Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.
If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!
Guest post from Alaina of Telecommuting Mommies
Working as an online tutor is a great way to make extra cash in your free time, and it doesn’t take much to get started. Check out the different options available and you may be able to start earning in time for the holidays.
What Is an Online Tutor?
Local tutoring centers have been around for many years, offering a place for children of all ages to be tutored in a variety of subjects either after school or in the evening. Many families are now turning to a more flexible alternative for their children by using online tutors.
This has opened up another telecommuting option, especially for those with a background in education or tutoring. The position can include everything from helping a child with their homework to tutoring college-level subjects.
What Equipment and Experience is Required to Be an Online Tutor?
All of the online tutoring companies require you to own your own computer and have high-speed internet. A select few may have more specific computer requirements, including how much computer memory you must have available.
Experience required for the job varies greatly from company to company depending on what subjects and grades you will be tutoring. Companies may be looking for anything from having “strong knowledge” in a subject, all the way up to holding a PhD.
Most companies do require a college degree but it does not have to be in any specific subject. Some companies ask for prior teaching or tutoring experience.
I Have No Teaching Experience, Where Should I Start?
If tutoring online sounds interesting to you but you have no prior teaching or tutoring experience, evaluate what your experience is. Do you have a bachelor’s degree or even just a few years of college? That alone can make you eligible for some of the positions. For instance, for most subjects, Tutor.com requires that you have surpassed your second year in a college education, while other subjects it requires a college degree.
Do you have a special talent or an area that you excel in? For example, Kaplan hires tutors for all the major standardized tests like SAT, ACT, GRE, etc. They do not require a teaching degree or any teaching experience but you must have scored in the 90th percentile for the test that you would be applying to tutor for.
If you are fluent in another language, there are companies like Open English, eTeacher, or Verbal Planet that will hire you as an online language instructor. Some companies, like Limu, even hire tutors for different hobbies.
Teaching “practical” adult classes at Nimblemind is another way to tutor a subject you feel qualified in. Once you have tutoring experience at some of these companies then it will be easier for you to get hired with the others that do require tutoring experience.
How Many Hours a Week Do You Have to Work?
Some of these companies will hire you as an employee, but most consider you an independent contractor. Once you are hired, you would specify what hours you are available and how many hours a week you can work. Then, specific tutoring jobs would be assigned to you.
Other companies will simply verify your credentials and certify you before posting your contact information on their website in order to connect you with those looking for a tutor. In this case, you are technically running your own online tutoring business. Those in need of a tutor will contact you and it’s up to you to set up times and decide how many clients to take on at once.
You would essentially be self-employed, the website would just be more of a way to facilitate tutors and students finding one another. In the long run, this option probably has the potential to make more money but may also include more prep work as far as finding clients and marketing yourself.
How Much Will You Get Paid Per Hour?
Pay varies based on the level and subject you are tutoring. College-level classes are going to pay more than elementary level. Contractors with a PhD will make more than those with a bachelor’s degree.
Pay can range from $9 for an hour up to $30. Some sites let you set your own price and that may determine how many people contact you..
What Companies Are Hiring Online Tutors Right Now?
Revolution Prep is currently hiring tutors for SAT/ACT prep so if you scored really high on either of those tests you may qualify.
Connections Academy is hiring an elementary online tutor, requirements are a bachelors degree.
HomeworkHelp.com is hiring tutors and only requires a two year or four year college degree.
Eduwizards is hiring K-12 Math, Science and Reading Tutors. Bachelors degree required.
Tutor.com is hiring tutors who “Possess strong content knowledge in English, math, science, or social studies at the level you wish to tutor”
What Other Educational Based Work-At-Home Jobs Are Out There?
Besides tutoring online, there are other teaching jobs that can be done online. Several companies and colleges out there will hire online teachers for college-level classes if qualified. And did you know there are companies like Connections Academy, a virtual K-12 public school, that hire teachers for every subject (including P.E.) to work from home?
Also, remember all those standardized tests you had to take throughout school? The majority of the test gets graded by a computer but any written portions, such as the essays, have to be graded by a person… and that person can be you. Companies like Pearson and ETS Scoring hire people to score these online.
For several of the tests you need only a bachelor’s degree in any subject to qualify, for others you need a teaching degree. The scoring is done seasonally after the tests are given so it is not year-round work but it is a great flexible job that usually pays pretty well, usually between $15-$20 an hour.
Have you worked as an online tutor before? If so, tell us about your experiences!
Alaina shares her twelve years of work-from-home experience at her blog Telecommuting Mommies. She also opens up her personal life as a homeschooling, blogging, work at home Mom of four at The Maestro Mom.