4. Online Tutor
The nitty-gritty: Private online tutoring is a growing area in the uber-competitive march to college admissions. The subjects in demand are the core curriculum: world history, physics, science, math and English. Foreign language specialties are also seeing an uptick. And help with preparation for standardized tests such as the SAT, GED and GRE is always in demand.
An online employer like Tutor.com, which offers one-on-one help to students, is set up so that when a student needs assistance with homework, he or she enters a grade level and subject into the computer log-on screen. The appropriate tutor (the firm has more than 3,000 on board) connects to the student inside the secure online classroom. The student and tutor can chat using instant messaging, draw problems on an interactive whiteboard, share a file to review essays and papers, and browse resources on the Web together.
See also: Is teleworking right for you?
With individual accounts, sessions are saved so that students and parents can review them at any time. Course levels range from elementary school through 12th grade and the first year of college to adults returning to school or searching for a job. Other online tutoring firms include Kaplan and Smarthinking.com. For general information about tutoring, visit the American Tutoring Association or National Tutoring Association websites.
Or you might opt to tutor on your own. You'll probably forgo the bells and whistles of the interactive whiteboard, but you can easily set up chat sessions and send files back and forth with your students. And you can develop an ongoing relationship that provides steady work.
The hours: Flexible. Some firms ask you to plan on at least five hours a week.
Median pay range: Hourly rates are between $10 and $14, based on experience, subject tutored, company and grade level. Part-time private tutors generally earn around $20 an hour, according to Payscale.com. Some private tutors, however, can make as much as $65 an hour. At Tutor.com, the "most active" chemistry tutors earn anywhere from $800 to $1,600 a month.
Qualifications: Teacher certification is preferred but not required. Professional experience opens doors. At Tutor.com, high-level math and science expertise is highly sought after. That means whizzes at chemistry, algebra and physics need apply.
In general, with a tutoring company, you take an online exam in the subject you wish to teach. If you pass, you will be given a mock session with an online tutor. Then you must pass a third-party background check and final exam. More than one subject is encouraged. Your computer must have high-speed Internet access and be able to run the classroom software provided. Mac users may be out of luck with some companies.