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How much would you charge for tutoring?

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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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My daughter's tutor is charging us 10/hour.  He isn't a teacher but is very good at math and is a natural "teacher".   Since he isn't a professional and is just doing out of the kindness of his heart he refuses to accept more.

Edit:  he is tutoring her in algebra 1

Edited by peacelovehomeschooling
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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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I have tutored, and also employ a tutor for my kid.  For context, I live in the U.S. (so my figures are US dollars) in a high COL area.  

My kid's tutor charges $50 a session, which is way less than he's worth, in part because he always overstays, so I'm really only paying about $25 an hour, although I usually feed him a home cooked meal.  He has a strong interest in kids who are gifted in math, and I think he finds my kid fascinating, and so charges us less than the going rate.

The company I used to tutor with would pay me $90 an hour if I went back to them, and charge something like $140 an hour for my services.  If I was tutoring on my own, I'd probably charge about $100/hour.  But I have 15 years of teaching, and pretty specific specialized skills in working with kids with certain low incidence disabilities. So, that is definitely on the high end.  

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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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Yep, it really varies geographically. 

I'm in NYC, and I've been asking $150/hour. I get $45/hour from AoPS, and that's work I can do anywhere, at any time, so I'm obviously going to charge quite a lot more than that for work I have to travel for. Also, I have a PhD and more than a decade of teaching experience...

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