Tutors enrich the lives of students by helping them understand complex concepts and learn studying skills. If you’ve ever been curious about starting your own tutoring business, here’s what you need to know before you get started.
What Does a Tutor Do?
A tutor is someone who provides educational support to students — from grade-level children to those at university. Tutors — who can join a tutoring center, work independently as a private tutor or even offer online tutoring — offer personalized help to students who need more time to understand complex concepts, improve their academic performance, learn studying skills or grow in their educational journey.
Tutors can either work with school students in one-on-one sessions or in small group sessions. Regardless of how a tutor operates, the end goal is to help students become more confident, learn how to set realistic goals and make learning more manageable.
Before you can start hosting tutoring sessions as a small business owner, you will need to figure out what requirements you need to reach. While it's not the same in every state, you generally want to focus on:
- Education: You want to at least have a high school diploma to launch a tutoring service, but an undergraduate degree, like a Bachelor's, especially in the field that you plan to focus on, can make a big difference.
- Certifications: Another way to prove your expertise is through certifications. You can acquire them from different places (for example, the National Tutoring Association), which will show that you have passed a background check and have experience tutoring clients.
- Teaching methods: Not everyone learns in the same way, so as a tutor, you need to ensure that you can teach a diverse client base, many of whom will have different learning styles. You must be able to explain complex concepts in an accessible way and consider the student's learning style.
- Soft skills: Tutoring is much more than being a gifted teacher. You also have to be an excellent communicator; it's also necessary to have empathy and patience. You should be able to maintain a good relationship with students through positive feedback and interactive activities.
- Passion: One of the most important requirements for a tutor is to have a passion for education. This is a job that requires a lot of investment and time, so wanting your students to succeed is paramount.
How to Become a Tutor: Step-by-Step Guide
Whether you want to be an English tutor or a math tutor, here are the general guidelines you should follow to jump into this field:
- Find your niche. The first thing you want to do is narrow your scope. Ask yourself: Do you want to teach elementary school students? Do you want to teach college students? In which school subjects do you excel? Do you want to work with groups or with individuals? Do you want to be an online tutor or an in-person tutor? Once you can answer these questions, you can figure out the best course of action.
- Get the right level of education. As a tutor, your education level is important to potential clients. If you're teaching college students, they will likely want to know that you have experience in the area where they need help. For example, if a student who is taking a chemistry course looks for a tutor, they might gravitate toward one who has a bachelor's degree in chemistry. Consider additional training to keep up with your competitors.
- Get certified. Certifications can make you a more credible tutor. Consider getting tutoring certifications to have an easy way to show your clients that you have the skills and experience to help them reach success.
- Get real-life experience. Having tutoring experience will allow your possible clients to feel comfortable working with you. If they know that you are an effective tutor who has nurtured other clients, they will have more reason to want to hire you.
- Have a tutoring plan. While no two students are alike, you should be able to show your clients how you generally work. For example, you should decide how long your sessions last, how many times you'll meet each week and how you will break up a subject over the course of several sessions. Create an outline that breaks down your teaching approach, goals and strategies for assessing and tracking a student's progress.
- Stay up to date. Make sure that you continuously work on your communication skills and other tools that you'll need to do your job effectively. You also want to attend workshops or take on additional courses to continue building your skills as a tutor.
10 Tips For Running a Tutoring Business
If you have a knack for teaching others, expertise in a certain field and a desire to become a solopreneur, you should consider starting a tutoring business. Here are a few things you can do to help you stand apart:
- Build an online presence. You can't rely on word-of-mouth at the beginning, so consider using a platform to build out your business. You can either choose to go for social media or start a website. We recommend going the Noodle route to set up your tutor profile. You can use SEO and a robust platform to advertise your services.
- Make it easy to book you. Your clients shouldn't have to work hard to hire you or to conveniently schedule a session with you. With Noodle's calendar feature, potential clients can see your availability and a breakdown of your services. There's no need for you to go back and forth to determine what schedule works best for both of you.
- Accept online payments. We live in a digital world, so giving customers the ability to pay online is a necessity. Noodle provides simple and secure checkouts in more than 40 countries.
- Offer digital products. Whether you offer it for free or at a reduced cost, a digital product can offer a peek into how you teach and your expertise. You can try to sell a cheat sheet for a standardized test, a video where you break down a difficult subject in a simple way or an illustration that has your best tips for studying for a test. With Noodle Byte, you can offer videos, PDFs and other downloadable assets to help students make strides.
- Provide flexibility. Create a menu of tutoring services that you offer. You can choose from individual tutoring, group sessions or even one-offs before an important exam. You can also offer a private chat to quickly work through a problem or a specific area of a subject. With your Noodle one-link, you can give customers a host of options for their tutoring needs.
- Be open to online tutoring. While most students are likely used to working with educators in person, you should consider offering online tutoring. As a self-employed tutor, this opens up your client base to many more places outside of your city or state. Noodle makes it easy to sell online services.
- Create an FAQ section on your platform. This FAQ section will answer very basic questions about your business, such as who you tutor, how many sessions per week, your educational background and your credentials. Customers will likely want to know more about you, but it's still important to have a space that outlines who you are and what you can do for a student.
- Keep accurate records. As your business grows, it can become more difficult to keep track of every single little detail. But when it comes to tax time or if you want to re-engage customers, having accurate records could make all the difference. Luckily for you, the Noodle dashboard keeps everything organized for you, giving you the ability to know your customers.
- Give parents updates. Especially if you are working with young children, you must find a way to provide parents updates so that they know how their kids are progressing. You can use Noodle to give parents a progress report.
- Seek feedback. You cannot grow without constructive feedback, so make sure you ask your clients to leave you reviews. Or better yet. Let Noodle handle it. After working with a client, Noodle will reach out and ask them to leave you a review.
Join Noodle today to help you create a strong online presence for your tutoring business. And while you’re here, take advantage of our scheduling feature and online payment system to help you stand out.