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Why online tutors seem to be loving what they do? Why many of them, from all kinds of professional backgrounds, prefer doing online tutoring full time? I personally know multiple full-time online tutors with PhD’s. What makes online tutoring so good, so people stick to it once they discover and try it?
I was also asking these questions about online tutoring, and then I became one. Now I have insiders’ answers to these questions for you. If you need more motivation to go through our detailed guides on becoming an online tutor and finding online tutoring jobs, this post is perfect for you! Without further due, let’s discover 5 reasons why tutoring online is great.
They are in no particular order, but I have written the less obvious ones (in my opinion) on top.
1. Pays as much as In-Person Tutoring Does
Wow, no, we know from experience that people pay more for in-person tutoring. You go to their place, you spend time on the road, pay for the bus or the fuel. How come people would pay the same rate as in-person for online tutoring? There is obviously some sugar-coating going on because this is an online tutoring community website, right?
I would think exactly the same things so I totally understand. I also would expect online tutoring rates to be lower due to the same reasons. However, I discovered that this is not the case, and the reason is your new massive outreach.
Yes, a typical person pays less for online compared to in-person. However, when you are an in-person tutor only the people in your city are bidding for your services. For the case of online tutoring, when done properly, the whole world becomes your audience! Your outreach, therefore the number of people who bid on your services is much bigger, which means you can charge more!
My highest paying students were all from other cities, from various parts of the world. Many of my favorite tutoring sessions were with a retired surgeon interested in physics, who lives in Florida (I am based in California). I would never get the chance to meet him if I was not an online tutor, let alone getting paid for the amazing discussions I would delightfully have for free.
When the whole world becomes your audience, your services become more valuable! So yes, online tutoring pays at least as much as in-person tutoring does.
2. Relatively Low Responsibility
My inner devil’s advocate strikes again: “How come the responsibility of online tutoring is low? You can destroy a kid’s future if you teach bad, is this what you call low responsibility?”. I agree, so let me explain.
Ideally, you only tutor the topics you are an expert at, and your teaching skills are good, therefore destroying people’s futures by teaching them sub-par is not among the things you do. If you attempt to tutor topics you are not an expert at, or if your teaching is not good, these are things we should fix before attempting to tutor online. Those two are the only prerequisites to becoming a great online tutor.
Given that your tutoring is valuable and improves students’ lives, what can we say about the responsibility you have? I would say it is relatively low compared to many other professions.
The reason is, students who can find you online know how to look for a good online tutor on the internet when necessary. If, for some reason, you want to stop tutoring a student (maybe you did not like him/her, or you have to quit tutoring due to an emergency), you will easily be able to guide him/her to find other good online tutors (there are tens of thousands out there!). Hopefully in a week or so the student will be having sessions with another online tutor, and no one is negatively affected. Everyone is happy.
Now, let’s compare this to some other professions. Imagine you are a civil engineer or an architect who was assigned to a 5-year construction project. Or you are a software engineer at a company. Or you are a full-time teacher. And again, for some reason, you wanted to stop working for that project/software/school. Think about what you have to do to quit, and how you quitting from the job would drastically affect the environment you work at. The barrier to stop what you are doing is much higher in these cases.
For the case of almost every profession other than online tutoring, quitting or giving a break has significant consequences. If you are a surgeon, you simply cannot take a break (apart from your annual leave). If you make a mistake it may cost a life. For online tutoring, if you want to take a break, you tell the students where to find other great online tutors. And the only thing this transition process may cause is a week without tutoring, maybe not even that.
Why is this an advantage? Because it gives you peace of mind. You know if you have to stop practicing your job as an online tutor, it won’t stall a major project, or cost a company thousands of dollars, or affect people’s health. When you are considering major changes in your life like moving to another city, your barrier for taking those steps is much lower.
3. Human Interaction
If you are a teacher who is already having a lot of student interaction you may think online tutoring has less human interaction compared to your day job. You are right, however, that’s because you are lucky to have such a social job. For many of us from different backgrounds, that’s not the case.
For example, my main job is physics research and I spend hours writing codes for mathematical calculations, debugging, going over my calculations, and writing scientific articles. Throughout this time I barely talk to anyone. And in my experience, the possibility of jobs getting boring is much higher if you are not interacting with people.
We human beings are social animals and interacting with others makes us happy. A very long-term Harvard study that lasted around 80 years showed that “Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives”. Talk to a teacher or an online tutor and they will tell you about their favorite students, the fun times they had during their sessions, etc.
From my experience, it is much harder to get bored when tutoring online because you have valuable human interaction. You know that a human being is listening to you and values what you have to say. This motivates you to continue further. You spend an hour tutoring and don’t even notice, time flies. In contrast, I assure you that I feel every minute if I am coding calculations on my own.
A wonderful extra to this picture is, being able to make a positive effect on people’s lives, and feeling their gratitude.
Long story short, human interaction makes jobs more fun, and online tutoring is full of human interaction.
4- Flexible Schedule
Not surprisingly, you set your own schedule and don’t waste time commuting to work or traveling to the tutoring location. Students ask you when you are available and you decide on a common time that works. This gives you a lot of power to decide when you want to work (which days you want to keep free etc).
When you want to alter the time of a session, it is doable since you only have to convince one student (or maybe a few). To compare, if you are teaching at a school you cannot even think about altering session times.
5- Work From Anywhere
What do you need to do online tutoring? A couple of pieces of equipment and an internet connection. Where you have access to these? In every corner of the world! No more worrying about the job prospects when you are moving to another city. You work with the same efficiency and make the same amount of money no matter where you are, how cool is it!
Another aspect of being able to work from anywhere is, the idea of achieving a higher quality of life by moving to a place where the cost of living is lower. The famous book “4-hour workweek” emphasizes this a lot and this is a popular trend especially among retired people.
With online tutoring you can consider living in a city where rents are lower, or maybe even moving to a country where a dollar feels like five dollars! Moving to another country may sound like an extreme example however numerous people do this: Americans retiring in Thailand, British people retiring in Turkey, etc.
On the other hand, if you are living in a country where the cost of living is already low, it is very likely that jobs in your country pay also low. If you can become a successful online tutor, you can tutor students from more expensive countries and charge them at the standards of that more expensive country. Having 50 USD in a country with a lower cost of living makes you feel richer compared to having 50 USD in the United States. You can use this to your advantage.
We have explored 5 reasons why tutoring online is great, and while writing the article I felt lucky again to have discovered this amazing profession! If these sound interesting to you, and you would like to start tutoring online, definitely have a look at our detailed guidelines on becoming an online tutor and finding online tutoring jobs. Our website is the perfect place to start your journey.
What do you think is the best thing about online tutoring? What do you think its disadvantages are? Let us know in the comments so that we can become great online tutors altogether!