- Why Does Price Matter When You're a Tutor?
- How Much Will You Charge Your Client’s per Hour?
- Tutoring Rates by Subject
- What Effect Does Your Location Have On Your Rate System?
- How Does Your Experience Affect Your Tutoring Rates?
- When to Change your Tutoring Rates?
- Other Factors of Pricing Tutoring Lessons
- Start Tutoring Today
Private tutoring in Canada has grown significantly in the last ten years. In Ontario alone, it grew from 26% of households in 2012 to 35% in 2015. It's no surprise tutoring is growing. Tutors provide the perfect service for those looking to learn a new skill or improve in a subject. We’ve also seen a growing number of private tutoring companies that have expanded across the country like Kumon, Oxford Learning and Mathnasium. If you are considering becoming a tutor, you couldn’t ask for a better time to start. Math tutoring and academic support of any kind are in demand. There is also coaching in sports and the arts, which parents encourage in their kids, given the many long-term benefits.
Other potential tutors are certified teachers who are looking to supplement their income. Recently retired teachers and younger teachers, who are just starting their careers tend to gravitate to tutoring. Their teaching experience makes them an invaluable academic resource to parents whose children are struggling.
Sports aficionados are in good company because their services as hockey trainers, horseback riding instructors or tennis coaches are also in high demand. Their rates are generally higher than the academic tutors because of the number of resources needed to train in their respective disciplines.
Find online teaching jobs on Superprof today.
Professional artists are also finding the world of private tuition a lucrative revenue stream. Artists such as musicians, actors/actresses, singers or visual artists provide individualized training and their own profound experience. These are the qualities found in only the best tutors.
Then there are the student and undergraduate tutors who make peer tutoring a great part-time job. While they are currently enrolled in school, students share their recent academic experience with other kids who are following in their footsteps. They provide homework help, study skills and test prep they’ve learned to achieve academic success and give it to their tutees.
There are many quantifiable benefits in this career.
Tutors have a lot of freedom and flexibility in their careers. They can pick their own hours and work where they want to work. Tutors get to be their own boss and they only have to listen to themselves. Tutoring really is the perfect full-time, part-time or casual job. As a tutor, you'll provide a valuable service and get to make a difference for each student you interact with. It's not something every job can offer.
Flexible hours, adjustable rates, you can work for yourself or be part of a tutoring centre. You can provide home tutoring, do group study sessions or tutor online.
With so many possibilities, let’s get down to the most important aspect of any new business.
Learn more about what rate you should charge for tutoring based upon your subject.
Why Does Price Matter When You're a Tutor?
The price is often what your potential clients will see first. Of course, your experience and knowledge matter, but that's often the second thing clients look at. We're guilty of looking at the price first. The price matters to everyone. If it's too high it becomes an issue for clients and even if it's too low clients can question it. If a client likes your price then they move on to the next part of your profile. When it comes to setting your price you need to be able to cover your expenses and be able to make a living. You don't want to undervalue yourself and you don't want to overvalue yourself. It's not easy finding the right price. We'll talk about how to set your price as a tutor so you can pay yourself fairly and be competitive with everyone else, but before we do that here are some points to think about.
Setting your price too high will immediately turn people away. They just simply can't afford your rates. If your price is higher than the average you need to have good reasons for it. You need to have the experience and knowledge to be able to charge those rates. Having no experience, but charging a higher rate won't get you any clients. You also need to think about your client. Most tutors work with students. You want to have a price that's in their range. You can by all means charge a higher rate, but you need to have the reasoning behind it.
Having your price too low brings its own set of issues. If something is too cheap, we question why it's cheap. You don't want your clients questioning your expertise. Another reason you shouldn't set your price cheap is that you need to be paid what you're worth. You don't want to end up tutoring so many clients and not be able to pay your bills. You providing a valuable service and should be paid accordingly. After reading this article you should be able to decide on the right price.
How Much Will You Charge Your Client’s per Hour?
Your rate is one of the first things potential clients see when they review your tutoring services profile. It tells them in one number whether you are average, above average or cheap. The location where you are offering your lessons is one important factor, as well as your skills and experience.
If you are average, then you must be experienced enough to charge the going rate and be relatively successful at it. If you are above average, you will eliminate some potential clients that aren’t in your price range. You must also have stellar experience and educational credentials to justify the rate. If you are below the average rate, you are typically undercutting the competition. Too low and you look unprofessional. Slightly lower than average rates will prompt a closer look at your resume to see why?
Establishing the average rate for your teaching subject, in your area, is the first thing to do when setting your fee.
There are four specific areas to consider regarding each student you plan to teach:
- The amount of preparation time needed.
- Their grade level or the expertise level is needed.
- The teaching format:
- Home tutoring or one-on-one tutoring
- Learning centres or tutoring companies
- Group tutoring
- Online tutoring
- Resources needed – equipment or training space.
Every hour you prepare for a lesson should factor in your rate. Elementary lessons may take fifteen minutes; the secondary school may take thirty minutes. Therefore, if you charge $25 for an hour session and take thirty minutes to prepare, you are making $16.68/hour.
The Level Taught
Generally, the higher the level of education required to teach the course, the more expensive the tutoring rate. However, keep an eye on the rate for your subject in your area. If it is a wealthy neighbourhood, elementary school math tutors may make as much as high school math tutors as the demand could be equally high for each.
The Teaching Format
Your tutoring program format is where you can diversify your income and add multiple types of tutoring to your repertoire.
Home tutoring is the traditional method of teaching, and it’s still a popular method for the younger set. It encourages face-to-face interaction where the teacher can pick up on their student's non-verbal communication. Personal tutoring is particularly helpful if the student struggles with understanding or has a learning challenge. One last thing, remember to factor in your travel costs and time when you home tutor.
Tutoring centres have become wildly popular over the last twenty years. Working for a tutoring agency will reduce the amount of take-home pay you receive. A benefit is your tutoring location is generally limited to one place.
If you provide group tutoring for exam preparation, homework help or study skills, you can offer a slightly reduced rate. Doing this will entice your clients to get more tutoring for less, and you will earn double/triple/quadruple your rate depending on how many students you teach. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Online tutoring is one of the fastest-growing markets in the industry. It has lots to recommend it.
- There are no commuting costs or time spent travelling.
- Your client base is global.
- Your hours are flexible, given the time zone differences.
- You can advertise for free on websites like Superprof.
- To start, you need only a computer and an internet connection.
An online tutor’s rates do tend to be slightly less than a certified teacher’s or a professional, but that is due to the amount of competition on the web and those types of tutors’ credentials.
Find out about teaching English online here.
Tutoring Rates by Subject
Before tutoring use to be only seen to teach school subjects like math or science, but in today's world, you can find a tutor for pretty much anything. There are tutors for learning to play the guitar or even learning a new language. Tutors offer an invaluable service that helps its students succeed. Everyone can benefit from a tutor whether it's to learn a new school subject or play the guitar. For anyone who has the skill to teach or wants to learn a new skill tutoring is a perfect step.
The first step when setting a rate is always checking out the competition in your area. To help you, the analysts at Superprof have compiled a list of the average cost by subject for online tutors across Canada.
Foreign Languages $27.00-$30.00
(Mandarin, French, German, Arabic, Italian, Spanish)
It’s important to keep in mind that these prices may be slightly less than you can expect to pay for individual tutoring, especially if the teacher is certified or comes with stellar credentials.
An example being, a math major at the college-level, teaching high school calculus or physics.
Then you can expect to pay closer to $50.00/hour for their services.
What Effect Does Your Location Have On Your Rate System?
Across Canada, tutoring rates differ based on several factors. Consider the socio-economic level of the area where you teach. If it is in one of the top five populated cities in Canada – Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary or Ottawa, the affluence base and the number of student’s presence will affect supply & demand.
Teachers who assist students across the country do not have a very wide gap in their pricing from Halifax to Victoria. In many ways, it takes into consideration the standard of living in each place.
The analysts at Superprof have provided us with the average online tutoring rate in each major city across the country. Have a look:
The average tutoring rate across the country is $23.49.
The highest you can expect to pay is $29 in Victoria, B.C. and the lowest is $21 in Halifax, Waterloo and Kitchener. Considering that Vancouver is the most expensive place to live in Canada and Halifax is significantly cheaper, especially when it comes to housing, this price differential makes sense.
To capture every market and eliminate your travel costs and time, consider online tutoring. The virtual learning industry is the simplest way to enter this career and sites like Superprof offer free tutor profile postings. How could it be easier?
How Does Your Experience Affect Your Tutoring Rates?
Tutoring is not a regulated industry. There are no qualifications required to become a tutor. However, those with the most experience and educational credentials will be able to charge a top rate.
There are three levels of teaching in the market:
Student Teachers: they can teach students who are generally one year or younger than them. Their experience should be good, though they will not need to master the subject. Examples are peer tutors in high school who teach English, writing skills, reading comprehension, proofreading and study strategies to elementary students.
Certified Teachers: teachers are trained in pedagogy, child psychology and effective teaching methods. Particularly good for students with learning challenges and the higher grades in secondary school. They will command better than average rates.
Professional Grade: These are the teachers who have mastered their subject matter. Professional musicians (who come with lofty certifications) and graduate students who are in a field of study that requires academic excellence. These tutors command the highest fees and generally take on the fewest students.
When to Change your Tutoring Rates?
Your tutoring rates shouldn't be the same forever. If you've been tutoring for more than 5 years your price shouldn't be the same as when you first started tutoring. You need to be charging more. We've listed above how to fairly set your prices, based on experience, location and the subject you teach, but these things change. If you move to a more expensive city your prices need to go up. You need to be able to cover your expenses and pay yourself. If you're going from a small town to a big city your cost of living will be a lot higher. You need to price your tutoring sessions accordingly.
Another big factor in price is experience. Having more experience means you have more to offer your students. It also means your price should be higher than someone with less experience. As you continue to tutor you'll gain more experience and so you need to charge more. You shouldn't be charging the same when you first started to when you have 5 years' experience. After 1 year or 2 years, you should feel comfortable enough to raise your rates.
A lot of clients understand when you have to start charging more. If they're an existing client they already see the value in your services and most will be pleased to stay with you after you raise your rates. Raising your rates is important for two reasons, The first reason is being paid what your worth and the second reason comes when you're too busy. You don't want to always be tutoring clients day in and day out. You want to be able to have time for yourself. When your client load becomes too full and you find yourself working longer and longer days you need to raise your rates. The truth is not everyone will stick with you when you charge more, but a lot of clients will. This going to allow you to work less and still be paid well enough. Knowing when to charge more is an important step as a tutor.
Other Factors of Pricing Tutoring Lessons
We don't want to bombard you with pricing information, especially if you're a new tutor entering the business, but it's such an important topic we want you to have all the information you need. We've talked about the main factors of price, but something you can't forget about is your expenses. If your expenses are outweighing your pay then you're not making any money. Being aware of everything you spend will ultimately help you set your prices.
The most common factors you'll spend on your business:
- Prep Time
Being aware of these 4 costs at the start can help you manage them. There are two that are most often overlooked which is prep time and commuting. Prep time is the amount of time it takes you to be ready for your session. It could be when you're setting up your workspace or creating a lesson plan. This needs to be factored into your pricing because it's time you're spending. For instance, if you charge $20 an hour and it takes you 1 hour to prep you're really making $10 an hour because it's taking you 2 hours for that session.
The next factor is commuting. Some tutors will drive back and forth to different clients' houses. This is a great feature to provide to your clients, but if it's not factored into your pricing it can end up costing you money. It also puts a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle and then your paying for gas on top of everything else. As a tutor you can charge for the kilometres you drive. For instance, this could be $0.45 a km. You can also write this off as a business expense, but talk with your tax professional to find out more.
You don't want these factors to go unnoticed. You want to think about what you're going to spend on them now so you accurately create your prices. An easy way to help reduce cost is by working online. We've touched upon online tutoring throughout this article, but it's a great way to keep your expenses low. For online tutoring, you would just need a laptop and a good internet connection to get started. It's something to consider if you want to reduce your expenses.
Start Tutoring Today
There is much to consider when setting your private tutoring rate: supply and demand in your area and your subject, how you will deliver your lessons, whether it be face-to-face, online or in study groups, and the resources you need to do so. The one constant is that it is an industry that is on the rise. The jobs are there globally. The rate paid will allow you a tidy sum as a side hustle, or a well-paid career that has many options to grow your income.
If you would like more detailed information on becoming a tutor check out this article.
Good luck and go get those tutor jobs!