New to the self-employed business?
Establishing an hourly rate as a tutor when you are first starting off can be a little challenging for some.
Firstly, you must take into account how your stated price will either attract or deter a prospective audience and hitting the balance right can see you either succeed or fail in bringing in new students.
Here are some of the potential downfalls when it comes to setting your hourly rate:
Selling yourself too cheap
Certainly more common than you'd expect.
Tutors that are new to the trade often catch themselves out by offering lessons at times under $10 per hour (certainly not financially attainable, even if lessons are completed online).
Reduced hourly rates can also put into question your skillset and experience level, so do make sure that your skills, qualifications, and teaching experiences are taken into account.
Requesting too much ($£$) per hour from your students
It is integral that as educators we believe in our skillset, and how we can best support those that we work with.
However, a quick glance on the Superprof website will present you with thousands of tutors with numerous reviews from satisfied students.
Usually, especially when it comes to language learning or core educational subjects (Math, English & Science), tutors aren't surpassing the $60+ per hour mark.
It's quite simple actually.
The core educational subjects as stated earlier almost always provide more competition between tutors in acquiring new students.
Some of the more popular undergraduate degrees (as well as postgrad & doctorates) are also considered to be core subject areas, and, therefore, when students graduate and decide to embark upon a vocation within the field of education, there are simply more teachers and qualified tutors specializing within such areas, thus making it more competitive, thus driving down the price.
In regards to the more niche subjects, such as particular fields in the humanities, or information technology, this is when hourly prices tend to be justifiably higher.
Furthermore, if it is a P.h.D. student that is hoping to gain specific and regular insight within a technical-based area, naturally a tutor's hourly rate will be deservedly higher for their education level will far surpass those who will be supporting younger students within core learning areas.
How Much is your Experience Worth?
Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward.
- Henry Ford
A poignant outlook on the importance of experience and how it best develops us within not only our chosen vocation but our everyday lives.
The fact is, there is no cheat sheet when it comes to work experience.
This is why, by high and large, the majority of those that have worked in a particular sector for more sustained periods of time are usually in a more notable hierarchical position to those with less experience.
It is also put effectively by the late, great Muhammad Ali: 'The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.'
Effectively, a combination of the two creates the best educator.
It comes as no unknown reason as to why an elementary, high school, collegiate or university teacher must first be awarded an accredited qualification before they are even allowed to teach in any of the schools across the United States.
You may well possess superior interpersonal skills that enhance your student's confidence as they study.
However, if you haven't conducted any of the algebraic sequences within your Mathematics undergraduate, how would you expect to tutor a student about algebra?
Transversely, some of the most outstanding academic talents may not possess the personal skills and communication abilities to make for effective educators.
An effective level of teaching or tutoring experience, coupled with academic attainment is the most effective combination for a top tutor.
Do Formal Qualifications Affect how much Tutors can Charge?
Upon looking at the wealth of academic studies associated with teaching experience and its contributions toward overall teaching experience/student academic success, The Learning Policy Institute had recently conducted a review to identify the common themes that have occurred throughout the breadth of research within the field of learning and education.
Their findings have stated that:
- Teaching experience is positively associated with student achievement gains throughout a teacher’s career.
- As teachers gain experience, their students are more likely to do better on other measures of success beyond test scores, such as school attendance.
- Teachers make greater gains in their effectiveness when they teach in a supportive and collegial working environment, or accumulate experience in the same grade level, subject, or district.
- More experienced teachers confer benefits to their colleagues, their students, and the school as a whole.
Although the findings are directly associated with structured teaching within a school setting, the premise of each factor can be directly associated with tutoring on a 1:1 basis or within a small study group.
The more experience a tutor has, the more tricks they will have up their sleeve to infuse the students, thus making the learning experience more engaging.
Pedagogy is defined as the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.
Those that have completed a degree in education studies at college or university level will be fully aware of this term.
You will be constantly learning various practices and teaching strategies to cater to the unique ways in which individuals best endorse information.
Naturally, people learn more effectively within these separate areas:
- Visual learner (spatial) - best learns information from seeing what is in front of them: pictures, diagrams, presentations, etc...
- Auditory - more inclined to learn through the form of music or audible/sound equipment
- Verbal - learning most effectively through speech and discussion
- Physical (kinaesthetic) - practical-based learning involving the hands, body, and regular movement
- Logical/mathematical learner - using a combination of logic and reasoning, as well as various systems and sequences
- Social learner - a preference to learn in the presence of others, more socially inclined
- Solitary - you are more comfortable working alone
- Combinative learner - instead of a sole learning style, your character and learning preference relates to two or more of those aforementioned.
An experienced tutor will allow a set period of time within the first few sessions to best establish which specific learning style/s is most aligned to a student's character.
From this, they will devise various educational approaches to ensure the individuals learning preferences are being catered for.
In reflection of this, the more experience the tutor possesses, the more techniques and learning strategies they will have up their sleeves (so to speak), thus enabling a broader scope of personable teaching ideas designed for the individual.
This will alleviate the repetition of such techniques, leading to a more fulfilling and enriching learning experience.
Can a Background in Teaching Affect your Wages?
Naturally, the more experience you have in education, the more you should be able to charge your students, still, we all require tips to establish how much we should be charging our students.
Payscale had reported that the average English teacher/tutor with 5-9 years experience makes around $20.25 per hour.
This price is the median of over 70 tutors across the United States with the smallest hourly rate recorded at $10.48, with some of the highest average rates recorded at $41.02 and higher.
This doesn't, however, take into account the various bonuses and bulk sessions that tutors often offer their students.
Furthermore, the annual rates for tutors within this field averages between $23k - $82k.
Naturally, the more students you acquire and the more regular your sessions are, the more you will inevitably end up earning each year.
In order for tutors to organize their schedules, bulk sessions as mentioned earlier are often preferred, and this usually works more effectively for both parties in question for they can then plan their schedules in advance.
Furthermore, the more testimonials you receive on your online platform, the more likely future students will get in contact.
Platforms such as Superprof provide a section in which students can discuss their experiences with current and existing tutors.
This is said to promote the likeliness of acquiring new students, and the more frequent such recommendations become, the more attractive your profile looks, thus putting you in a favorable position in which you can dictate and increase your prices.
Outside of your experience, there are other factors affecting prices beyond your control. Read how your rates may vary across the US as well as how your hourly rate may change according to subject specialization.
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