Make $50 per Hour as a Tutor

By - August 30, 2013

Maybe you're one of the half a million college graduates working for minimum wage in the U.S. Or maybe a regular job doesn't fit into your life right now, but you need some extra income. Good news! If you have a college degree (and maybe even if you don't) you can make $50 or more per hour as a tutor. You can even do it online from home!

Flickr photo by City Year

What Kind of Tutoring?

The highest pay is in the "high stakes" areas, like prepping students for college. For example, long-time tutor Allison Kade says SAT tutoring can run $125 per session in many cities, and adds that "One upscale Manhattan tutoring company offers private tutoring starting at $195 per 50 minutes."

But there are many other types of tutoring. lists 40 subjects that they cover, which include:

  • Algebra I
  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • World history
  • Essay writing
  • English literature
  • Earth science
  • Proofreading
  • German
  • Accounting

On you'll find tutors for all the usual academic subjects, plus:

  • Piano
  • Chess
  • Sports
  • Business
  • Cooking
  • Singing

It's up to you to choose your subjects, and to decide whether to specialize in one or offer many, as some tutors do. At least in a country where 73% of college graduates don't have a job related to their major tutoring offers the opportunity to actually use what you've learned.

You also have another decision to make about the "type" of tutoring to offer. You can choose to tutor by phone and internet, or see students in person.

How Much Can You Charge?

In general you get more for in-person tutoring, but you have to keep in mind the time and cost of traveling to students homes. Working for $25 per hour online might be better than charging $40 for one-hour sessions that cost you a few bucks in gas and an hour of back-and-forth time.

Many of the 1,100 tutors who list their services on offer only online tutoring. Here are some rates from randomly selected tutors offering online services:

  • Poetry (Elementary, Middle School): $25/hour
  • Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry: $13/hour
  • Business Law: $12/hour
  • Statistics: $25/hour
  • Basic Math: $35/hour

Versus these in-person services, again randomly selected:

  • Writing Skills: $60/hour
  • College essays $60/hour
  • Psychology $40/hour
  • Basic Math $15/hour
  • Reading Skills $25/hour

Of course rates tend to be lower or higher according to the tutor's qualifications and, in the case of in-person tutoring, location. In other words, if you're the only French tutor in town you can probably charge $50 per hour.

For an example of what's possible, I checked out the tutors at and found Regan C, who charges $85 per hour, has put in 5,000 hours tutoring (various subjects), and has almost 1,000 positive reviews!

What About Qualifications?

Strictly speaking you don't need a college degree to be a tutor. Most clients want you to have one, but no law requires it. If you can do the job and don't have a degree you might try offering a low rate, and then raise your rate as you get glowing testimonials from satisfied clients.

If your qualifications are limited, it can also help to sign up with one of the online marketplaces that does skill testing and certification of tutors.

How Do You Sell Your Tutoring Service?

To start you can mention your services to anyone you meet and hope for clients by word of mouth. has a category for advertising "lessons and tutoring."

But when students (or their parents) want a tutor, the first thing most will do is search online for "math tutors" or something similar. That's why you should probably sign up with, the largest tutoring marketplace online. Their site will be near the top of the search results when people look for tutors.

At WyzAnt you can sign up for free and post your profile and schedule, and set your rates. They take a hefty 25% of what you make, but they say that traditional tutoring franchises take 60% or more, and, as they put it:

You don't have to worry about marketing, collecting payment, or unqualified leads on WyzAnt. We take care of all the details so you can focus on tutoring!

You not only save time and trouble by signing up with WyzAnt or other online marketplaces, but you can probably charge more to make up for the fee. People shopping for tutors on Craigslist might be looking for a lower rate after all.

English, science, and foreign language tutors near me (we live in a small town in Florida) charge $40 to $60 per hour, which means they get $30 to $45 per hour after Wzant's fee, and perhaps net a dollar or two per hour less than that after traveling expenses. The fee is paid only when you get the clients.

Tutoring done this way is essentially a service business that can net you $40 per hour from the first week and can be started with nothing.

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Every Way to Make Money | Tutor