- What Subjects Could You Tutor In?
- What Qualities Make a Good Private Tutor?
- What Qualifications Are Needed to Become a Private Tutor?
- What Are The Legalities of Working Private Tutor Jobs?
- What Can You Expect to Earn as an Independent Tutor?
- Ways to Advertise Your Tutor Services & Grow Your Business
- Tutoring with Superprof
Private one-to-one tuition is considered the most effective and productive method of learning at all levels of academic and creative development. It helps students build skills, confidence and enthusiasm for learning - the recipe for academic success.
The personal tutor industry has become a booming business, with academic hopefuls and/or their parents spending billions of pounds annually to ensure student success.
The focused attention and tailored guidance of private tutoring jobs can help students realise their full academic and creative potential and teach them study skills that can be used throughout their lives.
That tailored guidance comes from people like you, who are passionate about helping others and firm believers in the benefits of education.
There are a few things to consider when starting up as private tutor; our how-to guide will take you through each step.
Find out how you can teach English online here.
What Subjects Could You Tutor In?
Historically, tutoring centred on teaching mathematics, science and, in our country, English. That trend continues in tutoring centres and in private tuition.
Academic tutoring demands demonstrable proficiency on the tutor's part. After all, nobody is going to hire a French tutor who does not speak the language or a calculus tutor who cannot solve linear equations.
We don't mean that every tutor must hold advanced degrees; only the s/he is proficient in his/her discipline and at least one year beyond the level s/he wishes to tutor at. If you are an undergraduate, you may tutor GCSE and A-Level candidates in exam preparation, homework help or general academic support.
In the UK, people as young as 14 may tutor any pupil in early Key Stage 3 and below.
Academic subjects are not the only ones people seek tutoring for. Keen minds look for lessons in:
- Arts and crafts
- Mindfulness, meditation
- Physical training and yoga
- Playing a musical instrument
- Continuing education
In short, whether you are a highly degreed professor or talented in some niche skill, there is a market for you to tutor.
What Qualities Make a Good Private Tutor?
Tutoring services usually look for:
- Dedicated, passionate and creative people with a flair for teaching
- Tutors of all ages and levels of qualification to offer their expertise
- The ability to deliver a professional and outstanding standard of tuition
- A degree of empathy
An independent tutor must embody and magnify the same qualities that make a great agency tutor.
Why is empathy on the list?
Students today are subjected to so much pressure: to compete for top marks, to succeed academically, on top of social pressure and possible bullying.
The best tutors minimise the stress of competition by placing their focus solely on their students' success. To do so effectively, they must realise the importance of every student's unique situation and find positive ways to overcome the challenges s/he faces.
Learning disabilities or any other disadvantage can have a devastating effect on a student's academic performance and/or social acceptance.
For this reason alone, tutors must be sensitive to their charges' needs, ensuring that not only are they given the intellectual tools they need but the moral and emotional support to thrive.
Students need easy and accessible ways of learning to boost grades and cultivate skills.
A private tutor or E-tutor should have the experience and resources to provide their students with personalised guidance that is designed to suit the student’s learning requirements on an individual basis.
Whether it's helping with homework or preparation for primary SATs, secondary school GCSEs, A-level or college entrance exams, you will need to mentor your students to help them reach their desired level of academic success.
Your teaching strategies must be specific to your student's learning style to help them with their strengths and weaknesses.
A good private tutor will have many important qualities in both a personal and pedagogical capacity. As a tutor, interpersonal skills and adaptability are key: your approach must be versatile and personalised to the individual student. You must be able to motivate your student to achieve their best.
This might mean finding creative and innovative ways of helping your student learn. A great tutor, above all, will be able to analyse how their student learns and adjust their tuition accordingly.
It's up to you to listen to your student's primary concerns and goals whilst also taking stock of their strengths and weaknesses in terms of their knowledge as well as their skills when working with them in order to determine the best way forward. For example, if you're covering a topic where the student is able to remember key facts but is struggling to remember small details, try and incorporate their strong points into learning new information.
Recognising a student's particular learning strategies will put you ahead of the game in your lessons. If you've noticed your tutee responds well to visual learning aids, or they're better at absorbing the information they've said out loud several times, use visual or auditory teaching methods during your sessions. Not only will this help them to remember the all-important lesson content for exams, but it will also help them to understand their own learning style in a way that will help them long into their adult life.
Things like getting familiar with syllabuses, textbooks and exam formats can also help you better tailor your tuition to the student, so do your research on what teachers and exam boards are looking for as well as how grading systems and mark schemes work.
Good communication skills are key to making your one-to-one tutoring session successful and rewarding, so asking your student about their own experience of the national curriculum in the classroom can give you some clue as to the direction you need to take in teaching it.
You must also think about the kind of private tutor you would like to be. Will you work in your own home, or visit students? Do you want to tutor exclusively privately or offer to teach a small group too? Will you need to travel? How far are you prepared to go? Or will you work from home and tutor students online from your computer?
Don't forget that as a self-employed tutor, you are essentially running a business, and it's up to you to build a good reputation for that business. Investing your time and money in your tutoring services is investing in yourself, so you can't always afford to cut corners.
A great tutor will be flexible and fully equipped to run their own business. This might mean having a safe and appropriate living situation, or a reliable means of transport. You might require a computer with a webcam and have a proficient technical ability if you're planning to offer online tutorials. It's worth investing in good-quality technical equipment for your online lessons, including a high-quality external webcam and a good microphone. Although these can be pricey, they will ensure that your lessons run as smoothly as possible with no time wasted by preventable technical interruptions and help you build your reputation as a tutor who recognises that quality of their online stream can affect the overall quality of their lessons.
The most essential quality of a good private tutor is a love and passion for what they are teaching. You don't need qualifications - just knowledge and enthusiasm.
If you have an energetic, encouraging character and good experience in your subject area, tutoring is for you!
Contrary to what many people think, teaching isn't just about imparting one's knowledge to others; teaching and tutoring are about showing students what makes the subject they are learning so exciting. We all know that learning is easy when you're having fun, and that holding a genuine interest in a topic motivates you to delve deeper into it.
So, as a private tutor, it's up to you to create a safe learning environment so you can make kids as mad about your subject as you are. Enthusiasm is infectious.
Who knows? Maybe you'll teach a future expert in your field.
What Qualifications Are Needed to Become a Private Tutor?
You are not required to have any specific qualifications or experience to become an independent tutor in the UK.
That being said, let us now advance a caveat: if you wish to become an in-home personal trainer, you must have a valid Level-3 certificate.
Being a private tutor requires a certain level of skill and expertise, and it is up to you to advertise your credentials accordingly and decide whether you are competent to tutor in a certain subject.
Many tutors are professional teachers or ex-teachers, but it is not necessary to have any teaching qualifications to be a private tutor.
Some students prefer to have a tutor who is a certified teacher due to their knowledge of the syllabus and what exam boards are looking for in test prep, whereas others might find that their way of learning is better supported by someone with different experience and skills to offer, such as a recent graduate.
Tuition in more specialist subjects, IT and media-based skills, for example, tends to be provided by people with industry experience of working in that specific field, and they can be very helpful for students who are thinking about a career in that area.
It is not necessary to have professional experience of the subject you wish to tutor.
What Are The Legalities of Working Private Tutor Jobs?
There are no legal requirements to work as a private tutor in the UK. It is therefore up to you, the tutor, to advertise your services and decide which precautions to take and which checks you may wish to have done.
Do I Need to Obtain a DBS Check to Become a Tutor?
As of 17th June 2013, The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). A DBS certificate is an official document proving that there is no known reason why an individual may not work with children or vulnerable adults. Anyone aged 16 years and older may submit to a DBS check.
Tutors commonly present DBS certificates to parents and carers, although they are not legally required to do so.
Note: to teach in any school or tutor through any agency, you will be required to provide a DBS. In Scotland, that same document is called 'basic disclosure' and possession thereof is required of anyone who works with vulnerable individuals.
The Three Types of Check:
|Type of DBS Check||Price||What's Included|
The only DBS check you may request yourself
|£23||Only information on 'unspent' convictions|
|Standard||£26||Check for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings|
|Enhanced||£44||Same as that standard check + any additional information held by local police that is considered relevant to the role being applied for|
|Enhanced with List Checks||£44||Same as the enhanced check + check of the DBS barred lists|
It generally takes around eight weeks to get a DBS check; the time it takes to process the check depends on the level of the check required, the accuracy of the details provided, and the police forces that need to be involved in the check.
The benefits of having a DBS certificate include making students, parents and other tutors feel safe and secure, and consequently attracting more students to your service.
Taking the time to get a DBS check also shows that you're serious about the services you are providing, however little or often you may tutor, and it's also handy to have if you're applying for any other jobs which involve working with young people or vulnerable adults.
Note: If you are self-employed, you cannot apply for a DBS check. There are alternatives to the DBS check, which include a free ‘subject access request’ which you can apply for from your local police station.
You can also check out the article: New DBS checks replaces CRBS - A summary of the changes.
How Do I Report My Income for Tutoring Jobs?
One of the most important parts of working as a private tutor is reporting your income and paying your taxes.
As a tutor, HMRC considers you a self-employed sole trader. Check that box when you register as self-employed to accurately report your income - even if you only tutor part-time while working somewhere else. If you live and tutor in Scotland, you must register with Revenue Scotland.
As a sole trader, you will have to complete a self-assessment tax return every year after 5th April (when the tax year ends), which you can do online.
As someone who runs a business, in effect, you are personally responsible for its finances. In the same way that your full-time place of work sorts out the amount of tax you should be paying based on your earnings, you'll need to do the same for yourself as a self-employed tutor.
HMRC offers more information about working for yourself, including advice on setting up as a sole trader and the appropriate forms to complete for your application.
Find out the facts about disclosing what you earn.
Do I Need Insurance to Become a Tutor?
You are not legally obliged to have insurance to work as a private tutor in the UK.
Public liability insurance covers the cost of claims made by members of the public for damage or injury that has occurred in connection with your business.
Public liability insurance is recommended for freelance workers, particularly for those who offer personal tuition at home or outside of their home. Should a student get hurt or damage occur to anyone's property, you'll be covered.
Even if you will tutor exclusively online, it is a good idea to insure yourself.
Granted, you eliminate the risk of anyone tripping over anything in your home by tutoring online but what if you suffer an incapacitating illness? The best way to safeguard yourself against a potential loss of income is to protect yourself with a comprehensive insurance policy.
You are obliged by law to give a true and accurate description of the tuition services you will provide.
Any marketing materials you use, such as business cards, flyers and adverts, or any descriptions of your services in online adverts must be factually correct and you should be able to provide proof of any experience or qualifications you claim to have.
You must be completely honest with all skills, qualifications and successes that you claim to have. For example, you cannot say you lived abroad to learn a language if you did not, and you cannot claim that all your past students achieved A grades if it is not the case. Likewise, you shouldn't fabricate any testimonials or make up any success stories from supposed former students.
It is a criminal offence to falsify information of a service you advertise. Members of the public may report you for misleading advertising to the Advertising Standards Authority, with long and costly legal proceedings to follow.
For more information on abiding by UK advertising codes and to make sure you are advertising responsibly, visit the Advertising Standards Authority website.
Taxes, insurance, advertising and other business expenses... where will that money come from?
What Can You Expect to Earn as an Independent Tutor?
There is no straightforward answer to that question because so many factors influence your earning potential:
- Your subject matter
- Your degree of expertise
- Your experience
- The level you tutor
- Your means of instruction delivery
- How much you tutor
- When you tutor
- Your geographical location
The upside of all of these factors is that they demonstrate that your business will be what you make of it.
Average Per-Hour Rates for Tutors Across the UK
Taking into consideration the factors outlined above, it is possible to estimate average per-hour rates for tutors in general, across the UK.
City Average Rates per Hour London £25.55 Edinburgh £22.03 Manchester £21.35 Liverpool £20.53 Belfast £19.85 Glasgow £19.41 Coventry £19.32
What you teach is a most important factor in determining your fees, as is the availability of tutors in your area that teach the same subject(s) as you do. You will compete with more tutors for clients if you teach academic subjects than if you teach a niche skill such as yoga or drawing.
How to Set Your Rates
Passionate and altruistic though you may be, just like the rest of us, you need to earn your living. Determining how much income your tutoring business needs to generate is a prime consideration.
You might be tempted to set your rates high, so that one hour of tutoring would yield the same income as a day's wages working in a shop. On the flip side, you might think that, as you are just starting out as a tutor, setting a very low price for each hour of instruction would attract a lot of clients.
Neither of these strategies are an effective way to set your hourly rates.
There are no formal or official guidelines for establishing a schedule of fees for tutoring. Into that void leaps Superprof, to offer a couple of suggestions.
- How much do other tutors in your area charge for teaching the same subject as you?
- What do you bring to the table that other tutors don't? (more experience, more education, a skill not many other tutors have...)
Naturally, you are free to set your rates however high or low you'd like but, unless you hit that happy balance where clients can justify the expense of tutoring, you will most likely price yourself right out of the tutoring market.
Strategies to Increase Your Income from Tutoring
There are only so many hours in a day and only so many kids you can tutor: that makes your tutoring business forecast a bit gloomy, doesn't it?
Let's say you tutor 3 students every evening, charging £20 per session - that puts your daily earnings at less than the national living wage and you would have to work seven days a week to support your family.
Rather than work so much, why not adopt a few of these methods for earning more per hour?
- If you have the qualifications/experience, work exclusively with special groups; SEN students, the elderly or the disabled, just to name a few
- You may prefer to tutor in small groups; a tactic that will permit you to collect a fee from everyone present
- Even if you live in a remote location, consider giving lessons online to reach a wider pool of clients
- As long as you don't mind online teaching, what about tutoring students in other countries?
Students in eastern Asian countries all work very hard to learn English; the demand for native English speakers is high. The time difference put them out of class and available for lessons while your local students are in school, meaning you don't have to waste daylight hours waiting for your pupils to finish school.
See how you can promote your lessons as a private teacher.
Ways to Advertise Your Tutor Services & Grow Your Business
To get started, ask yourself what questions a prospective client may pose:
- What personal or professional qualities and experience do you have?
- Do you have any qualifications in your subject area?
- What is your track record as a tutor?
- What makes you a great tutor?
Addressing prospective clients' questions in your advert will pique their interest, leading to more interviews and more work. Here are ways to do it.
Your local paper likely runs adverts but space is limited and, the longer your ad, the more it costs. Besides, for the clients you hope to reach, advertising your tutoring service online would net better results.
Classified sites like Gumtree, Freeads or social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are a great way to advertise and find jobs in and around your community. Post on community pages as well as your personal profiles.
You may start a business page for your services on Facebook and LinkedIn so students can find out more about what you and leave reviews.
Build a Web Page
A web address give you ample room to promote your business. A website gives your business legitimacy, something you might not get by posting a free advert online.
Having your own web page permits you to detail your services and share success stories of previous students through their testimonials. Those will validate your skills for other parents and students who are looking for something in particular.
Distributing flyers and putting up adverts is a practical way to advertise your service. Many high-traffic locations - shops, cafes and libraries have bulletin boards for just that purpose.
Posting small advertisements in busy areas is a great way to get your name out there; even if it's not somewhere popular with parents, your ad could catch the eye of someone who will pass your name on to a potential customer.
You may even consider your local schools and university dorms - they have bulletin boards too.
Word of Mouth
Family, friends and former colleagues; even people in your local community can help spread your services by word-of-mouth. Make your name the first on everyone's lips when the subjects you tutor in comes up.
Tutors are not marketers and few are in a position to hire someone to advance their brand. However, everyone rooting for you will do their part to see your tutoring business get off the ground. Their personal connection to you and their singing your praises will likely send more clients your way than any other form of advertisement you could design.
Find out how to secure yourself as a home tutor.
Tutoring with Superprof
Landing a tutoring gig isn’t always easy, even through online platforms where your profile competes with thousands of others. Still, it is, hands-down, the most convenient way to advertise your tutoring service to students across the UK and worldwide.
Superprof takes much of the worry and hassle out of advertising and finding clients by providing every tutor with a page uniquely theirs.
On your profile page, you may say as much as you'd like about your pedagogy, experience and qualifications. You may set your rates as you see fit, upload whatever documents - DBS, credentials and others so that your profile will show as 'verified' to prospective clients.
Free online platforms like Superprof guarantee your profile a worldwide audience. Your prospective students can learn about you before getting in touch for their first lesson.
To get the most out of free online tutoring platforms, make your profile as detailed and attractive as possible. Market yourself as a stand out by detailing what you offer that other tutors don't.
On Superprof, students can find and talk with private tutors whose profiles most closely match to their learning needs, winnowing their choices down to their ideal match.
Get the guide to a galvanizing tutees.
Unlike other online tutoring platforms, Superprof lets you choose how you get paid and how much you charge with no commission fees. Every penny you earn is yours to keep.
With Superprof, all payment for academic tutoring services is arranged solely between the tutor and the student. This gives you total control of how you get payed.
Read about the security checks for home tuition here.
At Superprof, we pride ourselves on providing an online platform that connects tutors and students of all ages for all kinds of learning, either in person or online. The best part is that you're in charge of your business: you decide your rates and organise your schedule.
To help ensure your success as a Superprof, turn to The Tutor Coach for tips on navigating the business side of tutoring. This page has tools, guidance and resources to build your tutoring business into a full-time career or as a part-time job.
You can start tutoring with Superprof in 6 simple steps:
- Register for an account and create your profile
- Verify your details and qualifications with Superprof
- Make your tutor advert live for students to find you
- Wait for students to contact you through Superprof
- Review their request and decide whether to accept or decline. Upon accepting, your contact details will be made visible to the student
- Arrange when and where to host your lessons
Online tutoring jobs provide a secure and resourceful service to help you share your expertise. You can tailor your work to suit your schedule by choosing your hours and you can work from anywhere, anytime. All you need is an internet connection and a webcam.
Are you ready to start your tutoring business now?