Pricing yourself as a tutor....

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pi-R-Squared, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    A district employee walked into my classroom today and talked about her daughter's struggles in math and that she could use a tutor. She then asked if I would have time over the summer to "catch her up." I said I live 50 miles where I work but she said she would be willing to drive to my hometown's library for me to tutor her daughter. I did tell her that the Khan Academy website has free videos that she can watch to learn. She said her daughter learns better one-on-one.

    So the question is, what is fair price to offer if I do choose to be a tutor? And would her driving 50 miles factor into this?
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Guru

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    Pricing would be what the region norm is. The fact that it is a district employee might be a consideration, if you don't regularly tutor. That would be a personal call. As for the distance, irrelevant. I drove 50 miles in each direction for 4 years every Saturday for my son's horn lessons. I felt fortunate that we found someone who was such a good teacher for horn - not so easy to find. I never questioned the price or the distance.
     
  4. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    By district employee, what do you mean by consideration? Also, her daughter attends a different school in the same school district that we both work. With her offering to pay, I would assume this won’t be a conflict of interest?
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This.
     
  6. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    All teachers in my district charge the exact same $90 per hour so there is no undercutting. The only exception is teachers charge $100-120 for tutoring for AP classes. Parents around here don't even think twice about forking over this kind of cash, even for kids who could probably get As or Bs without any tutoring. In most parts of the country (not on the coasts), this would be an exorbitant amount so ask around other teachers in your district. I tutor all students in their homes, but I would consider knocking $10-15 off if they came to me, though it is usually just easier for me to go to them.
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I like your profit margins. My colleagues and I have no trouble undercutting each other if it means getting more money, lol!
     
  8. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I'd ask around locally to see what the rates are like in that area: it's an incredibly regional thing. Set a price, once you know that, that seems fair to you. If you want to take the fact they'd be driving a ways into account, go ahead, but I think they'd give you an idea based on their initial thoughts/reactions about your pricing.
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Exactly. I commute 45 minutes to 1.5 hours for 3 days a week and charge $120/hour. It’s worth it as I tutor 3 hours, on average, a night, which comes out to several tens of thousands of dollars every year ($51,340 minimally). And this year, I’m on par to make ~$70k if I tutor an extra night each week for the next several weeks.

    Commuting is not a factor since my profits more than make up for it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  10. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Dang! $100 an hour for tutoring????? That’s what computer programmers make! I’m in the southeast and work in a very poor area. My base pay with a masters and 5 years exp about $35/hr (187 days @ 7.5 contract hours). I can’t even see myself asking $35/hr for tutoring. I’ll have to ask around because I don’t want to sell myself too short. And yet I don’t want to sound greedy, too. FWIW, this girl is struggling with math because she ended up being taught by a non-credentialized coach (no math endorsement) who got stuck teaching Geometry! How schools can get away with this is mind boggling.
     
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  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I love it when people talk money and numbers! Gets me every time. :D

    First off, look up what tutors in your area charge to get a feel for what people are willing to pay. Be willing to drive to meet clients to sweeten the deal. To do this, you can start by searching for a local tutoring service and then undercutting what their median price is slightly. And once you build a large enough clientele base, then you should start raking in the dough. (And you should raise your rates steadily, as well.)

    In my case, I started off with 1-2 clients, but now I get referrals left and right from other parents and my phone is “ringing” constantly. Last summer, I had over 50 clients and I worked ~7 hours sometimes and tutored 2-4 nights a week. I would even work 5 nights and garnered about 30k this way. It also helps that I am qualified to tutor students for AP Calc AB/BC, AP Stats, AP Computer Science A/Principles, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics1/2/B/C, AP Spanish Lang/Lit, and college-level math and science (Calc 1-3, Linear Equations, Differential Equations, Partial Differential Equations, Statistics, Probability Theory, Real Analysis, Number Theory, Abstract Math, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Newtonian/Classical Physics, Thermodynamics, and Electricity and Magnetism). I’ll even say to parents with children taking multiple AP/college classes that I can tutor them for pretty much all of their coursework and they’ll never need another tutor. For parents hesitant about this, I’ll give them a free hour or two to test the waters and they are amazed by how much knowledge I have. We then set up a tutoring schedule and I get a regular client. It’s a win-win for everyone.

    To sum up, it’s all about the build up! Sell yourself and you’ll go far! Go above and beyond. Showcase your skill set. And if need be, learn a new subject so that you can advertise to more clients.

    Seriously, start tutoring and tutor as much as you can, as often as you can. Your bank account will thank you for it!

    Another reason you should tutor is to get your overall income up. $49k is too low, in my opinion. (No offense, of course!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  12. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    $49K is low but pretty decent pay for where I live. I have tutored this student before so I’m not an unknown. Figure this would actually add to what I should ask. I did ask a math teacher from my hometown and she said the going rate is $30-40/hr. For this area, that is a lot of money.
     
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  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Guru

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    Tutoring is one of the perks a caring parent with some free money can provide for their child. Sometimes the student appreciates it, sometimes they squander the opportunity. Always be honest with the parent about progress and the amount of work the student is willing to put into the project. All the tutoring in the world won't help a child with zero interest in putting in some time and effort. Tutoring when the child is invested is highly motivating, IMHO.
     
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  14. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    So true on this. I've had many tutoring sessions where the students have been excited and relieved to have me come help them. On the other hand, I tutored one kid who would ALWAYS be asleep when I arrived [at like 5 pm]. It would then take 10 minutes for the parents to wake him up [of course I still counted that time as part of our hour], and when he was up, he took another 10 minutes for him to get his stuff together. He never really had questions, never seemed interested in doing the work, and you could tell he and I were both just watching the clock waiting for the ordeal to end. I even told the parents that he didn't seem to need me, but they still insisted I keep coming....
     
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Mar 14, 2019

    What about a little bit outside your area? Say, like 30-45 minutes away? An hour?
     
  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Can anyone share how they share that price with potential clients?

    Rates are lower in my area, and I'd like to charge around $40, but I'm afraid parents would balk at that.
     
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I discuss my rate with parents when I am sure they would like to hire me in the long term. I will say, “This is the going rate for tutors in the area,” and I will show them comparables. Then, I state, “I’m also driving to meet you so that is factored into the price, as well. And just think how much more expensive it would be to hire multiple tutors for multiple subjects and you get all of my knowledge for the price of one!”

    Some parents try to haggle, but I stand firm. Though, in some instances I may drop from $120/hr to $100-$110/hr if they plan to have me come for multiple sessions and the commute is not so bad.
     
  18. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I just say it when I respond to their email. Most tutoring jobs I turn down so occasionally if they don't like what they hear, I won't hear back from them, but that's okay because there are so many other fish in the sea :)
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    How many clients do you regularly have and for how often?
     
  20. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I currently tutor 7-8 students regularly, most of those every week. I usually do 3 or 4 on Mondays and the other 3 or 4 on Thursdays. I could easily have a lot more if I wanted to, but I value my free time and my sanity, and I feel that scheduling more than that would burn me out, which is why I turn so many down. They even ask me to tutor on the weekend sometimes, which I USUALLY reject unless I'm going to be in the area anyway. 7-8 seems to be the sweet spot for me for making good extra without sending myself to an early grave :)
     
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  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    This is very reasonable and I’m happy to hear your tutoring business is going well! And I like your thought process about doing what works for you. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and I’m elated you’ve found a happy medium. I think that’s the right mindset to take with regards to all things. :)

    In my case, I just can’t resist the allure of money, so if someone offers to pay top dollar for my services at 2am for several hours at TWICE my regular rate (for me, that’s $240/hour), then I’m going to accept without a second thought.

    And was I very irritated to be rudely woken up early in the morning? Without a doubt. Was I going to turn down their extremely lucrative offer and head back to bed? Hell to the no. You can bet your life savings that I was out the door faster than you can say scoopity poop, poopity scoop. In short, even if I’m woken up from dead slumber in the wee hours of the morning and have to drive 45 minutes away, I’m going to do it if the money is good. After all, that’s almost $1,000 for 4 hours worth of work! That’s significant and that’s ~$1,000 closer to early retirement and my dream of total financial independence, so I’m doing it.

    And at the rate I’m going, I should be able to buy a house outright by age 30 and be mathematically sound to retire at 45 (maybe sooner) if I play my cards right. However, this all requires that I work extremely hard now and save at least $50,000/year, which I will be able to do and more starting in April of this year as I’ll be debt-free then. I can’t wait to achieve my dreams and tutoring is the vehicle by which I’ll get there. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019

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