How to Become an Online Tutor

video conference

Do you have a background in teaching? Do you have enough experience and knowledge in a specific subject and would like to share it with learners? If you do, then you have what it takes to become an online tutor.

Also known as e-tutors, online tutors use the Internet to educate students taking web-based study sessions.

The Work

Online tutors offer supplementary studies to students. They gather students’ goals and prepare teaching sessions aimed at meeting these goals. Online tutors also perform the following duties;

  • Welcome new students to the subject and set session rules
  • Establish an open line of communication with students and their parents, often using email or telephone
  • Set up audio and video conference tools, and conduct virtual classes
  • Keep student records and monitor their progress
  • Prepare assignments for students and grade their results.

Working Environment

Although many online tutors typically work from the comfort of their own homes, others operate from offices in academic institutions. They spend a significant amount of time behind their computers preparing lesson plans and instructing students.

How much time online tutors work in a day depends on the course requirements of their students.


Online tutors earn between £15 and £30 an hour. Hence, prospective tutors can hit the following figures annually;

Job Level


Average Pay

Entry-level tutors


£15,000 - £21,000

Senior tutors


£21,000 - £27,000

Source: Payscale

Entry Requirements

To get started in online tutoring, you must possess the following basic requirements;

  • A background in teaching or training
  • Vast knowledge in your subject of specialism
  • Excellent ICT skills.

Other qualifications would then vary with the academic level you want to tutor. For example, to be a chemistry tutor for A-level students, you will need a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

To tutor students under the age of 18 years, you will need a clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

To increase your chances of securing employment, you can complete any of the following teaching qualifications;

  • Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education
  • Qualified Teacher Status- Gained through an Initial Teacher Training course or school based initial teacher training.

Important Skills and Abilities

Apart from obtaining these qualifications, you should have the following skills and abilities;

  • Excellent IT skills to operate computers and other tools effectively
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate learners
  • Excellent communication skills as tutoring is an interactive job
  • The ability to work with students from all backgrounds
  • Good time management and planning skills.

Training and Development

After getting employed, you could pursue further qualifications such as;

  • Learning to Teach Online - Offered by the Sheffield College 
  • Diploma in Learning and Development
  • A postgraduate course in online and distance learning.

Job Opportunities

You can work as a self-employed tutor by establishing your own tutoring website and recruiting students. You will also need a powerful computer with a reliable Internet connection. If you choose this path, it is important to note that the largest market constitutes;

  • Young students taking school entrance exams
  • Students taking GCSEs
  • Students pursuing A levels and vocational exams.

Fulltime employment opportunities are also available in the following places;

  • Colleges and universities
  • Private training providers
  • Tutoring agencies.

After working as an online tutor for a significant period of time, you can move into online tutoring consulting or course development.

Finally, this career gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge with learners, and the flexibility to work from your home or office.