Do you want to share your talents and experience, while helping people achieve their goals? Tutoring could be just the ticket, especially if you want to make money at the same time. 

The demand for online learning grew during the pandemic and shows no sign of slowing down, with people embracing the benefits of remote tutoring – from helping a child with math to picking up a new hobby. 

With that demand comes the need for people to share their knowledge and expertise. 

Online learning turns the world into your potential student base, offering huge potential to create a fun and lucrative side-hustle or develop a full-time tutoring gig.

So, if you want to make money online doing something you love, this guide will show you how to become an online tutor, even with no experience.

What is Online Tutoring?

Online tutoring is among the most popular options for a home-based business. It also works great as a side-hustle that you can do alongside a job or other commitments.

An online tutor helps students develop knowledge and skills in academic or non-academic subjects. 

preply tutoring

The learning takes place remotely, usually on a one-to-one basis through live video consultations. Email and live chat might also be used. Some tutors work with small groups of students.

Some tutors work with lesson plans, while others develop personal learning schedules based on the student’s needs. Tutors often sign up to one or more online platforms and charge an hourly rate for their services.

What Equipment Do You Need to be an Online Tutor?

For online tutoring, you’ll need a reliable computer with a strong and stable internet connection. 

Depending on the platform you use, you might need a webcam or to download video-conferencing software, like Zoom. There is also dedicated tutoring software, such as TutorBird.

tutorbird

Or, with Whop, you can add the video app to your whop hub to host video calls in your community space - more on that later.

In addition to the equipment and software, you also need a quiet, distraction-free space. You may want to use headphones and a microphone, or a headset which combines the two.

Now you know the basics, here's how you can become an online tutor in just five steps.

Becoming an Online Tutor in 5 Steps

online coach

1. Choose your subject

The first step to becoming an online tutor is to decide what you want to teach. 

You can tutor academic subjects to help your students improve their performance in school or enhance their chances of college admission. Alternatively, if you want to become an online tutor but have no experience teaching, you can help people learn hobbies and non-academic subjects.

Here are some examples of what you can teach as an online tutor:

Tutoring academic subjects

This type of tutoring can range from teaching formal curriculums or test preparation to a more informal arrangement to help students improve their grades. Qualifications are important here, with most academic tutors holding (or working towards) a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD in their subject. 

However, the level of education you’ll need will vary, depending on the age range you want to target. 

For example, if you want to become an online math tutor, you’ll need to decide whether you want to teach younger children, high school, or college age. This will determine the academic level needed.

Academic tutors often have some kind of background in education, such as a degree, teaching experience, and/or certification from the American Tutoring Association or the National Tutoring Association. 

Subjects you can tutor include:

  • English
  • Sciences
  • Computer science 
  • Math
  • Languages
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Academic writing / research
  • Exam prep

History lesson anyone?  

online history tutor

Don’t worry – if all this sounds a bit heavy for a fun side-hustle or online business, there are many more options for online tutoring, including:

Tutoring English as a second language

If you speak English at a fluent or native level, teaching non-speakers is another option for online tutoring. 

Your students might be kids learning from scratch, college-age students needing help to pass the IELTS and TOEFL exams, or adults looking for conversational English so they can travel and work overseas.

There are dedicated online platforms for tutoring English online. Some reputable platforms will want a recognized qualification and/or experience. So, if you’re serious about teaching or tutoring English online, getting kitted out with credentials can help you to stand out and gain confidence. For example, Andrea from Superprof is TEFL certified: 

TEFL certified

There are many companies out there offering certificates in teaching English. While many of these can give you an introduction to the subject, they are not all equally respected. Before you sign up, check out the course’s accreditation and level. 

As a guide, Level 3 courses are entry qualifications, equal to 60 hours of training. Level 5 courses are 120 hours and give you an internationally-recognized qualification. 

If you’re new to teaching, look for courses which have a practice element with feedback, which lets you teach fellow students to get familiar with presenting to one or more learners.

Tutoring non-academic subjects

If you came here to find out how to become an online tutor with no degree, you’re in luck. There is high demand for tutoring across all kinds of non-academic subjects and hobbies. Many people want to learn one-on-one, so are prepared to pay for your time if you can help them develop their skills. 

With non-academic tutoring, while qualifications help, practical experience is more important. With some subjects, you’ll attract more students if you’ve had some kind of commercial or financial success to back up your skills.

Examples of subjects for non-academic tutoring include:

  • Fitness and personal training
  • Poker
  • Music (instruments and singing)
  • Creative writing
  • Acting
  • Computing and technology
  • Photography
  • Visual arts
  • Sports
  • Languages (conversational)
  • Public speaking
  • Business skills
  • Vocational skills

What non-academic subject could you teach? Making money with poetry, perhaps?

poetry whop

2. Research online tutoring platforms

Once you’ve decided what you want to tutor online, the next step is to find the right platform. Thanks to the rise of online learning, there is now a wide range of platforms that let tutors sign up and market their services to students.

These platforms work like dating sites, matching tutors and students and allowing them to communicate safely without sharing personal contact info. They also handle payments and other admin. On these sites, you offer your services as an independent, self-employed tutor. This way, you’re free to set your own hourly rate, pick and choose your students, and set your own availability. 

Some online platforms enjoy a better reputation than others, so do your homework. For academic sites, there will likely be a formal application and screening process.

To get you started, here are a few online tutoring platforms:

Superprof

superprof

 One of the best-known platforms, Superprof offers wide-ranging tutoring opportunities across academic subjects, as well as all kinds of non-academic hobbies. This global platform claims over seven million tutors, so earning big money here might be a challenge unless you have a niche skill which is underserved or outstanding credentials. Many tutors offer their first session for free, with learners required to sign up for a Student Pass before they can contact a tutor.

Fees: No platform fee, 10% commission fee. Tutors who have not yet reached Super Tutor status must provide a free first lesson to each new student.

Good for: Anyone who wants to tutor a skill, hobby, or academic subject.

iTalki 

italki

This tutor platform focuses exclusively on language learning, offering one-to-one and group tuition. The site claims to offer 150+ languages, with learners able to pay per session, rather than subscribe. When it comes to tutors, iTalki is divided into two strands:

  • Professional teachers who have qualifications and experience
  • So-called “community tutors” who offer informal learning and conversation in their chosen language

Fees: No platform fees, 15% commission fee.

Good for: Language lovers and professional language teachers located anywhere in the world, who want flexible tutoring opportunities.

Varsity Tutors

varsity tutors

One of the leading academic platforms, Varsity offers instruction in all the main subjects, as well as test prep – both on a one-to-one and group basis. The site claims to offer tutors a comprehensive service, which includes AI algorithms that match students with the right tutor, as well as tailored lesson plans and a learning platform. While teaching experience isn’t required to sign up, qualifications are important. The focus here is on building long-term relationships with students.

Fees: Unclear, but some reviews state that tutors are paid on average $11 - $15 per hour.

Good for: Committed tutors who want to help younger students develop in academic subjects.

Wyzant

wyzant

Wyzant is a large platform offering tutoring in everything from algebra to fitness. Overall, it claims to have served three million students, with 65,000+ tutors covering over 300 subjects. The platform attracts students who want to excel in academics as well as those who want to develop non-academic skills. Because its offering is so wide, tutors’ hourly rates on this platform vary wildly – ranging from $30 to over $200. Some of the tutors boast qualifications from leading institutions or have teaching credentials.

Fees: No platform fees, 25% commission fee.

Good for: Tutors with academic qualifications and professional experience in their field.

Whop
Different to the standard tutoring platform we’ve covered so far, Whop is a versatile platform where you can sell all kinds of digital products and services, including online tutoring. 

Entrepreneurs can use Whop’s tools to launch, manage and monetize their businesses, offering a range of digital products, such as this tutoring service:

With a user-friendly interface and extensive resources, Whop helps sellers create and manage their online store, handle customer interactions and track sales. You’re not pigeonholed to just one-on-one tutoring – you can sell memberships, private communities, ebooks, studying tools, and so much more. This means that you can turn your online tutoring venture into a business with multiple revenue streams, both active and passive.

Fees: No platform fees, just 3% commission fee.

Good for: Entrepreneurs and tutors looking to sell digital products, including online tutoring services, through a comprehensive and customizable platform.

Want to learn more about the opportunities for sellers on platforms like Whop? Here are the best products to sell online.

3. Craft your tutoring offer

The next step is to figure out how to sell yourself as a tutor. Browse the tutoring platforms and you’ll get an idea of what subjects they offer and – more importantly – what other tutors are offering. 

Look at the tutors’ profiles and you’ll see they sell their credentials, experience, and qualifications but also their personal skills. 

Put some thought into crafting a profile that lets would-be students know you’re someone they’ll enjoy learning from. This is especially true for non-academic subjects, where the tutor-student relationship is likely to be less formal, while still offering value and well-thought-out learning sessions.

Take dance tutor Kayla for example. She’s an African American dancer and dance educator from the East Coast who is ecstatic about the possibility of being your dance teacher. Sounds exciting, right?

kayla tutor

Add a photo to show off your personality but keep it friendly and professional – you’re trying to attract paying students, not sharing a boozy night-out selfie on your social media.

The profiles will also show a variety of hourly rates. For example, on Superprof, the rate range is generally $20 to $80 per hour. Academic tutors often charge more, especially if they have a strong track record in helping students get high grades and test scores.

As well as offering the first session for free, some tutors give discounts for group learning or for block booking sessions.

4. Prepare for tutoring 

Unless you’re working through a set curriculum or lesson plan, the content of your sessions will depend on the needs of the individual student (or their parents if you tutor kids). For non-academic subjects, this is likely to be quite an informal aim rather than being too results-driven. 

For example, a student might simply want to get better at drawing or writing short stories. Getting an early sense of their current level will guide the areas they need to improve. So, be sure to ask lots of questions during your first interaction with a student.

On the other hand, academic subjects may have a more concrete goal, such as passing an exam or achieving a specific grade.

Whatever your subject, when it comes to tailoring your learning sessions, listen to your student and adapt your content to keep them happy and coming back. Don’t try to wing your lessons – have a schedule in place with goals but be flexible depending on the student and their progress. This way, you’ll build a positive reputation, unlock more student business, and earn that higher hourly rate.

5. Expand your tutoring business

As you move forward with your online tutoring, think beyond the platforms. For example, you can use your skills to offer tutoring via your own website, marketing your offer via social media and other channels. 

You could widen your tutoring to include content creation around your subject, such as ebooks, monetized blogs, and podcasts

Of course, you can even create your own courses, which is where Whop comes in…

whop

Start Tutoring (and Earning) With Whop

Here at Whop, we help people like you to set up and grow a successful online business. From the coolest side-hustles to the easiest ways to make money from home, we’re here to guide you every step of the way, with a range of courses, communities, and software.

Even better, if you love the idea of creating an income stream through teaching, training or tutoring, we offer an all-in-one platform to sell digital products. So you can share your passion and expertise with the world – and make money in the process. With video calling features, an online course builder, file application for PDFs, the ability to create gated communities, and so much more, Whop has everything you need to start your online tutoring venture.

Check out what we have to offer and get started on your journey to a profitable online tutoring business today with Whop.