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Ex-teacher earns $15,000 a month as tutor

Ex-teacher earns $15,000 a month as tutor
Edvantage | Mon Sep 27 2010
She cut her working hours in half but is now earning more than double her original monthly salary. Is giving tuition “easy money”?

When Ms Janice Chuah, 36, first started tutoring students in January last year, she had only five students and earned $1,000 a month.

But she decided to quit her job as a primary school teacher to spend more time with her three young sons, aged between three to nine years old. She had won several awards for teaching when she was still with the Ministry of Education.

According to a report in Shin Min, Ms Chuah soon decided to give up her full-time job and take up tutoring, and in the process managed to cut her working hours by half.

Where she used to work 40 hours a week, Ms Chuah says she now works only 20 hours a week, but her monthly income has more than doubled.

The mathematics tutor now has more than 50 students, and earns more than $15,000 a month, barely two years after her career switch.

She says she does not advertise her services, but relies on word of mouth from the good performance and testimonials of her students.

Her lessons are conducted in a group discussion format, with six to eight students in each class.

Ms Chuah says she helps students understand the mathematical concepts and does not just help them solve their math problems.

Shin Min also reported that the tuition industry is a booming one in Singapore. According to statistics, parents spent $820 million on tuition in 2008. Tutors interviewed also said their income has increased by at least 30 per cent in recent years.

At least 10 ‘super tutors’ in Singapore

According to Mr Tong Yee, co-founder of education consultancy School of Thought, Singapore has at least 10 “super tutors” who earn more than $1 million a year.

He reckons that there are about 25 other top-earning tutors in Singapore who earn about $200,000 a year.

Mr Tong says he knows an economics tutor who teaches 70 students every weekend and earns $55,000 a month.

A Straits Times report also stated that a majority of tutors do not advertise, so as not to draw the attention of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

However, one such “super tutor”, Mr Phang Yu Hon, 43, openly disclosed his earnings in a recent interview with RazorTV.

The former research engineer at the Ministry of Defence told RazorTV that he earned more than $520,000 last year, and had to pay about $85,000 in taxes. He expects his annual income this year to hit $700,000.

Not such an easy job

With so many tutors being high-income earners, it is not surprising that tutoring is seen as an easy job with high returns.

Mr Kelvin Ong, the founder of AristoCare centre, an enrichment centre for gifted students, only admits about 10 students every year. But he works fewer hours and earns 30 per cent more than when he was working as a gifted education teacher at a boys’ school.

However, Mr Ong says tutoring is not “easy work”, as it is often perceived to be.

Being a tutor is a stressful job, with no year-end bonuses or incentives, said Mr Ong, and a tutor may lose all his students if they cannot perform.

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Reader Feedback

8 Responses to “Ex-teacher earns $15,000 a month as tutor”

  1. Janice Chuah says:


    The photo posted above may create the impression that the lady featured is Janice Chuah.

    Kindly contact me regarding this matter.

    Janice Chuah

  2. admin says:

    Hi you are welcome Janice.

    I was thinking of asking you to pen an exclusive article for our jobless community.

    is it possible?

  3. Janice Chuah says:

    Will revert via email

  4. karen says:


    I am a full time teacher and would love to consider tutoring. How would i best go about this? Any tips?
    Thanks karen

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