Birmingham, home of many a great British product: including cars, chocolate and pens, is nowadays a bustling multicultural metropolis – a great place to live, work, and become a private tutor!
Birmingham has two large universities: The University of Birmingham, and Birmingham City University, making it a great place to work if you’re an academic and a great place to find private tutoring jobs, whether you’re a student, looking to make extra cash in your spare time or searching for alternative jobs for teachers.
Birmingham is home to over 1 million people!
If that’s not the case though, fear not: the city is home to over 1 million people, so you’re sure to find work as a tutor – regardless of your chosen specialization; especially in today’s world where students’ weaknesses are scrutinised in everything from exams to job interviews.
The question is: what is the best way to pick up some students and start them on their path to academic success?
We’ll start by telling you how to get started as an online tutor in Birmingham. The first step here is to make sure you have a fast and stable internet connection – your students won’t like you if your sessions keep dropping out!
Nowadays many tutors hold lessons online. Will you?
Finding pupils is in some ways easier when you give classes over the internet – primarily because you don’t have to travel to teach your tutees, both saving you time and money, and meaning it’s easier to reach out to learners in different parts of the city – or country! You can also target groups of students more easily. For example, if you offer math tutoring, or if you are a chemistry tutor, it’s much easier to target your online outreach to groups of people looking for these services.
A great way to find students – or perhaps, have students find you, is to use online tutor-matching websites. Luckily for you, we have such an example right here: Superprof!
What’s great about services like Superprof is that they make it easy for learners to find the tutor they want, and once a connection has been made, you already know that the student is keen to learn, and interested in the subject matter you’re tutoring – potentially saving the tutors themselves a lot of time and effort when looking for new students.
With 2,000 new students joining SuperProf each month, it’s a great way to make yourself known to prospective pupils trying to find a tutor!
Once you’ve found some tutees, tutoring subjects (whether that be maths tuition, science tuition, French tuition or any other subject) works just as you’d expect if you were meeting the pupil in-person. Superprof makes it easy to find academic tutoring services, or something more vocational like instrument tuition.
Many people choose to use online services such as Skype to hold sessions, but more “online classroom” like solutions such as GoToTraining also exist. Services like Skype are popular if you’re taking part in some sort of foreign language tuition (like a French tutor helping a new student pick up the language).
Online tutoring can be done on a one on one basis or with a small group of tutees, it’s entirely up to you or the tutoring company you work for. And of course, online tutoring isn’t limited to just delivering lessons: it’s still possible to set and mark assignments, if that’s a route you want to take.
Reading and writing tutoring services are best offered in person.
Of course, you don’t have to tutor online. It’s still very possible to tutor from home in the traditional sense – and in some cases it makes sense to. For example, a reading tutor may be far more help sat next to a child with a book than they would be online. For help with finding students as a home tutor, take a look at the end of this article.
There are many reasons why you might not want to offer your tutoring services online or as an individual in-home: lack of a fast internet connection, not comfortable with technology, or you simply don’t have the time to manage the extra admin associated with running your own business.
In this case (particularly if you’re a tutor who leads a busy life and doesn’t have much time to search out new students), you may wish to consider working for an already established tutor agency. The agency generally takes care of the lesson content and resources, as well as procuring some pupils to teach: all that’s left for you to do is deliver this content and be passionate about your subject!
All tutoring companies are looking to find the best tutors, and depending on the agency you work for, the credentials you need to get started may differ: some will require undergraduate or postgraduate degrees, some might require neither. Some may ask for previous teaching experience, while others may be willing to take you on and give you some training.
Here’s a few agencies you can find around Birmingham, and what they offer you, as a tutor. Bear in mind this isn’t an exhaustive list, and you should do some research yourself. Some agencies will provide one on one tutoring, while others will tutor small groups – it’s up to you which you would like to take part in.
In order to become a home tutor at Birmingham Tutors, you’ll need at least a degree-level qualification in your field of choice, and any extra credentials (such as a PGCE, making you a certified teacher) could further your application. This tutoring company covers Birmingham, The West Midlands, Solihull, Kings Heath, Sutton Coldfield and Handsworth – however if you aren’t in one of those areas, the company also offers distance learning.
The agency covers most of the subjects you’d expect to study on a school curriculum, with tutors available in other areas, too: musical instrument tutors, as well as language tutors to help you brush up on your foreign language knowledge, are both offered.
Birmingham Tutors charge an hourly rate of between £23-28 for their services, so expect your pay to be somewhere below these figures.
Offering private tuition in Birmingham, JS Tutors covers areas like math tuition, english tuition and science tuition: so – more specialised than Birmingham Tutors, perhaps.
Sessions at one of their centres costs £15-25 per child per hour, while home sessions costs £40-50. So judge how much you can potentially earn.
In addition to tutoring programs in maths, english and science, they also offer tuition and test prep for standardized tests like the 11+ and SATs.
Like most cities, Birmingham offers plenty of learners who need a helping hand academically. There are both online and offline methods to find these students, and we’ll outline some of them for you below.
Adverts in local papers tend to be relatively affordable, although exact rates vary depending on the publisher. In Birmingham you’ll find a selection of local papers available to you, including…
This list is by no means exhaustive, though – and you may also find smaller communities have their own local papers or magazines you can advertise in.
Community spaces make great places to advertise your one on one tutoring services with students.
There are services in Birmingham who will print leaflets for you at prices like £59 for 5000 leaflets. Pick up a few leaflets and start handing them out around town (maybe even targeting areas around schools for maximum effect) and you’re sure to soon pick up some clients.
A final offline option to look into is passing your contact information (and any advertising or website materials, if you have them) onto schools and colleges and offering your services there.
While not guaranteed to net you any students, if you open a line of communication with the school it may prove fruitful if they decide to give your information to students that they have identified as struggling – particularly if you work with a subject that students traditionally struggle with, such as being an algebra tutor or a physics tutor – great news if you’re a math tutor!
Another angle to pitch to schools is the idea of homework help: you can assist students with homework in subjects with which they struggle. A similar pitch can be made towards college and university students, too!
In this day and age, advertising online can be both cheaper and better targeted than more traditional methods. This is important because better targeted advertisements are more likely to lead to paying customers, even if the advert itself is seen by fewer people overall.
One great tactic for local businesses like a tutoring business is to market yourself on social media: setup a page where you can post positive testimonials from pupils, as well as post information about discounts and services offered.
Once you have a presence on social media, it’s also easier for past students you have tutored to make referrals to their friends on your behalf.
Once you have a social media presence, setup a website (or get somebody to do it for you!). Your website could have information about your qualifications, prices and availability. A website is a great way for potential students to find you, and then get in touch with you.
With a website or social media profile setup, the next step is to advertise it – just as you would with any offline material. Services like Google Adwords are great for this, and let you target specific search terms and keywords with your adverts.
Alternatively, with a social media presence in place, platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have tools to advertise on their respective websites, allowing you to target your audience (based on a variety of factors like location, age, gender, so on and so forth).