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Tutor vs Teacher: Difference Between Tutoring and Teaching

Table of contents

Knowing the difference between tutoring and teaching makes it much easier to choose. Both the tutor and teacher teach, but they use different approaches. So, how can you decide what’s right for you?

These two educators have seven key differences, plus a few subtle distinctions. Who teaches what comes down to occupational and educational qualifications, subjects, teaching times, locations, class size, and students’ needs?

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The difference between teacher and tutor education will soon become obvious to you. This teacher vs tutor guide highlights the people and their roles. But it also looks at tutoring vs. teaching and who benefits most from which system.

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First, let’s break down the difference between the two methods in a table.

The Tutor-Teacher Difference 

Use the comparison table below to help decide whether to go with a tutor or teacher career. We’ll get into the details of these distinctions in a moment.

Offers a more casual, flexible style of education. Provides students with formal education.
No formal qualifications are needed. Must have formal teaching qualifications.
Teaches one-to-one or small groups of less than 20. Teaches classes, usually from 20 students upwards.
Free to tailor lessons to meet the learner’s needs. Teachers must adhere to the educational curriculum.
Opportunities to pay attention to struggling/demanding students. Cannot give individual students undivided attention.
Flexible times and Locations. Fixed teaching times and locations.
Lower earning potential. Higher long-term earning potential.

Let’s go over the difference between a tutor and a teacher in more detail, starting with the descriptions of each role.

Roles of an Effective Tutor

These are private educators who may specialize in one or several subjects. They tend to be flexible with the educational needs of students and the methods used. Indeed, they tailor the class to meet specific needs in one-to-one and small-group settings.

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Those who work through an agency usually need to produce a high school diploma or higher qualification to work with students. Freelancers don’t need any formal qualifications. They must build a good reputation and receive positive feedback to advance their careers.

Child Coaching Services

Anyone can hire private educators to learn anything at a time and place that fits their schedule. Parents often employ personal coaches for their kids. It’s usually to help a child falling behind on a subject at school. Out-of-school tuition is most common for math, physics, English, biology, & Chemistry.

The best educators know how to make math tutoring fun for kids and strike interest in all those otherwise dull subjects.

Adult Coaching Services

Adult Coaching Services

Adult tutoring falls into two categories, i.e., recreational and educational. Even older people need to learn new skills or obtain further qualifications to advance their careers. Training older workers benefit the employee, employers, and broader society.

Private mentors must be flexible. Moreover, they know how to structure a tutoring session to meet the learner’s specific needs and expectations.

So, what is the difference between a teacher and a tutor from a career angle?

Roles of an Effective School Teacher

Most teachers educate students from school classrooms to a set timetable. Unlike tutors, they need at least a bachelor’s degree to work. They are flexible but can’t stray too far from the school syllabus. The average class size in the US is 20 students, but it can also exceed 30.

Now let’s look at teaching vs. tutoring.

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Difference Between Tutoring and Teaching

Tutoring is an area of education whereby the person coaching is skilled in a specific area. Those skills can be formal or informal, officially obtained, or self-taught.

Teaching is the combined sharing of acquired knowledge and experience organized within a strict discipline. It pays attention to the needs and experiences of the learner.

Tuition Vs. Tutoring 

There’s often confusion between tuition and tutoring. Tuition has two meanings. One offers education to individuals or small groups, while the other is money charged, as in tuition fees. And tutoring is private educational support from an expert.

Responsibilities of a School Teacher

Responsibilities of a School Teacher

A teacher’s responsibilities are far-reaching. They can vary between schools, the courses taught, and the educator’s subject(s). Still, there are shared responsibilities across the board. All teachers work to national curriculum guidelines. They assess and report student behaviors, collaborate with parents or guardians, and more.

American polymath Benjamin Franklin once pointed out the three crucial aspects of educating. It’s a powerful lesson from the learner to the educator:

  1. Tell me, and I forget
  2. Teach me, and I remember
  3. Involve me, and I learn

Responsibilities of a Private Tutor

The primary responsibilities of tutors are to coach and motivate students to improve existing skills or learn new ones. In addition, they must give constructive criticism, highlight strengths, and draw attention to weaknesses. More generally, the personal coach helps students rise above their educational challenges.


The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, or NCES, said the national average teacher’s salary for 2019-2020 was $63,645. The salary of private tutors is much harder to predict. One of the major US job boards averages the hourly pay at $22 and $44,781 /year for full-timers.

However, SAT, ACT, and other specialist coaches can earn more. For example, the ACT tutoring cost per hour can range from $95 to $250.


There are three basic requirements to become a teacher:

    1. Enroll in a bachelor’s degree program
    2. Demonstrate you can meet the basic competence levels required
    3. Partake in student teaching programs


Teachers need to be educated at a bachelor’s degree level or higher. And they must take and pass the teacher certification test to begin their careers.

Freelance tutors can work on occupational qualifications alone. But they must have the knowledge, experience, and ability to mentor if they’re to succeed.

The world needs a good educator, whichever path you take. Research suggests that the secret behind high-achieving students is brilliant mentors.

Key Takeaways

You now know the differences between teaching and tutoring. The latter has more control over work-life, including the style of tutors’ clothing and general dress. They choose the hours worked and have more flexibility in their approach.

But if you’re after a solid, rewarding career, job security, and a decent pension, then teaching will be a better choice. Go to any of these tutoring platforms and send your resume.


Is Tutoring Considered Teaching?

It is teaching as it educates the student, but not in the traditional sense. This way of educating affords the learner uninterrupted quality time. It’s more flexible, intimate, and focused than conventional education.

What Qualifies Me as a Tutor?

You are qualified if you say so. That’s as long as you can deliver what the students need and expect from your tuition.


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