If you’re just getting into starting a tutoring business, the question of “how much should I charge?” seems like an impossible one. I know I agonized about it a lot.

Let me tell you the short version: you know that amount you were thinking of charging? Double it. Now you’re in the right ballpark.

That might seem crazy, but it’s the easiest advice I can give you. If your answer to “how much should I charge for Spanish tutoring?” was to charge $10, charge $20. If your answer to “how much should I charge for math tutoring” was to charge $25, charge $50.

Why?

A couple reasons.

First of all, your hourly rate covers all of the time you’ve spent on everything other than tutoring: making Craigslist posts (nb: I have a guide for how to make Craigslist posts to advertise your tutoring), preparing a lesson plan, and travel.

The client won’t pay you for that directly, so bake it into your hourly fee.

Second of all, people judge you based on how much you charge. If you charge $10, your clients will regard you roughly the same they regard McDonald’s workers. People are jerks to McDonald’s workers. If you charge $100, they will regard you the same way they regard lawyers. People respect lawyers.

Do you feel guilty charging that much?

Then become a better tutor and earn it. Prepare more, create a high quality study plan, use your best teaching practices, and always be prompt, reliable, and trustworthy.

Whatever you do, don’t charge less. Your bank account will thank me for it.

By the way, if you’re totally lost on what to charge (like you didn’t have any answer in the first place), head on over to Wyzant or Craigslist. Search for your tutoring subject. Get a basic idea of what everyone charges (not just the most popular people on Wyzant).

Most tutors will be less dedicated than you. You can charge more than 75% of them.

And voila! That’s how much you should charge.