Private Teacher/Tutor Kaiako Whaiaro

Private teachers/tutors teach a specific skill or subject to individuals or small groups of children or adults.

Private teachers/tutors may do some or all of the following:

  • plan lessons according to students' ability
  • teach students the subject knowledge and skills they need
  • assess and mark student work
  • keep up to date with education curriculum changes and assessment methods
  • keep up to date with technology, such as apps that enhance teaching 
  • prepare students for exams or assessments
  • organise student performances or exhibitions
  • keep records and write reports on students
  • meet with parents, whānau/family or caregivers to discuss students' progress.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for private teachers/tutors includes:

  • teaching or coaching adults or school students
  • work with children, such as youth leader work.

Useful experience for private teachers/tutors in the arts also includes:

  • playing, performing and composing – for music tutors
  • working in theatre, film and radio – for drama tutors
  • working as an artist – for art tutors
  • performing on stage – for dance tutors.

Personal Qualities

Private teachers/tutors need:

  • good communication skills and the ability to relate well to students from a range of backgrounds
  • good organisational and time management skills
  • to be understanding, patient and tolerant
  • to be supportive and positive
  • to be enthusiastic and open-minded
  • to be good at networking with other teachers. 


Private teachers/tutors need to have:

  • teaching skills, and some knowledge of different teaching methods and learning styles
  • knowledge of the subject they teach
  • knowledge of the New Zealand curriculum if teaching subjects such as maths to school students
  • curriculum assessment and planning skills
  • skill in evaluating students' progress.


Private teachers/tutors:

  • often work part-time in the afternoons, evenings and weekends
  • work in a variety of places, including schools, commercial premises, community centres and their own or students' homes
  • may travel locally, to teach individual or small group lessons.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include English, languages, maths, music and visual arts.

Private Teacher/Tutors can earn around $28-$39 per hour.

Pay for private teachers/tutors varies depending on skills, experience and location.

  • University students who work as private teachers/tutors can earn around $23 an hour.
  • Private teachers/tutors working for a company who have a degree and/or a teaching qualification usually earn between $28 and $39 an hour.
  • Self-employed private teachers/tutors with a degree and/or a teaching qualification can earn between $60 and $80 an hour. 

Source: NZ Tutoring Association, 2020. 

Private teachers/tutors may progress to a management position, or run their own business.

Private teachers/tutors may specialise in a particular subject including:

  • the arts, such as art, dance, drama or music
  • academic subjects, such as maths or English
  • a language, such as te reo Māori or French.

Years Of Training

0-3 years of training usually required.

There are no specific requirements to become a private teacher/tutor. However, many employers prefer to hire private teachers/tutors who have or are studying towards a degree in their subject area, or who have a teaching qualification or proof of completed specialist examinations.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children. 

Private Teacher/Tutor