Author Topic: Anyone tutor on the side?  (Read 399 times)

marielle

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Anyone tutor on the side?
« on: November 14, 2017, 10:08:28 AM »
I just had a d'oh moment. I've been trying to figure out a possible side hustle and couldn't think of anything. Walk dogs? Nah, I don't have much dog experience. Pet sitting? Maybe, but most people have dogs. Then I remembered I have a bachelor's degree that required advanced math classes and I also have prior experience tutoring adults in college...

Does anyone here tutor? Kids or adults? What is your pay? Do you advertise on Craigslist or use a tutoring site?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 10:38:11 AM by marielle »

AMandM

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Re: Anyone tutor on the side?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 10:33:37 AM »
I do a small amount of private tutoring for high school students.  I have a bachelor's degree in math and physics and a master's in engineering.  I charge $50 for a full hour of one-on-one tutoring. I'm pretty sure this is lower than the market rate in my HCOL, high-achieving area, but my clients are friends, I don't have to travel far, and there's no drama.  I could easily charge more in the next county over but then I'd likely be dealing with pushy parents who want me to get Sonny into Harvard.

For comparison, I used to work in a tutoring center, where they charged about $45 for a 50-minute hour of three-on-one tutoring, and I got paid $25 for that $135 session.

I've never advertised because I've got as many students as I can handle through word of mouth.  If I wanted more clients I would sign up to be on the list of available tutors at local schools, or I'd hang ads on bulletin boards at the local colleges.

My daughter has signed up with several tutoring websites. They take a significant cut, and they have strict noncompete provisions, so she does not recommend that route for  someone who wants to build up a clientele and have a solid side income.

Ynari

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Re: Anyone tutor on the side?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 02:36:20 PM »
Tutor pay can be all over the place. Services that organize this stuff (websites or in-person) typically only pay $25/hour or so, but it can be a good way to get started if you can find one that provides good orientation with actual educational pedagogy (I think that's pretty rare, but my friend has used some of the tools and info she was taught by her tutoring company). $50-$60 in my HCOL area is about median, and if you have a specialization in demand you can get $80-$120/hour (at those rates, though, you're expected to have substantial experience.) This is for tutoring HS students.

Craigslist can work, or putting up flyers at the library, but mostly networking and word-of-mouth is where it's at. Tell people you know you're getting into tutoring, and somebody will probably turn up with a niece or neighbor or whomever. It might be slow to start but if you're good at it, you'll eventually get to a point where people will find you.

BigHaus89

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Re: Anyone tutor on the side?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 04:58:07 PM »
I tutor(mostly math) weekly/biweekly during the school year. I have worked with middle aged people working towards a degree, unmotivated post-high school grads, middle schoolers and high schoolers. I have been currently working with one very bright student for the past few years exclusively who is now in high school.

Since I live in a very poor area with terrible public schools and a terrible state for education, I do it for free when I am available(as my way of giving back to the community). You can charge anywhere from $20/hr-$50/hr it seems, depending on location and difficulty of the material.

I really enjoy teaching others, especially in math and science. I hope to volunteer tutor much more when I FIRE.

retireatbirth

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Re: Anyone tutor on the side?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 06:37:19 PM »
I tutored math for several years. I started at $40 and quickly raised my rates to $65 due to demand. Today I would start at $80. Parents love to pay for education. One tip is to offer a rate schedule that rewards consistency and penalizes cancellations as they can become a problem. Driving around sometimes in traffic is the worst part.

ooeei

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Re: Anyone tutor on the side?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 07:35:35 AM »
I tutored math/physics exclusively through Craigslist. I have a bachelor's degree in engineering, and tutored math/physics up to Pre-Cal. I looked at Craigslist and undercut most prices by $5/hour to get my initial rate, which was $25/hour. I soon instituted a minimum 2 hour session limit, and required them to be within a certain distance of my apartment so I could bike there.

I only got 5-6 total clients over about 6 months of doing it, but that's likely due to my distance requirement being in the suburbs. I was more concerned with convenience than maximizing income. I usually did 2-6 hours over the weekend, or occasional weeknight sessions. I changed my ad to $30/hr and got no responses over about 2 months, at $25 I got quite a few.

There were people charging $50/hr on craigslist, but they usually were teachers and had a PHD or something similar in Math, and were tutoring up through really advanced college level stuff (classes I took and passed, but wouldn't be comfortable tutoring). They were also advertising closer to the downtown area. Not sure how successful they were.

affordablehousing

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Re: Anyone tutor on the side?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2017, 01:09:29 PM »
I had a side job tutoring one student on the SATs and later helping write college essays. In my mind, it was only worth it if you could avoid working for a tutor overlord, aka, tutoring service, Kaplans, Princeton Review or any of those outfits. I was in a HCOL area and charged $175 an hour with a minimum 2 hour session. The student did great, the pay was enough to be worth it to get to the student's house, and pay for the prep I would do between sessions. I think we met twice a week for 10 weeks to prepare for the test. The student scored in the 2300's when the SAT was scored out of 2400. To turn this into a career, I think you need to have a reliable relationship with a private school to get referrals, and you HAVE to deliver results for your students, which often meant teaching beyond the test, and also coaching in test taking behaviors, stress and time management, ordered thinking techniques, etc. I hope this helps. Referrals are the key. In tutoring for tests, it's also imperative to get a top score yourself and to take the test yourself to empathize with the testing pressures students are under. Hope this helps.

westtoeast

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Re: Anyone tutor on the side?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2017, 01:12:56 PM »
I've used both Wyzant and Craigslist to find clients. I second the advice about having a clear policy for cancellations. I would also say add a policy for late clients. I suggest charging starting at the scheduled start time through whenever your lesson ends. Make a little payment policy sheet that you can hand new clients.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Anyone tutor on the side?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2017, 01:58:56 PM »
I've used both Wyzant and Craigslist to find clients. I second the advice about having a clear policy for cancellations. I would also say add a policy for late clients. I suggest charging starting at the scheduled start time through whenever your lesson ends. Make a little payment policy sheet that you can hand new clients.

My soon to be ex-wife tutored for a while, and I would strongly suggest doing what westtoeast recommends.  People showing up late or no-showing was the biggest issue she faced.

marielle

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Re: Anyone tutor on the side?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2017, 02:03:52 PM »
I tutored math/physics exclusively through Craigslist. I have a bachelor's degree in engineering, and tutored math/physics up to Pre-Cal. I looked at Craigslist and undercut most prices by $5/hour to get my initial rate, which was $25/hour. I soon instituted a minimum 2 hour session limit, and required them to be within a certain distance of my apartment so I could bike there.

I only got 5-6 total clients over about 6 months of doing it, but that's likely due to my distance requirement being in the suburbs. I was more concerned with convenience than maximizing income. I usually did 2-6 hours over the weekend, or occasional weeknight sessions. I changed my ad to $30/hr and got no responses over about 2 months, at $25 I got quite a few.

There were people charging $50/hr on craigslist, but they usually were teachers and had a PHD or something similar in Math, and were tutoring up through really advanced college level stuff (classes I took and passed, but wouldn't be comfortable tutoring). They were also advertising closer to the downtown area. Not sure how successful they were.

I think this is the more likely outcome if I end up tutoring. I'm in a pretty LCOL area so don't expect to be able to charge a whole lot. I'll start with pre-calc and lower to see if there are any hits.

I had a side job tutoring one student on the SATs and later helping write college essays. In my mind, it was only worth it if you could avoid working for a tutor overlord, aka, tutoring service, Kaplans, Princeton Review or any of those outfits. I was in a HCOL area and charged $175 an hour with a minimum 2 hour session. The student did great, the pay was enough to be worth it to get to the student's house, and pay for the prep I would do between sessions. I think we met twice a week for 10 weeks to prepare for the test. The student scored in the 2300's when the SAT was scored out of 2400. To turn this into a career, I think you need to have a reliable relationship with a private school to get referrals, and you HAVE to deliver results for your students, which often meant teaching beyond the test, and also coaching in test taking behaviors, stress and time management, ordered thinking techniques, etc. I hope this helps. Referrals are the key. In tutoring for tests, it's also imperative to get a top score yourself and to take the test yourself to empathize with the testing pressures students are under. Hope this helps.

Wow, this may be a bit beyond my expertise. Thanks for sharing though, maybe that's something I could do post retirement when I have a bit more time to commit.

Good suggestions about a cancellation policy! I had this happen when I tutored at a community college a lot but the college was in charge of pay, not the students. Maybe something like no charge for canceling unless it's within 12-24 hours of the appointment?

ooeei

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Re: Anyone tutor on the side?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2017, 07:33:00 AM »
I tutored math/physics exclusively through Craigslist. I have a bachelor's degree in engineering, and tutored math/physics up to Pre-Cal. I looked at Craigslist and undercut most prices by $5/hour to get my initial rate, which was $25/hour. I soon instituted a minimum 2 hour session limit, and required them to be within a certain distance of my apartment so I could bike there.

I only got 5-6 total clients over about 6 months of doing it, but that's likely due to my distance requirement being in the suburbs. I was more concerned with convenience than maximizing income. I usually did 2-6 hours over the weekend, or occasional weeknight sessions. I changed my ad to $30/hr and got no responses over about 2 months, at $25 I got quite a few.

There were people charging $50/hr on craigslist, but they usually were teachers and had a PHD or something similar in Math, and were tutoring up through really advanced college level stuff (classes I took and passed, but wouldn't be comfortable tutoring). They were also advertising closer to the downtown area. Not sure how successful they were.

I think this is the more likely outcome if I end up tutoring. I'm in a pretty LCOL area so don't expect to be able to charge a whole lot. I'll start with pre-calc and lower to see if there are any hits.

Yeah my strategy was to keep it pretty casual. I'd usually give them 15 minutes or so if they were late, but since I was close to home it didn't really matter anyway, and it was rarely a problem.

One thing that I just remembered I did was give people a 1 hour "consultation" session for free. Basically I'd give them a free hour where we'd go over what they wanted to learn, whether I could do it, and then actually start on it to see if we were a good fit. Some people are skeptical of signing up to spend $XX on tutoring from someone they've never met. Sometimes we'd go right into a second hour which they'd pay for. I think only once did it end up not working out after the free hour, because it turned out they just needed super basic stuff and didn't have much money, so I pointed them to Khan Academy.