Whether you want to tutor Maths as a full-time career, or want to work part-time to earn some extra money, becoming a Maths tutor can be a very rewarding experience. A recent study by the Sutton Trust found that students are most likely to receive tuition in Maths (around 77%). This demonstrates that the demand for Maths tutors, especially at GCSE and A-Level, is high.
Maths is a key subject requirement for many careers beyond school and college, so as a tutor, your student base can reach beyond school years. In this post, we provide advice on how to become a Maths tutor in the UK.
The Qualifications You Need to Become a Maths Tutor
No specific qualifications are needed to become a Maths tutor in the UK. As most tutors are self-employed (even if they work for agencies), it’s up to the clients to decide if you are qualified enough to be their tutor.
Nevertheless, the more qualified you are, the more valuable you’ll appear to potential tutees. This means that an A-Level Maths qualification, or even a Maths degree, will help you stand out to potential students. It also shows that you have the necessary skills to teach students of varying ability.
Although it isn’t a legal requirement, it’s also worth obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate, particularly if you intend on tutoring students under the age of 18.
The Skills You Need to Become a Maths Tutor
As a Maths tutor, you’ll need to have a good understanding of several mathematical areas. Some of the subject areas you’ll need knowledge of are:
Beyond your Maths ability, you’ll also need the following skills:
Adaptable Teaching Style – As a tutor, you’ll likely be teaching students of all ages and abilities, so you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with a variety of people. Each student you encounter will learn in their own way - for example some will be visual learners, whilst others will rely more on writing or reading – so you’ll need to be able to adapt your teaching style to each individual student.
One-to-One Teaching Skills – As a tutor, you’ll need to give your undivided attention to one, or a small group of students, for the whole lesson. You’ll also need to be personable and encouraging to bring out the best in your students. These skills apply to both in-person and online tuition.
Business Knowledge – As a Maths tutor, you’ll be self-employed, so you’ll need to have a basic understanding of how to run a business. Whether you conduct your business as a sole trader or limited company, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the tax system and marketing practices. There are lots of resources, such as accountants and local council business advisors, who can provide support in these areas.
Decide Which Level of Maths to Teach
As a Maths tutor, it’s likely that most of your tutees will be students taking their GCSEs or A-Levels. You may, however, also encounter university students who are looking for extra help with Maths, especially if they are doing a Science degree, or another subject that requires Maths as part of its skillset. As a tutor, you can decide whether you’ll carve out a niche in tuition for school students, or whether you would also like to teach tutees beyond their school years.
Set Your Maths Tutoring Rates
When you’re starting out as a tutor, it can be tricky to decide how much to charge for your services. A Google search will show that Maths tutors charge anywhere from £15 per hour to £80 per hour, depending on factors such as experience and education. Although there is no industry standard, the average Maths tutor in the UK will charge between £25-£30 per hour, although again this depends on their experience level.
Once you have decided on your rates, you could also consider providing a discount for block bookings, or for small groups of students. You can also decide whether to charge for travelling to students’ homes. While it may be tempting to start out with low rates, remember that tutoring is normally limited to evening and weekend work, so you’ll need to charge enough to cover the hours that are available.
How To Find Maths Tutoring Jobs
One of the more challenging aspects of working as a self-employed Maths tutor is marketing your services. If you’re looking to tutor in your local area, then you might want to check out our post, How Can I Market Myself as a Private Tutor in my Local Area. Likewise, if you plan to tutor online, then check out our post 7 Steps to Effectively Market Your Tutoring Business Online.
Once you’ve established your Maths tutoring business, students will ideally come to you, but in the meantime, you might also want to keep an eye on tutoring jobs boards like the one we have at The Tutor Website. Similarly, in order to maximise your chances of being found in your local area through online searches, you should consider signing up to our private tutor directory.
If you’d like to learn more about how to become a Maths tutor, you can buy our eBook ‘How to Start Your Own Tutoring Business’ for £21.99 – it’s packed full of useful advice.