There is no doubt that online tutoring has grown in popularity, particularly during the pandemic when face-to-face learning was restricted.
Those who have decided to start their own online tutoring business have been faced with several challenges, such as how to find students, what equipment to use, how to promote their business, and, ultimately, how much to charge for online tutoring.
The challenge of setting the price is possibly the biggest one, as it involves a lot of research on your part. Looking at what competitors are doing is just one factor in the equation – there are plenty of other points to consider.
Keep reading to find out what are the most important factors to analyze before you decide on how much to charge for online tutoring.
Decide on the Right Rate for Tutoring Services
If you’re looking to boost your income, online tutoring might be the side hustle that works for you. There are shared similarities between the work routine and process of a freelance job and a traditional job. For example, you’ll end up with some regular clients, but reaching out to them is more akin to a freelance experience.
Figuring out what to charge as a private tutor is not straightforward. In part, this is because you’re charging for services and not tangible goods. Your time, labor, knowledge, and expertise are being exchanged for money.
On top of it, there are no regulatory boards and guidelines to oversee this type of work. Various factors determine rates and will vary from one person to the next.
Private tutors should reevaluate their fees yearly to judge if they’re pricing their tutoring sessions competitively according to location, skillset, and student outcomes.
A tutor committed to getting the best results for their learners will soon fill up their timetable. An in-demand instructor will not only be able to charge a competitive fee but can increase that fee over time, building a flourishing online tutoring business.
Factors to Help You Decide How Much to Charge for Online Tutoring
The following are some important points to consider when determining what to charge for your private tutoring.
Experience and qualifications of the tutor
Expertise in your particular field strongly influences the rates you can set for your classes. Relevant certification will also help to establish your credibility and knowledge as a private tutor.
Formal qualifications are not a prerequisite for tutors, but if, for example, you have a language degree, then you could tutor high school and college students in that particular language for a reasonable fee.
Your level of expertise will also play into how you go about acquiring potential learners. Your skill set will likely be a drawing card for students, and you can price your sessions much higher. In fact, your level of expertise means you may be able to charge anywhere between $10 and $50 an hour more than less experienced tutors.
Online tutoring is both popular and convenient and has created equal opportunities for tutors throughout the industry.
The prices in one city will differ from the next. Consider just two scenarios from a university town. You may be able to charge a higher rate to college students. Or these students could be tutoring younger learners (like high school students), thereby increasing competition and lowering tutoring rates.
The difficulty of the subject or skill set
The more complex and specialized, the more you can charge. The rates for 12th-grade Chemistry will naturally be higher than those for 12th-grade English.
It’s also crucial to notice market trends. If there isn’t much of a demand for your particular field of interest, then rates will be lower in comparison to high-demand subjects. It is simply a matter of supply and demand.
The rates for tutoring students online or in person during their work hours or after school are relatively lower than nighttime or weekend slots.
As a tutor, you need to be flexible and accommodate your student’s timetable, and you can charge more for being adaptable and meeting their schedule needs.
Number and Consistency of Tutoring Sessions
A regular student is a definite plus for any tutor since they provide a steady income source. How do you ensure a returning learner? Create financial incentives by lowering the rate per hour for a package deal within a specified time frame.
If a student says they would like to continue on a weekly basis or for the whole semester, then consider working out reasonable tutoring costs for both parties.
Market rates for similar services
Another key factor to consider is the pricing of your competitors. Tutoring, particularly online, is a very competitive market, so take the time to evaluate the average tutoring rates of competitors.
Naturally, competition would be based on whether tutors are working in the same area, hold the same qualifications and level of experience, and tutor the same subject.
Determining Tutoring Prices
Keep the following guidelines in mind when thinking about what to charge for your tutoring session.
Consider a fair profit margin
Going forward, you want to establish a sustainable and profitable business practice. To do this, you need to set a practical profit rate.
And while rules around profit margins aren’t written in stone, on average, tutoring companies pay between 20 and 30% of their session fee to their tutors.
Add a discount buffer
There is no doubt that some students (or their parents) will attempt to bargain for a discount rate when it comes to private tutoring costs.
If you are flexible, you will have more return students and a chance to boost sales.
Offers and group packages
Create package deals for your classes or special offers to bolster student commitment. For example, a student who purchases a 15-class package is willing to engage more consistently with their education experience.
Offer bulk lesson discounts to attract and retain more students.
Value and cost-based pricing
To ensure your online tutoring company makes a profit, you have to set rates that can cover business expenses.
Pick a Pricing Plan
Rates for online tutoring are usually priced between $18 and $30 per hour. Online tutoring companies determine rates by details such as your level of experience, student age, subject difficulty, and your rating on the tutoring service platform.
Depending on your level of expertise and specialization, your rates will be adjusted to reflect your knowledge and experience in the subject. If you meet the aforementioned criteria, you’ll find that tutoring graduate students and elementary school students can be a very lucrative job.
Figuring out how much to charge for online tutoring means you need to consider common pricing practices and set a reasonable rate. Having a set plan will help to overcome hurdles when you’re not sure about the length of classes and time needed to adequately cover the subject.
Sessions with a private tutor vary depending on the subject. A tutor can charge between $25 and $70 for standard K-12 subjects, like English, Science, and Math. More complex subjects, like college-level calculus or computer science, can cost up to $125 per hour.
What about flat fees? If you know what the duration of a particular course will be, then it’s better to charge a flat fee rather than charge by the hour. For example, an SAT tutor working through a three-month course should charge their students a flat fee.
Be upfront about what you charge for tutoring
The how and why of your pricing is just as valuable as your pricing strategy to your tutoring business.
Be transparent with your customers about the value placed on the tutoring services you offer. Potential customers are firstly interested in what you have to offer them. And then secondly, they want to know what those services are going to cost them.
It’s crucial that you can sincerely justify the rates for your in-person and group tutoring.
If you’re trying to penetrate the market and have set low prices, make sure this is obvious to your learners and that it in no way affects the quality of your tutoring services. If, on the other hand, you’ve increased your prices, provide your learners with more value for their money.
At any rate, whatever you’re charging, the customer should be able to see value for their money.
Knowing How Much to Charge for Online Tutoring Leads to Success
Figuring out your pricing strategy comes down to a few vital factors: your location, level of experience, and communication skills. It’s also essential that you find out what other tutors (of the same subjects and level of experience) are charging and how busy they are.
The more experience and knowledge you gain, the more you can increase your rates as your business progresses. Experienced tutors or instructors with a specific specialization should focus their pricing strategy on the higher end.
If you’re hesitant about how much to charge for online tutoring, just review the above-mentioned points.
You can make a successful living as a tutor. There are many tutors out there earning a full-time income from their educational online platform. In particular, the private tutoring rate for older learners is much higher than other learning setups.
Looking for some more resources to help you out? Take a look at this Online Tutor Rate Calculator.
Some professional tutor associations offer information on tutoring service rates. Check out Association for the Coaching and Tutoring Profession, and National Tutoring Association to find out more.