Online learning has become quite popular, and the popularity just keeps on growing, meaning that the demand for online tutors is extremely high. A lot of people are making the move to online tutors, and you might be thinking of getting your own lessons going; how hard can it be? Well, here is how to become a full-time online tutor.
You need to pick a subject that you are qualified in or have experience in, and then pick the level at which you want to teach it. Brush up on your IT and business skills as you are your own boss, then choose a platform to teach on, and set your rates. Now you can find your first student.
What platforms are there that you can use to tutor on? How do you determine what your rates should be? Where can you find some tutoring jobs? We go through all of this in this article.
How To Start Being An Online Tutor
The demand for both in-person and online tutors has always been high, and as our lives get continuously busier, the demand for flexible learning from anywhere has now begun to grow as well. Online Tuition makes it easy for any student to learn and take their classes wherever and whenever they can or want to.
And online teaching gives the tutor the option to work in much the same way; they can work from home with little to no travel, with flexible hours.
This sounds like the dream job for almost everyone, but it can seem quite daunting to start as there is so much to go through and a lot to think about in the beginning. But if you are a person that is kind and loves the feeling of accomplishment, then this online teaching job may be just up your alley.
Before you decide to pick up your laptop and start teaching, there are some things that you should go through and think about, these things will not only help you to become a great tutor, but they may also help you increase your earnings as you go.
Let us go through a few of these aspects so you can decide if you want to be a tutor or what kind of tutor you actually want to be.
Decide Subjects And Levels To Teach
One of the first steps to becoming an online tutor is to decide the subjects and at which levels you are going to teach. Depending on the subject and where you are teaching from, you might need a qualification related to that specific subject.
To help you decide which subject you should choose to teach, you can go through your previous qualifications, or you can consider teaching the subject of your highest qualification. The subject you are the most qualified in is probably the best one to choose.
If you do not have a qualification, then you can pick the subject that you got the highest marks in when you were in school, or you can consider getting a qualification, as it does help with your credibility and make you appear more valuable if you have a qualification, and for some teaching, you may be required to have one.
The more you know your chosen subject, the better you can teach your students, and the higher the level you can teach at. For example, if you pick a subject that you were good at in high school and that you still have a good understanding of, then you may only be able to tutor children from elementary school in that subject.
Whereas if you are qualified, then you could tutor up to university students, depending on the level of your qualifications.
If you are a first-time tutor, then you may want to start off teaching lower levels until you manage to get used to it and are comfortable to move to higher levels, as work at the lower levels are a bit easier to handle.
Skills You Will Need
There are some extra skills that you will need to brush up on to become an online tutor; these skills are useful and can even benefit you in your everyday life if you know them well.
First, you should brush up on the subject that you are teaching; if it has been a while since you have gone through that subject, then things may have changed or been added to the subject that you will then need to know about so you can tutor students effectively.
You may also need to consider doing an online course yourself so you can brush up on subjects, but this will also help you get a feel for what it is like to be an online student, and it will help you to develop your own lesson plans in the future as you will know what works well.
Another good skill to develop is your IT skills as you will be working on a computer all day, and with various programs and software. You don’t need to be an expert, but it will be advantageous to have some skill in this area.
The main things you need to know how to do on your computer are to share documents, navigate teaching platforms, and share your screen; these skills will help you immensely with your online teaching.
Then you will need to have some business knowledge, too, as you will most likely be working for yourself, essentially becoming a business owner. It is crucial to familiarise yourself with certain aspects of business, such as marketing and tax.
There are a few resources you can use to help you with these aspects; you can go to your local council business advisors or an accountant; they should be able to assist you with all the legal aspects around your new business.
Choose A Teaching Platform
When you have brushed up on all the skills you need, and you have chosen your preferred subject and level to teach, then you need to decide which platform you are going to utilize for your online teaching.
You can use platforms like Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Appear.in, just to mention a few. If you have signed up to an online teaching website, they may have their own online platform that you will be required to use for the students that you have with them.
Before deciding on which platform, you are going to use, it is a good idea to test it out with family or a friend to find the one that works best for you and to ensure that the platform has all the functionalities that you will require, like file sharing and screen sharing.
Once you have found a platform that you like, then you should practice with it a few times before your first class to ensure that you are familiar with the software and that you know where everything is.
After you have tested out the platform that you prefer, this will help you to determine if you may need any additional equipment, such as microphones, headphones, a better webcam, etc., that may make your students learning experience with you a lot easier and better.
Set Your Rates
When your computer is all set up and ready to teach, you can now decide what you are going to charge per lesson. The best way to establish this is to google how much other tutors are charging for teaching the same subject in your area. This will give you a great foundation to start from, and it will show you who your main competitors are as well as what they offer too.
Generally, online lessons are less expensive compared to in-person lessons; this is because there are fewer overheads for you as the tutor; for example, you do not need to travel. The amount that you charge can also depend on the experience that you have with the subject; if you are qualified, you can most likely charge more.
The average pay, depending on experience and qualifications, is between $15.50 and $25.50 per hour.
How To Find Tutoring Jobs
Marketing yourself and your services as a tutor is one of the difficult parts of being a tutor. In the ideal situation, you would have set up your online tutoring services to the point where students find you, but this is not always possible.
You can find some tutoring boards on websites and keep an eye on them for any jobs you may want to do; you can also search for any tutoring websites that have an established portfolio of students so once you sign up, they can match you with students looking for a tutor in your subject almost immediately.
You can look on websites such as Wyzant, eTutorWorld, TutorMe, Tutor.com, and Varsity Tutors, Tutorful, you can contact them to help get you started, and if they do not have space for new tutors, then they can refer you to placing that are looking.
You can also put the word out via friends and family that you are tutoring a specific subject, and maybe they have some people they know who are looking for a tutor.
Becoming an online tutor can be a bit of an adjustment and can have its difficulties, but it is a very rewarding job that has multiple benefits for both you and your students.
It may take a bit of time to get everything set up before you can actually start teaching, and you may even need to do an online course or two yourself before starting, but once you have started, it is a really nice job to have. So, do not give up!