How to Start a Tutoring Business: Earning Income from Home

Do you have above-average grades, a high GPA, and a remarkable academic career? Whether you’re already a college graduate or a student yourself, consider using that knowledge to start a tutoring business.

While most schools have adapted to online classrooms, there are some students struggling with this new learning method. Online classes can be more stressful for some students who have to deal with lagging internet connection and not getting adequate attention from their teachers. So, parents concerned for their children’s education may want to hire an after-school tutor for one-on-one learning.

But you might be asking how to start a tutoring business while staying at home? It is possible, and here’s how to do it.

Requirements for Becoming a Tutor

You don’t need a teaching degree or any specialization to offer tutorial services. But, of course, parents don’t want just anyone to teach their children and fellow students wouldn’t want tutoring from someone who knows less of the subject matter than they do. So, if you have a good academic record and high grades in a certain subject, you can be a highly attractive tutor.

teacher-conducting-an-online-class

Tutors can earn between $10 to $75 per hour, depending on several factors like location and expertise. Parents with middle school and high school children pay in the lower range, while AP students and college undergrads are willing to pay more for specialized topics that not all tutors can teach.

Online, Home Service, or Center?

Typically, tutors go to the residence of a student to teach. But because of the new normal, some parents and student may not be keen on having someone enter their home infrequently, so it’s important to weigh out the pros and cons of the different types of tutorial services.

Online Tutoring

Through this method, the tutor and the student can communicate using online conference programs like Skype, Google Meet, or Zoom.

  • Pros
    1. Safety and convenience – you don’t have to travel outside your home to provide tutoring.
    2. You’re spared the cost of traveling to your tutee’s home.
    3. Hours are flexible, so you and your tutee can find a time that’s convenient for both of you even outside of the usual school or office hours.
  • Cons
    1. You will need to invest in a reliable internet service provider, a good web camera.
    2.  Some students cannot effectively learn through remote learning and may continue to struggle even with one-on-one tutoring.
    3. Some students may only be available on weekends and after school or office hours, which may take time away from your own personal life. Preparing materials like powerpoints and documents may also eat up your time.

Home Service Tutoring

teacher-and-student

Through this service, you will travel to your tutee’s home and teach them.

  • Pros
    1. If your tutee feels at ease at home without fear of judgment from their classmates, they can learn more efficiently.
    2. There is no risk of miscommunication or difficulty to reach each other due to bad internet signal. This maximizes the potential of one-on-one learning
    3. You can set limits on your hours due to traveling time, so you can refuse tutorial sessions at night.
  • Cons
    1. You will be going out your home and into your tutee’s home. If you’re cautious of catching COVID-19, this may seem like a bad choice at the moment.
    2. If you don’t have a car, the travel time can take up a chunk of your day depending on where the tutee lives.
    3. Students may feel too at ease in their home and may be unable to concentrate on learning.

Tutorial Center

This method is popular with tutorial service centers with multiple tutors onboard. Students visit a tutorial center with their books and other learning materials where they can learn one-on-one with a tutor or by group.

  • Pros
    1. Both students and tutors can meet halfway in the center.
    2. If a student prefers the traditional classroom setting, this is a better option for them in this setting.
    3. The environment can be conducive to learning.
  • Cons
    1. Some parents may not want their children to leave their homes.
    2. Some students prefer to study in their homes.
    3. It can be a competitive setting with multiple tutors onboard.

Is Tutoring for You?

While it’s highly recommended that you have a good academic standing to become a tutor, not everyone with high grades can be a good tutor. If you have a teaching degree, it’s much better for your long-term career goals to have a career like a teacher or professor.

online-class-through-a-laptop

But if you’re looking for a part-time side job to pad your income, tutoring is the more appropriate path. You also need to have traits like:

  • A drive to help students achieve their academic goals.
  • Flexibility and willingness to meet children outside of school hours.
  • Commitment to meeting your clients for every scheduled meeting.
  • Openness to having a revolving door of students as, once they have achieved their academic goals with your help, they will no longer need your services.

Consider Your Expertise

If this is only your part-time side job, consider which level of students will most likely want your help. If you are a high school student, you’re limited to those in your level and below. For college graduates, it’s undergraduates and below. And if you specialize in a certain degree program or field that many students may struggle with, you can charge more.

Ideally, you should focus your side job on what you’re best at. If you excelled in High School Math but did poorly in English and History, don’t advertise yourself as an all-around subject tutor.

Financial and Legal Business

Your local area may have rules on side-businesses and freelancing, especially when it comes to what you earn and income taxes. If you want to be in the clear of any legal trouble, consult with your accountant if you need to have your small business registered.

Market Your Tutoring Services

teacher-and-student-conversation

Once you’re ready to start your tutoring business, advertise your services to your target market. It would be great if you already have experience tutoring others and have some parents or students willing to refer you to their network. But if not, you’re going to have to put yourself out there.

Try posting on campus or school community boards and forums. Use your friends and family members to spread the word, especially to those who meet your target clients. Also, try networking with other tutors, as they may have some leads available for you if their schedule is full or they aren’t equipped to teach subjects you can.

Have All Your Tools Ready

If you’re planning to become a remote online tutor, you should have the following tools ready:

  • A stable internet connection
  • Good-quality webcam
  • Headset or earphones
  • Clear microphone
  • Access to a conferencing program like Skype, Google Meet, Zoom, etc.
  • Access to online clouds like Dropbox or Google Drive to store files
  • Access to services and programs that can help you teach like Google Slides, Powerpoint, digital whiteboards, etc.
  • Digital workbooks

How to start a tutoring business ultimately depends on how much effort you put into it. Whether you plan to go full-time or make it a side hustle, it will require you to get the word out and then maintain your reputation as a tutor by successfully teaching your clients. After all, just like doctors, the goal is to do so well that your clients no longer need you!

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