Offering Private Lessons: Work as an Independent Tutor or With a Tutoring Company?

If you have been looking for money making ideas that let you do what you are passionate about, you have in all probabilities considered offering private lessons. The question however is, should you hit the road as an independent tutor, or work for a larger tutoring company? In this article we provide you some of the benefits and bothers of working with a tutoring company, so you have all the information you need to make the right choice.

Let’s discuss the benefits of working with a tutoring company first.

Benefit #1: Prospect of Steady Work

Working with a tutoring company means that you will most likely have a steady schedule of students to tutor, which means a steady income.

Benefit #2: Chances for Advancement

Tutoring companies usually work very close with local schools and colleges. That means that you can get in on the ground floor as a tutor, but you can advance to administrative and even executive positions in the company or in local schools.

Benefit #3: Resume Building

Much like volunteer work, offering private classes as a tutor will look great on your resume or college application. Tutoring is one of the few money making ideas that is translatable to a resume, job application, or college entrance interview. Some of the best tutoring companies in the US are happy to give references for their workers.

Benefit #4: College Credit

If you are working to earn your degree in education or social work, your work with the tutoring company may count towards your college credits including those going towards online programs and degrees. This is something that you need to check with your academic counselor about.

Benefit #5: Common Ground

A tutoring company allows you to work with people who are skilled, knowledgeable, and passionate about what they are teaching. Also, this puts you in the position to gain referrals down the road when you aren’t working with the tutoring company anymore. It is always a benefit to work with people who understand your motivations and desire to see you succeed.

Benefit #6: Make Money

This is a duh especially since we’re discussing money making ideas. Working with a tutoring company provides you with an income that you may not find if you are struggling to find students when you tutor independently. Also, in most cases, the longer you stay with a tutoring company, and the further you get in your own education, you may gain an increase in your pay rate.

Now that we’ve spent time expounding on the benefits of working with a tutoring company, let’s discuss the bothers that you may find while employed with a tutoring company.

Bother #1: Restricted Schedules

When working with a tutoring company you are tied to the schedules they have available. Since they are only open during certain hours (most of the time the hours are dependent on the school break schedule). That means that if they are open from 10 am to 7 pm, you have to make time between those hours to work. If you are a student and you have classes during the mornings and afternoons, you are stuck with limited evening work hours.

Bother #2: Restricted Curriculum

Most tutoring companies have a very strict set of curricula that they offer. They have to provide work that are state, federal, and parent approved. Because they have to be licensed, they have way more hoops to jump through in order to maintain their license. That means that you have to adhere to what they want to teach.

Bother #3: Restricted Methods

Because of the reasons given in the previous bother, you are also restricted in how you can tutor your students. The tutoring companies want all their tutors using the same methods so that they can keep track of how their curriculum is working. If you have a more Montessori method than the strict ‘do it exactly like this’ method, you might want to consider hanging up your company tutor frock and going it alone.

Bother #4: Restricted Choice

As a company tutor you don’t have a choice in which students you want to teach. When you are an independent tutor you can hand pick your students- the best, the brightest, the ones with the most potential; or the ones that are challenged physically or mentally, so you can have the satisfaction of offering a great service; or the ones that are most underprivileged; etc. When you work for a tutoring company, you end up with the kids that they allocate – without knowing much background about those students. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t good students, but just not your idea of an “ideal” student.


Related posts: 

5 Lessons YOU Need to Learn To Become the Best Tutor Ever

How to become an online tutor

Teaching Excellence: 10 Qualities of a Great Tutor

10 Time-Tested Tips for Finding Students for Private Lessons

Offering Private Lessons: A Guaranteed Way to Make Money from Your Passion


Bother #5: Restricted Pay

Tutoring companies have to pay the bills because they are more than money making ideas, they are a business with payroll, taxes, fees, and what not. If you working for a tutoring company you are stuck taking the pay that they offer. Yes, there is always the possibility of a raise, but most of the time, tutors are paid minimum wage despite how hard they work and how much effort and passion they put into their students. As an independent tutor, if you are really good, your reputation as the best will probably let you charge a much higher rate.

Bother #6: Restricted Subjects

Tutoring companies are pretty restricted on the subjects that they are allowed to teach. Most of the time they are limited to the normal school subjects- but what if you want to teach music theory to aspiring first chair violinists? Or what if you want to help kids understand the difference between sociology and social psychology? There are many subjects out there not covered by the usual tutoring company and you could be making money teaching those if you weren’t tied down.

Bother #7: THE BOSS

The last and most annoying of the bothers is…your boss. You have a boss. Tutoring companies are a business run by administrators who are responsible for every jot and tiddle of the tutoring center. That means that you are answerable to someone who makes your hours, chooses your students, chooses your pay, chooses how you will teach, chooses what you will teach, and chooses where you will teach it. You can have a lot more freedom if you choose to make this money making idea into a independent enterprise.

As you can see, there are a bunch of benefits and they come at a price. Working with a tutoring company isn’t all bad, but it isn’t all good either. Our recommendation? If you are just starting out, or struggling to find the students, try going the tutoring company route. Once you have some experience under your belt, and a few students who will do the word-of-mouth marketing for you, you can consider the option of going independent. Whatever your choice is, the bottom line is that tutoring is in demand, and you can make good money doing it.


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