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There is a chance I might be tutoring some high school subjects (chemistry, math etc.).  What would be a fair rate for a fellow homeschool mom?  I tried looking online and some rates seem ridiculously high, especially since this is for a homeschool (one income!) family.  

Things to keep in mind:  I'm not a teacher (unless you include homeschooling- and I have taught the subjects to my own kids.)  The only 'tutoring' I have done was in high school and college.  I was asked to be a peer tutor by a couple of high school teachers, so I did that when asked.  I also helped tutor and lead study groups in college (including for chemistry.)  However, I'm certainly not a professional teacher.  These were just subjects I enjoyed.

While this person is a friend (and I probably will just do it for free), if I ended up doing this for others, I would like to know a fair rate for, say, a half hour or hour session.  

Thanks!

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I wonder this myself. I know some families who have tutors for foreign languages, and they pay $20 for an hour-long session done over video chat. The rate seems really low to me and I wonder how the tutor could make a living at it, especially since they do prepare a fun lesson and send follow-up materials. My friends really love their tutor and are always describing how they go above and beyond. I had been thinking of doing tutoring on the side, but those rates and those expectations discouraged me.

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SOOOO variable by area. What do music lessons cost in your area for homeschool families (or lessons given by a homeschooling mom)? Perhaps try that for comparison.

I would guess that you would put in as much time again as the tutoring session itself, such as:
- driving time and vehicle gas/wear & tear expenses (if you are going to the student, rather than student coming to you)
- time for administrative aspects of a job (keeping records for charging the client; tax purposes, etc.)
- research/prep time (because you will likely need to read up on the topic before each session)
- time for creating any activities, worksheets, or other things to help the particular student

So when you charge, take into account additional time you may need to spend (beyond the actual tutoring time)  For example: $10 for a 30-min. tutoring session is really $10 a total of 60 minutes (30 of which was the actual tutoring). And that sounds WAY too low of compensation for tutoring.

Do be careful to not UNDERvalue your time. Because if you do, so will the families who use your services. You can always figure out a way to provide a scholarship or discount for families who are barely making it once you set a reasonable fee scale for the majority. But people WILL treat you badly if you don't charge a reasonable amount. Or if you don't require payment whether they show up or not. Or if they show up late... DO charge your full rate. You can always institute a "forgiveness" policy on a case-by-case basis later if it turns out that a family is usually on time and ready to go, but has an unforeseen incident happen. You don't want to end up either being abused by your clients, or end up hating doing the tutoring because you charged too little. 😉 

Also: perhaps structure your sessions for just under the actual 30 and 60 minutes -- so, 25-minute and 50-minute tutoring sessions -- because people ALWAYS have last minute questions or things to discuss that go beyond the actual session time. (Otherwise, that 60 minute session will turn into a 70 minute session, which is going to feel loonnnggg....)

All that to say: perhaps try starting out with something like: $25 for 25 minutes, and see how long tutoring sessions ACTUALLY need to last. And track how much time you actually need to do all of the support activities (like driving or admin. or pre-reading, etc.). If you and your clients seem to need more time for the actual tutoring, maybe also offer a 50-min. session for $45, so families are getting a discount for the longer session. Starting off slowly will also help you to see if you really WANT to be doing this. 😉 

BEST of luck in finding a good and workable balance! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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I have made a business out of tutoring. I work 25 hours per week and have grown my business for 5 years.  I started at $35/hour for high school math, and have worked my way up to $70/hr and charge extra for noncontact time. My noncontact hours are 3 hours per 10 week term regardless of if you contract for 1 or 2 hours per week. This covers: communication, invoicing, writing reports, prep, printing, etc. I you contract me for multiple subjects, I require more noncontact hours. Students come to my home, and I contact them directly by text.  I charge a flat rate each term whether you show up or not, but I do 10% makeups if you are sick or give me enough notice. 

I think it very much depends on what you have to offer compared to the competition in your area. Locally, students do Kumon for $60/week, so it seems reasonable to the parents to pay $70 for private one on one. I am not just a homework helper, but design remedial programs to fix problems.  

I very much agree with Lori that you should not underestimate what you offer. We pay our building's gardener $35/hour, and a math tutor has more skill. My chiropractor works out of her home and charges $60/30 minutes.  I have equal skill to her, but no one would pay me $120/hour given I need to see the kids 1-2 hours per week, and her clients only come every 6 weeks.  My goal is to earn the same as a top teacher earns per year, but with fewer hours because my hours are restricted to after school time. So people pay a premium for me to be available at strange hours.   I currently have a waiting list to Jan 2021, so some of my friends think I should up my rate. 🙂 So there are many things to consider when finding a rate the market can bear and that you feel is fair.

Good Luck,

Ruth in NZ

Edited by lewelma
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50 dollars an hour but I allow free Skype sessions for questions during the same week within reason. I have found that I prep a lot before sessions and spend a lot of time doing reports, grading tests, making up extra practice, etc. that I don't charge for directly. I know they are getting a good value. I suppose someone who just shows up and goes over student questions without prep and doesn't do anything outside of the contact hours could charge less. 

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11 hours ago, Lori D. said:

SOOOO variable by area. What do music lessons cost in your area for homeschool families (or lessons given by a homeschooling mom)? Perhaps try that for comparison.

Do be careful to not UNDERvalue your time. Because if you do, so will the families who use your services.

 

Piano lessons here are about $25/hr (other instruments vary),  This is what I paid a homeschool mom (she does this for a living-she charges the same for non-homeschoolers).  

I guess I just didn't want to overcharge and wanted to be helpful, but I DO know what you mean about people undervaluing your time.  

Thanks ladies!  You've given me a lot to think about.  

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Well, I'm an Orton-Gillingham trained tutor with 20 years experience who only charges $25/hour.

 

However, we live in a rural, mountainous area, and I know that it is difficult for many families in our area to make ends meet--especially if they're a one-income, homeschooling family. I prefer for my students to come 3 times per week, so I know I have to keep my rates low for most to be able to make it. 

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This year $90/hour, and I only teach AoPS and prep for math contests.  Last year I was busier so I was charging $120/hour.  But those kids returned to school.  (The downside of being expensive is private school starts to sound more affordable 😉.)  

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When I first started charging, I called several local-ish tutoring agencies (Huntington, Sylvan, Kaplan, etc.), and asked THEIR rate. I then figured out what MY rate would be, and am comfortable justifying that to parents. 

When I want to tutor for a fellow homeschool family, I share my "friends and family" rate (less than my normal rate if I LIKE them), and also sometimes offer to barter work-for-work. I have a handy list of things I'm willing to barter for, and while it doesn't always work, it's worked often enough that I'm willing to keep it going. 😉 (Examples: dinners for my freezer, piano lessons, a truck full of apples, local co-op classes like gym and career exploration, etc.).

My tutoring completely funds our educational expenses, and I've been VERY thankful for it as a part-time gig over the years. Good luck! 

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I would differentiate between tutoring and teaching.  The way I think about it, tutoring is coming in behind another teacher and filling in the holes.  Teaching is being responsible for planning a course, executing that plan, and doing the grading.  Teaching requires quite a bit more time than tutoring does, like up to double the time.  

i give a friends and family discount for teaching, which is about half of the rate that I should be charging.  I only charge for contact time.

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My rate varies with the situation. I have homeschool students that I am their main teacher for the year, so I get to choose the curriculum and find that much easier to prepare for and such. I charge those students either $15 for private (up to 1.5 hours), or $350 per year if more than one student in a class.

For students who go to school, I'm seeing them in the afternoon or evening, so I charge more for that time of day, $20 an hour.  There are definitely tutors who charge more in our area, but every student I tutor is from families I know well. I hate to charge them top dollar. 

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On 11/30/2019 at 8:49 PM, momofeat2 said:

Well, I'm an Orton-Gillingham trained tutor with 20 years experience who only charges $25/hour.

 

However, we live in a rural, mountainous area, and I know that it is difficult for many families in our area to make ends meet--especially if they're a one-income, homeschooling family. I prefer for my students to come 3 times per week, so I know I have to keep my rates low for most to be able to make it. 

You could take on some clients over Zoom at higher rates from high cost of living areas such as NY, CA.  They would think $50/hour a bargain for your experience!! If you have 45 minute or less sessions, Zoom is free, if you needed longer, the tutoring would pay for the Zoom costs, it is reasonable monthly charge. You could also try out a group class at outschool.

https://outschool.com

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I have found that if you make tutoring into a business, the rate you charge is the least of your worries.

You have to coordinate multiple student schedules. You need to find time for extra sessions for individual students for test prep. You have to manage the parents if you want a good reputation in town. You need to decide how you will handle missing due to illness, sports games, holidays, etc. You need to manage invoicing and taxes (I have to collect GST), and decide if you will write regular reports. You have to decide how many weekly hours are required for each student to achieve their goals and set expectations up front. You need to decide if you want the parents to sign something or just do a handshake deal. You have to decide how to deal with late payments (or no payments). You need to decide when you will drop a student and for what reasons. You need to think about how you will handle mental illness and physical illness, and if you charge for many missed days that you cannot fill because of lack of notice. You need to decide on if you will do family/friends rate or long standing students when you up your rate for the rest. You need to consider what days you have off and when you are willing to make exceptions and work on those days. You need to consider how many high level students vs low level students you want to have, and how will you handle groups of students in the same year working their way up who will one day all graduate at the same time leaving you with 6 spots to fill? This means you have to consider if you want a certain number per grade. You need to consider how you will handle the family going on vacation in the middle of the term for a month? Do you keep charging or if you have enough notice can you fill those spots? You need to consider if you want a group contact list for kids to swap times with each other or if you want to manage this directly. You need to consider if you will be dealing with the parents for every little thing or texting the students directly. And if you text the students directly, you need to consider that everything you text is discoverable by the parents, so you sometimes need to word things carefully. You need to decide if you will charge for printing and more importantly if you will charge for non-contact hours.  You need to decide if each of your non-contact hours is billable, and if so can it be split between students in the same course.   ETC!!

My rate is the least of my worries. LOL!

Edited by lewelma
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For those of you with lower rates, do you declare your income and pay taxes on it? I’m not trying to get anyone in trouble, but I am curious.

i recently started contract teaching (highly specialized area) for a couple of local school districts, and I am still learning the whole self-employment thing. I have to plan for state and federal income tax, and I even have to pay gross receipts tax (sales tax ) in my state. While my hourly rate seems high, it isn’t high enough when over 40% has to be put back for taxes. 

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Last year I kept track of everything I earned in a spreadsheet.  After the end of the year I just provided my tax preparer with how much I earned that year and she threw that into her forms.  I plan to do that again this year; we'll see how it goes.  

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On 12/10/2019 at 1:53 AM, daijobu said:

If anyone uses an online whiteboard remotely with their students, which one do you use?  

I use Scribblar with Skype. I use a Wacom tablet with that setup and it works great. Kids love it, especially if they also have a tablet.

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On 11/27/2019 at 10:01 PM, lewelma said:

I have made a business out of tutoring. I work 25 hours per week and have grown my business for 5 years.  I started at $35/hour for high school math, and have worked my way up to $70/hr and charge extra for noncontact time. My noncontact hours are 3 hours per 10 week term regardless of if you contract for 1 or 2 hours per week. This covers: communication, invoicing, writing reports, prep, printing, etc. I you contract me for multiple subjects, I require more noncontact hours. Students come to my home, and I contact them directly by text.  I charge a flat rate each term whether you show up or not, but I do 10% makeups if you are sick or give me enough notice. 

I think it very much depends on what you have to offer compared to the competition in your area. Locally, students do Kumon for $60/week, so it seems reasonable to the parents to pay $70 for private one on one. I am not just a homework helper, but design remedial programs to fix problems.  

I very much agree with Lori that you should not underestimate what you offer. We pay our building's gardener $35/hour, and a math tutor has more skill. My chiropractor works out of her home and charges $60/30 minutes.  I have equal skill to her, but no one would pay me $120/hour given I need to see the kids 1-2 hours per week, and her clients only come every 6 weeks.  My goal is to earn the same as a top teacher earns per year, but with fewer hours because my hours are restricted to after school time. So people pay a premium for me to be available at strange hours.   I currently have a waiting list to Jan 2021, so some of my friends think I should up my rate. 🙂 So there are many things to consider when finding a rate the market can bear and that you feel is fair.

Good Luck,

Ruth in NZ

I’ve started my own business a few times over the years beginning when I was a teen. Being my own boss always seems appealing until I start to realize all the extra work it requires. And the huge chunk that goes to self-employment taxes!

I have been thinking I would really like to tutor once my daughter goes off to college but you’ve got me wondering if I really want to get into all that goes with it.

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Mom0012 said:

I’ve started my own business a few times over the years beginning when I was a teen. Being my own boss always seems appealing until I start to realize all the extra work it requires. And the huge chunk that goes to self-employment taxes!

I have been thinking I would really like to tutor once my daughter goes off to college but you’ve got me wondering if I really want to get into all that goes with it.

 

 

There is software and services that can set up most of that for you and you just deal with the teaching.  For taxes, there are also apps and programs to help.

Teach on outschool:

https://outschool.com/#abk3vzbuzm

Or, choose a scheduling and payment program for tutoring:

https://www.capterra.com/tutoring-software/

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2 hours ago, Mom0012 said:

I’ve started my own business a few times over the years beginning when I was a teen. Being my own boss always seems appealing until I start to realize all the extra work it requires. And the huge chunk that goes to self-employment taxes!

I have been thinking I would really like to tutor once my daughter goes off to college but you’ve got me wondering if I really want to get into all that goes with it.

 

 

 

With all due respect lewelma, I didn't have really the same issues she did, but I took a different approach.  I charge a lot more, like $90 minimum, depending on how busy I am.  As a consequence, I work fewer hours, but so be it.  I have enough free time in my schedule that rescheduling due to cancellations are doable. 

I only work with homeschooled students because I don't like to work in the evenings and on weekends. 

I don't do test prep, except for MathCounts and AMC. 

I don't have a cancellation policy; hopefully you can shoot me a text before I show up at your front door.  (Kids don't always get sick 24 hours in advance, and realistically I'm not going fill that time with another student.  If I don't teach for any reason, then I don't charge, and that includes student vacation, I have something come up, whatever.  My parents pay a lot of money for my time, so it seems unfair otherwise.    The exception to this is when a group of parents hires me for a semester long class, and I charge tuition up front.  I don't cancel those classes, and if your student is sick/on vacation, then I don't refund.  

My parents are great and I only ever had one parents who was late paying me, and that required frequent emailing, and she's paid up.  (She was the one paying me $120/hour.)  

Although sometimes I forget, I try to cc parents on all communications with the students.  Even if I forget to cc, all my communications are above board.  I have no problem with my parents reading any of my communications with students.  (Which leads me to wonder what exactly is lewlma texting her students that she fears will be discovered by the parents?)

My non-contact hours are free.  Again, I figure for the price they pay, I put in prep ahead of time in order to be most efficient for my busy students.  

I think the services I provide are highly specialized, and not widely available.  (Until now, there are quite a few AoPS Academies opening up in my neighborhood, but not everyone wants to be at the AoPS Academy.)  Still, I consider myself more of a "concierge tutor."  I want parents to use my price as a mental shortcut to gauge my quality.  And I think I'm really really good at what I do.  

 

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5 minutes ago, daijobu said:

(Which leads me to wonder what exactly is lewlma texting her students that she fears will be discovered by the parents?)

Haha.  Nothing sinister. Sometimes kids try to get out of coming. And instead of saying OK, I tell them that they should come.  If I'm going to charge regardless of if they come, then seems to me that I should challenge them on their excuses which have been from 'I was called up at work' to 'I want to go to the beach' to 'I have to meet my friends after school to work on a project that I left to the last minute'. Parents can read texts, so I make sure that if they do they don't think I'm just letting their kids off the hook when the parents are paying.

I so wish I could work with homeschoolers, but most of them here are unschoolers or just don't have enough money to pay for a private tutor. 

Still, I consider myself more of a "concierge tutor."  I want parents to use my price as a mental shortcut to gauge my quality.  And I think I'm really really good at what I do.  

I like this! I have a waiting list to 2021 so could definitely up my rate! The main problem is that I am hitting the GST boundary, so I will have to charge a surcharge of 15% next year. I haven't told the parents yet!

And the reason that I charge for non-contact time is that I develop programs for students (so I'm more of a private teacher than a tutor) and sometimes this takes way more time depending on the student. I designed a program to get a kid who could not subtract 8-2 through 12th grade statistics.  I definitely charged this parent more than the kid who is just average and the average program the school offers fits very well.

Fascinating to see how everyone does it. 🙂  

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18 minutes ago, lewelma said:

Haha.  Nothing sinister. Sometimes kids try to get out of coming. And instead of saying OK, I tell them that they should come.  If I'm going to charge regardless of if they come, then seems to me that I should challenge them on their excuses which have been from 'I was called up at work' to 'I want to go to the beach' to 'I have to meet my friends after school to work on a project that I left to the last minute'. Parents can read texts, so I make sure that if they do they don't think I'm just letting their kids off the hook when the parents are paying.

I so wish I could work with homeschoolers, but most of them here are unschoolers or just don't have enough money to pay for a private tutor. 

 

 

I like this! I have a waiting list to 2021 so could definitely up my rate! The main problem is that I am hitting the GST boundary, so I will have to charge a surcharge of 15% next year. I haven't told the parents yet!

And the reason that I charge for non-contact time is that I develop programs for students (so I'm more of a private teacher than a tutor) and sometimes this takes way more time depending on the student. I designed a program to get a kid who could not subtract 8-2 through 12th grade statistics.  I definitely charged this parent more than the kid who is just average and the average program the school offers fits very well.

Fascinating to see how everyone does it. 🙂  

It is fascinating to see the different ways people handle this! I have hope again that maybe this would be for me.

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On 11/27/2019 at 7:01 PM, lewelma said:

 

I very much agree with Lori that you should not underestimate what you offer. We pay our building's gardener $35/hour, and a math tutor has more skill. My chiropractor works out of her home and charges $60/30 minutes.  I have equal skill to her, but no one would pay me $120/hour given I need to see the kids 1-2 hours per week, and her clients only come every 6 weeks.  My goal is to earn the same as a top teacher earns per year, but with fewer hours because my hours are restricted to after school time. So people pay a premium for me to be available at strange hours.

 

I feel ya.  If an interior designer or a baseball coach can charge 200/hour, why shouldn't I ask for $150?  (Answer:  people's priorities.)  

Also, this guy charges $300, but I think he's more qualified than me.  

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2 hours ago, daijobu said:

 

I feel ya.  If an interior designer or a baseball coach can charge 200/hour, why shouldn't I ask for $150?  (Answer:  people's priorities.)  

Also, this guy charges $300, but I think he's more qualified than me.  

 

Bay Area salaries support those rates. It’s all local market, I think. I think where we are those rates would be a no go. People simply don’t earn anywhere near to pay this. 

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