Become A Full-Time Tutor in 7 Easy Steps
Most people recognize that becoming a tutor is a great way to earn extra money. But few realize how easy it is to become a full-time tutor. All you need are good people skills and mastery of a broad knowledge base.
Depending on your location, you can make anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 per year as a full time tutor. And you only need to work about 20 hours per week. It’s actually not possible to work many more hours than this, because students are only available after school and on weekends. This gives you freedom to pursue your own interests on the side, or to take on a second job for even more income.
If you’re seeking independence from your day job, or are tired of waiting for the perfect job to come your way, then follow these 7 steps to becoming a full-time tutor. These steps will also go a long way in making you a better part-time tutor, so read on even if you don’t have ambitions of self-employment.
1. Know It All
Breadth of expertise is vital in building a robust clientele. But it has to be the right kind of expertise. You need to know things that others actually need to learn in school, like math, writing, and science.
The importance of the SAT can not be overstated. Depending on your location, SAT prep can constitute up to a third of all tutoring demand. And the subjects covered on the test (algebra, geometry, essay writing, reading comprehension, etc.) are also some of the most popular subjects for academic tutoring.
Here is a list of some other high-demand topics. If you add several of these subjects to your repertoire then you’ll be one step closer to becoming a full-time tutor.
2. Crack The Books
Chances are, you’ll need a refresher before you start tutoring. This is especially true for the SAT. Taking a practice test is a great place to start.
3. Get In The Game
To become a full-time tutor you need to throw your name in as many hats as possible. Start by applying to join our team. We provide resources and coaching to our tutors, and we let them set your own hourly rate.
But there are a lot of tutoring companies out there. If you’re serious about going full-time then you’ll want to join at least 2 more. It’s important to have a diverse and steady flow of student leads.
4. Go The Extra Mile
When you get your first student you need to go above and beyond. If everything goes right, they will give you a glowing recommendation and potentially continue working with you indefinitely.
Here’s why its so important to nail this first assignment. That parent is going to spread the good word about you in 3 vital ways. First, they will tell the manager of the tutoring company how great you are. The more they rave, the more likely that manager is to send you the next student in your area.
Second, they will tell all their friends about how great you are. And when those friends come directly to you for tutoring, you have no obligation to work through the company. Most companies offer incentives to bring students in, but I don’t know of any incentives (other than ours, of course) that come close to being worth it.
Third, that parent can be used as a reference. You might decide to use this reference to apply to more tutoring companies. Or, once you’re ready to advertise on your own, you can use it for prospective students.
5. Take One For The Team
To become a full-time tutor, the focus must be on building relationships. Be prepared to deal with assignments for which the circumstances are less than ideal. Sometimes you’ll have to travel a bit farther than you’d like, commit additional prep time, or even reduce your hourly rate. But in the early days, the value of that relationship is far greater than these costs.
6. Establish Yourself
It all leads to this. It should be your goal to not only build clientele, but develop reputation. The primary reason that reputation is more important than clientele is that individual tutoring assignments are by nature transient. Students learn what they need to, then no longer require your help. Reputation is vital in maintaining a continuous flow of new students.
Your reputation is established by building relationships first and foremost, but this is not enough. You also need a local and online presence that will allow new students to find you. Call local schools and have your name put on their tutor list. Post flyers around town. Network.
It’s also necessary to make yourself visible online. Some tutoring companies, including ours, allow you to maintain a publicly displayed online profile. Such a profile can demonstrate your reputation, as it allows testimonials and other credentials to be displayed. Consider actively blogging from your profile, too. Blogging is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader, further building reputation.
There are also countless advantages to taking it a step further and establishing your own website or business. Obviously, that was the route I took, and it turned out pretty well. Outlining all of the steps to do so, however, is beyond the scope of this article. Ultimately, you do not need your own tutoring business in order to be a full-time tutor. A website, on the other hand, is a huge asset with minimal costs.
7. Embrace The Future
Technology plays a significantly role in education today, and that role will only expand in the future. Don’t get left behind by neglecting the computerized educational tools already on the market. Offer your students the best tools their money can buy.
This is a philosophy that we have embraced. We utilize an SAT prep system with a sophisticated online environment. We offer students computerized lessons and practice problems for Common Core courses. And we offer tutors free access to WizIQ, the premiere virtual classroom.