tips for tutors, Tutors, Tutoring Businesses

How To Become A Tutor – The Ultimate Guide To Get You Started

Tutor teaching in a class

Are you good at teaching others new skills? Are you patient, a good listener, and able to adapt quickly to change?  If yes, then tutoring might be a great career fit for you. There could be no better time to become a professional tutor as there is a growing need for tutors all over the world. 

If you are wondering how to become a tutor, this blog can help you on your journey to becoming one. Working as a tutor can be a great way to earn cash, help others learn valuable skills, and improve your communication and interpersonal skills. 

Being a part of someone’s growth and being your own boss at the same time is absolutely satisfying. From high school students to people with a master’s degree – anyone can utilize their skills and expertise to tutor anybody. 

And as with any career, this does not come without its own set of challenges and hurdles. So, without any further delay, let’s understand how to become a private tutor and be successful at it! Here’s a brief summary of whats to come.

  1. What do you need to become a private tutor?
  2. What kind of a tutor should you be?
  3. What is a tutor expected to do?
  4. How much should you charge?
  5. How to get more tutoring clients?

1. What do you need to become a private tutor?

This question can be answered as simply as – the ability to communicate efficiently to your students to pass on the knowledge. Combined with a few other skills that we’ll discuss below, becoming a tutor does not have to be a difficult task. 

A. Have knowledge of the subject 

In order to be a tutor, the first and foremost thing you need to have is knowledge of the subject you have chosen. Whether you are a high schooler looking for some pocket money or a grown-up with a master’s degree, you need to know your subject. 

If you have an impressive set of grades or references, keep them as the first thing that you mention to your prospective clients. This could give you credibility and suggest that you know what you aim at teaching. 

B. Communicate effectively 

As a tutor, the ability to transfer knowledge to another is crucial. Teaching difficult and confusing concepts would put your communication skills to the test. It could become even harder to pass on if your students are children, or if it’s the virtual mode you are teaching through. 

You would also need to clearly discuss the tuition fee, your teaching methods, their child’s progress, etc. with your student’s parents. 

Tutor communicating with students

C. Refine your teaching methods

Create interesting and engaging lesson plans to engage your students, and boost their interest. Revisit your teaching methods and hone them to make learning an enjoyable process. 

Add educational games like puzzles or crosswords, fun projects, and interactive activities to help students focus and enjoy studying. 

Personalize the learning experience by designing tailored lesson plans for each student. Each student will have their own set of strong areas, and also, weak ones. As a tutor, you are supposed to identify them, work on ways you can augment their strong areas, and help alleviate their weak areas. 

As a first step, you can modify your teaching methods in a way that students are able to connect with the subject better and take the edge off the stress that comes with having to deal with weak areas. 

D. Manage time

You need to be organized and prepared before every lesson. And, if you are a student or a part-time tutor, you would need to manage your time efficiently. 

Turning up unprepared or late for the lessons would not sit well with your teaching schedule and most of all, the parents. This would give your reputation a bad image as well. 

E. Have patience 

Tutors are needed when students are struggling to learn. What students need is one on one tutoring to better understand the concepts and learn at their own pace. This is where your patience has an important role. 

Your job wouldn’t be just to finish off the curriculum and grade a test. It would be to concentrate on one student at a time and teach them their curriculum until they are confident and thorough enough. And this could test your patience. 

F. Listen carefully 

You, as a tutor, should be willing to listen to both your students and their parents and implement their suggestions in your lesson plan. Understanding your student’s needs can help you formulate an efficient lesson plan. 

Creating a space where students can openly express themselves is also important for you to provide them with effective tutoring.  

G. Bring in creativity

You would need to use techniques that are different from their school. They need a tutor because the school techniques aren’t helping them. So you would be required to bring innovation and creative thinking to your lesson plans

Especially in the case of students in kindergarten or preliminary schools, to engage with them for longer periods you would need more than just the conventional, old-school teaching.

H. Exercise adaptability

To meet the specific needs of each student, you would need to adjust their materials accordingly. Students will benefit immensely if you can adapt to their thought processes and learning. Their success is more likely to be enhanced if you are willing to compromise and work according to their specific needs.

A Female Tutor teaching a classroom

2. What kind of a tutor should you be?

Narrowing down your niche would make you unique. The niche you choose can help you gain students a tad bit easier and help you stand out from the crowd. How? 

Let’s say, you are a parent with a child that has dyslexia and is searching for a tutor. Among your competitors that provide tutoring in general, they see that you specialize in tutoring children with dyslexia. Most likely this parent is inclined to choose you from this crowd. 

Having a niche will allow you to target a specific audience and easily promote yourself. 

A. Choosing the service

Other than choosing your subject for a niche, you can offer different types of tutoring. You could go by the grade level, the tests students are preparing for, and much more that we’ll discuss below in detail. 

Remember niching down in detail helps you promote yourself easily!

I.) Test Prep

A test prep tutor would help students who are preparing for a specific test like the ACT, SAT, GMAT, etc. This would require you to prepare focused strategies and materials for these exams. This kind of tutoring is especially helpful for students who are anxious about these test exams. 

Class notes for Test preparation

II.) Enrichment

Enrichment tutors are beneficial for students who already have a strong foundation. As the name suggests, it is to enrich a specific subject or area in their education. For example, an enrichment tutor can teach complex-level math to a gifted child who shows talent beyond his/ her grade level. 

III.) Grade-Level-Specific Tutors

Grade-level specific tutors are pre-K tutors, elementary tutors, high school tutors, etc. These tutors are grade-specific. If you can comfortably and efficiently pass on knowledge to a specific age group only, then this would be an ideal niche for you.

IV.) Homework Helper

Homework helpers are hired to simply help with the children’s homework. Some parents might not be getting time to help their children themselves or just might not be confident in their teaching abilities. And this is where you would come in as a homework helper. You would be expected to help the students understand and complete their homework on time. 

V.) Special Needs Tutors

Children with special needs, including ADHD, dyslexia, learning disabilities, speech and language issues, etc. would need help from special needs tutors. You could tutor these children better if you have a degree in special education, or even have extensive experience working with special needs children.

VI.) Online Tutors

Online tutoring has become very convenient for both tutors and students. You can teach a student from any corner of the world. But you would need tools like:

  • Zoom, or any video conferencing platform to teach
  • An online payment option

And for your ease of work:

  • A client database system to store all the student information in one place 
  • Automatic email/ SMS notifications to remind your students about classes, or confirmation when they schedule a class with you
  • Having a student database with the provision to jot down important details about them like their lesson plans, behavioral traits, responses, etc.
  • Feedback and reviews, so that you can understand where you need to improve and showcase the positive testimonial on your public profiles or websites 

Did you know that all of this can be done with a tutor scheduling software? Try it out for free in our 14-day trial and see for yourself?

VII.) Academic Coach

Academic coaches focus on developing study strategies, and academic and career goals. As an academic coach, you will be helping students succeed at managing time, cultivating good study habits, having organizational skills, and more in an academic environment.

B. Choosing the Subjects 

To choose the subject that is best for you, consider these factors:

  • Collate your qualifications. You can’t be a high schooler and teach a subject like rocket science. You need to be qualified enough to teach a subject.
  • Understand where you have an interest. Even inside a subject, there might be a branch or area that you are highly passionate about and interested in.
  • Think about how confident you are while teaching this subject. Do you see yourself answering the questions and clearing the doubts of your students? 
  • Assess your area. What are the other competitor tutors teaching? What is the major pain point of these students? 

Think about all these points before you finalize your subject to teach. 

C. Choosing your location 

You could offer tutoring lessons at your home (online/ offline), or at your student’s home. Home tutoring would also be ideal, but make sure that you have a separate space for it. 

Your students might request you to tutor them at their house and if they live considerably close to you, this could work well. But if they live far away, you may want to charge extra for the distance and time that is spent reaching your student’s house.  

A student taking Online tutoring lesson

3. What is a tutor expected to do? 

As a tutor, your responsibility wouldn’t just be limited to teaching. You would be expected to: 

  • Understand your student’s needs and tailor lesson plans accordingly.
  • Plan and schedule classes in such a way that portions are getting covered on time.
  • Research the curriculum of a particular topic or exam to know that you are comfortable with the required syllabus. 
  • Make progress reports to show your student’s development to parents.

4. How much to charge?

Ideally and statistically, the starting price for a tutor is $25 per hour, and if you’re a certified expert, it would be $80 per hour. This depends on your level of education and years of experience. 

Other aspects that need to be factored in include your location, competitor prices, and the number of students you are planning on taking in.

Ask and research the prices set by other tutors specific to your niche, area of study, and location. This could help you create a definite pricing structure for your services. 

You could take in monthly or daily payments and make it easier by signing up for online payment options. Paying in cash can be such a hassle for parents especially if you take in daily payments. If you have a secure online prepayment gateway like PayPal, Square, or Stripe, it might make things much easier for the parents. 

Trying to figure out how to handle payments?

Don’t worry, we have you covered! Appointy’s tutor scheduling software can help you accept prepayments, manage payment records, and do much more.

5. How to get clients

Getting clients could be such a hassle in the beginning but by following these tactics you could gain new clients as well as retain them. 

A. Register at tutoring websites

Your first stop could be at the online websites that parents often use to search for tutors. Here are some of the websites that you could use to get clients. 

You just need to apply, get accepted under their terms and conditions, get connected to a student, talk to them, conveniently schedule classes, and off you can go to make a difference in a student’s life!

B. Build a website

Having a website can help you get clients as this is the platform that helps you showcase all your details and experience, which makes you a credible tutor. 

Your tutor website should display the following:

  • Years of experience
  • Grades
  • Degrees
  • Certifications
  • Prices
  • Services
  • Testimonials
  • Contact information 
  • Social media information 

You can make your website even more attractive by making it user-friendly. You could make it easy for your students to schedule classes with you by integrating a booking system into your website

A Private Tutor teaching at home

C. Join tutoring associations

Joining a tutoring association can help build networks and add to your list of references. There are several tutoring associations in the United States. The National Tutoring Association (NTA) is the oldest and largest association for tutors. Some organizations may have membership fees to join them as well. 

These associations can get you certified as well. Becoming a certified tutor could help you get clients.

Certified tutors have advanced knowledge of teaching techniques and methods that would make them credible tutors. You can be certified based on different factors like your level of education, and the number of hours you have spent tutoring. Some certifications may require you to pay a fee but it’s worth it as it increases your prospects.  

D. Start advertising

There are so many ways that you can advertise your job as a tutor. You could:

  • Put out word to your family, and friends, or if you are a student approach your classmates, and teachers 
  • Post your availability on online forums of universities or schools
  • Pin it on the notice boards of educational institutions 
  • Join Facebook groups to interact with prospective clients  
  • Use LinkedIn and post your resume, and keep your profile as ‘open to work’
  • You could also check for tutor resume samples available online to create and design a winning resume
  • Post it on websites like Craigslist to reach more clients 

Looking for more ways to get clients?

Check out our blog on how to get tutoring clients and hit the ground running.

Wrapping up

All in all, being a tutor is not an impossible task but with a little bit of planning, you could easily kickstart your career in tutoring and build a business in the future.  

It’s important to find the type of tutor you want to become. The most popular methods are tutoring students in person or giving lessons online. There’s no limit on how much you can make if you put your mind to it; your income potential is limited only by how much time you’re willing to put into tutoring. All you need is the desire to help others learn and a structured plan for making it happen.

And if you are a student, becoming a tutor can allow you to earn good money and gain experience while you continue your education. This can also provide you with the freedom and flexibility to work around your class schedules.

We hope this blog helped you understand how to become a tutor. We wish you luck on your new venture! 😃

About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!