Thinking of becoming a tutor? Or wondering if hiring a tutor is the right choice for you or your family?

Before you dive in, it's good to know some basics about the industry, such as the size of the Australian private tutor market and the average price of a one-hour private lesson.

There is also the real question of supply and demand: how many students across Australia are accessing private tutoring, and how many private tutors are there to serve their needs?

In this article, we'll give you an overview of the latest data available to help demystify this important industry.

The Australian Private Tutoring Market: An Overview

The most recent figures we have indicate that the Australian tutoring market was worth around AUD 1.25 billion in 2017. Whilst the market itself is smaller than in countries with larger populations, Australians tend to spend more per hour on tutoring thanks to our high average wages and emphasis on quality education for all.

Worldwide, the tutoring industry surpassed USD 102 billion in 2018, with particularly strong growth in Asia.

Private tution at home
Home tuition is increasing in popularity. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org - Brian A Stone/US Navy)

There has been very strong growth in the industry in the past 5 years - in fact the number of people working as Private Tutors or Private Teachers has almost doubled! There are so many opportunities for tutors out there that the Australian JobOutlook site now defines tutoring as a "large occupation".

So let's look at some of the numbers...

In 2014, Australia had 28,600 people reporting Tutor as their main occupation, whilst in 2019 there were over 46,000 tutors!

The largest number of workers are in New South Wales, which is also the most populous state, and tutors are concentrated around the hubs of Melbourne and Sydney

In terms of earnings, full-time tutors can expect to earn an average of $1,122 per week. This is below the national average of $1,460 per week. Like nearly any profession, hourly earnings start lower and increase as experience increases.

One great thing about tutoring is that it's such a flexible profession - many tutors work part-time around their study commitments, or whilst raising a family. Only 20% of tutors work full-time, which is less than a third of the national average across professions, which see around 66% of all workers working putt time.

If you do work as a full-time tutor, you can expect to work around 45 hours per week, which is one hour more than the national average of 44 hours.

Tutoring is also a very young profession - the average age for a tutor is 36 years. This is in comparison to a national average of 40 years across different professions. Nearly a third of workers (29%) are under 25 years of age, with fits with the stereotype of the gifted university student tutoring part-time around their studies!

If we look at the gender breakdown of the tutoring profession, it tends to be female-dominated (like most education-related professions!), with 71% of workers being female.

In line with many areas of the education sector, the tutoring industry is changing fast and adapting to advances in technology. If you are considering becoming a tutor, you should keep a close eye on future tutoring trends.

Students are increasingly seeking out a tutor through online platforms such as Superprof. Our user-friendly site allows students to easily browse through and connect with highly-qualified tutors across hundreds of different subjects.

Compared to signing up with a tutoring agency, Superprof offers greater flexibility and convenience to tutors, as we empower you to take control of your tutoring business and go freelance. This means you'll generally make more per hour, whilst offering students a great price as they pay you directly.

Why Do Students Use Private Tutors?

It's extremely hard to find data on what percentage of students are hiring private tutors, and this tends to differ greatly from suburb to suburb. In a highly competitive and affluent inner-city school where tutoring has become the "norm", you'll generally find that your tutoring service is in hot demand. In a small rural town, not so much.

One of the main reason students in high school or university hire a tutor is to help them prepare for a specific exam or test. This usually involves a short, intensive course of study together in the lead-up to the exam. A similar number of students are simply looking for general help with learning and school work. 

It's rarer to find students who want tutoring simply because they take a particular interest in the subject you teach. However, if you tutor a creative subject such as dance, theatre, music or visual arts, you'll find students of all ages who simply want to take up a creative hobby or learn a new skill for pleasure or personal interest.

One thing we can say for sure is that the percentage of students hiring private tutors is increasing. 

The profession is also home to many qualified teachers, with a large number of teachers, especially those working in state schools, having taught private lessons sometime in their careers.

Private lessons for schoolchildren
Private tuition may be more or less popular depending on where you live. (Source: Pixabay.com - Pexels)

How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Online Tutor?

It should come as no surprise that the cost of a class will depend on the subject. Another factor influencing the price of tutoring is the level being taught - for example, you'll pay more for university statistics tutoring than for maths classes for primary school students. You'll also need to take the experience and qualifications of the teacher into account - someone with a university degree will charge more than an undergraduate who is still studying.

After reviewing average class prices across our site, we found that sciences classes and language classes were cheapest on average. Biology came in at an average of $27 per hour, physics at $28 per hour, with chemistry a little higher at $20 per hour.  Language classes cost between $25 - $33 per hour depending on the language being offered (English, French, Vietnamese...)

Music classes tend to be more expensive, with piano classes costing $47 per hour on average, singing classes on offer for an average of $45. Guitar classes tended to be cheaper - only $38 per hour on average.

You can also find a sports coach or personal trainer on Superprof for an average of $40 per hour.

You'll also find that tutor rates are lower when you hire a Tutor directly through Superprof. This is because, whilst we charge a low monthly rate to tutors and students, we don't take a portion out of each lesson like a traditional tutoring company. At tutoring agencies, you can often expect to pay double, whilst the tutor only receives half of the price, and the rest goes to the agency.

Tutoring prices can also vary considerably between different regions or cities!

Are There Many Private Tutors?

It is somewhat hard to estimate the total number of tutors in Australia, thanks in part to the fact that the industry is largely unregulated.

However, we know that there are at least 46,000 people who report Tutor as their main job, and many more opportunities for people to tutor part-time to supplement their primary income or work alongside their studies.

estimating the number of tutors
How many tutors teach in Australia? (Source: Flickr.com - Regent Language Training)

Many tutors who tutor academic subjects as their primary career have their skills and teaching methods certified by the Australian Tutoring Association.

One thing is for sure: the number of tutors has grown enormously over the past decade.

Interested in the history of tutoring? Check out our short history of private lessons.

Given the unregulated nature of the industry, unless a tutor is certified, you'll really need to do your research on them to make sure they're a good fit for you and have the right experience and qualifications.

At Superprof, we have some of the best tools in the business to help build trust and transparency between students and tutors:

  • We invite tutors to fill out a detailed description of their experience and qualifications
  • Tutors get a higher ranking if they upload a PDF of their qualification, degree or certificate
  • Students can evaluate teachers directly through the site, so there are testimonials you can trust.
  • Many tutors offer an initial consultation or trial lesson for free, so you can "try before you buy"

School's Out: Tutoring Season Is In

You can enroll in private tuition at any time of the year. This is one of the great advantages of tutoring. However, we find that tutoring tends to peak during the summer holidays

Learning during summer
Some families will enrol kids in educational summer camps. (Source: Schriever Air Force Base - Christopher DeWitt)

The summer holidays and school holidays are traditionally times of rest for school teachers, but many tutors will find themselves busier than ever. Parents hire tutors to ensure their children aren't getting rusty over the holidays or trying to fill their child's empty summer schedule with creative classes such as dance, music, drama or arts.

Some families also hire tutors to prepare their children for school entrance exams in January or February. As entrance tests for high-ranking schools becoming increasingly competitive, this trend is only set to continue.

Some wealthier families will even take their tutors on holiday with them!

Want to know more about the tutoring industry? Take a look at our article on the future of private tutoring?

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Erin

Erin is an Australian musician, writer and francophile living in France.