In this blog, Lawrence sets out a few key ways that qualified teachers can make a smooth transition into the realm of professional tutoring. Efficiency, using your time wisely and finding a niche are all key.
If you take on an online tuition job that needs little preparation, the £50 an hour that you will be paid is roughly equal to your adjusted hourly rate (£50). If you need to travel 45 minutes each way and perform 30 minutes of preparation for a home tuition job, the £50 an hour that you will be paid actually equates to an adjusted hourly rate of £14.29.
This comparison highlights one of the potential pitfalls of private tuition. If you manage your business well, being a private tutor can generate a fantastic financial return on the time that you invest. If you do not, you may find yourself earning little more than minimum wage and struggling to make ends meet. In this article I will highlight the main areas on which teachers should focus their attention if they are to make a career in the private tutoring industry.
One of the main issues that teachers wishing to become tutors will experience is a lack of efficiency. Private tutors can earn a relatively large amount per hour when compared with other professions paid by the hour (Owl Tutors currently pay home tutors in London a minimum of £45 an hour). Although the hourly rates of pay can be high, tutors typically only teach two to three hours per day on a weekday evening and so their total earning potential can be limited by the relatively short window of time between students getting home from school and heading off to bed. It is vitally important that tutors make the most of the short working window that they have. Listed below are a few tips to improve your efficiency.
The tuition industry is vast. Given the colossal size of the industry there are all manner of different people and companies providing all manner of different products at different prices. If you have spent part of your career as a teacher you may not have much experience in price negotiations and finances. The fortunate (and unfortunate) reality of the tuition industry is that the vast majority of tutors do not have any teaching qualifications. The fact that you are already a qualified teacher gives you a big advantage as you have validation that you know what you are doing and therefore should be able to command a price significantly above the market price. Don’t expect your clients to just volunteer to pay you more, however, as they probably won’t. You need to set out your price early and be confident about why you are worth what you are charging.
Being a private tutor can be a lonely existence if you do not reach out to others in the industry to build a peer group. They say that a key component of happiness is to be “like a leaf on a tree”; part of something bigger that is growing. Here at Owl Tutors we work with our tutors on an individual basis to put professional development plans in place and to help tutors invest in their careers. I would recommend that any private tutor does the same and finds a peer group in order to make the career more rewarding.
Making it work as a private tutor can be tough but the rewards can be great. Be efficient, invest in yourself and be confident in your business to make it work!