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Old 11-21-2011, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Southern California
162 posts, read 231,447 times
Reputation: 171

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I'm a recent college graduate (graduated about five months ago) who unfortunately hasn't had any luck in this job market. A couple of my friends have recently been hired as part-time tutors by a tutoring company, and it gave me an idea.

However, I want to be a self-employed tutor so I can have as much flexibility as I wish in terms of hours/days and be able to focus on my clients as they need.

I already know what I can specialize in (language - especially writing, and arithmetic). I plan on charging $15 an hour, which hopefully isn't too bad. I believe it undercuts tutoring centers.

I do need some advice on how should I go about starting to become a tutor. What are parents/students looking for? How should I advertise beyond the obvious Craigslist? Any unexpected issues with certain age groups? Are homes or public places usually preferred. I would love any advice.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Virginia
7,345 posts, read 11,034,577 times
Reputation: 3090
Check with the schools. I know my building has a list in the office. Depending on where you are I would think you could charge more than $15 an hour. That seems low to me.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:25 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,054 posts, read 8,789,058 times
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If you are going to work with kids, you might want to go ahead and get the background checks that teachers need. If your prices will be that cheap, you could try connecting with parochial or private schools in poorer neighborhoods. But without a track record, it will be much harder to do. You might consider working for a tutoring company for a few months first.
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:49 AM
 
12,184 posts, read 25,070,298 times
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My daughter has tutored on the side since she was in college but she could never support herself fully doing it without going through a school or tutoring center. What she has told me is that it's very difficult to line up enough students on a regular basis every day. Parents don't think twice about blowing off a tutor if something else comes up and then won't pay for that missed session. Because she's certified and has background clearances she's been able to get jobs through SAT prep places and school districts but I don't think you could do that without that. Your competition is the unemployed ed majors that are certified and trained.

I would suggest putting up business cards in your local grocery stores and libraries. Also, if you can afford it, I would suggest volunteer tutoring to build your skills and your resume.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:52 PM
 
Location: outer space
484 posts, read 768,734 times
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For most people, tutoring will not cut it to pay the bills.

There are programs that will get you a teaching credential while working at a low income school, if you really want to teach.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:53 PM
 
Location: outer space
484 posts, read 768,734 times
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BTW: what is your degree in? We may be able to provide more input knowing that.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Seattle bound
288 posts, read 370,489 times
Reputation: 313
My advice would be to look up your tax laws and laws regarding running your own business. There's a reason people work for someone else, and part of it is they don't want to deal with all that "business" stuff. If you plan on making enough money to pay the bills, you seriously have to consider the money side of it.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Southern California
162 posts, read 231,447 times
Reputation: 171
I have a BA degree in political science and history. I'm actually living at home again and am planning to go back to school in January, so this is only side income for personal use.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:10 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,212 posts, read 15,007,929 times
Reputation: 12553
$15/hour is way too low. Don't undercut yourself for 2 reasons: 1. It's hard to raise your prices later. 2. It shows a lack of confidence in your skills

Also, it brings the whole market down. Go on craigslist and see what others are charging.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:53 PM
 
12,184 posts, read 25,070,298 times
Reputation: 6648
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepka View Post
$15/hour is way too low. Don't undercut yourself for 2 reasons: 1. It's hard to raise your prices later. 2. It shows a lack of confidence in your skills

Also, it brings the whole market down. Go on craigslist and see what others are charging.
I think looking at Craigslist is a good idea to see what the competition is charging but I think $15 an hour is reasonable for someone that hasn't taught and has no experience.

One thing you might consider doing if you are at all handy with computers is doing one on one teaching computer basics to seniors.
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