Supply and demand influence the price of everything, including private computer courses.
Are you considering teaching a computing class privately or online using your computer or laptop and webcam?
Are you new to the world of tutoring and wondering how much you should charge for an hour of computer classes?
A lot of things need to be taken into consideration. You need to set a fair rate that reflects a number of different factors. You can't charge the same for basic skills or an introductory personal computer literacy class as you would for more advanced classes like helping those studying computer science at university.
To decide what the rates for your private IT tutorials should be, here’s some useful advice.
Determine Your Rates by Considering Your Competitors’ Rates
Are you about to take the plunge into the world of private tutorials?
We’re not asking you to do a comprehensive market study to work out your rates. However, you should have a look around at the rates of similar tutors in your area.
Generally speaking, whether a student is looking to learn computer basics like using the mouse or programming, they’ll look at the profiles for several different tutors before making a decision. Given that the rates is one of things they’ll consider, you’ll need to offer value for money.
Why pay £40 per hour when a similar tutor is offering their services for £25?
Put yourself in the shoes of your future student and do a bit of research online. Every potential learner will look at your rates. You can find plenty of examples of other private IT tutors on Superprof whose rates can vary from £15 per hour up to £50 per hour depending on what you’re looking for.
With that in mind, look for tutors offering similar classes to you and tutors who live in your area. You probably wouldn’t charge the same amount in London as you would elsewhere in the country and neither would you charge the same for digital literacy for seniors as you would for intermediate lessons.
Then there’s the competition... For certain types of tutorials, there are very few tutors around, for others, there are plenty (online computer tutorials, for example). If you’re specialised, you can charge more per hour than a general-purpose tutorial.
You should also look at ways to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s by the type of tutorial or your teaching methods, find your USP.
Follow these top tips for finding students for your IT classes!
The Profitability of Private IT Tutorials
Determining your rates doesn’t mean that you have cut your rates. In fact, if you want to make sure that your teaching business is profitable , you’ll have to make sure that you cover the costs of delivering the courses.
If you're teaching how to use Microsoft Excel, are you going to stick with Office 2010 or are you going to invest in the latest version?
Your rates don’t just depend on what you do with your students. You need to work out your costs and make sure that you’re making a profit (a spreadsheet could be useful, here):
Cost of planning tutorials (resources, correcting exercises, etc.)
Materials for the lessons (making and formatting a handout, providing ebooks, etc.)
All of these factors are fundamental to deciding the price of a class. You’ll need to work out how much you’re going to charge so that you make a profit doing it. Keep in mind that this will vary if you’re tutoring as your main source of income or for extra income at the end of every month.
If you’re teaching full-time, then you should keep in mind that your students mightn’t be available during the day. You’ll have to plan around this and make sure that you’re working when you can. By giving tutorials in the evenings and the weekends, during the school holidays, or over webcam during breakfast, you can maximise your earnings. Your students will probably have something else to do during the day (school or work) and you’ll have to account for that.
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Rates in Terms of Geographical Location
Your location will drastically affect the rates you can charge. This is where supply and demand comes back into it. In big cities, there are usually more people offering a class than there are in rural areas. However, there are also more potential customers in the big cities. Generally speaking, the rates are higher in London than they are elsewhere in the country.
Find out what qualifications you need to become an IT tutor!
Put simply, the cost of living is much higher in London than other cities and towns. Anyone from outside of London will know how much more expensive it can seem when you visit it. Tutors in the capital will have to consider their transport costs and their elevated cost of living when deciding upon their rates.
In this case, you can’t just charge a certain rate because that’s what the competition is doing. You’ll need to make sure that you finish every month having made a profit. This is where Superprof comes in to help. A quick search will show you how much tutors in the area are charging and what they need to charge to survive.
As an example, here are the average rates from a few cities for basic computer tutorials:
Of course, there are some cities with very few tutors and others with tonnes. As we said, it all boils down to supply and demand. This is as true for IT tutorials as it is for language lessons and learning to sing.
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Your Experience Will also Determine Your Rates
Now that you’ve worked out what the competition is doing and the average rates, you’ll need to compare yourself to them. You’ll see that when it comes to experience and that every private tutor is different. There are plenty of different backgrounds:
Self-taught tutors who love working with computers
IT students wanting to earn a little extra each month
A professional boosting their monthly income
Freelancers working in web design or graphics and teaching during their free hours
Qualified and experienced private tutors (be sure to mention any certification you may have)
You’ll need to work out where you sit in terms of your skills and experiences. You’ll need to also put together a solid profile that shows off said skills and experience:
The IT training you have
The sectors you’ve worked in
Your teaching experience
It’s important that you can justify the rates you charge with your experience and formal training. This will help you convince potential students that you’re the right choice.
After a few years of gaining experience, you can consider increasing your rates. The same goes for once you’ve completed certain qualifications.
Rates Based on the Types of Tutorials Being Offered
Generally speaking, the more advanced the student, the higher their tutorials will cost. The more knowledge a tutor requires, the more experience they’ll have and the more they’ll expect to be paid.
Students pay a premium for having a dedicated tutor who plans their lessons according to their needs. This also means that the tutor needs to be a quality educator. Whether you're teaching seniors how to use a computer or software engineering to students on computer science courses, all the computer knowledge in the world isn't worth anything if you lack basic teaching skills.
This makes a lot of sense. You wouldn’t charge the same for a tutorial on how to browse the net as you would for an in-depth course on computer programming.
Discover also how to create an IT course lesson plan...
You’ll have to adjust your rates based on the types of skills being taught and concepts covered:
Academic support for GCSEs and A Levels
Computer technology and computer hardware
Computer training for adults or an introduction to computers for senior citizens
Database management in Microsoft Access
Basic computer skills and office training such as Word processing with Microsoft word and creating presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint
App development lessons
Help with IT undergraduate degrees
Bonus: 5 Top Tips
If you want to offer attractive and profitable rates for your tutorials, you should take these 5 tips into consideration:
Offer a free computer class to every new student: this is a good opportunity to get to know the potential student, work out what type of services they’ll need, and your chance to see if they like you as an instructor.
Offer courses lasting longer than an hour: this means you travel less per tutorial and save time on planning.
Offer discounts for loyal students: the more lessons a student books, the less they pay per hour. This also helps with long-term planning as you know when you’re seeing the student and how often you’ll see them.
Offer booster tutorials over webcam: this is a way to save money on travelling and means you can teach students around the world at any time of the day.
Give group tutorials: you can offer a reduction per person while increasing your overall revenue.
Once you’ve worked out your rates, you can start teaching your private IT tutorials. You should make sure that you provide a tailored service for each of your students. After all, that’s why they want a tutor and not to spend time in a typical classroom.
If you've got a student who wants to learn how to use the internet, for example, you should also check out the basics of planning IT tutorials for beginners.