“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” - Albert Einstein
Private tutorials are an interesting option for both young and not-so-young learners. Whether you’re in school, university, working, or interested in changing jobs, looking to re-learn English, study chemistry or physics, or learn to play a music instrument, anyone can get private tutorials.
However, before you start getting homework help or academic support, you need to have a look at exactly how much private tuition is going to cost you.
The average cost of private tuition can vary a lot depending on a number of different factors. Of course, some will cost more than others according to competition and where the tutorials are taking place. A tutor needs to set their rates so that they’re not seen as too expensive or too cheap.
So how do you know if you’re charging too much for your lessons or whether you’re getting ripped off with the rates you’re charging?
In this article, we’re going to look at how to set the right price for your private tutorials.
Analyse Where You Live in Order to Set the Right Rates
Whether you live in a city, the countryside, or the suburbs, it can be too tempting to set your rates at what you want without thinking about where you live. This is often a question of size and how much competition there is.
There aren’t the same number of private tutors in Manchester as there are in London, for example. In a big city, like the capital, there are tonnes of private tutors and students are spoilt for choice when looking for their private tutors.
The tutors, therefore, need to try and make their offering as attractive as possible so that they can get a large number of different clients. Of course, not every private tutor is teaching to earn a few quid at the end of the month, a lot of private tutors earn their livelihood from it. This means that they’ll need to make sure that their rates are competitive.
To do this, you should do some research on the market and work out where to position yourself in terms of the competition from other private tutors. Whether you’re teaching guitar, maths, Spanish, or providing academic support, every student wants to spend as little money as possible, and we can’t be mad at them for that!
Thus, to help them and earn the money you deserve, you need to see what the other private tutors are offering. It’s a good way for students to earn some extra money but also an enriching and stimulating career choice, whether you’re an experienced teacher or just getting started.
Offer Certain Rates to Check the Market
When you get started in your new career of giving private tutorials in your home, you’re bound to make a few mistakes. Learn from them until you start getting everything right. When you work in other people’s homes, as you do as a private tutor, you’ll need to work out the perfect rate for your private tutorials without help from others.
This might seem a tricky issue to get around, especially for a private tutor as where they live will affect how much they have to charge. The rates need to vary according to the subject your teaching as well as the student’s level. You wouldn't charge a primary school student the same as you would a student studying for their GCSEs or A Levels.
You need to keep an eye on the market and see which rates your students find most acceptable and which ones are comparable to similar tutors in your area. The role of the tutor is also to manage their own tutorials as well as teach them.
Since you’re self-employed, almost every part of your tutoring business needs to be run by you, except in the same way as any large company would. Finding the right students for the right price is an art and you need to become a master of it. This could take some time, but it’s key to being a successful tutor!
Compare the Rates of Tutors in Different Places
Why not have a look around to see how much tutors are charging?
This is a great idea for working out exactly where to position yourself in the market. Even in big cities, the rates can vary by area. There are far more tutors in some neighbourhoods than others, for example. That should clear a few things up!
Thus, if you’ve looked around, you’ll see that the cost of French tutors isn’t necessarily the same as what maths or physics tutors are charging. In fact, it seems that no two tutors are charging the same amount for an hour of tutoring.
Surely this can’t be down to just random chance? Will students choose their tutor based solely on price?
It might seem difficult to believe, but if your rates line up with those of other tutors in your town, you’ll be competitive in the eyes of potential students.
Have a look around for tutors near where you live on websites like Superprof to see exactly what they’re charging. Look for certain subjects and how much experience each tutor has. You need to consider a lot of things for each tutor, for example if they charge more for giving lessons in students' homes, as opposed to, say, the library.
Talk to Local Students to Decide On Your Rates
It would be a good idea to do some market research and meet some of the local students to find out a few things:
- Their expectations for private tutors.
- The quality of teaching offered in local educational establishments.
- How much money they have to pay for private tutorials.
- How much time they required for private tutorials or academic support.
- What type of tutorials these were; exam prep, private language tutorials, online tutoring, one on one tutoring services, etc.
- And other criteria that the students deem important.
There are so many pertinent questions you could ask about private tutors. Additionally, each student has their own criteria when choosing a private tutor. However, you also need to be aware of current trends and keep an eye out for which subjects are currently very popular and which subjects students are struggling with at school.
Pedagogy is important too! A private tutor who is willing to hold classes out of doors might rank highly with students...
Work Out Rates According to the Subjects You Teach
When it comes to private tutoring, no two tutorials are alike. You can get one on one tutoring in almost anything nowadays and, like with all other goods and services, supply and demand will affect the cost. The rarer a subject, the harder it is to find a tutor and the more a tutor can charge, given there's demand for the subject. For example, academic tutoring is available for the following subjects:
- foreign languages such as French, German, Italian, Spanish, etc. (covering grammar, spelling conversation, etc.)
- mathematics (including trigonometry, geometry, calculus, algebra, statistics, etc.)
- study skills
- test prep, essay writing, help with an assignment, etc.
If there are plenty of one to one tutors in a given subject, they'll either have to have better qualifications or experience than the competition or offer better rates. This means that a lot of tutors offer free tutoring for the first hour so that they can show potential students what they're capable of and show them that their instruction is worth the price.
Have a look on Superprof for the subjects you teach and check out the competition.
Don't forget that home tutoring isn't the only option. For example, an English tutor could offer their academic coaching to students all over the world thanks to the internet. While the students being tutored aren't in the same room, with a computer, webcam, microphone, and a decent internet connection, anyone in the world can access the best tutors.
So what does this mean for your rates?
Well, if you don't have to travel, you don't have to pay to travel. An online tutor can charge less than a tutor who has to travel to their student's house.
As you’ve probably understood, being a private tutor is a great job and it’s very rewarding for both the tutor and the student. However, it can be difficult to decide on your rates. If you take the time to do your research and see where you fit in the market, you should be able to find the perfect price whether you're a chemistry tutor, reading tutor, French tutor, or an online tutor!
Now discover other locations you might hold private lessons in...