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How to Become a Paid Tutor

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Some tutors get their start while in college. Others, whether retired teachers, home-school parents or stay-at-home moms, work for a tutoring company. If you are willing to market, contract, collect payments and provide a tutoring space, you can open your own tutoring business. In this case you name your price, charging by the session or by the hour.

Skill Development

Acquire a strong content knowledge in one or more subjects.

Develop teaching skills for explaining concepts to students in the grade-range you would like to tutor.

Educate yourself. While a college degree is not required for all tutoring positions, it usually helps -- especially if you hold a teaching certification.

Peer Tutoring

Apply for a Work Study Grant at the college you attend. With approval, the Work Study Grant program will pay you for each hour you spend tutoring your peers in your school's academic success center.

Ask one of your instructors to write a letter of recommendation for you.

Arrange an interview with the tutor coordinator for your college. Turn in all required forms for application during the interview appointment. Be prepared to show your Social Security card and a valid photo identification at this meeting.

Attend the required tutor training before the semester begins.

Tutor during the hours scheduled for you. Peer tutoring provides you with excellent experience.

Tutoring Company

Apply and receive approval to work as an employee or independent contractor for a company that provides tutoring services.

Attend any required orientation or training. This prepares you for tutoring the students as assigned by your supervisor.

Work the hours scheduled doing one-on-one or group tutoring as instructed.

Private Tutoring

Gather any textbooks, workbooks and basic school supplies needed for tutoring the ages and subjects you tutor. Decide where you will offer tutoring -- your home, a tutoring office or the student's home or school.

Print business cards with your name and contact information. Contact school principals, home-school associations, and public or private school teachers in your area. Let them know you are interested in doing private tutoring and which subjects and grade levels you tutor. Introduce yourself, and leave your business card or flyer.

Market your services. Advertise in school publications. Hand out flyers. Create your own website, and post it to online directories for your area.

Determine how much tutors charge in your area. Quote your prices with confidence when prospects inquire. Share your credentials and references, if asked. Agree orally or in writing on how often you will tutor, how long per session, how often you will get paid, where you will tutor and the price per session. Collect payment directly from the parents at each visit or once per month, according to your agreement.


Being a self-employed tutor provides many advantages, but it carries many responsibilities not involved with peer tutoring or working for a tutoring company.


It is best to ask for payment up front or at the end of each session. Collecting mounting fees after the month ends may be more difficult.



About the Author

Malinda Zellman has instructed computer, ESL and GED classes. She is a retired homeschooler and school librarian. She is contributing author for two books, "Games" and "Crafts," by Group Publishing. She has written for print magazines and websites. She holds two BA degrees, business administration and economics, from Rollins College.

Photo Credits

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