You've read our tips for becoming a tutor and offering in-home tutorials. Your diary’s full, you’ve got different regular tutorials across various levels (primary through secondary), for different exams (GCSEs, A Levels), or to prepare those being tutored for university or college level study.
But there’s a problem. What if something comes up and you have to relocate, meaning that getting to all your weekly tutorials costs you both more time and money than before?
Your students are too far away to travel to on a regular basis and it simply isn't viable to provide academic tutoring at your own home.
Maybe you’re going to have to suggest another one on one tutor or somebody else to provide tutoring services to your clients... but hold on a second! Being far away from your regular students doesn't mean you can't guarantee academic success! Why don't you become an online tutor and start e-tutoring? It's a great job for beginners in the tutoring world and there are plenty of online tutoring jobs for ex teachers and those looking for work from home opportunities.
It doesn’t matter what subject you teach: whether you’re a maths tutor, physics tutor, chemistry tutor, French tutor, English tutor, Spanish tutor, or a music tutor. Become an E-tutor and start giving tutorials online!
But where do you start if you want to move your private tutoring services online?
That’s what we’re going to cover in this article. In addition to delivering tutorials at home, you can start providing online private tutorials alongside this to get more students!
Where You Can Find Tutoring Jobs Online?
This doesn’t refer to students enrolled on online university courses like MOOCs but rather online one on one tutoring, offering French tutorials, German tutorials, geography tutorials, biology tutorials, history tutorials, the humanities and science courses. Whatever the subject you teach, you can teach it online as a private tutor!
Before you start, you need to know which tools you’ll need to give online lessons:
- A computer: Make sure that you have a good desktop PC or laptop which is powerful enough to be able to maintain a connection with your student as well as running other programs such as Microsoft Word or any other software you might find useful in your lessons.
- Webcam and microphone: Your webcam and microphone are central to the communication between you and your student, so it's a good idea to invest in good-quality equipment to reduce the likelihood of technical difficulties which may interrupt or delay your lesson. Good communication is essential if you want to build a relationship of trust with each of your students.
- A good internet connection: Again, you need to make sure that your sessions run smoothly, and having a strong internet connection will significantly increase the likelihood of a seamless online lesson in which you are seen and head as clearly as possible.
- Skype: Skype is an online messaging and video chat service which can be downloaded for free. This application allows you do voice and video chat with students from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. All you have do to is create an account by choosing a suitable username and password. Once your student has done the same, they'll be able to call you and chat to you live online!
- PayPal: Tutoring online is simpler than online tutoring in many ways, however, getting paid is slightly more complex. PayPal is is the best option for making and recieving wire transfers. You’ll need to create an account for this, but once you're set up, PayPal is simple, fast, free, and safe, so everyone can make their payments to you for your tutorials. It’s the ideal solution as you don’t need to give out your bank details to students - all they need in order to pay you is the email address associated with your PayPal account.
If you already have plenty of students, no problem! Why not consider offering live online tutorials as an extra in addition to their in-home sessions? Or advising your students to take them instead of their tutorials at home? Tutoring online rather than in-person can save both you and your students time and money. Once you transition to online tutoring, there will be no need for you to travel to and from your students' houses, as you'll work form home, so that's less money spent on petrol and bus tickets!
An added bonus of offering supplemental instruction online is the flexibility. It doesn't matter where in the world you are, as long as both you and your student have a computer and a stable internet connection, you're good to go! So, whether you're away from home for a while, or your student's going away and would still like a session, there's nothing to worry about.
If, on the other hand, you’re just starting out in the world of one to one tutorials, you should check out our article on “Where to hold tutoring classes” to get an idea of what private tutoring looks like and see if you enjoy it before you take it online.
Which Tutoring Websites Should you Sign up to?
Plenty of platforms and tutoring companies let you give online tutorials, find students, and get tutor jobs London based or anywhere else in the world. Tutoring services don't stop at teaching: you can also get into academic and career advising, offer beginners’ tutorials, academic support, mentoring, or supplementary tuition online - it's all about developing as a private educator and building an online presence as you figure out where you want to take your career in education.
Whether you decide you'd like to carry on as an academic tutor or you want to focus on helping students improve their study skills, exam technique or you'd like to help clients with test prep for specific grammar school entry exams, taking your career online can open up a world of opportunity in both the short and long term.
Superprof is the perfect platform to begin your tutoring journey.
Whether you want to offer face-to-face or online lessons exclusively, or you'd like to have a go at both, regardless of the amount of tutoring experience you have, you can set up your personal tutor profile on Superprof and wait for the student requests to come pouring in.
There are no legal requirements to become a tutor in the UK. You don't need any specific qualifications or even any teaching experience to offer to share your knowledge with learners.
Of course, in order to teach a subject, you should feel confident in your own level of expertise at it - it's down to common sense.
So, once you've chosen the subject and academic level or age you'd like to teach and set up your profile detailing your skills, relevant qualifications, educational background and any experience you may have, whether it be teaching experience or in using your subject in industry, all you need to do is wait! Students visit Superprof looking for tutors of a certain subject nearby, and if you appear in their search results, they can consult your profile and decide whether they'd like to connect with you, so whether you're bilingual and want to be a language tutor, or you're an engineer and want to be a math tutor for part time work, your skills will make you an attractive instructor.
If, after having been contacted by a student, you go on to arrange a session, it'll be up to you to arrange the payment for the lesson. Superprof is not involved in the payment process between students and tutors, nor do they charge commision, so you'll need to discuss payment when setting up the lesson.
Superprof's tutor review system makes it easy for tutors to establish themselves in the tutoring community and build a good reputation online. After they have finished at least one lesson with a tutor, students are able to give their tutor a rating and leave comments on their profile for other potential students to read. It's worth reminding your students to do this if the lesson goes well.
Are Private Tutor Rates for Online Tutors Lower?
Are you thinking of becoming a tutor? Sign up to Superprof and choose your rates now!
On Superprof it’s up to you to choose your rates and we’ve seen that the rates for online tutorials are no lower than those for tutorials at home, so your potential salary will be the same whether you're home based and taking online jobs or you visit your students' homes.
For example, if you search for “French tutorials” in London, the face to face tutorials are £21 on average and the webcam tutorials are £19 on average. It’s win-win!
Don’t forget the many benefits of opting for online tuition:
- You don’t lose any time traveling: You’ll no longer be stuck in traffic jams in the after-school rush hour which is the perfect time for giving private tutorials. All you need to do is get settled in front of your computer in your living room or your office and wait for your tutee to get back from school or any extra-curricular activities and drop into your virtual classroom. Delivering your lessons online takes the hassle out of tutoring!
- It's more economical: Say goodbye to travel costs, and say hello to more money in the bank! Without the need to travel, you won’t have to pay for petrol nor parking, and if you use public transport, there will be no need to splash out on costly tickets which eat into your earnings.
- There are no geographical limitations: You can give your online private tutorials anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re in London and your student’s in Edinburgh, as long as you have your computer and an internet connection, you're good to go! So, whether circumstances dictate that you or one of your students has to move away, or you're not in your usual area and you want to continue with your regular tutoring sessions, taking your classes is a brilliant compromise!
- Enjoy being flexible: You can provide as many tutorials as you like and at any time of day - your schedule is 100% up to you, work as little or as much as you want! Whether tutoring is something you do part time alongside your day job to earn some extra income, or you've decided that one to one teaching is where your talents lie, working for yourself as a full time tutor means freedom in your timetable.
Now you have a better idea about the options available to you as a new tutor, learning about which parts of writing a tutoring advert are the most important is the next step. The hardest part about becoming a tutor is often getting your name out there, so knowing how to market your skills in an effective way that attracts clients is key.
It's different if you're using websites which are dedicated to providing an advertising platform solely for the use of tutors, but if you're posting on a general online advertising website like Gumtree, there's a knack to writing a good advert that captures people's attention.
The key piece of information to remember when it comes to creating your tutoring advert is that simplicity is key.
You don't want to overwhelm or even bore anyone who comes into contact with your advertisement, no matter how much time they may have on their hands. Keep it concise and stick to the information that will get them interested.
Put yourself in the shoes of an ideal client and ask yourself whether your advert answers all of the relevant questions:
- What service is being offered?
- What subject and level?
- How do I contact this person?
Once you've checked that the key questions have been answered, you can add other information that may make you an attractive candidate once you've got the attention of someone.
Keeping your introduction short and snappy will not only get the attention of potential customers but also those who may know people in need of a tutor - you never know who might come across your ad.
Make sure you make the best use of space in your online ad. Use the largest size text for the most important information and leave finer details for smaller text. This means putting 'ENGLISH TUTOR' in a large, bold font and citing any testimonials in a smaller section of the page.
Is Teaching Online Effective?
You’ll find a surprising number of people who doubt that online learning is as effective as traditional tutoring programmes.
Many of our private tutors offer free online tutoring for their first session. This gives the learner the chance to try out the tutorials and see whether learning online works for them as well as getting a feel for the tutor's teaching style.
For those who are completely new to tutoring online, offering a free trial lesson is also an effective way to test whether online tutorials are worthwhile. Just as with some students, many tutors simply don't get along with teaching their students via Skype - and this is completely fine! For many tutors, the online environment simply doesn't suit their style of teaching or their subject.
So, what’s the difference between online teaching services and an in home tutorial? The most obvious difference between the two lesson formats is that you’re not right beside your student. However, you can still see them, talk to them, and use the same learning process as you would for a face-to-face tutorial.
You’d think that being in front of a screen would cause the student to get distracted or be less serious about their lessons, right? In fact, online courses are no different than tutorials at home since the tutor is constantly communicating with their student, and in many ways, the on-screen communication means that students are less easily distracted as they must concentrate on the screen in front of them rather than their environment in order to grasp what they're being taught.
Nathalie Alonso tried out English tutorials over Skype in order to improve and said: “In the end, I was pleasantly surprised by this solution. [...] I was able to have a conversation class after my break between two other meetings.”
Turning the World Wide Web into a learning environment is a great option for busy people who haven’t got the time or maybe don’t feel like having a tutor come to their house. Focus on the individual learning traits of the student remains the same, which means you can provide tailored private tutorials which are just as effective as those given face-to-face.
Of course, the effectiveness of your tutorials depends on your student’s motivation, just like it would for an in home tutorial!
Invest in Quality Audio & Video Equipment to Give Online Tutorials
Pay attention to a few crucial details before starting your online tutorials:
- The internet connection: Make sure you have a good internet connection. Both you and your student need this so that the audio and video are synchronised and it doesn’t cut out. Not only to technical interferences look bad for your private tutorials, but the interruptions and inconsistencies they cause may hinder your student’s progress.
- Communication: We communicate differently when we are face to face with someone and when we are looking at a computer. This could cause a few problems for your student in the beginning. Since adjusting to online academic support could take some time, you should probably prepare for it. Think about the potential obstacles of online tutoring and plan ways to tackle them. It could be as simple as investing in screen-sharing software.
It’s advisable to invest in quality audio and video equipment. It might cost you more than you'd normally spend on technical equipment, but it helps to think of it as an investment in your success as an online tutor.
If your computer ’s built-in webcam doesn’t capture high-quality video, and the built-in microphone picks up annoying background noise, replace them both. Investing in good equipment will only improve the quality of communication with your students and narrow the gap caused by geographical distance.
Here's our advice:
- Invest in an external webcam that captures high-quality video. Something between £20 and £60 should provide the quality you need. This is especially important if you provide guitar tutorials, piano tutorials, violin tutorials, or even drum tutorials.
- If you have a video camera or camera that records high-quality video, you can usually connect these to a computer and use them as a webcam - but make sure you test the quality of this before you use it in a lesson!
- Buy a headset, too. You’ll understand your student better with headphones and they’ll understand you better if the microphone is closer to your mouth. The starting price for quality headsets is around £25 and can go all the way up to £200. This is hugely important for language lessons since comprehension and pronunciation is key! In fact, language tutoring is already very popular online and if you're a language tutor, speak a foreign language, or teach language courses, investing in a good headset will bring the technical quality of your lessons up to par with the rest of the online language tutoring community.
Here are some of the most popular high-quality microphones on the market:
|Product Name||RRP||Where to Buy|
|Blue Microphones Snowball ICE||£54.00||Currys - PC World|
|Blue Microphones Yeti||£119.99||Amazon|
|AudioTechnica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone||£85.00||Gear4Music|
If you want to become a tutor, when you create your advert for online private tutoring, don’t forget to mention to students wanting to find a tutor that you use quality equipment. This will put to bed any doubts they may have about taking a lesson online - less time faffing about with wires means more time spent learning!
How to Tutor Online
If you like to always make use of a particular book, handout, or worksheet, for online tutorials there are several indispensable tools to help you refine your methodology:
- Skype Screen Share: You can share your screen with your student. For example, during a maths tutorial, you can work through algebra, trigonometry, or geometry exercises together on screen, or display graphs. You could even use it to show students pages from a particular textbook!
- Google Docs: Sharing documents is simple with Google Docs! All you need is a Google account and Google Docs allows you to create and share documents with several users for free. The student and the tutor can also write on the same document at the same time. It’s a perfect solution for doing and correcting exercises in real time, note taking, and reviewing their work! You can use it to clarify points students don't understand.
- Email and Whatsapp: If your student has to send you an exercise you’ve given them, nothing is simpler than an email! They can also just take a photo of their work on their smartphone and send it via Whatsapp. The app, which links to your mobile phone number, can send your student’s exercise straight to you and you can send a photo of their feedback and corrections straight back to them!
- Geogebra: This is very useful for maths tutors. Geogebra is an interactive software that helps students understance mathematical concepts in a visual way. It is especially useful for the tutors providing academic support or supplemental instruction for geometry, algebra, calculus, trigonometry, and statistics.
- The internet is now an indispensable tool for private tutors! Any educator who is passionate about teaching should know that the best tutors know their way around the internet, whether it's for advertising their services, joining an online tutoring company or holding lessons on Skype.
- The rates for tutoring online are the same as those for private home tutoring: between £15 and £30 an hour, depending on the subject, the level, and the private tutor’s experience. So why not set your price and try tutoring for yourself?
- As long as the student is motivated, an online tutorial is just as effective as a tutorial at home!
- If you're serious about taking your tutoring business online, be sure to get some good audio and video equipment so that you can provide quality online tutorials.
- Make the most of the online tools available to you to build an online presence as a tutor and to provide the best online tutorials in the most effective way you can!
Convinced? We’re waiting for you to join the other Superprofs and help students looking for a good private tutor for exam preparation, test prep, academic support, supplementary instruction, to develop study skills, complete an assignment or just for some homework help.
Interested? Find out What Qualities Make a Good Private Tutor.
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