How to Find a Job as a Tutor
Why be a Tutor?
There are many reasons to want to be a tutor. Work experience, getting paid, or even just being a volunteer for self enrichment are all good reasons to want a job as a tutor. When I started tutoring it was as a volunteer for work experience with children to be able to get into a graduate teaching degree program. I know a few tutors who teach from home and make enough extra money to enjoy a few extra things that they otherwise would not be able to afford.
One thing to remember is that tutoring is best as a supplemental income. It probably is not the best field to look at for a career on its own. Generally the requirements are a bachelors degree in the field you want to teach - for lower grades just experience teaching children will usually suffice, but most people only get enough clients for the money to supplement their income: perhaps 10 hours a week at 9 dollars an hour for an extra 360 a month.
Understanding that, I will cover getting work experience, different places that you can tutor, and discuss some of the payment considerations so you can price yourself appropriately.
Volunteering for Experience: Why
As I stated before, I started volunteering for work experience so I could get my teaching degree. Most teaching degree programs require that you have recent work experience with children of the age group you are wanting to teach - in my case that was high school. Other reasons for volunteering are the logical ability to put in a resume or advertisements that you have a certain amount of work experience, that you know the age group you want to work with is one you can work with, and that you have recent work experience so you aren't rusty and know what to expect.
Volunteering For Experience: How
When I was looking for work experience I found there were many routes I could take. I could apply with my public school district to be a volunteer tutor for specific schools (or any in the district they needed tutors at) or I could look for organizations that provide tutoring. I found my university had a program where they provided tutoring for low income families and chose that one. I found out that they were severely understaffed and were grateful for my help. After a quick background check I was cleared to start tutoring. If I had time to volunteer longer, I probably would have been offered a paid position! This is something to keep in mind (but not expect) from a program you enter.
The internet provides many opportunities for work these days, and education is one of those fields. Online teaching in classrooms and tutoring are growing every day as people prefer to work and learn from their own homes. I have tried several online programs myself and not had much luck, but my background in social studies and language arts are fields of study that are flooded. A lot of people are looking for math and science tutors online, while ironically I have found particularly history, political science, and writing are wanted in person. The place that I volunteered at practically cried with joy when I stated my fields.
Online methods of tutoring vary but they usually involve an instant messaging system and time clock where you set your price per minute or hour. The higher end tutoring websites require placement testing where you must pass the test to teach in that field. Other websites have a rating system where people you tutor give you a review and your rating determines if people want to hire you or not.
Though I have not had any luck with online only tutoring, I am sure many people have made a lot of money with it and suggest you try too. They don't require background checks and you are able to teach from the comfort of your home, but your hours might be less and there are a lot of websites out there so finding the right one might take a while.
In Home Tutoring
Besides going online or finding an already running program there is the option of home tutoring. I myself would not want to do this as it just does not fit my personality, but have friends that do this and are successful with it. One started off as an elementary teacher and wanted to retire so she put out the word with students and parents that she would be tutoring. Another friend of mine home schooled her children and put out the word in local churches and newspapers that she was accepting people that wanted to be tutored at the same time. Each of them were able to get enough clients to comfortably augment their income for whatever they wanted.
Understandably, most readers would not be a retiring teacher but you can check with schools to see if there are places you can post your services which could lead to the same audience receiving your information. Other than that some churches are good places to get to your target audience, but I would suggest posting advertisements online or by newspaper classified. Craigslist has a large amount of visitors where you can both post your services and browse people looking for services. You might be surprised what you find - or what finds you!
Pricing, Payments, and Profit
There are many things to consider when you are pricing yourself. Online tutoring takes a lot of these options away, but also makes it more secure for you by having up front payments or automated systems. However, there are many things to consider when coming up with pricing.
- Who is my target audience?
- High income, low income? Your pricing determines your client.
- Where do I want to tutor?
- Online, at home, or another setting all determine how you get paid, interaction with students, and possibly amount paid.
- Why do I want to tutor?
- This determines what price per amount of time you are willing to be at, and how much time you actually want to spend.
- How much time do I want to spend?
- As they say, time equals money. Make sure you know how much time you can spare for this and have everything planned out before you start looking for a tutoring position.
- How do I want to be paid?
- Online payments are predetermined by the website usually, but you should figure out if you want some upfront payments or all in full at the end.
With just these few questions you can get everything in place to figure out your hours and pricing. Figure out what an hour of time costs you and what your minimum price is and you can be on your way to getting a tutoring position of your own!