How much you can earn depends, on the subjects you want to teach, the type of tutoring you perform, and where you live.
Let's face it English and Maths are where most tutors are engaged, everything else comes in a very distant 3rd place. This is consistent across Primary (K-6) and Secondary (7-12) school years.
Type of tutoring
Do you tutor one-on-one, in small groups, or online? The type of tutoring roles you deliver will determine the amount of money you can charge per student. One-on-one is probably the least efficient method to tutor, involving prep, travel to and from, parental follow-up, and the actual hour of tutoring. Small group tutoring, whether in-person or online, is the most effective means of maximising your tutoring income, as while each student pays less, your session income can be 3-4 times that which you earn from a single one-on-one session. Online tutoring sits in between the other two, and is closely aligned to your one-on-one earnings, however, comes without the need to travel to and from the tutoring location.
Where you live
City residents are going to be able to find more students and charge higher rates than residents in semi-rural or rural areas. However, the cost of living is dramatically higher in city areas, so rural tutors who can build an online customer base will be able to leverage their lower cost of living and charge lower rates, therefore more quickly building up their client base. The socio-economics of a region will also have an impact, as wealthy parents are more likely to seek tutoring services for their school-age children, and will be less price-sensitive.
If you are a rural tutor, teaching English or maths to 16 small groups of students from wealthy suburbs...well done! You are in an exclusive club, consisting of maybe 100 other independent private tutors across the globe! In the real world, parents still prefer in-person, one-on-one tutoring for their students, particularly for younger children. As the children become older and should they start to take responsibility for their own learning, then online is definitely preferred (it doesn't interrupt their social life as much!).
Can you earn a decent living as an independent private tutor?
Probably not unless you can tutor in multiple timezones - the sheer mechanics of completing 25+ tutoring sessions a week within a single timezone makes this practically impossible. Session preparation, travel, feedback, etc, all eat into your income-earning time, and while some of this can be done outside the prime tutoring hours (before school, immediately after school, early evening and weekends) it still detracts from maximising your earnings potential. In start-up terminology, can you scale-out and make tutoring work for you that way? Yes, definitely, but generally that requires time invested in building a methodology, product to match, building a high performing delivery team, and finally building your business (students whom you engage with on their learning journey).
So that's the qualitative side of things, what about the numbers (quantitative) side of tutoring?
- Realistic number of students for a tutor who is working or studying full-time: 16hours a week
- Revenue per student: $50/hr
- Annual value of a student: $2,000 (this assumes 40 sessions a year)
- Annual income for a tutor with a full-time job/study: $36,000
These numbers are a bunch of averages or assume best-case scenarios, but they are achievable with the right approach to marketing yourself and a fantastic tutoring style.
In a scale-out scenario, using a small tutoring business as an example:
- Total number of tutors in your business: 7
- Number of 1hr sessions worked by each tutor: 16/wk
- Revenue per session: $70
- Total revenue per week: $7,480
- Tutor salaries: $5,040
- Overheads: $560
- Profit (per week): $1,880
- Profit (per year): $75,200
Again, a bunch of assumptions are used to build this scenario, but it is largely based on a small, but successful tutoring business, kicked off 2years ago by a couple of enterprising university students.
At Begyn we can help you with whatever type of tutoring you wish to perform, we have parents and students posting new jobs on our job board, and we are always looking for new ways to engage with potential customers, so our marketing strategy is ever-evolving as new digital tools become available. Reach out to us and let us help you get started or scaled-out! Talk to you soon :-)