What to Charge for Private Art Lessons
Finding the right price for private art classes doesn’t have to cost you sleep. This guide will help you price your services fairly and answer the question, “How much should I charge for art lessons?”.
The Fear of Charging Money
So, you are an amazing artist and educator and people are taking notice. You’ve started fielding requests to teach your neighbor’s cousin, or your best friend’s friend. Maybe parents are asking you for private lessons for their children after school.
This can be exciting (Oh boy! A chance to work with highly motivated students!), affirming (Wow, I must be better than I give myself credit for if others want me to teach them!), and terrifying (What if I ask for the wrong price and people think I’m only into teaching for the money?).
* Side note *
***Do you hear all art teachers everywhere laughing at the idea that you went into art education for the money ***
*Double side note *
*** still laughing***
Ahem, back to the task at hand.
Put A Price On It
The first obstacle to overcome is the fear of putting a price tag on your time and expertise. You may have worked in public education so long that you forgot that your time, knowledge, expertise, and energy has value. Real value. Worth real dollars.
Your skillset is special. If people are asking you for private lessons, it’s because they see you as worthy of teaching them and worthy of ponying up some dough for the privilege of learning from you.
Asking Too Little
In fact, if you ask for too little, which is the default of every art teacher I’ve ever met, the people wanting to hire you might start to second guess their choice. If you don’t value your expertise at a reasonable rate, you are signaling to others that you must not know what you are doing. And we both know that you know what you are doing, so stop sending false signals by lowballing yourself!
And whatever you do, do not offer your services for free.
I know, I know, there is a kid in your class that is so good and wants extra training but does not have the means to pay for it. If this is the case, get your school to pay you to start an art club.
But for goodness’ sake make sure you are paid something!
Nothing is more frustrating than essentially donating your time and then having it wasted by no-shows because they don’t have any skin in the game. Charging serious money for one-on-one training makes sure that your students stay serious. If they are paying real money for your services they will pay real attention to their progress in art.
Let’s take a clear view of the situation: You are already donating a significant portion of your potential income and time to teaching in a public school in the first place. Some estimates show that teachers in the U.S. make 60% less than their college-educated peers. You are already a very generous soul JUST by choosing to work in public education. Additional time is YOUR time, and you deserve to be compensated fairly for it.
How Much Money to Charge for Art Lessons
Ok, hopefully by now I’ve convinced you that your skills are worth dollars. Now it is time to discuss how many dollars your skills are worth.
The answer? More than most art teachers think.
The best way to fairly price your work is to compare yourself to other qualified educators offering private lessons in the arts. There is one very obvious group to recon: Piano Teachers.
Piano teachers are often licensed educators that teach private lessons on the side. Many piano teachers offer 30 minute and hour-long lessons. Their prices vary by location, but whatever they are charging in your area is a fair barometer of what you – a licensed educator offering private instruction in the arts – could and should be charging.
The average piano lesson prices I see online is that one-on-one private art lessons run approximately $40 per half hour, or $60 for a full hour of instruction.
So charge at least that.
By the way, this DOES NOT INCLUDE THE COST OF SUPPLIES. Piano teachers require their students to purchase music in addition to their teaching fee. Similarly, the cost of art supplies should not be paid by you, but by your students.
If you feel like you are “nickel-and-diming” your students by charging an additional fee for supplies, simply up your teaching rate to include the cost of supplies.
Private Group Art Lessons
When trying to price your services, find the most apples-to-apples comparison you can. For private lessons, piano teachers are an obvious comparable. For group lessons, look to the contemporary phenomena of the Paint-and-Sip parties.
Consider this Paint n Sip model that suggests its instructors make between $200-$700 per class. And then keep in mind that these classes are often run by people who are not trained, licensed, experienced art educators.
Often, you can reach out to people who run these events and request a quote for a group event. There you go, that is the market rate for teaching a group of people art skills. Add a premium for your experience and in-depth knowledge of teaching art.
Another good place to look for comparable pricing is kids’ summer camps. My friend Shelley runs an amazing summer art program for students in the Seattle area and recently added “pod” classes. You can check out her rates for group classes at www.earlymasters.com . As of the publishing of this article, the rate is about $55 for two hours of instruction per child in a group class.
Hopefully this article helps you determine a fair price for your knowledge and expertise teaching art. Remember, your work is valuable and you deserve to be compensated accordingly.
How much are you charging for private or group art lessons? Share in the comments below to help your fellow educators find the right price for their work.
Brilliant! Comparing to piano teachers is a great way to compare as they, too, have had long and serious study. Thanks so much for this, and all, your articles!
Hi Elizabeth, I’m glad you found these guidelines helpful, thank you for the kind feedback about my writing 🙂
Yes, Mandy. This is very helpful. I teach academic as well as art classes to small groups of homeschoolers and have always figured what I needed per hour, then what the minimum number of students was to meet that hourly rate. That number became my minimum for the class to start. The parents were very good at rounding up new students to meet the minimum number. But your model helps me refine what I’ve been doing. Thank you for such a great website! Nancy
Thank you for your kind words, I’m glad to know this website is helping my fellow art educators 🙂
Thank you for this article, enjoyed it!
I’m charging $60 AUD/per hour for private classes at the moment. This is at the moment conducted online, students email their work to me the previous day and then I do a critique and demo based on that
I will charge $50 per hour during art class in which I taught cart and craft both activities to my students according a day.
I am a licensed art educator, taught elementary art for 13 years. I am trying to start a business teaching art at senior/ retirement centers. I need help with pricing! 1-5 people then 5-10 etc . The director wants me to email a pdf of pricing! Help!!
There are lots of others commenting on what they charge, I hope these comments will help you settle on a price. 🙂
Kimberly, I’m charging $60.00 plus the cost of supplies for my seniors 1 hour class. It is 120.00 for a painting class that is 1.5 hours plus clean up. They supply the supplies for this class.
I hope this helps. Christie
I currently get 50.00 for a two hour lesson or 25.00 per hour for instruction. I find that this price point that is comfortable for my students to pay for a long duration. Most of my private students have been with me every week for 3+ years. If you price your lessons too high your students will limit the time invested and you will always be marketing for new students. This is all dependent on your area and market of course.
Thank you for sharing!
I charge $30 for 1/2 hr & $50 for 1 hr. I highly recommend that u also see if the student/parent pay ahead or at least a 50% deposit. If they are a no show – you at least have something for your prep & or time that you slotted for them.
This also shows that your time is valuable & commands respect for your skill.
Thanks for sharing – I know the community appreciates the transparency!
Wish I had read your article before teaching students in my home!
Thank you, I hope it helps you now!