How to Become an Online Tutor

A computer, good quality webcam, mic and high speed internet connection is all you need to get started with online teaching

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Like any other sector, digitization has disrupted the education sector as well. According to a KPMG and Google report, the online education market is expected to grow to $1.96 billion by 2021.

This disruption has lead to more and more online teaching platforms mushrooming over the last few years. Online teaching has opened self-employment opportunities for seasoned teachers or professionals who are passionate about teaching.

If you are passionate about teaching but do not want to work in a fixed office regime, you can become a selfpreneur by signing up with online tutoring portals.

Also Read: Online Tutorials and Courses Revolutionising the Way We Teach

Why Become an Online Tutor

Unlike conventional form of teaching, an online teacher does not have to follow shift timings and commute for giving tuitions and hence, save substantially on commute. Flexi timing enables tutors to take late-night classes from the comfort of their homes.

Online tutors can earn 15-20 per cent more by taking up students located outside of India. Platforms like Chegg.com, Amazetutors.com, Eduwizards etc, help connect Indian teachers with students from countries like Australia, UK, USA, Canada and Middle East, among others.

Another major benefit is that for an online tutor his student base will remain intact even if he has to move cities.

How to Start?

There are two ways to sign up as an online tutor.

One way is to sign up with an online aggregator that connects students and teachers. Such platforms allow you to set your own rates and directly transact with your student and just charge a 15-20% commission on each session. They do not interfere in allotting students to a teacher either. Websites like Tutorvista, Bharat Tutor and Chegg work on this model.

Second way is to register yourself with an online platform that works as a virtual coaching centre. They hire full-time as well as part-time tutors and pay them a salary. Part-time tutors are paid on per lecture basis, as per the pay structure of the company. Also, you will be allotted students and time slots to teach in and you may have to visit their office to take classes.

Under both the models, the teacher has to appear for a few rounds of tests, screening and mock sessions to qualify. Once you pass the process, platforms will provide training for white board usage and video conferencing.

Cost and Investments Involved

One of the upsides of becoming a selfpreneur is that you don't need a huge capital to start. For online tutoring, a mid-range computer or laptop, a high resolution camera, a clear mic and a high speed internet connection is all you need and you are good to go. These days most laptops come with high quality in-built camera and mic so you may not need external hardware as well.

A 15 inch screen laptop with an in-built camera will cost you around INR 38,000.

If you have a PC and want to buy a webcam separately to go with it, you will have to shell out INR 8,000-10,000 on a mid-range high resolution camera.

A top quality headset will cost you another INR 4,000.

While these are one-time costs, internet connection will be a recurring expense that will cost you somewhere around INR 1,000 per month.

Also, we would advise you to choose the premium packs available on teaching websites to get better visibility among student community. These packs can cost you an extra INR 2,000 per month.

How Much You Stand to Earn

How much money you make by becoming an online tutor depends on your subject expertise, certifications you have in your domain and class level of the student you are teaching.

Most importantly, your earning will depend on the number of hours you are willing to put in as most platforms have fixed hourly rates. For over five years of experience, the fee is around INR 600 per hour, whereas for a beginner it is around INR 350-400 per hour.

Fee for a foreign student is higher by INR 250-300 compared to an Indian student. Similarly, there is a difference of INR 250-300 in the fees of school and college students and a science teacher stands to earn INR 100-150 per lecture extra compared to a humanities teacher.

Back of the envelope calculation shows that an experienced teacher who takes 3 lectures per day, 5 days a week can earn around INR 50,000 per month whereas a beginner teaching for the same number of hours can make around INR 20,000-25,000.

Before you Start It Up

There are several parameters to consider before becoming a full-time online tutor.

  1. You should have a professional degree or certification in the subject you want to teach. You can start even without a professional degree but note that your initial earning will be less.
  2. You need to invest in high quality audio and video equipments required for online teaching to eliminate the possibility of being misheard or misunderstood by your students.
  3. Make sure to do your research while choosing your platform for registering as an online tutor.
  4. Don't sign up with more than three sites at a time as each platform will require you to give at least two hours every day.

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