Having a Hard Time with My Tutoring Pricing with a Family.

Updated on September 29, 2011
K.K. asks from Fredericksburg, VA
22 answers

Hello mothers,

I am a tutor, I have taught in the school systems, child care centers and have been a nanny as well. I started working for a family and we originally agreed on $200 a week...I was charging only $25/hr. The state has told me I should be charging at least $50/hr if not more. Well, the family recently told me they could only afford less, so I reasoned with $150/week for 6hrs a week. Now; its a new different story.....now they want me to still come for the 6 hours a week only at about $15/hr--they want to pay $100/week for 6 horus+ tutoring. They say how they want to use me as a babysitter and may have their other child do tutoring and he's only 4yrs of age. I HAVE NOT babysat for this family. Apparently their kids go to bed past midnight or whenever they want. They have no rules and its always yelling back and forth to the parents in which they don't even say mom or dad to them. Anyhow; that would leave me by cutting down from $25 to $15 an hour plus staying at the 6 hours a week for only $100 sounds really low to me. ALSO; I am driving to their house which is about 15 minutes one way. I feel if I had to pay a tutor myself for something; I'd at least pay them $35-50 an hour if they are driving to my house.

Any suggestions or thoughts? Unfortunately I do need work. Anyone thinks this price is low---$100 a week for 6 hours at their.


1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Everyone is right! I got my money---all of it. It was a battle to get the money. I am not selling myself short. I appreciate everyone's advice! I am no longer working for the family. The money issue was the last straw. And come to find out; he had recorded my conversations with him and had video taped me without my knowledge!

Thanks again!

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answers from Norfolk on

You need to explain to them, most tutors charge $30-$60 dollars a week. My sisters tutor makes $350 a weeks for two kids in three subjects, 4 days a week. I think they are ripping you off big time!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I would tell them that you are really not able to afford to stay with them long term for these rates. You are going to look for other jobs but until they come you will work for what they are willing to pay. If they argue, just tell them, sorry, but I need to make enough to live on. If they still argue, it would say, I am sorry you don't want me to work for you. I hope you have better luck finding someone to fill the position. Then leave.

Then get on sitter city, care.com, and whatever other sites have tutoring.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Charlotte on


8 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

OMG, they are really demeaning you.

You are NOT a 'babysitter.' You are a tutor.
You have, tried to be flexible.
But cannot anymore.
Say no.
They are VERY unreasonable.

They are using "tutoring" as a way to get babysitting.
They are disguising, the excuse of 'tutoring' for babysitting. And think you do not catch on

How insulting.

Tutors, in my city, are $50/hour, minimum.
My daughter has a Tutor, once a week.
But we have a good rate... because this Tutor has a primary job, and tutoring for her, is not her main stream of money.

I'm sorry, but that family is really obnoxious.
EVEN if they sign something, I really would not trust them, at all.
Because, they are and have been, jerking you around. And doing it, knowingly.
I would give them the boot.
You can easily get other tutoring jobs.
Check out: www.care.com

Do not, let them, do this to you.
They are assuming... because you 'need' this job and money, that you will do what they want and give in.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We are in the Dallas area. No academic tutor is less than $50 per hour unless you hire a college student who will accept less.

You are in a situation where you are being taken advantage of. Whomever you are working for knows this.

Don't be a doormat. Others will pay for your services, especially if you are known to be good!

Don't let someone take advantage of you.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Here in NY, private tutors make anywhere from the VERY lowest of $15 an hour up to $150/hour. The very highs are people who have graduate degrees from top schools with high GPAs and GMAT scores and are usually tutoring for SATs or GMATs.

Generally tutors charge $35 - $50/hr as a standard rate. My hubby did some tutoring in 2009 and he was charging $35/hr.

I think the family sucks and is rude and yucky. Quit and get another job. There is alot of work out there. Post on craigslist. PM me if you want, and don't know where to post.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Joplin on

hun, I am cleaning houses on the side and there are cleaning jobs where I make $20 or more per hour for a cleaning job, if you are tutoring AND babysitting they need to pay you what you are worth!!!!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Respectfully, say no thank you. Don't compromise your worth. This is not the only family with tutoring needs...right? Clients who start out being difficult rarely get easier! Good luck...A.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Okay, think of it this way. You offer a service that is not totally needed, especially for a 4 year old. If you take the price cut, you will likely not only get locked in, but they will gradually start giving more demands and hours and not want to pay you for it. But, if you turn them down, then you risk losing them altogether. But... then you may pick up a family who can pay you. If you are in demand, then cut your losses.

Now, the state is suggested $50 an hour? Here in TX most student tutors make around $25 - $30, I don't know how much tutors with advanced degrees charge that are tutoring for high level tests like SATS or GMATS, but I would guess more. At a local tutoring center, they charge $25 and hour.

What I would do, is perhaps make a temporary 4 month contract stating $100 a week for 4 hours, and an additional $20 for gas until their situation improves and you get back on the original schedule and the contract would be updated at it's 4 mo expiration. They can cut the price with what they can afford, but you can negotiate with hours in which you are willing to work for the money.

Realistically, if you were to work in a day care center or a tutoring center, I do not think you would be making $25-$50 and hour anyways, at least where I live.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I would like to pay $1000 for a porche. It's not going to happen. I may negotiate them down $1000, I may even negoiate down 10k. But I'm not going to get the car for 1k.

Ever heard the phrase "Give an inch, take a mile." These are those people. Instead of rearranging THEIR lives to suit their budget, they want you to reaarange YOURS.

No. I'm sorry, but I can't do that.

Practice that phrase.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Your price doesn't sound low to me...25 dollars an hour for tutoring? I'm in the wrong field, I guess. However, you are allowed to charge whatever you want and you don't have to negotiate prices. If they can't afford it, suggest they find someone else, perhaps a college student or honor high school student, etc. And you definitely shouldn't be babysitting under your role as a tutor.

50 an hour just seems outrageous, though. Honestly.

***WOW...after reading the other posts...I seriously had no idea that tutors got so much! I tutor for FREE for people I know whose children really need it...maybe I ought to advertise. I have a college education and I started tutoring in high school, but I had no idea you could make such a lucrative career out of it. Hmm...wheels turning...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I do not know what you are tutoring in and what age but you would be wrong to accept this offer. If they can pay only $100 then this is what they will pay for 4 hours of tuition which would be your original charge of $25/hour. End of discussion. No more hours if there is no more money being paid. Otherwise you will not be happy and will feel resentful. Who need that headache on top of the poor pay?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

They want to pay you $15 an hour to babysit and tutor. Yes, that price is extremely low. I'm sorry, but yes, that is ridiculous. Don't let them take advantage of you like that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

You need to have a typed contract signed before starting. No renegotiating. No siblings except at the full price.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

This family is taking advantage of you. They want to pay you less and have you do more for them. Make it clear that you are a tutor, not a babysitter. And while it may be hard, get creative and look elsewhere for another tutoring job. If you give in to their demands, they will have keep paying you less each time they want to spend their money elsewhere. If they want to pay you $100.00 a week, then make it clear that that only pays for 4 hours a week. You are an independent, self-employed tutor. You set your rates, not the customer. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Hold the line on the $150 for now and look elsewhere. If you're having a hard time finding clients in your area, the test prep companies are always hiring and nearly all have capacity for on-line tutors who do sessions via skype or an on-line classroom so you can work from anywhere if you have a reliable internet connection, a decent computer and a web cam. I work for RevolutionPrep but Kaplan and Princeton Review also do this. It doesn't pay $50 an hour, which is what you can get on your own, but they also provide the curriculum and the customers and it's good, seasonal work to fill in the gaps between your own client work.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You are a tutor to a 4 yr old?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Yes, quality tutoring is around $50/hour in my area for middle school, high school and college (I have paid it!). My daughter's former softball pitching coach and figure skating coach was much more than that. Set your prices and stick to it, you provide much needed value. What they need for this four year old kid is a babysitter who will play and work on preschool type things. This is a business, you are not a non-profit! Move on from this family.



answers from Washington DC on

I would explain what I needed and do that. Though I really understand yo need the work, 100 per week doens't cover you expenses just to be there. Explain what $100 will get them and stick to that. If you sell yourself to short, they will always take advantage of you. If they don't want to work with you, let them go. Have faith and hustle like hell to find the next set of people to tutor. You could also create some small joint sessions with other children which could bring the price down. IF you have 2 or 3 kids together, the price could be less and they would still be getting close to one on one instruction. Ask them to find those other families for you. ANd you will tutor their child for the original $150 and bring the price down when they get the other two children. Meanwhile, look for other families anyway, and use this or something like it as an entryway package that allows their kids to get extra tutoring for less money.
That's my idea. I hope it works out.



answers from Houston on

I would tell them that you have enjoyed working with them but after careful consideration you are declining their offer. I would restate the price and tell them it is non-negotiable. If they can't afford it then that is their problem not yours. Don't sell yourself short.



answers from Washington DC on

Wow. That does seem high, but I think it is because you are tutoring 6 + hours a week. I think we paid $120 a month this summer for small group tutoring for twice a week, an hour each time, so maybe what you are charging for private is comparable. Bottom line is that if you are charging what you are charging and they don't want to pay it, then it is time to move on.



answers from Washington DC on

If you were working in an office (or some other "regular" job) and your boss asked you to agree to a 50% pay cut, would you still be wondering how to handle it? You cannot get ahead by undervaluing yourself. If you accept $15/hour, people will naturally assume that that is what your time is worth. Don't do it.

As others have said, what these parents have asked is unreasonable. You've already given them a 25% discount, and now they are asking you to cut your fees to half of the agreed upon rate. Clearly they don't want to pay for a tutor, so they have, in their minds, demoted you to a babysitter and want to pay you accordingly. Accepting this arrangement just undermines your ability to find work as a tutor. It doesn't sound like you can salvage the tutoring business with this family (I don't see them going back to the original agreement if you reject their offer of $15/hour), but if you can't live without the money right now, take the $100 with the stipulation that it is for childcare ONLY.

For your NEXT tutoring gig, however, you need to have a written agreement prepared that describes the services you will provide, the rate, payment terms, etc. I found some great resources here:


and I'm sure a web search will turn up many others.

Best of luck!


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