How much should I charge?
Tutors charge various fees depending on the nature, quality and characteristics of the tuition offered. The level of specialisation is significant to the fee, as is the level of accountability, individualisation and educational insight provided by the tutor.
One-to-one sessions tend to levy a higher fee for the student/family. Where the ratio of students to tutor is higher (such as in a class) the individual fee may be significantly lower and the tutor rate overall higher. Thus, some students may pay as little as $10 or $15 per hour but be in a class of 15 or 20 students. Here a tutor may be paid an hourly fixed rate if they are an employee or they may levy a variable rate (depending on student numbers) if they are a contractor.
Teacher-trained tutors typically charge in the range $40 to $150 per hour. This high variability will be influenced by each of the following:
- Whether the tutor is primary or secondary trained. Primary trained teachers as tutors are typically lower paid than secondary trained tutors.
- The years of experience the teacher has
- The contribution the teacher has made to the profession as evidenced through creation of resources, leadership and other professional contributions. The number of workshops a teacher has attended in professional development is, of itself, NOT a sign of professional contribution, though it may be indicative of professional engagement
- Whether the teacher is proficient, highly accomplished or has achieved another level of professional expertise as recognised by a national teaching standards body
- The geographical area the teacher is situated in: typically rural rates are lower than rates in urban areas as the cost of living is generally higher in urban areas
Effective and accountable computer based learning
There are different categories of non-teacher trained tutors including:
- University students who are training to be teachers
- University students undertaking a course of study in the subject matter that is the focus of the tutoring
- Non-teacher trained discipline specialists whose knowledge and skill has arisen by virtue of experience on the job
- Others who are neither teachers nor students studying in a teaching degree or discipline related to the field of tuition, and without specialist knowledge arising by virtue of work or academic history.
Non-teacher trained tutors who are fully qualified (not provisionally or partially) can command a higher hourly rate than those not qualified (and hence falling outside of industry standards). The cost of qualification should be built into the rate as the cost of professional qualification adds value to the service offered by the tutor.
Non-teacher rates may be as low as the national minimum wage or higher, depending on the form of tutoring (one-to-one, online, face-to-face, large group or classroom-based, and so forth). Where a non-teacher is following/utilising a prescribed set of materials the fee per hour may be lower.
Undervaluing services and discounting
Teachers typically undervalue the amount they should charge and are therefore vulnerable to ‘giving too much’ without appropriate recompense. It is therefore recommended that where teacher-trained tutors are unsure of how much to charge they charge a higher than lower price. This is important as undervaluing services can keep a tutor feeling devalued for the provision of professional and expert services.
Charging a higher price can then lead to discounting later if the need arises, however, it is very hard to increase fees once a price has been established.
Tutors who are uncomfortable with negotiating fees should create a price list in print or electronic form and can point clients to that so that this ‘does the talking’.
In summary, fees will vary depending on a number of factors. However, price should realistically reflect the value of the professional service offered.