Math is a subject to be learnt and understood conceptually. Pure memory and sheer hardwork practising endless problems will not land the child on a successful math learning journey. Many kids today are puzzled over the math that they could not solve and it could be a result of a lack of depth in understanding math concepts. Math questions are perceived to be harder if current and up-to-date methods are not used. Math tuition are hence sought to be the solution to equip students with skills, concepts and methods in tackling current math problems. Inevitably, tuition has become one of the fastest growing industries in Singapore. The ‘kiasu’ DNA inherent in many Singaporean parents has also led them to wanting to sign up their child for multiple tuition programmes and enrichment, and math is often on the top of their list.
One of the reasons for math tuition industry to be booming today is definitely due to the rising income levels of families in Singapore. Back in the old days, many families struggle with meeting their daily needs, and did not have as much disposable income to spend on things beyond their necessities. However, with rising standards of living and the prevalence of double income families in Singapore, more families are able to have the means to afford these additional lessons and enrichment classes to help their child along with their schoolwork.
Another reason why the math tuition industry is specifically thriving in Singapore is the emergence of math questions with problem solving nature (vis-a-vis questions requiring procedural knowledge) meant to encourage problem solving mindset and conceptual understanding in and through the learning of math. Singapore is known to have one of the highest mathematics standards in the world, and even math questions from the Primary School Leaving Examinations in Singapore have made their way around social media as questions so tough that even adults end up struggling to solve them. With math problems in our children’s homework becoming more challenging, many parents seek tuition as a means to help their children perform better in math. After all, we all want our children to achieve their maximum potential to secure a brighter future. There is also an increasing trend of parents requesting for help in their children’s math homework, as the complexities of math questions might be something that they personally struggle a lot with. With all these factors in play, it really is no surprise to anyone that the math tuition industry in Singapore grew so fast over the recent years, and is likely to grow even more in the future.
With a thriving math tuition industry, there are also definitely many more tuition job opportunities in the market. If you are interested in imparting your knowledge to the younger generation, and to help kids along in understanding math, then becoming a math tutor is definitely something that you can consider! If you are wondering if being a math tutor in Singapore will be sufficient to pay your bills and support your lifestyle, read on, as we will be sharing more about the typical rates that math tutor can usually demand from their students in Singapore.
Typical tuition rates in Singapore
The amount that you can reasonably ask for as a math tutor in Singapore is dependent on a range of different factors and can vary on a case by case basis. However, there are general industry standards in the market, and if you are curious as to how much you will be able to earn as a math tutor, do read on as we will break it all down for you.
While the rates that you can ask for depend on numerous factors, the two main factors determining how much you will likely be paid are your qualification levels and the type of tuition that you are giving.
Your education level is a key determinant as to how much you will be able to earn as a math tutor in Singapore. The math tuition industry in Singapore is saturated with individuals from a range of different academic backgrounds. While some tutors are current part time students and might only have an O level or A level certificate, there are also MOE certified teachers who decide to take a plunge into tutoring instead. Naturally, the more qualified you are, the higher the rates you would likely be able to ask for. MOE certified tutors are especially sought after as tutors, as they have gone through professional training required to become a teacher. Besides that, they also usually already have many years of teaching experience on hand, allowing them to better guide your child. Being a teacher in the formal education system before entering the tutoring world means that they would also usually have access to a collection of questions and resources that your child can practise with. All these factors make MOE certified teachers extremely popular in the tuition industry, and if you are one of them, there is a really good chance that you will be able to ask for a lot more for your tutoring services.
Type of tuition that you are giving:
The structure of your pay might also differ depending on whether you choose to give personal home tuition or decide to work at a tuition agency. For those who opt for personal home tuition, your pay will be directly linked to the number of students that you teach. Although you might be able to ask for more per student on one on one tuition session, small group private tuition might also be a good option to consider as you will be teaching multiple students each time— although the amount you can ask from each student in such a setting is typically lower than in one on one tuition session, the combined amount you get from each session might cumulatively be higher. If you join a tuition agency that helps match you to potential tutees, the tuition agency might also ask for a portion of what you are paid in exchange for hosting you on their platform, so do factor that into account if you are trying to make use of tuition agency services to gain a greater outreach and connect you to more students who need help with their math. Alternatively, if being a freelance tutor is not for you, many tutors also join tuition centres, where they are scheduled to teach a group of students under a fixed curriculum designed by the tuition centre. In such a setting, you might be paid a monthly fixed salary instead, which gives you less flexibility in how much time you would want to put into tutoring students and how much money you would want to make from tutoring students every month.
To help you along and to make sure that you are not being shortchanged, we came up with an overview of how much you can typically expect to make as a tutor in Singapore:
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How to find available math tuition assignments
If you are interested in getting into the tuition industry as a tutor, and have no idea where to start looking for potential tutees, fret not as we have it all broken down for you! There are many ways of reaching out to potential students in the market and matching up with a student is not that hard after all. As a new tutor in the market, you can definitely consider the following means to reach out to new students.
Referrals are the age old method of growing your tutee base. Word of mouth has been a proven marketing strategy. Hence, many tutors do get new students by the referrals that their current students or friends and family give. There are a number of ways to get referrals, but here are the main two. Firstly, if you are doing a great job at tutoring your current students, and they are extremely satisfied with what you are doing, they might then recommend you to their friends who are also seeking a tutor to help them along with their work. The second common way to get referred to new students is by reaching out to your family and friends and asking them if they know of anyone looking for math tutors and would like to give you a chance in tutoring their child.
Referrals is a powerful way to get new students, as each recommendation comes with a guarantee or undertone that you are a good tutor and that your current students are satisfied with your lessons. People usually place greater trust in the people they know, and a personal recommendation can be extremely convincing. Another great advantage of this way of reaching out to new students is that it is completely free, and you will not have to pay any commission to anyone for it, allowing you to maximise your earnings as a tutor.
However, referrals might not be the best way for every tutor out there. Firstly, it is an unreliable way of reaching out to new potential tutees, as not all students know of friends who are looking for a math tutor, or are willing to give these recommendations even if they are satisfied with your tutoring. There is also a natural limit as to how far these referrals might go, as they can only be made to people your students, family and friends know. Especially if you are a new tutor starting out in the market, and currently do not have any tutees on hand, it can be hard to get these referrals as no matter how great you are at teaching, you do not have any students who have gone through your lessons and are satisfied enough to refer you to someone else. In such situations, you will only be able to reach out to your friends and relatives to see if they know anyone who is looking for a math tutor, significantly limiting your reach in the market.
2) Tuition agencies
Tuition agencies are another option if you are currently trying to reach out to more potential students. Typically, this is how these agencies work— you first sign up with them, and the agency then recommends you to potential clients who put up ‘listings’ when they want to find a tutor. When you sign up with a tuition agency, you will typically have to provide details such as your academic qualifications and prior tutoring experience, and they will then match you up to students if you meet the requirements that they are requesting for. The tuition agency then takes a portion of what you are paid for your tutoring services in exchange for their service of bringing you closer to your potential clients.
If you are just starting out in the tuition business and do not know where to start or how to connect to potential students, a tuition agency can be a great help, as it will deal with all the reaching out and match you with potential students. Many parents who do not know where to start looking for tutors for their children will typically register with a tuition agency, which means that you will be able to reach a much greater range of students that can potentially all become your tutees. Compared to relying on referrals, signing up with a tuition agency can also provide a more reliable stream of student recommendations, as the agency will normally recommend you to number of students each month.
Of course, signing up with a tuition agency comes with its own downsides too. The greatest one would definitely be having to sacrifice a chunk of your earnings to them. Especially with some agencies operating by taking your entire first month tuition earnings as commission, this can amount to a huge reduction in income at the start. After all, tutoring is not an easy job, and after putting in all this effort into tutoring a kid, you definitely want to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour to the fullest. Hence, if you are thinking of signing up with a tuition agency, do get ready to sacrifice a chunk of your income from tuition to the agency. Another possible downside to signing up with a tuition agency is that unlike a personal referral, a recommendation by the tuition agency might not carry as much persuasive force that you are the right person for the job. Parents looking for tutors through the agency service typically only refer to your qualifications and experience tutoring the subject before making a decision as to whether they would want to engage you as a tutor for their child, and that can be disadvantageous to those who are just starting out and do not have any relevant experience tutoring kids.
3) Online tuition
With the advent of technology, people are increasingly looking online for everything— from e-commerce to even tuition services. Nowadays, there are online tutoring platforms available for tutors to sign up with to provide online tuition to the tutees. Tutoring sessions are conducted via the online tuition platform, and there is no need for tutors to physically meet up with their students to conduct the lessons.
Online tuition come with numerous benefits. For starters, it provides unparalleled convenience for tutors, as you will not need to travel to your tutee’s house or set up at a Starbucks to conduct your lessons. Instead, all you will need to do is login to the online tuition platform from the comforts of your home and tutor your students through the online platform. This will translate into savings on travelling, as well as time savings, freeing up more time for you to tutor more kids or relax and unwind at home. These online tuition platforms also allow you to reach a greater spectrum of students, as you will be able to provide your services to all of the students on this platform easily. The online platform then serves as a bridge for you to reach out to new students. Besides that, online tuition platforms also come with many other useful functions today, such as online class scheduling and management of student profiles, which will help you to stay organised and on top of your game.
The downsides to online tuition would also be that the online tuition service providers would also typically charge a sum for you to use their online platform, reducing how much you earn from tutoring each child. However, considering the numerous benefits that online tuition can bring to you as a tutor, this drawback is definitely worth it from our perspective.
Ultimately, which way you opt to utilise to reach out to potential tutees and expand your tuition business is highly dependent on how you like to operate and the priorities that you have. There is also no harm to using a mix of the above approaches, as it will help you to maximise your outreach and improve the chances of you succeeding in the tough tuition industry today. As time goes on and you become more established as a tutor, the options that are the best for you might change too, so do constantly look to new ways to reach out to students, and make sure that you are not stuck in the same box and confines that you build around yourself. However, if you are asking us for our opinion, we would definitely recommend online tuition, due to the multiple benefits that it brings. We also believe that this will be the future for tuition, as technology becomes more integrated into our everyday lives.
iMath— a great option for tutors seeking to provide online tuition
iMath is an online tuition platform that connects students to tutors online. Tuition sessions can be hosted online on the iMath platform, and there is a whole online community of students and tutors interacting on this platform.
Signing up with iMath as a tutor is extremely easy and fuss free. All you will have to do is to sign up online, where you will then be required to provide your personal particulars, academic results and teaching preferences. This information will then be used to help to match you up with students who are seeking help via the online tutoring platform. You will also have to upload a short video of your teaching session, which will help to check on the quality of tutors on the platform.
It is extremely easy for students to reach out to tutors on the iMath platform. Using the filter and search function, students will be able to search for available tutors who match their preferences and availability. After selecting on a tutor, they can then book the tutor for a video call, through which the lesson will be held. The iMath platform provides a “Whiteboard” in the video call session, which allows you to illustrate concepts and write down equation easily to aid your tutee in his understanding of the math problems that he is tackling. These sessions will also be recorded and stored, allowing your tutee to revisit what you have explained at any time.
You will also be able to track your confirmed sessions with your tutees easily via the iMath platform, ensuring that you are always at the top of your schedule. Gone are the days you will have to manage and track all your tuition sessions yourself— which can really be a hassle when you grow your business and teach more students. Your most recent upcoming sessions on iMath will be featured as a reminder, making sure that you do not miss out on any of them even with the busiest of schedules.
When you sign up with iMath, you can also be sure that you will be paid on time every single time. Unlike physical tuition sessions, where you might have to ask for the tuition fees personally from your students’ parents and possibly be delayed in getting paid, this will not be a problem when you sign up with iMath. The payments to tutors are made automatically, and you can easily track such payments via the tutor dashboard on the iMath app.
In fact, many tutors using the iMath online platform have nothing but good things to say about it. Ryan Wee, an NIE trained tutor, states that “iMath is a strong testament of weaving on-the-go curriculum support into mobile technology. After using this app, I no longer have to rush from place to place to teach. I can do all the teaching from the comfort of my home. Thanks to iMath, I'm now able to spend more time at home and still help my students in Math!”. Besides that, another tutor using the iMath platform, Noh Danial, also claims that “As a full time tutor, iMath has allowed me to connect with my students with no geographical restriction. I am able to render real time help and do a step by step guided explanations to my students easily. This trumps snapshots of a solution to a math problem anytime. The user interface is simple and straightforward to use. So no hassle at all.”
Besides the great reviews given by tutors who are using the iMath platform, iMath has also gotten amazing reviews from the students on the platform, who find it greatly effective in helping them along with their math struggles in school. As a tutor, this is great to know, as we ultimately want the students that we teach to thrive, learn and do better in school. It is definitely a good sign that the students are satisfied with this online platform and are responding well to this alternate way of tutoring.
If you are interested in starting out as a tutor, we really hope that this article has helped you to get a better understanding of the tuition scene in Singapore, from the perspective of a tutor! Signing up with iMath is extremely easy, and will be a great kick start to your career as a tutor. There really is no downside to trying it out, so if you are still contemplating about it, do sign up to experience the benefits and convenience of the iMath online platform first hand for yourself! We wish all aspiring tutors the best start of their career, and all current tutors greater development in this competitive industry!