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Tutoring in Australia – The Complete Guide

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How do you negotiate a tutoring price?

Private tutors are normally more flexible than a tutoring centre as they don’t have the overhead costs such as renting an office and paying staff and administration costs. You can negotiate the tutoring price when: 

  • You are planning to do multiple lessons, i.e 10 lessons or more tutors are normally happy to give you a discount
  • If a tutor is just starting out, new tutors need to build their customer base and they are more happy to offer a cheaper rate to have you on board
  • Group session, if you have a friend or family member attending the tutoring class together, tutors are always happy to offer you a cheaper rate for both you and your friend
  • If it’s the low tutoring season, normally before the exam period many students would hire a tutor, most tutors would be very full in their schedule, which means they will be very unlikely to drop their tutoring price. On the other hand, if you are hiring a tutor just at the start of the semester, which might put you in a better position to negotiate a better tutoring price

How much does a tutor charge?

Private tutors charge different rates, it will be based on their tutoring experience, qualification, location and many other factors. It is common in Australia a tutor would charge something between $25 to 40 per session (it can be 30, 45 or 60 minutes). If a tutor has more tutoring experience or has been teaching in a high school or a professor in an University, they can offer a much better quality tutoring service hence they would discharge something closer to the $90 per session. 

Location can also affect the tutoring price. If a tutor needs to travel 30 minutes to your place. The tutor is likely to charge you an additional fee just to cover their transportation cost and time. Although students can always find a tutor in their local area, there are many websites that can help you to find local tutors. Alternatively, you can find a spot that is easy for both you and the tutor to travel to like a cafe or library. 

How long should a tutoring session last?

A tutoring session is normally between 45 to 60 minutes. It also depends on the student’s age and subject.Tutor will recommend the best session time to avoid overloading the students with too much information. If a tutoring session is too long, students may get exhausted which the efficiency would reduce. But if you are running out of time, i.e you have your exam in 2 days you can always request the tutor to give you a longer session. 

What qualities make a good tutor?

There are certain qualities make a good tutor such as their tutoring experience, work experience, can they explain things clearly, will they tailor their tutoring session based on the student’s needs, are they highly organised, how much and well they prepare for their tutoring session, are they offering additional supports such as responding to your message when you have a question. A good tutor would spend time learning the student’s goal, reviewing their current level of knowledge, strengths and weaknesses in order to come up with the perfect tutoring plan for their student. 

Why do students need tutoring?

Students hire a tutor for different reasons. Some common reasons why students need tutoring are exam and test preparation, they are behind in school, they don’t understand certain concepts, they have questions which they don’t feel comfortable asking in class, preparing for the next semester study. Some students hire a tutor just because they want to learn some extra skills such as coding, art and languages. Getting a tutor is very useful if you want to learn a new language, on Tutors Field there are many great tutors who are offering language tutoring such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean or French. When you have a face to face tutoring session, you can improve both your speaking and listening in the new language that you are studying. 

What are the benefits of tutoring?

The main benefits of tutoring are improving your grades and academic performance. As these are always the main goals students are working towards. You might not know tutoring actually offers more benefits than simply improving your exam and test scores on the paper, tutoring can also help to develop your other skills such as communication skills, increase motivations, understanding the career paths and future opportunities, expanding your network and the opportunity to walk out of your comfort zone. 

Some tutors not only graduated from the top University, some may actually work in the field for many years such as a doctor, a nurse or an accountant. They can offer you a lot more than simply teaching you the concepts and what’s on the textbook, they can share the insider tips and career tips with you, all you need to do is don’t be hesitate to ask. 

What age should you get a tutor?

There is no best age to get a tutor. You get one only when you feel there is a need for it. High school age would be the most common age of getting a tutor. Kids at very young age may not be ideal to get a tutor, except if you are after a language tutor or music tutor which you might want to start as early as possible. For language and musical instruments such as piano or violin, there are evidences that show it is better to start learning them at early age. 

How many hours of tutoring are recommended?

If you are in high school, you may require 15+ hours per semester which will give you some additional support that you might need to clarify the things that you do not fully understand. You might want some additional hours just before the exams just to cover some of your last minute questions. Again, if you are doing language or music tutoring, for example if you want to master a new language or aiming to get the AMEB, you will definitely require more hours of tutoring, it can be 3-5 hours per week depending on your ultimate goal. 

Is tutoring worth the money?

This is one of the most common questions asked by not only students but parents. Investing in hiring a tutor can be expensive, like investing in anything else you need to do your research to ensure you are getting a tutor that best fits your needs. Getting a good tutor is valuable and can have a positive impact on the rest of your life, a tutor is a role model for students, if you hire a tutor who has worked in the field for years and is successful in the career you would then start mirroring him. Similar to other type of investment, you also need to look at the opportunity cost, if you cannot get into your preferred University you might need to go through alternative study pathways which could take a few more years to get to your dream degree, this can be a huge cost you can avoid if the tutor you hire can get you to the score or ATAR you need and getting into a degree right away. 

Tutoring for tutor

How much should I charge for tutoring?

If you are wanting to become a tutor and wondering how much you should charge, you will need to look at things below. 

  • Do you have a bachelor degree
  • Do you have a postgraduate degree, i.e PhD, Masters
  • What was your ATAR score
  • Did you win any awards
  • How many years of teaching experience do you have
  • Do you have a degree in education or teaching
  • Have you worked as a tutor in a tutoring company or University
  • Do you have relevant work and field experience 
  • Do you have any good reviews online – such as Tutors Field 
  • Do you have any references you can provide to students
  • How much is other tutors charging in your area
  • Are there additional costs, such as for you travelling to student’s home, teaching materials, study notes

If your answer is yes to most of the questions above, you could possible charge a higher rate such as above $80 per session. 

How much money can I make tutoring?

Tutoring is like running a business unless you are volunteering. You can possibly make $500+ per student per semester if you are a high school tutor. Students are likely to take more than 15 sessions, sometimes even more if you are showing students your value. Many private tutors are only taking on students when they have free time outside of work or Uni study, they would have limited spots available. The number of students you have will increase once you are getting referrals from your current students. If you are teaching 10 students, you can possibly earn $5,000 per semester. Your actual earning can be less as you will need to factor in the costs such as petrol, printing study materials, subscription to software, although these costs are often minimal. 

Is tutoring a good side job?

Yes tutoring is a great side job and side hustle. First of all, you are making money by sharing your knowledge, when you share your knowledge, not only you are helping the others to achieve their life goals but at the same time it gives you the opportunities to revisit what you have learnt and reinforce it. The startup cost is close to nothing becoming a private tutor. Sometimes you may not even need a vehicle if you are meeting the students on campus. You could possibly make $500 per student per semester, and it will grow if your students refer you to more students if you help them to get the score they want. Starting any business requires experience, running your own tutoring business you can practice how to run a small business which is valuable. When you find a job or start your second business you can always apply what you have learnt working for yourself as a private tutor. 

What skills do tutors need?

The skills a good tutor has include good communication skills, customer service skills, technical knowledge in the area you are tutoring and time management skills. Good communication is one of the key skills a good tutor has because you will need to be a good listener in order to understand what the students need and you also need to communicate clearly to students so they understand the concept clearly and correctly. Customer service skills are also important, as a tutor you would want to get more referrals and grow your client base, you need to make sure the customers are getting and seeing the value from your service, think about what additional things you can do to keep the students and parents happy, such as offering additional supports outside of tutoring session, printing study materials for students, etc. Technical knowledge is related to the subject you are teaching, if you are a piano teacher, do you have any formal qualification in music which allows you to share the right skills and concepts to the students. Time management skill is somewhat important as some students might only be a few weeks away before the exam starts. You need to plan ahead and make sure you have time to cover all the important topics for the exams. 

How can I make tutoring more fun?

If you are teaching younger age students, you would need to make sure your tutoring is fun so that they don’t get bored. You can try to incorporate using multimedia in your tutoring session such as show some education videos on YouTube that contain cartoons or art.

How do I sell myself as a tutor?

Getting the first student would be the most difficult, there are many ways you can sell your tutoring service. In the past, tutors would print out flyers and put them into the mailbox or local notice board. As the time goes, Google now would be the main channel where students and parents find their tutors. For example, students can simply type in “find a tutor” or “tutor finder” on Google and Google will show them the tutor directories that are trustworthy. Make sure you list your service on all mainstream tutoring directories and platforms to maximise your opportunities. Now you have listed your services now what’s next? Reviews! Like people would look for restaurant or hotel ratings before they make their decisions. It is the same for the tutoring industry, you should invite your students to leave good reviews on your tutor profile on the tutoring directories. Students are more likely to contact you if they see there are a few 5 star ratings attached to your tutoring profile. 

Author: Sim K

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Sim K

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