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How to Become a Tutor?

how to become a tutor

Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge with other people?

If so, and you can explain complicated information clearly, tutoring students could be the perfect job for you. This role allows you to connect with both groups of people and individuals and make money from imparting wisdom.

Tutoring comes in a range of different forms, and you can choose the working style that best suits you. While it can be challenging at times, working as a tutor can also be very rewarding.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at how to become a tutor and what this career involves.

how to become a tutor

What Does A Tutor Do?

Tutoring mainly involves providing groups of people and individuals with academic instruction. Tutors usually provide students with additional lessons and practice that support their ongoing education. This helps students to improve their grades, hone their skills, and prepare for important exams.

Tutors often work with students with special needs or those who are unable to attend formal education. They can provide lessons in the home of the student, in a private institution, or via the internet. They create special lesson plans for students and courses and map their progress throughout lessons.

The Main Types Of Tutoring

Before you think about getting qualified, you need to decide what type of tutor you want to be. Different types of tutoring require different types of qualifications and commitment levels. Here are the main types of tutoring that you can choose from.

Home-based tutoring

These tutors visit students in their own homes to help them keep up with their education. This is often necessary when a student is unable to attend school due to an accident or injury. The tutor may bring the student’s set lessons and homework to them and go through the material. Home-based tutoring can also take place after school when parents are busy with housework or other commitments.

Center-based tutoring

These tutors work for a special tutoring school and work with individual students or small groups. The tutoring usually takes place after school and on the weekends. Tutors create special daily or weekly lessons that reinforce the subjects students are struggling with. Some centers specialize in certain subjects like Spanish or engineering and cater to adult students.

Online tutoring

These lessons can be scheduled on-demand and connect tutors with students all over the world. Students and tutors connect through a special application, and lessons are often recorded and monitored. Online tutors are often responsible for creating their own lesson plans, although resources are sometimes provided.

Online tutoring allows you to set your own hours and choose the subject you will teach. You have to register with an online company and complete a test and other registration requirements. You will then be matched with students and can complete one-on-one tutoring sessions.

how to become tutors

Special needs tutoring

This type of tutoring involves working with students who have learning disabilities. This could be due to conditions such as dyslexia or autism. Tutors work closely with students to help determine their special learning needs and abilities. This can include finding different ways to explain information and helping students master basic skills.

Peer tutoring

This type of tutoring involves teaching members of the same peer group. If you are still in high school, you can gain teaching experience by offering this type of tutoring. You will often help students work on assignments, prepare for tests, and advance in subjects they are struggling with.

Essential Skills And Attributes

Before you can work as a tutor, you need to complete training and gain a license. However, you also need to develop the personal skills that will help you relate to students. Here are the key skills and attributes that a successful tutor should possess.


You need to be able to explain concepts and theories to students of all ages. This often means finding alternative ways of explaining and illustrating complex concepts so that students understand them. You need to make sure that your students are interested and engaged at all times. This role also involves communicating with parents and students and providing updates on the progress of students.


You will often be working with several different students in a single day. You need to create lesson plans and engaging materials for each student and keep track of their progress. It is essential to be able to keep clear and accurate records and make sure your work schedule is clear.

Active listening

You need to listen carefully to each student to understand their unique needs and learning style. You must be able to determine whether or not a student has grasped a particular concept before moving on. This helps you to create the best possible teaching plan for the student so that they continue learning and developing.


You need to be able to keep your students engaged with the subject for long periods. This includes creating special teaching aids and materials that will appeal to particular students. This includes creating and utilizing education games that reinforce certain topics and areas of knowledge.


You will often need to explain the same concept to a student several times before they grasp it. Some students may have trouble focusing and be uncommunicative or even rude at times. You need to be able to remain calm and overcome challenges to meet the educational needs of students.


You need to be able to adapt your lesson plans and teaching methods to meet the needs of students. If a lesson isn’t working for some reason, you need to be willing and able to change tactics quickly. This involves compromise and working with students and other educators to make sure each lesson has a positive impact.

How To Become A Tutor?

The exact skills and knowledge you need to become a tutor will depend on where and how you choose to work. However, there are certain steps you can take to get qualified and boost your chances of finding regular work. Here is an overview of the steps you should take on your journey to becoming a tutor.

Graduate from high school

You need to earn a high school diploma before you can focus on getting qualified. You need strong grades in foundation subjects such as English, math, and science. These grades will help pave the way for further education and special certifications.

Complete tutoring training and education

There are several different paths you can take to become qualified to work as a tutor. It is a good idea to start with a bachelor’s degree in a subject like English, mathematics, or science. If you are planning to work in the classroom, you need to complete formal training in education. Some tutoring companies provide the additional training and certification you need to start working as a tutor.

Join a tutoring association

These special associations can provide you with the advice and resources you need to advance on your career path. There are several groups, such as the American Tutoring Association, the National Tutoring Association, and the Professional Tutors of America. Each of these associations offers mentorship opportunities, tutoring certifications, annual conferences, and networking events.

Earn a tutoring certification

Depending on who you work for and where you work, you may need a formal tutoring certification. This provides you with advanced instruction in essential tutoring techniques and strategies while giving you professional credibility. Advanced certification is offered by several certifying bodies, such as the American Tutoring Association.

how to become the tutor

Get licensed

If you are planning to work in a school setting, you will usually need to get a special license. However, this will not be necessary if you are planning to work as a private tutor. You will be able to set your own rates and advertise your services once you obtain your chosen credentials.

Choose your working style

Once you are trained and licensed, you are ready to start tutoring. You now need to decide what type of tutor you want to be. You could work directly for an organization and tutor the students that are assigned to you.

Alternatively, you could decide to work as a private tutor. If you decide to take this route, you will be responsible for finding your own clients. While this route involves more effort, you can also command a higher salary, especially if you choose a specialization.

Tutor Certifications And Related Degrees

There are no official degree programs for tutors to complete to get qualified. Instead, you need to complete a degree in a field related to what you want to teach. This can include English, business, mathematics, and education. Here is an overview of the institutions that offer the appropriate training programs.

Tutoring Facilities and Providers

Tutoring preparation training programs are offered by several private tutoring companies and organizations. These programs focus on a particular tutoring specialty like GMAT or an area like elementary school tutoring.

Before choosing a training program, you need to work out what you want your tutoring specialization or area to be. The training program should cover different teaching methods and student assessment techniques.

Community College

These institutions offer both continuing education certificates and formal academic degrees. Most courses take two years to complete, although you have the option of studying at your own pace. Some of the best course options for future tutors include teacher preparation and early childhood education courses.

Four-Year Schools

Most universities and colleges offer special programs that you can use to boost your tutoring skills. A degree in education will teach you a wide range of tutoring skills and will prove your commitment. If you are planning on offering tutoring in a specialist subject, gaining a degree in that subject will open doors.

Different Specializations

Specializing in a particular type of tutoring can help you gain access to more work and boost your earning potential. If you have advanced knowledge in an area like standardized testing, you will stand out from the crowd. Here are some of the main tutoring specializations you could focus on.

ACT/SAT tutoring

The SAT and ACT are standardized tests that university admissions committees use to assess the knowledge of students. Completing these tests is a milestone in the life of most students and can be a long and stressful process. ACT and SAT tutors help students prepare by teaching them special strategies for each section of the exam.

They provide tutoring in certain areas, create individual learning plans, and administer practice tests.

how to become the tutors

GMAT tutoring

This type of tutoring prepares business school applicants to take the Graduate Management Admission Test. You would create special customized test preparation plans for your students and teach them different computerized test-taking strategies. The focus is on helping students become familiar with the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections of the test.

Writing tutoring

Students of all ages and levels need to learn writing strategies and processes. Writing tutors identify the needs of individual students and create customized learning programs for them. This includes essay writing, creative writing, editing and proofreading, and lessons on grammar and the use of language. This type of tutoring is especially useful for English students who are pursuing higher education.

Special needs tutoring

Working with students with disabilities can be a very rewarding career for tutors with a lot of patience. You would be working closely with students who have learning, physical, emotional, and mental disabilities. These students often require specialized approaches to teaching and use special tools to gain knowledge.

Study skills tutoring

This type of tutoring involves helping students learn and develop special study strategies and practices. This helps students who are pursuing higher education to study and take in information more effectively. Some of the techniques involved include strategies on note-taking, active listening skills, research skills, and tactics for managing test anxiety.

Improve Your Tutoring Skills

We found endless online guides such as Be a Great Tutor: The Inspiring Guide to Tutoring All Ages, and The Oxford Guide for Writing Tutors: Practice and Research, as well as The Rowman & Littlefield Guide for Peer Tutors, and How Tutoring Works: Six Steps to Grow Motivation and Accelerate Student Learning, to begin with.

In addition, we recommend reading the Private Tutor Business Tutoring Book: How to Start & Finance Your Successful Tutoring Home Business if you’re just starting, and How To Be An Excellent Home Tutor, and if you’re teaching older students, the Training Guide for College Tutors and Peer Educators all available online in 2023.

Lastly, if you decide to further your career into teaching, take a look at my Childcare Teacher Job Description, my Teacher Job Description, or Teacher Assistant Job Description, my Pre K Teacher Job Description, and my Special Education Teacher Interview Questions help you decide which direction you’d like to go in.

Final Thoughts

To be a successful tutor, you need to have a genuine interest in knowledge and sharing it. Make sure that your knowledge of the topic you teach is up to date. This means researching and reading about the subject in your spare time.

While tutoring can be challenging at times, this can be a very rewarding career both emotionally and financially. The average salary for online tutoring work is $30 per hour. However, you can increase your salary to around $60 per hour by specializing in an area like calculus or SAT Prep.

All the very best with your new career as a Tutor!

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About Calvin Miller

Calvin has over 20 years of experience in a leading employment agency in Tucson, Arizona, and is passionate about finding the perfect position for everyone who uses the company’s services.

He lives with his wife, Annette, and their two sons Jake and Joseph.

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