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Old 09-07-2017, 07:45 PM
34 posts, read 15,402 times
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I'm planning to pursue a career in education. Considering teaching, of course. But also strongly thinking about trying my hand at tutoring instead.

I will be graduating from a top 25 university and have a decent amount of teaching experience under my belt from an AmeriCorps program I've done for three years, as well as summer camps and freelance tutoring here and there.

However, I'm interested in taking the next step. Want to see if I can make a career out of this. If I can, I think it'll be a fantastic career for me. It checks off all my boxes: entrepreneurship, education, helping kids, getting to work one-on-one with kids, getting to work with a variety of age groups, setting my own rates, setting my own hours...It really does seem ideal for me. If I can make it work.

I'm interested in/qualified to tutor the SAT and ACT, help students with college applications and essays, and tutor in all levels of English.

What I need advice on:

1.) Better to specialize or to offer a wider range of services? I've heard mixed things. I could specialize in the SAT, for example, and do nothing else. Or I could offer all of the things I said above. Any opinions/experiences here?

2.) Is a Bachelor's degree sufficient to charge relatively high rates? Does it depend more on the quality of tutor/word of mouth, or on academic qualifications? What do you think would be a reasonable rate for someone with a BA but no advanced degree to charge?

3.) Better to set up my business in a big city or small city? I tend to think that setting up in NYC or Boston, for example, would be best. Seeing as there are tons and tons of schools/students in both cities.

On the other hand, are these oversaturated markets? Would it be extremely difficult to stand out as a tutor and get clients there? I then wonder if it would be better to set up in a smaller city. Where there may be an unmet need for tutors. Then again, there may not be enough students that have that need...

(When answering the third question, please don't consider the cost of living/rent. I know that will be something to think about. But at the moment, I have somewhere to stay in NYC, Boston, San Francisco, and San Diego until I get on my feet. So just for now, you can think about the third question without regard to my personal expenses. Thank you.)
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Old 09-08-2017, 06:19 PM
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What do you consider a relatively high rate?
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:07 AM
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Most people just hire college students to tutor or go through a company with a proven track record. I think it would be very hard to make a living as a tutor.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:26 AM
46 posts, read 16,639 times
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My wife did this a little bit, I was shocked how much wealthy parents will pay for a tutor.

They didn't bat an eye at $40 an hour and that was several years ago.

They are impressed by titles, Phd etc, big name schools, and proven results.

My wife also got several word of mouth students after she told one parent; "I feel guilty about taking your money. Your child doesn't want to learn and is unwilling to apply herself enough to learn. If this doesn't change I can't in good faith continue to tutor your child."
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:00 PM
Location: Erie, PA
1,925 posts, read 730,945 times
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A friend of mine did this when she got laid off from a position due to funding cuts at her school district.

She has 22 years of teaching experience (mostly science) and has a B.S. (Biology), M.S. (Life Sciences) and M.Ed.

She became a tutor for students taking the ACT and SAT tests.

1. I think that your question about specializing/generalizing is going to depend on your level of comfort with it. Are you comfortable with all of the subjects that the SAT and ACT encompass or are you more comfortable with English? Something else to look at is the market that you will be working it--what is the comparative demand for English tutors vs. tutors for SAT/ACT tutors?

2. If you are working for one of those outfits that employs tutors, then they might pay less for a B.A. Clients for a private tutor are interested in references, any fancy certifications you have, and it really helps if you went to a top-rated college/university. What constitutes a reasonable rate in my area might be a pittance in a large city. In my area (Erie, PA) science/math tutors generally get $35-$45 an hour and other subjects get $25-$35 an hour. SAT/ACT tutors generally get around $30 an hour. All of the wages pretty much depend on experience and I guess you can tell we have a demand here for math and science tutors This is a low cost-of-living area; someone single could live here okay on $50K a year. I suspect that you could get a higher hourly rate in the areas that you are talking about.

3. It's a hard call on this, since the large city obviously gives you a larger population but as you said also gives you more competition. My friend who tutored was in a relatively small (45,000) city and did very well because she had almost no competition there and the place was a college town located within an hour radius of several other college towns.

I've also had friends who have worked as SAT Prep instructors through Kaplan in various locations, so that is something else you might want to look into.
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