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June 23, 2008

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I would be leary of getting into this full time, especially with the economy being what it is. My wife works for a large chain and she has seen quite a dropoff of students the past couple of years. She has heard from parents saying that they cannot afford tuition vs other rising costs.
Now, as to keeping it small, I would say go for it. The one thing that many schools systems require is tutors to be teaching certified. This may hinder some, but there may be ways around it. Many large business require upfront payments, where as individual tutors may allow payment on a weeky or monthly basis. This is more attractive to parents.

I have been thinking about doing this as a ministry in my church. I'm working on organizing subject specialists right now who will volunteer a few hours a week. This way we can give tutoring services to the children in the church and community who need it but can't afford it. Hopefully it will give them a chance to succeed that they wouldn't have had otherwise.

I'm encouraging my high school girls to start tutoring to earn some extra cash in the afternoons. We send our children to a private school and their education is top notch. There's no reason why they couldn't tutor kids in 1st through 5th grades.

Sounds like an attractive way to lbring in some extra money.

Speaking as a self-employed person: If he went full-time and did it as his own business, he likely wouldn't get 40 billable hours in a week. Running your own business takes time, time that you can't bill to other people. He would either need to work more than 40 hours a week to get in 40 billable hours and maintain and market his business, or he'd need to hire an assistant, which would cut into profits.

I agree he could make more if he removed the middleman, but I doubt he would double his income unless he also raised his fees.

I'd be interested to know what school he attends. The relative wealth of your peers directly affects what rate you can charge before parents opt for another tutor. I'm also interested to know whether he travels or if the students come to him. My in-home rate is almost double my in-library rate, and I am thinking about adding a 2-hour minimum.

With rising costs of tertiary education, many parents invest in tuition in the early years to get the kids better equipped for scholarships and the like.

We are working on the same line for our 3 younger kids. I am now working out the tuition costs for them and it is looking more and more like a great viable business.

I have tutored and paid for tutors at the college level. The tutor I paid for 2 upper level math courses was a phd candidate and I paid $25/hr. Worth it considering I would not have passed either class without his help (its not just the cost of taking the class again but the lost income from having to stay in school that much longer). As for my own tutoring experience I did some tutoring through the college where they paid my wage (not very much) and I did some freelance tutoring for almost twice what I made through the college. One drawback was how flaky the some of the people were. Calling ten minutes before and appointment to cancel or not calling at all. The one advantage to tutoring was that it helps you build communication skills. Skills that can go on a resume. Being able to communicate complex ideas to someone that doesn't have any experience in your field is a commodity. Anyone can be an expert in a given field but what makes you a valuable employee is being able to communicate effectively with people that may not have the same background as you. And that is where tutoring comes in. It gives you experience communicating complex ideas to people that don't have the same background as you and in the long run that can be worth more than the $20/hr you charge your students.

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