This may surprise you but you don’t need any qualifications at all if you want to be a tutor. That said, you may find it very difficult to find work if you do not have any. Employers and clients will be much more impressed with a degree.
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Technically, there are no qualifications at all required for you to be a tutor. There are however a great many things which will improve the chances of you having a successful career in the job. Let’s take a look at them...
Yes, anybody can be a tutor – but not everybody will be good at it. The best tutors will teach with enthusiasm with which they can inspire their students. They will also be patient and calm as the job can be stressful at times. Being able to adapt to the requirements of each student is also necessary, as each child is an individual with their own needs, interests, and styles of learning. Tutors spend a lot of time with others so being open and friendly helps. Finally, tutors should be organised and also conscientious. Tutoring is a highly responsible job.
If you have these qualities, and an in-depth understanding of a subject, then tutoring could be the job for you. It is a fantastic career which allows you to help others by sharing your knowledge, and to increase their confidence, whilst earning a good income.
Enthusiasm, patience, adaptability, organisation, and good social skills are necessary for a good tutor.
As with qualifications, you don’t have to have experience to be a tutor, but it helps. If you have worked in a school or other educational establishment then potential clients or employers will see that as an advantage.
Getting started as a private tutor can be very hard. Long-established tutors have years of experience behind them and references from former clients. It is difficult for new tutors to compete with these but everybody has to start somewhere. Once you have a few customers under your belt then you should find it easier to find new ones.
So, that’s qualifications and experience dealt with, but what about the legalities? Is there any paperwork you need to have in order to tutor?
Many occupations require employees to have a DBS check. This is a check by the Disclosure and Barring Service to see whether or not a person has a criminal record. While it is not statutory for private tutors to have a DBS check, all tutor employers will want their employees to have one.
If you are self-employed then it is up to you whether or not you have a DBS check. As with qualifications and experience, they are not necessary but you will find it much harder to get work if you don’t have one. Most parents would steer clear of a tutor without a DBS check when so many tutors in the market do have one.
Again, the answer to this question is ‘no’, but if you are working as a self-employed tutor then I would recommend that you do. This is particularly important if you intend to teach students in your own home. If somebody enters your house and then suffers an injury (maybe they bump their head against something, or trip over a carpet) then their parents might be entitled to make a claim against you. Public liability insurance would protect you from this.
It is sad to say, but some parents might accuse you of malpractice or misconduct if they think you are to blame for their child getting poor grades or failing an exam. You can protect yourself from this possibility with professional indemnity insurance.
You might also want to insure any equipment you use in your work against loss or damage. If a child spills a drink over your laptop for example, then business and portable equipment insurance would cover the cost of repairing it.
Insurance protects you, your clients, and your property from damage, injury, and other claims.
Many would-be tutors believe that they will have to join a professional tutors association if they want to work, but this is not the case. Having said that, you may want to do this as being in contact with others in your profession can be a great help. They can support you in many ways and help you to find work to, so I recommend checking some out and seeing for yourself what they offer.
So there you have it – you don’t need qualifications, experience, or anything else to be a tutor, but there are a great many things that will come in handy. Hopefully you now know if you have what it takes to be a tutor.