> In 78 I was in high school and tutored community college > students in physics. It was really good pay for a high > school student at the time. $15 an hour if I remember > correctly. But I knew of no one in high school being tutored.
That sounds astronomically high, but maybe rates were much higher in Florida than in rural North Carolina. I spent most of my HS Senior year, and the summer afterwards, working at a Fish and Steak restaurant. It was literally a mom-and-pop place, since the owner and his wife had been the cook and waitress until I was hired to take over pretty much everything so they could talk to their customer friends. I did this approximately 4:30 to 10:30 Thur, Fri, and Sat evenings (and, beginning a month or two before school let out, he began opening for "Sunday brunch", so for the last few months I worked around 10 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m. on Sundays) for around $2 an hour, maybe $2.20 or $2.35, but I'm pretty sure not more than this. Duties included prepping the food during the first couple of hours (when hardly anyone came in), such as thawing out new batches of flounder, shelling many pounds of shrimp each week, mixing up a huge bucket full of home-made hush puppy batter as needed, etc., as well as sweeping the dining room, keeping the back cooking area cleaned up, washing dishes (and post, and pans, ...), driving yesterday's trash to a nearby private landfill, and -- the easiest part of the job once you learn how to do it -- cooking the various seafood and steak dinners. Throughout this period of time I never really got the grease out of my hair (all that deep fat frying), and my hands and hair finally stopped smelling of onions and other things a few weeks after I began college (as an undergraduate, and not as a "special student").
To illustrate how college costs have risen, this was almost enough to fully pay for the many math and physics courses I took at a nearby university beginning May of my Junior year. I was also given a job as a paper grader at the university I was taking classes at (mainly calculus 1 and calculus 2), which was very very easy money by comparison, and the two jobs together pretty much took care of tuition (which was paid for by a co-signed loan my mother took out and which I used the money from the jobs to pay back during my Senior year of HS), although I had no spending money to speak of left over.
I tutored some as an undergraduate, but not much, since it seemed most people just asked someone "down the hall" in their dorm for help (which was often me, during the two years I lived in a dorm). My rate was $3 an hour, which was a little on the low side, but certainly not the lowest. I think the range I recall from the bulletin board signs were from around $2.50 to (maybe) $5.00 an hour, this being from 1977 to 1981. I continued charging $3.00 an hour and, in Summer 1982, I had a pretty solid business going (I was at another university, having just gotten my degree after my 5th undergraduate year at the time), but someone told me I should begin charging $5.00 an hour because by offering $3.00 an hour it looked to those seeing my tutoring advertisement (handwritten, on various math department bulletin boards) that I wasn't all that good. So I raised my fee to $5.00 an hour, and didn't notice much drop in business (but not much more either, but of course I made much more money since I was charging so much more).
I don't think I did much tutoring after Summer 1982, except a few high school students whose parents got my name from calling the local university's math department ("the" being one of the several universities I was a graduate student at from Fall 1982 until Summer 1993, minus about an 18 month period when I wasn't in school), and I'm pretty sure throughout this period I charged $5.00 an hour. I don't think I tutored any (or hardly any) college students from 1982 to Fall 2008, because I was either a graduate student (busy with my own students) or a faculty member (busy with my own students, and it would likely be very much frowned on, if it was not actually disallowed) but, since leaving academics in Summer 2005, I began thinking of tutoring local students (for much needed spare money and because I missed helping people in math (although my extensive posting in the ap-caclulus group since 2005 has helped a lot in this regard)), which I posted about in here (first 2 URLs below), and then sometimes mentioned in here after I began tutoring (last 3 URLs below). By the way, the student I mentioned in the Feb. 25 post below is now a HS Senior and is taking linear algebra at the local university (and I'm still "helping him" one weeknight each week). Last night (5:30 to 6:30, about the only time I tutor because of work and because I go to bed very early) I worked with someone taking a business calculus class (actually a pretty good student) and tonight I'm seeing two students in a diff. eq. class.
Anyway, I charge $20 an hour and from what I've been told, I'm not all that out of line from others in this area, at least in tutoring college undergraduates. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if some high school students in the area are paying (more accurately, their parents are paying) much more, maybe up to $40 to $50 an hour, but I haven't tried very hard to find out. However, I have been told by several undergraduates that "almost no one" pays more than $30 an hour for math tutoring, probably (I would suppose) because there are so many mathy types per capita around here.