Online tutoring is an attractive option to face-to-face tutoring. It allows a teacher or university student to earn extra income by working conveniently at home with no wasted travel time or transportation costs, which is an important consideration as the cost of fuel continues to rise. There are several methods of online tutoring.
Journal, homework or essay correction via e-mail is the most flexible option, but also the lowest paid, it typically pays a small amount per unit of work.
A more profitable option is live tutoring. This requires the tutor and student to sign in for live online for tutoring sessions. Sessions can be conducted via text chat, via audio using a headset, or via both audio and video using a headset and a webcam. Some online companies have their own web platforms. Others use public domain chat platforms such as Skype.
A fast and reliable internet connection is required, along with a small investment of $25 to $50 for a computer headset and $50 to $100 for a basic webcam. It is not necessary to purchase an expensive webcams with face tracking, as this feature is both unnecessary and annoying.
Potential tutors who are fairly entrepreneurial and tech-savvy might consider designing their own website and promoting themselves on line. However, this requires not only expertise but a significant investment of time. The best way to find online tutoring work is to search for companies that offer online work by doing a Google search using keywords and phrases such as the “teaching online,” “online tutor,” or “webcam teaching” and the subjects that the tutor is interested in teaching.
After having located a potential employer, a quick check of their advertised client fees will show whether or not it is worthwhile to submit an application. A good rule of thumb is that the tutor will probably receive 50 percent of the client fee, so if the company charges the student $30 an hour, the tutor probably receives $15.
It is generally possible to submit an employment application through the website. A legitimate company will expect proof of qualifications, and may have a fairly stringent application process. The applicant also needs to be wary of some potential red flags.
For example, most companies pay by check or PayPal, and will not ask for bank account information or any other financially sensitive information.
Other warning signs that the company is not legitimate could be an application process which seems too easy, or a website that asks applicants to pay money up front.
Steps to becoming an online tutor
As with any online venture, it is a good idea to sign up with several companies for a couple of reasons.
First, because companies may not guarantee a set number of teaching hours a week having an additional employer will increase earning potential.
Second, as online companies sometimes go out of business quickly and unexpectedly, it is wise to have a potential source of back-up work.
The successful applicant may find that things start slowly at first until he or she begins to build a client base. However, online tutoring is a real job which offers the potential to qualified individuals to earn a solid supplementary income.