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31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: Become an Online Tutor (Day 10)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

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, 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. 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. is hiring tutors who “Possess strong content knowledge in English, math, science, or social studies at the level you wish to tutor”

Aim4A and Brainfuse are also currently accepting applications for online tutors.

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

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  • Jenni says:

    These are good tips and I appreciate the list of websites that are hiring. I have not worked as an online tutor before, but have worked as an in person tutor. I think it depends on the type of tutoring you will do, but keep in mind that some jobs might require some outside preparation time. I always spent at least as much time preparing for my sessions as I did doing them.

  • Joanna says:

    Has anyone had personal experience with eTeacher? My husband has been looking into trading his pizza delivery job for online language teaching (to save our poor old car) while he finishes his PhD. He’s studied Russian, Ancient Greek, Arabic, and Biblical Hebrew. I would love to hear how this company has worked out for any of you.

  • Sasha says:

    I have used Wyzant tutoring for over a year as an in-person tutor, but some of the tutors on the website teach online. One of my current students is returning to her native country so I will start tutoring her via Skype. I tutor in Spanish, Elementary, and ESL. The website does take a percentage of what you charge, but it helps you find students and takes care of the payments. Students must have payment on file before starting lessons. I have found that this shows who really wants tutoring as opposed to who might be interested. You can be sent a check or use direct deposit, which means you can focus on teaching at each session and not worry about asking for payment. You set your own pay and can adjust it for multiple students or traveling longer distances. I reccomend searching tutors in your area to see what the “going rate” is. As a former teacher now stay-at-home mom it allows me to do two things that I love, teach and be at home with my son and baby due in February.
    My referral link is below if you want to sign up as a tutor or search for one I receive points. Thanks!

  • melissa says:

    I taught math for a number of years, but depending on the curriculum and how the questions are worded, I can get stumped when trying to help others. What happens if I take an online tutor job and don’t know how to answer someone’s question?!

  • sjm says:

    This is a great article, and very useful to me: thank you very much.

    I see that charges 40$ a year for an instructor’s membership. While this is not an unreasonable amount per se, I would have liked to see whether the site could generate enough tutoring revenue for me before having to pay it.

  • WordVixen says:

    There is another kind of online tutoring that you can do. Sites like have a place where students list what they’re having problems with (like, a concept in class, or a specific homework question that they’re just not getting), and then tutors can post help for those questions (or even write up explanations for questions that they think future students may have) and the students pay to get that information. The question and answer stay on the site, so future students can simply purchase the explanation with no further work required on the part of the tutor. If it’s a popular topic, it can become good passive income.

    (Note: I know there are several other sites like this, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head.)

  • Lizzy Moure says:

    Check out
    They accept students and tutors from all over the world. You can start your profile and set your own hours and price. Students from around the world will contact you and you can start tutoring immediately.

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