Location is the most important factor for your business
According to a study by the Sutton Trust, 76% of British young people across the participate in an extra-curricular activity.
As a result, it’s not unusual to assume that all mentors across the UK are on an even playing field when it comes to setting hourly rates.
In fact this is far from true!
Many of the factors affecting what a tutor can charge for tuition are related to their own qualifications and experience. However some factors, such as location, are almost beyond the tutor’s control.
Through years of experience in the sector, we’ve found that tuition rates vary from one county to the next. For example, according to SuperProf’s data a Nottingham-based tutor charges on average £17.76 per hour, whereas a tutor working in Cambridgeshire can expect to earn an hourly rate of around £23.
But why the difference?
In a 2016 study the ONS discovered that there is a huge disparity between salaries from one region to another in the UK.
As such tutors must consider social inequalities when determining their hourly tuition rates.
Chart ¦ What are the average earnings in your region? ¦ source: ONS
On a regional basis London and the South East are undoubtedly the most affluent regions of the UK. However, if we really want to work out who should charge what and where, and how to charge more, we must take a closer look at the data.
Numbers don’t lie
In order to give you a starting point, SuperProf has gathered data about how much our UK tutors earn. Although this data focuses on the rates charged in each county, these rates are also affected by variables such as experience, the subject studied, and the learner’s level. However these figures offer an good guideline for tutors looking for a starting point to set their rates.
The average rate for tutors across the whole of England is £18.80. There is significant gap between the highest and lowest tuition prices. Interestingly the highest average price is not in London, possibly due to the considerable competition in the area. Darlington-based tutors earn the most at £32.50 per hour, followed by Dorset at £26.33, and Halton at £23.75. On the other end of the spectrum, tutors in Stockton on Tees are charging the least for their time at £8 per hour.
SuperProf’s Scotland-based tutors earn an average of £19.17 per hour, the highest of all of the countries. Residents of Dumfries and Galloway can expect to earn the most at £32, followed by Aberdeenshire (£27.50), and Midlothian (£25). Falkirk tutors have the lowest price tag at £10 per hour. Scotland is the least dense area of the UK, with population density at 67/km² compared to 259/km² in England according to the 2011 census. This may account for the higher prices in Scotland, as tutors in less populated areas have less competition
According to our statistics, tutors in Wales can expect to earn the least in the UK, charging an average hourly rate of £17.07. The highest average is found in Powys at £30 followed by Neath Port Talbot at £22 and Conwy at £20. The lowest priced county in Wales is Gwynedd at £10.50 per hour.
Image ¦ Tutors in rural areas benefit from a less competitive marketplace than urban dwellers ¦ source: Terry Kearney via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC
Irish tutors charge on average £23.92 per hour. The highest charging county is Fermanagh at £45 per hour, followed by Ards and North Down at £35, and Derry and Strabane at £27.25. The lowest charging area is Lisburn and Castlereagh at £16.89. These higher prices are often down to the lack of competition in the area which gives the tutors more freedom to decide how much their time is worth.
Finally, tutors working on the Isle of Wight charge an average of £17.50 per hour.
Mentoring rates can be very localised. As a result, the prices for tuition in towns and cities within a county do not necessarily echo the county average. SuperProf has compiled a list of the average hourly rates for city-dwelling tutors across all areas of study in the UK:
Image ¦ We have all heard of London prices ¦ source: Visualhunt
There are various factors for tutors to bear in mind when determining how much they can reasonably charge in their area.
The affluence of any given area affects tutoring across all subjects. In general, the more affluent the area, the more residents will be willing to pay for private tuition.
According to a 2014 report by the Sutton Trust, the richest 20% of households are four times more likely to pay for classes outside of school than the poorest 20%.
As a result, there is a significant difference in participation in supplemental education between social groups.
Although around three quarters of the young people in the UK take part in activities outside of school, these young people are not evenly distributed across the country. Tutors in poorer areas will have to charge lower rates in order to generate interest among potential tutees.
Image ¦ Tutors in areas with lower wages and living costs may need to adapt their rates accordingly ¦ source: Craig Wilkinson – Photography via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND
This social divide is especially distinct in the music sector. In a 2014 music matters study, the ABRSM found that 69% of children claim to have played a musical instrument. However, in deprived areas young people are less likely to participate as their parents aren’t able to cover the cost. One teacher interviewed explained:
“Much of my whole class teaching is in areas of social deprivation, and parents are both unable to afford to fund lessons and also are not familiar themselves with instrumental tuition so it is not something they consider continuing.”
This musical divide between the rich and the poor is also evident in adult music learners. The ARBSM found that the cost of music tuition was the second most popular reason why adults stopped learning.
This means that, although The Musician’s Union recommends a tuition rate of £32 per hour for music lessons, in certain regions tutors will have to lower their prices.
We’ve all heard of London prices. In Britain’s capital 42% of young people have received private tuition, compared with 25% in the rest of the country. The cost of living in London is around 20% higher than in Manchester so a London-based tutor’s rate should increase in line with this figure. The Musician’s Union recommends charging £38 per hour in the capital city.
There is a tendency to compare rural and urban earnings when determining a suitable hourly rate for tuition.
According to the 2011 ONS census, 81.5% of the usually resident population of England and Wales live in urban areas, leaving 18.5% living in rural areas.
In a city you are likely to find more students seeking private tuition, but there are probably more tutors in the area too. Similarly in rural areas there are less individuals seeking private tuition and fewer tutors to meet demand.
In brief, there are more students and more competition in the cities, and there are less students and less competition in the countryside.
So what does this say about your rates?
City based tutors need to set more competitive rates than their rural counterparts to attract new students. The ‘competitive rate’ depends on the cost of living and affluence of the area.
The expectations of the tutor outside of lessons may also depend on the area. Whilst city-based tutors may have a more localised student-base, rural tutors may be required to commute further unless they teach from home.
When it comes to your competition, the types of tutor found in cities differ from those found in small towns.
In university cities there is a higher concentration of undergraduates looking for part time jobs and therefore more student tutors. Whilst these student tutors will compete with each other for pupils, tutors of higher experience levels will not need to set comparable rates as their client-base will not have the same requirements.
Image ¦ Cities attract performers and artists, so urban-dwelling artistic tutors may have more competition ¦ source: Pixabay
It’s not uncommon for musicians and artists to tutor alongside their professional activities, according to the ABRSM. Artists tend to flock to the city, so there are often more professional artists, actors, and musicians who tutor alongside their professional activities in urban areas.
The schools in the local area affect how much academic tutors, sports tutors, and music tutors can charge for private tuition.
In a 2012 study, the Sutton Trust found that pupils in private schools are nearly twice as likely to receive private tuition as those from state schools (27% to 14%).
Private schools tend to be located in affluent areas where parents are able to invest more money in their children’s academic success. In addition to homework help, tuition for private school entrance exams and university entrance exams is in high demand in these areas. As a result school support tutors working in the locality of a private school are able to charge a higher hourly rate.
Whilst the presence of a grammar school in a town does not guarantee its wealth, grammar schools are highly competitive and pupils must often pass a test to earn a place. As a result there is a higher demand for key stage 1 and 2 test prep tuition in these areas.
Although music teachers are generally in higher demand in more affluent areas, the presence of a private school does not necessarily mean that they will be overwhelmed by demands for tutoring young people. This is because private schools often have in-house music tutors and resources. The same goes for sports tuition.
However, music and sports tutors may be in higher demand from adults and more advanced students in these areas, and should assess the competition and the school tuition prices when setting their rates.
If you live in a less affluent area or have a lot of local competition, it’s easy to become disenchanted by your potential home tutoring hourly rate. However teaching takes diverse forms, which enables you to widen your client base beyond your locality.
Online tuition is growing in popularity within the private tuition sector via programs such as Skype which bring the classroom to the web. Advantages of the tutoring online include a flexible schedule, zero commuting, and reaching students outside of your local area. Thanks to online tuition on platforms such as SuperProf, tutoring rates are less influenced by your geographical location. Online teachers have more competition for tutoring jobs than home tutors, but more potential clients too.
Image ¦ Gain access to the global market place and choose your own office – what could be better? ¦ source: Visualhunt
It’s not just academic tutoring that is going online, music and sport tutors can take to the web too. According to the ABRSM 85% of teachers currently work peripatetically, but the proportion of tutors offering webcam lessons is increasing. Tutoring offers great alternative jobs for teachers.
Tutors often charge a reduced rate per student for group sessions, which make them more popular than one on one tutoring for families and in less affluent areas. It’s a win-win really: the students pay less and the tutor earns a highly hourly rate.
These sessions can require more marking and preparation than individual classes, so tutors should factor in preparation time when setting group rates.