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Your Guide to Tutoring Jobs in the United Kingdom

From Ben, published on 15/06/2017 We Love Prof - UK > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > How to Become a Tutor in the UK

So, the chances are if you’ve landed on this page, you’re interested in tutoring jobs or, at least you’re curious about becoming a private tutor. If so, read on!

More and more students and graduates alike are turning to private tutoring (including online tutoring!) as a way of either earning a living, or supplementing their existing income – and why not? You’ve honed your study skills over years of education, and now you can pass those skills on to new learners. What’s more, in our world today, where nearly every home has a computer and a broadband internet connection, you can lead online tutoring sessions from the comfort of your own home!

Academic tutoring, as an industry, is growing across the whole of the UK, so don’t worry if you’re not in central London! Over the last decade alone, the number of children in just England and Wales who receive private tutoring has risen from 18% to 25%.

It’s possible that a jump of 7% doesn’t seem all that impressive to you; however, according to the 2011 census of the UK, there were 11,184,000 young people aged between 5 and 19! Some crude maths tells us then, that roughly 2.8 million children are privately tutored across the whole of the country. I bet that figure doesn’t seem too bad, now!

So, we agree that the number of children receiving lessons at home is growing, but as a prospective tutor, you’re probably interested in whether it’s going to carry on growing: and it seems the answer is, yes, it will! There are a few reasons why this will probably be the case:

  • Increasing competition for university places
  • Government plans to expand grammar schools (this means standardized tests like the 11+!)
  • Parents who want their children to enter a private school

None of these factors seem likely to be disappearing any time soon, and this isn’t even considering the standard exams that many UK students sit: SATs, GCSEs, A levels – many students will be tutored before sitting at least one of these stressful and difficult  examinations. It’s clear that the private tutoring sector isn’t going to dry up in the near future! Of course, the varied nature of the national curriculum also means that there is a demand for tutors of all subjects: chemistry tutors, algebra tutors, biology tutors – the list goes on!

Enough about the money! There are other reasons to begin private tutoring, and in fact, it’s probably sensible for you to have at least some motivation to enter the business that isn’t money related. There are numerous other arguments for taking up one on one tutoring: mentoring students from a variety of backgrounds gives you a wider view of the world, and a better appreciation for what’s involved in explaining and understanding concepts. The best tutors usually have a genuine passion for their subject.

These two skills alone make tutoring worthwhile. Let’s not stop there, though – you’ll also become more experienced in talking to strangers, and if you tutor small groups rather than individual students, speaking to crowds.

Any number of these skills are bound to appeal to future employers, not only in education, and particularly if you can demonstrate them in your interview (think: a confident approach when talking to interviewers will seem like second-nature to you!), and tutoring a subject often highlights strengths and weaknesses in your own understanding, allowing you to continue to improve: this is great if you’re tutoring in the same industry that you’re working in.

We’ve discussed reasons on why you might want to become a private tutor, now let’s talk about the how!

There are some common UK-wide ways to find tutoring jobs: going it alone, joining one of the many tutoring companies, tutoring in your home, in the homes of others, and, of course, online! Below, we’ll discuss how to get started in various areas of the UK!

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Tutoring Jobs London

London, the UK’s busiest and most populated city, presents obvious opportunities for those looking to enter the private tutoring business – whether that be as a one on one tutor, a tutor for an agency, or an online tutor!

Tutoring jobs in London are a great source of income. The capital is a great place to find tutees, and with high hourly earnings, great for the tutors, too! (Source: Ming Jun Tan, Unsplash)

In addition to being the UK’s largest city, 40% of pupils in the capital receive professional tutoring, some for a specific subject (such as a math tutoring), or some for entrance exams to various grammar, state or independent schools across the city – that means 11+ lessons, SATS preparation and general topic tutoring) – so it seems there’s plenty of tutoring jobs out there, whatever your chosen specialisation!

Private tutors in London earn an average hourly rate of £22.50!

Tutoring jobs in London net you a fair amount in the city, provided you can find a steady stream of work, with the going hourly rate of a session being around £22.50! Compared to the London living wage of £9.85, this isn’t chump change, particularly if you’re supplementing an already existing income.

As you might expect from a large city, there are numerous tutoring companies dotted around London, but you might prefer to go it alone, and take up home tutoring solo – why? Any number of reasons, more flexible hours, no deadlines, working for yourself builds a unique set of skills, and even pay slightly more than an agency would, but there are trade-offs: you have to ensure you’re well organised and communicate with your customers effectively, and also find your own clients!

There are various ways to go about finding clients: flyers, ads, and of course, Superprof! But more on that in our article dedicated to private tutoring in London!

Become a Tutor in Manchester

Welcome to Manchester, situated in the north west of England, and the home of 2.5 million people and 2 universities. Sounds pretty ideal for a tutor, right? If you fancy being in a bustling area, but don’t fancy paying London prices, perhaps Manchester is the place to go to be a tutor!

Over 27,000 students in Manchester means you won't be short of college tuition jobs! Manchester offers plenty of tutoring opportunities across a variety of subjects. (Photo credit: _Hadock_ via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND)

During your down-time, there are plenty of great things to do: museums, art galleries and exhibitions, to name but a few!

The University of Manchester has 27.5k undergraduates, so if you hold a postgraduate qualification, this could be an ideal place to start looking university or college tutoring work – and that’s without mentioning the over 26,000 undergraduates you’ll find down the road at Manchester Metropolitan!

The University of Manchester’s specialisms in materials science and physics (in fact, your favourite TV physicist: Brian Cox, lectures there), somebody with a sound knowledge of math and science, and perhaps an advanced degree, would get along well. However, if you’re not a scientist, don’t worry! Manchester Metropolitan is known for its wide range and variety of courses.

Alternatively, if you are an undergraduate, you could find work tutoring students from any of Manchester’s hundreds of schools. In 2010,  the Manchester Local Education Authority ranked 147th out of 150, meaning that if you pitch yourself correctly, there may be plenty of supplemental instruction and test prep work out there for you.

Tutoring Jobs Birmingham

Birmingham, found in the Midlands, is a buzzing city, full of educational opportunities!

Within the city, you’ll find a hearty mix of state schools, academies, grammar schools, as well as independent private schools. What does this mean? Well, plenty of opportunities to tutor pupils! Whether you feel confident tutoring a subject, an entrance exam, SATS, or the 11+, there’s definitely something for everybody.

Birmingham's great mix of state, private and grammar schools means that there's plenty of subject matter and test prep tuition, here! Birmingham’s vibrant social scene – popular with students! (Source: Michael D Beckwith, Unsplash)

If you have an artistic streak, Birmingham could be a great place for you to tutor this with some enthusiastic students: home to Elmhurst School of Dance, the oldest vocational dance school in the UK, an acting school, and the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, there’s an opportunity to tutor here, regardless of your chosen discipline.

Private tutors in Birmingham, on average, earn a pinch less than what you would in London – at around £19.58 per hour, however this is matched with a lower cost of living, as you might expect, being outside of the capital.

While there are fewer private tutoring agencies in Birmingham, they do still exist and the possibility of working for them is there. Again, you can start a tutoring business yourself, and there are many ways to get the word out: local universities likely have a way of advertising on campus. local papers, social media, and services like Superprof all come into play here!

Tutoring Jobs Leeds

Leeds, a bustling metropolis in the north of England, is home to two universities and a selection of schools. As with any UK city, you’ll find students requiring tuition in specific subjects, as well as entrance exams. Leeds is also home to a number of independent and grammar schools, so if you do have any experience tutoring entrance exams for institutions like these, it might not be a bad idea to target Leeds for tutoring opportunities!

UKCAT and BMAT entrance exams are notoriously difficult, do you have the skills to tutor students to succeed in them?

Leeds University offers a medicine course, and as such you may want to look at offering tutoring for common entrance exams to these courses: the BMAT and UKCAT. These tests are notoriously difficult, and if you have the skills to tutor a student in order to help them pass the exam, you will stand out from the crowd!

Once again, a big city like Leeds will have at least a few private tutoring agencies you can work for, or if you’d prefer to tutor students without an agency, there are several local newspapers to advertise in, online communities, and the university itself.

If you’re tutoring online or trying to find new pupils online, either to tutor a subject, or an exam (like A Level tuition, or GCSE tuition), a service like Superprof can help you out there, too!

Tutoring Jobs Bristol

Bristol is a beautiful city in the south west of England. Home to iconic landmarks such as the Clifton suspension bridge, Avon Valley Gorge and famous events such as the Balloon Festival, it makes a lovely place to live, and an excellent environment to bring up children and great place to tutor.

With easy transport links to both London and Cardiff, it’s become somewhat of a business hub, too. In Bristol you can find two universities: The University of Bristol, a more academically focused university (where you can study both law and medicine), and The University of The West of England (UWE, for short!).

UWE tends to cater towards more artistic and creative courses – the city is a perfect melting pot of disciplines, then!

Bristol also contains some very affluent areas, and as such it is an ideal place to begin tutoring. At £19.70 an hour, the average rate for a tutor in Bristol would make a nice supplement to some existing income – especially if you can tutor Bristolian pupils online, remotely – thereby avoiding the cost of transport or living in the city itself.

Both universities will have resources on social media for advertising your presence, or if you fancy something a little more straightforward, you can take to Superprof to start finding students right away. You’ll be making an academic success of them in no time at all!Becoming a tutor in Liverpool

Tutoring Jobs Liverpool

Liverpool is one of the biggest centres of arts and drama in the UK, and as such is a great place to tutor if your chosen subject is in the creative arts. Liverpool may be most famous as the founding place of The Beatles, but living and working in Liverpool would also put you close to a selection of museums, galleries and landmarks (including the Tate Liverpool!).

You could be tutoring in Liverpool, too! Liverpool’s football stadium is popular with tutors and tutees alike. (Source: Rick Barrett, Unsplash)

The University of Liverpool is home to just shy of 20,000 students, and is not the only university in the city! In Liverpool you’ll also find a selection of grammar schools, as well as (of course) state school students.

To give you an idea of how GCSE pupils in the area perform, last year just over 64% of entrants received at least an A*-C grade in 5 GCSEs or more – so there’s certainly room for improvement!

Unfortunately, there’s no hard data on which subjects pupils have difficulties in, so you’ll have to see if you can get in touch with some schools or other institutions willing to divulge that information.

The going rate for a tutor in Liverpool is slightly lower than we’ve seen so far, at £18.32, but the cost of living generally is also lower up north, so this amount should still see you through! Start getting students online today using a matching service like Superprof, or find pupils locally using the more traditional methods (newspapers, flyers, so on and so forth).

Tutoring Jobs Belfast

Belfast! Perhaps most famous worldwide for being the home port of the ill-fated Titanic, there’s still plenty to do in this vibrant city today. Near the docks you’ll find the Titanic Museum, and across the city you can find an array of castles, halls and gardens.

Belfast has mostly put its troubled past behind it, and is now a popular holiday destination – particularly for those already in the UK. With just under 600,000 people living in the Belfast Metropolitan Area, there will be plenty of pupils looking to find a private tutor.

In Belfast, tutors are paid an average of £17.31 per hour – not a bad amount, at all! The number of GCSE students achieving 5 A*-C grades at GCSE last year was sitting at a pretty impressive 79%, however the number of students aspiring to reach the highest A* grade is also rising, so there may be some tutoring opportunities there!

Belfast is where you’ll also find Queen’s University Belfast, where nearly 25,000 students are currently enrolled. The university offers a broad range of courses – including prestigious subjects like medicine and law, so if you have significant experience in either of those fields, you could be making bank!

As a university town, there will be plenty of places online where you can advertise your tutoring services. If you’re aiming to be a private tutor for school students, it may be worth getting in touch with some schools in order to offer your services. Finally, it’s always possible to look for students online – especially using a tutor matching service like Superprof!

Tutoring Jobs Cardiff

Cardiff sits a stone’s throw from (gasp!) England, and is a popular university city. If you’ve ever watched BBC programs like Doctor Who, you’re likely already familiar with Cardiff – even if you didn’t know so before! As the base for both the University of Cardiff, as well as Cardiff Metropolitan University, there are a wide range of both academic and practical courses on offer.

Of course, if you’re not aiming to tutor university students, and perhaps want to offering tutoring services to school children, or even just individuals, Cardiff’s population of a little over 346,000 people means there’s no shortage of work.

Slightly more than 62% of Cardiff pupils hit the 5 A*-C grades target for GCSEs, meaning that if you have some expertise in a subject commonly taught at GCSE level, there’s likely work out there for you. Alternatively, Welsh cities offer a unique tutoring opportunity for a tutoring business: bilingual Welsh tuition.

Wales offers the unique tutoring field of Welsh! If you already speak the language, there could be room for you in this niche area!

While not as common as English, Welsh has been making a comeback in the country over the last few years, and opportunities to teach the language are becoming more widespread.

With relatively few Welsh speakers around, it’s certainly a niche area of the market that could be exploited!

At £18.12 per hour, the average pay for a private tutor in Cardiff is a little lower than you would find in England’s capital, but still nothing to sniff at. With niche opportunities for tutoring available, there’s certainly the possibility of making significantly more than this.

Tutoring Jobs Glasgow

Glasgow, a Scottish city, is a metropolitan area with just under 600,000 residents. You’ll also find the University of Glasgow here, as well as Glasgow Caledonian. Not too far from the world-famous Loch Ness, as well as a variety of other heritage locations like castles, the area is a great place to live and teach as a tutor.

With an average rate of £18.60 per hour, the tutoring business in Glasgow is certainly enough to get by on. If you’re interested in tutoring as part of an agency, then there are certainly some available in Glasgow. One such example would be Glasgow Tutors, who offer tutoring services for a wide selection of subjects, across a variety of levels.

Alternatively, you can start tutoring by yourself – without any outside agencies. If you’re in the local area, public places such as billboards make great advertising space, or if you have the money, local adverts such as papers will get you noticed. If you’re tutoring online, a tutor matching service like Superprof is a great way to get started and find some customers.

Tutoring Jobs Edinburgh

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland! Here you’ll find the famous Edinburgh castle, a palace, and beautiful scenery. You’ll also find The University of Edinburgh. As the capital, it has good transport links to both Scotland as well as the rest of the UK.

Edinburgh's monuments attract many students to study in the city. Perhaps you could tutor some of them? Edinburgh Castle, drawing students in to study there! (Source: Joel Barwick, Unsplash)

The university itself has just shy of 24,000 students enrolled – this is good news if you hold an advanced degree in a subject read there. Even if you don’t hold an advanced degree, Edinburgh has a fair few grammar or independent schools, which of course means there are entrance exams to be studied for (and tutored in!). Aside from entrance exams, you can expect there to be a need for subject tuition at various levels.

As a university town, you may also find a demand for linguistic tutoring. Universities commonly have many foreign students enrolled, and some of them may wish to improve their English skills, both to help them in their course, and get by in day-to-day life.

If you do speak another language, it may be worth looking into whether or not there’s a number of students at the university who also speak this language, and see if you can offer them private tuition to increase their skills – whether that be vocabulary, or grammar!

A personal tutor in Edinburgh is typically paid over £19 per hour, so it’s not a bad gig if you can stick at it and get a good client base through excellent tutoring. The great thing about tutoring is that it can be done (and often is!) over weekends and evenings, allowing you to easily supplement some existing income by offering private tuition.

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