Private tuition has become an industry worth billions. Recent studies have reported more than 25% of students have used private tuition services, with that figure passing 40% in the capital. Once you factor in adult students, the potential marketplace for a private tutor is huge! There has never been a better time to become a private tutor. But you’re not the only one who has noticed. Many people, including qualified teachers, are now offering private tuition services. Sometimes alongside their day jobs, which is seeing a record number of teachers supplementing their income by becoming a private tutor, sometimes as a full-time job. With an average tutor charging upwards of £25 per hour, that could mean an income in excess of £40K annually!
So, how do you get your piece of the action? Becoming a private tutor can be hugely rewarding, as well as being a great way to earn a living whilst choosing your hours and being your own boss. It may seem daunting from where you are right now, but fear not – Tutorially™ is here to help.
There is no legal minimum requirement for qualifications to become a private tutor. Many consider a University degree in a subject to be a pre-requisite for teaching it, but the reality is that people from all walks of life, and all levels of education, are very successful tutors today. Your personal competencies and local competition are the main factors to consider – having qualifications in a subject is likely to mean less time spent preparing lessons, and should you find yourself the only tutor in an area who does not possess a relevant qualification, you may also find yourself being the last person who gets the call. Ultimately it is the students, as customers (or their parents!) who decide.
Having become a private tutor, several agencies exist to promote tuition businesses and connect them with suitable students. Many will require evidence of professional qualifications and references, and whilst these can provide an indication of the suitability of an individual for private tutoring, they can only ever provide part of the story. Subject knowledge alone does not make a good tutor. Some subjects also place less stock in qualifications, music being an example – though it is common to see ‘llcm’ (licentiate of the London College of Music) after a tutor’s name, for instance, hands-on competence with the instrument in question will be the deciding factor and will be evident from the first lesson.
Ultimately the only prerequisite for becoming a successful private tutor is possessing a solid grasp of the material you intend to teach your student in their next lesson. The less background you possess, the harder you will need to work to stay ahead of them as they develop!
Once the decision to offer tuition has been made, all you need to become a private tutor is students to teach! If you are content that you have the right qualifications, knowledge and teaching experience in the subjects that you intend to teach, you need to let the world know you’re there ready to help prospective students.
There are many agencies who can help you establish yourself once you have become a private tutor, offering you a platform on which to advertise yourself, and access to students seeking tutors in your area. These may be a tempting proposition for a new tutor but beware of the charges! Some agencies have a flat monthly fee for the tutor, some request a percentage of all lesson fees whilst others charge the student a fee. Of the three options, a flat fee for the tutor is the better option – percentages for a busy tutor will result in higher fees, whilst a fee to the student will make the lesson more expensive and potentially make the tutor a less attractive option as a result. Some agents also expect exclusivity and do not permit working on other platforms concurrently – only agree to this if you are certain the agent can meet your expectations for lessons.
Whilst operating as a sole-trader is an adequate way to start a tuition business, setting up your own limited company to trade as is an attractive option from the point of view of establishing a brand and maximising your tuition income. Either way, if you’re going to tutor people in your own home insurance is a must. Public Liability insurance to cover people visiting your place of business and Private indemnity protects you against any claims of offering inaccurate professional advice. The costs of both typically relate to business income. Securing the services of an accountant is also wise, and a legal requirement for all incorporated companies. All important cost consideration as you seek to become a private tutor.
A website will be your tutoring shopfront, so it is worthwhile investing in one. This subject is big enough to create several articles, but the basic building blocks are: you will need a website, and you will need to publicise it. If you have the skills to do this yourself, great. If you do not, paying a company to provide those services may be advantageous.
Becoming an Online Tutor is a very popular option today since the majority of students spend a tremendous amount of time online already. There are several advantages to both the tutor and student in terms of access and availability – no longer are tutor and student limited by their location, suddenly the world is at your fingertips! Parents of younger students may prefer tuition online in the safety of the home, and tutors certainly love the time and money saved when one no longer has to travel! The requirements for an online tutor are the same as standard face-to-face – an aptitude for the subject, and tuition as a profession, plus access to appropriate technology to allow online lessons – namely a camera and a suitable platform. There are several turnkey solutions available to enable your becoming an online tutor, though they are of variable cost and quality.
Modern tuition software can greatly simplify the running of an education business, and once you’re happy you have the necessary skills to become a private tutor, so much of the rest can be done for you. There are several systems available to the modern tutor, but only Tutorially™ offers everything you need:
A custom tutor webpage to showcase your tuition business, with student leads from all major search engines to bring you customers!
An online tutor directory, searchable by registered students by subject and location.
Video lessons! Do not be limited by your location or spend valuable time and money travelling! A must for online tuition, and a new business capability for private tutors.
Schedule management to maximise your income.
Online payment facility.
Automated reminders for lessons and invoices to improve payments.
Accounts overview, giving you and your accountant an easy way to track your income, tax obligations and expenses.
Comprehensive student management to track all aspects of the education journey.
Comprehensive review and testimonial system for online tutors, help establish yourself as a private tutor.
Parental updates – ensuring everyone is up to date.
So Tutorially™ provides a platform for students to find you, a simple means for you to schedule lessons and track students, automatic reminders to maximise income, an online payment facility and accountancy data. All of which will help you become a private tutor quickly, easily, and successfully! All features are available for FREE for tutors just starting out, with subscription tiers designed to support you as your business grows. Our customers have told us Tutorially™ saves them double-digit hours per month, representing several hundred pounds-worth of billable time saved!