By David Thun
Though the mortgage market is sluggish, there’s a growing field with work potential for Notaries seeking to supplement their primary careers and make extra money — proctoring exams for online students.
Many educational institutions are expanding their curriculum to allow students to take classes and study online. But when it comes to taking tests, it’s still essential to have a physical proctor present to ensure students don’t cheat, said Andrew Davis, program manager for SmarterProctoring, an educational service that helps online school programs locate qualified proctors for their tests.
Davis said that when a student takes tests for an online course, typically the student is required to take the test outside the home — at a library, business or anywhere outside the residence with an Internet connection. To ensure academic integrity, a mobile proctor is typically assigned to meet the student at the testing location. Notaries are well-qualified to serve as proctors.
Though proctoring does not require a Notary commission, many Notaries are background checked, whether through the commissioning process as in California or individually as part of working as a signing agent — and a background check is the key qualification for a proctor. “A background check lets the school know the Notary is a model citizen. The student knows the Notary is trustworthy and can be comfortable,” Davis said.
The typical fee for proctoring an exam is $25-30 per hour. Availability of assignments varies, but can range from 10-20 exams per semester, according to Davis. “I don’t think people will give up their other work for proctoring, but depending on the Notary, it can be a nice way to earn supplemental income,” he said.
SmarterProctoring is currently looking for proctors, and anyone interested should register for possible assignments. There is no charge to register, Davis said. Students who need a proctor submit a request, which includes their offered proctor fee and three appointment options. The prospective proctor is then offered the assignment.
David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.