I found this great article from Grayson over at Sproutwealth on how to make extra money this summer. One of the 13 tips given was tutoring. I thought I would chime in here with a simple guide on how to make money tutoring since I have had pretty good luck with this lately.
How to Make Money Tutoring – Getting Started
What types of things do you know more about than your average person? This is the most important question to ask yourself if you are considering becoming a tutor. People that are willing to pay for tutoring are looking for two things:
- Expert knowledge in a field
- The ability to convey this knowledge to them in an efficient, friendly way
Obviously, if you do not know more than the student in their field of interest, you are going to run into trouble! As a tutor, you need to be at least two or three steps ahead of the student at all times or you are really doing the student a disservice
How to Make Money Tutoring – My Example
If you are a college graduate, chances are that you know more about one particular field of study than the average person. Even if you don’t have a degree, chances are that you have unique knowledge or expertise in some area that someone out there is willing to pay for. Take a minute to perform a self assessment to determine where your unique strengths and abilities are. When I started listing my knowledge areas out, I was surprised at just how much I knew that could be monetized.
I am a Mechanical Engineer with ~12 years of broad industry experience at a fortune 100 company. I am Six Sigma Black Belt certified and just recently received my MBA. As you can see, my expertise is in math, business, and process improvement. This is great because people are willing to pay top dollar to learn these sorts of skills!
How to Make Money Tutoring – Where to Find Customers
There are several tutoring websites our there that will set you up with potential students. They serve as a basic match-making service similar to Ebay. One of the most popular tutoring websites is WyzAnt, but there are literally dozens out there. I have never actually signed up as a tutor for this company, but one of the things that really turned me off was that they take 40% of what you make for their “match making” service. What the hell?!?!? We can do much better than that!
A simple ad on Craigslist is probably enough to get the ball rolling for a majority of folks. I created my Craigslist ad and had six opportunities within the first three weeks. That was more than I could handle time-wise, and I get 100% of the money versus 60% if I went with WyzAnt!
Here is what my Craigslist ad looks like – please feel free to steal shamelessly from it to make your own Craigslist ad:
I am a friendly, patient, results oriented, and experienced tutor. I have a vast understanding of math, science, computer, and business topics. But that’s only half of the picture! After all, what good is an intelligent tutor if they cannot find a way to speak in a language that the student can understand?
I have the uncanny ability to breakdown complex topics and present them in a way that makes sense to the student. I was always known as the student that classmates went to for the “simple explanation.” Some tutors or teachers can spend hours with students without getting anywhere! I have frequently been able to explain topics in minutes to students and make the “light bulb” turn on once I understand their background. I have a life-long passion for learning and thoroughly enjoy helping others unlock their full potential. If you’re having difficulty with any of the topics below, please reach out to me to get the help that you need!
• 12 years industry experience in Engineering/Statistics with Fortune-500 corporation
• BS in Mechanical Engineering with Minor in Physics — Valedictorian – Virginia Commonwealth University
• MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University
• Six Sigma Black Belt certified
• SAT Math (I/II) — earned a perfect 730 score
• Run my own personal finance blog at: www.MoneyAhoy.com
• Tutoring ,Test preparation, Homework help, Project help, and Paper writing/editing/proofreading
Services Available for the Following Topics:
• Math & Science:
o Pre-algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Linear Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Trigonometry, Geometry, General Mathematics, Statistics, Probability, Physics, SAT/ACT/GRE/GED test preparation
• Problem Solving:
o Root Cause Failure Analysis, Why-Trees, Fish-bone diagrams, Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt methodology
• Computers & Software:
o Visual Basic programming, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Access, SQL, Photoshop
o Website Design, WordPress Blogs, HTML, CSS, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social media consulting
o Business/Managerial Accounting and Finance, Economics
Rate and Logistics:
• People of all ages: 4 through 104 – no one is too young or too old
• Free phone consultation to ensure I have the right skills to help you succeed
• $40/hr (one-hour minimum)
• Meet in a public location
• Webcam/Skype sessions also available
How to Make Money Tutoring – Decide Your Rate
As you can see, my background is highly technical. Because of this, I am able to charge a pretty high rate for my services. I performed some market analysis for my area using WyzAnt and surveying other Craigslist ads, and it seems that a good average price for tutoring is around $40/hr. You may be able to get more than this if your specific knowledge is in high demand.
I would encourage you to start a little on the high end and then drop your price if you don’t get any takers. If you find yourself with more available time for tutoring, you can always drop your price to fill up your free time.
How to Make Money Tutoring – Other Tips
Here are some other tips I’ve learned along the way that help round out this “how to make money tutoring” guide:
- Meet in a public place like a Panera, Starbucks, Library, etc. – Your safety is of the highest importance!
- As a tutor, make sure you are comfortable with the material. Spend a couple minutes gauging what the student is asking from you. In two cases so far over the past month, I have had to turn folks away because my level of knowledge was just not high enough. I would not feel right charging someone $40/hr and stumbling through the topic.
- As a tutor, inform your students that you only accept cash! I have had people pay in check before. Besides being a hassle to drop by the bank, there is always a chance that the funds will not go through.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the student to meet some place convenient to YOUR location. I have driven 30 minutes out of my way before to tutor someone. We probably could have met closer if I would have just pressed this a bit.
- Wear a watch! Most of my sessions naturally last about two hours, but you want to make sure you stick to one hour intervals if possible.
- Come prepared with the materials you will need – pencils, pens, paper, calculator, computer, etc. Do not assume the student will bring all the materials they will need.
- One of the most important tips for how to make money tutoring is to keep a spreadsheet or list of all of your students. A day or two after the session, send them an email or a text thanking them and offering more help if they want or need it. You will find that you will get plenty of students by word of mouth! I have received repeat tutoring sessions by ensuring I followup with the students. It only takes 1-2 minutes of your time. It can also serve as a great reference list down the road if someone requests this.
- School is NOT out for summer! Many students are taking accelerated summer college courses. Tutoring can be more important than ever for these summer students!
- Make sure you leave multiple methods of contact on your Craigslist ad. Different people prefer one method over another.
- Craigslist ads expire after 45 days – make sure you keep your tutoring ad fresh.
How to Make Money Tutoring – Final Thoughts
I just got started with tutoring about four weeks ago. I have already had three different students and have banked $240! My first session was tutoring someone in WordPress So if you are a blog owner, you already have one topic right there that you can monetize! The second student was trying to pass a math entry test into nursing school – this was basically 5th grade math type of stuff – fractions, percentages, etc. My last student needed help in Physics 101 – I can do that with my eyes closed
One guy wanted tutoring in differential equations – I had to turn him away because I couldn’t remember any of that stuff to save my life! Another wanted some accounting help that was just a little over my head.
All-in-all I cannot believe I did not start tutoring years ago!! Tutoring really is an awesome way to make $40/hr by helping students learn topics that I am very comfortable with. It is also really great knowing that I am helping someone else in their potential future career, hobby, or side business. If you have not given tutoring a try, I would suggest you create your own Craigslist ad and give it a whirl. It is a great way to help people and make money.
Please let me know if you have any other helpful tips to improve this how to make money tutoring guide!!