So you want to become a certified tutor? Tutoring can be a very rewarding career, and it's a great way to help students learn and achieve their academic goals. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of how to become a certified tutor. We will provide you with information on the perks of being a certified tutor, how to find work, and what to expect working in the tutoring industry. Let's get started!
What is a Tutor and What do they do?
Let’s start with the basics, a tutor is a teacher who specialises in one-on-one or small group instruction. Tutors help students with schoolwork, test preparation, and learning new material. They also provide feedback and guidance to help students improve their academic skills.
While many tutors with basic tutoring training are employed by schools, there is a growing number of independent tutors with complete tutoring training who offer their services online or in person. These tutors not only focus on academic success but can also help students develop better study habits, learn how to manage their time, and become more organised in their everyday life.
How to Become a Certified Tutor
The process of becoming a certified tutor may vary depending on your existing qualifications as well as the type of tutor you want to be.
There are two main types of tutors: school teachers who tutor outside of school hours, and private tutoring providers. School teachers who tutor on the side, offer one-to-one or small group tuition in a range of academic subject areas, usually after school or during weekends. They are often experienced and qualified teachers and can offer very affordable rates. These tutors can often be found through schools themselves or through a local tutoring agency.
Private, independent tutors offer one-to-one tuition in a range of academic subjects, as well as specialised subject areas, such as cooking, coding, music and dance lessons. They typically charge more than agency tutors, but they can be especially helpful for students who need extra support or help catching up with their peers. Private tutoring can also be a great resource for those simply hoping to learn a new skill or further explore existing passions. Tutoring doesn’t have to be strictly academic!
UK Tutor Certification
While it is not necessary to have an official certification to become either of these types of tutor, here are some options you may want to explore if you are looking for a formal qualification in the UK:
- Become a member of an awarding body such as The Tutors’ Association (TTA). These organisations offer teacher training and assessment programs which can lead to certification opportunities.
- Complete an accredited PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) program, or equivalent qualification, in order to gain teaching or tutoring experience and knowledge. This will not only give your services greater credibility but also allow you to teach in schools and colleges if you wish to.
US Tutor Certification
The best way to become a certified tutor in the US is by earning a degree in education and then becoming certified through your state's Department of Education. Most states require you to pass a basic skills test, complete a criminal background check, and have some tutoring experience in order to be certified. Once you are certified you can either find potential clients through your state’s Education system, through an independent tutoring agency or by privately promoting your services via your own website or on sites such as Craigslist.
Becoming a member of a certifying body such as The National Tutoring Association, getting a basic academic coaching certification, doing advanced tutoring competency training or an advanced academic coaching certification will demonstrate your academic knowledge and professional credibility within the tutoring profession and help you generate interest among potential clients.
Do Independent Tutors Need to be Registered?
There is no legal requirement for private tutors in the UK to have a licence, however, the government requires that all tutors who run their own business be registered with HMRC. This is a necessary step in order to ensure you have received a unique tax reference and are therefore taxed properly, even if it's just tutoring on a part-time basis!
Similarly to the UK, there is no formal requirement for tutors to have a specific licence, however, in the US you should still register your tutoring business, for example, through the IRS as you will need to pay tax contributions to the Social Security and Medicare systems.
For a more in-depth look into the different requirements, check out our existing blog post on the topic!
While not essential, many may choose to use a tutor who is registered with an official association or scheme as this offers a degree of reassurance that the tutor has been screened and meets a certain level of quality. If you choose not to go down this route, it is a good idea to publish reviews from previous students to demonstrate your ability to tutor professionally.
What are the Benefits of Becoming a Certified Tutor?
There are many benefits to becoming a certified tutor. For one, you can earn more money. Tutors who have formal training, a teaching qualification, such as a bachelor's degree, or some form of academic coaching experience often earn more than those who do not.
Additionally, certification can help you build your reputation as a tutor and give you access to resources that can help you better serve your students. Finally, certification shows your students that you are serious about your work and that you take your craft seriously. This can give clients the confidence they need to trust in your abilities and allow you to help them achieve their academic goals.
Who Can Become a Tutor and How Much Work is Involved?
Anyone with subject matter expertise and relevant skills can become a tutor. As for the amount of work involved, this typically depends on the number of hours a tutor is willing to commit and the type of services they offer.
One way to become a tutor is to sign up with an online tutoring platform that allows you to create a profile outlining your qualifications, subjects of expertise, and rates. You can then search for students who need help in that specific subject area and connect with them for one-on-one tutoring sessions via video chat or in person.
Another option is to advertise your services locally (e.g., through ads and social media). Once you have successfully built a small customer base it will then be much easier to reach new students through positive word of mouth and referrals.
Resources for Aspiring Tutors
TutorCruncher’s tutor management software can help you run your tutoring business more smoothly. It is easier to use and requires a much less steep learning curve than open-source tutoring software making it perfect for all types of tutoring businesses.
What Skills do you Need to be a Tutor?
The best tutors utilise a number of tutoring strategies and possess important skills that help their students learn more effectively. We have put together a comprehensive guide to these before but here is a quick roundup of some of the key ones you need to know:
The ability to remain calm and respectful is an essential skill for positive learning, especially with those students who struggle in specific areas or require additional help to keep up with their peers.
Having a positive attitude can make the difference between a motivated student and an unmotivated student. By staying positive, you can encourage students to put maximum effort into their learning and achieve their goals faster.
As a tutor, you must always have your student's best interests at heart. Therefore, it is your responsibility to keep their personal information and progress private.
To be a good tutor, you need to know enough about the subjects you are teaching in order to really help your students. If there is something you are not sure of yourself, it is your responsibility to educate yourself on this topic and find answers for your students.
Tutoring is just as about listening as it is about teaching. In order to know your students' goals, identify areas for improvement and gauge comprehension during lessons, you must be a good listener!
This is a no brainer. Great communication skills are imperative for tutors as they must effectively and efficiently explain complicated concepts to their students.
How to Start a Tutoring Business
Whether you are looking to become a tutor full-time or are simply interested in starting tutoring as a side hustle to bring in a little extra income, there are a few steps you can take.
Identify your ideal clients
- Is there a niche you would like to target, e.g., university students and are you educated enough within this niche to pass on your knowledge?
Build your subject matter knowledge
- Do you want to be a general tutor or would you like to specialise? This is the stage where you should be considering tutor training and tutoring certification!
Decide your business structure
- What hours will you work? What are your policies? Do you want to join an agency or would you prefer to be your own boss?
Register your business
- This is important for tax reasons. Check out our advice above!
Determine your pricing
- As a tutor, you can set your own rates so do your research! You want to make money where possible but also offer competitive pricing to draw in potential clients.
- Establish your online presence and begin networking!
So, there you have it, how to become a certified tutor! If you’re feeling motivated and think you have the necessary skills, becoming a certified tutor can be a great way to help students in your area - and it’s not as difficult as you might think!
We hope this article has given you the information you need to get started on your journey and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to check out our other resources or reach out to us for more advice. Good luck!