One of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, English is also the global language of business and trade.
English tutoring services, particularly from native speakers of English, are highly sought after by people of all ages, and for multiple purposes. Depending on your teaching experience and language skill level, the fees you command can be considerable.
Many teaching opportunities await you if you decide to pursue a career as an English tutor. Not only is tutoring a rewarding way to make extra money, but there are also many career path options which may, if you so desire, take you to different corners of the globe.
A few examples are:
- academic tutoring with students at all levels
- online tutoring — either private tuition or resource creation
- casual, one-to-one or small group private tutoring — you can easily find students almost anywhere, even among your peers
- work for a tutoring company — they are often looking for English tutors
- begin your own tutoring business
How much you earn will depend on a number of factors: your language skills, teaching experience and qualifications, whether you're setting your own fees or working for a company.
What is the Salary of an Australian Teacher?
A tutor of the English language earns anywhere from $20 an hour up to $80 or more an hour.
Qualified English teachers employed in schools, on the other hand, tend to earn an hourly rate that varies from $35–$70 an hour before tax, depending on experience. However, this rate also comes with benefits, including sick pay, superannuation and annual leave.
In comparison to other professions in Australia, a teacher's salary is ranked very low. Comparisons between countries, on the other hand, see Australia come out a lot higher.
A teacher's salary rises in increments for the first ten years. Following this, once a teacher has reached the top of the level 1 payscale, the only pay increases through experience come via promotional positions.
The average Australian teacher spends approximately 40 hours a week on school-related tasks, plus an additional 11-13 (unpaid) hours outside of school hours.
Teachers must also engage in professional learning, much of which happens during stand-down periods. This training involves upskilling in management, curriculum, planning and organisation, and pedagogy.
Salaries vary greatly from state to state in Australia, and are often dependent on the system you teach in.
|State||Minimum (Beginning Teacher)||Maximum (Top of Level 1 Scale)|
|New South Wales||$67,248||$106,758|
|Australian Capital Territory||$68,411||$101,821|
Is it Easy to Make Extra Money as a Private English Tutor?
In Australia, private tutoring is now a $1.4 billion industry. Parents from primary school students through to secondary school are employing the best tutors and enrolling their children in private classes in a bid to ensure they gain top results in NAPLAN testing and for their ATAR results.
Almost a quarter of families in Australia use tutoring services.
According to the CEO of the Australian Tutoring Association, 25% of Australian students are accessing some form of tutoring, with an additional 17% considering employing a tutor. This figure is only for students in formal education and does not account for other people who engage private tutors.
The sharp rise in people looking to find a tutor has seen an increase in the number of tutoring companies, both online and 'bricks and mortar', and has meant that many people have been able to make tutoring into a career. For many qualified teachers, who are disenchanted with the education system, the boom in private tutoring offers a lucrative and appealing alternative.
If you are a native English speaker with a degree in English language and literature or linguistics, you may even find that becoming an English tutor offers better job opportunities and a more regular income than other writing jobs, such as proofreading, editing or freelance writing. Or it may be less stressful and demanding than teaching in schools.
Advantages of Private Tutoring
For some English tutors, the idea of being restricted by curriculum requirements, or having to work set areas, is not appealing. These days, many people want flexible working hours — the ability to set their own schedule while still earning a decent income. Private tutoring is the perfect option.
Before you throw yourself into becoming a tutor, it is important you develop a portfolio or CV that reflects your teaching experience, English language skills, motivation and work ethic, and your ability to build rapport with others.
Gain experience, and valuable testimonials, by volunteering in schools as a teaching assistant, or teaching online. When you feel you have enough experience, and you have a clear vision with regards to your rates and your ideal clients, go out and start promoting yourself as a private English tutor.
When setting your rates, consider the ages or levels of your potential students. Obviously, you would not charge the parents of an 8-year old who you are practising conversational English with the same as a Master's degree student who you were working with as a writing tutor.
The other factor you need to consider is the socio-economic background of your students. Not all parents can afford the same fees, but all children deserve a chance at improving their English or other academic success.
Getting your rates right aside, there are lots of perks to private tutoring:
- you determine your own schedule with flexible timings if needed
- you have a certain level of independence with regard to how you teach
- hourly rates are often better than monthly salaries
- you choose your clients
- with one-on-one tutoring, you are able to build a strong relationship and rapport with your student
- you can work part-time, or have two jobs, if you want to
- tutoring allows you to work on something you are passionate about, and you can share the passion
Occasionally, you may be asked to tutor a student with learning difficulties, including dyslexia. What strategies do you think you could use?
Online Teaching Opportunities
Teaching English in ESL classes, in an international school, in local language schools or home tutoring is one thing, but the ability to run your lesson from anywhere you happen to be because you teach English online is even better.
There is also the added bonus that, unlike with in-home tutoring, an online tutor can source their students from anywhere in the world.
Video lessons and teaching online are becoming increasingly popular. Physics tutors, or those who offer Maths tutoring, foreign language tutoring and science tutors may all offer online services, but people all over the world want to learn English. So, as an English tutor, you are set to get more tutoring jobs from English speaking countries and overseas residents alike.
There are several different ways to make extra money by offering your English language services online:
- join Superprof as an English tutor
- use freelance platforms, like Fiverr and Freelancer, to promote your tutoring as well as offer your reading and writing skills
- create English language teaching resources, such as English grammar activities, English vocabulary lists or English essay writing help — sell these on platforms like Udemy
- use Skype or Facetime, or similar video conferencing apps to conduct conversation classes, lectures or virtual face-to-face tutorials from the comfort of your own home
- tap into students who need help with preparing for exams and tests, and walk them through practice tests or provide hints on study skills
Online tutoring rates are slightly different to face-to-face tutoring rates, in that you don't have to factor in petrol or travel costs. You will see people charging as low as $20 an hour for online tutoring, upwards of $80 an hour. Be careful not to go in and set your rates too high immediately, though. You need to build a good reputation first.
During online lessons, students are more in the driving seat, so they feel more relaxed and therefore, more confident to have a go.
The greatest benefit is the complete lack of geographical restrictions.
All you need is a computer, the associated hardware, an internet connection, a pure passion for what you are teaching, and a strong desire to help others achieve and succeed.
No matter what sort of tutor you are: algebra tutor, history tutor, a tutor who teaches any of the sciences, or a saxophone tutor — you can earn good money online and meet some interesting people, but not as much or as many as a tutor of the English language.