Can I make money as a private tutor while teaching English abroad?

Working as a private tutor on top of a regular teaching job is common practice for thousands of people all around the world and some are able to make it a full time job once they have built up a strong client base. In some EU countries where non-EU citizens often struggle to get a work visa, working as a private tutor is the most common form of income for foreign teachers. For example, in Spain it is usual to find large numbers of American teachers working as private tutors in cities such as Barcelona and Madrid where demand is especially high. Whether private tutoring is your main job or a means of increasing your income, it is certainly an option to consider wherever you are teaching in the world.

Do I need a TESOL certificate to be a private English tutor?

Completing an internationally recognized TESOL course is probably the most important thing you can do before you start your teaching adventure. Having a TESOL certificate in your portfolio will demonstrate to employers that you are serious about teaching and it will give you all the skills and knowledge you need to plan and deliver successful lessons in an international classroom environment.

How will I find potential students as a private English tutor?

There are a few tips that should help you attract private students. The first thing to do is talk to other teachers in your area as they will be able to provide some inside knowledge of the local teaching market. Next you will need to think about advertising your services. Simply putting up posters on notice boards in areas where students congregate, such as universities and coffee shops, is a common approach. Business cards are also a good investment because you never know when you might meet a potential client. On your advertising you should use a local contact number as clients are not likely to call an international number for obvious reasons. Offering incentives in your advertising is another good way to drum up some business. A free introductory lesson and discounts for purchasing multiple sessions in advance are two tried and tested ways to get clients interested in your services. Also, you could consider giving a free lesson or a discount to existing clients who refer new students to you. These simple tips for attracting students should help you get your English language tutoring business off to a good start.