Interested in learning how to become a tutor? You’ve come to the right place.
Tutoring is one of the best ways to make a difference in someone's life. As a tutor, you will be able to help a student with his or her homework, prepare for an exam, or even develop your own curriculum to teach to a learner.
Regardless of what subject you want to teach - and how little experience you might have - tutoring is a rewarding job that can be done by just about anyone. You just need to know the right steps to get there!
Here are some simple steps to follow so you can become a tutor.
What Is A Tutor?
Thinking of becoming a tutor - or curious about what, exactly, a tutor actually does? Here are the basics.
A tutor is someone who provides academic instruction to an individual (or a small group) outside of the classroom. This can be done as a supplement to in-person coursework or as a way to help someone prepare for college or another benchmark, like the SAT exam.
To be a great tutor, you’ll need to understand how your students tick. You will want to assess your students’ academic and personal needs on a regular basis and craft individualized plans that will help them learn. Tutoring is about much more than regurgitating and reviewing the information that was covered in a lecture.
Instead, a good tutor will provide instruction that is personally tailored toward the needs of his or her students.
How To Become A Tutor
Figure Out Whether You Have The Right Skills
Just about anybody can become a tutor - but you need to have a certain set of skills in order to be a good one.
For starters, you’re going to need to be a good listener. You should be able to consider the thoughts, needs, and ideas of your students- especially when they pertain to learning. You also need to be adaptable and patient. No two days will ever be alike!
Tutors should be positive and able to support students throughout the learning process. They should be creative, too, so that they can differentiate instruction to meet all of their students’ unique needs.
Decide What You Want To Teach
There are some tutors who are skilled and experienced enough to offer their tutelage in just about any and every subject and grade level.
However, for most people, that’s just not realistic. If you’re new to tutoring, it will be less overwhelming for you to pick a subject and grade level that you would be comfortable teaching to others.
To do this, you might want to consider which classes you earned the best grades in or which subjects are most closely related to your major, if you went to college. Ideally, you’ll have some formal education in the subject you want to tutor - although this isn’t always necessary.
You also need to figure out which age group is right for you. This is one of the first steps you should take in building your tutoring business, as it will help you determine your target audience.
Depending on where, what, and how you plan to tutor, you may want to pursue a tutoring certification. This is a good idea, especially if you don’t have a formal degree in the area you want to tutor. Look for credentials from organizations such as the National Tutoring Association. Often, getting certified is as simple as completing an application, submitting proof of previous experience, and doing a background check.
There are other organizations you can contact to pursue tutoring certification. Many of these offer benefits to students long after they have received their certifications. By joining a tutoring association, you’ll be able to receive access to industry newsletters, conferences, networking events, mentorship opportunities, and more.
Some other tutoring organizations that offer certification include the American Tutoring Association, Association for the Tutoring Profession and the College Reading and Learning Association.
Figure Out Where You Will Tutor
Decide if you want to tutor at your home, in a student’s home, or in a public location. Any of these options can work, but it’s up to you and your student to decide which you are most comfortable with.
Tutoring in a public location, like a library or coffee shop, is a good idea if you aren’t crazy about the idea of bringing strangers into your home (and vice versa). However, you may have more noise and crowds to contend with here, so weigh your options carefully.
Find Your Students
Next, you need to find some students! Depending on the grade level you plan to teach, this could either be the hardest or easiest part of your journey in becoming a tutor. You may want to check in with counselors and teachers you know to see if they know of any students who might benefit from your services.
You could always advertise, too. Lots of tutoring websites, like Care.com, allow you to post your availability for free. That way, parents and students can reach out directly to you. You may want to consider posting ads on Facebook, Craigslist, on bulletin boards, or in the local newspaper, too.
There are even online tutoring directories you can register for. These sites are generally free and will only require you to input your education, skills, experience, and contact information.
And once you land a few clients, make sure you ask them for referrals! That way, you can keep the work coming in even after the first job has ended.
Plan Out Your Payments
Before you complete even an hour of tutoring services, you need to decide how much you are going to charge. If you want to be viewed as a professional, you need to charge competitive rates. Charging too much or too little can make you seem like an inexperienced candidate.
In general, you can charge anywhere between $20 and $80 per hour for your services. If you’re new to tutoring, you’ll want to charge on the lower end of the spectrum, but if you’re highly qualified (say, for example, if you have a PhD. in the topic you want to teach!) you can charge quite a bit more.
Not sure if the rates you’re charging are fair? You can easily find this information by doing a quick online search. This will give you an idea of what other tutors in your area are charging for their services.
You also need to decide how you’d like to get paid. Would you prefer a check or are you able to offer online payment options? The beauty of online payment options is that it makes it easier for clients to pay you - plus, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of getting to the bank to cash a check.
There are plenty of online payment options you can choose from, including PayPal and Venmo.
Whatever the case may be, make sure you insist on being paid after each tutoring session. This will help clients stay up-to-date with their payments. Don’t give another session until you have been paid!
Review The Curriculum
If you aren’t building your own curriculum to teach to a student, you need to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the material that your student is supposed to master. Not all classes are taught in the same way - or even include the same information - so you will want to do some research into what skills you might need to be successful.
Consider reviewing old class notes, if it’s a class you took yourself, or reread a textbook. You can make some topic outlines to help you remember basic information or even just do some research on the Internet.
Create A Few Lessons
Even if you aren’t planning on coming up with a curriculum to teach from scratch, it can be fun and also beneficial to create your own resources. This will help you better engage your students once you start interacting with the course material.
You might create a few PowerPoint presentations, collaborative activities, or games. This can really help your students focus, especially if you are working with a young child.
Consider Working For A Tutoring Company
One surefire way to make money as a tutor is to sign up with a tutoring company, such as Chegg Tutors. These aren’t available in all areas, but you can always join online tutoring services if you live in a remote location. The major benefit of signing up for a tutoring company is that you won’t have to worry about finding your own clients.
You may not make as much money as if you were setting out on your own, but you also won’t have to worry about not being able to find work, either.
Final Thoughts: Be Willing To Grow
As a tutor, your job will be constantly changing. No two students will be alike - therefore, it’s important that you be as flexible and willing to experience growth as possible.
There is a demand for tutors all over the world, so if you think you have what it takes, consider becoming a tutor. Once you’ve learned how to become a tutor by following these tips, the rest is up to you.
You’ve got this!