View Full Version : Tutoring Fee

02-04-2009, 09:13 AM
I got a request to become a tutor for the web programming course from a student at our local college. It used to be PHP and JSP though as of this year JSP has been removed (so all PHP, yay :)). I've also been requested from the same student to tutor for C and client / server (probably C# since webservices are so easy to build in it).
Now, I'm trying to figure out what to charge.
First, minimum wage in Saskatchewan is $9.25 if I'm not mistaken (as of May 1 2009). Normally I charge a fairly reasonable rate of about $10-$14 / hour depending on complexity (this is fairly basic, standard handling + OO & SQL, maybe some XML and external Data Handling) since these are students. I'll actually slide if I know they're in a bad spot. However, due to equity programs (female student in a primarily male industry), the tutoring fee is covered by the province. So I'm debating if I should increase my rates a little bit, to the $14-$20 / hour range. I'll be talking to some other people that have tutored through this program to see what they have charged.

What do you guys think? Am I crazy to request $17 / hour for this? What would you charge, total and relative to you're minimum wage?

02-04-2009, 09:23 AM
You are not crazy. My wife works as a tutor and gets paid a little better than that per hour, but the catch is she doesn't get paid for any prep time. So consider this: are you putting work in that you aren't getting paid?

I believe in Illinois (my home state) the minimum wage is $6.25 USD. That is pitiful if you ask me. That doesn't cover the cost of gas for me to get to work if I drive 20 mins, I would have to work at least 2 hours to make 1 hour of profit. Its sad.

Also are you working with multiple students? That is important to consider. If you are working with one, then I'd think a lower fee is ok, but multiple students can strain you more (I know its basic stuff, but it takes more than just coding knowledge to teach!)

So if you are being covered not by the students but by the province, then I think you should charge more appropriately. I don't do any thing like this, but really consider how much time it takes you and it probably means you will spend more time working than you expect (meaning if you have a higher hourly wage you get covered for the fringe times).

Thats my opinion, I think there is a time and place for charity, and a time and place for decent wages.

02-04-2009, 09:46 AM
pfft, your not crazy at all. I would be charging $25 (per hour) *minimum* for the skills you possess and your time. People forget how difficult and knowledge intensive this field is. BTW, a huge congrats on the new job, you will be a great teacher as I have learned a lot from you :)

Seriously, don't be afraid to charge more, if they can do better I would like to see them try.

02-04-2009, 09:57 AM
Yes, I second FWDrew. Tutoring is tougher than Coding :)

02-04-2009, 07:21 PM
Great, thanks for some input guys! I have previously written a schedule I guess you could call it, of what I teach and in what general order. Chances are with PHP, we're looking at some of the basics plus some more advanced handling (these students are already proficient with Java and C#). I find its the procedural aspect that will catch them more often than anything else, since they are now so used to OO programming.
We'll see if I even get approved as the tutor. Not because of my lack of skills, but because of my availability times. Right now I'm a shift worker, so I can only tutor on weekends + 2 out of 3 weeks in the evenings since my shifts go day, evening, nights. Even with this, methinks I can train a single student to easily (very easily) pass this course. As well, the program they're in I graduated from last year top of me class with honors and distinction, so I think the instructors can vouch for my abilities :)
Looking at JW's post, I'm thinking I should start by asking about $22 (which happens to be my current wage as well). Its a negotiation process of course, I'll have to see what they're willing to pay. Don't want to become too greedy, aside from putting my projects a little behind schedule (which I'm ok with, I'm doing personal ones atm), I don't want to spoil the deal. Its almost as great as getting paid to play video games (which is what my current job pretty much is, soooo much free time (most of the time :)))

Anyway, feel free to continue any input. I certainly don't mind hearing what other peoples thoughts are. I'll let you know as well what is decided out of this.

02-04-2009, 08:41 PM
I can only go off of experience that I went through, not sure what the "norm" is- so take it as is. I was a tutor during my last year of College and I think I was paid a few bucks over minimum wage. It was pretty much a resume booster :) That was probably 5 years ago tho, so chances are it's handled completely different now...