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How Much Should You Pay a Tutor Per Hour? A Rate Breakdown

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How much should you pay a tutor per hour: A piggy bank sits on top of a stack of books

Working with a tutor can vary dramatically when it comes to price and skill level. A tutor who is helping an elementary school student with basic math principles will cost much less than a tutor who works with college students on complex topics like organic chemistry.

So, how much should you pay a tutor per hour? Well, that depends on a variety of factors including the tutor’s expertise and education level, and how difficult the subject matter is. Where and how you hire a tutor can also affect how much you’ll pay. Online tutoring services typically charge set monthly or hourly fees for tutoring while private tutors may charge additional fees for travel time and other factors.

Here’s what you need to know about the cost of tutoring services and where you can find the best tutors.

How Much Should You Pay a Tutor Per Hour?

How much should you pay a tutor per hour: A jar of coins topped with a graduation cap

Tutoring prices vary depending on the type of tutoring your child receives. Here are the main types of tutoring and a breakdown of how much each tutor charges.

Private Tutoring

Private tutors work either online or in-person to help students with a wide range of topics. Most often, private tutors have backgrounds working as certified teachers, professors, or professionals in specific subject areas. Some private tutors are high school students, graduate students, or even teaching assistants.

For private tutoring from a student or teaching assistant, you can expect to pay an average of $25 per hour. For high-level tutors such as professors or teachers, you can expect to pay $56 per hour or more.

The cost of private tutoring can also vary depending on where you live. Private tutors are generally more expensive in large cities and metro areas where the cost of living is higher. If you or your child have special needs, you’ll likely pay a higher fee because the tutor will adjust the lesson plans to fit your learning needs.

Some private tutors also charge additional fees or offer discounts under certain conditions. A private tutor may charge a travel fee if they have to spend time commuting to your home for the lessons. This fee may be in the form of a set rate or an hourly stipend. Additionally, private tutors may offer bulk lesson discounts if you purchase a set number of hours or lessons upfront.

Private tutors may also charge cancellation fees for missed or forgotten classes. Most private tutoring arrangements don’t involve a contract, which means it’s important to lay out the ground rules and work out exactly what the tutor will charge before making a commitment.

Tutoring Centers

Tutoring centers can be found on a variety of college campuses and in the form of private services. Private tutoring centers include companies like Sylvan Learning Center and Huntington Learning Center. There are also a number of private companies that offer tutoring through partnerships with libraries and community centers These learning centers offer tutoring for last-minute questions as well as ongoing academic needs. In some cases, students enrolled in grade school may get free tutoring access at local centers or receive class credit for attending a learning session.

Private learning centers like Sylvan Learning are more expensive than online tutoring services and most private tutors. A tutoring session at Sylvan starts at $49 per hour — landing this type of learning support at the higher end of private tutoring costs.

In some cases, private learning centers also charge admission fees, and book or material fees. Some offer trial sessions at reduced rates while others provide a money-back guarantee if you or your child don’t see results. Additionally, many tutoring centers offer lessons on a small group basis — typically two to four students per tutor. So, your child won’t necessarily get the one-on-one learning environment they’ll get with a private tutor or a tutoring service.

Tutoring Services

While the cost of a private tutor varies depending on experience level, tutoring services typically offer transparent set pricing for tutoring lessons. The pay rate for an online tutor differs depending on the platform you’re using. Most — including TutorMe — offer transparent pricing so you’ll know exactly what you need to pay before signing up.

Some tutoring companies charge sign-up fees while others only charge hourly rates. Most online tutoring agencies don't require a long-term contract, though you may be locked into a monthly contract if you choose a monthly plan at a discounted rate.

Prices for tutoring through an online platform vary wildly. In fact, tutors on these platforms charge anywhere from $10 to $100 per hour. Each platform has different standards to become a tutor, and some charge different rates according to skills and experience. If you don’t want to guess at how much you’ll pay, choose a tutoring platform like TutorMe that offers set tutoring rates rather than different prices for individual tutors.

Different Payment Options

How much should you pay a tutor per hour: A teacher in a classroom holds her hands up to indicate money

Most of the time, learning centers and online tutoring platforms require payment via credit card, debit card, or bank transfer. If you choose to work with a private tutor, you can also choose to pay the tutor in cash or use a money order or a check.

Regardless of how you hire a tutor, find out if you need to pay upfront or after each lesson. You may receive discounts for purchasing a tutoring bundle with a certain number of hours. Make sure to find out if there are any additional fees and when these will be charged to your account. If you have questions about your tutoring costs, ask for clarification to avoid being overcharged, and ask the tutor to draw up a bill if you have decided to hire a private tutor.

Learning centers and tutoring services take the guesswork out of payments and billing. It’s easier to contact the companies than it is to track down a private tutor that you found on Craigslist who stops showing up after you’ve paid in advance.

Working with tutoring platforms offers protection when it comes to paying for tutoring services. Most offer convenient billing platforms and clearly state their terms of service if you need to cancel or change your tutoring plan. With a private tutor, you’ll need to negotiate all these details on your own.

Find the Best Tutors With TutorMe

How much should you pay a tutor per hour: A college student works with an online tutor

So how much should you pay a tutor per hour? At TutorMe, rates start as low as $26.50 per hour and you can choose from pay-as-you-go plans for occasional tutoring support or monthly plans if you or your child need ongoing assistance. Tutors are available 24/7 so you or your student can get help at a moment’s notice — whether you need to answer a last-minute question or want help diving into the details of a specific subject.

TutorMe only works with the highest quality tutors. All of our tutors are 18 years or older and have some form of teaching experience, professional experience, or tutoring experience in the subject area. Our tutors are either enrolled in or graduates from accredited universities, so you'll pay affordable rates for the best tutoring possible.

You’ll find tutoring help for everything from basic subjects like math and science to test prep including SAT prep and support for the GRE. You can also find tutors for complex topics like C++ programming and professional studies like risk management and insurance.

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