Looking for a great side hustle that is easy to start and has a high rate of return?
If so, you may be surprised to learn that you can become a tutor and make a substantial side income doing so. Most of us are equipped with the necessary skills to do something well. If you’ve been at your job long enough, you know more than the person just walking in the door.
That’s the way tutoring works.
Having a skill you can teach someone else or help them to pass a test can become a lucrative money-making venture.
Think the tutoring industry is dead?
According to market research, by 2022, the private tutoring industry will ready upwards of $227 billion. Now that’s nothing to sneeze at. Due to pressures for students to excel, compensate for poor performing schools, and become competitive in college and beyond, the need for skills-based learning is huuuuuuge.
Which means great news for you if you were looking to make some extra money as a tutor.
If you think you would like to make extra money tutoring, then here are a few tips on how to get started.
How to Become a Tutor and Make Real Money
I’m a former teacher, but you don’t have to be one to be a great tutor. I’ve run small tutoring companies where I’ve supervised tutors and was authorized by the state to provide services to students in Title 1 schools.
I’ve made money that paid a bill or two as well as enough to pay mine and my parents’ bills. Currently, I run a tutoring company where I am the only “employee”. No matter how you do it, you can literally start today.
The low start up cost make tutoring as a side hustle or business a great one to start.
Not everyone wants to start a tutoring business, which is fine. I believe if you want to learn how to become a tutor for a part-time gig or you want more flexibility in your schedule, then you can.
Just like any side-hustle, if you treat it more like a hobby than a business – you will be paid just like one. Being a tutor is a profession and there are a lot of people making full-time incomes doing it.
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Can You Really Make $1000+/month as a Tutor
It all depends on a few factors, such as the number of hours you’re able to tutor and how much you charge.
If you’re going to tutor two nights a week, you probably won’t hit that mark. However, a few hours may be all you need to make a really good side income.
Even though I run a tutoring business, I don’t tutor more than 20 hours (including prep and travel time). I don’t like to work on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays. Most of my students are in the evenings, but I have a few online and homeschool clients I meet with during the day.
I also run other blogs and businesses, so even though I hit the $1000+ mark each month with tutoring, it’s not my only source of income. I know actual full-time tutors, but I just don’t have the time to be one.
If you have a skill and enjoy helping others meet their goals, start tutoring others for extra income.
Find a Niche
Yes, you could probably tutor Susie in Math, Reading, Science, and Social Studies – but should you?
Short answer – no.
The long answer is just a simple. In order to stand out as a master tutor, you must pick a subject that you excel in. Think of it this way…If you have shortness of breath, do you want to see a general practitioner or a cardiologist? Probably the cardiologist, right?
Not saying the general practitioner can’t help to diagnose your heart problem, but the cardiologist specializes in all matters of the heart and would have the practice, experience, and education about the heart. Whereas the general practitioner may know about the heart, but he also knows about the lungs, kidneys, …
It’s just that simple. Specialize in one area and you’ll have parents looking specifically for your expertise.
For example, I specialize in reading. I help to improve student’s skills in phonics, phonemic awareness, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary. Parents of children who struggle to read seek me out, because I help students to become better readers.
Do you have to turn away students who need help in other areas? Not unless you want to, but staying focused helps you to market to the right people.
Determine Who You Want to Work With
My favorite grade to teach was third grade, which means my sweet spot is working with students around 8-10 years old. Can I work with kindergartners? Sure, but do I want to.
Not really, so I usually don’t.
Being a successful tutor means you work with the age/skill level you want to. So, if you’re not a fan of children – working with teens and college students might work best for you.
Where to Find Students
If you’re already a teacher, you may already have access to a group of potential clients. If allowed by your school system, you may be able to just tell parents you offer tutoring services after school. If not, you’ll have to go out to get students.
Lucky for me, most of my students have come to me as word of mouth.
Other times, I have signed up for tutor directories and obtained clients that way. There are a lot of companies out there, so I recommend signing up for a few of them until you have filled up your schedule. Chegg Tutors and Tutor.com may be good options to start.
The only downside is that these companies will often take out a large percentage to match you with your clients. If you’re working for them as an employee, you’ll often get paid even less. They’re a great way to get started but your goal should be to work on getting your own clients.
Other traditional marketing, such as fliers, signs, and of course a website all work when looking for students to tutor.
How Much to Charge
There’s no magic number for how much you should charge students for services. You have to do what’s best for you. How much you can charge will depend on what people in your area are willing or able to pay, the subjects you cover, and your ability to get results.
Did you notice I didn’t say anything about your education or expertise?
As much as these are important to have, they will not determine how much people will pay you. Your ability to get results will determine what people will pay you.
The first step in figuring out how much to charge is to see what similar tutors are charging, your target market’s income, and the amount of preparation and travel time required to meet students.
Tutors in markets such as New York or San Francisco can command higher rates, but so do those who specialize in test prep. It is not unheard of SAT Prep tutors to charge $100+/hour (Anthony Green charged $1000/hour).
Tutors who specialize in subjects such as Calculus or LSAT test prep can command higher rates.
Where to Meet Students
Most in-person tutoring will occur in the student’s home, however, there are times this is not ideal. I’ve been to homes where siblings, dogs, and visitors was very distracting and not conducive to learning. When I met with older students or adults, I preferred a more public place such as a public library or coffee shop.
Do what’s most comfortable for you. Some tutors who have space meet students in their home, which in some situations are ideals as it saves on gas and travel time.
Be safe and smart no matter where you decide to tutor.
Nowadays, online tutoring has become the norm so not only are you able to tutor from the comfort of your own home, so this is a great option if you don’t want to take off your fuzzy slippers. Another bonus for online tutoring is that your client pool is widened since you’re able to work with students from all over the globe.
Tutoring is a great way to make extra money and you already probably have what you need to start.