In this economy, and any other for that matter, people are looking for ways to make a few extra dollars. I have highlighted a few ways to make money with paid online surveys, comic books and some other unusual ways to make money. But nothing beats making money and helping out someone in the process.

Reader Mike Kowieski is a 26-year-old living in Chicago who is the guest writer today on how tutoring has helped him.

These days, it seems like everyone is looking for a way to supplement their primary income.  In college and continuing on into the so-called "real world", myself and a number of my friends have earned extra money by working as a tutor.

I first started tutoring in college simply because I needed the money. One of my majors was journalism, and I've always enjoyed reading and writing, so my career center was able to put me in touch with a local junior high school that was looking for English tutoring help. I ended up working with a 7th-grader who needed a lot of help in reading and writing. The extra income was great, but there was much more I got out of tutoring than just a check.

Tutoring can also be a very rewarding experience, more so than any other part-time job I've ever worked. I felt just as much a sense of accomplishment as he did when he got an assignment back with "Great Job!" written across the top from the teacher. You have a strong sense of giving back to the community, no matter how small your contribution may be, and you really feel a sense of pride in that. Their successes become your successes. There are few better feelings I have experienced in my life than helping someone else reach a goal that first seemed out of reach.

Another benefit to being a tutor is the ability to set your own hours. Only want to work 5 hours a week? You can do that. Don't want to work on weeknights? You can arrange to meet your pupil only on the weekends. I can't think of another part-time job that allows for this level of flexibility. You are also free to set your own rates - and with typical hourly rates falling between $30 to $60, you can make a good amount of money each week.

In order to tutor, you need to have a strong working knowledge in a subject area. But if you don't have a PhD in mathematics, don't worry: there are many elementary and middle school students out there who need tutoring at a level that won't require you to dig through your old textbooks from college. I have two friends, both a few years out of college, who live in Chicago and use tutoring as a way to supplement their primary income from their regular job. They both agree that you don't need a lot of in-depth knowledge, especially if you'll be helping out a student who is not at an advanced level in your subject area.

If you are interested in becoming a tutor, I encourage you to do so.  For those still in college, its easy to find opportunities - reach out to your jobs center or the department staff of the subject you're interesting in teaching. More recently, I have found new tutoring opportunities through WyzAnt Tutoring, an online service that connects students with local tutors. You can also work with local libraries and community centers to find tutoring opportunities in your area.  Once you have a few satisfied students, I think you'll find tutoring to be an enriching experience, both for your wallet and your sense of well-being.


  1. Noadi // Friday, December 18, 2009 7:14:00 PM  

    Another option is to check with your local Adult Ed program to see if they need instructors for non-credit courses. A lot of people look to pick up a new hobby or skill they need. Say you're a photographer, amatuer or professional, who's good with photoshop, teach a basic digital editing class for all those people who got new digital cameras for Christmas.

  2. Dawn // Friday, December 18, 2009 7:27:00 PM  

    That is a good point, a friend of mine taught cake making for over 15 years.

  3. Beggar // Monday, December 28, 2009 12:19:00 AM  

    Thinks for the tip.. I never consider this idea for extra income.. thanks again

  4. Anonymous // Saturday, January 02, 2010 1:36:00 PM  

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  5. Phil // Wednesday, May 05, 2010 11:25:00 PM is a young online education service offering tutoring support targeted at business students and professionals who seek assistance in understanding various business related topics.

    GraduateTutor is currently recruiting tutors for various topics such as accounting, finance, statistics etc

    This is a good reference..