“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” - Aristotle
With academic support tutorials, homework help, school holiday tutorials, and private tutorials, the private tutoring market is expanding. The market is valued at around £2bn per year.
When it comes to academic success, you can't beat one on one tutoring. However, it can be difficult for working-class families to pay for private tutorials for their children if they start struggling at school. That said, they can always find a tutor who's offering group classes and workshops.
So how can you choose fair rates for private group tutorials? How much are tutoring services worth?
In our second article on teaching tutorials to groups, we're looking at how you can work out what to charge for group tutorials, what's a fair price for both the tutor and the students, how to make your tutoring business successful.
The Factors Affecting the Cost of Private Group Tutorials
Private group tutorials usually include less than 10 students who’ll be taught in a classroom. According to the law of supply and demand, the equilibrium price is at the intersection of supply and demand. When it comes to private tutorials, this seems to oscillate between £15 and £30 per hour.
That said, there are a number of factors that affect this price:
- The tutor’s experience
- Their qualifications (a qualified teacher can charge more than an undergraduate student who's tutoring for some extra cash)
- Travel costs
- The student’s level
- Whether the tutor offers home tutoring or online tutoring (tutoring online costs less than being a home tutor so the rates can be lower)
- The subjects taught by the tutor (advanced calculus, algebra, and other complex mathematics usually cost more than learning how to sew, for example)
- What the tutor thinks their lessons are worth
A beginner’s lesson will be less profitable than A Level tutorials since those being tutored won't put as much value on tutoring jobs at a lower level as they would for someone who's applying to university, for example.
So what about group lessons?
Let’s look at a foreign language class, for example. The tutor offers the foreign language tutorials for £40 per hour for classes that last an hour an a half (so £60 per class). They couldn’t get a single student in a class of 8 to pay £60 per lesson. At this rate, for 30 lessons with 8 students, the tutor would make £14,400 or £320 an hour.
With all that said, there are very few families that would pay £1,800 for 45 hours of tutoring throughout the school year.
Tutors tend to offer lessons on a sliding scale. For example, £300 per student for 30-35 lessons with 270 students, £270 for classes of 8, £230 for 9, £200 for 10, etc. These kinds of pricing strategies can really help when you're looking for tutoring jobs.
A lot of tutors offer bundles to their students throughout the school year. Of course, this only works if you're offering the kind of subjects they teach at schools like chemistry, biology, physics, maths, and any other subjects on the national curriculum.
The more attractive the rates, the more you can potentially earn.
How Much Should You Charge for Group Academic Support?
How much should maths, physics, English, or foreign language tutorials?
Prices will vary depending on where you teach and the cost of living in the area. As you’re probably aware, the cost of living in London is higher than other cities in the UK so you have to diversify your offering to potential customers.
Of course, microeconomics isn’t the only deciding factor for how to set your rates. However, it’d be foolish to charge £100 per hour for a music tutorial for a group of 4-year-olds. On the other hand, you can’t charge £50 per student for 30 A Level English lessons as a group of 10 students would only earn you £500 for the year.
The tutors on the Superprof platform know that investment in knowledge has a price. This price considers the tutor’s qualifications and the time taken the prepare and give their lessons. Additionally, the price will vary according to supply and demand with supply being the number of tutors offering a given class and the demand being the number of students who want classes.
In theory, as demand increases and the supply doesn’t, the rates will go up. On the other hand, if the demand goes down, the rates will need to go down. The average hourly rate in larger cities is somewhere around £20 per hour.
How to Work Out Your Rates for Group Classes
Let’s take a maths tutor on Superprof as an example. Imagine they teach a group of 5 students A Level maths from September to June (40 sessions across 10 months) for £250 students. For a group, they’ll get £1,250 for the year, £125 a month, £31.25 an hour.
If they work 18 hours a week, that is 18 groups paying the same rates, they’ll bring in £2,250 per month. A first glance, this is a pretty decent salary.
Of course, this is before any taxes are paid and tutors will have to declare their earnings with HMRC. Furthermore, it might be quite difficult to find 18 different groups of 5 students a week throughout the school year. Their monthly salary will decrease if there’s not enough demand for their lessons.
If they only think they’ll be able to get 9 hours of lessons a week, they’ll have to increase their rates: for example, £400 the year per family for a group of 5 students (£2,000 per year, £50 per hour). At an hourly rate of £50 per hour, they’d take home £1,600 gross for 9 hours of classes. However, parents will probably find these rates expensive.
Additionally, it’s quite a high hourly rate in comparison to other people who work 40 hours a week for around £1,200 a month. Of course, you need to consider the tutor’s qualifications, the time spent preparing their lessons, and the tax they’ll have to pay on their earnings.
Most tutors will charge by the hour and set their rates at somewhere between £15 and £25 per hour. With a group of 5 students taking Spanish, for example, they’d take home £100 per hour or £400 per month for the class. With 4 groups per month, the tutor would be earning over minimum wage.
Of course, we also need to consider tutors’ expenses for their lessons: for an hour tutorial, a tutor could spend hours planning tutorials, their transport costs, and the costs of printing resources.
Let’s imagine that a tutor charges £300 for 40 A Level science lessons. A group of 5 would earn them £37.50 per hour ((300 x 5) / 40). If they take 3 hours to prepare each lesson, their hourly rate would drop to just over £9 per hour. This is a pretty paltry salary given that they need the skills to teach A Level students.
This is why it’s not uncommon to see some tutors charging beyond the £30 mark because they need to earn a living and an appropriate wage for the service they're offering.
Ready to start your own tutoring business and become a private tutor?
Consider creating your profile on Superprof. Don't forget that becoming a tutor is easy as you just have to make your profile and start finding students looking for tuition. The main benefits of being a private tutor are that you get to be your own boss and set your own rates. Additionally, you can choose when you work and how you work.
Of course, as a private tutor you'll still need to answer to your students (who are also your customers) and make sure you're offering quality tuition at competitive rates.
If you live in a small town or in the country, you could become an online tutor and offer supplemental instruction via webcam with programmes like Skype. As long as you and your student have a decent internet connection, you can teach private tutorials using this method. Additionally, you can save a lot of money on travel costs, allowing you to charge more competitive rates for your tutorials.
If you want to become a tutor and start teaching groups, you should check out our series of articles on teaching group private tutorials and workshops. As you'll have seen throughout this article, group tutorials are a great way to earn more per hour while offering discounted rates to students. This is basically a win-win scenario for both the students and the teacher. However, the students won't get as much one-on-one time with their tutor and the teacher won't be able to tailor their lessons as much as they would in a normal private tutorial.