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Work from Home: How to Earn Your Tutor Certification

Work from Home: How to Earn Your Tutor Certification

Discover how to build a successful tutoring career, from subject concentrations to tutor certifications. Learn how to thrive as an online tutor.


Families who want to help their children experience academic success are increasingly turning to tutors for help outside of school. With the advancement of technology in the past decade and the social constraints brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, online tutoring is seeing a sharp gain in popularity.

Tutoring is a fantastic option if you are looking for a way to find steady work from home. Tutors can charge top rates for their service depending on their experience, education, and tutoring niche. But what steps do you need to take to become a high-earning tutor?

This article examines what a career as a tutor may entail, the credentials and training you will need to succeed, and what credential programs are out there. If you are considering starting a side gig as a tutor, finding a tutor job through an agency, or want to go all in with your online tutoring business, this article will give you what you need to start.

What is a Tutoring Career?

Tutors fulfill a critical need by helping students achieve success and confidence through academic coaching and tutoring. You may want to become a tutor for many reasons, whether it’s to help others or to have the freedom to determine your schedule. It is important to have a solid grasp of what tutoring is, and why you want to do it.

With an online tutoring job, your work will allow you to enjoy a satisfying career from virtually anywhere while enabling you to set your tutoring rates and hours. If this sounds like the career of your dreams, there are a few things you will need to consider, from the type of tutoring you want to do to the qualifications you must have, and the certification programs available to you.  

Types of Tutoring and Subject Concentrations 

Online Tutor

An online tutor provides educational aide to students in a digital learning environment and may be in a different geographic region than most of the students they interact with. This form of tutoring provides the most flexibility because you can work from anywhere without worrying about commuting to and from work. This is also a great way to have a large reach and more opportunities than what is available in your immediate community. While you will need specific tools and resources to pull it off, this career can be very accessible and fulfilling.

In-home Tutor

An in-home tutor goes directly to their tutoring clients to provide tutoring  services, or their clients come to them. An in-home tutor may charge more than an online tutor because of the expenses associated with travel and the extra time it takes to get to and from your clients. However, working face-to-face with students may be more rewarding for some, depending on how they envision their tutoring career.

Tutoring Center

Tutoring centers are equipped with a marketing team to attract new students and all the technology and educational tools you will need to do your job. They also have their own insurance, and some may provide additional employee benefits. This tutor job is ideal if you don’t want to worry about the logistics of running a tutoring business. A drawback is that you will likely be paid a lower rate and have less flexibility.

Math Tutor

Once you have decided on the type of tutoring you want to do, you need to determine what tutoring niche (subject) you wish to tutor. Math is a high-demand niche, meaning more clients need this service, and you can charge a healthy rate based on your experience and background. Math tutors can teach math subjects ranging from elementary to college level.

Writing Tutor

A writing tutor aides students in building the writing and research skills needed to be successful in writing at their grade level. Writing tutors can help students navigate every step of the writing process, from developing ideas and brainstorming to editing and polishing their papers. Writing tutors can also teach writing skills from elementary to college level. 

Special Needs Tutor

Tutors who want to work with students with special needs require specific training and experience, which means their hourly rates may be higher. These tutors may help students with academic needs like reading, writing, and math, or they may help them learn life-skills and social skills. They will also know the various techniques and tools that may help students with learning differences.

Test Prep Tutor

Test prep tutors typically focus on preparing high school students to take standardized tests to help them with college admissions. They may also help elementary students with test anxiety or college students preparing for LSAT, MCAT, or GRE. Because it is preferable to have a higher level of education, preferably a master’s degree or Ph.D., test prep tutors can charge top rates for their service.

College Tutor

A college tutor focuses on helping college students achieve academic success. They may choose to focus on any of the subject areas, including test prep. A college tutor should ideally have a bachelor’s degree or some college credits under their belt. 

Essential Steps to Become a Tutor

Once you have chosen a tutoring niche and the type of tutoring service you want to do, you must ensure you have followed the necessary steps to become a qualified tutor. Following these essential steps will give your more credibility as a tutor and build trust with prospective clients.

High School Diploma

The bare minimum you need to start your tutoring service is a high school diploma or GED. While some additional schooling or a college degree will earn you more money, you will at least need a high school diploma to get started.

Education and Experience

Any relevant experience or college credits may contribute to your tutoring credentials. If you have worked at a school or camp, a letter of reference will go a long way to help you establish yourself as a tutor. Keep track of any work experience or college courses that you can include on a resume or use towards a tutoring credential. 

Earn a Tutor Credential

Earning a credential from a reputable tutoring education organization will give you an edge when it comes to converting prospects to clients. Having a credential demonstrates your commitment to providing high quality tutoring and your competency in the subject you teach. 

Join a Tutor Association

If you are running a solo business as a tutor, it’s a great idea to join a tutoring association where you can network with other tutors and learn from eachother. You never know what random advice you may need as you grow a tutoring business, and other tutors will prove to be a great resource and support system. 

Find the Right Tutoring Platform

You started a tutoring business because you enjoy working with students, not because you enjoy all the administrative tasks. Find a well rounded platform that will help you streamline your tasks and communicate easily with your students. A good tutoring software program will help with CRM, task automation, file sharing, digital learning tools, and more.

Find Business Insurance

As important as it is to run a quality tutoring business, it is equally important to protect your business and your clients from any unforseen issues that could arise. General liability and professional liability insurance will cover you in the event of property damage, injury, or lible. 

Types of Tutor Certifications

There are several organizations that provide different tutoring certifications. These four organizations are recognized as some of the best in the world for tutors to gain knowledge and experience. A tutor with one of these credentials will establish themself as a professional with the expertise to back them up. Here are some of the credential you can earn.

American Tutoring Association (ATA)

ATA certification - The requirements for an ATA certification include a bachelor’s degree, one year of tutoring or teaching experience, a background check, and two letters of recommendation. 

Association for the Coaching and Tutoring Profession (ACTP)

Associate Tutor Certification - Requirements include 10 hours of tutoring training, 25 hours of tutoring experience, an ACTP membership, and two letters of recommendation.

Advanced Tutor Certification - Requirements include 20 hours of tutoring training, 50 hours of tutoring experience, an ACTP membership, and two letters of recommendation.

Master Tutor Certification - Requirements include 30 hours of tutoring training, 75 hours of tutoring experience, an ACTP membership, and two letters of recommendation.

College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA)

Level I Tutor Certification - Requirements include 12 hours of tutoring training,  25 hours of tutoring experience, and a 3.25 college GPA.

Level II Tutor Certification - Requirements include all Level I requirements plus an additional 12 hours of tutoring training, and 20 hours of tutoring experience.

Level III Tutor Certification - Requirements include all Level I and Level II requirements plus an additional 25 hours of tutoring experience and two real-time supervised sessions.

National Tutoring Association (NTA)

Basic Tutor Certification - Requirements include a high school diploma, NTA membership, 10 hours of basic tutoring training, and assessment.

Intermediate Tutor Certification - Requirements include all of the basic tutor requirements plus 30 hours of college credit, 30 hours of tutoring experience, competency training, and assessment.

Advanced Tutor Certification - Requirements include an intermediate certification, associate degree, and 50 hours of tutoring experience.

Master Tutor Certification - Requirements include an advanced tutor certification, an academic coach certification, a  bachelor’s or master’s degree, five years of accrued tutoring experience, advanced tutoring competency training, and assessment.

Academic Coach Certification - Requirements include a basic tutor certification, associate degree, NCTA membership, 10 hours of academic coaching experience, basic coaching training, and assessment. 

Necessary Tools for Online Tutors

  • Technology (computer, webcam, WIFI access, smartphone)
  • Digital Learning Tools  (whiteboards, digital flashcards, digital forms and documents)
  • Communication Tools (Google Meets, Zoom, email, SMS, automated reminders)
  • Tutoring Business Software (online classroom, CRM, business management)

If you are interested in starting a tutoring career, earning a tutoring certification is the best investment you can make to establish credibility and trust. You do not need to have a teaching certificate to be a successful tutor, but an associat degree or higher is highly recomended to earn better pay. If you plan on running an online tutoring business, you may also want to consider business and client management software to help you keep everything organized.

Practice was created to help businesses of one streamline their processes and build stronger relationships with their clients. Start your free trail and let us help you unlock your tutoring business’s full potential.

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