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Tutoring Jobs: Everything You Need to Know to Start your Home Tutoring Business

By Jon, published on 13/07/2018 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > How to Become a Tutor

Private one-to-one tuition is known to be the most effective and productive method of learning at all levels of academic or creative development. It helps students build skills, confidence and enthusiasm in their subjects, three things which lead to increased academic success.

The focused attention and tailored guidance of private tutoring jobs can help students realise their full academic and creative potential as well as teaching them valuable study skills that can be used later on in their education and career.

There are a few things to consider when starting up as private tutor, and our how-to guide will take you through the various steps to get you on your way. Before you become a home tutor, have a read through the different sections on:

  • Qualities that make a good private tutor
  • How to advertise as a tutor and find students
  • Insurance for private tutors
  • Reporting your tutoring income
  • Qualifications for becoming a private tutor
  • Obtaining a DBS check as a private tutor
  • The legalities of working as a private tutor

Finding tutoring jobs isn’t always an easy task. Online platforms are a great way to access thousands of private tutoring jobs. Simply create your free profile and advertise your tutoring service to students across the UK and worldwide.

On our platform, Superprof,  students are able to find and interact with private tutors who suit their needs in order to find the perfect match. The student will be able to view your tutoring profile, compare price and experience, and talk with various tutors to help find their ideal tutor to provide supplemental instruction.

Online tutoring jobs provide a secure and resourceful service to help you share your expertise with eager students. You can tailor your work to suit your schedule by choosing your hours – you can work from anywhere, anytime – all you need is an internet connection and a webcam.

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 for your time spent tutoring is yours to keep!

On Superprof, you can create a detailed personal profile to showcase your experience, qualifications, location, hourly rates and availability with this comprehensive guide. A complete and detailed profile will target and attract suitable prospective students so that you can start working and building your online tutor reputation immediately.

What You Need to Become a Tutor Is tutoring ticking your boxes? Have a look at our guide and FAQs to help you get started. Source: Visualhunt

You can start tutoring with Superprof in 6 simple steps:

  1. Register for an account and start creating your profile
  2. Verify your details and qualifications with Superprof
  3. Make your tutor advert live for students to find you
  4. Wait for students to contact you through Superprof
  5. Review their request and decide whether to accept or decline. Upon accepting, your contact details will be made visible to the student
  6. Arrange when and where to host your lessons

It’s as easy as that! Here at Superprof we pride ourselves on providing expert tutoring and a quality service available to everyone – this means tutors as well as students. Our online platform connects tutors and students of all ages and for all kinds of learning, either in person or online.

Students can choose from a community of over a million hand-picked, passionate tutors all over the world. If you like your independence, Superprof will be perfect for you. With no involvement in the payment process and no minimum teaching hours, you are in charge of your own business: you decide your rates and organise your own schedule.

To help you navigate the business side of tutoring you can also get help from The Tutor Coach, where you can find tools, guidance and resources to help you manage your tutoring business whether you want to turn it into a full-time career or as a part-time job to earn some extra income on the side.

What Qualities Make a Good Private Tutor?

Is in home tutoring for you? 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

What makes a great private tutor? Creativity and a love of teaching makes the best tutors! Source: Visualhunt

Students need easy and accessible ways of learning to boost grades and cultivate skills. A private tutor or E-tutor will have the experience and resources to provide their student 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 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.

How Can I Advertise my Tutor Jobs & Find Students?

We have lots of tips for becoming a tutor and making your service stand out. Free online platforms like Superprof offer an enormous online community, ensuring that your profile has a wide audience and that your prospective students are able to learn as much as possible about you before getting in touch. All you need to do is build your profile and make it live, and then the students looking for someone like you to tutor them will be able to find your advert.

To get the most out of free online tutoring services, you should aim to make your profile as detailed and attractive as possible and market yourself to the student in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd.

To get started, put yourself in the shoes of a student and ask yourself some simple questions they may want to know the answer to, such as:

  • What personal or professional qualities and experience do you have?
  • Do you have any qualifications in your subject area?
  • What makes you a great tutor?

The right experience and attributes will make you stand out and get the interest of prospective students.

Advertising your experience and success is an important way of catching students’ eyes. If you have previous experience working in teaching or in an appropriate professional field to your subject, then your service will stand out amongst other offers, so be sure to mention this on your profile.

Equally, if you can share success stories of previous students, for example boosting a student’s grade from a D to an A, or helping a student reach a new language level, then this will also help you to sell your service. You could ask some of your previous students to give you testimonials for you to feature on your page. Not only will these show off your teaching skill, but they may also be useful to other parents and students who are looking for something in particular.

Spread flyers and business cards in your area Advertise in and around your local community. Source: Flickr

There are many other ways to advertise your tutoring service online. Classified sites like Gumtree or social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are a great way to advertise and find jobs in and around your community, so make use of them! Post on community pages as well as putting a small ad on your personal profiles. You may even want to start a business page for your services on Facebook and LinkedIn where students can find out more about what you offer as well as leaving reviews – this is a good option if you want to keep your personal and tutoring lives separate.

Distributing flyers and putting up adverts in your local school, shop, cafe or library are useful ways of advertising your service – but do ask for permission before you do this! 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.

So, how do you write a good advert or flyer?

The key to getting the attention of the public is keeping it simple.

Only include information that will answer key questions such as:

  • What service is being offered?
  • What subject and levels are being taught?
  • How do you get in contact?

Once you have these three crucial pieces of information, have a think about adding details that might encourage people to get in touch with you, such as your hourly rates, previous experience, where you teach, your relevant qualifications or certificated and testimonials – these are all things that can be used to persuade someone to give you a call.

The way in which you structure your advert is also crucial. To make your posters eye-catching and your flyers worth more than just a glance, the most important information should be the most noticeable – that means bigger and bolder!

Having the words ‘MATH TUTOR’ in bold lettering is a good start for math tutoring. After that, you can add the rest of your details as you see fit.

Speaking with family, friends and people in your local community can also help spread your services by word-of-mouth. For those who live in an especially close-knit community, word travels fast, so the power of word-of-mouth should never be underestimated. Make sure you tell everyone about your services. Even if they don’t require them, they may know someone who does.

When it comes to advertising, the idea is that you make your name a go-to whenever anyone thinks of tuition in your subject, so knowing how to market yourself is essential. As a self-employed tutor, you are running a business – so, build a brand! Whether it’s using a particular slogan on your flyers and web pages, or using specific teaching methods as a selling point, making yourself memorable will put you ahead of the game.

Remember – you must advertise accurately and truthfully. Your online profiles and advertisements must be a true reflection of who you are and what you have to offer.

More information on false advertising can be found in the ‘What are the legalities of working as a private tutor?’ section below.

Do I Need Insurance to Become a Tutor?

Although you are not legally obliged to have insurance to work as a private tutor in the UK, some tutors prefer to have insurance as a precaution or security measure to protect themselves and their business.

Public Liability Insurance

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 generally recommended for private and freelance workers, particularly for those who offer personal tuition at home or outside of their home as a means of protecting themselves against any legal liability, should an injury occur to a learner or damage occur to third party property.

Insurance policies vary between insurers, but public liability will normally cover you for incidents that occur on your personal property should you tutor in your own home, and incidents that occur outside of your home at an event or activity that you have organised, i.e. at your students’ homes or elsewhere.

The price of insurance also varies from insurer to insurer. There are many price comparison websites such as Compare the Market available to help you choose the right insurance company to suit your needs and price range. The cost of your insurance will usually depend on your insurance claims history and the nature of your work.

Private Tutor Insurance Insurance can protect you as a home tutor. Source: Visualhunt

Public liability insurance is worth considering when working with other members of the public in your own home, or if you work somewhere where members of the general public are present in addition to your and your student.

Running a business from your own home can open you up to various risks, so it is up to you to decide who you work with and where you work – but bear in mind that it’s better to be safe than sorry, and while you won’t expect to have to make an insurance claim, being as prepared as possible for any eventuality can only be a good thing for the peace of mind of you and your clients.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Some people may also choose to purchase professional indemnity insurance, which is a form of protection against any legal liability as a result of negligent service or advice offered as a professional service.

Again, as a private tutor, you are not legally obliged to have professional indemnity insurance, but it is usually held by people who offer knowledge, skills or advice as part of their work.

Tutors working for a company or individually often have professional indemnity insurance to protect themselves against potential legal proceedings.

Claims can be made against you for up to six years after an alleged negligent act, and you are only covered for claims made against you during the term of your policy. It is important, therefore, to make sure your run-off policy covers you for the appropriate time frame.

For more information about public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance, or to help you decide if you might wish to have it, more information can be found on the Association of British Insurers website.

How Do I Report My Income for Tutoring Jobs?

As a private tutor, you are classed as a self-employed sole trader. Working as a sole trader entails certain responsibilities. You will need to register as self-employed with HMRC in order to report your yearly income and make sure you pay the correct Income Tax and National Insurance.

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. You must do this even if you are also employed elsewhere – 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.

Make sure you report what you earn! Recording and reporting your income doesn’t have to be difficult! Source: Visualhunt

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.

With Superprof, all payment for academic tutoring services is arranged solely between the tutor and the student. Superprof has no involvement with the payment process for tuition in any way. This gives you total control of how you wish to be payed and means you pay no commission for your services.

What Qualifications Are Needed to Become a Private Tutor?

You are not required to have any specific qualifications to become a private tutor in the UK. Being a private tutor requires a certain level of skill and expertise, but it is up to you to advertise your credentials accordingly and decide whether you are competent to tutor in a certain subject.

What Makes a Good Tutor Use your skills and experience to boost your students’ grades. Source: VIsualhunt

Above all, it is important to remember that experience and human qualities such as perseverance, enthusiasm and a passion for teaching are what really qualifies you to be a great tutor.

In general, tutors of a specific academic subject will have a background or qualification in that area, usually to degree-level. It is also common for students currently studying a degree to tutor alongside their studies.

It may sound obvious, but you should only tutor at the levels you have completed yourself. For instance, you might tutor A-Level students in your degree subject if you’re an undergraduate.

Many tutors offer their service alongside a professional teaching job, 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.

Those who are currently in or have recently left the education system themselves are excellent tools for students looking to perfect their exam technique or develop their study skills. Being tutored by someone who has been on the same side of classroom teaching as they are is a good foundation for building the crucial relationship of trust between tutor and tutee.

Tuition offered in more specialist subjects, such as 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.

Nonetheless, it is not necessary to have professional experience of the subject you wish to tutor. It is your responsibility to decide if you will be able to provide a beneficial, expert one on one tutoring service in your area of expertise.

If you do have any qualifications, you can upload them to Superprof to be verified by our team. Once they have been checked, you can advertise your qualifications to help attract prospective students.

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.

Do I Need A DBS Check Having a DBS Certificate can help to attract more jobs. Source: Visualhunt

 

DBS certificates are commonly held by tutors, particularly to show to parents and carers, although they are not a legal requirement. You must be 16 or over to have a DBS check.

There are three types of check:

Type of DBS CheckPriceWhat's Included
Standard£26Check for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
Enhanced£44Same 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£44Same 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.

If you are self-employed, however, 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 apply for a ‘basic disclosure’, which can be applied for at Disclosure Scotland. 

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.

One of the most important parts of working as a private tutor is reporting your income and paying your taxes, as is discussed in the ‘How do I report my tutoring income?’ section above.

Legal aspects For Home Tutors Legal guidelines to know before becoming a private tutor. Source: Visualhunt

Other legal issues also include health and safety and making sure your services abide by advertising law and guidelines:

Health and Safety

Of course, as someone who interacts with minors, student safety is a tutor’s top priority. If you offer private tuition in your own home, it is your legal responsibility to ensure it is a safe environment in which to conduct business. The responsibility and accountability for health and safety issues lie with the tutor and the student.

It is not a legal requirement to be insured as a private tutor. Whether or not you decide to buy insurance as a private tutor, it is worth doing a simple risk assessment in your home in order to prevent any potential health and safety hazards.

Things like cluttered workspace, uneven surfaces, frayed carpets or loose cables are common hazards in homes, but can be serious risks which need to be considered before you invite clients into your home.

You are also at risk if you conduct your tutoring services in the home of your students, and when you’re visiting new homes every day, protecting yourself should be a priority. If you cause damage or injury in their home, or equally if you injure yourself on their property, the right insurance policy will protect you and cover any fees or compensation.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website contains lots of information and advice for creating a safe and legal work environment. It also has guidelines on the risks involved with working with young and vulnerable people – something you need to consider, especially if you’re holding lessons at your home.

Advertising

It is also crucial to remember that you are obliged by law to give a true and accurate description of the tuition services that you advertise.

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.

This is another area in which Superprof can help both tutors and students. All qualifications that you claim to have on your online profile with Superprof will be verified by the Superprof team before they are shared with prospective students, but it is solely the tutor’s responsibility to provide truthful information on any insurance and DBS checks that you may 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.

Any experiences or stories of previous successes with past students must also be verifiable if you use them to advertise and promote your home tutoring services.

It is a criminal offence to falsify information of a service you sell. It is possible for members of the public to report misleading advertising to the Advertising Standards Authority, which can involve long and costly legal proceedings.

For more information on abiding by UK advertising codes and to make sure you are advertising responsibly, visit the Advertising Standards Authority website. 

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