Tutoring is one of the best and most scalable side hustles out there. Not only can you help other people and pass on your knowledge, but you can also make a good amount of money from it. That being said, there are certain processes that must be followed if one is to have any level of success in tutoring.
Here is a comprehensive post on how to make money from tutoring. We’ll walk through everything from building an agenda to scaling your tutoring business. But first things first…. what to teach?
What Should You Tutor?
At this point, you might protest “wait but Jeff, I’m not good at anything! How can I teach someone ELSE something if I don’t even know it myself.”
Here’s the beautiful thing about tutoring: you don’t need to teach material at your level. If you’re in grade 12, tutoring other students in calculus might seem tough. But what about tutoring grade 10s in algebra? Or tutoring grade 8s in BEDMAS (or PEMDAS depending on where you’re from)
There’s almost certainly something that you’re good at. And if not, there’s certainly something you have more knowledge on than those younger than you. The 2 main things you should look for when picking a topic to tutor are:
- Are there people who actually need tutoring in this space?
- Is this a topic I’m actually interested in?
The cool thing about teaching is that when you teach… you learn!
Studies have shown that you actually retain the most information when you teach it to others. So not only will you enrich the life of another kid and make some money, you’ll also gain deeper understanding in your topic of choice. Win, win, and win!
How to Get Clients
The next step to any business is getting clients. It doesn’t matter how good your product is if you have no customers. When it comes to getting clients for tutoring, there are really only 3 ways:
- Your network
- Social media
- Paid advertisements
Assuming that you’re just starting out (without much money or reputation), you’ll mainly want to stick with your network. See if you have any close friends who need help in a subject. If not, see if THEY have any close friends who need help in a subject. If not, see if you have friends of siblings or siblings of friends that need tutoring. Keep on trying to find people who know people who know people and you’re sure to get at least ONE person.
- Family/close friends
- Referrals from family/close friends
Benjamin Franklin once said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
Like most things in life, going into a lesson with a plan will give you a much higher chance at succeeding. That being said, you shouldn’t budget every single second of your lesson (lest it become too robotic). Personally, I like to split up my lessons into 10-20 minute increments.
- Catching up and intro to topic – 10 mins
- Reviewing last week’s assignment – 15 mins
- Assigning and working on new assignment – 20 mins
- Doing practice test together – 15 mins
- Homework assigning and last remarks – 10 mins
This is a pretty standard lesson format that is repeatable but also benefits your students the most. Obviously don’t replicate it word for word, but think about how you can structure your lessons in an interesting way. And then make a plan for it!
Expand Your Network!
The key here is to be the absolute best tutor you can be. This means that you’re prepping for every lesson and making sure that you’re helping your student succeed. If you can do that, then this step becomes that much easier.
After you’ve tutored for a while, you might think that you want to expand your operations a bit. At this point in time, it might be wise to try and get another student. You could go through the ways listed above (network, family, friends, etc.) but now you have a much better connection: the student you teach now!
Almost 60% of my students were referrals from existing students. The ask is “do you happen to know anybody else who might be interested in receiving lessons?”
If you’ve been a good tutor, the answer is almost always yes.
Scale, Scale, Scale
At the end of the day, you’re only human. You only have 24 hours in a day to expend which means you have a limit. How can you surpass your limit? By hiring other people!
The steps to this process will go something like this:
- Systematize your teaching structure into repeatable chunks (not saying you should teach the same thing over and over, bu structure your lessons in a way which is repeatable)
- Find and screen for people who would be interested in tutoring and making a bit of cash on the side
- Teach the people you find your methodology and also all the content necessary for them to be a successful tutor
- Help these people get clients/students
- Structure your fees so that you receive a percentage of whatever they are charging their students (as a fee for referring the student and also for teaching them the content)
And boom, there you have it. A working tutoring business!
In today’s day and age, it’s tough to make money. With everything locked down and job positions narrowing, you’ll need to grind very hard to find even an UNPAID internship. With all that being said, tutoring is still a highly relevant and viable way to teach others and also make a bit of money on the side.
The steps to starting a successful tutoring business are:
- Figure out what topic you’re going to teach
- Find clients (through your network to begin with)
- Plan out your lessons and create lesson agendas
- Get new students (and repeat the process)
- Once you’ve hit your capacity, scale your tutoring operations by hiring more people!
Follow these steps and you’re sure to find success through tutoring! So what are you waiting for? Start tutoring now! I promise it will be worth it 🙂
Thanks for reading through How to Make Money From Tutoring and thank you for following along! If you’re looking for more on job-hunting, check out this section! To learn more about me, head over to this link here. If you want to get exclusive updates and tips, drop your email in the “get updates” box (might have to scroll up a bit.) Let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments!
Jeff is a Harvard 2025 student passionate about making smart financial decisions both in school and in the workplace so that he can spend more time doing what he loves (like playing golf, spending time with family, and travelling). He has experience working in the financial industry and enjoys sharing all things personal finance, academic, and golf-related. Outside of blogging, he loves to cook, read, and golf in his spare time.