Maybe you have been thinking about tutoring online for a while — but you don't know how to get started. We are here to support you to start earning some extra income from home.
While online tutoring jobs have been around for quite a while, everything from the resources to your preparation and student needs has changed.
Students of all ages are looking for tutoring in almost all subjects imaginable.
Digital technologies are standard in schools these days, so capitalise on student motivation by making the most of the online education boom to provide the best academic support or skills development.
How do you get started and become a tutor online?
Source a Webcam Before you Source your Online Tutoring Jobs
What Equipment is Essential to Become a Tutor Online?
The right equipment is essential if you want to provide successful online tutoring jobs.
If your equipment is not up to standard, your dream teaching job from home will quickly turn to disaster.
Put it this way — if your tutee can't hear you, or see what you're doing, not even the best-prepared lesson plans will save the session.
What equipment is needed for online tutoring?
- a good quality webcam or a digital camera you can use as a webcam — this may cost you anywhere between $40 and several thousand dollars (for a digital camera)
- a headset to help with communication (starting at $5, but get a decent one)
- consider whether you need to upgrade your computer, or the software it runs
Apart from quality hardware (equipment), you need to make a decision about the software or programs that will be useful.
Consider how you would use the following:
- instant messaging, voice and video communication programs, such as FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts
- cloud services or file storage, including Google Apps and Dropbox
- video and resource libraries such as YouTube
- task management and administration (Podio, Google Teams)
Once you have everything you need, you will be almost set to become a tutor.
Is Your Internet Connection Reliable?
There is no point in having the latest and greatest equipment if your internet connection is slow or glitchy.
If you want to retain those online jobs, and deliver effective one-on-one tutoring, both you and your student need a quick and reliable connection.
Have a chat with people who know what they're doing, or use a site to check the speed of your connection, and get your internet sorted before you advertise.
Also, before you take on any tutoring jobs, check your student's connection.
What Online Resources are Available?
These days, there is are online resources for tutors and teachers in just about every subject, at every level.
There is no end to the sites you will find, but do make sure you scrutinise them before using them.
A few areas to check are:
- sites specialising in particular subject areas, including teaching English or ESL, learning strategies, social studies, peer tutoring or study skills
- free apps with an educational focus, such as Duolingo
- online videos or podcasts on a range of topics
- national exams, like IELTS or TOEFL, and Australian curriculum
Students are immediately switched on when presented with digital resources. If you are well prepared, you will be able to deliver quality private tutoring which leads to academic success.
Tutoring Jobs: The Benefits of Using Webcam
Keep In Contact
Traditionally, a student would only see her tutor once a week, but not have any other contact until the following lesson. This meant tutors had no way of knowing if their students had learnt or retained anything.
Keeping in contact with your students is the best way to make sure they're learning. It also means you can save valuable time during the lesson.
The contact only needs to be a quick email, or a message in response to a question.
The other useful thing about online teaching jobs is the ability to recommend online exercises, or share relevant videos.
Make sure your student communicates with you in between tutoring sessions as well — encourage them to tell you ahead of time if they want to cover different content, or revise old content. This will help make your preparation time more productive.
School Assignment and Homework Help
Add value to your online tutoring services by offering homework assistance via webcam. If your student shows you their homework or assignment, you can target your lessons to address any specific questions about these.
Assistance with Test Prep
While you can't 'teach to the test', the best tutors help their students prepare for exams by providing targeted questions and exercises, as well as exam strategies.
You can become a tutor and help students online in a wide range of subjects:
- English as a Second Language
- Human Biology
The list goes on forever.
Be patient with your students and take your time to ensure they understand. If you do this right from the beginning, your students will be better placed to make progress and pass their courses.
Listen to your Students
Whether you become a tutor online, or work face-to-face with students; whether you teach English online, become a tutor of college level students or work at home tutoring primary maths — you have to listen to your students.
'Being a good listener' is widely considered by parents to be a teacher or tutor's greatest asset. In a larger class setting, not every student gets heard — but when you're working as a private tutor, even in online jobs, the expectation that you listen carefully is there.
Listening carefully means you get to know your student. Knowing your student allows you to plan for their needs. Planning for their needs leads to student success.
The more effort you put in, the more effort the student will put in, and the more they will appreciate what you do — it's simple. You need to meet the expectations of your students, and go beyond these, if you want great feedback on your Superprof profile.
What are the Benefits of Online Jobs?
Both Parties Save Money
Once you have all the equipment you need, tutoring jobs conducted online are super cheap to run. There are no petrol or transport costs for the tutor, so what you are paid by the student is basically what you get to keep.
Parents benefit too. An online tutor can set a lower pay rate than a face-to-face tutor, but still earn a decent hourly rate as there are no overheads.
Group video conferences are easy to organise as well — cheap for the students, but extra money for the tutor and lots of positive testimonials.
Access to Students is not Limited by Geography
The ability to offer online tutoring services provides countless opportunities for all types of tutors:
- Tutors with Qualifications: Whether you have a Bachelor Degree in Education or a Cert IV in Journalism, if you can show on your profile or CV that you're qualified in any aspect of the subject you're tutoring in, your services will be more attractive to potential students.
- Specialists: If you have practical experience in the area you're tutoring in, whether it be a musical instrument or medical research, you'll be a few steps ahead of other tutors, including how much you can charge.
- Native Speakers: It almost goes without saying, if you are a native speaker of the foreign language you're teaching, parents will want you — whether they're in your town, or over the other side of the globe.
If you limit yourself to face-to-face tutoring, be prepared to get paid less, or having fewer students. In contrast, when you offer tutoring via webcam your potential student pool is limitless.
With what technology can do today, offering private tutorials via webcam is a no-brainer. It's easy and students love it.
It doesn't matter where you are, you can work and earn extra cash. Tutor from a cafe, in another country, from the beach — it doesn't matter as long as you have the equipment and the internet.
Easy access and communication allow you to focus on your student's needs and provide them with a better service. Scheduling a mutually convenient time is also easier.
By not having to travel to meet your student, you can fit more tutoring into your schedule. You will also save time because everything you need is at your fingertips — online!
Make use of our modern technology. Become a tutor online and you won't look back.
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