As Albert Einstein said:
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge”.
This is probably why you’ve decided to become a German tutor and teach the language privately, right?
You’ve a passion for language learning, know how to speak German, are a master of the language and German culture, and want to pass on everything you know about German and help students improve their reading, writing, listening, and speaking in German as well as teaching them interesting new German phrases.
While teaching is a noble profession, it’s not free! You can’t live on a passion for teaching and for German!
Before you even start looking for your first students for German classes, you’ll need to decide what your rates are. It’s normal to feel this is really complicated in the beginning.
What’s the best way to work out a fair price for your German tutorials? (Source: Anne Preble)
Isn’t it difficult to work out how much a tutorial’s worth? If you take a few factors into account, you’ll be able to work out a fair rate for your German tutorials without too much stressing.
Everything will be made clear over the course of this article!
The first thing you need to know is that private tutors are almost always paid by the hour. This means that when you do finally decide on your rates, you’ll need to work them out in terms of £/hour taught.
You’ll also need to think about the prices charged by the other tutors on the market in order to give you a general idea of what people are willing to pay and what people are getting paid.
Find out more once you’ve prepared your German courses!
Look for German tutorials on-line and find German tutorial forums on platforms dedicated to academic support.
The average price for a German tutorial in London is £24 on Superprof.
You need to act just like you would if you were a student wanting to learn German!
Look in the papers for competitors’ prices. (Source: Tim Mossholder)
Have a look around. Check out the various German tutorials available and make sure to make a note of the prices and the tutors giving them so you can see what you get for your money.
Don’t forget to have a look at foreign language schools and see what they’re charging, too. While this may seem a bit trivial, this is one of the most important steps since you need to be aware of the rates that are being offered by your competition. Since your typical client wanting to learn German will probably be looking at both private tutorials and German classes, you need to know what everyone’s charging.
This will allow you to set a fair price as well as know exactly how to justify this price in terms of the market.
If a customer claims your rates are too high, for example, you can clearly explain to them the reasoning behind your rates.
By finding out the cost of German tutorials, you’ll see the difference in rates in terms of the tutor’s level. No two German tutors are alike.
Don’t believe us? Check out the various German tutors in London on Superprof by typing “German” into the search bar. You’ll quickly see how different they all are.
The rate per hour can vary wildly depending on the level of these tutors.
Are you a psychology student with a good level in German? Are you fluent or did you learn to speak German online You won’t be able to ask for as much as a qualified native German teacher!
To work out how much you’re going to charge, you’ll also have to gauge your own level.
If you’re a teacher working in a school, it’ll be quite easy. Is it a primary school or a secondary school? Reception or sixth form? Did you study a PGCE?
Once you start answering these questions you’ll see the steps to take and how to find your students.
A tutor’s experience plays an important role in how much they charge.
If you’ve recently graduated and have less than two years experience, you’ll be thought of as a beginner. Your price will be much lower than someone who’s taught for over 20 years!
Do you have a German degree? (Source: Noah Hinton)
Working out your level is even more important if teaching isn’t your day job, even if German is your native language.
Are you student with a good level in German but not a native speaker? Have you taken hundreds of language courses and know how to speak your second language almost as well as the natives of German speaking countries?
You can work out your proficiency by taking a level test.
Are you fluent, advanced, or conversational?
You can work out where you are on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Get in touch with your nearest Goethe Institut to find out when the next exams are.
For example, anyone wanting to learn German from a native speaker in London will be looking at upwards of £30.
However, students are available for less than that.
Why are there so many different rates?
Because the rate doesn’t only depend on the tutor’s level of German!
There are several other things you need to consider when coming up with your rates.
The difference in rates for a primary school student and a secondary school student is around £10.
This makes sense since the work required can vary wildly.
Learning German as a second language in a German for a beginners’ language course is not the same as German lessons for somebody speaking German with a high level of fluency.
Online teaching jobs for basic German grammar, new words, and the German alphabet to a primary school student is very different to teaching intensive German A Level or degree tutorials. The latter can require all your German language knowledge.
You have to choose your students in terms of your preferences and your abilities. Be logical and consistent!
Are you a first-year student wanting to give private German tutorials?
It’d be a good idea to teach primary school students as opposed to other students who may even have a better level than you.
Have you got lots of experience?
You should mention that you teach all levels on your advert. In this case, you should have a rates table detailing how much you charge for each type of student.
If you thought teaching privately didn’t have any running costs, you were wrong! You need to bring more than just your language skills and a few German words to each lesson!
In fact, your running costs should be taken into account when working out the rates of your German tutorials.
Don’t forget that you’re aiming to earn money, not lose it!
Get out a pen and paper and make a note of everything you’ll need to teach private German tutorials.
Some things are obvious, like pens, notebooks, etc. If you don’t have them already, you’ll probably have to buy vocabulary books, grammar books, and German exercise books.
Whether you send progress reports by mail or deliver them by hand, you’re probably often going to need to make photocopies (of corrections, for example). Work out how much your ink cartridges cost or how.
Finally, work out your transport costs. You’ve probably already worked out how far you’re willing to travel for your German tutorials. If you use public transport, consider the cost of your passes.
If you have your own car, work out how much your journey costs in terms of petrol. There are sites to do this.
Choose the best form of transport for teaching German. (Source: Angello Lopez)
You’ll also need to work out your taxes, too. Being a private German tutor can be your main job or a side hustle.
Either way, you need to declare what you earn!
You’ll need to take into account business expenditures, too.
Work out all your overheads before you decide on your hourly rates.
The platform or organisation you choose to work with to find your future German students will also affect the cost of your tutorials.
Some organisations can take as much as 50% of your hourly rate!
Some take barely anything and you go home with almost all your pay: Superprof, for example, doesn’t charge a signup fee.
The traditional (and outdated) method of advertising in a launderette or supermarket noticeboard has been replaced by on-line adverts. While these are often free, they’re not academic support specialists.
Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each platform: there’ll definitely be one that stands out!
After taking all of these into account, you’ll be ready to teach your students German.