many private places tended to say around $15 for one on one and then $30 for 3. I honestly believe that say $12 an hour for an unspecified number of students is a very low wage. It devalues the importance of the work and to my mind insults students paying quite high fees. These days courses are never cheap and anyone paying full fee from a sandstone type institution pays big money. I believe they deserve well qualified and well paid tutors and not token interaction that can arise from very low pay rates.

05-15-2007, 07:20 PM
That is absurb. To be able to teach in a university, you must have, at minimum, a master's degree. I mean, we all know that you don't go into teaching for the money; however, it's sad when teachers have to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet.

You could probably make a ton more money homeschooling other people's children. I know someone who does this and doesn't do too badly.

Susan P.
05-15-2007, 08:03 PM
auburnchick. I have a very bad knee problem and can't climb stairs etc so online is great for me. I've taught online courses for 3 universities before and really enjoy it because often you have students from so many diverse places and of course a range of age groups. In my last writing course I had people from 20 to 62 and from Africa to England to Australia. In that sort of program such a mix adds many dimensions. I think I'm sometimes disturbed when education becomes sheer profit oriented. I can bet that when a tutor is paid $12 or less that a student paying for a course is probably paying around $100 or so for that hour. There are of course a lot (a LOT) of education business scams around also and they are a worry. I think the industry needs better regulation.

05-16-2007, 12:52 PM
I'm working on my doctorate, and I pay over 3grand per class... each is worth 6 credits. All and all, at the end of everything, I will have spent over 40 thousand dollars... all in student loans of course. My master's degree cost about 10 grand, and I would say I spent around 35 for my BA. Sooooo in 2 years I'll start paying back almost 100,000 dollars in tudent loans :shock:

05-16-2007, 01:09 PM
Hey Susan, are you looking for jobs as a tutor at the US schools? To us, tutoring is a one-on-one thing for people who need extra help or want an extra edge, and isn't a cumpolsory part of our university education. Less than $13 an hour sounds like what you'd get paid for that kind of tutoring (well, actually, I think tutors are better paid where I live) than for being an instructor at a college.

Sorry if you know this already, but I got confused when I was reading this. :teehee:

05-16-2007, 04:22 PM
I second what cawthraven said. You may want to look for an "online instructor" or "online professor" position. Tutor is definitely one student, little or no outside work for the teacher, responding to specific problems that student is having with their coursework. Private tutors charge more generally, but when you go work for a tutoring service, $13 per hour is not unheard of.


05-16-2007, 04:25 PM
Sooooo in 2 years I'll start paying back almost 100,000 dollars in tudent loans :shock:

Oh my goodness! Time to go on Deal or No Deal. :lol:

I'm seriously impressed with your fortitude in seeing your education through to such a high level! :cheering:

Susan P.
05-16-2007, 07:11 PM
Just to clarify. For some years most US academic institutions were open to people offshore being involved in their online programs (I know one person in Australia who got involved during that period and is doing very nicely working in business programs at distance). However, the process then changed and even if you worked online you were still largely required to live in the US.

I opened the example student simulation tutorial last night to do the two exercises and discovered it is largely what some of you are suggesting. It appears a student sends a draft of an essay and you review it. You make up to 5 comments in the text, choose 3 comment sections to offer more details on and then write a few positives and then a summation.

You are of course not supposed to edit work but the second example was from a student whose first language was not English and I've often found that it is best and more efficient to give a few detailed editorial/proofreading examples so that the person can understand correct English phrasing.

So yes, this appears to be one on one with a reasonably tight schema and you must get the review/tute done under 30min. To me that is all very well in an example piece of a page or so but what if the piece is a lot longer OR has significant issues. That time tends to depend on a student being fairly competent and literate.

But my concern about what students pay is the following. Most academic units here require a student to submit 3/4 pieces of work and yes, the student would often pay $900 for the unit plus student fees. Now, looking at this simply this then means a student can approach a tutor a maximum of 4 times for assistance so fees for this are $48. Even allowing for costs to the institution for postage etc the difference between $48 and $900 is HUGE.

I also have to say that I feel $2 an hour more for someone like me with a doctorate is not best. I have a Master's degree also, so, for my two extra degrees and seven years additional study time I obtain $2 an hour more than someone with a BA. I have also just had a book accepted for publication in the US and so, between my skill level academically and degree status I feel $12 per hour is too low.

At the same time when one cannot stand up in classes etc and isn't in a current position to teach that way you sometimes have to compromise but I've obviously got two substantial dilemmas here. One is the pay rate and the second is the reasoned service provision to students paying high fees.

I may be a lousy bag knitter :-) but I am an excellent online academic tutor and provide comprehensive advice. If any of you belong to institutions who hire overseas academics for online work I'd be glad to know of the name etc so I can make contact as I've not been able to locate a source for a while.