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What is a reasonable rate for a math tutor?

comfortablycurtcomfortablycurt Registered User Posts: 2,182 Senior Member
edited May 2013 in College Life
Hey everyone. I was wondering if anyone could give me any input on this. I've been doing private math tutoring this last semester...and I've been charging $10/hr. I've read a few things online tonight about private math tutors making up to $50/hr!! That seems pretty high to me. Is it normal to charge anywhere near that much? That seems unreasonable to me.

Should I be charging more than 10/hr? Not to plug myself too much...but I am a good math tutor. Aside from doing private tutoring outside of school...I also do private tutoring on campus with TRIO Student Support Services...and actually won their "Tutor of the Year" award at their leadership banquet yesterday. I'll also be working in my schools tutoring center starting this fall, doing math, chemistry, and english tutoring...and possibly other subjects too.

So, what is the going rate for a math tutor?
Post edited by comfortablycurt on
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Replies to: What is a reasonable rate for a math tutor?

  • mommamochamommamocha Registered User Posts: 369 Member
    In my area, $50/hr is a rate commonly charged. The tutors I know at that rate come to the students home. I am also aware of tutors working out of their own space at $35/hr. A friend of mine, in the LA area has stated the same rate applies in that area.

    All the tutors I know at these rates are teachers, most are high level math teachers.
  • SerenityJadeSerenityJade Registered User Posts: 1,226 Senior Member
    I'd assume that, as a student tutoring another student, you'd charge about the same as a babysitter would.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,168 Senior Member
    It really depends on your local market.

    Math PhD candidates at Stanford charge $50 - $100 per hour of private tutoring. We can get away with that because
    1. many families in Silicon Valley earn quite well, and
    2. some of these families will pay a premium to have their kid taught high school math by a Stanford PhD student. (maybe they hope that some of our 'brilliance' will rub off on their kids? it's not like anything i've learned in college or for my PhD would make me a better algebra teacher...)

    Graduate students here mostly work with families in the community, not college students. Stanford undergraduates looking for a math tutor for a Stanford class are usually tutored by more experienced undergraduates; the going rate for 'peer tutoring' seems to be $15 - $25 an hour.

    You could try charging more than $10 an hour and see what happens?
  • beadymombeadymom Registered User Posts: 663 Member
    My DS is a high school junior and tutors a couple of 6th grade students. He didn't know what to charge but knew others that were charging $15-30. He left it up to the parents and they are paying $20.

    I think that is awful high, but I guess the parents would be paying much more at Kumon or Sylvan.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,016 Senior Member
    We lived at a high cost area when our older daughter was doing tutoring. Certified teachers were getting over $100/hr, so parents offered my kid $75/hour (she didn't set her rate), and she had more students than she could handle. You could definitely charge more than $10/hr.

    Tutoring time is more than the time you are actually working with your student, more often than not, you probably have to prepare for each lesson. My kid used to meet with her student's teacher(s) to figure out what to focus on and she would spend quite a bit of time to go over a student's text books and notes to make sure she was going over the right material.
  • comfortablycurtcomfortablycurt Registered User Posts: 2,182 Senior Member
    Thanks for the comments everyone. Sounds like I might be undercharging people.
    oldfort wrote:
    Tutoring time is more than the time you are actually working with your student, more often than not, you probably have to prepare for each lesson. My kid used to meet with her student's teacher(s) to figure out what to focus on and she would spend quite a bit of time to go over a student's text books and notes to make sure she was going over the right material.

    This is exactly right. I've got one student in geometry right now, and I have never even taken a geometry class...I've self taught a LOT of it though. I usually have to find out what he's working on the day before so I can bone up on it.

    Most of the students I'm tutoring are in lower level algebra...Algebra I and Algebra II. I've already had a couple people ask me about tutoring for college algebra and trig next year.

    So...it sounds like I need to raise my prices. I definitely realize that being good at math, and having the ability to explain it concisely is a commodity on a college campus. Being a very low income student that relies on scholarships and work study...I think I need to get the most out of it that I can.

    But...I'm not going to raise my prices this semester. There are only like two weeks left until finals...it would seem like kind of a dick move to all of a sudden double or triple my prices right before finals.
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Registered User Posts: 6,608 Senior Member
    We lived at a high cost area when our older daughter was doing tutoring. Certified teachers were getting over $100/hr, so parents offered my kid $75/hour (she didn't set her rate), and she had more students than she could handle. You could definitely charge more than $10/hr.

    That's more in an hour than I got for TAing a semester long grad-level class. :(
  • mathematicismmathematicism Registered User Posts: 708 Member
    Back in high school I charged $15/hour for middle school/normal high school classes and $25/hour for kids who wanted to get familiar with the competitions (I was an USAMO qualifier, if that means anything).

    One of my friends at my college right now charged $120/hour for math olympiad type of lessons. Oh well he was a two-time IMO medalist.
  • VladenschlutteVladenschlutte Registered User Posts: 4,329 Senior Member
    A couple buddies do some sporadic tutoring in a variety of subjects, generally about $25/hr for college level courses.
  • soccergurl7988soccergurl7988 Registered User Posts: 896 Member
    When I freelanced as a tutor, I charged $20-30/hour, depending on the course level (freshman intro bio was cheaper than higher level courses), but when I was a tutor for the athletic department, I was paid $11/hour since I was a graduate student. YMMV
  • comfortablycurtcomfortablycurt Registered User Posts: 2,182 Senior Member
    That might make a difference for me right now. Currently, I'm really only tutoring for Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry. Next year I'll be tutoring for College Algebra and Trig.

    Would it be unjustifiable to charge more than $10-15/hour for Algebra I/II? The year after this coming year, and definitely after I transfer though, I'll be tutoring Calculus.

    I think I might try to up my rates to at least $20/hr. Money is a precious thing for me right now. I work in the tutoring center at my school as a work study...but that's only about 15 hours a week, at minimum wage, so it doesn't add up to a whole lot. I'm definitely grateful to have it though.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,168 Senior Member
    Would it be unjustifiable to charge more than $10-15/hour for Algebra I/II? The year after this coming year, and definitely after I transfer though, I'll be tutoring Calculus.
    You don't need to justify your rates. You can charge whatever your clients are willing to pay. Higher rates might mean fewer interested clients, but if you choose your rate carefully, you could be making more money with those fewer clients.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,016 Senior Member
    How much are they charging at the tutoring center per student and how are those students get assigned to a tutor? Is it one on one or is it group? Use that as your bench mark to decide how to charge. If it is 1:1 then charge a bit lower than the tutoring center. If it is group tutoring then you could justify in charging the same or more than the tutoring center. One thing to keep in mind is that I would try to get private tutoring jobs while you are working at the tutoring center. If the tutoring center is free to students then I would check out local tutoring fees by looking at advertisement.
  • comfortablycurtcomfortablycurt Registered User Posts: 2,182 Senior Member
    The tutoring center is free for enrolled students. We tutor math primarily...with a lot of english as well. Chemistry and physics as well as several other subjects are offered during specific times too.

    I tutor math, english and chemistry primarily right now. I'll also likely be doing physics next year.

    It's a work study position, so I'm getting minimum wage, which is $8.25/hr in Illinois. The structure of it is pretty open...the tutors kind of just float around there. People aren't assigned to a tutor, we all just float around and help whoever needs help. A lot of it is individual, one on one type tutoring, but we also get larger study groups that all work together.

    Many students that go there still want to have private tutoring though, just because of the more personal aspects of it. They get more undivided attention, in a quieter setting.

    I'm already making 10/hr for my private tutoring sessions, so I can't really base it on my hourly wage at the tutoring center.

    Thanks a lot for the advice everyone.
  • muaythaiguy18muaythaiguy18 Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    "I think I might try to up my rates to at least $20/hr."

    Unless you have a math degree or have advanced mathematical skills, definitely not. I charge $15.00/hr. Honestly, it's absurd if you think you can charge more, especially for a geometry student when you have never taken geometry.
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