If you'd like to make a career out of your Spanish language skills, then becoming a Spanish tutor could be for you. Being your own boss and managing your own lesson schedule are two of the biggest draws for Spanish tutors. Find out more about how to become a Spanish tutor in this post.
Whether you’re looking to become a full-time Spanish tutor, or you’d just like to add to your income with evening and weekend work, tutoring Spanish can be a very fulfilling experience. At both GCSE and A-Level, Spanish is an incredibly popular modern foreign language, so the demand for tutors is always high. Spanish is also popular amongst recreational learners who want to pick up some skills for holidays, and there’s also demand for tutors at a professional level. In this post, we provide advice on how to become a Spanish tutor.
The Qualifications You Need to Become a Spanish Tutor
In the UK, no specific qualifications are needed to become a Spanish tutor. As most Spanish tutors are self-employed, even if they work through agencies, it’s down to the clients to decide if you’re qualified enough to teach them.
That being said, the more qualified you are, the more valuable you’ll appear to potential tutees. If you’re not a native Spanish speaker, you’ll most likely need a Spanish degree in order to obtain the level of fluency needed to teach all levels of learners (beginner to advanced).
Knowledge of the language is only one side of becoming a good tutor, however. Tutors that have spent time in a Spanish-speaking country working on their language skills and cultural knowledge will be even better prepared to teach new learners.
Although it isn’t a legal requirement, you should also consider obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate, especially if you intend on tutoring students under the age of 18.
The Skills You Need to Be A Spanish Tutor
In order to teach a foreign language, there are four key skill areas that you’ll need to have mastered. These are:
These skills will allow you to help different types of learners, from secondary school students, to business professionals. Beyond these competencies, you’ll also need the following skills:
Adaptable Communication – To be a successful tutor, you’ll need the ability to communicate with people of all ages and abilities. Moreover, every student will have their own learning style, so you’ll need to be able to adapt your communication and teaching methods to match their most appropriate way of learning.
One-to-One and Group Teaching Skills – Tutoring differs from classroom teaching in that it will require you to give your attention to just one student at a time, or a small group, for the entirety of a lesson. Your teaching style will need to be friendly yet fair, and positive but without over-praising. These skills also apply for online tutoring.
Business Knowledge – Becoming a Spanish tutor means you will become a business owner. Whether you work as a sole trader or limited company, you’ll need business knowledge when it comes to areas such as tax and marketing.
Decide Which Level of Spanish to Tutor
When you become a Spanish tutor, you’ll have a choice of levels in which you can specialise – or of course you could choose them all! Your prospective target audiences could include:
- GCSE and A-Level students – their focus will be on improving their skills and passing exams
- Business professionals – these tutees will be learning a language to further their careers
- Recreational learners - these students will want to learn a language for enjoyment or holiday purposes
When it comes to demand for Spanish tutoring, GCSE and A-Level learners will be your biggest source of students. This does not mean, however, that you can’t create your own niche in your local area, or online, as a Spanish tutor for other groups such as business professionals or university students.
Set Your Spanish Tutoring Rates
Setting your tutoring rates can be tricky when you’re starting out. A Google search will show you that tutors can charge anywhere between £10 and £60+ per hour for Spanish tuition. Although there is no industry standard, the average Spanish tutor in the UK will charge on average £20 - £45 per hour, depending upon their experience.
You can then decide if you’ll provide discounts for block bookings (say of a month or more), or for small groups, and if you’ll charge a travel fee for lessons beyond a certain distance. While it can be tempting to charge low rates when you begin tutoring, remember that your working hours will likely be limited to evenings and weekends, unless you run daytime workshops, or get contracted work in schools.
How To Find Spanish Tutoring Jobs
One of the most difficult aspects of working as a Spanish tutor can be marketing your services. If you’re looking 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. If, however, you plan to tutor online, then have a read of our post 7 Steps to Effectively Market Your Tutoring Business Online.
Ideally, once your tutoring business is established, students will find you, but until then, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on tutoring jobs boards like the one we have at The Tutor Website. Moreover, in order to increase your chances of being found in your local area through online searches, you should consider signing up to our private tutor directory.
If you’d like to learn more about how to become a Spanish tutor, you can buy our eBook ‘How to Start Your Own Tutoring Business’ directly from our website for £21.99 – it’s packed full of useful advice.