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Things to Consider Before You Start Tutoring

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According to the Global Private Tutoring Market Report, the need for private tutoring is steadily increasing. Students like to turn to private tutoring for refresher courses and exam preparation. The high demand is a great advantage from which you can profit professionally.

But what things do you need to consider if you want to give private tutoring? Below you will learn everything you need to know as a private tutor.

Private tutor vs. employed tutor

Private and employed tutors offer the same service. Nevertheless, the respective status differs quite a lot:

Employed tutor – the advantages:

  • Salaried tutors usually have a flexible work schedule.
  • The employer takes out the necessary insurances.
  • There is a fixed hourly rate.
  • Some tutoring institutes set up manageable groups of no more than five students. Small learning groups are important so that the teacher can accompany their students individually.
  • The employer provides many learning materials. Employed tutors therefore do not usually have to invest a lot of money in books and worksheets. Sometimes there are also learning videos or other online media available to teachers free of charge.
  • Some employers offer a nationwide location change. In addition, it is sometimes possible to conduct lessons via video chat. This provides teachers with financial security in the event of a move.


Employed tutor – the disadvantages:

  • Some employers set inconvenient work hours.
  • Preparation and follow-up of lessons are usually not paid.
  • Some employers pay only the minimum wage.
  • In some institutes, group classes are overcrowded. Sometimes the tutor is even expected to teach across ages and subjects within a group. The lack of staff also has a detrimental effect on group size.
  • A hired tutor cannot decide which students to tutor.
  • Most of the time, the hired tutors have little contact with each other.


Private tutor – the advantages:

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  • Private tutors decide for themselves at what price they want to offer tutoring.
  • The working hours are also determined individually.
  • Private tutors can arrange the groups according to their own criteria.
  • They can also decide which students they want to give private tutoring to.
  • Private tutors can decide for themselves whether they prefer to provide on-site or online tutoring.
  • Most of the time, private tutors earn more because they can set the price themselves and also do not have to pay a commission.


Private tutor – the disadvantages:

  • Private tutors must make their own efforts to obtain the necessary insurance coverage.
  • Planning around the profession turns out to be more extensive than that of a salaried tutor. However, tutoring software like Planubo can take away much of the administrative work, which can significantly reduce the amount of planning required.
  • Starting your career can be more difficult if you don’t have enough start-up capital (for example, for self-promotion or room rent).


Where to find clients as a private tutor?

Your success as a tutor depends, among other things, on the number of students you have.

The following overview contains some measures that you can use to generate customers:

Public posting: Posting notices is an easy way to publicize your work as a tutor. You can also take the opportunity to see if there are already suitable requests. Schools, supermarkets, cafés or youth centers can be used for the notice with which you draw attention to the fact that you want to give private tutoring lessons. Sometimes you have to get permission to post public notices.

Newspaper: The newspaper advertisement is a classic method of offering private tutoring. However, this option is not free of charge.

Internet: The Internet is characterized by the fact that numerous free and paid platforms are available to you. For example, you can advertise your service on Google My Business, on tutoring portals, on social media, on your own website or on Craigslist.

Business cards and flyers: If you are in places where you meet parents or students, you can present your tutoring services there with your own business cards or flyers. Suitable contact points can be libraries, sports clubs or similar meeting places.

Word of mouth: If you want to build up a customer base, you should talk a lot about the fact that you want to give private tutoring. Perhaps the person you are talking to has a potential client in their circle of acquaintances. Even if you’ve already entered the tutoring business, having your students tell you about their positive experiences is a very effective advertising method. Word-of-mouth advertising scores points for authenticity.

More measures on how you can market yourself as a private tutor without a big budget can be found here.

Tutoring prices

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The costs and prices as a private tutor can vary. The costs depend on the individual framework conditions (such as the duration of a lesson, the qualification and the place of residence).

Place of residence: The place of residence has a decisive influence on the price level. Basically, you can charge more in the city than in the country.

Qualification: The tutoring of a student is cheaper than the tutoring of a professional tutor.
Example: Due to experience, the tutoring of a native speaker or university graduate is usually very effective and therefore costs more. With a good reputation you can also increase the prices.

The average tutor salary in the US is about $23 per hour. Depending on the above mentioned factors, the hourly rate can vary quite a lot.

To attract new customers, many tutors offer a free trial lesson.

Private tutor insurance

Depending on where you live, insurance regulations differ. In some parts of the world, insurance is not mandatory. Nevertheless it is recommended to have some kind of insurance to protect yourself from unforeseen events.

For instance, in Germany tutors belong to a professional group that must take out professional or business liability insurance. It is regulated by law that the insurance obligation applies to the following tutors:

  1. Employed tutor
  2. Freelancers who give private lessons for a fee
  3. Students and others who offer tutoring to the public and want to make a profit from it


In the case of employed tutors, the insurance policy is taken out by the employer. A self-employed tutor, on the other hand, must take out the insurance himself.

The purpose of the insurance is to prevent liability claims or claims for damages that could threaten the existence.

Background: The tutor has the duty of supervision during lessons and breaks. If he or she violates their supervisory duty (for example, if a fight breaks out among the students), it is possible that he or she will have to pay for the damage caused.

Depending on the insurance model, the following risks are covered for the lesson time:

  • Personal injury
  • Property damage
  • Pecuniary losses attributable to personal injury or property damage


Some tutors also purchase legal protection on a voluntary basis.

Taxes as a private tutor

Depending on where you live, tax regulations differ. In the US, employed tutors and freelance tutors have to file taxes.

In Germany, private tutoring is in principle a taxable occupation. Exception: You offer tutoring as so-called neighborhood help only now and then among friends and acquaintances.

In all other cases you have to inform the tax office about your income. However, you only have to pay tax on your profit if it exceeds the annual basic allowance (for 2023 this is 10,908 euros).

Taxes are only due when the invoice amount is actually credited to your account. Therefore, you do not have to pay the tax amount for outstanding wages (yet).

Since you as a private tutor usually benefit from the small business regulation, there is usually no sales tax.

However, you can also give private lessons tax-free if you take advantage of the lump-sum allowance for training supervisors. In this case, your “hourly wage” is considered to be an expense allowance for an educational and charitable activity. The disadvantage in contrast to freelance tutoring, however, is the reduced tax allowance.
As an exercise instructor, you can only earn an additional 4,230 euros tax-free in 2023. As a private tutor, you have a much more attractive tax-free amount of 10,908 euros.

You do not usually have to register a business if you only provide private tutoring on a part-time basis (i.e. for a limited period of time). It is therefore sufficient to inform the tax office about your tutoring activities.


As a private tutor, there are a few more things to consider compared to an employed tutor. For example, you have to take care of your own insurance, recruit your own clients, and also manage the tutoring yourself. To reduce the administrative burden, tutoring software like Planubo can take a lot of the work off your hands, leaving you more time to focus on tutoring. Despite the increased workload as a private tutor, there are many advantages that speak for private tutoring, such as the more flexible working hours or even the greater income potential. So you should think carefully about which type of tutoring suits you best.


Related Article: 10 Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Tutoring Session