Named as the most educated city in Australia, the country's capital, Canberra, is known for its education options and is a popular destination for interstate and international students. Knowing this, it makes sense that Canberra also offers a wide variety of opportunities for people interested in picking up some extra cash or even starting a business working in the tutoring industry.
Depending on your education background and level of experience, as a tutor in Canberra, you can average between $15 and $80 an hour — sometimes more if you are tutoring in a niche, high demand area.
Maybe you're thinking, 'I was no good at English, or Maths or Science — so how could I possibly get a tutoring job?' Well, stop — people don't only want tuition in these academic subjects. What are you good at?
Have you been playing the saxophone or percussion for years in a band? Why not offer to tutor students who are just starting to learn these instruments?
Are you passionate about cooking and love throwing dinner parties? Not everyone has that skill, but many people would love to know how to put together an impressive meal.
Perhaps you've been practising Tai Chi or meditation for years. Lots of people prefer one-on-one instruction with a teacher over large, impersonal classes.
But, how do you become a tutor in Canberra?
What qualifications and experience will you need?
How will you let people know what you do?
Where can you find students?
Superprof is pleased to help. Find out everything you need to know about the Canberra tutoring industry here.
Are there particular skills that tutors need?
Apart from the obvious answer — tutors need to have skills and knowledge about the subject they are teaching — other skills centre around your personality and ability to communicate.
Personal traits tutors need to possess include:
- friendliness and an ability to build a rapport with each individual student
- understanding that learning occurs at different rates and in different ways, and the patience to work with this
- compassion and tolerance for the differing experiences of your students
- genuine desire to help your students reach their learning goals
- flexibility to adapt explanations and activities to suit the learning style of your student.
In addition, your teaching style needs to demonstrate confidence and focus, and your communication should be clear and open.
With respect to subject knowledge, the requirement may vary according to the year level of your students. Tutors who work with primary and high school students may find it useful to be familiar with the Australian Curriculum requirements for each year level. University tutors will obviously need a high level of knowledge, preferably a degree, in their subject area. Music tutors will sometimes need the skills and experience to help their students prepare for level exams or auditions.
Does a tutor need to supply all equipment and materials?
There is no easy answer to this question as the need to supply resources depends on the subject area you are tutoring, the year level or age of each student, whether you are a freelance tutor or are teaching out of a company, and if you are tutoring online or face-to-face.
Academic tutoring, such as English, maths and some science subjects, tends to require less in the way of resources and materials. Usually, a laptop or other device will suffice. Whereas tutors of more practical, hands-on subjects, such as music, art or cooking, need equipment and other material resources in order to tutor effectively.
Parents of younger students, or a student who is just starting their learning journey in your area of expertise, may prefer not to buy equipment immediately and will expect to be able to borrow from their teacher.
Tutors who work in tutoring companies, or who are teaching online, may need to provide equipment for their own use but are usually not expected to provide for their students.
What do you need to do to become a tutor?
If you think you would like to become a tutor in Canberra, the first decision you should make is whether you want to work for an agency or remain independent. There are pros and cons to both.
Working for an agency
The benefits of working in a Canberra tutoring company include:
- little to no administrative responsibility
- regular scheduling
- dedicated teaching space
- equipment and materials provided.
In terms of potential disadvantages, the biggest one is the lack of flexibility and choice — not only do you have to work with your assigned students, but you may also need to follow a specific learning path or program. In addition, your hourly rate may be significantly less as the company will take a percentage.
Working independently as a private tutor has many advantages, including the flexibility to set your schedule and your hourly rate. You can also determine the types of students you wish to work with and have the freedom to modify your teaching style and program to suit your student, and yourself as the teacher.
Potential disadvantages could include the need for:
- locating a teaching space and lots of travel costs (if you are mobile)
- insurances (you may need public liability insurance)
- advertising and other administrative roles
While there is no legal requirement for tutors to have formal education certification, a university degree in their field, or some level of teaching experience, most tutoring companies are likely to want to see evidence of your teaching competency. This may be through a formal education degree or references. Nor is it uncommon for parents or potential students to ask to see your qualifications or references.
If you are working with any student under the age of 18, you must have a current Working with Vulnerable People (WwVP) card, issued in Canberra.
It's important to remember that, like everywhere else, when it comes to tutoring, Canberra parents and students want to ensure they are receiving value for money and visible results.
Canberra tutoring agencies
If you've decided you want to start tutoring through an agency, you have many to choose from in the Canberra tutoring market. Googling 'become a tutor Canberra' will give you an array of companies you can call and give your CV to. Of course, being more specific about the type of tutoring you offer in your search will yield more relevant results.
Here are three to get you started:
Canberra Tutoring — Home Tutoring Specialists
Offering in-home and online tuition for all students, from preschool to high school and on to university, Canberra Tutoring has a wider subject range, with everything from general support or help and English as a Second Language, through to engineering and art, than most local tuition companies, many of whom only offer maths and English, and sometimes science.
Big Improvements Tutoring
More focused, this company only works with students from Kindergarten to Year 12, and only tutors in maths and English. If this sounds like you, this company has a great reputation.
Bright Spark Tutoring
This company has a stringent hiring process with several requirements, but you know they take their clients and their staff seriously. If you want to work with school students, tutoring academic subjects, or with university students in engineering or accountancy, in a supportive environment, you may want to check them out.
Private or freelance tutoring Canberra
For people who want to help students in less academic, more recreational subjects, or who prefer to tailor their teaching directly to individual learning styles, perhaps working privately as a freelance tutor will be a better fit. As mentioned previously, to get known and to find students requires a little more effort from you, but the freedom may be worth it.
The first thing to do is decide who your ideal clients are, then advertise and promote your services where they hang out. You can try:
- distributing flyers at shopping centres, markets or other community events
- posting ads on noticeboards at a local school, CIT, university or library
- doing a letterbox drop in your suburb
- visiting schools to talk to teacher groups about what you do
- advertising online in parent and teacher social media groups, in The Chronicle or City News, or on Gumtree.
Once you start tutoring, remember to collect references and testimonials as these go a long way to help you gain more clients.
You don't have to do everything alone though, as there are a number of platforms you can register with, designed to help students find you through your online profile.
Superprof is one of these platforms where you, as the private tutor, have complete control. You design your profile and decide what information to include; you set your hours and rates and you negotiate directly with potential clients. Superprof tutors usually offer a combination of face-to-face and online services, and frequently provide the first session for free, allowing both teacher and student to decide if you are a good fit together.
Other online platforms where people look for tutoring Canberra, include:
- University Tutor
- High School Tutors
- Tutor Finder
If you're passionate about your subject or skill and love to help others to learn, the Canberra tutoring industry is probably waiting for you.