While many TEFL certified teachers secure full-time positions in schools or language centers, some choose to offer private English tutoring. Often, these lessons supplement the primary income from regular teaching jobs, but it is not uncommon for teachers to transition into full-time private English tutoring once they have established a steady clientele. However, determining the right pricing for private lessons can be quite challenging.
How much should a newly-qualified teacher charge?
Although it is evident that a beginner teacher cannot demand the same rates as a seasoned one, undervaluing your services isn't necessary either. Upon completing a TEFL certification course, you will likely find that students are eager to see what you bring to the table. Those seeking private English tutoring without specific teacher training may find it tough to secure clients, as students recognize the significance of proper teacher training in language instruction. As a general guideline, beginner teachers can typically charge around $15 to $20 per lesson, each lasting between 45 minutes to an hour. Many teachers entice prospective clients with a free or discounted trial lesson. Even if these students don't return for more, it provides an opportunity for gaining valuable experience.
What about online lessons?
While some online teaching platforms dictate the teachers' pay rates, many allow teachers to set their own fees. Many teachers also opt to offer online lessons independently, bypassing established platforms. Although setting a high initial price may seem tempting, unless you have substantial experience and a wealth of positive reviews, attracting a steady stream of clients might prove difficult. Online teaching is competitive; therefore, maintaining realistic expectations, especially early in your career, is crucial. New teachers venturing into online teaching typically earn around $10 to $20 an hour through online companies. However, independent teachers can usually charge a bit extra to exploit this difference.
Also read: How much can I earn teaching English online?
How much can I charge once I have some experience?
Technically, you can set your own prices, with rates varying from $20 up to $50 or more per lesson. However, factors like your location and the type of lessons you are offering should inform your prices. For instance, if you are teaching high-level business English in Berlin, you could charge significantly more than if you were providing basic conversational English lessons to a young learner in Bangkok.
What about group lessons?
Teaching groups mainly entails preparing a single lesson plan for all students instead of individual plans. However, group activities often require more time and managing varying levels of comprehension. For students, group lessons should be more cost-effective than individual classes. Generally, the group lesson rate per student should be about two-thirds of your usual individual rate. For instance, if you charge $25 per individual lesson, a group rate would be around $15 per student.
Also read: Which countries pay the best TEFL salaries?
General tips for setting your hourly rates
- One common strategy for retaining clients is offering discounts on package purchases. For instance, you could offer a free lesson for every ten lessons booked.
- Remember, private tutors thrive or fail based on their reputation. If you maintain an online presence, encourage your clients to leave positive reviews to enhance your portfolio.
- When determining your rates, remember to include any related expenses, such as teaching materials and transportation.
- Establish a clear cancellation policy to ensure you are not left out of pocket when a client cancels on short notice or doesn't show up.
- Review your pricing structure annually to account for your increasing teaching experience and inflation rate.