Kids' education has suffered in the last decade. Though reading and mathematics levels for 9-year-olds had been generally improving since the '70s, they "were not measurably different" between 2012 and 2020, and levels of both for 13-year-olds dropped in 2020 compared to 2012 for the first time since the '70s, according to the Department of Education.
"Kids are really far behind," says Angelique Rewers, founder of BoldHaus, a consulting firm that helps small businesses find corporate clients. As such, "online tutoring is just in huge demand right now, and I think it's just going to continue to grow."
If you're considering a side hustle for 2023, tutoring could be the way to go. Here's how to get started and how much money you stand to make.
Tutoring and teaching online are already popular side hustles because they "allow you to set your own rates and availability," says Kathy Kristof, founder and editor of SideHusl.com. "Tutors can earn anywhere from $15 to more than $100 an hour, depending on the subject that they teach," she says.
And there's no shortage of subject matters you can teach: Algebra, contemporary literature, early American history... There's also a range of non-academic subjects you can teach, like tambourine and Dungeons & Dragons. If you have know-how in something, there's likely someone who'll want to learn it.
Here are a few platforms to consider teaching on:
- Outschool "encourages teachers to develop an imaginative curriculum to teach anything from math to social skills," says Kristof. Teachers choose the duration of the course, from one-time to ongoing, from 25 minutes to more than an hour, as well as their preferred class size. "With popular courses, teachers can earn exceptionally good rates, ranging from $50 to $100 an hour," says Kristof.
- Wyzant "is SideHusl.com's top recommendation for tutoring platforms," says Kristof. "What makes it stand apart is that it is well-established and draws millions of visitors each month," which means you're more likely to find clients. Tutors set their own availability and rates, with those teaching popular subjects such as English and history typically making less that those teaching more advanced subjects. One calculus tutor on the site is charging $180 per hour.
- Lessonface is a tutoring site for those who specialize in music, though it does also have a language and visual arts component (Italian and painting lessons, for example). "For music teachers, it not only offers a wide variety of types of instruments that you can teach, it has a global reach," says Kristof. "It also charges tutors extremely low commissions, which means you keep more of the rate you set." One saxophone teacher on the site is currently charging $40 for a 30-minutes class.
There are numerous other outlets on which to tutor or teach online, including Varsity Tutors, Udemy, where you create and sell pre-recorded courses, and Thinkific, where teachers build websites dedicated to their class. Peruse each one and see which structure and type of lesson you'd be interested in giving.
Jade Weatherington, who'd previously worked in public education, began teaching English and essay writing on Outschool in 2018 and was making $10,000 per month on the site by 2020. "I have enjoyed teaching online because it provides me with a level of flexibility and autonomy I didn't have working in traditional public schools," she says.
In terms of advice for anyone keen to start their own tutoring side hustle, "I would definitely tell people to come in and treat it like a business even if they only want to do it as a side hustle," she says. This can mean following up with kids or parents of kids who've taken your class and asking for feedback, as well as learning how to market your classes even outside of the platforms you're on.
This kind of change in mindset will help to "drive [your] creativity in terms of what types of courses [you] produce," she says.