Tutoring Agencies- Or help me pay my NYC rent!
April 7, 2015 4:16 AM   Subscribe

Hi, I'm considering taking the leap from HS teacher to PhD student but despite funding availabilty, I still need to pay my NYC rent! Do any of you lovely mefites have any tutoring agencies to recommend or other reliable/structured ways to make part-time money for an experienced Math teacher with a Psychology background? Thank you!
posted by bquarters to Work & Money (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I work at Tutor.com. It's ok. The Glassdoor recommendations aren't that great but I can't say that I've run into many of the problems they mention.

You make way more money tutoring in person, which I have also done. I put up fliers in my local library with my email address on them (I think I even used a dummy email address). More time investment but more money and more rewarding face to face. Taxes as a pain though.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:09 AM on April 7, 2015

Also, I teach Spanish, but you could probably charge tons more than I did teaching math in NYC. My best in-person was $40 an hour, but when my dad needed a Calculus tutor for his last community college class, he spent over $100 an hour.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:20 AM on April 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Do you have connections to wherever you used to teach high school math? You'll generally make more money if you work for yourself rather than an agency, and with your background, it seems like you should be able to build a client base really quickly. I would see if there's some way to build connections to local schools. I imagine a lot of parents who are looking for a math tutor for their kids would be very interested in your services. You can check out Craigslist and other sites to try to get an idea of pricing. If you have any background in standardized test prep, you can make a lot of money doing that as well.

FWIW, I've done a combination of private tutoring as well as tutoring for a large national (think Kaplan, Princeton Review, etc) and a tiny local company. All of these have their own benefits and drawbacks, but in your position, I would try to stick with doing this independently. You usually have a lot more flexibility if you're tutoring privately. If you do go with an agency, just be aware that they'll be taking a large cut, but that will save you the hassle of drumming up a client base.

I don't have any NYC specific recommendations, but I made anywhere from $20 to $30 an hour working for companies, and up to $40 an hour independently, but I don't have any professional teaching experience, and I could probably have charged more than that for the SAT prep I did.

Depending on your target market, I would aim for an individual rate of $50 to $100, just based on the fact that your experience as a high school math teacher would probably make you a great candidate for this. You might also consider offering small group tutoring for a slightly lower price (like if your rate is $50 an hour, you could charge $30 to $35 per hour for a group of 3 students).
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:19 AM on April 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

Looking at your question history, it seems like you have completed a masters in psychology. How strong are your English/writing/editing abilities? If you have any aptitude in that area, I would also look into offering your services as an editor or consultant to grad students, particularly non native English speakers who are doing a psychology thesis or something like that.

I would also seriously consider trying to brush up on SAT or GRE material, because as I mentioned above, you can charge a lot of money for test prep tutoring. Similarly, you could probably increase your rate for tutoring in AP subjects.

I'm not that familiar with the NY school system, but I imagine there would be a big demand for tutoring for the Regents exam and/or whatever the exam is that students take to get into top tier public high schools (like Stuyvesant).
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:29 AM on April 7, 2015

Check the school where you'll do your PhD - I supplemented my funding with tutoring for the center for kids with learning difficulties and teaching an extra class and working as an extra TA. The great thing was the pay was set by the school and taxes etc were figured out well, since they already had me in the payroll. Check other universities near by, as well.
posted by umwhat at 9:17 AM on April 7, 2015

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