Loads of students get into private tutoring whilst studying to make some extra money, profiting as a result of the desire of younger students (and their parents!) to achieve the best results possible. Student tutors enjoy flexible working hours that are well paid, minimising the debt famously accumulated over the course of an undergraduate program, as well as the many other benefits of stutoring / stuition / steaching / st… whatever! So what’s attractive about being a student tutor?
Imagine being able to fit work in between all your other commitments. Being a student tutor can give you exactly that. Arrange your lessons for your students around your lectures, seminars and social commitments. Operating as a self-employed student tutor you get complete control over the dates and times that work for you, where you work and how much you charge. There are several online platforms available for online tutoring, which give you almost limitless flexibility. You can also choose which subjects you want to teach, and to what level. There aren’t many employment opportunities open to students that offer that kind of freedom!
Tip: When you are starting out, it is a good idea to be as flexible as possible with work schedules, locations, subjects and fees. You can start being picky once your income reaches a level you are happy with. Signing up for an online tuition platform can give immediate access to all the tools you need to be a student tutor.
Yeah yeah, we know… we’re all supposed to do things for the love of them, aren’t we? Well, hopefully, you will love being a student tutor – but the money doesn’t hurt either! An experienced UK tutor with a solid resume and customer references or reviews can expect to command up to £50 per hour. A capable student could easily achieve £25 per hour when starting out, and with over 25% of teenagers receiving home tuition, there is quite a market out there. There aren’t many jobs out there paying students that well! Make sure to keep good records of your income from student tutoring, so you can pay any relevant taxes as required – though you won’t need to worry about that until you reach the personal tax allowance limit, which equates to teaching one lesson every day for the full year.
Tip: Consider reducing your fees at the very start to secure your first customers and gather some reviews. This ‘social proof’ (others saying you are a good tutor) will really get your tuition business motoring! Make sure to publicise your reviews online. You might also want to consider software to accurately record your finances, so the numbers are at your fingertips should the need arise.
It is difficult to get a job without experience, but it is far more difficult to get experience without a job. This conundrum is as old as the world of work, but imagine how fantastic private tuition looks on your CV – being so secure in your subject that others are willing to pay for your knowledge. The experience of being a student tutor within your own subject will also strengthen your own subject knowledge, advancing your own academic aspirations. Additionally, building a tuition business and website, no matter how small, also demonstrates your entrepreneurial spirit and ability to execute – traits in demand in business. More importantly, the experience is real; everything your CV will say about your experience of being a student tutor will be true, referenceable and demonstrable.
Tip: Build your own website to showcase your student tutor business, or at least register an appropriate domain name and redirect it to your profile on one of the many tutor sites on the Internet.
Without teaching experience, it can be difficult to get started as a student tutor. The best advice we can offer is to get started as soon as possible. You might consider starting with the younger siblings of friends and colleagues, as well as reducing your advertised rates as suggested previously. Once you have built up a student portfolio and some testimonials, securing more students will become much easier. There are many possible routes to market for the new student tutor.
There are many tuition agencies who encourage student enrolment, and earning between £20 and £30 per hour is easily achievable once you’re registered and have started being a student tutor. Student availability is stronger in larger cities of course, and securing a handful of tuition opportunities each week is typical for s student tutor starting out. Beware of the commission from such sites though, which could see your take-home pay reduced by 15%.
Another option to consider is student tutoring for one of the many organisations that teach groups of children after school and during holidays. The majority of tutors with such organisations are student tutors. They work an average of 10-12 hours a week, often more during the school holidays – and earn an hourly rate from around £6, rising depending on age and responsibilities. A possible route to secure referenceable experience but not, in our view, what student tutoring is about.
Our recommendation would be to create a CV, or better yet a website showcasing your skills, experience and specialist subjects, and start advertising locally as a student tutor. You might consider flyers in the local library, and volunteering in a local school is a great way to get experience. It is also a fantastic way to secure a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service, successor to the CRB), since such a check would be mandatory for working in schools. It is also enormously helpful to anybody tutoring children since it assures parents of the good character of the student tutor. When it comes to websites, designing your own is possible, but several services are available to help. Tutorially™, for example, offers customisable tutor profile pages that can be used to advertise your tuition services globally and they’re well indexed by search engines, making you easy to find for prospective students.
The Internet has made tutoring massively accessible to everybody, and video lessons online make it possible to be a student tutor without even having to leave your home. Again, Tutorially™ can help, providing all the tools you need to run a tuition business:
Online tutoring makes location irrelevant, making the world accessible to the student tutor, as well as giving parents to ability to select tutors from beyond their local area. The student tutor saves time and money by reducing or eliminating the need to travel, and safeguarding concerns all but disappear.