The private tutoring industry has ballooned in recent years in Australia, growing at a rate of 4.1% per annum.
In figures, this constitutes $1.25 billion in Australia alone, and $102 billion globally, according to data from the Australian Tutoring Association. This growth has been spurred on by an increasingly competitive job market, where parents seek to give their children a competitive edge.
Whether teacher, student, and or education professional therefore, tutoring jobs are becoming increasingly sought after.
Based on research from the OECD, 30-50% of teachers in Australia leave the industry within the first five years due to dissatisfaction with challenging educational environments. In response to this, many schools are now recommending that new teachers offer private lessons to individual students to bolster interest in education from both parties, and not least of all to supplement the teacher's income. Individuals in creative industries (e.g. music and acting) are also seeing the appeal of pursuing private tutoring jobs, where they can determine their own flexible hours and rates. This kind of peer mentoring also provides an avenue for students and young professionals to make money while studying or training.
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Sites such as SuperProf offer a commission-free platform for tutors to advertise their services, helping to link students with mentors giving private lessons in areas ranging from German to gymnastics.
Private Lessons are all available in one place, but hourly rates may vary by subject
- lesson location,
- student ability,
- teaching mode,
- content and subject.
These must all be taken into account by tutors when setting prices.
So why is it so important to choose the right price?
Money talks, so potential tutees will most likely notice your rates before anything else. The price needs to be appealing enough to hold their attention, but not so low that you devalue your worth as a professional. Tutoring jobs also need to provide the professional with a significant enough remuneration to live off, so every penny counts.
Our recommendation is to see what prices others in the same industry are setting. After settling on your ideal number, you can further adjust for location, experience etc. For example, online tutoring jobs in Melbourne or Sydney can often be cheaper than face-to-face due to lower associated travel time. Meanwhile, tutoring jobs for semi-retired or retired teachers may appeal due to their greater experience, thus befitting a higher hourly rate.
All this may seem daunting, but never fear, we've gathered the necessary information to give you an overview of what tutors are currently charging by field for you to help set your prices accordingly.
Rates for Private Lessons by Subject in Australia
We here at SuperProf have been busy researching the average prices by discipline so you don't have to, which you can use as a guide.
Keep in mind these are national averages. Prices, even within a single subject area, can differ from region to region. For this reason, we also recommend checking out prices in your local area to have a clearer idea of what to charge.
Mathematics and Science
Mathematics and science teachers ask an average price of $27.47 for private lessons.
The highest national average price per hour is for Chemistry at $28.60, while Biology tutors charge the lowest price at $26.76.
With a slightly higher average than maths and science, Humanities tutors can expect to receive $29.85 per hour. Geography tutors come in top of the field for price, with $30.60, whereas History tutors are more likely get around $28.88.
Modern Foreign Languages
Similar to Humanities, the average price across this field is $29.94. However, demand for different languages can vary significantly, affecting the price. For instance, Private Spanish Lessons are noticeably cheaper at $27.99, than French lessons at $31.50. The prevalence of teachers and demand by region is also likely to have an influence on prices charged. This may mean that a teacher in Ipswich would charge less than one in Brisbane.
Professional Tutoring Jobs require in-depth knowledge, real-life experience, and higher levels of education within the industry. Therefore, Private Lessons in Professional Subjects have a higher price point than other areas, with the average hourly rate for such subjects at $36.08, Criminal Law bringing in the highest amount for an hour.
Average tuition for the Social Sciences comes in at $29.98. These subjects aren't taught nationwide at secondary level in Australia, and when they are, it's usually only in the final years of high school, therefore demand may vary.
As tutors also need to be highly specialised in this area, the average price for music tuition is $43.79. There is however a large discrepancy between instruments price wise, with traditionally classical instruments such as violin ($46.82) and trumpet (49.53) averaging almost $10 more than rock instruments guitar ($37.80) and drums ($42.33).
What Impact Does Student Level Have on Rates for Private Lessons?
Tutors need to assess what levels they are comfortable teaching to. This should determine the rate that they set when advertising lessons.
The rate usually goes up depending on the level of the student since the difficulty influences the expectations and outcomes from each session:
- Beginner's classes permit pupils to discover new abilities. Having no experience with the subject matter, the student generally needs to be walked through step by step. On the tutor's part, there is less required knowledge, preparation, and requires less feedback and marking. Beginner's classes, therefore, may be priced slightly lower than the average.
- Intermediate classes cater to students who have the fundamentals of a subject but want to further their learning with the guidance of an educator. Compared to beginner's classes, teachers here are expected to spend more time planning, giving feedback, and explaining in greater detail. Intermediate class prices are therefore in-between beginner and advanced rates.
- Advanced classes are tailored towards students who already have a solid understanding of the subject matter but want to take their skills to the next level. For this, tutors are expected to have not only a profound but wide understanding of the topic at hand. More refined and personalised dynamic feedback is often expected from tutors in these situations, so such classes tend to have a higher price point.
Academic Tutoring Rates Based on Level
It's worth noting that academic tutoring rates do not always adhere to this framework. Like the prices of the subjects themselves, everything is subject to demand from students, so for example if there is a large number of people seeking primary tuition in your area, catering to this as a primary tutor may mean you can charge more.
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Local schools are often a large factor in demand. For example, if the main public school in that area has selective entry, there will be a greater call for test preparation training. In a recent study, the Sutton Trust also reasoned that private school students are more likely to receive private tutoring, so your chances of finding abundant tutoring jobs in areas surrounding these schools is higher.
SuperProf has crunched the numbers, which stand in February 2020 at:
|Level of tuition||Average hourly rate|
|Primary level tuition||$38.71|
|Secondary level tuition||$46.50|
It is important to be aware of what level you are able to teach up to when setting your price. Never tutor students in what you don't know yourself.
Why is There a Price Difference?
It might seem counterintuitive that different subjects have different prices, but there is good reason for this discrepancy.
Supply and demand
Availability of a private lessons in a given topic affects the price, Therefore if more people offer tuition in the same subject, they will have to charge less.
Take fresh produce for example. When banana harvests yield a large number, prices in grocers and supermarkets drop accordingly. A poor harvest would entail greater scarcity of bananas, therefore making them an in demand commodity, which would mean suppliers could charge more for them.
Likewise for tutors, setting a competitive price helps them stand out from the crowd if the market is saturated.
This will no doubt also influence how much you can charge. Furthermore, while you may be the only geologist offering private lessons in your town, if demand for geology lessons is low, you will have to lower prices to capture prospective tutees' attention or settle for online tutoring.
Particular areas of study require specific equipment to be effective.
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Thinking horse riding or music lessons. Not only are instruments and horses expensive to buy, but both require consistent maintenance, and in the case of horses, must be fed and sheltered. Consequently the hourly rate for teachers in either of these domains would outstrip that of a chess teacher, whose main equipment would simply be a board and pieces.
There is not often a set rate dictated by governing bodies, or governments for that matter. As much of the industry is based on private, or freelance work, there is a lot of flexibility regarding prices. Nevertheless, those in the know do make recommendations for tutoring rates. For example, the Australian Tutoring Association recommends that tutors not undervalue themselves even if the market is saturated. Some tutors charge as little as $10-$15 per hour, but this is barely sufficient to cover planning costs and devalues the level of education offered.
Whilst we have mentioned that circumstances do vary for each individual, the bodies such as the Australian Tutoring Association have plenty of insight into these matters, so it's worth considering what they say. Make sure that you know your level and what you are willing to charge accordingly, and make sure that you feel confident in your own ability so that you don't end up undervaluing yourself.
There's a lot of information to process here, so let SuperProf help you determine what rates are right for you with this figure for the average price by experience as a tutor and in your field.
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