Flirting with the idea of getting a private tutor? Your first concern is probably “what's it gonna cost me?”— totally understandable. I’ll tell you. To be as blunt and honest as possible, the short answer is yes. The long answer is that it depends on the type of tutor you’re hiring.
But before I dive into the details of cost versus experience-level, understand this point: education is the most valuable entity on this planet—other than family and health, of course. So the luxury of having a qualified private tutor for your child is an elite privilege. Like all fine things in life, tutors are no different; you’re paying for quality.
Let’s go through the different levels of tutors so you can understand how their pricing models work.
To be a top level tutor, a person must have the holy trinity of qualifications: (1) An OCT teaching license, (2) a teaching position on a school board and (3) at least 5 years of teaching experience.
And if you’re lucky, not only will you find a private tutor with these three qualifications, but they might also have extra gifts and talents. For example, your English tutor might also be a published writer-- how lucky would that be?!
You might think that’s being picky, or maybe not, but realistically, these qualifications matter— big time! And with these higher standards, the cost will also rise. Most parents see it as an investment-- an investment in their child’s education and future.
With this level of private tutoring, you're hiring someone who is highly trained and experienced. Since they're a certified teacher, your child is receiving the same quality of education that would be taught in a classroom-- but even better because it's 1-on-1! For many parents, that’s investment worth making.
This top trophy level tutor will charge anywhere from $60-70/hr.
Next down the line of experience level is a good tutor. Still highly intelligent and knowledgeable, this tutor will have their OCT teaching license, but might not necessarily be hired by a school board. Perhaps they’ve recently graduated from teacher’s college and have not yet found a job.
Nevertheless, having a private tutor, who is OCT certified, is still a prized privilege. Most tutors are not even OCT certified, so certainly consider this tutor to be valuable. Even if they do not have an official teaching job with a school board, they can still make a dramatic difference for your child’s learning.
Although this type of tutor is still qualified to teach their subject area, but there are a few downsides. Since they don’t have as much official teaching experience in a classroom, they may not be as comfortable with the curriculum or the grading standards in the school board.
These tutors will charge $45-50. Worth it.
Now, here’s tipping the scale in service quality versus value. A good tutor may NOT be OCT certified but will have some manner of teaching experience. Perhaps they've have worked for an established tutoring company or learning center of some sort.
They may also be someone who has experience working for themselves as a private tutor. Yet, they don’t necessarily have a full time job in the education sector. Perhaps they’re in marketing or sales, but have a solid background in youth work and education, so they’re relatively qualified to teach children.
For the high school level, however, this type of tutor may not be qualified enough. Since the concepts taught at the high school level are much more advanced, you’ll need someone who is OCT certified. But safe to say that for the elementary level, this type of tutor can still be in your best interest.
They’ll usually charge $30/hr.
Here’s where you’re NOT better off: a tutor with little experience. Yes, they will be the cheapest tutor you can find, but they won’t be skilled or trained enough to help your child improve. This person would be a student who is still learning about their subject area and unfortunately, doesn’t have enough formal knowledge to teach children.
Although you’ll save a bunch by paying the lowest rate possible for private tutoring, your investment in your child’s education would be wasted— to put it bluntly. You’re better off with a more experienced tutor who can actually deliver results. If finances are tight, the type of tutor described above would the best match.
A bad tutor will charge $20/hr.
Bottom line, you get what you pay for when it comes to private tutoring. Like any investment worth making, you’ll need to devote more expenses if you want to see your investment grow. Education really is an investment! You’re endowing your time, finances and hopes in a person who can truly impact your child’s skills and knowledge. Realistically, this premium is not cheap— education is a highly valued commodity! So to put a final answer to the question I’m always asked, “yes, tutoring is expensive”.