The private tutoring market in Canada has grown significantly in the last ten years, from a near revenue standstill to a projected $227.2B in 2022.

The Canadian government does not track statistics regarding how many students are currently enrolled in tutoring centres or those who have private tutoring. However, Kumon Learning Centres reported there were 28,000 students registered in their Ontario math tutoring programs in October 2017.

With the tutor demand peaking in Canada and around the world,

people are jumping into the industry as a brand-new career

 or a lucrative side hustle.

Who are the most likely and potentially best-paid tutors out there? Firstly, certified teachers are some of the most sought after and well-paid private tutors. By and large, the teachers who start a tutoring service are retired or newer teachers who are supplementing their income.

Next in line of those becoming a tutor, are the professionals who have years of experience or credentials that outstrip the average person in their field. Examples are professional musicians or working actors/actresses who use the flexibility of their careers to add teaching to their revenue streams.

Lastly, students are excellent peer tutors whose academic success and knowledge of the current curriculum make them ideal candidates. The one downside for students is they don’t command the highest fees due to their relative lack of teaching experience. However, the online tutoring market has made it possible for many to gain online teaching jobs, references and the tutor training they need to charge a competitive rate.

Websites such as Superprof are opening the door to this virtual learning environment and providing tutors with a free platform to advertise their services globally.

Find out information about teaching English as a second language.

Dancer in the ballet
Dancers, musicians and other performers appreciate the flexible schedule of private tutoring. Source: Pixabay

In this kind of economy, there is no such thing as free tutoring. Sites like Superprof are very helpful when deciding what rate you should charge your students. That’s our next goal. Finding the right rate to charge for both academic tutoring, the arts and the various grade levels.

Check out our article to find out more about how much to charge for private tutoring.

What Do You Need to Consider When Setting Your Tutoring Rate?

There is a multitude of variables to consider when deciding your fee.

  • Location
  • Your experience level
  • The student’s grade (elementary, high school, college-level)
    • Amount of preparation time needed
  • What format is it?
    • Home tutoring
    • Tutoring online
    • Group tutoring or study groups
    • One-on-one tutoring
    • Tutoring programs
    • Tutoring centre
  • Subject
  • Resources needed – equipment or practice area

There’s a lot to consider. You may be asking yourself, why is it so complicated? Your rate reflects the value you place on your services. It’s also how your potential clients perceive your value. If you slash your fee and try to be the lowest priced math tutor in Toronto, you undervalue your service and tell the marketplace that you are not worth even the average math tutors' wages. You want to cover your expenses (travel, prep time, materials) and make a decent living.

What’s the first step in this process?

What subject are you teaching/coaching? Then check out the pricing you see online for private tutors (through Superprof or on Google) in that subject.

From there, filter your search to include those with the same experience as you and in your city. Your location matters because where you teach will often affect the rate you can charge. It all comes down to supply and demand.

Parents with a significant net worth, whose children are in private school, invest heavily in their child’s education. The demand for tutors in large cities with private schools is significant. Smaller towns may have less demand as the income base is lower; however, check to see how many tutors there are in your area of expertise. If you are the only trigonometry tutor in a 50 KM radius, your rate just went up!

What Tutors Charge for Specific Subjects

We’ve compiled, with Superprof’s help, a list of the average rates for all the most popular tutoring subjects in Canada.

Keep in mind; this is just a starting point. Adjust the rate for your region, experience, grade taught and how you deliver the lesson (in person, online, groups).

Math and Science

The average hourly rate for a private math or science tutor in Canada is $17.50.

Homework help, study skills and test preparation are all elements of the best tutors. Source: Visualhunt
Homework help, study skills and test preparation are all elements of the best tutors. Source: Visualhunt

The sciences are commanding the highest rates in this category, though I suspect it is because they are taken only at the secondary school level in Canada. High school math can be as much as $50/hour for a private teacher or a university graduate of a math program.

Economics

$16.00

Chemistry

$19.00

Physics

$19.00

Mathematics

$16.00

Biology

$19.00

The Humanities

English and writing tutors are the subject leading the pack in the humanities. It’s important to remember that these rates originate from the online tutoring services sector. The rates would likely double if they were taught one-on-one or by a certified teacher, for high school or college tutoring students.

English

$22.00

History

$20.00

Geometry

$19.00

 

Languages

The modern languages are a lucrative source of teaching income, outstripping math science and the humanities. Likely because the number of quality tutors available is far less than the demand. Mandarin is the third most popular language to learn after French, as China is expected to be an even more dominant player in future international business.

Parents are preparing their children to be able to operate in the global economy

and give them the academic resources to have long term success.

Mandarin, German, Arabic, Russian, French, Italian

Spanish

$27.00 - $30.00

Professional level subjects

The most complex subjects need the academic skills of a professional. Source: Visualhunt
The most complex subjects need the academic skills of a professional. Source: Visualhunt

These courses are taught at the university, college-level and even graduate school level. As a result, it is hard to find a tutor with the proper education and experience. Therefore, Lower supply = Higher Rate.

Civil Law

$28.00

Criminal Law

$30.00

Psychology

$21.00

Sociology                                         $20.00

Music

Music tuition can be a worthwhile endeavour as the average rate is $35/hour. The range of rates for the different instruments is not immediately available, given that Superprof just launched in Canada. However, we can assume the same rate variables are at play here as well.

The more advanced the student and the more difficult the material,

tuition rates will climb.

How Does the Grade Level Being Taught Affect Your Rates?

How much you can charge is directly affected by the sector of school you are teaching and the level of difficulty of the subject. Concerning subject difficulty, there are three levels to consider:

Beginners: are being introduced to the subject or the instrument. The instructor need not have the highest credentials but be at least at the intermediate level themselves. For tutoring these classes one can either provide individualized training or group sessions. Feedback is consistent but need not be too focused. Marking and lesson prep is minimal. The cost for the average session is just below the average subject rate.

Intermediate: the teacher is expected to have a more advanced level of knowledge or credentials than the student who has mastered the subject fundamentals. More lesson preparation time is required, marking, test prep and study strategies for the student. The rate charged is average or slightly above. Examples of this type are calculus, anatomy and physiology, social and behavioural sciences.

Advanced: tutors for this level must have mastered the subject and can provide deep knowledge and breadth of experience. Lessons are complicated and customized to the student’s advanced ability. The feedback required must be detailed and give the student a clear plan where they are doing well and what they need to do to progress further. Only the most qualified tutors can provide supplemental instruction to these students. They are in short supply. Therefore, they attract the highest rates.

Tutoring programs in either a learning centre and home tutoring is proven to lead to student success. Source: Visualhunt
Tutoring programs in either a learning centre and home tutoring are proven to lead to student success. Source: Visualhunt

Yes and No. It isn’t a very comforting answer, but the truth is - it depends.

On what? Generally, the harder the subject is to teach, the more complex and demanding, the higher the rate. Unless, of course, you live in an area where there are parents who want their children tutored from the earliest grades forward. Then the demand is high for primary student tutoring, and those rates will compete with secondary school rates.

Check out our article on how your skills and experience should impact your tutoring rates.

What Other Factors Affect the Amount You Can Charge?

Apart from supply and demand, the other most common factor that will affect your tutoring rate is what resources do you need to teach?

For example, in horseback riding, students are paying for not only their teacher’s time but the care and well-being of the horse, the stable, equipment and lands. Fees for equestrians are considerable because there is much to be added to the cost of the lesson.

Horseback riding lessons are dear and require specialized training by appointment only. Source: Pixabay
Horseback riding lessons are dear and require specialized training by appointment only. Source: Pixabay

Many factors go into deciding the best rate for your tutoring students. Hopefully, this article gave you insight into the most important elements to consider, and you now have the confidence to move forward with the best rate for your skillset and location. Good luck!

If you would like more detailed information on becoming a tutor and setting your price check out these articles.

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Carrie

I am a Freelance Writer from Toronto with two teenage boys who keep me laughing and perpetually learning.