In the expensive city of Singapore, everyone is working hard and smart to achieve financial success, so that they can provide for themselves, and their families. In this case, is being a piano teacher a viable option? Is it sensible and responsible to become a piano teacher instead of something more mainstream such as becoming an accountant or engineer? You will be surprised to know that many private piano teachers in Singapore make much more money than these typical mainstream types of career people.
First of all, when it comes to deciding a career path, there are three key elements you want to consider for the long term. The first will be starting income, the second will be growth, and the third will be freedom in no particular order.
When you become a private piano teacher in Singapore, you are essentially self employed. This means that income starts from zero. Even if you were to compare this to a toilet cleaner who gets around $1000 a month before CPF, you will lose. However, as you can already guess, there are way more things to consider than starting pay.
The second will be growth. If you were to compare to a typical, average engineer or accountant who graduated from either a local Polytechnic or University, they typically increase their income by approximately 5 to 10% a year for estimated 5 years, after which, they will hit a glass ceiling and they must become the next tier to see any further increase – e.g. become a manager. Most typical locals only become managers at the age of 32 to 35. They will then see tiny increases in income for 3-7 years, then they will hit another glass ceiling. Most people never exceed beyond here except perhaps less than 0.1% of the entire population. This means that most Polytechnic and University graduates start at around $2000 to $3500 for their first job, and see an increase up till $4000 to $5500 after around 5 years, and then see and increase up till around $7000 to $8000 as a manger and stagnate there forever. Keep in mind, this is not the only consideration, let us now look at freedom.
The third criteria you should always consider is freedom. As an employee or manager, you will always be working 5 or 6 days a week, and overtime is usually not decided by you but by a boss. Usually this means working around 8 to 12 hours a day, depending on your job. To go on holidays with your family, you will need to apply leave, which you may get around 7 to 14 days a year. If you are sick or late for work, your boss will fire you if he doesn’t quite like you. Office politics also make a lot of Singaporeans fall sick yearly due to unnecessary stress on top of already existing workplace conditions.
Now, so how does all these compare to taking up a career as a private piano teacher in Singapore?
Starting income wise, you will be starting lower than expected. When it comes to growth, it is really dependent on you. If you work hard, willing to work and teach well, actively seek out students instead of relying on students coming to you, or perhaps even join a private piano teacher-student agency such as SG LEARN PIANO, you will be able to grow at 100% per year! You could start at $1500 per month by the end of 6 to 12 months, but then suddenly grow up to $3000 per month, then $6000 and beyond in a very short period of time. This is the exponential effect that only a self employed person can experience, that no employees will be able to match by far. Also, when it comes to freedom, you are free to fire clients. If there is a problematic student, just politely decline them and stop working with them. You will still have more or less the same income. In fact, you will have more income because you can then put the time into getting and teaching a better piano student in Singapore. This is definitely not the case when you have a job. When you have a job, if you fire your boss or your boss fires you, your salary drops to $0 income immediately.