Teaching online is a great way to get out of the 9-5 and start working from home. However, many online tutors find that working for the larger online teaching companies limits their pay potential and doesn’t properly utilize their skills and experience.
In this guide, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at Preply — an online teaching platform that helps tutors and students connect online. Preply differs greatly from online teaching companies like VIPKid and DaDa and could be the right choice for dedicated and experienced teachers.
Preply is described as an online education platform with the goal of pairing students and tutors together for online lessons. The company doesn’t take responsibility for arranging lessons and managing students’ curriculum. Instead, it uses an algorithm to help students connect with teachers that meet their requirements.
For teachers, Preply is a place to advertise their services and make contact with students from all over the world. Preply helps teachers to market their services and even allows them to create personalized websites to advertise to students outside of the Preply platform.
When teaching with Preply, teachers have control of just about everything. They can set their own rates of pay, teach their own lesson plans and use their own strategies to contact and secure students.
Now that you have an idea of what kind of platform Preply is, let’s take a look at some of the finer details, like Preply’s teacher requirements and pay.
What are the requirements to teach for Preply?
One of the best things about Preply is that it is very open when it comes to the type of teachers they accept. Unlike a lot of popular online teaching companies, you don’t have to be a native English speaker and you aren’t required to have any sort of qualifications or a degree.
However, as you will need to market yourself to students on this platform, and there are a lot of other teachers to compete with, and you may find that having some relevant qualifications or experience will help you to find more students.
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There are lots of teachers on Preply that have college degrees, years of ESL experience and TEFL certificates, so the more qualifications and experience you have, the better. Having more teaching experience and qualifications will also mean that you can set your hourly rate higher than less experienced teachers.
What does Preply pay?
When it comes to pay rates, it’s hard to say exactly how much teachers will earn as the company allows teachers to set their own rates. However, when you teach with Preply, a percentage of your chosen hourly rate will be paid in commission to the company.
Teachers are at liberty to set their rates as high or as low as they want, but after taking a look at the platform, it seems that most teachers’ rates are around the $20 mark. Some teachers with a lot of experience or specific qualifications do set their rates higher, but you may find it hard to appeal to new students if your rates are too high.
When setting your rate, it’s important to keep in mind the fees that Preply take. For the first lesson you teach with a student, Preply takes a 100% commission. This basically means that you won’t get paid for the first lesson you teach to any new student. If you convert the student successfully and they want to book more lessons, they will then be prompted to purchase lessons in bulk, and they will receive discounts if they book more lessons at one time.
If the student books more lessons with you, the commission rates will then be lowered. Preply will then deducts anywhere between 18% and 33% of the total price. So, if you charge $25 per hour and Preply charges 33% commission, you’ll actually only receive $16.75.
Because Preply only helps teachers connect with students there is no guarantee of bookings – it’s all up to the teacher to market themselves in order to secure students. However, building relationships with students takes time, so it’s worth factoring this in when choosing your hourly rate.
What is the interview process for Preply?
The interview process for Preply is quite simple, but it could take some time to get a response depending on the number of applications the company currently has.
Basically, all you need to do is sign up and begin creating a tutor profile on the Preply website. You’ll be asked to fill in details about your qualifications, teaching experience, and previous work experience. Once the details of the profile are complete, you can submit it to be reviewed by the Preply team.
If your application is successful, you’ll be notified by email and you can then go back into your profile and add more details such as your availability and an introduction video. After this is completed, you’ll be able to start connecting with students. Students may book lessons with you if they discover your profile, or you can send personal messages to students that are searching for a tutor.
Once you’ve successfully connected with a student, you can start teaching and continue to search for more students to fill your schedule.
What it’s like teaching for Preply
Ok, so now you know exactly what to expect in terms of pay, let’s talk a little about what working for Preply is actually like. In this section, I’ll go into detail about important details like the Preply schedule, using the platform and the type of students you can expect to teach.
With Preply, you can basically work whenever you want. As long as you and your student are in agreement, you can book a lesson at any time. The times you choose to work will often depend on the location of the students that you are working with. Preply is an international platform so if you end up teaching a student on the other side of the world, you may have to amend your schedule to work out a time that suits both of you.
You can list your availability on the Preply calendar so that students can see when you are available, and as soon as a lesson is booked, it will be shown in your calendar. If you arrange a lesson with a student over email you can also add the lesson time into your schedule manually.
Preply Platform and Lesson Planning
Preply has a dedicated platform for delivering online lessons, but unlike most teaching companies, they do not provide comprehensive lesson plans or curriculum. It’s up to the teachers to plan and organize lessons based on the needs of their students. However, there are some basic materials available on the platform for teachers to use.
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Although lesson planning can sometimes be a lot of work, some teachers much prefer this as it means that they can have control over what they teach, and deliver lessons that will help their students to progress quickly.
Preply students are mostly adults, so if you’re interested in delivering more advanced lessons to older students, this could be the right platform for you. Although most of the students on Preply are adults wishing to learn languages, there are some children and university students using the platform, too. Since it’s up to you which students you teach, you have control over the age of students that you choose to work with.
When it comes to reviews for Preply, it really is a mixed bag. On Glassdoor, Preply gets a score of 3.7 out of 5.
When I first started looking into reviews of Preply, I expected to see some negativity due to the high commission rates the company charges. A lot of teachers agree that the 100% commission on the first lesson can be unfair for teachers.
One reviewer wrote: “Some students do the trial lesson, but they were never planning to do another lesson with the teacher”.
This means that some tutors work quite a lot of hours without pay.
However, despite this issue, it seems that a lot of people are still quite happy with the flexibility and control that this platform allows teachers.
In regards to the commission structure, one teacher suggested: “Charge the price you wish and add 33% more to that since Preply takes a percentage. It’s not a bad gig and I’m sure there are people who work more than I do. I Enjoy having adult students to teach since that keeps me on my toes!”
It seems to me that teachers that perform well in trial lessons and are willing to put in extra effort to build relationships with students have an overwhelmingly positive experience working on Preply, but the structure may be unfair to new or less experienced teachers.
Resources & FAQs
If you’re interested in learning more about Preply, their website has a pretty extensive Tutor FAQ section that might help you to find the answers you’re looking for. If not, leave a comment and we might be able to help you out.
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about Preply:
Can you teach without a degree?
Yes, you can teach without a degree on Preply. However, having lots of qualifications can help you to land students and earn higher rates.
Do you have to be a native speaker?
No. Although English is one of the subjects that is available on Preply, you can teach a number of different languages and other academic subjects, so being a native English speaker is not a requirement
Do you need a TEFL?
No. Preply teachers are not required to hold a TEFL certificate, but it can be a good way of setting yourself apart from other teachers on the platform