Become An Online Tutor

by pkmcr

If you want to earn money working from home and working the hours you want to work then you might want to consider whether the option to become an online tutor is for you.

Having had a few years experience of online tutoring and learning faciliation I know that it is a career choice which an increasing number of people are looking to pursue.

With the domestic and indeed international economy going through a turbulent period and no good times in sight anytime soon, many people are opting for work online. This is either as an alternative to unemployment or simply to supplement their income. It's a great option for a parent at home for example, with the ability to earn a few hundred dollars per week whilst still being able to hold the fort.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in why don't you consider whether you should become an online tutor?

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What is an Online Tutor?

Isd The Option To Become An Online Tutor For You?

Many of us are familiar with local educational institutions that run nightclasses for adults and recognise what an important part they play in the fabric of public education.

Many people, children particularly, also receive private tuition to prepare for exams or to learn a musical instrument. With the advent of the internet though tutoring is increasingly being outsourced to the internet where ability to work from home.

There are numerous formats, depending on what is being taught, with most being one on one via the video link. Other companies use a group format with multiple students at any one time this more logistically difficult though, especially in terms of timing.

Reliable students are just as important as reliable tutors and it's far easier to work around the schedule of one student than five. For this reason most tutors also prefer to work on a one-to-one basis not to mention the fact that it creates more work for them!

What Equipment and Experience is Necessary?

What Are The Essential Tools for An Online Tutor

What will of course be necessary is a computer in addition to a reliable high speed internet connection. Most lessons will require you to have a skype account and therefore a good microphone headset.

Some agencies, particularly those who run their own website may host lessons through their own video chat interface so you will also want to consider a decent webcam.  Many people report that sometimes these video chat interfaces can be a challenge and that they find Skype is far less buggy than the majority of website video interfaces.

If you are planning to teach an academic subject then it can be useful to have a whiteboard in the online room that you can illustrate points, timelines and graphs upon.

Essential Online Tutoring Equipment

Plantronics Audio 478 Stereo USB Headset (Audio 478)

Plantronics Audio 478 folding USB stereo headset is incredibly lightweight, has clear HD sound and is Skype Certified for clear calls on the go. DSP and noise-canceling mic to s...

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Logitech HD Webcam C310

Logitech HD Webcam C310 with 720p Video, 5 MP Photos

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What If I Have No Teaching Experience?

Do I Need To Be Able To Teach In Order To Tutor?

Teaching experience is useful but not essential, many companies prefer those with experience but most will hire anyone with a good education.

This normally means a university degree but standards are not the same across the board, some places will require a graduate degree and others simply a demonstrated knowledge of the subject. As you can imagine the pay grade is often dependent on both experience and education.

You may think you have no teaching experience but think carefully about what could constitute that, do you have children you have raised and thus taught many things? Do you have experience with managing groups?

Have you worked in an environment where you oversaw other employees, teaching them skills in the process? If you have no experience in academic teaching think about an angle you can work into your CV and cover letter.

What Are The Hours Of Work Like?

Setting Your Own Working Pattern

Again, there exists a broad spectrum of requirements depending on who you're working for with work hours ranging from a few hours per week to perhaps a full time working week.

On most sites it will take a few weeks to build up a clientele so you may find yourself beginning with only two hours per week and then rather quickly have a nice 30 hours per week job. There are usually minimum requirements for availability many English teaching websites for example will require sixteen hours per week that you should be ready to teach in, they may even contact you on short notice for lesson, only a minor nuisance at worst.

If you were to work completely on a freelance basis you would of course be in charge of your own scheduling and also finding your own students.

Sometimes it can be very difficult starting out alone simply because the internet is saturated with people advertising themselves for some skill or another. It may be better to start with a particular site first and search for better paid freelance options as time goes on.

What Is The Pay Like for Online Tutors?

Can You Really Earn Money Doing Online Tutoring?

An online tutor can earn a good wage but you need to prepared to market yourself well. Don't just fire off some CVs you need to construct a proper portfolio exhibiting your previous experience, examples of your skillset and even a photo.

Photo's are good because it's harder for the human being receiving your application to dismiss a face as opposed to a token email address. Most agencies though will have their own application process and such creativity is unable to be utilised.

As in many areas of life the application process is a numbers game. You need to send out hundreds of applications if you want to be completely certain of receiving a fair number of responses. Having a variety of options is good too.

Far too many folk simply opt for the first vacancy they receive and end up earning less than if they had kept the job search going full time. This is a good tip for all freelancers, check job notice boards and forum advertisements consistently, getting rid of a client that pays $12 per hour to fit in a new one that pays $18 is just common sense.

If you have this kind of tireless determination and fiscal common sense then it may be a good idea to become online tutor.

The Future of Online Tutoring

The digital economy is in the process of maturation at the moment and it's a great time to jump on board and see if you can change your circumstances, perhaps even your life.

To become an online tutor costs very little in terms of start up capital and the rewards can be surprising, there are numerous people who took the online freelance route in a stage of desperation only to end up with a genuinely valuable career that they did not expect.

Updated: 10/04/2014, pkmcr
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Do You Have What It Takes To Become an Online Tutor?

bizilady on 06/08/2014

I was a tutor for many years and considered online work but one must realize that most internet companies now have bandwidth restrictions.
I am on satellite internet (being in a rural area limits my access to a good solid connection).

katiem2 on 05/23/2013

I will be sure to do that.

pkmcr on 05/22/2013

@katiem2 that's good to hear and hope she finds it helpful. Do let us know how she goes on.

katiem2 on 05/22/2013

I told my daughter about this, she's an IB student who tutors, possibly a summer job ... Looking into it.

PeggyHazelwood on 05/14/2013

The internet has really opened up fields like online tutoring. Great career option.

pkmcr on 05/13/2013

@RubyHelenRose thanks for the kind comment and do let me know how you go on as you pursue it.

RubyHelenRose on 05/13/2013

What an interesting prospect, a journey I am willing to pursue. Thanks for the very useful tips.

pkmcr on 05/13/2013

@thewriteway absolutely I think the flexibility it offers is a real benefit of this type of work.

pkmcr on 05/13/2013

@sheilamarie I touch on some of that in the page. However, from the experience of my friends who have done this sort of work with kids in particular a lot of their initial work has come from making friends, associates and neighbours aware that they are offering the service. They found that even if the people didn't want the services themselves they knew people who would be interested and there is nothing better than being referred to someone by a friend is there.

sheilamarie on 05/13/2013

I have been considering this route as well. I have teaching experience and tutoring experience. Where would you suggest a person begin the search for work?

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