Why not earn some extra pocket money by becoming a private tutor!!

If you’re just getting started then you might find our tips for first-time tutors very useful!

Whether they have mastered the basics or not, or at whatever level your student is at, it is your job as a private tutor to guide them so that they can progress in their chosen subject area.

Is your student worried about a certain subject or course, and feel they need the extra help to improve or even pass the class? Then that’s where you come in,  to help them best to better understand and comprehend the subject matter and to assist them in achieving their personal and ultimate study goals.

You may be asked to provide intensive private lessons or to help a student review in the time leading up to their exams. 

What exactly is a private tutor?

This article will assist you in what you may  need to know about private tutor jobs, the skills needed to become a private tutor, how to tailor your services for those trying to find tutors, and also what specific qualifications you may need for private tutoring. 

Find out more about the skills that you'll need to excel as a private tutor.

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Tailor Your Lessons for Each Student

Adaptability is the key quality of a good tutor!

A good private tutor  must know how to adapt to any situation and accommodate the needs of each of their students. It is important to question or constantly assess yourself and your teaching methods all along the way - to  ensure that your academic advice is truly individualised. So adaptability to each students specific needs as they progress is the key to becoming a successful tutor.  

 Certainly, having a good lesson plan is fundamental to getting the most out of your private lesson time, but don't get caught up if the methodology  doesn't work for your particular student.

Knowing how to change or adapt and modify your basic teaching techniques so they suit your students' different learning styles is necessary and critical for private tutoring.


Go beyond your subject and use your sessions to help your student develop good study habits
Find the best learning strategies for each student and equip them with the tools to learn ¦ source: Twenty20

Each of your students will have particular needs, and as their private tutor it will be up to you to find the best way of using their strengths, to come up with a personalised, and therefore effective learning programme.

It's your job as their private tutor to understand what in particular about the subject, specific topic or concept , your student may be struggling with, and to help them understand and gain clarity.  Sometimes it’s just the approach that may need to be changed or adjusted and having a good safe and open relationship with your student so you can tackle the learning problems and confusion together,   Also clear and thoughtful communication in private tutoring is essential to ensure your student also understands what you may be asking for so they you can effectively work with you to improve and progress.   

Your adaptability will make you most popular with not only your pupils alike but also the parents. 

Private Tutoring is Important

Demand for supplemental instruction is on the rise as more and more parents and students realise the full value of one on one instruction.  So whether you provide one on one private lessons or online tutoring, the increasing need in this fast paced world for private tutors is on the rise.  

Remember as a private tutor, you are providing a much needed service and by establishing and maintaining a good relationship with your student, it will ensure your success in private tutoring.  

The relationship  you foster with your student is important in helping you to improve their academic performance.

establish mutual trust so that both sides can benefit
Let the student show you the way forward ¦ source: Visuallhunt

Mutual trust and respect between the  student and private tutor, will ensure that the student feels secure and in control of their progress.

Establishing trust with your student takes getting to know them and their particular learning style in a non-judgemental way and helping them find the reasons they may be falling behind the class or subject area and working with them to improve and conquer their understanding. As they achieve and improve in their understanding of the subject,  their confidence increases and they can see that a private tutor is there to assist them to achieve their goals academically.   

Providing private lessons  as a private tutor, you can encourage your students particular strengths and recognise their weaknesses, to help optimise their individual learning styles.

Soon you will notice how your student can help you to help them

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  • for example.
  • Praise your students and them the encouragement to persevere even when you're not around.

Qualifications You May Need to Become a Tutor?

Private tutors, do not require  specific training or hold any type of teaching certificate. You can be an undergraduate student in university, have a full time job in a company, or be retired, and be able to provide private tutoring. 

Anyone can become a tutor- it's all about your level of experience in a subject
Good news! You don't need any formal teaching qualifications to become a tutor ¦ source: Pixabay

The only administrative requirement you may need to clarify is how you will either choose to set up as a private self-employed tutor or working providing private tutoring within an agency and so for tax purposes this is an important distinction, if you decide you are not working for a tutoring company or a tutoring centre but will organise finding your own students and getting paid directly by your students 

Whether you want to provide private tutoring in Math, Biology, Spanish, guitar or piano,  in general the rule for becoming a private tutor is that you are usually studying for or have a degree in that subject.  Or for example if you are interested in private tutoring in jewellery making or for sports boxing, you may need only have the appropriate level of experience and expertise to be able to teach it knowledgeably and confidently.  The more Degrees, Certificates and years of experience in the subject matter you wish to private tutor in will allow you to charge more for your service usually an hourly rate.    

Undergraduate students in particular are uniquely suited to hold tutor jobs while in university or college, and may be able to earn extra income while private tutoring their less experienced peers. Since they are concurrently in the education system and  maybe a few years ahead, they have the advantage of knowing and understanding the subject matter and how to succeed in the program. University and college students as private tutors may also have the flexibility within their schedules to fit in giving private lessons after school, or on weekends.  And for even greater ease if one on one lessons is not required, it’s easy and convenient to teach a private lesson as an online tutor. 

Private tutors in higher education, will likely have have a Bachelor's degree already in one subject and also a minor in another.  They may also be working towards their Masters or Doctorate degrees and can therefore provide extensive academic tutoring in their core subjects.  They can potentially provide private lessons in two or more subjects to younger students or those who may be working towards completion of their Bachelor’s.  Private tutoring for Secondary and Primary school students require less intensive qualifications. There are other skills that private tutors have at the university level, they will have the necessary college essay writing skills and also time management and study organisational skills that can also prove invaluable.

So if you're a student, and would like to share your knowledge, whether for university level courses or at the secondary school level giving private lessons to younger student , it is an excellent way to earn extra money and gain valuable private tutoring and teaching experience, but with the greatest flexibility.  

Find out more about about how and where to advertise your tutoring services.

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Your Own Teaching Experience is so Invaluable to Your Students 

Qualifications may do a lot for your private tutor profile and credibility,  and also for your earnings potential. However your experiences outside of your academic and professional career are also valuable and equally those  personal qualities you bring as a home tutor.

Have you ever competed in a high level sport? Or have a passion or a hobby for Art, Music, Languages, Dance or Public Speaking that you’ve had years of training and proficiency at?   Then why not….

Use your skills for the benefit of others, teach potential students who can learn from your skills set and knowledge.  Besides earning money, the feeling of mentoring and sharing your experiences, knowledge and expertise or perhaps passion, can be equally as rewarding as a Private Tutor. 


Teach anything you are skilled in from sports coaching to music to Spanish lessons
Music lessons are often better paid than sessions for school subjects ¦ source: Pixabay

A Tutor is 

An Educator

Home Tutoring is about providing educational support and has existed through time.  According to history books, private tutors were present in Ancient Greece and Medieval England. Early on private tutoring was about giving instruction in reading and writing to children of the nobility, sometimes one to one or in small groups..

Private tutoring has always had the same function:  the transfer of skills and knowledge from one person to another to help them overcome difficulties and succeed.

A Coach

 A coach is also a teacher helping their student put their new skills into practice and helping them to fully master them. 

Another important aspect of coaching is helping students tackle and approach certain situations. Certain situations like practicing for test preparations, learning an exam format and how to approach it, how to gain additional marks by showing your work, or how to write an essay .

Coaches not only share their knowledge and expertise, they also encourage their students,  help develop their self-esteem and improve their chances of success.

A Tutor is What Exactly?

A tutor is a person who specialises in one particular subject (French,  physics, algebra, piano, ICT) or a specific field (science, languages, mathematics, woodwind instruments).

Private tutors can be a certified teacher, work in business or industry, or be a student themselves.  The private tutoring community comes from far and wide!

Private tutors not only help to reinforce what the student has already learned at school, but with private lessons tutors can help them improve their understanding of the concepts and also how best to learn and approach the subject for greater success. 

Private tutors provide private lessons individually tailored depending on the student’s needs  and/or what their parents have requested regarding their specific concerns:

  • Academic support: The private tutor can help a student in one or more subjects to support their overall schooling and where the student may need more support. . 
  • Homework Help: A private tutor can assist with homework by checking the student's work and can be present to help with any difficulties that may arise.
  • Private lessons: With one on one private tutoring either in person or online tutoring,  this dedicated time enables the tutor to fully concentrate on helping the student in mastering a subject or  even teaching them a new one. 

How to Determine Your Private Tutoring Fees

Hourly rates can vary for one on one tutoring jobs, a few things to consider: 

  • Level of expertise: Do you hold a Certificate,  Diploma or Bachelor’s degree or similar teaching qualification? Are you an undergraduate student in university? Are you bilingual and want to teach one of your languages?
  • The students level: What is the potential age of your student? Are they still at primary,or secondary school, or perhaps in university? Are they studying towards midterm or end of year exams? What are their current study habits?
  • The length of time and Number of lessons: How long will your private lessons run, 60 or 90 minutes? Sometimes they may need additional hours and lessons depending on your students individual needs especially before exams. .
  • Your experience: How long have you been private tutoring for? Is this your first time giving private lessons? Are you able to give references from your other students?
  • The subject: Depending on the area, a one hour math lesson may pay less than for sports coaching or a guitar lesson. 
  • Location: Tuition rates in Canada are higher in and around major cities (such as, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal).However, the difference may only be around 3$  per hour. Consider charging a small travel fee to the students house or reducing your fee if you opt to teaching online. Read more about where to tutor here

It is also possible to negotiate your rates personally with your clients!

Rates vary depending on subject, location, level of study and experience
What should you take into account when setting your price? ¦ source: Pixabay

When setting your private tutor rate consider that the average price for 1 hour of tuition in Canada is $20.04 and increases the more years and experience in private tutoring.  This includes all subjects including music lessons.

To sum up:

  •  Above all,  adaptability is the key to being a good tutor. Being able to assist your students individual needs, aptitudes and challenges and adapting to it is critical.
  • Private tutors need to establish a relationship of mutual trust with their students.
  • Private tutoring requires use of cognitive behavioural coaching to fully help and benefit your students to reach their goals and optimise their potential, .
  • Private Tutors need No formal teaching qualifications - just an appropriate level of experience in the chosen subject.
  • Remember that tutors' rates can vary depending on experience, subject and location.

Hopefully this article has been helpful in showing you what it means to be a private tutor. 

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Yvette is a freelance Canadian writer living in Paris. She spends her time between Toronto and Paris and likes to travel and learn. She's the proud mom of two strong minded women and enjoys her free time giving back to her communities.