How to Become a Private Tutor in London - Broke in London

How to Become a Private Tutor in London

A guide to Private Tutoring in London

By Chris Hislop

Did you know that 40% of London school children have used a private tutor? The private tuition industry is growing at an incredible speed as more and more parents look for a little extra academic help for their children. As the UK cements its place as the self-employment capital of Europe, many young professionals are looking to use their own knowledge and experiences to inspire others.

Could you help Ben with his times tables at 9am before making your way across London to tackle fractions at 1pm with Isabel? Or maybe explaining verb forms to Tom would be more your style? Whatever subject is your specialty, chances are there is a demand for your skills.

More and more bright, outgoing young professionals are finding out that being a private tutor can be very rewarding. Not only do you take home the job satisfaction of improving a child’s academic performance, but also you can be very well paid for doing so and can choose your own hours to fit around other commitments.


It goes without saying that you will need some knowledge of the subject you wish to tutor. At the moment, you don’t need any form of official accreditation to become a tutor but it is expected that you either have a degree, or are in the final year of studying.

In addition, you will need to be friendly, patient, enthusiastic and above all, an excellent communicator. There will be times when students lose focus but it is important that you can find a way to engage them.

This line of work means that you should also look to complete a DBS check (formerly called CRB’s). This is a certificate that shows your suitability for working with children. It is not compulsory, but you are likely to gain much more work with one.

Working as a Private Tutor in London



There are a number of different options open to would-be private tutors. Here are the most popular options broken down for you:

Self-Employed Private Tutor

For the more entrepreneurial, the best way to set yourself up is as a self-employed tutor. This means that you choose your own rates and anything you earn can be kept for yourself. You also have the flexibility of deciding how many hours to work and whether you will tutor from your own home or will visit your students.

Working as a Private Tutor in London

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Something to consider when choosing this option is that you will be responsible for all of your marketing. Nobody will be sending students to you and so it is vital that you consider a website, business cards and leaflets. Once you build up a good reputation in your area, you will find that good reviews from your students or parents will filter out to their friends and soon business will start looking for you.

Agency Tutor

Another route into tutoring is to register with a tutor agency. This is a great option if you feel that you may struggle to find business alone. An agency will take care of your marketing and will set you up with students that need tutoring. However, it is important to remember that an agency will also take a cut of your profits.

Tutoring Agencies in London

Online Tutoring

If you are looking to avoid travel costs, you could look into becoming an online tutor. Using Skype and other online tools such as virtual whiteboards, you can tutor students across the country and even the world, at convenient times for the both of you.

Generally, fees are less for online tutors but you will save on your own costs and can work from your own bedroom! There are various software for tutors out there to get started.

Pros of Working as a Private Tutor

Being a private tutor can give you an awful lot of flexibility. Huge numbers of young adults in the creative industries are finding that tutoring allows them a steady income and the time to pursue their acting, writing, or artistic careers.

The money can also be very good. Hourly rates vary enormously but there is the potential to earn anything from £15 per hour up to £100 for some in-demand tutors.

Working as a Private Tutor in London

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With self-employed private tutoring, you can have the feeling of running your own business, which can be appealing for many. You get to decide how many hours you work and whether you set-up at home or travel to new and interesting places.

Cons of working as a private tutor

There could be unpredictability when starting out as a private tutor. How many students will you be able to attract? Will you be able to get your points across efficiently within the lesson time? Will your students like you?

Unlike most jobs, being a private tutor means that you don’t have the workplace conversation that many people enjoy. You are either working alone or working with a student. This could lead some people to feel isolated.

Finally, for every willing student you meet, there may be a troublemaker that will do his/her best to make your life difficult.

Private tutoring resources

You may also want to check out our article about 5 easy to get jobs in London.