As an educational tutor, have you ever wondered how much should I be charging?

Well, as of 2018, according to Payscale, an Educational Tutor in the United States earns on average $18.31 per hour, with the median hourly rate set between $10.16-$40.40p/h.

Compared to the national wage, a full-time tutor's annual income would surpass that of the average earnings across the United States. There are, however, many contributing factors that influence such prices and these will be explained in detail within this article.

Tutoring is a job that is usually performed in conjunction with a separate vocation reflective of the subject area the individual is involved in.

As an additional form of income, elementary and high school teachers often partake in additional tutoring with their students, and these sessions are usually conducted either in the teacher's or the student's home. You may also find that a teacher can use the resources of their school to conduct tutoring sessions after working hours.

Baring in mind that tutoring as a vocation in the United States is a multi-billion dollar industry, professionals from contrasting industries/vocational areas offer their knowledge to others, and this is more so associated with students that are embarking upon some form of higher education, whether that is a major, postgraduate or P.h.D qualification.

Not all areas of the US are on an even footing when it comes to tuition rates. Also, the more academically specialized a student's requirements are, the tendency the hourly rate will be higher.

Let's approach this hypothetically with two contrasting examples.

  1. A six-year-old needs support with basic literacy skills to help develop confidence in speaking and listening.
  2. A P.h.D. student specializing in a microbiology major, who needs academic support with their doctoral thesis.

Although the study of Biology is a popular science-based route for those pursuing further education, the second example is far more of a niche to the former.

Whether it be a densely populated city in California to a rural town in Indiana, the chances are that you would find more tutors that specialize in literacy development amongst elementary-aged children as opposed to microbiologists with a broad experience in education.

Understandably, the average price would be considerably higher for the latter, for the learning areas would be considerably more academic, and as it is such a niche area, there will be fewer professionals that can offer such a service.

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Tutoring Prices that Reflect Professional Responsibilities

Generally, tutor tasks constitute of:

  • Assessing a student's ability within the focus subject area
  • Monitoring developments whilst identifying academic misconceptions & weaknesses
  • Creating tailored learning plans that are reflective of the student's goals
  • Inspiring positive study habits, setting additional revision whilst ensuring that the lessons coverage is in relation to the student's designated learning curriculum.

Regardless of academic level, subject area, or a student's learning motivations; tutors must adhere to these points to ensure they are successful, and these also relate to the two examples aforementioned, regardless of how different the premise of each may be.

Are you just starting as a tutor or have you been in the business awhile?

Remember, it is not about selling yourself cheap to get new students, or setting a $100+ hourly rate because you specialize in a unique but sought-after academic area; those that are on the lookout for a new tutor will have to factor in numerous considerations prior to reaching out.

Identifying the Nuances: Justifying Your Hourly Rate

Platforms such as Superprof will expose you to a wealth of tutors that are currently taking on new clients across The United States.

On such platforms, individuals each have a personal profile that highlights several aspects including:

  • Teaching methodology
  • Personal/educational background
  • Lessons offered by i.e. tutor/student's home, or through online platforms such as Zoom & Skype
  • Taught subjects
  • Academic level.

Already, here are some factors you should consider when it comes to setting your hourly rate.

Now, let's take a look at some of these in more detail.

Educational Background

 

Books hanging upon a belt
You will have a competitive advantage over your competition if you possess a degree. Source: Visualhunt

 

Generally, academic tutors will state their overall education along with relevant qualifications they have gained throughout their time as a student.

Additional information can include where it was they achieved their elementary & high school education: surprisingly, this can be important even for those that are requiring assistance from seasoned academics.

Why?

Because communicational barriers can often be an issue when it comes to the very fundamentals of the lesson's fluency.

For example, a specialist academic tutor in the field of Mathematics may have earlier experience in learning math-based concepts and principles that aren't covered as much within the United States' public educational system.

Beyond this, tutors are likely to state their college/university education, their educational provider as well as the modules they have covered whilst highlighting any such academic or pedagogical specializations.

Overall Teaching Experience

This is certainly one of the main factors that can help to identify a fair price for a tutor's services.

Also, this can be one of the main misconceptions for new to career tutors, especially for those working within academic fields.

More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given.
- Bertrand Russell

Ask anyone working in education and apart from the favorable holiday periods, the work itself can be both incredibly challenging and time-consuming.

Especially working with elementary and high school students, teachers must possess a strong knowledge of the curriculum whilst creating engaging lesson plans.

A student burrowing their head beyond a stack of academic textbooks isn't usually the most effective method in sustained memorization and depth of understanding.

Those with more tutoring/teaching experience will acknowledge this, and in doing so, they will ensure that the coverage of their sessions will be reflective of HOW the student most effectively endorses information.

Factor in preparation time when deciding what to charge
Image ¦ Teachers should factor in preparation time when setting their rates. Source: Pixabay

Catering for a Student's Requirements

With Math, Science, and English being the three core subjects within all state educational policies in the US, the demand for tutors within such areas is formidable across the country.

However, if, for example, a parent/guardian requires a tutor to support their 12-year-old child in preparation for a math-based numeracy examination, and their child happens to be an ESL (English Secondary Language) student; they would be most effectively supported by a tutor with both experience and relative qualifications to support them in their studies.

Or, does the student in question have a particular learning need?

Teachers across the country are often required to participate in educational seminars and training programs to help develop their skillset in the aid of best supporting their students.

With the increasing development and understanding of the unique ways students with varying learning needs can receive the most effective form of support, the world of education is constantly evolving through the employment of contrasting and innovative stylistic approaches toward education.

With this in mind, teachers receive regular opportunities in up-skilling themselves to best support the individuals in their classroom and considering a notable concentration of tutors across the United States are already involved in some form of education, these individuals can employ such strategies when it comes to supporting their private students.

Such specializations should be clearly stated on your online profile, for if you have engaged in some form of continuing training/education, this can justifiably result in an overall increase in your hourly rate.

Top Tip: Analysing Fellow Tutor Profiles

Another effective idea in setting your rate is by analyzing tutors that are working in a similar industry as yourself.

Inspecting the competition is a method that can help to establish which tutors within similar learning fields are more successful in acquiring new students.

There are various platforms for tutors to showcase their expertise, with Superprof being one of them, a platform in which average tutoring rates (per hour) in relation to subject area can also be found.

On each tutor's profile, there will be a five-star rating system in which students of present and old have rated their overall experience with the tutor in question.

The more ratings a tutor receives, the more chance they have of receiving requests from prospective students.

It doesn't necessarily mean the cheaper your hourly rate is, the more likely students will be inclined to contact you.

Your previous experiences teaching, along with your educational background and recent training should effectively establish what rate you should offer. And remember: the service you provide merits the rate that you charge for it.

Treat it like marketing. The more effectively you advertise your skillset, coupled with positive testimonials on your profiles along with 5-star reviews, you will find yourself inundated with student requests.

 

Scrabble: it is marketing
Tutors that have more content that describes their expertise and experiences will help to entice prospective students. Source: Visualhunt

Usually, tutors offer a reduction in their overall price if a student signs up for a group of lessons at one time. This can also be an effective method as it allows both students and tutors to plan for the long term as they are aware of their upcoming lessons well in advance.

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