Have you always enjoyed teaching fellow classmates back when you were a student? If so, chances are that you have an innate passion for teaching. The best part about teaching is that you can adapt it into whichever career that you like – whether that’s being a professional educator or even a private tutor.
Like any other career choice, one would be interested to know how much you can earn if you become a private tutor in Singapore.
Since there are many kinds of tutoring options available to you, making a decision regarding which one would be the most suitable is an important one.
Popularity of Private Tutoring
Education is a very important aspect for the people of Singapore. As they prioritize quality education, there is a rising trend in the popularity of private tutoring in the country. Since the Singaporean government offers teaching opportunities themselves via the MOE Teachers website, more and more people are becoming interested in the career of becoming a teacher.
However, a majority of Singaporean MOE teachers are now shifting towards private tutoring. There are many reasons behind this shift, but the most significant one is that private tutoring is far less stressful than MOE teaching. For the private tutoring industry, this means that more qualified teachers are now entering the market. MOE teachers also have more experience than the average private tutor, thus making them more popular amongst students and parents alike.
Why Should I Become a Private Tutor?
There are many reasons why people are becoming private tutors, but it is mainly because of the high salary. This lucrative job allows some tutors in Singapore to earn up to $1 million on a yearly basis – an income that is merely a dream in other careers.
Another reason why you should become a private tutor is if you are no longer satisfied with following orders. As a private tutor, you will be your own boss. You can choose your own teaching hours, methods, and even plan your lessons according to your preference. All you need to do is maintain clear communication with your clients (the students and the parents), and the rest is entirely up to you to decide.
Some clients may not be willing to adhere to your schedules entirely, but even in that situation you could devise a plan that is suitable for both parties. All in all, there is far more flexibility in work when you work as a private tutor.
How Much Do Private Tutors Earn?
As mentioned earlier, there are different kinds of private tutors in Singapore. Some may have worked as MOE teachers in the past, and others may just be in the field of private tutoring since the beginning. Depending upon your qualification, expertise, and experience with clients, there are different rates that you could receive as a private tutor.
To narrow down the various types of tutors and incomes, here is a list of different types of private tutor jobs available in Singapore.
You can also get a rough idea on the estimated tuition rates in Singapore before deciding on how much to charge.
1. Part Time Tutor
If you are a student who wants to earn an income for themselves, then you can become a part time tutor. This job market consists of people who have completed their A Levels, Undergraduate, or are currently studying. You can also become a part time tutor if you want to add tutoring as a side job apart from your full-time job. This is typically done to earn an extra income.
Since part time tutoring requires minimal experience and expertise, the salary is generally low as well. Depending upon the grade level that you teach, your pay range would be between $25 and $40 per hour. Most students tend to take one and a half hour tuitions twice per week, resulting in three hours per week and 12 hours per month. If you charge $25 per hour, you would be earning $300 per month – which is an adequate salary considering the negligible requirements of the job.
2. Full Time Tutor
As a full time tutor, private tutoring would be your main job. This implies that you would be working as a tutor for about 8 hours every day. While full time tutors are not trained by the National Institute of Education (NIE) program like MOE teachers, they are still very popular for teaching specialized subjects to students.
Depending upon which level you teach, you could charge up to $50 for IGCSE or IB PYP subjects, and up to $70 for university level or IB Diploma subjects. Since you can tutor multiple students throughout the day, your overall earnings for the month could total up to $5,000 or even higher.
3. MOE School Teacher
If you are an MOE teacher who is certified by the NIE, you can still choose to add private tutoring to your portfolio. Remember that school teaching would be your primary full-time job, and private tutoring would only be done where your schedule allows you to make some time. Since MOE school teachers are primary educators and have both experience and expertise, they are able to charge a high rate for their private tutoring services.
For primary and secondary level students, an MOE teacher is paid approximately $60 per hour. For higher level students, they could be paid up to $120 per hour, depending upon the subject material. As private tutoring is not the primary job of an MOE teacher, they are only able to take up to 2-hour long sessions twice per week. Teachers also have to declare that they are providing private tuition during their spare time.
If you plan to become a private tutor alongside of being an MOE teacher, then the additional salary you earn is enough to pay for basic expenses such as your car installment or monthly rent.
4. Ex-MOE School Teacher
If you were an MOE teacher in the past but have left the career, you can continue to teach students by becoming a private tutor. Since these teachers are highly qualified for teaching and do private tutoring as their primary job, they tend to charge a hefty fee from clients.
Many parents in Singapore search for these ex-MOE teachers to tutor their children as they provide the same experience as a current MOE teacher but are available more often. The salary for an ex-MOE teacher working as a private tutor is approximately the same as current MOE teachers – between $60 and $120 per hour.
If you become an ex-MOE private tutor and take up to 15 clients per month, you could earn a grand total of $8,000 in monthly income.
Should I Be an MOE Teacher or a Private Tutor?
After you become certified as an MOE school teacher in Singapore, a wide array of opportunities opens up for you. You could either choose to continue working as a schoolteacher, start private tutoring as a part-time job, or even switch to private tutoring entirely.
Here are two factors that can influence your decision:
Teachers are very well paid in Singapore. The MOE website states that a secondary school teacher can have an annual salary of up to $70,000, and even a primary school teacher can earn approximately $58,000 per year. A general education officer who teaches in higher education can earn even more – up to $3,500 per month.
However, private tutors have more freedom in determining how much they are paid. While they do not get paid annual bonuses like MOE teachers, they do have more control over how much they charge per hour per student. For primary or secondary school tutoring, you could earn up to $40 per hour. The number of hours worked per week depends both upon your own schedule and the requirements of the client.
Many tutors claim that it is easier to earn a higher income as a private tutor in Singapore than an MOE educator. As you build a good reputation for yourself and become specialized in certain subjects, you would be able to charge a higher per-hour rate from clients.
Here is a detailed discussion on MOE teachers vs Full-time tutors: Which job pays better?
2. Work-Life Balance
Self-reports from MOE teachers suggest that they barely have a work-life balance to maintain. Since tutoring is their primary job, the tasks given to them at the school are never-ending. MOE teachers often complain that they are forced to work on weekends and public holidays to relieve the workload – thus resulting in a poor work-life balance.
The problem with being an MOE teacher is that while their workday begins earlier than the typical office (7am vs 9am), they are still required to work at least until 5pm. If they have any additional responsibilities such as administrative tasks or lesson planning for the next term, they may even be working until 8pm in the evening.
For private tutors, this isn’t the case. Since the job is highly flexible and depends upon the schedule of the tutor themselves, they are able to maintain a better work-life balance for themselves.
Need to know how to be a tutor in Singapore, we have a step by step guide on how to become a tutor in Singapore.
The Key Takeaway
After learning about the various types of private tutors in Singapore, there are high chances that you may be interested in the job after all. Since private tutoring is a diverse field, there are many opportunities available for you to increase your income levels over time – whilst maintaining a good work-life balance for yourself.
Join us as a private tutor now and start your career with us. You can also view the latest tuition assignments available.
More tips if you plan to embark on a tutoring career:
The complete guide for tutors on handling difficult parents
6 ways to handle a disrespectful student
Where to give volunteer tuition in Singapore?
10 free apps for private tutors in Singapore
Parent's friend requests: Should tutors accept or ignore?