Today I interview Aaron Graham, a Chemistry Tutor, who’s been tutoring part-time with Tutor.com for 1.5 years.PT: What led you to decide to start working as an online tutor, and then on to work with tutor.com? Do you work with any other companies to offer online tutoring?
I had tutored students in-person before, but Tutor.com is the first time I tutored online. I was searching for part-time work that I could do from home. I was a graduate student at the time and I found Tutor.com on the internet and did some investigating.
I was a little cautious at first, but after finding them to be legitimate I was very eager to start the process. They are the only company I tutor for, because I have a full-time job now.
PT: Where would someone new to this type of work search for opportunities to get started?
The best resource is the internet. There are a lot of new online tutoring companies to look at.
PT: What skill set do you typically need to have to get started as a tutor? What qualities make you excel as a successful online tutor?
To be an online tutor you need to have a good grasp of the concepts in the subject you want to tutor in. Having the ability to relate topics to real-world examples and explain them to the students helps students understand how they can apply what they are learning.
Good communication skills and lots of patience are essential too. Sometimes it is very difficult to tutor someone online who might not have the basic foundation for the particular subject. As the tutor, you have to detect, adapt, and teach to the student so that they can fully understand the concept.
PT: What kind of hours can you expect to work?
At Tutor.com you set your own schedule. You can schedule hours a week or two in advance or sometimes work at the last minute.
PT: What are the pros and cons of the job?
The pros of this job are definitely the flexibility of being able to set a schedule yourself and pick up extra hours when you have free time. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. If you have the expertise, you can tutor in multiple subjects.
The cons would be that you have to sit at a computer all the time especially on a nice day. Sometimes you do not always get the hours you want to schedule. The peak hours for tutoring are in the evening when students are doing homework. This is the best part-time job I could ever have.
PT: How much money can you expect to make initially? How much do you make, now that you are experienced?
Tutors are paid by the amount of hours they tutor. When I was tutoring 20+ hours a week and had been with Tutor.com for several months, I was making about $1,000 per month. It was nice supplemental income.
Care.com has a great article on the average prices of various tutoring services which can give you some insight into how much you can expect to make.
PT: What mistakes have you made along the way to becoming a successful tutor?
Sometimes it is hard conveying the right information to students especially when they are frustrated. But with experience, you get very familiar with the types of questions students ask and this allows you to adapt and clear up misconceptions for a student with simple, real-world examples.
PT: How has this job helped you in your own financial life?
Tutoring online has really provided me with the income I need to do some of the things I enjoy like going to the movies or out to eat occasionally. My wife and I are saving up to purchase our first home and tutoring online has helped us save money for our down payment.
If you are looking for a way to earn a little extra money and help students understand a topic that you are an expert in, online tutoring and Tutor.com is definitely an opportunity you should look into.
Have you ever worked as online tutor? Share your experience below.
Editor’s note: Neither PT Money nor Tutor.com was compensated for this interview. I simply reached out to Tutor.com with a request to provide me with a tutor who could answer some of my basic questions about this increasingly popular part-time venture. I hope you found it useful.
Image by Tulane Public Relations