Tutors provide the attention and patience struggling students may not be able to receive in the classroom. Working with students before, during or after school hours, these professionals must not only enjoy working with kids, but must also be committed to their academic success. Though no single college curriculum is specific to this profession, you need a strong academic background to become a tutor.

High School Coursework

Professional tutors often start as high school students who excel in their coursework. Excellence in English, mathematics, history and science courses qualify you for private tutoring jobs, since you're familiar with both the curriculum and the teachers. Though some tutoring agencies prefer applicants to have completed at least some time in college, a high school degree is sufficient to help land your first paid tutoring jobs. Private tutoring experience gained over high school summer vacations also strengthens your resume.

Multiple Subject Tutors

In college, base your coursework on whether you wish to work with children in a particular subject area or a more broad range of subjects. If you are interested in a broad range, education may be a strong major upon which you can focus. This degree path not only exposes you to a wider variety of subject coursework and various classes in teaching strategies, but also resonates with tutoring agencies looking for employees who know how to teach. In addition, education majors typically graduate with hands-on classroom experience as student-teaching experience is a core requirement for teaching certification. This experience makes securing those crucial first tutoring jobs a less frustrating experience.

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College: (Single Subject Tutors)

If you hope to tutor children in a particular subject area, like math or science, choose these subjects as your major. If potential clients need help with a particular subject, training in a particular area makes you a strong candidate to tutor that subject matter. A degree in the subject area proves that you have achieved a higher level of competence in the subject over a tutor who has a more general college education. If you are taking the single-subject route, strive to distinguish yourself academically in your chosen subject.

College Electives

Whether hoping to tutor in single or multiple subjects, take classes related to elementary education. In these courses, you will learn useful strategies to apply when working with children in groups or one-on-one. Classes pertaining to students with disabilities or behavioral issues are also useful in enhancing your value as a tutor hiring value. Taking computer and business courses helps you with your business, building a website to market yourself primarily online and maintaining a professional website.

Graduate School

Earning a graduate degree helps you stand out in the tutoring crowd. Someone with a master’s degree -- especially in a subject related to the area in which the child is having -- attracts clients who need expertise and knowledge beyond what many private tutors can offer. Since graduate school is a costly endeavor, you must decide if the extra education and prestige is worth the time and money.

About the Author

Bill Reynolds holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from Rowan University. He has written hundreds of articles for print and online media, drawing inspiration from a wide range of professional experiences. As part of the UCLA Extension Writer's Program, he has been nominated for the James Kirkwood Prize for Creative Writing.