As you might expect, an online tutor (or e-tutor if you have to) are the people who support students learning a particular course, just like a normal tutor, but they do so using the power of the internet.
You’d be expected to acquire yourself new students and develop a client base, as well as helping them to develop their own independent study skills. You’d guide them through their course, giving support through social media and email, and would monitor your students progress to make sure they were succeeding with your help.
Some online tutors offer services such as ‘virtual classrooms’ and use Skype to conduct online seminars in certain subjects, but this is just one way of achieving your goals in a job which allows you to utilise your own methods as much as possible.
Salary & benefits
As this is a job which is paid hourly rather than annually, it’s difficult to ascertain exactly how much you’d be getting paid on a yearly basis, but a standard payscale would be between £15 and £30 an hour.
The good news with this one is that you can usually work whatever hours you want, arranging your timings with your students and with the learning provider you are registered with.
However, due to the nature of the work and the times people are free, a lot of business could come about in the evenings and on the weekends, and being an online tutor is often done as a way of topping up income alongside another job.
By the very nature of the beast, you don’t actually need anything to become an online tutor, apart from competency with a computer, but realistically you’re going to need a good knowledge of your subject matter if you want to be successful.
A relevant degree is a good place to start if you want to tutor people, as it demonstrates your knowledge and people are far more likely to hire you. Relevant work experience is also going to increase your chances of being employed.
Training & progression
Whilst it’s particularly difficult to assess how you go about being trained in something whilst you’re teaching others something you already know, there are courses out there to help you out if this is a path you’re looking to pursue permanently.
Many Universities now offer courses in online and distance learning, and there is also a Diploma available via the certifications offered by the Training Foundation Training Accreditation Programme.
Many tutors go on to take PGCEs and become teachers in their own right, and being an online tutor is one of the things that would definitely make a PGCE application stand out from the crowd.