How Much Does Private Tutoring Cost? The Complete Guide to Private Tuition Pricing
The no-fluff guide to why some tutors charge more than others and how to pick the right one for you.
Whether you’re a parent or student, you might be absolutely freaking out in the run up to exams. But fear not! There’s a person who can take you by the hand and guide you through these dark times. They are education’s own type of guardian angel; a tutor.
Tutors are well-versed in identifying what a student’s particular problem is and how each pupil can avoid losing valuable marks. The right tutor will guide each student to their maximum potential and make them love mathematics and science like never before!
Tutors come at a price; in fact, a huge range of prices. Googling ‘tutoring in Australia’ and you’ll no doubt feel completely overwhelmed. The cheapest cost around $30 per hour for someone with little experience and most expensive, sought-after tutors will set you back over $120 an hour – so no doubt, you’ll be wondering what exactly you’ll get for your money. But are all tutoring lessons created equal? Definitely not. Let’s see why…
Some things to consider when debating tutor prices are:
Education and Qualification: is the tutor a qualified teacher or do they have relevant certificates regarding the subject they are tutoring? First time individual tutors just starting out charge as little as $20-$30 per hour. They’re earning close to the minimum wage and a tutor charging this amount does tend to make clients and colleagues believe that they’re not confident enough in their abilities.
Teaching Experience: how long have they been tutoring for? How booked out are they? This is usually an indication of how many students they’ve managed to build up over time. Again, tutors with less experience tend to charge less. Even Bill Gates started somewhere, but if you’re completely focused on exam success, it’s often better to opt for a tutor with a little more teaching experience.
Demographics: if you’re living in remote central Queensland as opposed to the middle of Sydney CBD, you might find yourself struggling to find a reasonably priced local tutor just because, like most of the population in Australia’s interior, there just aren’t as many people there. When there’s less competition, it’s very easy for prices to soar!
When debating tutor price, consider how many other people are wanting tutoring in the local area – which of course is a factor when it comes to how many people decide to be tutors.
The harsh reality is that if you live in regional Australia, you may be paying the same price as you would for a much higher quality tutor elsewhere. As a reference, a medium-rated tutor with some experience in Sydney costs $50 for an hour, whereas the equivalent in less populated Kalgoorlie costs $65.
Other Running Costs: a tutor charging $x per hour doesn’t pocket the whole amount. They have to account for additional transport costs, factor in the price of materials and consider any marketing outgoings. Tutors who travel for longer will factor in travelling time and petrol fees in their total quote, and a price for special materials are often included too.
What Fees Cost Last Year: you can’t blame your tutor for charging a slightly higher price each year – it’s getting more and more expensive to live after all, and we’ve all got to make ends meet! Tutoring fees rise slightly every year due to inflation.
Demand and Reputation: There’s a reason why Tim Tams are never off the shelf in your local Woolies store: they’re popular, and people always want to purchase them. Woolies can also get away with hiking Tim Tam prices up a little, knowing that devoted fans will still make a purchase.
It’s kind of the same with tutors. While they can’t multiply themselves, popular tutors tend to cost a higher price; which is either due to their teaching expertise or lack of competition. Similarly, highly reputed tutors can charge more, because people are keen to experience the success that many people have had with said tutor.
Distance and Accessibility: If a tutor must travel to reach you, they will often charge extra for this travel time – which could increase even more if they end up having to sit in traffic.
It can be cheaper if you tackle the traffic and meet them at their house or a public place, or jump onto a new trend and try online tutoring. Online tutoring prioritises finding the best quality tutor around and saves you time and money minus the hassle of travel!
Online vs In Person: People are wary of online tutoring, and we don’t blame them. It’s difficult to comprehend how someone who a student knows only virtually can help them ace their finals and become the next Einstein.
But with the invention of new technologies, it’s entirely possible to have a full learning experience, mimicking one you’d have with an in-person tutor, online. And the right person could even become the next Einstein.
Online tutoring naturally overcomes geographic obstacles that you may face when tutoring your child – so even if you live in outback Western Australia, it’s still possible to access Melbourne’s highest standard of tutor.
Video conferences and virtual classrooms are similar to sitting side by side with a real tutor and offer all of the interactive exhibits that you’d find in a classroom and more; virtual classrooms make use of shared whiteboards and interactive technologies, meaning that student and teacher can work on the same projects simultaneously.
Furthermore, everything is meticulously tracked and it’s easier to identify problem areas. Everything is recorded online; gone are the days of scribbling things down on notes of paper, which are only to be found crumpled at the bottom of your bag two months after the exam!
Online tutoring is also a lot more flexible than in-person; the student and parent can choose when they want to be tutored to fit in with their schedules. Furthermore, the student can work wherever they want – in their study space or even in bed in their pyjamas, if that’s what works best for them…
But most importantly, online tutoring delivers the highest quality tutors for the best value prices. Because travel costs are often factored into tutoring, these are eliminated when the tutoring is done online. It can also save your time and travelling expenses.
Hiring an Individual Tutor versus a Tutoring Company: There is sometimes a price discrepancy between hiring an individual tutor and going with a tutoring company. Many people opt for individual tutors because they think it will be cheaper and easier to arrange.
But there are lots of perks to using a tutoring company; and it can work out to be a more cost effective option too.
Companies do the background checks and vetting of tutors so you don’t have to – they’re already tried and tested – which is ideal for any parent or student. There surely can’t be anything worse in the world than paying for a full set of tutoring only to find out the tutor is not a match for the student!
A lot of people think that tutoring companies only offer group sessions, when in reality, one on one lessons are an option as well – companies are very flexible to the needs of a student.
Because companies only let tried and tested tutors work for them, they are often much higher quality than an individual tutor. This means that even though tutors hired by a company could be higher priced, they deliver a lot more value (including peace of mind) than any independent tutor, which could help you save money in the long run.
When considering the cost of a tutor, it’s very important to think about the value you will get out of it, how many lessons you’ll need and how much you might end up spending overall.
Group or 1:1: group tutoring is often cheaper, but not always. “How could that be?!” I hear you ask in shock.
Well, as mentioned earlier, if you factor in the total cost in comparison to the individual session cost, you may be getting much more high quality tutoring through 1:1 teaching. Group tutoring can mimic a classroom, (sometimes complete with irritating peers)!
1:1 teaching ensures that you move at your own pace, address your individual needs and subsequently achieve your best results. While group tutoring is a great budget tutoring method; 1:1 means that you’ll get the best value teaching for your money, you will probably need less hours of tutor time (meaning that you are free to do much more enjoyable things than algebra and grammar, yippee!) and are more likely to get the results you want.
So, even if you end up spending $80 for a one on one lesson rather than $20 for a group lesson, you could end up needing a lot less sessions and not only saving money but time as well. And who doesn’t need a bit more time?
There’s a lot of factors when it comes to arranging tutoring for a student, and many considerations to take into consideration depending on the student’s needs, time limits, and finances.
The most important thing to think about when organizing tutoring is not necessarily the cheapest, but the best value tutoring that will ultimately give the best results and help the student achieve their study goals.
It’s important to think about the best way each student will work; whether that be online, in person, with a group or individually, and evaluate both if this works with the student and parent’s finances and if there is a tutor that can offer these needs.
Luckily, in this day and age, we have so many options, and online tutoring is seeing a boom in popularity; due to its accessibility and great value teaching.
So, in answer to the original question… how much a tutor should cost is a very broad question. It’s different for everybody, but hopefully this guide has helped you assess how much a tutor should cost for you and your own personal needs.