Working as a German tutor can he a very rewarding job. There's a lot of demand for German tutors in the UK at GCSE and A-Level, as well as professional business level. Discover what qualifications, skills and standard you need to become a German tutor as well as how much to charge and how to find German tutoring jobs.
Whether you have your sights set on tutoring German full-time, or simply to earn some extra money in the evenings and at weekends, working as a German tutor can be a very rewarding experience. In schools, German is one of the most popular modern foreign languages and so there’s significant demand for German tutors at GCSE and A-Level. It’s equally as popular at professional level too, given that German is the one of the most commonly used languages in business. In this post, we provide advice on how to become a German tutor.
The Qualifications You Need to Become a German Tutor
You may be surprised to learn that you don’t need any specific qualification to work as a German tutor in the UK. Because most German tutors are self-employed (even those that work for agencies), it’s entirely up to the clients how qualified you should be.
Of course, the more qualified you are, the more valuable you’ll be in the eyes of potential tutees. Unless you’re a native German speaker, you’ll likely need to have a German degree in order to attain the level of fluency needed to teach the language to a beginner.
It’s also worth noting that knowing the language is only one side of the coin. Ideally, German tutors will have spent time in a German-speaking country, honing their language skills and learning about the culture.
Although it isn’t a legal requirement, you should also consider obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate, particularly if you intend on tutoring students under the age of 18.
The Skills You Need to Become a German Tutor
As with all foreign languages, there are four key competencies that you’ll need to have in order to teach the language:
You’ll need to have all four of these skills in order to legitimately help a secondary school student, or a new language learner. Over and above these competencies, you’ll also need the following skills:
Adaptable Communication – To be a successful German tutor, you need to be able to communicate clearly with people of all ages and abilities. As your student base is likely to be quite broad, being able to adapt your communication style to the student will be a big advantage.
One-to-One Teaching Skills – Unlike classroom teaching, one-to-one German tutoring requires that you give your full attention to one, or a small group of students for the entire duration of a lesson. You need to be friendly but fair, positive but not over-praise. Even if you plan to tutor German online, you still need to have one-to-one teaching skills.
Business Knowledge – Working as a German tutor requires you to be a business owner. Whether you’re a sole trader, or a limited company, you still need to be business savvy when it comes to paying tax and marketing.
Decide What Level of German to Tutor
As a German tutor, you have a few options as to what level to specialise in. There are a few options (of which you could choose all) when it comes to defining your target audience, which include:
- GCSE and A-Level students, whose focus is on improving their skills and passing exams
- Business professionals that want to learn German to further their careers
- Hobbyists, i.e. those who want to improve their language skills for their own enjoyment
In terms of demand for German tutoring, GCSE and A-Level will likely be your biggest source of students. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t carve a niche in your local area, or online, as a German tutor for business professionals, university students, holidaymakers etc.
Set Your German Tutoring Rates
Deciding how much to charge for German tuition isn’t always easy. A quick Google search will reveal tutors that charge from £10 an hour, to £100 an hour and more. Although there is no industry standard, the average German tutor in the UK tends to charge between £20 and £50 per hour, depending on their level of experience.
Some tutors may provide discounts for bulk bookings, or for small groups and some may reduce their rates slightly if there aren’t any travel costs involved. Although it can be tempting to charge low rates when you first start out, bear in mind that you’re likely to be limited to evening and weekend work, unless you offer workshops during the day, or get a contract to work in schools.
How to Find German Tutoring Jobs
One of the most challenging aspects of working as a German tutor is marketing. If you plan to tutor in your local area, then you might want to check out our post, How Can I Market Myself as a Private Tutor in my Local Area. Likewise, if you plan to tutor online, then have a read of our post 7 Steps to Effectively Market Your Tutoring Business Online.
Ideally, once your German tutoring business is established, students will come to you, but until then, you may also want to keep an eye on tutoring jobs boards like the one we have at The Tutor Website. Similarly, in order to maximise your chances of being found in your local area through online searches, you should consider signing up to our private tutor directory.