Recently, I've noticed other tutors asking questions about raising rates and client retention. Professional tutors learn how to provide this educational service and negotiate payment for services rendered. This website is great for providing leads and helping a new tutor get started. Attaining a level of education and specific tutor training will help beginners become effective professionals, not simply peer tutors with high GPAs. Successfully tutoring others who achieve high marks on writing assignments and exams takes preparation and time. This job requires more than just one hour with a student.
When I first started tutoring I did not calculate all of my travel expenses, including my time, into my hourly rate. As I quickly gained experience, I began to realize that my clients appreciate and value my willingness to drive to their homes once or twice a week. Then gas prices began to slowly rise and I had another epiphany. My expenses are not just gasoline, the car needs oil, tires, and a tuneup periodically. Additionally, my time was more valuable than I initially calculated; also, I had prep time and printing expenses. Therefore, I decided to raise my hourly rate early my first year to compensate for transportation expenses and these other costs. I am happy with my paychecks now.
If you haven't considered raising your rates and are feeling short changed, it is probably because you made the same mistake I did when I began tutoring. In home tutoring is an expense that is affordable to those who value higher education. Being paid for providing an individual with a customized lesson plan each week is important. Maintaining a vehicle is expensive. Your clients will understand when you explain why you feel the need to raise your hourly rate. If you are uncomfortable doing so, just raise your advertised rate and negotiate a raise with your current clients. They will gladly pay you more, if you split the difference with them. Being negotiable is also one way to attain a long term client. This is not an original idea…here's a quote from the rates and policies page.
"Non-tutoring charges should be incorporated into the hourly rate. Travel, parking, prep time or other expenses that you wish to defray to the customer must first be agreed to by the student. The mechanism to assess these charges is to adjust your hourly rate. Under no circumstances should the tutor receive payments directly from the student."
Happy Tutoring in 2014!