Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. It has a population of 464,990 and students make up around 20% of that figure. That’s a huge potential tutoring base!
And it doesn’t include others who may be looking for a tutor: aspiring photographers and those seeking a more holistic way of life with a life coach, or through yoga and meditation; people who want to learn how to cook or sew or paint, or who want to get back in shape by engaging a personal trainer.
Even professionals - in the financial sector and in business are looking for in-home tutoring or online tutoring jobs.
Edinburgh has the highest percentage of professionals in the UK, with almost half of the population (43%) holding a degree-level or professional qualification.
The city's economy is centered around financial services (after London, Edinburgh is the second financial centre in the UK). Other professional industries, like higher education and scientific research, fill a significant portion of the city's revenue coffers, along with tourism.
Of course, Edinburgh is internationally renowned for its festival season that lasts from July to September each year.
Would you plan your tutoring schedule around shows at the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh International Book Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?
Let us now take a closer look at the various tutoring opportunities in Edinburgh and how you can establish yourself as a tutor of merit.
Tutoring Students in Edinburgh
Edinburgh has some of the oldest schools and universities in the world.
Edinburgh is home to no fewer than four universities: the University of Edinburgh, Queen Margaret University, Heriot-Watt University, and Edinburgh Napier University.
Besides those illustrious institutes of higher learning, Edinburgh College, a recent amalgamation of 3 long-established colleges, supports further and higher education in the city. The range of courses offered by those universities and colleges vary widely, creating tutoring opportunities in almost every field.
Edinburgh also has public, private/religious and independent schools.
There are around 135 schools administered by the local council and a number of independent schools and colleges. Interestingly, around 25% of students in Edinburgh attend an independent school, a far higher percentage than the national average of 7%.
Each one of those students presents you with the chance to provide academic support, homework help or a specialised focus on a given subject, such as maths or science.
What about students preparing to sit their Qualification Certificate exams and their Highers?
Here again is a niche market that you may claim a share of by tailoring your tutoring and educational expertise to those exam particulars.
Clearly, Edinburgh offers intriguing possibilities for any prospective tutor, but s/he should first undergo a few formalities before advertising his/her availability as a tutor.
Steps to Take to Establish Yourself as a Tutor
There is no legal requirement for you to hold any type of qualification to tutor in the UK.
That being said, there are a few unofficial guidelines.
The general rule of thumb is that you should be one year more advanced than your prospective tutee.
That means that, as an undergraduate, you may tutor secondary school students in their academic subjects or in preparing for their school-leaving exams. If you hold a Master's Degree, you may tutor undergraduates in their fields of study. And, as a Year 3 university student, it is perfectly acceptable for you to tutor first-year students.
I. The only exception to this rule is for prospective personal trainers.
Personal training is a booming market in our country just now and plenty of people would rather tone up away from scrutiny, in the comfort of their home, with a personal trainer - which provides you with a fantastic opportunity to establish yourself in the fitness and nutrition arena!
In the UK, personal trainers must have earned at least a Level 2 personal fitness certification to lead fitness classes in a gym. If s/he aspires to do one to one personal training in a gym, online or in clients' homes, s/he must be in possession of a Level 3 certificate.
II. If you intend to work with minor children, you must submit to a record check from Disclosure Scotland.
Under the PVG Scheme designed to protect vulnerable segments of our population, anyone doing regulated work such as teaching or otherwise providing personal services to minor children must request such a background check.
There is a bit more to this criterion so, to err on the side of caution, whether you intend to tutor small children or university students, you should make obtaining your official disclosure a priority.
After meeting those two requirements, anyone can teach on any subject, without having to be a certified teacher and with no need for any teaching experience.
In that regard, you should give extra thought...
Academics alone provides a very diverse range of subject matter that can be supported through tutoring services. Furthermore, save for the aforementioned personal trainer certification requirement, many fields of study, such as music or art creation, do not require any form of qualification.
All of which begs the question: how are prospective clients in need of tutoring to know a legitimate tutor - passionate about his area of expertise and serious about imparting knowledge, from someone who just hung out a shingle in the hopes of earning a bit of extra cash?
To market themselves effectively, the best tutors take all of the steps necessary to legitimise their tutoring business.
Tutors are judged on other qualities, one of them being a professional demeanor. For example, tutors may be sought based on experience, availability, cost and teaching ability - all of which can be proven by following the steps outlined in the next section.
What Are the Legal Aspects of Tutor Jobs in Edinburgh?
If you want to tutor in Edinburgh there are certain legalities you should be aware of besides filing for a disclosure report, as mentioned above.
- Reporting your income to the Scottish Government: self-employment is a legitimate and taxable source of income. Keeping accurate financial records and declaring your income for tax purposes is not only essential, it is the law!
- Be aware of health and safety regulations. Especially if you welcome students to your home for tutoring sessions, you must be sure that the learning environment you provide is safe and free of known hazards.
- Especially if you intend to work with special needs students - or even if the possibility exists that you might do so, but in all cases you should stay abreast of the safety requirements and concessions you are required to make by law.
- Obtain Insurance: becoming self-employed does not mean that you and your family, if any, would lose the right to coverage through NHS. The insurance we're discussing here is liability insurance, should anything happen to any of your pupils while they are in your care. Another factor to consider is whether you could sustain a loss of income due to illness.
- Many tutors take out such insurance in the UK. Although it’s not strictly a requirement, it is a good business practice.
- Advertise honestly. Just as inflating your skills set on your CV is not a good idea, neither is laying claim to credentials and experience you have not (yet) earned. In fact, misleading potential clients is against the law! Ensure your adverts are accurate and correct and, above all, avoid misleading statements that might be misconstrued.
- As an example, when describing your tutoring experience: "My three years at Edinburgh College..." implies that you underwent a full course of study when, in fact, you might have failed and retaken several classes and never obtained a degree.
These are the essence of must-know information for tutoring jobs done from home, providing supplemental instruction to students up to age 16.
Now let us take a look at other aspects of running a tutoring business for you to consider!
Setting Your Fees Per Hour of Tutoring
This aspect of setting oneself up in a tutoring business is, to some, the thorniest part of the operation.
Naturally, you need to earn enough to support yourself and your family - which makes it easy to overprice your services.
Indeed, pricing yourself out of the market - either your rates are too high or too low, is one way to ensure you will not attract many clients.
Tempting as it may be to undercut other tutors in your area in an effort to gain clients, this strategy is not advisable because prospective clients will not trust or value your services as much as they would if you were priced competitively. How can you do that?
The average rate for academic tutoring in Edinburgh is just over £22.00 per hour of instruction.
If you are highly degreed and have a lot of teaching experience, you may charge more than that, but we recommend not too much more.
Another way to command a higher price would be to specialise, maybe work only with SEN students or teach a niche skill, such as language arts, pottery or dance.
The question remains, though: from the perspective of rates, how can you stand out from all of the other tutors if everybody's rates are more or less the same? What a great question!
Here are some strategies you may employ to secure the lion's share of clients for yourself:
- Offer discounts for a set of lessons paid in advance - £25 per hour or 10 prepaid lessons for £220.
- Offer a discount for tutoring study groups: up to 6 or 8 students at £20 per hour each.
- Offer online tutoring to save yourself or your client travel costs
- Offer your first hour of lessons for free!
It sounds counterintuitive to give away lessons but you would be surprised at how effective doing so is in building your client base.
That initial session will help you determine if you are right for that assignment and if that student will pick up study strategies from you - as opposed to merely accepting help with coursework.
Furthermore, offering such incentives will prove your sincere desire to help students succeed and, even if the situation doesn't work out, you have paved the way for a positive review and created an excellent opportunity for word of mouth advertising - two sure-fire ways to attract new clients!
How to Advertise Your Tutoring Services
As you are just starting out, it can be a real challenge to gain traction as a one on one tutor, especially if you are doing everything on your own.
To help make your start in the tutoring business a bit easier, we offer these tried-and-true recipes for success.
Post fliers: You've seen them in supermarkets and local shops, libraries and community centres; even in restaurants, pubs and cafés - bulletin boards are made available to the general public for exactly the type of notice you hope to post.
Be sure your advert clearly states the subjects you intend to tutor and to whom, and be sure to include your contact information. While you're posting your advert, give the board a quick scan in case any student has posted a 'tutor wanted' ad!
After you have all of those eye-catching adverts printed up, why not take a few to your local schools, library and senior centre? Going to where your students are likely to be is never a bad idea!
Have professional business cards: if you plan on marketing your tutoring services to businesses, it would be best to make the rounds outfitted with professional business cards. On them, include the same information you would for those fliers... but you might want to condense it just a bit.
Nothing says 'professional' like good presentation and proffering a handsome business card after that just-right handshake will help prospective clients form a favourable impression of you.
Establish your own website: the space available on fliers and especially on business cards is limited; to truly demonstrate your skill and versatility as a tutor, designing and maintaining a web page is the best way to fully expound on your skills and the tutoring programs you offer.
This step is vital especially if you intend to teach coding, IT and computer skills!
Make use of social media: There is nothing wrong with establishing a Facebook page for your tutoring business, posting select pictures of your teaching facilities and maybe a snap or two of you in action. Quite the contrary: doing so is very effective, especially in locally targeted groups
Advertise on community trading websites like Gumtree or Freeads can yield surprising results, as could advertising in your local newspaper.
Finally, don't forget about word of mouth.
Even in this day of instant electronic communication, the most reliable means of getting word out about anything is from one's mouth to another's ears.
To take advantage of this age-old phenomenon, talk yourself up: to your neighbours and friends, relatives and other members of your community - the butcher, the baker, the newsagent... make sure they all know there is a new tutor in town: you!
True, this all sounds like a bit of work but, once you build your good reputation up, your name will get out there and, soon, clients will come knocking.
Don’t be afraid to work hard in the beginning.
Tutoring Professionals in Edinburgh
It’s not just school-aged children who need the support private tutoring can provide; professionals in various industries are looking to extend their knowledge in different areas and are calling on tutors to deliver!
Edinburgh is a city on the move; it’s the most competitive city in the UK and banking has been the historical fuel for this fire. That trend continues still today.
As in any city that has a strong economy, professionals seek to increase their skills sets. The focus could be on professional development - learning a second language, maybe, or picking up accounting skills.
In Edinburgh, the top 10 industries, ranked by number of employees, are:
- Sales, both wholesale and retail
- Hospitality: accommodations, food services
- Professional, technical, scientific services
- Administration, support services
- Public administration, defence, social security
- Transport, storage
- Arts, entertainment, recreation
Conversely, those professionals may choose to invest a portion of their disposable income on topics of personal interest; maybe team-building or voice coaching, to be a more effective manager.
Imagine for a moment what these professionals may need. Some may be looking to learn an additional language to communicate with foreign clients, for example.
Or, what about the digital realm? As industries modernise, employees may need to learn coding or other technical skills. And, as the service economy grows, complementary business skills like public speaking and negotiation are in increased demand.
It is generally true that entry-level workers today are less invested in the company they work for and the possibility of a future in the same position they currently hold.
This is a golden opportunity for you to change their mindset by offering to provide such firms with efficient, well-delivered peer tutoring!
You may even seek appointment to become their on-staff peer tutor, devising and disseminating learning strategies and promoting continuing education!
Popular Subjects in Edinburgh
In Edinburgh, there’s opportunity to teach almost anything you’re passionate about.
It’s a city full of historical sites and lively festivals. The combination of the large, professional, service-based economy and the colourful festival culture means there will be someone out there looking to learn something new, be it dancing, acting, singing, juggling... all the way to teaching study skills for student success!
The city has museums and galleries galore. There’s a strong interest in performing arts with several theatres and acting companies in Edinburgh. There are established interest groups in just about every topic from language learners to dance groups and knitters.
With this diverse sampling of interests currently found in Edinburgh, there is surely a place for you to share your expertise. And these areas are just the ones supported by local events and organisations.
If you speak a second language, or love to cook a specific cuisine, or even if you know how to juggle, there’s more than a good chance that someone out there is looking for you to teach them your special skill or talent.
What do you have to offer? Are you an English tutor? Perhaps your a French tutor new to the city? Whatever subject you teach, from algebra to Spanish, Edinburgh will have jobs to offer educators like you.
Volunteering as a Tutor in Edinburgh
Before plunging in, full force, into the world of independent tutoring, you might build your confidence and contribute to the community at the same time.
Local Edinburgh organisations are always looking for volunteer tutors. These organisations help volunteers and students connect. There are plenty of opportunities to share your knowledge elsewhere, too. You could try volunteering to coach a local junior sports team or run sessions in nursing homes, for example.
Volunteer Edinburgh is a website dedicated to connecting volunteers with places available to do good deeds in Edinburgh. You can use the search function to find the situation most appealing to you: simply click the ‘activity’ drop down menu and select ‘tutoring/supporting learners’.
Last time we checked they were looking for everything from bicycle repair tutors to classroom assistants.
The City of Edinburgh Council has great resources for finding volunteer tutoring positions. The website breaks down the different programs they run and how to get involved as a tutor volunteer.
Tutoring Agencies in Edinburgh
If you are not yet equipped to tutor from home or you are looking for regular hours and a steady paycheck, such concerns could be just the solution you've been looking for!
Tutoring agencies are tailored to the needs of school students; that is why parents of school students often turn to local tutoring centres.
To qualify for a position with them, you will most likely be required to have a Bachelor’s degree and you will certainly have to furnish a Disclosure certificate.
Genius Tutors works locally with high school students, focussing on Humanities and the social sciences. They tend to hire undergraduate or graduate students and provide training on Scottish school curriculum requirements.
You may find them at 1F1 69 St Leonard's Hill, Edinburgh EH8 9SB
Edinburgh Tutors provide tutoring in all major school subjects and extra classes too. Their tutors tend to be people with high school teaching experience.
They are located at: 96 Viewforth, Edinburgh EH10 4LG
MagiKats focuses on maths and English studies, offering workshops for students under 5 years old through to GSCE students and adults. In
They are waiting for you at 123 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8NP
Tutoring Jobs with Superprof
Are you excited about home tutoring in Edinburgh? We thought so! But you don't have to tutor through an agency...
If you want to tutor students in Edinburgh, Superprof is an easy and effective way for students to find you.
Create a free profile listing your hourly prices and services as an in home tutor or online tutor. Don't worry, you will have all the space you need to write as much detail as you want about your pedagogy, experience with tutoring and what type of subjects you tutor.
You may also select whether you will travel to your clients's homes, welcome them to yours, meet them in an agreed location or tutor them online.
Once your profile is approved, students may contact you, either for individual lessons or studies in a small group. You can tutor students in person or online, whatever suits your needs. Help others achieve academic success with in home tutoring and private tuition.
It’s easy to get started. Just follow these steps and you’ll be on your way in no time.
- Arrange for proof of any qualifications you want to use (consider asking for testimonials from previous students if you have them)
- Apply for a DBS check
- Set your rates
- Create your free profile on Superprof to let students know you’re ready and waiting!
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