Author Topic: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!  (Read 1728 times)

druth

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Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« on: April 07, 2018, 03:36:39 PM »
I think I'm not the only person doing private tutoring here.  Thought it would be good to have a catch-all thread - doesn't matter if you are experienced and want to complain or new and want to ask questions!

I have worked as a full time private tutor for about 2 years, primarily doing high school math and ACT.  currently charging $55 per hour.  I get most of my students through either Craigslist or Wyzant.  I also have worked for a few different local ACT prep companies as an independent contractor, but I primarily work independently. 

Anybody else doing this full time or as a side gig or interested in starting up with it?

secondcor521

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2018, 03:42:41 PM »
Advice on how a 16-year-old girl can do tutoring as a summer job?  She's not interested in hustling her own clients and doesn't want to work for the local math tutoring place (Mathnasium).  Main question is how to get clients or find a company to do that part.
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druth

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2018, 04:01:40 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is that not many people want tutoring during the summer except for test prep, so she should feel comfortable with SAT/ACT if she is going to find anybody.

With that being said...
I don't know any companies except the big chains (Mathnasium, Sylvan) that will take on high school students - Independant Contractor companies generally require a college degree.  I think Wyzant is 18+ only.

One other option that might be nicer is seeing if the local library hires tutors - mine does and pays about $15 an hour.  Otherwise she could ask her math teacher or some of the other teachers she knows, they may be willing to suggest her to other students.

secondcor521

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 07:09:06 PM »
Thanks!  I'll pass along the suggestions.
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Freedomin5

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2018, 09:42:38 PM »
She could also ask her school guidance counselor or learning support staff. They may know students. That’s how I got started at age 15. Obviously, I’m assuming she is a strong math student.

secondcor521

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2018, 10:51:56 PM »
She's a strong student overall (nearly straight A's with some AP classes, possible National Merit Finalist).  Math is something she has to work at but with the work she succeeds at it.  I think if she could choose she would prefer tutoring science, especially biology.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 05:13:27 PM by secondcor521 »
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Smokystache

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2018, 01:44:38 PM »
Posting to follow and share what I know. I've done GRE prep (individual and privately run classes) - mostly math. I do less now that I've transitioned to working on (hopefully) larger-scale projects, but it has been a great side-gig.

mini schnauzer

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 06:23:26 PM »
Tell me more about how to get started tutoring SAT or ACT...  I work in an elementary school as an academic tutor (i.e., intervention) and I love it.  I've always been a good test taker but I'm not a certified teacher.  I understand test-taking strategies students should use.  SAT prep seems like it would be a good side hustle for my skill set, but I worry that without a teaching certificate I will have a hard time getting hired to do this.  My bachelor's is not in education.

Also, would you recommend trying to get hired by one of the big test prep companies to get some experience, or just start out on my own? 

Smokystache

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 06:50:29 PM »
Tell me more about how to get started tutoring SAT or ACT...  I work in an elementary school as an academic tutor (i.e., intervention) and I love it.  I've always been a good test taker but I'm not a certified teacher.  I understand test-taking strategies students should use.  SAT prep seems like it would be a good side hustle for my skill set, but I worry that without a teaching certificate I will have a hard time getting hired to do this.  My bachelor's is not in education.

Also, would you recommend trying to get hired by one of the big test prep companies to get some experience, or just start out on my own?

I can't speak to ACT or SAT, but for the GRE I just created a simply, cheap website and then posted a few ads on Craigslist. I'm a college professor with a PhD, so that gives me an unfair advantage -- some people see a PhD and assume you know a lot about a wide variety of subjects. In reality, we tend to know a lot about a very narrow subject.

I don't think you need to say you have a teaching license or degree - I'd use your current job status as a tutor would be plenty of a credential. Having a nice website to create a good first impression and a nice ad (like Craigslist ad) with clear information, pictures, and (eventually) a few testimonials would also go a long way toward establishing your credibility.

druth

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2018, 07:35:11 PM »
Tell me more about how to get started tutoring SAT or ACT...  I work in an elementary school as an academic tutor (i.e., intervention) and I love it.  I've always been a good test taker but I'm not a certified teacher.  I understand test-taking strategies students should use.  SAT prep seems like it would be a good side hustle for my skill set, but I worry that without a teaching certificate I will have a hard time getting hired to do this.  My bachelor's is not in education.

Also, would you recommend trying to get hired by one of the big test prep companies to get some experience, or just start out on my own?

The big test companies strictly care about your test scores.  They don't care even a little about what your degree was in (though they usually prefer you at least have a bachelors).  You should have 95th percentile or higher on the test you are applying to teach.

I would personally do both if you are confident you want to get into this.  Apply to the big companies, and also send out emails to the smaller companies in your area to see if any are interested in taking you on, and also throw up craigslist ads.  Reasoning being you will learn a lot from working under a company, they will give you copies of a lot of materials that you can learn from and in a lot of the cases adapt for your private students.  At the same time you will make about 3x the money from a private student.

I personally think I learned a ton from working for a small test prep company while I was getting started.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 07:38:01 PM by druth »

leighb

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2018, 06:59:07 PM »
I tutor in math and charge a similar rate. Before teaching HS math I tutored. Then when I needed less stress and more flexibility in my life I returned to tutoring. It's a great job. And I love working for myself. The first time around tutoring I didn't charge enough to make it worth my time and didn't factor in how much time travel takes. This time around I'm much more savvy.

It took me about 9 months to get enough clients to cover my monthly expenses. So, if anyone is planning to make this leap from full-time to self-employed tutor, set aside some money while business picks up.

Hirondelle

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2018, 01:22:58 AM »
Another tutor here!

Currently I've shifted down to only 2 clients whom I tutor about once a month which is due to relocation. As I want to become less dependent on my network in hometown (people don't want Skype tutoring) I'm currently trying to shift my business away from tutoring and focus more on thesis writing help for university students. This will be more location independent and give options for higher hourly rates. Currently working to get the website ready and I've found two people interested in the service without any real marketing effort.

I'm kind of shocked by the rates you're asking for your services and that people in the US are apparently willing to pay this. In the local market here this would never work. All rates I've seen from big companies are more in the €10-25 range. I'm currently on the lower end of this asking €12-15, but I'm doing is mostly for fun/beer money/to cover travel expenses for hometown visits I make anyways so I'm fine with it.

druth

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2018, 08:05:45 AM »
I'm kind of shocked by the rates you're asking for your services and that people in the US are apparently willing to pay this. In the local market here this would never work. All rates I've seen from big companies are more in the €10-25 range. I'm currently on the lower end of this asking €12-15, but I'm doing is mostly for fun/beer money/to cover travel expenses for hometown visits I make anyways so I'm fine with it.

Big companies here can charge 70-90.  I wouldn't do it for less than 45 though, I spend so much time driving to students houses and prepping(can sometimes be as much time as I spend actually tutoring) that at some point I would be better off going back to my old salaried job.  €15 is closer to what a high school student might charge another kid for tutoring here!

Hirondelle

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2018, 08:56:21 AM »
I'm kind of shocked by the rates you're asking for your services and that people in the US are apparently willing to pay this. In the local market here this would never work. All rates I've seen from big companies are more in the €10-25 range. I'm currently on the lower end of this asking €12-15, but I'm doing is mostly for fun/beer money/to cover travel expenses for hometown visits I make anyways so I'm fine with it.

Big companies here can charge 70-90.  I wouldn't do it for less than 45 though, I spend so much time driving to students houses and prepping(can sometimes be as much time as I spend actually tutoring) that at some point I would be better off going back to my old salaried job.  €15 is closer to what a high school student might charge another kid for tutoring here!

I have the luck that I don't spend any time driving (5 min bike ride) and that I don't do any preparation (just do whatever they come up with/their homework). So in that way it's not bad. I could up my price to €20 but as it's just two students that are leftover from my uni years I don't bother. €10 an hour is a normal rate here for college students tutoring high schoolers. Funny how rates can differ so much between countries that are otherwise similar COL.

On the other hand, in Vietnam I worked for a tutoring company that charged it's students USD60(!) an hour in a 3rd world country. However those were students from International Schools following the IB program, for which it was incredibly difficult to find good tutors. They paid me $26/hour and initially I was shocked I'd earn more here while working for a company than I ever could back home working for myself. This job did require a lot more preparation though (but also because I didn't follow the IB program myself).

leighb

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 06:10:41 PM »
Rates above $50 might seem like a lot. I would argue that they are not if this is your primary business and you are treating it like one. I use to charge less but found that it wasn't worth my time and I could easily make more money teaching. So the solution, at least for me, was to charge a rate that would be sustainable. Meaning that I could support myself by earning equivalent income even with the added expenses of being self employed. I get that in different parts of the world that amount would be different.

In my opinion, here are the biggest things to consider as a private tutor:
Time: So after transportation my one hour session was at least 1.5 hours, sometimes 2 hours if there's prep invovled. There's also billing and bookkeeping that takes time.
Expenses: Mileage .55/mi, space $3/coffee, paper, calculators etc $100/year, website.... I also needed to think about health insurance now that I don't have a W2 job
Taxes: business taxes ($200), income (25%)
Limited SupplyThere's only a few prime tutoring hours in the day 3:30-6pm in which you can meet 2 students, maybe more with a home school student. So there's a bit of supply and demand in effect, you have limited time and everyone wants the same time slots.
Variability: Clients cancel,  go on vacation, summer happens...
 

chicagobluu

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2018, 02:00:16 PM »
I've been doing a but of freelance tutoring teaching English but have struggled a little to get students.   Does anyone have any pointers for getting students as a freelancer?

Freedomin5

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2018, 05:19:22 PM »
@chicagobluu   Have you considered tutoring English online to Chinese students? There’s a thread on this forum that talks about how to get into that. IIRC, it’s around $20/hour. The company helps you find students

Smokystache

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2018, 07:52:28 PM »
I've been doing a but of freelance tutoring teaching English but have struggled a little to get students.   Does anyone have any pointers for getting students as a freelancer?

What are you doing to attract or advertise to students now?

Ebrat

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2018, 12:03:23 PM »
Just found this thread. I'm thinking of starting test prep tutoring. I worked for a big test prep company back in grad school and taught multiple grad admission tests. I enjoyed helping students who didn't just want me to give them a good grade :)

I'm just starting to get my head around this. Gathering the info from above, first steps seem to be (in no particular order):

-simple website that I can direct students to
-decide what I want to charge (accounting for taxes, travel time, prep time, etc.)
-figure out any tax ramifications or things I need to file

Any other ideas or suggestions? Should I just start with the test I know best? Now that I'm thinking about it, ACT/SAT prep is probably fairly lucrative in my area (good high schools, lots of upper middle class families). I did pretty well on those back in the day, but I've never taught them.

Smokystache

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Re: Private Tutoring Catch-all Thread!
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2018, 12:44:22 PM »
In addition to a website, I'd recommend regular advertising on Craigslist. There are some ways to somewhat automate that.

As for the specific tests, I'd definitely advertise for all the tests you'll tutor for - but it is also helpful to think in terms of topics/skills/classes.

For example, you might be great at math - so you could use that to help with the math sections of the ACT, SAT, GRE, Praxis.... etc. In other words, you don't necessarily need to know how to tutor for the whole test because some students will only be looking for help on certain sections/question types. Another example: you're great at writing, English grammar, vocabulary. This would serve you well on a variety of tests - maybe it is an international student who is already doing great on the math sections, but is getting killed on the Verbal/grammar/reading comprehension, etc.

So on your website and advertising include the specific topics you teach as well as the name of the test - and then clarify if you can tutor the whole test or just sections of it. This will expand your opportunities/pool of students.

Good luck!