Corporate teaching rates for business english

In the last few weeks I’ve been earning some extra cash in my spare time teaching business English to an executive in the Pharmaceutical business (which is my own profession).

I’ve now been asked by a large company if I could teach some of their senior employees the same. They have asked me how much I would charge them on an hourly basis (for group and one-to-one), which leads me to my question… how much can i get away with charging them!?

Obviously this is a very specialised area of English (with its own vocab, terminology, phrases and grammar etc), which only a professional in the business would know, and I do put a fair bit of preparation work into each class. I am just a bit concerned of underpricing/overpricing myself.

If I have a group class, of say 6 students, should I charge them on a ‘per head’ basis or on a ‘per group’ basis? If the company in question had to go to an English school to get the same service, how much would that school charge them (assuming they could find a professional in this field to teach?).

Would appreciate your comments, or any other advice as to where I should go to get answer to this…

What you are doing is illegal and your ISP has been recorded and reported to the FAP.

Just kidding.

But it would be that easy, wouldn’t it.

Back on topic: If you can get $1000 an hour, you should feel satisfied. That comes solely from my perspective and expectations. Maybe you could get more for the group class, like maybe 1500.

Bonne Chance.

Hmmm… thanks for your quick reply… but a bit disappointed to hear those numbers!!!

I’ve been looking at a few ‘teaching in taiwan’ websites and have found that some schools can pay as much as NT$1,000 per hour to teach ‘basic’ english… so I would have thought that I could charge a significant premium over that for teaching senior executives in an area that requires specialist English… or is the NT$1,000 per hour rate actually a myth? Makes me wonder… :slight_smile:

Last time I was there I taught one-on-one to the CEO of a local cable channel at $1,500 per hour. Maybe the economy’s changed, but I’d think specialized content would merit a hefty premium.

I think once you’re in the professional world you’re talking a whole different world apart from the buxibans–$1,500 would be a backpacker’s dream, but not so far-fetched for a working professional in Taiwan. If I were you I’d try at least for a couple of thousand per hour.

In fact, advertise yourself as a consultant, not as a freakin’ teacher.

Thanks… Thats more like what I had in mind!

Your specialist knowledge might be helpful or useless.

What is most important is what kind of an English teacher you are and how much you know about teaching English. That is what will count with your client. It is pretty simple for any native speaker to wrap their minds around most of what happens in most companies. It’s your personality and skills as a teacher that will keep the client after the first month.

The idea that professionals in Taiwan can afford more or that companies can afford more is spurious. Most companies can afford the budget that has been assigned to training no more no less. If you come with a figure inside that and you’re a good teacher you’ll get the gig. The upper limit of that figure for English teaching at a MNC is 2,500nt/hr. However, they are unlikely to pay you that. The reason being, you’re unlikely to ask them for that figure, but that is what is on offer.

Don’t fall into the arrogant trap of thinking you are more than an English teacher. That is not what they are paying for. Deliver as a teacher.

[quote=“Fox”]
Don’t fall into the arrogant trap of thinking you are more than an English teacher. That is not what they are paying for. Deliver as a teacher.[/quote]

snort reminds me of the fable about doomed crabs in a bucket pulling down any single crab that tries to crawl out.

But Fox does have a point, in a way . . . if you advertise yourself as only an English teacher, you put a cap on your perceived value. So once again, emphasize your credentials as a consultant.

Of course, I’m making some assumptions when you say that you’re a professional in this field. Do you have a relevant degree in chemistry or medicine or the like? If so, man, you can write your own ticket and forget what others might say here.

Interesting replies - and thank you all. I thought, it might help if I give you more info about myself: I am in my early 40’s and I have a doctorate degree in my field and over 20 years working experience…

I am not an English teacher by any means, and all of the potential students in question have excellent English skills already (probably better than mine!). But that is not what they want to learn… they just want to learn English as it relates to their job - such as all the specialist phrases, terminlogy and vocabulary…

For example, if a student were to ask you (as an English teacher), how and when to use the phrase “Antihemophilic factor” - or perhaps describe the “Distribution of oxidation enzyme eNOS and myeloperoxidase in primary open angle glaucoma” …would you be able to answer this off the top off your head?

But I’m still confused as to whether I should charge on a per group basis, or on a per head basis… anyone have any ideas? Cheers.

From my experience of corporate English teaching which is fairly extensive specialist language is not an issue. They don’t get to their positions not knowing the lingo associated with their professions. However, you may have a point in that they still may wish to discuss some specialized issue. It happens rarely though.

What is more likely is that they will respect your qualification and appreciate it for what it is. There are many highly qualified people teaching English in Taiwan. It isn’t a profession to be looked down upon by the likes of Sam Vimmes. What’s more if you can get that 2,500nt/hr you will be making much more money than the professionals you’re teaching. Much, much, more.

[quote=“m_hansleigh”]
But I’m still confused as to whether I should charge on a per group basis, or on a per head basis… anyone have any ideas? Cheers.[/quote]

If it were me, I’d focus on the consultant-to-business relationship, which implies charging by the group. Of course, you can then price according to the size of the group.

Is NT$2,500 per hour that far fetched for top management in Taiwan? That’s less than US$200,000 per year. I’ve personally known a number of senior executives in Taiwan who are a lot richer than that.

You can calculate your average salary for your regular job. Your consultancy fee can be higher or lower than how much you make working. If you’re using time that you would normally be paid for, then you wouldn’t think of charging less than you could be making at your normal job unless there was a very good reason.

Actually, I’ve had the very frustraiting experience of trying to help students with very specialized professional Jargon, which I think the O.P. is talking about. In my case, the students knew and understood the Jargon just great, but had lots of problems with English grammar. In my case, I was asked to help them improve their written work.

It was obvious that they were very knowlegable in their field, in Chinese, and even versive with the English Jargon associated with it. However, not understanding the Jargon made it quite frustratiting for me to try and figure out what they were really trying to say in order to help with grammar and writing skills.

The O.P.'s professional knowledge in this case will be very useful, but I do agree that he needs to be passably skilled as an English teacher, or he’s likely to get frustraited with this gig no matter how much money he earns.

But, if I were him and decided to do this, I’d charge per class, not per student, but I’d charge more for one-on-one classes than for groups.

I think in part it comes down to how much of the OP’s work will be directly tied to content, as opposed to usage.

[quote]For example, if a student were to ask you (as an English teacher), how and when to use the phrase “Antihemophilic factor” - or perhaps describe the “Distribution of oxidation enzyme eNOS and myeloperoxidase in primary open angle glaucoma” …would you be able to answer this off the top off your head?
[/quote]

If the OP can say “no, no, no, ‘antihemophilic factor’ doesn’t apply here” or 'you are describing the ‘distribution of oxidation enzyme eNOS and myeloperoxidase in primary open angle glaucoma’ incorrectly, for you have overlooked blahdy blahdy blah" then clearly he’s drawing on professional knowledge first, and is teaching English second.

On the other hand, if he’s called upon to say, “I’ll take your word for it that this is a case of ‘antihemophilic factor’ and help you put it in a sentence”, then he’s a high-powered English teacher with the nice but not necessarily essential benefit that he can follow whatever the hell his students are talking about.

If the second case applies, then I agree with much of the advice here. But if the first case is closer to the mark, then the OP shouldn’t be in the “Teaching English” forum at all, but in “Business & Money” or better yet in contact with a professional organization completely removed from Forumosa.

What special skills are you bringing to them?

A specialised knowledge of the target vocabulary? I don’t think that’s useful. They need a good teacher.

Two ways to look at it:

  1. Are you a good teacher? What are your service worth? You mention that you can get 1000NT an hour for ‘straight English teaching’. Bullocks. That would be incredibly rare.

  2. What can you gouge them for? If they’re high-rollers and seem to be willing to pay a lot, go for what you think you can get, But this will relate to point 1 if they later feel that what they’re getting is not what they’re paying for.

I specialise in teaching children’s English to beginners. I do a really good job of this which is how I have my private students, where I live (it’s a sideline, I only have a couple of classes at the moment.) I always tell people “these are my rates”. I think that it’s important to phrase it that way. I charge 1000NT for a one-on-one class, plus 200NT per extra student. I then give them a 200Nt discount becuase I know them. Maximum 6 students a class. I think that’s about what you should look at.

Brian