Being a tutor can be a very rewarding and engaging experience. You get to meet a wide variety of new people, spread knowledge throughout the world and even earn quite a bit of money. Tutoring is an extremely diverse and interesting field. You don’t need a teaching certificate like you would if you wanted to work in a school or other academic institution. So, if you are knowledgeable and have a desire to teach others then tutoring may be perfect for you.
What you need to become a tutor
While it is true that you don’t need any specific qualifications in order to become a tutor, there are still a number of things that you will need. These include but are not limited to:
An area of expertise: Obviously, if you want to teach people, you need something to teach them. This is the easiest step as the number of subjects that you can teach to others is vast. You can teach skills like coding in specific programs, business skills, music, or you can teach more fundamental subjects like maths and English.
A DBS check: A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) is a background check performed to ensure that a person has nothing preventing them from working within a given role. For example, things like criminal records and prior places of employment will be thoroughly examined for any blemishes. Once you have cleared a DBS check you can then use it as documented proof that you are trustworthy. Potential students will feel a lot safer around you and be more likely to desire your services.
Good people skills: In order to develop a rapport with your students and create a nice atmosphere for learning, you will need people skills. You will run into periods when your student is really struggling with a section of a lesson, patience and understanding will be necessary to overcome the roadblock. You will need to be friendly and encouraging for your students to listen to you. An avid enthusiasm for teaching would also be helpful so that your lessons are better. If your students enjoy their sessions, they will want to continue attending them.
Advantages of becoming a tutor
Tutoring opens up a lot of options for you. Many people love tutoring for others and see it as an incredibly fulfilling profession. The benefits that come from being a tutor include but are not limited to:
Unlike a lot of working from home jobs, tutoring pays really well. On average tutors earn around £30-£40 an hour depending on field and level of study. Considering that the legal minimum wage (as of the time of writing this) is £7.70 an hour, it’s easy to see why people would want to become a tutor. Normally a student will be booked in for a 1 hour (sometimes longer) session once per week for a couple of months. As you tutor more and more students you will earn a lot of money.
Flexible hours. As is the case with all self-employed jobs you can freely set your own hours. Not only are you able to pick your start and end times, as well as your breaks and lunch, you also have the freedom to work for far fewer hours than other jobs. Since your work will be consisting of hour-long sessions for your pupils and the occasional preparation for those sessions, you can end up working very short days. For an 8 hour day at the current minimum wage, you would earn £61.60 pounds per day. If you charge £30 for a session and run 3 sessions in a day you will earn £90 for a 3 hour day. As you can see you can get away with much shorter workdays.
- You can tutor through online services or face to face. This allows you to tailor your experience to your specific student’s needs and accommodate more students. This, in turn, allows you to work with more students and earn more money. Being able to accommodate and acquire more students is necessary for your business’s success.
There are almost no start-up costs associated with tutoring. There is no essential equipment needed, you don’t need a website and you don’t need to create any products. Other than simply advertising yourself, which can be achieved very cheaply via word of mouth or a local ad, you don’t have to invest money upfront. If you wanted to you could develop a website later on to expand your business. However, it is unnecessary to do this at the start.
Disadvantages of becoming a tutor
Despite seeming like an amazing occupation, it is not suitable for everyone. Tutoring has significant drawbacks which will prevent a lot of people from being able to become tutors. If you can overcome these then you can become a great tutor and reap the rewards. The disadvantages include:
You may be forced to work very late during the day or during weekends. Adult tutoring does exist and can also be very rewarding. Although usually, the bulk of your students will be school children and University students. Because of this, you will have to set up sessions during times when they aren’t in school. If you are a night person this will be less of an issue.
There is no clear way to work with all of your students. Unlike more straightforward roles like article writing or Dropshipping, you will need to be extremely flexible to give your students the best experience. People are unique and need to be taught in unique ways. If you don’t have the patience or energy to support and be flexible for more difficult students, then this job isn’t for you.
Building up your reputation can take quite a long time. Getting your name out there and building a consistent customer base will be taxing. You may have long periods at the start where most of your time working will be spent on admin work and advertising.
how to become a tutor
Becoming a tutor is not a straightforward process. Just like any other business, there are going to be obstacles in your way which you’ll need to overcome. Here are some tips on how to become a tutor:
Put together a good cv
This step is important as this is your employer’s first impression of you and your abilities. This is a good way to show off your skills and impress your employer. You should mention any past work you’ve done and offer strong references. You’re selling your services here so you need to make sure you really make the perfect CV.
Narrow down what skill level you’re aiming for
After you’ve got your Cv sorted, your next task needs to be narrowing down what skill level you’d like to teach. For instance, teaching kids in primary school is completely different from teaching college students.
It’s important to narrow this down so you can become the best possible tutor you can. If you decide to teach students who are practicing for their GCSEs, you can really learn the curriculum and what the students need to be successful in their exams. Sticking to one area will most definitely help you perfect your craft.
The most popular tutoring areas are:
- Primary school core subject and SATs tuition (key stage 1 and 2)
- Secondary school core subjects (key stage 3, GCSE, A level)
- International qualifications
- Language tuition
put a pitch together
This is where you put your money where your mouth is. Next, you need to put a pitch together to present to employers. In this pitch, mention things such as your past experience, grades, ambitions, and why you want to become a tutor. If you have no past experience, just be enthusiastic and optimistic. Personalities go a long way.
You can also convert your pitch into an ad, which we will talk about in the next step.
Now it’s time to get your skills out there in front of potential employers. You can cut parts out of your pitch, or just use the whole thing. This ad needs to be engaging, eye-catching, and informative. It’s important to use some sales skills here too.
Some of the best places to advertise are:
- Notice boards at universities, colleges, and high schools.
- Online forums.
- Social media groups.
- The traditional flyer through letterboxes.
Whether you’re an online tutor or a personal tutor, you’ll have to start attending sessions with your tutee (student). It’s a good idea to set up an induction session to get to know each other, understand some of their weaknesses and strengths, then set some goals. Setting goals will help you to come prepared for each session. Turning up to each session with nothing prepared and just helping the tutee with homework won’t impress anyone.
It’s a good idea to have set days and set times with your tutee to stay organized. Ask loads of questions the first time you meet so you can go away after and do some in-depth research on what they need.
How much money do tutors make?
Just like most self-employed careers, there isn’t a direct answer for this. Factors come into play here, but you’ll be paid between £15-£35 on average in the UK. In the capital, London, you’ll be paid between £15-£60.
- Here’s a short breakdown of your hourly pay rate as a tutor (London rates in brackets):
- £15-£18 (£15-£25): Current students with little tutoring experience.
- £18-£23 (£25-£35): Graduates and more experienced tutors.
- £23-£28 (£30-£40): Experienced tutors without a teaching qualification, or newly qualified/trainee tutors.
- £28-£35 (£41-£60): Highly qualified and experienced tutors.