Private tutoring is becoming more common as parents seek to give their children the extra help they need to succeed in school. Tutoring is more than just homework help; it requires teaching students across various disciplines from elementary school to college. However, the question always arises over how much a private tutor should charge. The average rate for tutors depends on several factors ranging from geographic location to the tutor’s level of expertise.
This article analyzes tutoring rate averages and includes a comprehensive list of points to consider when determining an hourly rate for your tutoring business.
What is a Good Private Tutor Rate?
In some situations, A tutor's price ranges between $20-$75 per hour and higher, but that doesn’t mean clients aren’t willing to pay tutors charging on the higher end. It just means the tutor charging a higher rate meets certain requirements to justify a higher set rate for their services.
But how do you know where you fall on the spectrum of hourly rates for tutors?
First, you must understand tutors' average rates in your geographic area, discipline, and experience level. Once you know the average rates in these areas, you must consider other factors like demand to determine what you want to charge your students.
Average Private Tutor Rates
On average, tutors can expect to charge within the following ranges depending on what they tutor and their experience level.
Type of Tutoring Service
Average Starting Rate/Hour
Highest Average Rate/Hour
Test Prep Tutors
College Level Tutors
Certified teachers can expect to receive more for their tutoring services because they have a deeper level of experience and training in their area of discipline. However, tutors with other types of experience and education may charge equally high rates depending on the following factors.
Factors that Affect Tutoring Rates
Rates vary by geography, with tutors in major cities often charging more than those in rural areas. For example, a tutor in Manhattan, New York, will charge a higher rate for a lesson than a tutor in a rural upstate location, even if they have the same level of education and experience because the cost of living and the demand is higher. WyzAnt is one option for rural tutors who need help matching with potential tutoring clients online.
Tutors may also charge a higher rate if they have to travel to their student for a lesson as opposed to online tutoring because they need to factor in their travel time and expenses. Rates can also fluctuate in this scenario depending on oil and gas prices in a given area.
- Tutor's Education Level and Experience
Rates differ based on the tutor's degree of experience and their highest level of education. If the tutor is very skilled in a subject, they will charge more for a lesson than those in the same concentration with less experience. A tutor may also charge more if they are a licensed teacher, hold a graduate degree, or have other recognized certifications and credentials.
The demand for tutors can significantly impact their hourly rate, with tutors in high-demand subject areas often charging more than those in other areas. A highly qualified tutor in math may also charge more than a tutor with the same level of experience in a less sought-after subject or grade level because math is the subject with the highest demand.
- Subject Matter
Rates also differ based on the complexity of the subject; tutors that teach complex or challenging subjects may charge more.
Test prep and college-level subjects are more complex than elementary-level subjects and demand a higher level of education and experience. Because of this, tutors in these areas often charge more. Test prep is also in high demand, making it even more lucrative than other subjects.
- Type of Tutoring
Rates differ depending on the type of tutoring you offer, whether online or in-person.
If you are an online tutor, you don’t have to worry about factors like location and travel time because you can work from anywhere on your computer. However, you will need to take into account the cost of any technology required to run your business.
You will also need to assess the cost of business insurance depending on if you tutor online or in person. Depending on how you deliver your service, your insurance needs will vary.
How to Determine the Best Tutoring Service Rate
Now that you know more about what factors to consider when determining your tutoring rate, let’s walk through the steps and choose the best rate for your tutoring service.
- Research tutoring rates in your area.
It is a good idea to write out your monthly living expenses and break them down into the hourly rate you need to maintain your lifestyle. For example,
- (Monthly Expenses + Desired Savings) / Desired Hours per Month = Hourly Rate
Let’s say you need to earn $6,000 per month to cover all of your expenses, and you want to put $1,000 into savings and retirement funds while working 30 hours per week (120 hrs/mo). You would break it down the following way:
($6,000 + $1,000) / 120 hours = $58.33/hour
Therefore, you need to net at least $58.33 per hour to cover your expenses to meet your needs. Depending on income taxes in your area, you will set your price accordingly.
- Consider your level of education, experience, and demand for your services.
Now consider your level of experience. Your level of education and hands-on experience will also need to be factored into your hourly rate. Consider the following things and determine if you can charge more for your hourly rate.
- Degrees and certifications - Tuition and fees add up. Factor this into your pricing because these qualifications directly contribute to the quality of your tutoring.
- Time - Add any practicum hours and years of tutoring or working in your subject area.
- Additional experience - Consider any experience that may contribute to your experience as a tutor. This may include previous jobs, hobbies, or other life experiences.
- Factor in your travel expenses if you are traveling to clients.
If you are going to a location outside of your home to tutor students, add your travel cost to your rate. You can save your clients money by tutoring group sessions to split the travel cost or offer a hybrid option where some sessions are virtual.
- Consider the subject matter and type of tutoring you are providing.
The subject you tutor and how you deliver your services will impact your overall price. We’ve already discussed why the travel expenses associated with in-person tutoring impact tutoring rates. Still, you also have to consider the demand for your subject and the level of complexity. This is where assessing your competition also comes in handy.
- Compare your rates to those of your competitors.
Google search tutors in your area and see what they are charging for their tutoring service. Compare your level of experience and subject areas to see how you compare. Is their rate in line with your thinking, or is it higher? Or lower?
Other Things to Consider
- Learning differences and special needs
Not all tutors have the skill set to support students with learning differences and special needs. Tutors must have a working knowledge of IEPs, 504s, and ALPs written by special education teachers to address the unique needs of their students. Tutors with specific experience and education working with diverse learners may also ask for a higher rate because they have specialized training.
- Tutoring centers Vs. Individualized attention
While tutoring centers can offer a lower rate for their services, they often don’t provide the same level of individualized support that a private tutor can. Don’t lower your prices to compete with tutoring centers. Stand by the value you bring with your skills and individualized approach.
- Increasing rates
Once you have established your tutoring business and you have loyal clients, you will need to navigate the process of raising your rates at some point. You will have to raise your tutoring rates every few years to keep up with the rising cost of living. You should plan on raising your prices by 7-10% every year or two. Communicate your price increase with your clients in writing at least a month before you increase your rates and start new clients at the new rate off the bat.
Determining a fair hourly rate as a private tutor can be challenging. However, researching tutoring rates in your area and considering factors such as location, experience, and demand can help you develop a pricing structure that works for you. With the right rate, your online tutoring job will be as beneficial for you as it is for your students.
As your online tutoring business grows and becomes more established, it is essential to maintain strong relationships with your students built on transparent communication and personal accountability. A CRM software program can help you achieve this by taking care of automating and streamlining your administrative tasks.
Try Practice for free and start developing stronger relationships with your tutoring clients.