Work-at-Home Job Profile: Online Tutoring

Online tutors
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Online tutoring

Industry/Career Field:

Teaching, online education, distance learning
Levels: K-12, high school, college and adult education

Companies specializing in online tutoring may offer services directly to parents and students or may be contracted by school systems to provide tutoring to students. Tutors can also connect with students using platforms made available by online tutoring companies and then share the revenue.

Job Description:

There is a fine line between online teaching and online tutoring. The main difference is that tutoring involves providing help with a subject that the student is being taught elsewhere. However, some online tutors can provide extensive teaching while others simply help with homework.

Online tutoring job descriptions vary greatly depending on the level (e.g., K-12, college, adult ed) and position structure (e.g., home business, employment). Those employed by companies that contract with school districts are more likely to require that tutors perform some form of assessment of students, while homework help tutors wouldn't be required to do so.

Online tutors typically work with students via Skype or some other video conferencing system.

Subjects for tutors: Math, English, science, social studies, TOEFL, SES, test prep (AP, GED, PSAT, SAT, GRE, GMAT), English as a second language (ESL), foreign languages

Type of Position:

Employment, independent contractor, home business

Online tutoring can be work-at-home employment, though usually part time, paid on an hourly basis. Or, it can be independent contracting positions--again usually paid hourly--in which a company contracts with an online tutor to work with students but the tutor is not an employee.

A third possibility is that a person starts his or her own online tutoring business, tutors students and collects fees from them. There are companies that offer platforms to connect students with teachers and for delivering lessons. Typically these companies take a percentage of the fees charged.

Education Required:

Typically the minimum education requirement for online tutoring is a bachelor degree. However, a few places will hire college students. For those starting an online tutoring business, there is no official minimum education requirement. However, attracting students in this competitive business may be difficult if you don't have a college education.

Though the minimum requirements are usually a four-year college degree, many employers require more a master's or doctorate degree. Many K-12 online tutoring companies look for a teaching certificate and a master's degree. A master's or a PhD may be required for faculty or teaching assistant positions at an online university.


Beyond the education requirements, many companies hiring online tutors may require teaching experience (either in the classroom or online), familiarity with online teaching tools, and a Internet-connected computer with a webcam. Schools and companies are also looking for people with experience and knowledge in the specific subject being tutored. (See below for a list a possible subjects in online tutoring.)


Pay for online tutors ranges widely based on the candidate's qualifications and the position's level and structure. Pay can be as low as minimum wage (or less outside the U.S.) or as much as $30 an hour or more.

Where to Find a Job in Online Tutoring:

These list provide links to companies that hire for the many different types of jobs in online teaching. Not all are necessarily hiring at this time.