The Tutor is an instructor that give private lessons. Tutoring offers unique opportunities to be self-employed. Learn more about the how, why and where these opportunities and the resources to give you access to even more information.

Definition of Tutoring

Tutoring from home for the Freelancertutor is an instructor is a person employed to assist in educating individuals or groups. In English and Irish secondary schools, tutors are given responsibilities of a form or class of students in a particular year group. They teach, plan and monitor their academic classes, provide their parents with information about their child’s progress and any other problems that may arise.


[too-ter, tyoo-]


1. a person employed to instruct another in some branch or branches of learning, especially a private instructor.

2. a teacher of academic rank lower than instructor in some American universities and colleges.

3. a teacher without institutional connection who assists students in preparing for examinations.

4. (especially at Oxford and Cambridge) a university officer, usually a fellow, responsible for teaching and supervising a number of undergraduates.

5. the guardian of a boy or girl below the age of puberty or majority.


To be truly effective, a tutor must combine content knowledge with empathy, honesty and humor. Empathy requires a tutor to “read” the emotional states, attitudes and perceptions of their students. Empathy is the ability to see others from their personal frame of reference, and to communicate this understanding to the person involved. Sometimes tutors are so comfortable with the subjects they tutor that they forget what it’s like to be lost or confused. Certainly there’s some subject that baffles you.

Try to think of the frustration you feel regarding a subject that’s difficult for you. In order for tutors to establish a supportive relationship with their students, they must be open and honest. Students are often reluctant to talk with a stranger about their academic problems. If a tutor is perceived as genuine and having a strong desire to listen, students will be more willing to open up and discuss their problems.


Guidelines To Help You Be a Successful Tutor:

  • Focus on strategies rather than facts.
  • Encourage tutee responsibility for his/her own learning, guide the tutee, and get the tutee actively involved in the learning process.
  • Engage the tutee in question-generating activities.
  • Help the tutee connect prior knowledge to new concepts.
  • Demonstrate application of content material.
  • Use strengths to remediate tutee weaknesses. Don’t only focus on what is wrong – concentrate on the tutee’s strengths to build confidence.
  • Present the tutee with alternate methods of learning.
  • Guide your tutee toward doing his or her own work. Get the student as actively involved in the learning process as possible. Lead the student toward the answer, rather than telling the answers.
  • Be honest, patient, and sincere.
  • Be clever, creative, and flexible. You may constantly need to devise new ways of presenting information and strategies, as well as ways for the tutee to practice.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know. Having the tutee observe you looking for an answer or explanation is another tutoring tool. The tutor is not expected to know everything!
  • Don’t feel guilty if the tutee doesn’t do well on an assignment or task. Remember that the work is ultimately the student’s. Review what the student did well, the mistakes made, and the steps to getting back on track.
  • Do not comment negatively to students on professors’ grading policies, their teaching, or their personalities.
  • Evaluate students’ work in terms of the progress they have made in the tutorial, rather than in terms of a grade. Never suggest that the student will (or should) get a good grade.
  • Know when and how to refer a student for professional guidance.
  • Introduce yourself to faculty in the courses you tutor in order to determine how to best serve the needs of the students. Work with faculty to encourage students to seek help early, and to determine customary areas of difficulty in their courses.

The short answer as to the requirements and formal qualifications you need to be a private tutor is that you don’t need any. Unlike a teacher where certification is required – usually a degree in education and preferably a few years of teaching experience – there are no prerequisites to becoming a private tutor. This is essentially the main difference between a teacher and a private tutor.


1.  Finding the Problem

Before you begin to help a student, you have to find out what the student knows and does not know. When you have isolated the difficulty, you can build on what the student knows to overcome the obstacle. You will thus avoid having to give a “lecture” on the whole topic, and you will not deprive the student of the sense of accomplishment that comes with solving a problem independently.

Different students come to tutors with different problems. Some students know exactly where they are having trouble. Other students point out general areas of difficulty. And some students can only vaguely describe the source of confusion.

When the student knows exactly what the difficulty is, you can immediately help solve the problem — there is no need to waste time on further diagnosis. When the student can describe a difficulty only vaguely or generally, however, you should spend some time in isolating the source of trouble.

Two strategies for this are:

  • reviewing course materials with the student. Use the course outline, text, exercises, assignments etc. as reference points for defining what the student has to learn and figuring out precisely where the student’s difficulties lie.
  • asking additional questions. Once you have located course materials relevant to the student’s difficulty, you can further pinpoint the student’s difficulty by asking additional questions about the material. Ask questions that encourage students to say what they know. Have them attempt to formulate answers. Sometimes students know more than they suspect. They just need to “think out loud” to organize their thoughts.

2.  Using Course Materials to Overcome Difficulties

Once isolated, problems can often be solved by focusing attention on the materials provided by the course instructor. The tutor who emphasizes the use of student’s course materials makes it easier for students to solve their own problems when they are working independently of the tutor. It is particularly helpful to review with students the objectives (as stated in course materials) of any work they have been asked to do.

It is also worth reviewing procedures that have been suggested — sometimes all you have to do is identify the section or the procedure in the course materials that relates to the student’s problem.

3.  Using Direct Instruction to Overcome Difficulties

You can perform your best service as a tutor by helping learners figure out answers by themselves. Sometimes instructional materials are weak, however, and you must resort to supplying information. In such cases you should take into account three elements of effective teaching: providing instruction, requiring a response, and giving feedback. Present the needed information briefly, have the student respond and talk about the material, and let the student know when answers are correct or incorrect

Provide instruction. There are several ways to provide instruction, depending on the task that the student is having trouble with. The following are some of the things a tutor could do:

  • Using examples. A student may be having difficulty with a task that requires the identification or the generation of examples of a concept. One way to help is by presenting identified examples and non-examples side-by-side and arranging them so that critical attributes can be guessed. You can thus help the student actively discover the concept. Emphasize the distinctive or defining characteristics of the concept. Start by giving simple, exaggerated examples; gradually increase the difficulty; and then proceed with examples that cover the full range of the concept with all its peculiarities and exceptions.
  • Using a rule or procedure. Sometimes a student may have trouble applying a rule or formula in solving a problem. It is important for the student to know when to apply a rule. Give the student a problem to see if she knows whether the rule is appropriate for the case given.

Demonstrate application of the rule or procedure by showing the student how to solve the problem. Break the procedure into parts or steps and teach them one at a time. Then have the student solve a problem of the same type. Remember, the student must be able to show you how to use the rule by solving the problem, not just by describing how it is used.

  • Aiding recall. Sometimes the student may have difficulty remembering facts, lists of names or dates, definitions or rules. You can best insure recall by helping students understand the meaning behind the information to be used. Do not encourage rote memorization when organization of the materials or a relationship or context can be used to aid retention.

When memorization is necessary, mnemonics are useful. You may want to help the student make up acronyms, rules, jingles or rhymes. You may want to suggest that the student break up the information into smaller groups and work on each group separately.

Require a response. If you must give information, requiring a response will allow the student to try out the new knowledge. Requiring a response serves three functions:

  1. it lets the tutor know that the instruction provided has been understood,
  2. it reassures the learner that something has been learned, and
  3. it assists in the retention of knowledge.

You must be careful about the kind of responses you require. “Do you understand that?’ will often bring a ‘yes’ even when the student is not sure of the material. The answer to ‘What is another example of the process?” will let you know immediately if the student needs more help.

For many types of learning the tutor should ask the student to apply the knowledge to unique and different situations. If the learning task involves examples of a concept, require the student to use the new information to identify or generate new examples. If the task involves learning and applying rules to solve a problem, the student should be asked to solve a new problem that requires the rule.

Give feedback. It is important for the student to receive feedback. If a particular problem has presented difficulty in the past, the student needs to know whether or not he or she is on the right track.

If a student gives a correct answer, be specific about what makes it a correct answer. If it is incorrect, indicate what is missing, or what is there that shouldn’t be. With problem solving tasks it is important to give the student an idea of what a right answer looks like. When possible, give a student a set of self-checks which can be used to tell if the solution is correct.

In general, provide praise and encouragement for positive steps. Allow the student to feel the sense of satisfaction that comes with learning something that at first was difficult.


Students or children might find that school is challenging in one or more subjects. When students have problems studying on their own, parents or students might decide it is time to get help. One option for getting help is a tutor. There are different types of tutoring services available to students to meet any type of tutoring need.

In-Home Tutoring

    • An in-home tutor comes to a personal residence and offers one-on-one instruction. This type of tutor is beneficial for anyone who is shy or timid, easily distracted in public locations or needs familiarity to settle and study. It is also a convenience to have the tutor come to a home rather than to have to go out of the home.

Drop-in Tutoring

    • Drop-in tutoring takes place in either public or school libraries. Usually, a tutor sits in the library and helps students with questions. In colleges, drop-in tutoring in the library usually has set times for different subjects, which are usually listed in the class syllabuses. Public libraries might also have listed times.

Group Tutoring

    • Group tutoring occurs when a group of students approach a potential tutor and ask for help in a specific area of a class. For example, they might approach a teacher’s assistant for tutoring and ask for help in biology. Usually, the students are from the same class. The teacher is consulted and gives approval before the tutoring begins. Once started, the group meets at specified and regular times by group consensus.

Online Tutoring

    • Online tutoring is available at any time and for any need. The tutoring requires a payment, which varies on the company and the type. For example, Tutor Vista charges on a monthly basis, while charges by the hour instead. Students ask their questions regarding the school work and then receive an answer in real time. This is ideal for students who need help at odd hours or for students who are not able to work with tutors one on one or in person.


Private tutoring is an appealing job because of its flexibility and high hourly pay. However, not all private tutors can make a living from tutoring. This is because a number of steady jobs are needed, in addition to a high hourly rate to make up for the time and expense of traveling to and from tutoring sessions. Tutors who are experienced and certified will be most able to command a high salary.

Salary Range:

  • The salary range for a private tutor is anywhere from $10/hour to about $80/hour, depending on a number of factors. One such factor is the location, with tutors in higher-rent areas often able to charge more for their services. Another factor that will affect how much money a private tutor makes is the subject taught. Basic subjects will not yield as much money as specialized and high-level subjects.


  • Private tutors are likely to make more money as they gain experience and skill at tutoring. High school students who are just starting out by tutoring younger students will likely be in the lower-salary range. A tutor who has years of experience, solid references and proven results will be able to charge more for her services.

Running a tutoring business is a rewarding experience — not just because you make money but also because you play a part in the educational success of students. According to Jennifer Fager, author of “Tutoring: Strategies for Successful Learning,” tutoring also makes you feel a connection with the community. You can tutor kids or assist adults in continuing education programs. The key to maintaining a continual flow of tutor clients is to advertise your services in places where you know students and their parents may frequent.

Step 1:  Create a simple flier and matching business card that advertises your tutoring services. Include your company name, credentials, subjects you cover, educational levels you service and contact information. Establish a website containing the same details and include the URL address on your fliers and business cards as well.

Step 2:  Post your fliers on community bulletin boards at coffee shops, supermarkets and stores frequented by parents.

Step 3:  Visit local schools, and leave your business cards and fliers in the main office where allowed. Ask to speak with the student adviser about tutoring needs and opportunities at the school. Visit colleges as well if you serve that educational level.

Step 4:  Create an account with an online advertising service that allows you to place targeted text ads about your tutoring service strategically on websites that are frequented by students and parents. Set your ad delivery settings to reach potential tutoring students in your immediate local area unless you plan to offer online tutoring services.

Step 5:  Visit local community fairs and festivals targeted to children to meet and pass your fliers and business cards to parents. Try day care locations that serve school-aged children as well.

Step 6:  Attend parent-teacher meetings as well as general school meetings to pass out your business cards and talk to parents and teachers. If you know of upcoming teacher conferences in your region, pay for a ticket and attend the events to meet potential contacts that can connect you to new tutoring clients.

Step 7:  Call or visit GED and continuing education programs in your area to advertise and offer your tutoring services. Make sure that you provide proof of your credentials if requested, including degrees and certifications, if you want to become an approved tutor at the program. Otherwise, leave your advertising materials at the location so that students can call you for help.


Tutoring companies provide educational assistance to everyone from elementary school students to graduate-level students. Most focus on subjects, such as math, reading, writing, science, social studies and foreign languages, in addition to helping students with homework, projects and even upcoming tests. You can carve a niche for your tutoring business by focusing specifically on helping students achieve above satisfactory scores on their tests through the use of test-taking strategies. Test strategies can include everything from note-taking to understanding the various formats of test questions.

Step 1:  Identify the target market your test strategies tutoring business will serve. You can offer services to students preparing for in-class exams, focus on college entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT or focus on graduate-school testing for the GMAT, LSAT and GRE. This will help you identify how to price your services, whom to hire as employees and where to market your tutoring business.

Step 2:  Come up with a list of services and associate a price with each. Outline what types of test-taking strategies you’ll offer, which may include helping a student set up a study area, use note cards to prepare for tests or take better notes. Tutoring services are typically priced on a per-hour basis, and may vary depending on the child’s grade level and the type of test the student is taking.

Step 3:  Contact your local taxation office to register your test strategies business as a legal entity and get a business license, if applicable in your state. Be prepared to share the name of your business, which should reflect the types of services you offer.

Step 4:  Decide whether you will operate as the sole tutor for your business or if you will hire independent contractors to work as test strategies tutors for your business. If you hire independent contractors, work with a lawyer to create a contract that outlines their relationship with your company, how much they will get paid, how many hours they will work and what is expected of them as a part of the tutoring agreement. Begin recruiting qualified tutors with teaching or tutoring experience by using local job boards and contacting career centers at nearby colleges, placing advertisements on employment sites and advertising on social media networks.

Step 5:  Hire a designer to create a logo for your business, business card template and website. Use your homepage to give a brief overview of your business, including services and prices, plus a contact page. Ask your designer to add a blog to your site, so that you can post test-taking tips, which can increase your website’s ranking with search engines.

Step 6:  Promote your test strategies tutoring business online and offline to maximum your exposure. If your tutoring services are targeted to undergraduate and graduate students, advertise on social networks, place business cards in the student lounges, coffee houses, libraries and computer rooms of nearby colleges and advertise on local websites that attract college students. If you are targeting school-age kids, contact local schools directly to get added to their tutoring lists, purchase advertising on local blogs and websites parents frequent and get active in community events that can help your meet parents and introduce your business.


Running a tutoring business does not require much equipment especially when you are starting small. However, you may need to purchase the following if you intend to start on a medium or large scale.

  • White Board
  • Business cards
  • Pens and pencils
  • Exercise books
  • Text books
  • Chairs and desks
  • Computer and software
  • Internet access and email accounts
  • Projectors
  • Transcription software
  • Headset and microphone
  • Web camera
  • Telephone
  • The National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy –