Thumbtack Logo

How much do ESL lessons cost?

Average cost in 20149: $30 /hr See National


low cost


avg cost


high cost

The average cost for an ESL tutor is $30/hr. You are likely to spend between $20 and $45 per hour. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated September 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

Students of all skill levels and ages study English as a Second Language (ESL). Professional instructors help students gain basic reading and writing skills, improve conversational proficiency, obtain full literacy and fluency, and achieve professional or academic-level comprehension. Several factors affect the cost of ESL instruction.

Individual lessons

Most instructors offer one-on-one lessons, either at the student’s location or at their own location. Individual lessons typically cost the most expensive because students receive the teacher’s undivided attention. In addition, teacher cannot work with other students during that time, so their ability to earn income is limited. Lesson pricing varies depending on the length of each class, the teacher’s experience and reputation, as well as the geographic location of the lessons. Here are some examples of lesson rates:

  • Maura’s ESL Lessons in New York, New York

    • One-hour individual lesson: $35
  • Three Hats English in San Francisco, California

    • Introductory less: free

    • One-hour individual lesson: $45

    • 90-minute individual lesson: $65

    • Two-hour individual lesson: $80
  • FISV LLC in Los Angeles, California

    • Two-hour individual lesson: $70

    • This teacher charges $35 for each hour but encourages two-hour lessons for adult students because she finds them more effective.

Couples lessons

Some ESL teachers offer group or partner lessons. Typically these lessons cost more overall but less per student. For group instruction, some teachers charge one flat rate for the class, and others charge a reduced rate from their individual price per student. For example, FISV LLC charges $100 per two-hour couple’s lesson, or $50 per hour per couple. The teacher only offers this lesson to couples who live together because they can practice together more easily.


Most students benefit from ongoing instruction rather than a one-time class. Many teachers offer package deals for lessons, which provides students with per-class savings and secures ongoing business for themselves. In general, students must pre-pay to receive the discount. Here are some examples of package pricing:

  • Maura’s ESL Lessons

    • Three or more hours per week: $30 per hour

    • Four one-on-one classes in one month: $250 per month, which is a $30 savings (or almost one free hour) over purchasing lessons one at a time

    • Four couples classes: $370 per month, which is a $30 savings over purchasing lessons one at a time


If students have a tight deadline, such as last-minute preparation for taking the TOEFL or the GMAT, teacher may need to work at a more vigorous pace with students. Some instructors charge more when the intensity of the lessons is increased or if they need to shift scheduling to accommodate crunch time. FISV LLC sometimes charges up to $45 per hour if there is a deadline of six months or less during which time students must meet a certain proficiency level.

Remote courses

Some instructors offer online classes at their standard rates, and others offer a discounted rate. Maura’s ESL Lessons charges $25 per hour for an individual Skype session and $20 per hour when purchased as a package of 3 or more hours in one week.

Travel fee

Some ESL instructors charge travel fee in addition to their less cost in high-traffic areas such as Los Angeles or for locations outside of their standard service regions. This fee covers the teacher’s extra time and transportation expenses. FISV LLC charges a $35 travel fee for the rare occasions that lessons don’t take place at its headquarters.

Ready to hire an ESL tutor?

Get free custom quotes from qualified ESL tutors in your area.

Get Quotes

Cost calculator

Answer a few key questions to get a price estimate in your area.

{[{ pricing.estimation }]}

{[{ pricing.estimationDescription }]}

Something went wrong. Give it another try.

Try again

Recent reviews

Language Services 4 U

Ms. Costello is an extremely patient teacher. She tests the student's understanding and plans her sessions accordingly. We are extremely glad to have hired her to teach English to my little sister who is traveling to the USA. In just 2 classes, I could see how she was able to adapt to the speaking style with some of the commonly spoken phrases. Ms. Costello's focus was to make her fluent by not just speaking the right sentence but speaking the right way. I really recommend her for hiring irrespective of what level of English the student comes from. She can model her session around the student's capability and learning capacity and still show a successful outcome in just a short span.

KC Professional Tutors

Just few months in United States, we were looking out for a good English and Math Tutor for our 9 year old. We had been suffering with many focus related issues with our kid so were bit concerned whether we would find someone who can understand and be patient with our kid and his issues. We are very glad and lucky to find Todd Morgan. He is really very patient with all those constant questions, focus problems. Never saw him raising his voice or losing his temper. He seems to understand his problems and would be always interested to discuss various topics with him. My son got to know about elections, air planes and various other topics of his interest. His designated time is only for an hour but they both seem so much engrossed with the topic that normally the time get extended further. My son's reading and understanding of the language has improved drastically. His teachers have noted down the difference. He would be always interested in my kid's overall report at school and other therapies that he is going through. After tuition time, we would often discuss various techniques to improve my kid's attention and interest. Due to his long experience in teaching and handling kids, we do respect his opinion a lot!! We are definitely getting much more value than what we are paying for!!!

Time for English -ESL

I've been taking classes with Tony for 2 months and my pronunciation and intonation already improved significantly.