Becoming a certified maths teacher is a bit of an obstacle course since both undergraduate and graduate courses are fairly long and you’ll also need to up to date on the national curriculum.
So what’s it like for private maths tutors? Do you have to have a degree in maths to become a private maths tutor, offer online tutoring services, or supplemental instruction?
You mightn’t have thought it, but the answer is no. Of course, when students are looking to find a maths tutor, they consider the profile of the person providing a tutoring service. However, there are plenty of different types of private maths tutors, including tutors offering one on one tutoring who didn’t take the traditional routes into becoming an educator.
There is also a huge benefit to working in academic support and private tutoring or becoming an successful maths tutor online as opposed to a in-school teacher: less bureaucracy.
But what about those who still want to complete their studies? What are the advantages of doing so? And, above all, what are the qualifications you should get if you want to teach private maths tutorials? How many are there?
Do one on one tutors need all these ribbons in their bow? Does a student’s academic success depend on the qualifications of their tutor? Does academic tutoring require academic qualifications? Read on to find out the answers!
In September 2015, Superprof published their annual report on private tutorials. There were several facts, figures, and info graphics on the users of the site, both the students and the tutors.
Are you passionate about maths? Can you teach it without a degree? (Source: Flickr)
There was a really interesting fact: across all subjects and tutors, the average maths tutor rates were £19.25.
These figures are worth thinking about given what the best tutors earn once their diary is full. You can easily understand why more and more people are mentoring maths students across the UK.
Who can actually teach private maths tutorials these days? Don’t you need qualifications to teach private maths tutorials? What if I haven’t taken tonnes of maths exams?
These are probably the questions you ask yourself all the time. What’s the the answer? No. From a legal point of view, anyone can become a private tutor in the UK! However, as you might guess, you should have a degree in your given subject. You’ll probably never see an algebra tutor who’s never studied algebra!
You should be at least 18 to teach private maths tutorials and provide academic support as well as have a DBS certificate. It’s quite common that students find maths difficult and self-taught tutors come to their rescue. Especially tutors skilled in calculus, trigonometry, geometry, algebra, etc.
Parents no longer hesitate when it comes to employing these types of educators as they bring a different pedagogy and approach when it comes to teaching their child. Relaxed maths classes are often better for primary and secondary school students and are great for students who need help completing an assignment.
You should know that most tutoring companies, including Superprof, accept applications from tutors without qualifications, as long as they bring their own personality to their tutoring programs, be it maths, physics, chemistry, technology, or even engineering, and help students gain the study skills needed to succeed academically.
You’ll regularly find students offering home tutoring, homework help, and test prep. They’re often gifted mathematicians and usually undergraduate students.
Being a tutor and a student at the same time is quite the feat! (Source: Linn-Benton)
Of course, these students usually choose to teach the topics that they already know inside-out. Since they don’t have training or qualifications in several maths topics, they have to be very specific when it comes to outlining what they teach to potential clients.
While some parents might not like entrusting their child’s ability to learn maths to a student, this isn’t always the case. Firstly, because a maths student is cheaper than a certified teacher. Secondly, because the smaller age gap might generate a better rapport between the tutor and the student. Parents are very aware of these things.
The most experienced profiles can also become a maths tutor. Becoming a maths tutor is also an option for highly-qualified individuals. We’re talking about engineers, of course.
Engineers have to study a lot. Degrees take 3 or 4 years. Then you’ll probably go on to a Master’s degree. Where they gain a vast knowledge of the principles of maths.
In short, this is a solid basis for any professional, whether on construction sites or in offices.
That’s also why we find plenty of engineers turning to tutoring and giving private tutorials in maths. Educators who worked for years putting advanced maths concepts into practice.
They don’t need to show their degree. A CV suffices when it comes to reassuring parents about their abilities.
Here is the alternative for maths tutors wanting to work out what qualifications they need. You should certainly take note since qualified maths teachers are better paid.
To become a tutor, you should get your A Levels in the subject you want to teach from either a sixth form or a college. After that you have a few options: a maths degree is the obvious choice. However, there are other related undergraduate degrees that also will provide you with the skills needed to teach maths.
There are quite a few qualifications you could get if you want to become a private maths tutor. (Source: The Foghorn News)
Science tutors often have the necessary skills to find tutor jobs in maths. The same is probably true if you’re a chemistry tutor, physics tutor, or a biology tutor. There’s a high probability you’ve worked on solving a mathematical equation and well-versed in the maths you study in school.
So what do you do once you have your degree? A Master’s degree might be a good option. Are you considering a PGCE or another teaching qualification? Remember that a Master’s or postgraduate degree isn’t absolutely necessary. If you’re looking to also become a teacher, you should definitely think about doing your PGCE.
Another option is to get a Master’s in education if you’d prefer to stay at university. This also leaves you options in other teaching careers. You should be aware that these steps aren’t necessary either if you want to be a private tutor.
They also help if you’re looking at becoming a teacher. Furthermore, these qualifications can help you to command a higher wage when tutoring. Academic support and in-home maths tutorials can also open doors for educators. Not every educator has to take up a job in a state school and be a civil servant for the rest of their days.
With similar training, maths teachers can always dedicate themselves to giving private maths tutorials. This option allows you to teach students from primary school, secondary school for GCSE maths revision, sixth form or college level, or university.
Most tutors offer free tutoring for the first hour. After that, you can decide with the student being tutored on payment terms that work for you. Supplemental one to one tuition can be paid in cash though you must declare these earnings to HMRC.
You should probably establish your payment terms before scheduling your first session, too. Communicate openly and honestly with a tutee and make sure your terms are clear before any lessons take place.
If you tutor maths online, we recommend setting up a free PayPal account and receiving payments through this platform. Again, earning through PayPal must also be declared when completing your self assessment for tax in the UK.
In conclusion, there are two ways to become a maths tutor: complete a number of studies in order to command a higher salary or start earning private tutoring rates. The choice is yours!
Learn about the History of Maths tutoring over the years here!