For some time now, Australia has watched itself slip lower in its world ranking for education outcomes. Our PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) results for English (reading), maths and science are alarming, so it's no wonder more parents are turning to private lessons or online tutoring for their students.

If you're looking at accessing tutoring for yourself or your children, there will be some things you'll need to know first:

  • what type of tuition service will suit you (online or face-to-face)
  • what outcomes you want to achieve
  • how much time do you need (this may depend on the subject)

The biggest question for parents, however, will likely be 'how much does private tutoring cost?'

Do tutoring prices vary for each subject? Is it more worthwhile to go with a tutoring agency or service, or one of the online tutoring platforms?

In the current economic climate, the hourly rate for private tutoring is an important consideration.

Doing your research, and comparing fees, will help you find a teacher who meets both your academic and financial needs.

What is the cost of private lessons?
In our current economic climate, how much can you afford to pay for private lessons? (Source: Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash)

At Superprof, we want everyone to achieve success, which is why we've written this article to help you understand the ins and outs of pricing for tutoring.

Find a tutor for yourself or your child at a price you can afford.

What Factors Affect Tutoring Rates?

There is no clearcut answer to the question: 'How much does private tutoring cost?'

As with all tutoring agencies, at Superprof, private tuition fees depend on several factors.

You need to consider these factors when searching for the best value for money offered by available tutors - whether in-home or online.

Location

Tutors in different locations often charge different fees. For example, the average hourly rate for a maths tutor in Darwin is $23, but the rate in Perth is $28 and maths tutoring in Sydney averages out at $30 an hour.

The reasons behind these differences may be variances in the cost of living or supplementary costs for the teachers, such as petrol or transport.

Level of Experience

A variety of private tutors, with a vast range of experience and qualifications, can be found in any tutoring business, including Superprof.

Private lessons may be offered by a university student who is looking for extra pocket money, or by a self-taught enthusiasts who are passionate about their craft, or even by fully qualified teachers.

You should expect a teacher with full qualifications and 20 years of teaching background to charge more than a university student.

Specialisation or Subject

Different subjects often attract different prices, often because of supply and demand, or the required level of technical expertise.

In Melbourne, you can expect to pay around $30 an hour for a chemistry tutor, whereas an hour singing lesson will cost approximately $50 and a private dance session is $35.

Student's Year Level

Students at every stage of their school life, from primary school through to university and adult education require assistance. The private tutoring market caters for all levels, at any stage in your lifelong learning career. However, your year level will often determine the rates you are charged.

Tutoring for younger children does not require the same level of knowledge and expertise as tuition at a master's degree level, so will probably be cheaper. In a similar way, a tutor who is required to assist a child with a homework assignment will not charge as much as someone who is tutoring for major end-of-year exams as less preparation is needed.

Private lessons for primary school students
Many primary school students benefit from one-to-one tutoring in private lessons. (Photo credit: venspired on visualhunt.com)

If you're looking for a longer-term tutoring solution, remember that some tutors with Superprof provide discounts of up to 15% for block bookings, and approximately 90% of Superprof tutors offer the first session for free.

What Price is Reasonable for Private Lessons?

If a tutor feels they are being paid fairly, the quality of their lesson, and overall service, should reflect this.

Both parties should feel the fee is reasonable and accurately reflects both the work required and the end outcome of the lesson.

When you are investigating private tutoring rates, you should also consider the following:

  • the intensity of the work required and the level of tutor experience will play a part in the price
  • your learning focus and goals should match what your chosen tutor actually offers (there are thousands of tutors available through Superprof)
  • the skills of the tutor and their years of training and practice will be reflected in their rates.
Do private tutors need particular qualifications?
A tutor's qualifications and experience will directly affect the fees they charge. (Source: Debby Hudson on Unsplash)

With Superprof, you can view profile information on a tutor's qualifications and study background.

If a tutor's profile has a tick on it, the Superprof team has validated the profile.

Have a look at the average hourly rates of some of the subjects Superprof offers:

  • English: $30
  • Physics: $28
  • Maths: $28
  • Geography: $30
  • French: $32
  • Tax Law: $36
  • Violin: $47
  • Psychology: $30
  • Guitar: $38

In addition to the academic and music tutoring on offer, many leisure activities, including Bollywood dancing, sewing and woodwork are also available, along with English conversation.

How Much Can You Afford and How Can You Reduce the Costs?

Weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions are good practice but can really add up.

Don't despair. There are several ways you can reduce your costs:

  • ask if the tutor will do group sessions so you can split the cost with other students
  • request fortnightly (or longer) tutorials  rather than weekly
  • make sure you spend time studying in between tutoring sessions working on  your outcomes and what you've learned
  • consider a tutor with less experience or qualifications - they will likely be just as effective.
Can you split the costs with group tutoring sessions?
Sharing a tutoring session with a small group can work out cheaper. (Source: Mimi Thian at Unsplash)

You may be concerned about the risks potentially associated with lower tutoring rates.

If you reduce your hours, will you still learn? Will the lessons be poorer quality?

However, even when you pay the top rates for private tuition, there is no guarantee your tutor's teaching style will match your learning style and produce effective outcomes.

To counteract this risk, many tutors with Superprof offer the first hour for free.

By doing this, both you and the tutor can check their style is compatible with your needs - without the risk.

You have a relaxed freedom with Superprof because private tutorials carry no obligation.

What Makes Private Tuition a Sound Investment?

Education paves the way for your future, so it makes sense to see private tuition as an investment. As with any investment, you should weigh up its value before you commit.

Engaging the right private tutor has multiple benefits, each one contributing to your future:

  • prevent yourself from falling behind and ultimately failing, or not achieving the scores you need to get in to your desired career
  • be motivated by an alternative teaching style - it may be that what you needed was more interaction, or strategies using apps
  • get advice on different learning styles and study skills to help you maximise your learning opportunities
  • improve your average scores over time

Improvement is one of the most important goals.

In Australia, your grades and final scores can mean the difference between pursuing your dream career path at your preferred university or settling for second best.

How can a tutor help me?
A private tutor can help you improve your study skills and your overall grades. (Source: CV Connell on VisualHunt)

One of the main reasons parents and school students look for tutors on Superprof is to improve their grades.

Many students want to get into a particular course at a specific university. Those final grades are critical.

Engaging a private tutor could vastly improve your results and make all the difference to your future.

What Else Should I Know About Private Tuition?

The home tutoring business is booming in Australia. Superprof regularly looks at the trends and keeps an eye on the growth.

Several points are important to remember:

  • The average cost of an hour session is dependent on subject, location, teacher experience and student level.
  • Some subjects, such as music and languages, vary widely depending on the instrument or the language.
  • For more specialised subjects, you should expect to pay more.
  • Price is not necessarily indicative of quality.

It is also important to point out that Superprof tutors generally respond in under 24 hours - a pleasant rarity in current times.

Now that you understand what to expect and what to look for when it comes to costing private tuition, your next step is to browse through the private tutors on the Superprof platform to find some who meet your requirements.

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Kellie

Kellie is an editor, a children's writer, blogger and a teacher. Any remaining time she has is spent on a dragon boat.