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 Post subject: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:39 pm 
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I have been approached about taking on an English-language student. For money. I assume it would be for an hour or two a week. I am currently a volunteer ESL tutor, and I have a linguistics background. So while I don't have credentials (I'm in the middle of an online TESOL course), this kind of tutoring is something I can do.

The question: what should someone in my position charge?

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:10 pm 
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I think so. If someone, that isn't a friend or family member that is asking for a favor, wants some of your personal time for something it seems natural to me that they'd pay for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:20 pm 
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I would ask other tutors in your area what they charge. It can seem a strange thing to do if you've not done that before, but in my experience of freelancing it seems fairly common and people don't tend to mind telling you. After all, established tutors don't want you to start undercutting them!

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:34 pm 
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I checked on Wyzant (the service I pay my tutor through), and most ESL tutors in the area seem to charge from around $30 to around $60 an hour.

I think I can get away with asking for $35.

I just didn't know if anyone had experience setting prices for this kind of thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:32 pm 
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I would check local listings. When I was in college, I tutored chemistry and calculus for $25/hr and that was way below the going rate. It really depends on your area. Here, people charge $60+ easily.

I always undercharge just because I feel guilty that tutoring is expensive and everybody can't afford it. That's kind of dumb considering I do the gEd classes that are free for people.


Where are you doing the tesol?

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:50 pm 
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learnbest.com.

So, I heard back from this prospective student, who said she can pay $20/hr. That's so little! I don't see how you can find qualified (or unqualified?) people for that here.

I feel horrible saying no, though. She needs help. I need money. Should be a perfect match. But I don't know.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:20 pm 
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I did a course on negotiating and knowing your worth as a freelancer and a lot of it was about, to paraphrase the facilitator, knowing how much it was worth for you to do the job rather than just stay in bed/read books/watch a film/go for a walk/whatever you want to do with your free time instead. There was calculation of the time it would take to do a job - travel time, preparation time etc - as well as additional costs, like equipment or consumables. Not to mention the extra time doing admin stuff, your tax return, communicating with clients, looking for new opportunities and so on, none of which your client necessarily understands if they've not freelanced themselves. It's up to you to decide how much your time is worth, but personally I would feel very conflicted about taking a job I knew was well below the going rate, not least because it undercuts the market for other people in the field and for yourself in the future if you think this is something you might like to do more of.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:27 pm 
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I charged $40/hour for AP chemistry. I have a chemistry degree. You should be getting $30-40/hr. $20 is way too low. Tutoring isnt charity, it's a specialized service that requires a lot of skill.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:31 pm 
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Thanks, guys.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:34 pm 
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'Tutoring isn't charity"

I think I should get this tattooed somewhere prominently.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:37 pm 
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Plus what is your uncompensated travel time?

I often will tell people what I can afford and it's up to them if they can accept it. If paying $35 an hour isn't feasible for me but $20 is and you could use the $20, isn't that a win win for everyone?

I got my baby pictures from someone who answered my email asking for a package for $750. That is totally cheap for our area and she was the only person (of 10!) who responded. No one else thought it was worth it, but I got great pictures and she needed the money. I don't think either of us would have been better off if I had just assumed I couldn't afford it

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:05 pm 
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Often people telling you what they can afford are really telling you what they want to pay, not what they could pay and what is the going rate for your service. You can always make exceptions for people who genuinely are low income.

If you need money, I'd bet that if you started advertising that you tutor at $35/hr you'd start to get some clients. You have a lot of experience and if it's something you're good at (which it sounds from the language thread you are) you can start to build up a client base.
If you freelance you will always have jobs you lose because of what you charge, but that's ok too.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:21 am 
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In 2009 or 2010, I did freelance work as an English writing tutor in the SF Bay Area, specifically working with English learners. I charged $35 (because conflicting feelings like yours!) and would now not hesitate to charge $50 or more because of issues which have been discussed up thread. If this is something you want to do, because reasons®, then have her come to you so that as little of your time is wasted as possible (house if you're comfortable with it, otherwise neighborhood cafe or library or whatever). You always have the option of charging less if you want to, but students are always going to have limited funds, and tutors like you are always going to have specialized skills which are worth all the funds.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:51 pm 
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Welp. I'm doing it. For too-little money. But I did manage to get a time and place that are really convenient for me. (It's at the same place as my Tuesday morning meetup.)

I guess we'll just see how it goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:27 pm 
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I work part time as a maths tutor (I have a Masters degree) and I charge between £12.50 and £17.50 an hour, depending on the level, plus extra for travel. I think I'm pretty cheap, to be honest. Some people charge double that... I'm not sure how that compares to the going rate in the US though.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:36 pm 
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Met with my student this morning for the first time. It went very well. She brought me a home-made Taiwanese-style chocolate cake that I can't eat, but which I accepted graciously. (But I hate those situations.)

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 Post subject: Re: Question about tutoring fees
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:57 pm 
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I hate those situations too. I usually accept the gift and give it to someone who isn't vegan... but it's difficult.

Edit: difficult not to say something, not difficult to give the gift away or w/e.


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