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. We’ve also seen it in the 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 is 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.
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.
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 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; 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
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 present 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.
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!