Maths tutors are constantly in high-demand, whether it be for GCSE and A-Level students, or children in the lower years. In this post, we explore how to get started teaching maths online, which platforms to use, and how to price and market your services.
Maths tutors are constantly in high-demand. Whether it be for GCSE and A-Level students, or children in the lower years, maths is consistently the most tutored subject in the UK. When combined with the flexibility of online tuition, becoming a Maths tutor can be a very rewarding career.
The demand for online maths tutoring has never been higher. With students finding themselves faced with increasingly busy schedules, the flexibility that online tuition offers is an attractive prospect. Online tuition is a market that is growing year-on-year and allows tutors and students alike to work and learn when and where they want. However, it can be difficult to know where to start with setting up your online tutoring business, so we’ve complied our top tips on how to get started.
The Qualifications You Need to Become an Online Maths Tutor
Whilst you don’t need any specific qualifications to start working as a Maths tutor in the UK, it's important that you have a good grasp of all aspects of the subject at the particular level you wish to teach. For example, if you want to tutor A Level students, you should make sure you feel confident with all the subject areas that are taught at this level.
Most tutors are self-employed (even if they work for agencies), so it's down to the client to decide if you're qualified enough to be their, or their child’s, tutor. However, the more qualified you are, the more valuable you will inevitably appear to potential tutees. As a Maths tutor, for example, a high grade in A-Level Maths, or even a Maths degree, will make sure you stand out amongst other potential tutors.
Aside from your qualifications, you might also want to consider obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. Although this isn’t a legal requirement, it is very useful to have, particularly if you intend to tutor students under the age of 18.
The Skills You Need to Become an Online Maths Tutor
In order to successfully tutor Maths, you’ll need to have in-depth knowledge of a number of mathematical concepts, so that you are able to teach students of varying levels. Some of the subject areas you’ll need to know are:
Beyond your Maths ability, you’ll also need the following skills to be able to tutor online:
IT Skills - You don’t need to be an IT expert to teach online, but it’s important that you feel comfortable navigating your way around online teaching platforms, sharing documents and sharing your screen with students. It's also useful to have an online whiteboard that you feel comfortable using. This being said, most of the skills you’ll need can be learned easily, and there are lots of guides online to help you, should you need it.
Teaching Skills – As you’re likely to be teaching students of all ages and abilities, you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with students at all levels. Moreover, each student learns in their own way – for example, some may be more visual learners, whilst other may be more auditory – so you’ll need to be able to adapt your teaching style to each student. With online tuition, it is also key that you know how to incorporate a range of learning materials into your lessons, such as videos and documents, in order to keep your student’s attention.
Business Knowledge – When you become a Maths tutor, you will be self-employed, and will therefore automatically become a business owner. Whether you conduct your business as a sole trader or limited company, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with aspects of business such as tax and marketing. There are many resources, such as accountants and local council business advisors, which can provide support in mastering these areas.
Deciding Which Level of Maths to Teach
Once you feel confident that you have all the skills needed to become an online Maths tutor, you’ll need to decide which level, or levels, of Maths you wish to teach.
Although it is likely that most of your tutees will be GCSE and A-Level students, you may also come across university students who are looking for extra support with Maths. This is especially true for students doing a science degree, or another subject which requires Maths skills.
As a tutor, you can decide whether you’ll specialise in one level of tuition, such as GCSE, or whether you’ll branch out and teach students of varying levels, such as adult learners, or primary school students.
Choosing Your Online Teaching Platform and Equipment
Once you’ve decided the level at which you’re going to tutor Maths, you’ll need to choose the online platform you’ll use for your lessons. If you decide to work through online tuition websites or agencies, many now offer their own ‘online classrooms’, and have tutorials where you can learn how to make the most of these online portals. Besides these sites, however, there are many free services available, such as:
- Google Hangouts
All of the above offer similar video call services, so it’s a good idea to test out a few different platforms out with a friend or an existing student before deciding which one works best for you. It’s essential that you make sure you know how to navigate your way around the platform and carry out tasks such as file and screen sharing.
For Maths tuition, you may also want to use an online whiteboard, and sites such as AWW App and Whiteboard Fox offer great resources. Google Docs is also a great tool for online tutors, allowing you to create and collaborate on documents with your students in real time.
Once you’ve chosen your preferred teaching platform, you can then consider if you want to invest in additional equipment, such as headsets or microphones. You can easily teach with just a computer and a reliable internet connection, but there is a wide range of additional tech available at varying prices, should you need it.
For an overview of how online maths tutoring works on Skype, check out this video from tutor Daniel Arscott:
Set Your Online Maths Tuition Rates
When you’ve finalised your online teaching set-up, you can begin to think about how much you’ll charge for your online lessons. If you’ve never tutored before, or if this is your first time tutoring online, it’s a good idea to research what other online Maths tutors who have similar qualifications are charging their students.
In general, online lessons tend to be slightly cheaper than in-person tuition, as there are less overheads (such as travel), for the tutor. Online Maths tuition prices tend to start at £35 per hour, but can range up to as much as £80-90, depending on experience.
As there is no industry standard for online tuition rates, it is well worth taking the time to do some research in order to inform your personal rates.
How to Find Online Maths Tutoring Jobs
The next step in setting up your online tutoring business is to market your services and find students. This can be one of the most challenging aspects of tuition, so it might be helpful to have a read of our post, 7 Steps to Effectively Market Your Tutoring Business Online, which will give you some useful tips on how best to spread awareness of your online business.
Ideally, once you’ve established your online tuition service, students will find you, but until then, you may want to keep an eye on tutoring jobs boards like the one we have at The Tutor Website. Finally, in order to maximise your chances of being found in your local area through online searches, you should think about signing up to our private tutor directory.
Before Your First Lesson
As with any type of tuition, it’s a good idea to plan your online lessons, and how you will approach them beforehand. Before you start your lessons, you’ll need to make sure that your students are set up on your chosen platform and that they know their way around it.
You first online lesson with a new student can be a case of trial and error, so it’s often a good idea to have a trial lesson (which you may want to offer for free) where both and you the student can troubleshoot any issues that may arise online. It’s important that you both have a good grasp of the platform’s functions.
As additional preparation, you may want to email over worksheets, or learning materials, so your student can familiarise themselves with the lesson structure and content. Even though you can screen share on your online platforms, enabling students to have a hard copy of learning materials can help with written work, note-taking and future revision. You can also decide if, and how, you will use other multimedia tools such as videos, or online worksheets, to enhance your lessons.
Additionally, you may also want to think about recording your sessions, so that students can go back and re-watch them in their own time if they need to refresh their memory on a certain topic.
All in all, online tuition is a very flexible, interactive and an effective way to learn, which works well for tutors and students alike. There are now many platforms available online, meaning you are sure to find one that suits your teaching needs.
If you’d like to learn more about how to become an online maths tutor, you can buy our eBook ‘How to Start Your Own Tutoring Business’ for £21.99 – it’s packed full of useful advice.