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Pros and Cons of Tutoring from Home

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 23 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Home Tutoring Students Qualification

Home tutoring is an excellent way to bring in some extra income and can be undertaken on a part or full time basis. But there are some essentials to consider before embarking on this popular work from home employment option.

What Exactly Is Home Tutoring?

Home tutoring is basically teaching others from the comfort of the tutor’s home. In some cases the tutor can teach in the student’s home, this is often the case where children are being tutored. The subjects taught are wide ranging and can be academic subjects or practical skills such as music tuition. Anyone with a skill or knowledge that can be passed onto others can set themselves up as a home tutor. A professional attitude is a must and employment market research should be undertaken when considering this employment route.

How Can I Research the Home Tutoring Employment Market?

Before advertising as a home tutor it is a good idea to check out the competition in the local area. Check employment sections of websites such as Gumtree and Craiglist to gauge the amount of competition. Look on advertisement boards in local shops and supermarkets. Look at the prices charged for the tutoring services offered; the option of undercutting the competition is always available. Also check out if there are tutoring recruitment agencies in the local area that may make a difference to obtaining clients.

Should I Use a Tutoring Recruitment Agency?

There are pros and cons to using a recruitment agency. On the one hand they may be able to provide regular work and will deal with tax and national insurance. The downside is that a recruitment agency will take a cut of the profits; in some cases as much as 50%. In large cities such as London there should be a good supply of work and the salary is usually more than smaller cities and towns. Tutoring recruitment agencies might not accept employees who do not have a degree in academic subjects. They may also require their employees to have previous teaching experience.

How Can I Sell Myself as a Home Tutor?

Promoting educational qualifications will be beneficial to obtaining students. Factors such as excellent academic qualifications gained at a good university will help. But qualifications aren’t essential; work experience is also a plus point. Skills gained through work experience can always be sold onto others through home tutoring. Any previous teaching experience will also be a bonus and always advertise proof of a criminal record bureau check (CRB) if intending to tutor children.

Where Can I Find Home Tutoring Work?

Tutors who live in large cities and towns have a number of options open to them. Tutoring recruitment agencies are an option but those who wish to work independently will have to undertake self-promotion. Academic tutors can contact local schools to enquire if they use home tutors. Colleges and university notice boards are also a good place to advertise academic tutoring services. Word of mouth from satisfied students is a great way to build up a client list and will help with references and referrals over the long-term.

Can I Tutor Using the Internet?

The internet is the latest option for home tutoring and does have advantages. With the internet it is now possible to converse and teach students in ‘real time’ using tools such as Skype, webcams and instant messaging. Using the internet should be time and money saving as there no traveling time or expenses are involved. Many students will prefer this type of tutoring as it can be undertaken from their home and help is always on hand if needed. Using the internet as a tuition tool can be mentioned on advertisements and can be used as an additional service provided by the tutor.

What Are the Major Downsides to Home Tutoring?

There are some downsides to working as a self-employed home tutor as opposed to being employed by a company. Expenses such as traveling and tuition materials do need to be considered. Self-employed tutors do have to undertake their own tax returns and this could mean hiring a tax accountant. Keeping up to date with educational changes regarding syllabus requirements is also a consideration. Good time management skills, marketing and advertising skills will be beneficial.

How Much Can I Earn As a Home Tutor?

The salary for a home tutor will depend on a few factors. Competition in the local area, the subject being taught and the demand for the subject will all make a difference. The hourly wage for a home tutor can range from between £20 to £40 depending on the subject and the supply and demand factor. Independent home tutors are free to set their own price but underselling to cut the competition may not always be the best way to go. Many parents do not mind paying a higher rate if their children are being taught by an experienced professional.

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