How to build a career as a private tutor

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how to become a private tutor

The private tutoring industry has boomed in recent years, as more and more students need additional support with their school or college work. Becoming a private tutor is increasingly popular, and is a great option if you want to pursue a career in education

In this guide, Tutor House walks us through the benefits of working as a private tutor, and then explore how to become a private tutor. 

Private tutor jobs attract graduates from a number of different degree courses. Tutors also have a range of different qualifications and educational backgrounds. It’s a great role if you like helping others and making a difference

Why should I become a private tutor?

Before we discuss how to start building a career as a private tutor, let’s first take a look at some of the benefits of tutoring. 

1. Being a private tutor is very well paid 

One of the best things about being a private tutor is that it pays very well. Unlike a typical 9-5 job, tutors have the freedom and independence to decide their own ‘salary’ and can charge anywhere from £20 an hour to more than £100 an hour. Some people think of tutoring as a part-time side job that they can do alongside their career or higher education, but tutoring can actually be a career in itself – and one that pays well too.

2. It’s flexible 

Private tutor jobs are flexible, well-paid and rewarding

Another great advantage to being a private tutor is that the role is very flexible. Unlike most traditional jobs, tutors work to a schedule that suits them and they can liaise with their students to arrange sessions at a time that is convenient, allowing them the freedom to pursue other passions or interests at the same time.

Moreover, private tutoring sessions don’t have to take place in-person. You can offer your services online, so the session can take place from wherever you are. All you need is a laptop and wifi and you’re good to go. 

3. Being a tutor is rewarding

Private tutoring is also a very rewarding profession. Maybe you’ll have a pupil who’s finding maths really difficult. You’ll be able to help them tackle problems and get the grade they need. Or perhaps you’ll provide language tuition to an international student who’s struggling to communicate with their classmates. You could help them develop the skills and understanding they need to make new friends. 

4. Tutoring can be a stepping stone to other careers

Private tutor jobs can also open up doors to a range of other exciting careers, both inside and outside the education industry. Many people use tutoring as a way to get some hands-on experience before embarking on a career as a teacher or a lecturer. 

The skills gained through tutoring are also transferable to a number of different jobs in a range of industries, from media and communications to finance or even engineering. Whatever your career goals are, tutoring could be the answer to getting you one step closer to your dream job.  

How can I become a private tutor? 

There are several things to consider before you start your tutoring career:

1. The more experience you have, the better

It’s not necessary to have any tutoring experience, but any education-related experience you can get will be a big help. 

You'll need specialist knowledge and commitment to become
a private tutor

You certainly don’t have to have previously been a teacher or a lecturer in order to be a great tutor. Valuable experience comes in lots of different forms. From having helped your younger sibling solve a complex maths problem to helping your friend with a school or college assignment, you might have more tutoring experience than you think. 

If you’re hoping to become a tutor but feel that you don’t have the experience that you need, then now is the right time to start building up your experience bank. Ask your friends if they need help with something, or offer some of your parents friends children some free assistance with their homework to help you get in the right mindset, hone your skills and collect some valuable references. 

2. You’ll need to develop specialist knowledge 

One of the most important things you need as a private tutor is specialist knowledge in one or more areas. In order to provide students with insightful, factually accurate and detailed lessons, you first need to equip yourself with expertise. 

There are no set regulations in the UK, but in order to provide high quality lessons, you’ll need an understanding of the specialist subject(s) you want to tutor in. This will help you build your clients (that’s the students who pay for your tutoring). 

The easiest way to show clients you have this specialist knowledge is through higher education qualifications which can be gained at college, university or by doing an apprenticeship

3. It takes hard work and the right attitude 

Whether you decide to take on a tutoring job part-time or full-time, you’ll need to put in a good deal of effort and hard work. Staying up late planning sessions, learning syllabuses, and juggling several clients at once is all part of being a great tutor. Whilst the reward certainly outweighs this effort, it is vital that you approach your tutoring career with the right attitude. 

You will also need to be compassionate, caring and considerate, but also motivational, encouraging and, at times, strict. You will need to have the patience to help students work through problems at their own pace, whilst also ensuring they are developing key transferable skills that will be vital in their later lives. 

Being able to demonstrate strong organisational and time management skills is another must as you will be responsible for finding customers, turning up to sessions on time and ensuring you are fully prepared for each and every lesson. 

4. Sign up to a tutoring platform 

If you think you have the experience, knowledge, approach and personality to embark upon a successful career as a private tutor, the next step is to actually find some clients. Whilst some tutors operate on a word of mouth basis or choose to advertise themselves online, by far the quickest, easiest and most reliable way to build a solid customer base and gain a positive reputation is to sign up to a tutoring platform. 

Tutoring platforms will represent a wide range of tutors, and will help you to build a profile that is attractive to clients, and ensure you are being matched with students who require the precise services that you offer. Tutor House are the leading tutoring platform in the UK, helping tutors connect with students all over the country.  Sign up to become a Tutor House tutor.   

Main photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash; tutor at whiteboard by You X Ventures on Unsplash; tutor and student at laptop by stem.T4L on Unsplash

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