The tutoring profession can be a rewarding career, and taking the extra step to earn tutor certification enhances your professionalism. Several organizations offer certification to either programs or individuals. You should contact an organization that offers certification, complete the required training, submit the necessary documentation and pay the application fees. Certification also requires tutoring experience, which you can gain through working in a tutoring organization -- for example, a school tutoring center -- or as a private tutor.

College Reading and Learning Association

One way to obtain tutor certification is through the College Reading and Learning Association. CRLA does not certify tutors individually. Instead, it certifies the certification programs through its International Tutor Training Program Certification process. To get started, research your local college or university and the CRLA website to see if a CRLA-certified program is available. CRLA certifies programs at three levels. Level 1 is a regular tutor, level 2 is an advanced tutor, and level 3 is a master tutor. Each level requires 10 hours of training and 25 hours of tutoring experience. CRLA requires the program to train tutors in topics such as tutor responsibilities, tutoring techniques, study and critical thinking skills.

National Tutoring Association

The National Tutoring Association certifies both individuals and programs. It offers three levels of certification -- beginner, intermediate and advanced. To seek certification as an individual, you need to be an NTA member, complete the certification form and provide the required documentation, complete the background check, enclose the required fees and complete the training. Fees vary by tutoring grade level. Training topics include study skills, critical thinking skills, Bloom’s taxonomy and ethics. Program certification is based on tutor training and administration. The program must also have an NTA-certified trainer on staff and program membership in NTA.

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American Tutoring Association

Like NTA, the American Tutoring Association offers a certification program for private tutors. Applicants need to have a bachelor’s degree and one year of tutoring experience, and they need to submit two professional recommendation letters and pass a background check. An alternative route for experienced tutors with only a high school diploma or associate's degree is to complete ATA's Certification Training Program. ATA also offers its certified tutors training programs in tutoring basics, building your tutoring business and academic coaching.

Association for the Tutoring Profession

Another organization that offers individual certification is the Association for the Tutoring Profession. There are three levels -- associate, advanced and master. For associate tutor certification, applicants need at least 10 hours of tutor training and 25 hours of experience. Advanced level certification requires 20 hours of training and 50 hours of experience, and master level certification requires 30 hours of training and 75 hours of experience. Training topics include guidelines and responsibilities, learning styles and critical thinking skills. For all levels, the applicants also must be members of ATP and should submit two letters of recommendation with the application.

About the Author

Melissa McDonald has been writing about education since 2006. Her work has appeared in “AdjunctNation,” “JCW” and “Honor Cord” e-zine. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and currently works in higher education as a writing consultant. Beyond her work as educator and writer, McDonald volunteers as a judge in both local and national writing competitions for high school and college students.