How To Get Amazing Tutoring Jobs
Tutoring jobs – whether part-time or full-time, remote or residential – can offer some of the best work for people with a background in humanities and social science. Tutoring can command high (sometimes >$100) hourly wages, afford tremendous flexibility, and give you the chance to teach interesting subjects.
But developing a teaching style, building a reputation, and picking exciting work is crucial to the success of your tutoring career. In this post, I will offer some tips on getting started to improve your chances at landing amazing tutoring gigs.
Residential vs. Online Tutoring: From the French Riviera to my Living Room
I have been fortunate to tutor a variety of subjects in many different and exciting places. Most of my tutoring work has been remote – usually with Skype or Zoom – and this has allowed me fantastic flexibility. Without any commuting, it is easy to fit in a few sessions throughout the week with minimal inconvenience.
I have also gone abroad for residential tutoring assignments, and have experienced glorious locations around Europe, eaten amazing food, and met interesting people along the way. On these postings, I would normally teach for four or five hours per day and then spend the rest of the time doing my own academic work. If you are a PhD student or someone with lots of time-space flexibility, I would highly recommend giving residential tutoring a try.
Pay and Flexibility – Online Tutoring Jobs
When starting out, tutors with a humanities degree can expect to make between $35 and $60 per hour. But your hourly pay can rise quickly if you become a hot commodity on the tutoring scene. The factors driving this variance are experience level, subject matter, time of year, and location.
Around the college admissions season, demand for help with college essays and SAT/ACT preparation is particularly high, so this is often a good time to start looking for tutoring jobs.
The ability to teach remotely is one of the biggest benefits of tutoring work. If you can avoid commuting, by using Skype or Zoom, you can enjoy a really flexible schedule. Nowadays, most people don’t think Skype tutoring is any worse than in-person sessions, so it is much easier to find these gigs. For purposes of efficiency, focus on Skype tutoring or long (one week or more) residential postings, so you can make the most of your time and effort.
So, how can I land a great tutoring job?
Develop a teaching philosophy
Being able to articulate and apply a teaching philosophy will make it far easier to find tutoring jobs. And more important, you will become a more effective teacher. There is an enormous literature on different pedagogical approaches – I find Bloom’s mastery learning one of the most interesting – and becoming familiar with one will make it easier to differentiate yourself from other job applicants. Most people applying for a given tutoring job will have similar backgrounds, so a well-articulated pedagogical approach is often the key to getting hired.
Perfect your resume
It is vital that you have a complete and professional resume when applying for tutoring jobs. Your resume must be tailored to the position, so highlight relevant coursework and past teaching experience in the subject you are applying for. Extracurriculars may also be important, so make sure sure to underline sporting or artistic achievements alongside classwork. Finally, your resume must be properly formatted with flawless spelling and grammar. A stray comma will disqualify you from some amazing opportunities, so get your grammar and spelling in order. If you need help with your resume, reach out to us here. We will connect you with an expert.
Expand your teaching repertoire
Something obvious, but important: the more subjects you can teach well, the more easy it will be to find good jobs. The key here is that you know the material and can teach it effectively. Faking your way into a tutoring job will likely end in disaster and inflict serious reputational damage. Only go for the jobs you know you can teach well. At the same time, always be developing new subject matter expertise on the side. Some people who like tutoring for standardized tests will sit the exams to prove they have the requisite subject expertise. I recommend this if you are interested in that route. Anything you can do to improve your own understanding will increase your attractiveness as a tutor and make teaching more enjoyable.
Get some experience
Most competitive tutoring jobs, i.e. the cool residential postings or the Skype sessions that pay more than $100 per hour, will require some experience. I recommend not being too choosy about how you build that experience. Maybe your first couple of tutoring gigs won’t pay super well or maybe you won’t love the subject. But you will gain practice honing your craft and build the experience necessary to get those amazing jobs.
Play the long game
Building experience in tutoring is incredibly worthwhile even if the first couple of jobs are not especially fulfilling. Why? Because once you have experience and are known to be effective, you will command a higher hourly rate and get first access to the best jobs in the future. Once you are in the ‘big leagues’ so to speak, it isn’t hard to get that tutoring job in the Bahamas or Paris. This may not sound encouraging to someone just starting out, but remember, any experience tutoring is better than nothing. If you make a positive impression and help your student make progress, you can ask for a better rate in your next job.
Also, try to cultivate a relationship with a respected tutoring agency. This will help you build your network and meet other people in the community. Not all agencies are created equal through, so make sure your values are aligned with the agency. In terms of values and commitment to their tutors and students, you can’t do better than Modelex or Riviera Tutors.
Pick the best jobs
This may sound counterintuitive, especially if you have little experience, but if you have a choice between different subject areas, think carefully about which ones you want to target. Pick subjects that you love teaching because you will be a better teacher in those subjects. Sometimes this means not taking every tutoring job that comes your way. But remember: a lackluster or bad tutoring experience that results in a poor review is massively damaging. Tutoring is very much a reputation game, so a bad experience can really set you back. (Also, if you are considering a residential posting, make sure you are 100% comfortable with the assignment. Don’t allow yourself to be exploited.)
Teach, Learn, and Earn
The flexibility, pay, and opportunity for intellectual fulfillment should put tutoring high on your list of job opportunities. It is hard to beat as a flexible income source (more on that here), so get some experience, master some new subjects, and get going!
Check out tutoring jobs on human-jobs.com.