How to become a tutor in 4 steps

Updated 4 May 2023

Tutoring can be a great career for those who love to teach but want the freedom to make their own schedule. As a tutor, you can help students overcome educational challenges and gain confidence in their education. You can work as a tutor full-time, or as a side job for some extra income. In this article, we discuss what tutors do, what are the requirements of being a tutor, what the work environment is like, how to become a tutor and give an example of a tutor's CV.

What does a tutor do?

Tutors provide one-on-one support for children and adults who are interested in improving their skills in a specific subject. Often, students hire tutors to supplement their schooling and help them progress in a subject they are finding challenging. Tutors design and implement personalised lessons to help fill any gaps in the student's education and help them improve their level of proficiency.

Tutors can work for themselves by having individual contracts with parents and students or they can work for institutions like schools or tuition services. Some tutors find success working for themselves and can launch their own businesses by recruiting other tutors to help expand their clientele and subject offerings.

Tutors perform the following tasks:

  • Assessing their student's learning style

  • Providing specialised recommendations on learning tools like textbooks or software

  • Designing lessons or practice drills

  • Reviewing exams and assignments

  • Monitoring progress and providing feedback

  • Using positive reinforcement and encouragement to encourage confidence

Related: 15 best teaching strategies to support student learning

Average salary

The average base salary for a tutor in the United Kingdom is £36,731. A tutor's experience, whether they work independently or with a tutoring service, what subject they tutor, and their level of education can affect their salary. Many tutors get paid by the hour, instead of by yearly salary, depending on who their employer is.

Related: Top 10 benefits of being self-employed

Tutor requirements

Here are some requirements you may need to fulfil to become a tutor:

Subject knowledge

To tutor a specific subject, consider getting a degree or certificate that shows your own expertise in the subject. A strong understanding of the subject can help you teach others the intricacies of the topic. By studying the topic in an advanced education setting, you can gain further insight to help teach the subject to students across subject levels and educational backgrounds.

Getting a certification in teaching methods can also help make you a strong candidate for a tutor because it shows that you have relevant skills and experience. As a tutor, you design lesson plans and construct assignments for your students to show their understanding. Consider getting a certificate or taking a course that you can show to potential clients that demonstrates your understanding of education methods.

Related: The 18 best teaching universities in the UK: a guide

Passion for learning

Successful tutors have a passion for learning that they can share with their students. They can motivate students to master their subject by creating lesson plans that are exciting and show the subject's value to the student. They also have a passion for teaching they use to find the best methods for each of their students.

Related: 14 self-employed jobs in the UK

Tutor skills

To be a successful tutor, you can use the following skills:


Strong communication skills are key for tutors. They need to communicate complex ideas to students who do not have the same educational background to help them understand the material. They also need to communicate clearly their expectations and instructions to students of all ages and education levels.

Related: Tutor skills: what they are and how to improve them


Working with children can often require patience to keep them focused on their tasks. Successful tutors can calmly guide their students through a problem, repeatedly providing help and support, regardless of how long it takes for the student to understand. Tutors use patience to establish trust and to encourage diligence when learning a challenging skill.

Organisation skills

Tutors often work with multiple students who are at different subject levels. Depending on the tutor, they may also tutor different subjects. They use organisation skills to keep track of their lesson plans and their students' progress. Many tutors also use organisation skills to manage their self-employment. They schedule their appointments and arrive on time by keeping an organised schedule. They also organise their own finances by tracking payments and expenses for learning materials.

Related: Productivity tools for effective work and organisation


Students can have different learning styles, so tutors use creativity to design lessons that are tailored to their students' needs. They can also use creativity to keep their students engaged throughout a lesson by providing new lessons and using different techniques to keep students interested. Creativity is also helpful when finding new ways to explain complicated concepts to students.


Many students want to feel supported when they are struggling with a subject. Being understanding can help your students feel safe to ask questions and raise concerns about the subject material. By embracing these concerns and being understanding, you can help your students succeed.

Related: Interview question: 'what is your teaching philosophy?'

Tutor work environment

Some tutors can work from home and connect with their students through video calls or instant messaging. Many tutors work in person with their students to provide personalised instruction. Depending on how many students you work with, you can work as a tutor full time and make your own schedule by deciding when you are available to students.

Tutoring can be a rewarding profession if you enjoy working with children and are passionate about helping people overcome obstacles. It can also be a rewarding way to continue to work in your preferred field of study as a side job or once you've retired.

How to become a tutor

You can follow these steps to become a tutor:

1. Earn a degree

To show expertise in a subject, you may need a degree from a university. A degree can give you advanced knowledge of your subject that can help you instruct others. You can also take a course in education and training to show that you can build lesson plans and instruct children.

Related: How to become a teacher in the UK

2. Complete a DBS check

Some employers may ask for a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which is a basic check on your record that you can provide if you are self-employed. This is especially common if you are working with children. This check can reassure potential employers that you are an appropriate candidate for a tutoring position. If you're in Scotland, you can apply for a record check from Disclosure Scotland, and if you are in Northern Ireland, Access Northern Ireland oversees applications for record checks as a part of the Department of Justice.

3. Think about the location

Tutors often work from their homes by offering lessons online or by tutoring in person out of their homes. Many tutors choose to travel to their students' homes, schools or public places, such as libraries. Consider if you have the tools available at your house to provide instruction from there, whether it be online or in person. If you choose to travel between students' houses or schools, consider the cost of travel when setting your rates.

4. Set rates and advertise

Once you have gained the qualifications and determined where you would like to tutor, you can advertise your services. Do some research to find out what other tutors in your area are charging for services similar to yours. Consider pricing your services a little under the average when first starting. Once you have tutoring experience, you may rely on getting clients through positive reviews instead of getting clients with lower prices. Once you have steady work as a tutor, you can consider raising your rates.

Related: How to write a tutor CV (with template and example)

Tutor CV example

If you are applying to be a tutor, potential clients may request a CV of your tutoring experience and education. Here is an example of a tutoring CV:

James Johnson
2 Green Lane

Communication skills
Organisation skills
Creating creative lesson plans

2006 London Regional Pacific University, London, England
Bachelor's of Arts in English

January 2020 - Present
Online English Tutor - UK Online Tutoring

  • Conducted educational assessments online

  • Provided specialised tutoring over digital platforms

  • Provided instruction in grammar, spelling, paragraph structure, and essay writing.

July 2018 - December 2019
Private English Tutor - Self-employed

  • Conducted educational assessments to identify individual student needs

  • Designed lesson plans and tutoring strategies that targeted individual student learning styles

  • Provided instruction in grammar, spelling, paragraph structure, and essay writing.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.

The model shown is for illustration purposes only and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.


  • How to write an effective tutor cover letter (plus template)


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