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Did you know that your passion for education can help you earn extra income? Tutoring is a rewarding and worthwhile venture for those who love to teach. This guide will take you through all the steps of setting up your very own tutoring business, including all the equipment and legal admin you'll need to get sorted.
A tutoring business supports students academically. A tutor is knowledgeable or has defined expertise in a particular subject or set of subjects. They do not have to be teachers, as many tutors are undergraduate students or professionals in other industries. They assist students who struggle in their school subjects or want to improve their results.
Here's what you need to do to get your tutoring business up and running:
A good tutor improves a student's knowledge and teaches them how to study and prepare for examinations effectively. Hence, a tutor should be able to listen, as well as communicate strategies and encouragement to their students. Often, a student will not grasp a certain concept on the first or second try. This requires patience and a creative streak to adapt concepts to a student's learning style.
Tutors should also teach students time management techniques and help develop a revision plan and exam tactics. A tutor will facilitate independent and critical thinking, which students can use to understand and utilise their individual learning styles. Tutors generally do not keep the standard 9 to 5 working hours. Many tutors are hired to work with students after school hours, which might mean late-night tutoring sessions or weekends.
There is no required qualification to become a tutor. However, experienced tutors are highly sought after. This doesn't necessarily mean you should have a teaching degree, but you should at least have a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE) from completing high school.
A tutor should also be familiar with teaching techniques and know how to pass on knowledge to a wide range of students. Usually, tutors are hired to teach math, English and science from primary school through to high school.
If you are looking to get a formal degree, consider a Bachelor of Educational Studies, which takes three years to complete when studying full-time. Another option is to apply for certification from the Australian Tutoring Association or Accredited Tutor.
If you intend to start a home-based tutoring business, you will need to invest in bulk supplies of pens, pencils, markers, rulers, papers, notebooks and folders. You will need some workbooks and notebooks for record-keeping.
Other equipment to invest in is a reliable computer set-up with a good webcam and microphone, and a strong Internet connection. You can choose between purchasing a whiteboard, or using a tablet or digital drawing pad and stylus as a virtual whiteboard.
On top of these, you should consider downloading or investing in some tutoring software such as:
Once you have decided on a tutoring niche and your business location, the next step is to calculate your starting costs. This will help you determine how much starting capital you will need, and if you'll need to consider a loan. If you're open to joining a franchise, it can sometimes be cheaper to join a tutoring franchise that provides you with ongoing support and branding, with the initial investment as low as $1,000. However, if you want to control your business, you can choose to opt for a small business loan or a personal loan.
There are three general types of business structures to consider when starting a business in Australia.
If you want to start your tutoring business as an individual, you can register as a Sole Trader. You will have full control of the business and its assets.
If you're looking to start the tutoring business with a friend or a partner, you might consider a Partnership business as it allows shared decision making and financial liabilities. A Partnership can include up to 20 people.
Setting up as a Company enables you to expand your business and contains a possible tax deduction. Though a Company entails more paperwork and up-front costs, it limits your personal liability.
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There are several marketing tools online to help you produce brochures and posters, search engine optimisation (SEO) marketing and social media content.
An excellent place to start is reaching out to your local community and posting online advertisements via Facebook and Google Ads. Register your business with Google My Business, which allows people in the vicinity to find your services. Offer study materials, study notes or workbooks for free as a huge bonus.
You will need to continuously work on increasing your chance to be picked by students and their parents. You could start by providing your services at a discount to friends and family, and then ask them to leave testimonials and reviews on your website.
Students in need of tutors list jobs on websites such as Tutors Fields, Airtasker or the Bored of Studies online forum. These are hassle-free job sites that put you in touch with people in need of your services.
Generally, tutors charge an hourly rate. This rate can be anywhere from $15 to $80 an hour. Tutors on the lower scale are usually undergraduate students with less experience. If a tutor is hired for "homework help", then the charge can start at $30. A tutor with years of teaching experience and subject matter experience charges from $150 to $200.
When setting a price, consider the supply and demand in your area. If there are already many tutors in your subject matter, you will need to adjust your price accordingly. You will also need to consider the costs of travelling if you are required to have private sessions in the student's home and whether the sessions are one-on-one or with a group.
Is online tutoring possible?
Yes, online tutoring is also an option if a student lives in a remote area or doesn't wish to travel. This can be done with the use of video call software in real-time. Workbooks and evaluations can be done using online document sharing.
How many hours of tutoring are recommended?
This depends on the abilities of the student and their goals. Generally, one to four hours a week should help. Some students with learning disabilities may require more. When setting a tutoring schedule, it is crucial to consider the student's need for down-time and socialising after school and on weekends.
Can a teenager start tutoring?
In Australia, a teenager between 13 to 15 can do part-time work. There are regulations to ensure that teenagers do not get exploited, so it is crucial to look up your state's rules, as this varies. Parent permission is also required for a teenager to engage in part-time work.Back to top
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