While much of the American education system is struggling with tight budgets, overcrowded classrooms and low teacher pay, the tutor economy is booming.
More of the world's millionaires and billionaires are seeking at-home teachers to give their children a leg up in the increasingly competitive and important education race. And, as the number of rich people grows around the world—and as more of them split their time between multiple homes in different countries—they are creating their own mobile, ultra-private schools in their homes.
Tutors International, a London-based tutor agency that hires and places many tutors in the U.S., said its business this year will nearly double over last year.
The typical salary for a full-time tutor today has jumped to between $70,000 and $120,000 depending on the requirements. But Tutors International has placed one tutor who is making $400,000 a year and another who was paid $80,000 for just 16 weeks of work.
Along with their pay, most tutors also usually get free housing, cars or drivers, paid travel and meals, and occasionally even a private chef and personal assistant.
"For these families, they look at the costs of just fueling their jet or buying a new sports car, and spending $100,000 or more for a tutor is not a great expense," said Adam Caller, the founder of Tutors International and a former tutor and teacher himself. "They know education is important."
Caller said his clients fall into three basic categories. First, there are rich families who want to supplement their children's schooling with added subjects and help them with homework. Second, there are families who have children with special needs, where home schooling is more effective.
Many of his clients, however, fall into the third category: rich families that travel between multiple homes around the world and don't want to be tied to one location because of their children's school. Some of these families are also so rich and famous that their children would be mobbed at a regular school.
Image: Mansion, via Shutterstock