Tutors are educators who work with students to help them develop a better understanding of certain topics or to become more familiar with subjects to keep up with their peers. Many tutors tend to specialize in a specific area like math or science, but some tutors will work with students on multiple topics. They can also work with students of a specific age range or with students in a certain level of studies like elementary school students. Many tutors will work with students in their homes, but others work online, in after-school programs or in education centers. You typically do not need a college degree to work as a tutor, though you will need a strong understanding of the subject that you want to teach and good organization skills.
Those who have less experience can expect to earn minimum wage when they first start out. Tutors with a college degree or some college experience can start out making between $9 and $12 an hour or more.
Many tutors will work with students for an hour or more at a time, and many also work with multiple students every day or during a regular week. They are responsible for keeping track of records that show the progress a student makes and records that show the work a student did during a session. Some may attend information sessions with parents and/or teachers to go over those records. Depending on where they work, some tutors will drive to their clients to work with them on a one-on-one basis. Tutors can also hold group sessions and work with groups of five or more students at the same time.
Working as a tutor requires a strong understanding of certain skills and good time management skills. They must complete all the necessary work during a single session. Depending on where they work, they may need good driving skills, a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. Some tutoring companies will also run background checks. A large number of tutors now work online. Those tutors must have strong computer skills, familiarity with different computer programs and an understanding of Skype and similar apps. Tutors must also have strong communications skills and feel confident listening to students and speaking to them.
Degree and Education Requirements
Tutors do not necessarily need a college degree or even a high school diploma. There are programs that partner high school students with elementary school students to help those younger students learn from those who took the same classes in the not too distant past. Those hoping to work as a professional tutor will need a minimum of a high school diploma. Colleges often hire tutors to work with incoming freshmen, but those tutors usually need at least one year of college and a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Some of the companies that hire online tutors require that those workers have an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Having a college degree in a specific field can help tutors specialize in that area and make more money. There are also companies that hire tutors to help students prepare for standardized tests like the ACT before going to college.
Pros and Cons
One of the more challenging aspects of working as a tutor is working with individual students. When working in larger group settings, tutors may have a hard time getting the attention of students or making them focus on the tasks at hand. Some may also have bad experiences with certain students because those students refuse to listen or have no interest in the materials presented. Tutors may also discover that some clients have learning disabilities that prevent them from doing well in school. There are a number of pros associated with working as a tutor though. Many find the job rewarding, especially when students improve their grades because of the skills tutors taught them. The job is also quite flexible because tutors can now work around their own busy college schedules and work with students online after coming home from a full-time job. This position can also provide future educators with more teaching experience.
One of the key things that tutoring companies and employers look for in new tutors is experience working with children. Those hoping to work as tutors can take steps to work with kids before applying for a job. They can volunteer at a pediatric hospital, work as a peer mentor in high school or just do some babysitting. Companies also look favorable on those who coached kids’ sports teams. It is also helpful for job seekers to create a resume or portfolio that includes more information about the education they have. Those still in high school and those in college can include details about the scores received on one or more of the standardize tests and their cumulative grade point average. Online tutoring companies may want to know that employees are familiar the apps that connect them to students. Some companies will even make applicants go through a computer skills test.
As long as there are kids and older students struggling with their classes, there will be a need for tutors. While schools require that teachers have a license and some field experience, tutoring companies look for those with strong communications skills and a familiarity with one or more subject areas. Tutors work for a variety of different companies and in different locations, including on university and community college campuses, in middle and elementary schools and for education centers that offer group or private tutoring sessions. There is also a growing need for tutors willing to work over online systems. These websites often allow tutors to create their own profiles to show the experience and education they have, and tutors can then set their own prices and rates. Some parents and kids prefer online tutoring sessions because they can avoid letting strangers into their homes.
The future outlook for tutors, especially for online tutors, is quite high. Many companies will hire tutors who do not have a college degree but will look for those with high standardized test scores and good grades.