Online tutoring jobs for college students
Tutors can play a vital role in helping students achieve academic success by providing individualized attention and tailored guidance supporting their education journey.
There’s a broad range of tutoring positions, some of which can be done by college students. And along with in-person tutoring opportunities, there are increasingly online tutoring opportunities for those with the right experience.
Continue reading to learn more about how tutoring works, the types of online tutoring opportunities that might be available, and how you can pursue becoming an online tutor.
What’s a tutor?
Tutors tend to provide educational support and instruction to students outside the traditional classroom setting. Tutors typically work with students one-on-one or in small groups to help them understand and master academic subjects, improve study skills, prepare for exams, or master a specific skill, for instance, coding.
Tutors may assist with homework, clarify confusing concepts, provide personalized learning strategies, and offer supplemental exercises to reinforce learning. Tutors can be professionals, such as certified teachers or subject matter experts, or peers who excel in a particular subject and can offer guidance and support to their classmates.
Some college students have the right experiences needed to either tutor high school students in particular subjects or for standardized tests or their college peers in classes that they’ve already completed and usually excelled in.
How much do tutors make?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for tutors in 2022 was $36,680, with the highest 10% of earners making more than $73,400. The government agency also notes that most tutors work part-time, and have varying schedules, with some only working evenings, weekends, or during the school year. This is worth taking into account when assessing the median pay for this job.
Is it worth becoming an online tutor?
Like any full-time job or side gig, being an online tutor has pros and cons. If you’re interested in becoming an online tutor specifically, some of the reasons to consider it include:
- Flexibility: Online tutoring often allows tutors to set their schedules and work from anywhere with an internet connection. This flexibility makes balancing tutoring with other responsibilities or commitments easier, which is important to college students looking for side gigs.
- Expanded reach: Online tutors can reach a wider pool of students beyond their local area by providing tutoring services online. This extended reach enables tutors to connect with students from diverse geographical locations.
- Diverse teaching opportunities: Online tutoring can potentially provide opportunities to teach various subjects and skills, including academic subjects, test preparation, language learning, and tutoring for specialized areas of expertise. This diversity allows tutors to leverage their skills and knowledge in various disciplines.
- Cost-effective setup: Setting up an online tutoring business typically requires less overhead than establishing a physical tutoring center. This cost-effective setup can benefit tutors seeking to start their own tutoring business. There are also opportunities for online tutors to market their services via digital platforms.
- Build valuable skills: Online tutoring can provide opportunities for tutors to continuously develop their teaching techniques and adapt to various learning styles. You'll also be able to build on skills that will look good on a resume.
- Additional income stream: Online tutoring can serve as an additional source of income, whether you’re supplementing your income with part-time tutoring work or establishing a more robust tutoring business.
Online tutoring job opportunities that may be available to college students
There are many opportunities for those considering working as an online tutor. Some of those options include:
1. Subject-specific tutoring
Online tutors can work as subject-specific tutors specializing in areas like mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, languages, or computer science.
2. Standardized test preparation
With standardized test taking being the norm for many high school and college students, there are opportunities to act as online tutors for various standardized tests, including the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, and more. Often, standardized test tutors performed well on the standardized tests they tutor in.
3. Language tutoring
If you’re skilled in languages, you might have the opportunity to be an online tutor with this focus, tutoring in a language you're proficient in, such as English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, and more. Tutoring students in a language might be in support of a class they’re taking or preparing them to live in another country.
4. Homework help
Homework can be challenging for some students for a number of reasons. Because of that, there are homework helpers who assist students with their homework across various subjects.
5. Essay writing and editing
If you’re a strong writer and editor, you might be able to help students with essay writing, editing, and proofreading as an online tutor.
6. Music lessons
If you’re skilled in a musical instrument, you might consider offering music lessons online. Offering classes in instruments such as guitar and the violin might be an option, depending on what instrument you’re skilled in.
7. Art tutoring
Those with artistic skills might be able to teach drawing, painting, or other art forms online.
8. Computer programming tutoring
If you’re skilled in coding, tutoring online in programming languages like Python, Java, C++, and more might be an option.
9. College admissions tutoring
Assisting high school students with the college application process, including essay writing and interview preparation, is a service some tutors provide online.
10. Special needs tutoring
Special needs students sometimes need additional help with their schooling. There may be opportunities to act as an online tutor for those with special needs. Special needs students may look for tutors with specific experience or credentials related to their needs.
11. Study skills and organization
Effective study techniques and organizational skills are skill sets needed by some students and something online tutors can effectively work on with students.
12. Coding and computer skills
Teaching students basic coding and computer literacy is provided by online tutors to students of all ages.
13. E-learning content creation
Developing educational content or courses for online platforms is another avenue to pursue for budding online tutors. While you might not be helping students directly in this capacity, you will be indirectly. This is also something you can offer fully remotely.
14. Career counseling and resume building
Tutoring can be a broader opportunity than just assisting students with their classwork. There are opportunities, for instance, to tutor students when it comes to preparing for job interviews and prepping their resumes.
How to become an online tutor
Being an online tutor can be a rewarding experience as you’ll get to share your knowledge and help others learn. Here are some general steps to consider if this is a job you’re interested in pursuing.
- Identify your area (or several areas) of expertise: Determine the subjects or skills you’re proficient in and passionate about teaching. Whether it's academic subjects, test preparation, language, or another specialized skill, having expertise in a specific area will help you establish yourself as a credible tutor.
- Obtain necessary qualifications or certifications: You may need or want specific qualifications or certifications depending on your chosen tutoring subject. For example, if you plan to tutor in academic subjects, being a certified teacher or having a degree in the subject you intend to teach can add credibility to your tutoring services.
- Develop your teaching skills: Even if you're an expert in your field, effective teaching skills are often essential for conveying knowledge to students. Consider taking courses or workshops on tutoring, teaching techniques, and online instruction to enhance your teaching abilities.
- Consider offering your services on an online tutoring platform: There are various online tutoring platforms where you can offer your tutoring services. Research and compare different platforms to find the one that aligns with your expertise and teaching style.
If you decide to go this route, create a compelling profile highlighting your qualifications, teaching experiences, and areas of expertise. Include information about your teaching approach, availability, and rates. Many platforms allow tutors to upload introductory videos and teaching materials to showcase their abilities.
- Decide on your rates and availability: Decide on your tutoring rates and the times you’re available to teach. Consider the market demand and your level of expertise when setting your rates. Consider being flexible with your availability to accommodate students in different time zones.
- Market your services: Promote your tutoring services through social media, online forums, the schools you’ve attended, and your local community. Building a strong online presence and networking with potential students can help you attract clients.
- Prepare your teaching materials: Create or gather teaching materials, resources, and exercises relevant to what you’ll be tutoring. Having a structured teaching plan and supplementary materials can enhance the learning experience for your students.
- Make sure all of your tech is in order: Being an online tutor naturally involves working online. It’s essential to make sure before you begin tutoring that you have a strong Wi-Fi connection where you plan to work, your camera equipment works well (if you’re going to be on video), and any other systems you plan to use are systems go so you don’t waste time on tech issues when you start.
- Conduct tutoring sessions: Once you begin tutoring, you can engage with students through introductory sessions or trial lessons. Adapt your teaching style to meet the needs of individual students and provide a positive learning experience.
- Gather feedback and improve: Collect feedback from your students and use it to improve your teaching methods. Continuous improvement and responsiveness to student feedback will help you become a more effective online tutor.
Overall, online tutoring offers the flexibility and reach to provide effective and personalized instruction while creating opportunities for professional development and additional income.
Remember that building a client base and establishing a reputation as an online tutor may take time and persistence. You can create a successful and fulfilling career or side hustle as an online tutor by continuously honing your teaching skills and providing value to your students.