Recent disruptions to the education system as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have pushed more parents to opt for private tuition. However, the deterioration in the academic success of US students has only been accelerated by this issue and the pandemic can not be entirely blamed for the overall decline in performance. In fact, it has been stagnant for decades, according to PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment.
For a number of reasons, private tutoring on top of mainstream education has become essential in ensuring strong academic performance of students. And the US tuition market is also projected to grow to $8.37 billion between 2021 to 2025, therefore making it a very sought-after industry. As a result of this, parents are actively seeking the best opportunities for their children, so how much do private tutors charge these days? Let’s look at some average tutoring rates in the US.
What Are The Average Tutoring Rates in the US?
Tutoring rates vary from state to state and subject to subject, but on average, a private tutor costs roughly between $15 and $80 an hour. Rates may vary depending on a variety of factors including the tutor’s education level, expertise, and the difficulty of the subject to name a few. Another factor affecting tutoring rates is opting for tuition businesses versus individual tutors. Tuition businesses can charge between $25 to $125 per hour, whereas individual tutors between $15 to $75. To this category, we can also add tutoring centers - larger, well-established, agencies that can on average range from $150 to $200 a month.
On the other hand, some parents might simply opt for test prep tutoring. This can be significantly higher than the regular weekly or monthly tutoring rate, due to the intense and time-sensitive nature of the tuition. The tutoring price per hour for test preparation is on average $45 to $100.
How Different Factors Affect Tutoring Rates?
A key defining factor that will affect tutoring rates is location. Certain states have higher than average tutoring costs, therefore it is important to check the average rate for tutoring in your area. For example, the average math tutor in New York costs $24 per hour. However, the average price is $23 per hour in Los Angeles and Chicago tutors charge around $21 per hour.
- Seattle, Washington - $20.50/hr
- Hartford, Connecticut - $19.25/hr
- Dallas, Texas - $17.75/hr
- Sacramento, California - $16.75/hr
- Colorado Springs, Colorado - $15.25/hr
- Akron, Ohio - $15.50/hr
- Kansas City, Kansas - $15.75/hr
Source: Care.com (July 2021) *Please note that these values are correct as of June 2022 and are approximate values that will vary depending on individual services.
It comes as no surprise that tutoring costs, or tutoring prices, are higher in cities and states where average salaries are high, but the cost of living is, too. It is also important to take travel into consideration and allocate enough budget to cover fuel or transport costs in your specific area. Online tutoring has the potential to eliminate these additional costs but more on that later.
Math is unquestionably the most requested subject for tutoring all over the world, but especially in the US. The high demand for math tutors means it, therefore, comes at a higher cost, around $30 to $60 per hour. Not far from Maths, Physics and Chemistry can reach equally as high tutor rates per hour, as they are similarly difficult and also involve Calculus.
English typically follows the more numerical subjects in terms of higher cost in the US. It is essential for successful communication and is the main language spoken globally. Students from all over the world are choosing international universities where subjects are taught in English, therefore English is one of the tutoring subjects ranking high on this list.
- Math - $52.50
- Physics - $40.50
- Chemistry - $75.00
- English - $32.50
- Science - $27.50
- Spanish - $27.50
- French - $27.50
- Japanese - $60.00
- Korean - $60.00
- Mandarin - $75.00
As clearly shown above, foreign languages are also very popular in terms of tutoring, as some students wish to master new languages, or are simply not gifted enough to do so without additional support. Mandarin, Japanese and Korean have some of the highest tutoring rates, whereas Spanish and French are much more affordable, due to their lower technical difficulty level.
Tutor pay rates change along with students’ grades. Whether in elementary school, middle school, or high school, the tutor rate per hour will vary. Prices will usually change according to the difficulty level of the tutoring. For example, exam preparation has a higher associated tutoring fee compared to help with homework or assignments. But some typical tutoring rates are as follows:
- Elementary school - $20 to $75 per hour
- Middle school - $25 to $80 per hour
- High school - $30 to $100 per hour
Regarding higher education, prices are much more significant than for K-12, partly because the subjects are more complex and specific to a profession. A high school student will have different requirements to college students. As such, a typical tutoring rate for college students is $75-$100 per hour and specialist exam tutoring may also incur its own additional charges.
When opting for personal or private tutoring, the tutors’ level of expertise may vary which ultimately has an impact on the final tutor rate per hour. Personal tutors can be either self-taught experts or professionally-trained teachers with years of experience. Their qualifications and experience matter in this case, but that does not mean that a less experienced tutor hasn’t got the knowledge necessary to provide extraordinary lessons for pupils. The important thing to take away from this is that it is unlikely that a tutor just starting will charge the same rates as a tutor with 10 years of experience.
Something to look out for is tutors with extra certificates and diplomas, as this directly affects their tutoring price per hour. This is partly due to the fact that they invested a lot of time, money, and effort in their education. If you are not sure about the level of assistance a tutor is able to offer, perhaps set up a trial lesson before committing to a set number of lessons to ensure you work well together and their services are a good fit for your needs.
What's a Fair Tutoring Rate Per Hour?
It is important to acknowledge fairness in tutoring rates, for both tutors and parents. Tutors have to feel like they’re being fairly paid for the service they provide and prepare for hours in advance. Also, the parents want to pay a fair tutor rate per hour, especially considering that supplementary education can be expensive and some are budgeting especially for this.
In order to make sure the tutoring rate is fair, here are some important things to consider before choosing tutoring services:
- Tutor’s qualifications and years of experience
- The age and level of education of students
- The tutoring subject
- If it is private tutoring, online, or based in a tutoring center
A student or teaching assistant that offers tutoring services is usually an average of $25 per hour. Experienced tutors such as professors or teachers are expected to charge $56 per hour or more.
How to Find Highly Skilled Tutors That Charge Reasonably?
For something as important as boosting academic performance, highly skilled tutors who charge reasonably are a perfect solution. This means you need a professional, knowledgeable and effective tutor that can adapt to students’ learning styles and help them reach their full potential.
Qualities every highly skilled tutor should have include:
- Excellent organizational skills
- Outstanding communication skills
- Good listening skills
- Approachable attitude - easy to speak to
- Good subject and curriculum knowledge
- Motivating, empowering and fun
In addition to these qualities, high skill level tutors often have backgrounds working as certified teachers, professors, or professionals in specific subject areas. Some are also high school students, graduate students, or even teaching assistants giving them first-hand experience of current curriculums and teaching methods. If there is no such available tutor at your school or college then one of the best places to find reasonably priced tutors is on search online tutoring platforms, where you can see individual tutors’ profiles, their experience, qualifications, and hourly rates.
Depending on which platform you use, rates can start as low as $25.00 per hour. A great advantage when you book through an online tutoring platform is that you can choose from pay-as-you-go plans for occasional tutoring support or monthly plans if your pupils need ongoing assistance. Tutors are often available 24/7, which means you can get help very quickly — whether you need to answer a last-minute question or want help diving into the details of a specific subject area.
If neither of these options work for you then there are other places where you can find highly skilled tutoring that charge reasonably. For example, you can always ask your school’s parents' community or your own teachers. Many will know how to help or even provide private tutoring themselves, usually at a reasonable price.
Costs of Online Tutoring VS Home Tutoring
Nowadays, hiring tutors online is largely more affordable compared to private lessons. Online tutoring services typically charge set monthly or hourly fees for tutoring while private tutoring may incur additional fees for travel time and other costs involved, such as study materials. The tutor pay rate per hour online is somewhere between $25 and $50, whereas private classes can get up to $80 and more.
Prior to the pandemic, online tutoring was a much less popular option due to worries that it may not be as engaging as in-person lessons. However, the last few years have caused a significant shift in views toward online learning, and being the only consistent education medium available for a long time, is now looked upon more favorably. With the rise of online education and the help of platforms like Zoom, Teams, and Hangouts, tutors have had to adapt to new teaching skills to accommodate virtual learning.
If the lower price isn’t enough to convince you, here are some further benefits of online tutoring:
- Availability - you can find tutors available almost at any time of the day, which means you can schedule lessons around your existing commitments. It also eliminates the issue of not having access to subject tutors you require in your local area, as you can be taught from anywhere in the world.
- Multitude of choices - with online tutoring, you have the opportunity to choose your preferred online tutoring platform and even the tutors themselves.
- Inclusivity - tutoring online is available for everyone, regardless of age or background or if you’re not feeling well, cannot travel or have a disability. In fact it is a great way to supplement missed learning due to injury or ongoing illness.
- Comfort - the opportunity to learn from home guarantees a comfortable and safe environment in which to learn. By eliminating any unwanted distractions posed by a new environment, tutoring sessions can be more effective and fruitful.
- Performance record - with lessons being online, tutors can easily utilize analytics to keep track of pupils’ performance over time. This can also be made accessible to parents so they can be confident that they are getting their money's worth.
- Easy payments - virtual tutors usually use a tutor management software that schedules easy payments and keeps records of not only online invoices, but also pupil attendance, study resources, performance and so on.
Contrary to this, many still value private tutoring as a useful long-term investment that produces tangible results, despite the higher tutor rate per hour. The in-person interaction can be beneficial for both pupils and parents, and it can be useful ahead of intense exams or for college preparation.
Some benefits of private tutoring:
- Improved attention during lessons
- Personalized tutoring adapted to pupil’s needs
- Opportunity for in-person interactive activities
- Increased GPA over time
Still not sure whether to invest in tutoring for your children? Have a read at these 5 signs that tell you if your child could benefit from tutoring.
There are many factors that ultimately affect the average tutoring rate per hour, and as we have learned in this article these include; the type of tutoring, location, subject, student’s grade or age, and tutor’s experience and expertise.
Each of these factors will have a varying impact on the way in which you approach tutoring, so before making your final decision, consider the following steps:
- Work out if your child needs tutoring - you can find the signs to look out for in the article above.
- Determine your budget - this will help you choose what type of tutoring is fit for your financial needs.
- Consider your options - how would your child respond to online tutoring versus private? Do you need to go to a tutoring center?
- Be realistic - choose the best option for you and your family that you will be able to maintain long term. Consider trying a couple of options before settling on the one that works best for you.
- Ask for help - if you get stuck, ask your school or ask online. You will be surprised how much extra support is out there and how many people are sharing a similar experience to you.
With all of this considered, the most cost-effective and comfortable solution is online tutoring, due to the many benefits it brings to any busy and budget-conscious family.
Parents opting for tutoring for their children shouldn’t have to struggle financially in order to offer them the best possible education, and online tutoring is a fantastic solution that fits everyone’s needs.