Tutoring is typically done in a one-to-one situation, as opposed to group
or class learning. It lasts for as many sessions as the student and tutor
Although many tutors are volunteer workers, others are self-employed or
working for tutoring services in colleges, universities and private enterprise.
Tutors work at their occupation either part time or full time. The work
lends itself well to those who desire to "moonlight" in addition to their
regular employment, or those who want to work only part time due to family
or other obligations.
Tutors typically work evenings and weekends, since they must accommodate
the times that students are available. They could teach at different levels,
from elementary school right up to university.
Tutors may also teach multiple subjects or specialize in a single subject
Daa Mahowald, a tutor, says you could be a reading specialist, for example.
These are tutors who help kids improve their reading and comprehension skills.
Richard Bilonick, who teaches statistics, says the Internet is making online
tutoring a possibility. People with specialized knowledge and good Internet
skills are increasingly able to operate an online tutoring service with students
they never meet in person.
Tutor Renee Mickelson says tutoring is beginning to be recognized as a
professional occupation at the post-secondary level, at least in some areas.
But tutors are generally not certified and are not required to meet any
specific training or educational standards. Private tutoring services or college
tutoring services, however, will have their own employment requirements, and
will often ask for a degree or a teaching certificate.
Even those who wish to be self-employed will find that a degree or a teaching
certificate enhances credibility and increases the opportunities available.
Tutors must have a good knowledge of the subject or subjects that they
teach. They must also be flexible and patient and have good communication
"Tutors need a knack for looking at a problem from several perspectives,"
Mahowald says. "If a tutee doesn't understand a tutor's first explanation,
the tutor must take a different approach and maybe even a third or fourth
before the tutee's light bulb turns on."
Self-employed tutors need good business skills, according to Bilonick.
They need to be able to market their business and determine the amount of
fees they must charge to cover expenses and make a profit. They must also
keep records for taxation and other purposes.
Tutoring is a good career option for those with special needs that prevent
them from working in other fields. For example, someone who uses a wheelchair
has some flexibility when it comes to choosing an accessible tutoring location.
Or they could tutor online from home.