Private Tutor Vs. Teacher: What’s the Difference?

Private Tutor vs Teacher
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If you’re interested in education and helping others, you might consider becoming a teacher or a private tutor. While there are some similarities between teachers and tutors, there are also many differences. 

Understanding the distinctions between these professions’ job responsibilities, work environment and skills can help you decide which career may be the best fit for you.

In this article, we discuss the primary similarities and differences between a private tutor versus a teacher.

What Is A Private Tutor?

A private tutor can be a great help to students who are struggling in school or who want to improve their grades. Tutors can work with students individually or in small groups, and they typically specialize in teaching a particular subject or age group. 

For example, you may be able to find a tutor who specializes in teaching geometry or English to ninth-grade students. Tutors may travel to the residential homes of their clients to provide their tutoring sessions or work at a school or online tutoring platform. 

When you’re looking for a tutor, it’s important to find someone who is experienced and knowledgeable in the subject you need help with. You should also make sure that the tutor is someone you feel comfortable working with. A good tutor can make a big difference in your academic success.

What Is A Teacher?

The role of a teacher is to educate students in a classroom setting. Learning plans and assignments are designed and implemented according to the learning styles and abilities of students. Most teachers specialize in a grade level or subject, like tenth graders or English.

Differences Between A Private Tutor Vs. Teacher

Although both private tutors and teachers are educational professionals, there are numerous distinctions between these two careers. The most obvious difference between the two is that teachers work within the educational system while private tutors work independently. 

Another key difference is that teachers must follow a curriculum while private tutors can design their own lesson plans. Here are some other key differences to consider: 

Job Duties: Private Tutor Vs.Teacher

As a teacher or private tutor, you likely have some common job responsibilities. These include creating lesson plans, evaluating your students’ needs and abilities, giving out assignments and setting learning goals.

You also probably have some differences in your job responsibilities. For example, tutors usually work with students individually or in small groups, while teachers educate classrooms of approximately 20 to 30 students simultaneously. 

This distinction leads to other differences as well. Because they have fewer students, a private tutor can customize their lesson plans more for each student’s needs. A teacher also typically has to perform more classroom management responsibilities, like setting behavioral rules and reminding students to respect class time.

Average Salary: Private Tutor Vs. Teacher

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average salary for a tutor is $41,780 per year

Teachers typically earn more, but the average income for teachers varies based on where they work. For example, elementary school teachers earn an average salary of $60,940 per year, while high school teachers receive on average $62,870 each year. 

Also consider that geographic location, years of experience, and education can affect tutors’ and teachers’ salaries.

Work Environments: Private Tutor Vs. Teacher

Most teachers work in classrooms at a specific school, whether that school is privately or publicly run.

In comparison, private tutors usually pursue self-employment and can meet their students in a range of locations, such as at the student’s house or online. Some tutors may also work through academic agencies.

How to choose whether to become a teacher or tutor

If you’re undecided about whether to become a teacher or tutor, here’s some advice that can help you make a decision.

Evaluate your qualifications

Assess what education qualifications, such as degrees or expertise in certain academic fields, you already have. While both teachers and tutors are typically experts in their chosen academic discipline, a teacher also needs credentials, like a degree or certificate, to demonstrate their expertise. If you already have credentials like this, then teaching might be a good career option for you. Professionals who have fewer qualifications or are still earning their credentials, meanwhile, may want to become tutors instead.

Become an Online Tutor

Becoming a tutor can be a great way to help students who are struggling in school, and it can also be a way to improve your own skills. If you’re undecided about whether becoming a teacher or tutor is the right choice for you, we hope this article has helped you make a decision. Symposium is an online tutoring platform that connects students with qualified private tutors from around the world.


If you’re looking for a way to make some extra money, becoming an online tutor may be the perfect opportunity for you. All it takes is some patience and a willingness to help others learn. And if you’re new to the business, don’t worry – Symposium can help connect you with students who need your help. So what are you waiting for? Start tutoring today!

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