How to make money becoming Computer Instructor or Teacher for individuals want to quit their jobs and start their careers as an entrepreneur are as follows:
Description of Job
• Teach neophytes how to perform basic tasks on a personal computer.
• Give personal lessons on advanced software applications and operating
• Provide telephone support for software tasks and problems.
Computers can be wondrous assistants in almost everything we do in our business
and personal lives. Computers can also be maddeningly stubborn and difficult
impediments that speak a language of their own.
Some people seem to be born with an instant connection to the ways of a
computer, while others are baffled, bewildered, and sometimes terrified of the
The job of the personal computer instructor is to help users learn the language
of computer operations and make use of software in their daily lives.
By now, personal computers have become very close to commodities. Think in
terms of cars: Though a Ferrari is quite different in features, speed, and price
from a Ford Focus, the two vehicles nevertheless are quite similar; both have four
wheels, an engine, a steering wheel, and a set of brakes.
Although one computer may have different hardware components than
another (microprocessor, memory, disk drives, and the like) the operating system
unifies them all. The vast majority of personal computers use a version of
Microsoft’s Windows to control the hardware and work with standardized software
applications; a small but loyal cadre of users run Apple’s Macintosh operating
The challenge for the personal computer instructor is to help nontechnical
users understand how their PC is configured and to learn how to use the software
that is appropriate for the work they want to perform: For the new user, the basic
trio of applications is a word processor for writing and editing, a browser to gain
access to the Internet, and an e-mail program to send and receive messages.
As with any tutoring job, you have to not only have a strong understanding of
the subject, you have to be able to teach, as well.
It’s also very important to have firm boundaries on the tasks you are taking
• Unless you are qualified to make repairs or install new hardware, you
should insist that the student’s computer be functioning properly before
• Don’t offer to sell, give away, or install unauthorized copies of computer
• Insist that clients install and keep current an antivirus program to help protect
their data from damage by infected e-mail and other programs.
Know the Territory
You should be fully comfortable with the use of common software applications
and able to teach yourself about advanced facilities and techniques as needed.
The nearly ubiquitous Windows operating system exists in a number of versions,
but at the user level all are quite similar, and mastery of the most current
edition allows easy use of any of the earlier versions. A similar story applies to
Apple’s Macintosh operating system.
Some computer instructors and consultants are quite capable of moving back
and forth between Windows and Apple clients, while others prefer to specialize.
(Keep in mind that the Windows market is much larger.) Microsoft has the lion’s
share of software for both operating systems; Microsoft Office (which includes
Microsoft Word and the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet) operates much the same in
Get to know the facilities of area school districts. Students working on a
Macintosh during the day may want to use the same sort of system when they get
home at night; adults taking a community school course on Windows equipment
are likely to want to use the same operating system and software at home.
Sessions will generally be conducted in the homes or offices of your students,
using their computer and software. You can also offer telephone support from
your office or home; a developing trend involves use of special software installed
on both the student’s and the teacher’s machine that allows the instructor to
demonstrate tasks and make adjustments to settings by remote control over the
Some computer retail stores offer classes and tutoring for customers; contact
area managers to see if there are openings for new instructors.
You should establish liaisons with computer consultants who perform repairs
and upgrades so that you can make recommendations to your clients when necessary;
in return, you should expect these consults to refer clients who are seeking
How to Get Started
Post flyers and ads in community schools, community centers, and senior centers.
Computer stores that don’t offer their own classes may allow you to advertise
your availability on their bulletin boards.
Place ads in student newspapers, community newspapers, and shopping
You’ll need a capable computer of your own, connected to the Internet for
research and communication with manufacturers and students. You should also
be running the latest version of operating systems and software applications.
Other expenses include advertising and promotion.
How Much to Charge
You should set an hourly rate for instruction; some teachers sell a block of hours
or lessons at a discounted rate. Add a mileage charge for the cost of driving to
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