NTI At Home Reviews – What’s The Verdict?
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If you’ve been disabled for any length of time, you’ve probably come across NTI (National Telecommuting Institute) through the mail, online, or word of mouth. Their program, NTI at Home, has placed countless disabled individuals in work-from-home jobs.
But is it too good to be true?
I’ve plowed through many NTI at Home reviews online to arrive at the answer and I’ve distilled what I’ve learned in this article. But first, let’s take a quick look at the NTI organization and understand how it operates…
WHAT IS NTI?
NTI is a non-profit organization that screens, trains, and places disabled people with companies they’ve partnered with to get them back into the workforce.
The majority of the work is phone-based (e.g., customer service, quality assurance, sales calls, etc.) but there are also some technical jobs available like medical transcription and data entry.
NTI offers both temporary and permanent contracts with small and large private companies including auto membership clubs, retail catalog services, customer service centers, and pharmaceutical businesses. Also, about ⅓ of disabled individuals work for governmental agencies like the IRS and Veteran’s Affairs.
The pay for these jobs is in the neighborhood of $8-$10 per hour without benefits unless the contracting company hires you full-time.
As an employee, you’re also given the choice to enroll in NTI’s Ticket to Work program which is a back-to-work program administered by Social Security to help get disabled individuals off benefits and back into the workforce.
WHO MAKES A GOOD CANDIDATE?
There are a couple requirements to qualify with NTI…
First, you have to be disabled and be able to prove it with a doctor documented letter.
Second, you need to be between 18-64 years old and willing to work at least 20 hours per week. The more flexible you are with your hours/days, the better the chance you’ll match for a job.
Additionally, there are a few “should haves” to stand out:
- A clear, pleasant, and loud voice
- Access to a quiet working environment so your calls are free from noise
- Home office equipment like computers, headset, phone line, high-speed internet (depending on the job)
THE NTI JOB APPLICATION PROCESS
Applying to NTI is a multi-step process…
1. Complete Application
Fill out an online application and attach your resume after which NTI will contact you via email and provide you with information about your phone interview.
2. Interview with NTI
The point of the interview is for NTI to learn more about you and identify the best work-from-home job that meets your experience, qualifications, personality, and other qualities. NTI will probably then schedule you for certification training.
3. Start Training
Depending on the type of work you plan on doing, NTI training can last anywhere from 1-8 weeks, all paid for through federal grant money that’s dispersed to the states.
The training itself is all done online with an instructor and consists of several group classes of 8-15 trainees. Individual classes usually last 4-6 hours for which you’re not paid.
4. Apply to Open Job Positions
Once you complete the training and NTI verifies your eligibility, you’re provided with login information where you’ll see the positions available which you can apply for.
After applying, you’ll be contacted with more information weeks or months later at which point you may be asked for an interview with the contractor. The chance of landing a job during this time is about 50% according to NTI.
5. Start Working
Once you get hired, you can start working from home!
Keep in mind that NTI acts as the middleman between you and the contractor. So even though you have direct communication with the contractor, you’re still an NTI employee.
Also, the contracting company establishes the wage rate for which NTI doesn’t take a cut.
UPSIDES AND DOWNSIDES OF NTI
Good Job Security
Once you land a job and prove yourself responsible and hardworking, the odds of keeping the job are good, perhaps even better than going through the contractor directly.
NTI’s On Your Side
According to NTI, over 75% of their staff is disabled and so they probably understand your challenges better than most employers and are more sympathetic to your cause.
You always get paid so long as you put in the hours, which is reassuring when every dollar counts.
As a non-profit organization, NTI doesn’t charge upfront and has no recurring fees. The rate you agree on with the contractor is the amount you make.
A customer service job at a call center can be nerve wracking but not as much at home where nagging bosses and commotion aren’t factors.
Long Job Application Process
While it’s possible to land a job within a few weeks after applying, you might wait up to 9 months before something comes through!
Not Always Getting The Job You Want
Companies have different hiring standards and so you may have a harder time qualifying for certain jobs over others. For example, the IRS – while not a private company – supposedly has a low acceptance rate.
May Be Difficult to Land a New Job
Assuming you’re a good employee, NTI claims to help place you with another company if your current job doesn’t work out or if your contract gets canceled. But based on some individuals’ experiences, priority is given to new applicants which means fewer job opportunities available to you.
Also, your prospects of finding a new job are less promising if you resign before fulfilling the standard 12-month service commitment to a company.
Minimum Work Commitment of 20 Hours Per Week
Most jobs through NTI require you to work 4-5 days per week at 5 hours per day. Depending on the level of your disability, this schedule may be tough to keep.
Speaking for myself, I can work 40 hours some weeks while only 8 hours the next, depending on how bad my symptoms are. Expecting an employer to accommodate such an erratic schedule isn’t realistic!
While you may be able to negotiate hours with some contracting companies, you’re more likely to have set shifts. Again, this poses a challenge to those whose symptoms change from one moment to the next.
Low Wages/Lack of Promotions
If you’re used to earning well above minimum wage, you may find the pay rate with NTI mediocre. And as a work-from-home employee, the chance of getting a promotion is probably less than the person who shows up at the office every day.
Past History of Poor Management
Apparently, NTI used to have a high turnover rate among its staff (around 95%) which meant that you could have had a different supervisor every month without anyone really knowing anything about you. But it looks as if the tides have changed…
According to some reviewers, the organization has had more stability and commitment in the past five years so it may no longer be cause for concern.
Not All U.S. States Participate in the Program
While the majority of states take part in the NTI program, not all do. For the latest updates, check with NTI.
Dealing with Rude Callers
While not a reflection on NTI, the nature of telework can certainly try one’s patience.
Despite its shortcomings, NTI is definitely NOT a “scam” as you might hear from some disgruntled people online. In fact, it’s a great and legitimate way for disabled individuals to supplement their disability income. But as mentioned, it can take up to 9 months until an opportunity arrives (if at all).
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!
Have you worked with NTI before? What’s YOUR experience been like? Leave your comments below!
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Very interesting article Sthepan, very informative. NTI At Home seems to be ideal to work from home if you are disabled, but the requirments that they are requiring are enough to be able to work for yourself, like computer, internet access etc. sadly most people with disabilites dont know how to start or who to ask, when starting their own online business and many belive that all the online opportunities are scams, but seems like you have the right answer and the right opportunity. regards!!
Thanks for chiming in Ibhar! Yes, it’s a good thing that NTI is out there for people with disabilities.
I like you site and I am glad to have come across it. I did not know programs like this existed, sure seems like a good idea. I have a woman that works for me part time from home. She is pretty much home bound, if I ever get to a place where I can’t keep her I will tell her about this. Do you know if an employer has to offer a minimum of 20 hours?
Hi Scott, thanks for commenting! As far as I know, 20 hours is in fact the minimum amount of hours required.
I can’t tell you how much I love your website and this article in particular. My career was working with disabled individuals who had both physical and mental challenges.
I worked in a vocational program where I would support them at their job site. So much has changed since then, and I think it’s absolutely fantastic what you are doing for people who are not able to leave their homes to go to work.
I have not heard of this organization before. It’s wonderful how you are bringing so much awareness and hope to people by showing them that it is possible to make a living from home and do well at it.
I wish you the very best, much success and happiness!
Thanks so much Anna! Sounds like you had a very rewarding career helping out people with physical and mental challenges — kudos to you! : -D
I think NTI is a rip off, they just want to get your ticket to work information. They are wanting people that have more skills than they have and more computer than they can afford.
Thanks for your input Lisa…
Hey, thanks for this amazing site, great job. I am blind and looking for work at home jobs doing customer or tech support over the phone. Any of you guys visually impaired and doing work at home? I am currently in the process of applying with NTI myself, and just finished a certification program for telecommunications. Any info appreciated.
Hi Stephen. I just learned of the NTI program, so I began to look for more information about it and that’s where I came across your informative article. I have a question, though. If you begin working for NTI or any other place for that matter, do you have to give up your SSD or does it just supplement it? Thank you!
Hi Kim, check out this article. Hope that helps!
I received a call from NTI and I am wondering how they got my cell phone number?
Hmmm, couldn’t help you there. Sorry!
I would like to know is this paid training?
Hi Cecelia, the first week is a free trial period and thereafter monthly payments. Hope that helps!
The training with the company that hired you is paid. The training you do with NTI is NOT paid. I was with them through the Ticket To Work program and they are in it for the money from Social Security. I pulled my ticket and went to another organization.
I came across your article while compiling some reviews for a friend of mine. I am currently contracted with NTI, working in a virtual call center. I have been with them since October of 2016. I must have gotten lucky, because I approached NTI at the end of August of 2016 and my start date for seasonal work was October 2 2016.
I was hired with the company I am contracted with permanently when the Christmas season was over and just got promoted again within the company I am contracted with. The best time to apply with NTI would be around the holiday season, so around this time. Yes, the pay is measly. However, I am able to gain real world experience and have more financial independence.
After almost 10 years without a real job, I honestly thought that I would never work again. This job has given me so much. As for the technology aspect of it, don’t sell the disabled short. A lot of us realize that technology, the internet and the computer are becoming a life line and a must have. They are no longer luxuries. I had to slap together on a shoe string budget a computer, monitor and wired peripherals for my current job in very short order. I have been lucky, knock on wood, that my computer has held up well.
Hi Helen, thanks for chiming in. I’m glad things worked out with you with NTI! I’m well aware that they help some people, just wanted to create as a fair of a review as I could. All the best!
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