How To Become an Online Tutor

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: October 1, 2021  •  8 min read  •  Education
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A coveted job in today’s world is the job of an online tutor. You should be curious about how to become an online tutor. This industry is growing fast, and it’s a very convenient job.

Online tutors gain many benefits. Working from home, choosing what you teach, and setting your rates, are just a few. If you want to learn how to become an online tutor, use the steps below.

How To Become an Online Tutor

Job Duties of an Online Tutor

As an online tutor, you will do many things, including:

While your main job is to teach, a tutor has to be a great communicator and listener.

How to Become an Online Tutor in 4 Steps

Step #1 – Become an Expert in a Subject Area or Grade Level

Choose the subject you want to tutor students in and the grade level you prefer. Then, become an expert in this area. You don’t have to have a degree to be an online tutor, but it does help. If you plan to work with a university or school, you will need to have taken the course you plan to tutor.

It’s important to have expertise on the subject matter. Whether it’s in the form of work experience or you scored very well in the subject as a student, you need to show your abilities. Students want to hire tutors that can help them out.

For example, if you want to specialize in tutoring students for the SAT, you should have a high SAT score. Someone with a 900 SAT score is likely going to struggle to find students willing to hire them. However, if you scored a 1400 or 1500, you will probably have more students than you can handle.

Even if you’re not an expert yet, you can choose a subject matter and become an expert. Learn how to teach the subject, too. Watching online videos, taking online courses, and becoming familiar with the subject can help.

Step #2 – Complete Any Necessary Education Requirements

If you want to work as a certified online tutor, you must complete the necessary education. The National Tutoring Association is in charge of the certification. There are different levels, which require different education requirements.

For example, you need a high school diploma if you want to get a basic tutor certificate. However, a master tutor certificate will require a bachelor’s degree. Intermediate-level tutors will need at least 30 college credit hours. It’s also helpful if your credit hours are in the area you plan to tutor.

Step #3 – Learn Different Teaching Methods

As a tutor, you will be teaching students. This isn’t just helping them with homework. It would be best if you took the time to learn different teaching methods. If you’re already a teacher, this should be pretty easy for you.

Learning how to teach over Skype, Zoom, and other video conferencing platforms is also rather important. You want to make sure you know how to use the digital whiteboard functions and other helpful functions. It’s possible to take online courses to learn the program you will use for online tutoring.

Step #4 – Set Up Your Tutoring Profiles

Online tutors often have multiple platforms they work with. is a popular choice, and there are several others. You will need to set up tutoring profiles with each of the platforms you plan to work with.

Your profile is the introduction students will use to choose if they want to work with you. So make sure to provide your experience, what you can do for them, the type of students you want to work with, and a picture of your smiling face.

Top Benefits of Becoming an Online Tutor

Work from Home

As an online tutor, you can work from home. In fact, most online tutors are expected to work from home. Therefore, working as an online tutor might be a perfect choice if you want a job that allows you to leave the commute behind.

You don’t even have to be at home to work as an online tutor. Some tutors go on vacation and work from wherever they are. So you can put in a few hours and then enjoy your vacation.

Work as Your Own Boss

You get to be your own boss. Yes, you have students to teach, and you may work with companies or clients, but you control what you do and don’t do. Working as your own boss provides flexibility.

Set Your Schedule

As an online tutor, you can work as little or as much as you want. You get to choose the hours you work and when you work. If you want to tutor four hours a day, you can. It’s up to you, and you get to choose.

Choose How Much You Earn

Online tutors can set their own hourly rates. Sure, you need to set a fair rate that students can afford. However, if you have the specialized experience, you can charge a high hourly rate to make plenty of cash.

Work Full-time or Part-time

You get to choose how much or how little you work. Online tutoring can be a side hustle, or it can be a full-time job. Many online tutors make a full-time income working part-time hours.

Common Subjects You Can Teach as an Online Tutor

Just about any type of subject you can come up with is available for online tutors to teach. Some of the common categories include:

If it’s taught at any grade level, it’s likely available for online tutors to teach. Test prep is also a huge category. This may include preparations for the SAT, ACT, GRE, and many career licensing exams.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an Online Tutor

How much do online tutors make?

It’s hard to find an accurate average salary for online tutors. The average number tends to be lower than you can make due to so many tutors working part-time. The average annual salary comes in at about $43K per year. However, you can earn more than this if you work full-time hours.

How much do online tutors charge?

Commonly, an online tutor will charge around $50 per hour. However, pricing can be much lower at around $20 per hour or even higher at around $80 per hour.

If you’re starting out, you might need to charge a lower rate to attract students. However, certified experts can charge more per hour. The rate you choose to charge is completely up to you.

How do you get paid as an online tutor?

Each platform is a bit different. However, most online tutors are paid by the hour. You can earn around $30 per hour with most platforms. Those tutoring advanced subjects, such as calculus or SAT Prep, can make more.

The platform will likely take a cut of the hourly rate you charge. This is what they get for providing the connection and the tools you need to tutor students. Make sure you factor this in when setting your tutoring rates.

Is a degree necessary to become an online tutor?

No, while a degree can be helpful, it’s not necessary. Many students become online tutors before they even graduate. It’s also possible to tutor at different grade levels. Usually, a high school diploma is all you need to get started.

What do I need to start tutoring online?

You don’t need much to get started. You will need a computer with an internet connection. It’s also good to have a headset and camera. A computer is preferred, but some online tutors use tablets or even smartphones.

It will also be important to have the right video-chat or e-learning software. Again, this may depend on the platform you’re working with. Some tutoring platforms provide the software for you.

Which tutoring platforms are the most popular? and Preply are the most common you will find. Many online tutors get their start on one of these two platforms. Wyzant, Revolution Prep, and Knowledge Roundtable is also a good choice for online tutoring jobs.

It’s common for a new tutor to start with one platform and expand later. However, you might want to use multiple online tutoring platforms to ensure you can find enough work.

Online tutoring is for you if you want to work from home, make a good hourly wage, and teach students. A degree is not required, and the steps for becoming an online tutor are rather straightforward.

You can start small with one or two subjects and expand. If you can teach any type of test prep courses, you’ll likely do very well as an online tutor. Foreign language is also very popular for online tutors, along with advanced math courses.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path.