“Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday’s code.” - Dan Salomon
Private tutorials tend to cost around £20 an hour. However, this is just the average. There are so many different factors to consider that the average isn’t representative.
On Superprof, the average cost of a private programming tutorial costs around £25 an hour. As you can see, the average has shifted simply by specifying a subject. It’ll change even more once you start considering the tutor’s experience, where they work, the level they teach, and even the type of tutorial being offered.
Let’s have a look at how you can set your rates as a private programming tutor.
Setting Your Rates According to Location
Firstly, look around. Charging a rate that’s too low could be seen as predatory pricing. Similarly, you won’t earn much money by charging so little.
On the other hand, if you charge too much, you may struggle to find students. You need to see what the competition is charging for similar services. Your location will help give a better indication of suitable rates. The cost of living in London isn’t the same as in Manchester so rates usually reflect this.
To help you, here are the average costs for programming tutorials in some of the UK’s main cities:
- London: £23.
- Liverpool: £21.
- Birmingham: £17.
- Edinburgh: £16.
- Cardiff: £17.
- Manchester: £16.
- Belfast: £16.
- Leeds: £21.
- Bristol: £17.
- Glasgow: £14.
- Swansea: £10.
However, this is just the average. We also recommend you check the rates for tutors offering similar lessons with similar qualifications and experience. You might also want to look at exactly what kind of private programming tutoring they’re offering.
Are You Teaching Face-to-face or Online?
In particular, the type of lesson will change how much you charge for it.
Are you planning to teach online via webcam? Will you have the students come to your house? Are you going to travel to each student’s home?
If you’re teaching remotely or online, you’ll save a lot of time and money by not having to travel. This will give you more hours in the day to schedule lessons. You’ll save money and have the potential to earn more.
If the students come to you, you’ll be in a similar situation. Just make sure you have a room dedicated to teaching and that it won’t bother the people you live with.
You can also travel to each student’s home. You’ll have to pay for public transport or fuel if you’re driving so you’ll also need to factor in the time it takes to get there.
You can either factor these costs into your rates or add a transportation fee.
What Level Do You Teach?
The basics can be taught to students of any age and by almost anyone. You might specialise in teaching children, teens, university students, or adults. Each age group has different needs and you might want to alter your rates to reflect this. Lessons for beginners usually require less preparation and planning than an advanced lesson on a particular topic.
Don’t hesitate to look at how much the other tutors charge for the same level. As a general rule of thumb, hourly rates are between £15 and £30 for absolute beginners, £30 to £50 for intermediates, and over £50 for the most advanced courses.
What Experience Do You Have?
Your level in programming is important.
Did you teach yourself? Do you have a degree? Are you still a student or are you working in the industry? How long have you worked as a programmer? How many students have you taught? Do you have a teaching qualification?
You need to consider these when setting your hourly rates.
The more experience you have, the more you can charge for your lessons. Teachers with more experience can offer better programming tutorials. On the other hand, if you’re still a student or inexperienced, you may need to large a lower rate to entice your first students to take a chance. As you gain experience, you can increase your rates.
Define Your Hourly Rate According to Your Specialisation
You can charge a premium for certain specialisations. It’s tempting to offer every programming language from Java and Python to HTML and CSS. However, specialisation gives the impression of expertise. In this case, you can charge more for specialist topics.
Rather than teaching programming in the general sense, you can teach a specific area of coding.
What’s your speciality?
- Object-oriented programming
- Web development
- SQL for databases.
- Mobile app development
- Visual Basic (VBA)
- Programming video games
You could also specialise in the academic side of programming, helping students prepare for GCSE, A Level, or university exams. In any case, the fewer tutors offering your speciality, the more you can usually charge for it.
Offer Special Rates
To set you apart from other tutors, offer deals and special rates:
- A free trial class is a great way to encourage students to choose you as their tutor. Generally, this isn’t an actual lesson but a way to meet potential students and show them how you can help.
- Intensive courses for results in a shorter time. These could be a couple of full days during a week or regularly for a few weeks.
- Longer lessons at a cheaper rate per hour.
- Cheaper online lessons.
- Reduced rates for group classes.
- You can also offer discounts to students who pay for several tutorials at once.
You need to think carefully about your rates as they can affect how many students will be interested in your tutorials and how much money you can earn.
Don’t Forget to Consider Your Outgoings When Setting Your Rates
The most important thing to consider is how much money you need to earn. You might decide to tutor to bolster your monthly income. In this case, everything’s a bonus and it all depends on how much time you’re going to spend doing it.
If you’re only teaching a couple of students a week, you can’t expect to be taking home several hundred a month. On the other hand, if you’re teaching students full-time, you’ll want to be earning a full-time wage.
Don’t forget that you need to declare your earnings and pay tax on them. The tax you pay will depend on how much you earn or how much you’re already earning. If this is the case, you may need to charge a premium so that it’s still a viable wage once HMRC has taken their cut.
Don’t forget to factor lesson planning into your rates, too. You will spend working on every student’s lesson outside of the time that you’re with the student.
So how much will you charge for your lessons?
If you don't have any other students yet, you can encourage them to take a chance on your lessons by offering the first one for free. This is an opportunity to show them how you can help them learn to code and how you'll adapt the lessons to their level, needs, and preferred learning style.
You can offer face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, or group tutorials. There are pros and cons to each for the student and the tutor so you'll need to think about how you prefer to teach and which would work best for your career.
With group tutorials, you need to find more students, but you can offer lower rates to each student as you can end up earning more per hour. In this case, it's harder to keep every student happy as you can't fully tailor the lessons to each one; something a lot of students are looking for with private tutoring.
Face-to-face tutorials require more work behind the scenes as you'll need to plan every single lesson for each student and you'll often have to travel to the students' homes. Generally, you can charge more for the tutorials as the students are getting a bespoke service and are happy to pay a premium for it. You can also agree on an extra charge if you have to travel a long distance to your students or offer a discount if they'd be willing to come to you.
You can also offer tutorials to students all over the world via the internet as long as you have a decent connection and a webcam. Since you don't have to travel anywhere, you can save both time and money on transportation, schedule more tutorials each week, and charge more competitive rates as you'll have fewer outgoings. Furthermore, programming is the type of subject that lends itself well to being taught remotely as students have to be on their computer anyway.