English tutor job description

Written by erik nielsen
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English tutor job description
English tutors help students improve their written and oral English skills (student image by Ivanna Buldakova from Fotolia.com)

Schools and other organisations all over the world seek English tutors. English tutors assist students of the English language with conversational and written English. Opportunities as an English tutor are abundant as English is among the most commonly spoken languages in the world.

Job Types

A variety of institutions employ English tutors. Schools all over the world are the most common employers of English tutors, for both classroom and private tutoring. Businesses outside English-speaking countries often hire English tutors to assist employees in learning English to facilitate growth into English speaking markets. English tutors also work freelance for individuals who wish to improve their English skills, or for families who wish to educate their children, or the whole family, in English.


For all job types, the tasks are relatively the same, save for a few exceptions when tutoring a whole class. There are two components to tutoring: writing and speaking. English tutors clarify and answer questions students have regarding their written English. Tutors also edit, comment on, and provide constructive criticism regarding students’ written work. Where speaking is concerned, tutors must speak clearly and enunciate for the benefit of the student while maintaining a natural and conversational tone, especially with beginners. Equally important, as an English tutor you must actively create a trusting atmosphere for your students.


The first and foremost qualification you must possess as an English tutor is fluent English, in both speaking and writing. Further, employers often prefer native English speakers. Generally, employers look to see if you have a college degree before hiring and favour applicants who have previous English tutoring experience. If you attend a school, you can participate in a tutoring program in your school without those previous qualifications. If you plan on tutoring abroad, acquiring a certificate for teaching English as a second language is beneficial.


English tutors must exhibit a variety of skills. Strong communication skills, both written and oral, are vital to providing students with the best help. Patience is of the utmost importance—students may not be fluent English speakers and will thus need time to formulate thoughts and speech. A successful and inspiring tutor will have a positive and encouraging attitude that makes the student feel confident and competent.


English tutor pay varies widely depending on employer, country, experience and the hours you work. Many English tutor positions are for volunteers only. For these positions, you are not paid an hourly wage or salary; however, you may receive a stipend, room and board or meals depending on the program. Some organisations ask you to pay a fee for the opportunity to teach English abroad in non-English speaking countries, although these programs typically provide living arrangements and food. Paid positions pay between £3 and £26 an hour. The range is wide because on the high end, some wealthy individuals or businesses pay top dollar for experienced private tutors; on the low end, countries or schools with few resources are unable to pay any more.

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