So you want to become a private tutor?

The private tuition sector, which boasts a flexible schedule, control over your rates, and the rewarding opportunity to work with people to achieve their goals, is growing in popularity for students and many passionate individuals alike.

So it's no surprise that an increasing number of individuals are joining the ranks of private educators on a part-time or full-time basis.

Is it as simple as that?

Almost!

There are a few stages between deciding to become a tutor and delivering your first lesson. Namely, coming out with your tutor profile online.

We try to deny it but, when looking for supplemental instruction, our eyes are immediately drawn to the little pound sign on the right-hand side of the screen. A teacher's price tag is his/her first impression and must be justified by the information which follows. If your experience and qualifications aren't deemed to be worth the money, you will be overlooked by potential students.

It is tempting to offer irresistibly low prices to create a buzz among your target client base. However, by setting your rates too low you will undervalue your skills and come across as something that's fallen out of the bargain bucket in your local corner shop.

In brief, setting the right rate is vital to your success as a tutor. It also involves treading the fine line between too much and too little.

You're probably about to open up an internet search engine and make a frantic search for a one-size-fits-all hourly rate for tutors.

Unfortunately, the perfect answer does not exist!

Trust us, we've done our fair share of research!

Just as the name private tutoring implies, it certainly reflects a much more personal and individualised role.

Hence, setting your hourly mentoring rate requires careful consideration and reflection about your own ability. Your rate should be tailored to your skillset and circumstances (experiences, mode of teaching, etc.).

At Superprof, we won't and can't set your rates for you. But we can take you step-by-step through the process of setting an hourly rate to start your tutoring journey on the right foot.

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Petar
4.9
4.9 (36 reviews)
Petar
RM40
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Tian (larita)
4.9
4.9 (7 reviews)
Tian (larita)
RM40
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Mil
4.8
4.8 (4 reviews)
Mil
RM50
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Julie
5
5 (4 reviews)
Julie
RM59
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Kartik
4.9
4.9 (20 reviews)
Kartik
RM40
/h
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Petar
4.9
4.9 (36 reviews)
Petar
RM40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Tian (larita)
4.9
4.9 (7 reviews)
Tian (larita)
RM40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Mil
4.8
4.8 (4 reviews)
Mil
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Julie
5
5 (4 reviews)
Julie
RM59
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kartik
4.9
4.9 (20 reviews)
Kartik
RM40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Let's go

Step 1: Identify Your Purpose Of Starting A Tutoring And The Demands For The Current Tutoring Scene

The first step for any new business is to start listing down the WH questions. 

  • WHAT are the current trends of tutoring?
  • WHAT subject(s) should I teach?
  • WHERE are the most populated cities aka WHERE can I get more students?
  • WHO should I target as my students? Young children, adults or both?
  • WHICH tutoring platforms should I register myself on?
  • WHEN can I start teaching?
  • HOW do I make myself stand out from so many tutors?
  • HOW much are other tutors charging for the subject that I'm teaching?
  • WHY do I want to tutor? Is it a full-time position/part-time side hustle?

Once you have reviewed the above questions, you'll have a clearer picture of your tutoring venture.

Step 2: Decide Your Tutoring Rate By Taking Into Account Various Factors

a) Setting prices according to subject

We recommend that you start by checking out the tuition rates in your subject area.

Tutoring rates vary according to subject demand. For example, if tennis tutors were in short supply compared to the demand for tennis lessons, these tutors would charge higher rates.

Similarly, if there was an abundance of tennis teachers and a deficit of tennis students, tennis tutors would have to lower their rates to compete with other prices on the market and to attract new students plus sustain their present students.

One thing to keep in mind, though. Some fields are more expensive due to the equipment required. For instance, a design/sewing tutor may need far more equipment than a hip-hop dancing instructor, so prices will reflect this.

We have listed the average tutoring price at Superprof according to various fields of study for your future reference.

If you are planning to teach languages: 

  • Malay: RM38/hour
  • English: RM53/hour
  • Mandarin: RM90/hour
  • Japanese: RM72/hour
  • Korean: RM74/hour
  • French: RM79/hour
  • Spanish: RM86/hour 

If you intend to tutor science and mathematics:

  • Science: RM76/hour
  • Biology: RM40/hour
  • Chemistry: RM45/hour
  • Physics: RM41/hour
  • Mathematics: RM44/hour 

If you desire to teach music and dancing:

  • Piano: RM98/hour
  • Violin: RM116/hour
  • Trumpet: RM118/hour
  • Guitar: RM76/hour
  • Drum: RM93/hour 
  • Ballet: RM96/hour
  • Modern dance: RM65/hour
  • Hip Hop dance: RM56/hour
  • Kpop dance: RM73/hour
  • Latin ballroom dancing: RM101/hour 
average tutoring rate guitar
You can compare and review your rate as a guitar tutor.
Source: Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels

b) Setting prices according to locations

What comes next?

It's time to decide where your 'market' is and then get to conquer it.

For home tutors and peripatetic tutors, the market is your locality. Home tutoring prices in Malaysia vary hugely from one to another. They are affected by the following variables in the area:

  • wages,
  • cost of living,
  • schools and exams sat in the area,
  • supply and demand of tutors in the area.

If you choose to offer face-to-face tuition, you should investigate what others in your field are charging in the local area that you plan to teach.

Here is a table of comparison of various cities in Malaysia that offer Mandarin lessons.

Cities in MalaysiaRate
Kuala LumpurRM66/hour
MiriRM50/hour
Shah AlamRM43/hour
Petaling JayaRM60/hour
Subang JayaRM59/hour
KuchingRM40/hour
Johor BahruRM45/hour
MelakaRM73/hour
IpohRM44/hour
SerembanRM39/hour
OnlineRM91/hour

On a side note, online tutors can reach a greater pool of potential students available to them, but they also have more competition.

An online tutor's market is the entire Internet, they should look at the average tuition rate for their subject across the whole of Malaysia and in other countries if they want to fill their online classroom.

Online tutors can use applications such as Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, among other services to teach their subjects online.

The best tutors available
Petar
4.9
4.9 (36 reviews)
Petar
RM40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Tian (larita)
4.9
4.9 (7 reviews)
Tian (larita)
RM40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Mil
4.8
4.8 (4 reviews)
Mil
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Julie
5
5 (4 reviews)
Julie
RM59
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kartik
4.9
4.9 (20 reviews)
Kartik
RM40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Petar
4.9
4.9 (36 reviews)
Petar
RM40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Tian (larita)
4.9
4.9 (7 reviews)
Tian (larita)
RM40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Mil
4.8
4.8 (4 reviews)
Mil
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Julie
5
5 (4 reviews)
Julie
RM59
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kartik
4.9
4.9 (20 reviews)
Kartik
RM40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Let's go

Step 3: Position Yourself as an MVP In The Tutoring Market

Now that you've seen what else is out there, you must decide where you fit in.

A tutor's rate depends on his/her background in teaching and in the subject matter. Many professional educators are looking for tutoring jobs after teaching at school or in their spare evenings and the more experience you have, the more you can charge.

The best way to put a value on your knowledge is to define your experience level. You can then focus your market research to see what tutors with equivalent experience are charging in your area and subject.

To give you an overview, here is a brief description of the three broad experience categories.

Experts and Professionals (Qualifications/Experiences proven)

Many students value tutors who have hands-on experience in the field. We'll call these tutors 'experts' or 'professionals'.

For instance, a Biology lecturer with a PhD is considered an expert in the field.

A former squash player like Datuk Nicol David is considered a professional due to her years of training and international tournament experiences.

These tutors are generally very specialised and highly demanded.

They share the most up-to-date and detailed theory and practical knowledge with their students and are popular amongst advanced-level learners. Hence, they can charge extra higher rates for their tutoring services.

teach sports superprof
Former professional athletes like Nicol David usually charge a higher tutoring rate.
Source: The Star Online

Qualified Teachers (Fresh graduates/individuals with industrial experience)

Certified teachers also appeal to students as their qualified teacher status demonstrates both their knowledge of the subject, national syllabus and tests, and their competence in tutelage.

Students looking for a structured learning experience and academic support often favour qualified teachers as tutors. These tutors can also charge higher hourly rates.

Student Tutors

On the lower end of the subject price range are student tutors. Often tutoring to support their studies and gain experience relevant to their field, student tutors are enthusiastic, highly motivated and passionate.

Although lacking in teaching experience and qualifications, this does not have a detrimental effect on the academic success of their pupils.

Student tutors have current experience of the education system and because of their age, they come across as less intimidating and more friendly.

This makes them more relatable and more popular among younger learners. This means that they are ideal homework help tutors as well as role models.

They tend to charge the lowest hourly rates as compared to the other two tutor categories.

Your tutoring experience and mastery of the subject matter can be evidenced by testimonials and feedback on your tutoring profile.

Step 4: Do The Math On What Makes It Count to Become a Tutor

By this point, you may have a price in mind which correlates with your subject, location, and experience. It's time to assess whether this rate is substantial enough to cover your tutoring jobs costs and preparation time.

On Superprof, you don't pay any commission to us. This means that if you charge RM50 an hour, you'll receive RM50 an hour. So there's no need to factor commission into your costs.

Here are some factors that you need to consider.

a) Transportation/Commuting Expenses

Face-to-face tuition requires a commute for either the student or the tutor. If you are opting for home tutoring, you must factor in your travel time and costs when finalizing your rate.

Some tutors ask that their students pay for their commute, whereas others encompass any possible charges in their tutoring rate. Either way, consider commuting when setting your rate to be sure that your earnings will cover your expenses.

private tutor fee superprof
You can include transportation fee as part of your tutoring fee if you need to travel.
Source: Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

b) Teaching equipment and resources

Some tutors provide equipment and resources to their students. This helps to attract beginners looking to discover a new skill before they fully invest in all the kits.

For example, a fencing instructor is likely to provide equipment to new students to use during classes, students can then decide whether or not they like fencing before buying all the gear.

The hitch is that this equipment is expensive, which often accounts for the higher rates of tutors providing it. If you supply additional resources or equipment to your students, you may wish to consider either charging more for your lessons or charging a small fee for use of the equipment.

One thing to take note, though. If you do charge for equipment use, your equipment should be in good condition.

c) Taxes

In Malaysia, self-employed private tutors have to declare own income tax and file their source of income to Lembaga Dalam Hasil Negeri (LDHN) Malaysia at the end of each tax year (around April).

Do check for the updated policies if your monthly and yearly income falls under the category in which you have to pay a sum of amount to the government.

Step 5: Providing Flexibility/Variations in your Tutor Rates

Tutoring is competitive, so why not make an offer that no one can refuse?

You've looked at the competition, considered your experience, set a rate, and made sure the figures add up.

Now it's time to advertise. Offering special rates will help you to stand out from the crowd.

Be careful not to over-complicate when setting alternative prices. There's something to be said for keeping things simple and consistent, especially if you're just starting out.

Consider Group Rates

Group tutoring is what we call a win-win. Each student pays less to learn but the tutor earns more.

Some tutors charge around 25% less per head for group sessions than for one-on-one tutoring, however, this depends on the size of the group. General consensus is that very large groups should pay considerably less as you are giving each student less of your attention.

Determine Your Rates by Levels

It's not only your experience that affects your price. The student's own level affects how much they expect to pay.

Advanced students are looking for a teacher to help perfect their already high level in a subject. They expect to pay more and require more detail, research, and expertise from the tutor.

On the other hand, beginners are looking for an introduction to the subject, and would therefore expect to pay less for their tuition.

This diversity in rates transfers over to academic tutoring with less consistency. For example, A-Levels tuition tends to carry a higher price than SPM tutoring due to the syllabus and difficulty level of the examinations.

However, this can change according to demand.

superprof tutoring easy
You can adjust your rates according to your student's level.
Source: Photo by Thirdman from Pexels

Free trial classes/First Lessons For Free 

At Superprof, 90% of  tutors offer the first lesson free of charge to encourage students to try out the subject.

This is especially useful if you just created a new tutoring profile.

Continue reading to find out why.

a) It reassures students

Most of us do love free things and a good offer without being pressured to commit.

When you put yourself out there by offering a free first lesson, it gives students the impression that you are genuine and you are willing to wait for them to be ready. From there, they will be more open to contact and interact with you.

b) It's all about making connection with your future students 

Remember, the main purpose of the first lesson is the chance for you and your future student to get to know each other better. While some of your students might want to jump into lessons right away, it is best to take time to hear from them.

What are their strengths, weaknesses, concerns and expectations when they are learning the subject, in general? Remind yourself that you are a private tutor. The main focus is to help your student to progress at their current level and pace.

You'll gain a better idea about your student through thorough conversations and small evaluations. It will help you tremendously when you are preparing your lessons in the future.

c) Think of it as a small investment for a greater reward

For your first lesson, it is where your student (and even his/her parents) observe how you conduct yourself and ask you many questions about your teaching methodology and experiences.

Be well prepared and give your best service. You'll never know how this student will benefit from a first lesson or how he/she will gain confidence from your explanations.

As your classes progress along with time, students might be the catalyst that will boost your tutoring business through their good reviews and recommendations, both online and offline.

You can't buy a good reputation, you must earn it. - Harvey Mackay

Step 6: Create and Complete Your Tutor Ad At Superprof

Congratulations, you have reached the final step. You're almost there to start your journey as a tutor!

Now all you have to do is (after compiling the information and details on how much you want to charge) to head to the Superprof Malaysia homepage.

You can start by following the instructions below:

  1. Click the Tutoring Jobs button on the right side of the homepage
  2. Browse the page on the details on tutoring
  3. Read the Frequently Asked Questions section
  4. Choose to create your profile through Facebook/Google/Email address

Some key tips to remember when you are creating your profile:

a) Emphasize your skills and experience (what makes you unique!)

This is where you should elaborate on your tutoring and industrial experiences. It would be great if you also list down your achievements in the subject that you plan to teach.

For instance, if you are teaching piano and you have won several competitions, you can include them in your profile. Some students might be looking for a tutor with this relevant experience to help them with their competition preparation too.

If you are planning to teach English and you have sat for MUET or IELTS, you can also include that because English proficiency test tutors are highly demanded throughout the whole year in every part of the country regardless of the age group.

Based on these highlights, your students would understand why you are charging a certain rate for your lessons.

b) Share your story

Apart from your tutoring/professional credentials, it would certainly be better to include a brief and fun self-introduction at your profile.

You can talk about your passion in the subject that you are teaching and why does it mean a lot to you. For example, if you are a ballet tutor, you can talk about when you learnt ballet, the joy and challenges when learning ballet and why do you love ballet so much.

tutor rate superprof
Tutoring is a rewarding career.
Source: Photo by Zhu Peng from Pexels

c) Tell your future students how you can help them specifically

At the end of the day, remind yourself about the main purpose of tutoring. Students seek for tutors to help and guide them. Share about how you think about teaching the subject and how confident you are when you are teaching students of different levels/age groups.

If you have experience of tutoring in the past, remember to list them down and detail how your previous students have benefitted from your tutoring.

This is not a time to shy away from talking about your past achievements as a tutor. It's how much you can add value to your student's time of learning.

d) Include a recent picture of yourself to enhance credibility

Nobody likes to see a profile without a clear profile photo. Even people who go on blind dates send their photos to each other nowadays for credibility purposes.

Students (especially parents) would feel more reassured when they at least know the face of the tutor before they decide to sign up for the lessons.

e) Check, check and review your content on the profile

Before you finalise your profile and let the Superprof team process it, it's important to check all the information that you have included.

Make sure that all of it is 100% accurate. Having said that, the Superprof team will evaluate your profile and qualification before eventually publish it.

Be sure to proofread and check if there are any grammatical or spelling errors. This is especially important because your profile is the first impression that you give to your students.

Imagine the horror of having a major grammatical mistake when you are planning to tutor English.

Being able to help someone learn something is a talent. - Margaret Riel

We hope that the above information on how to set your rate as a tutor is helpful. Don't rush to fix your tutoring rate before reviewing the above steps clearly.

What are you waiting for? Sign up as a Superprof tutor today! 

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