Before I decided to teach swim lessons at my house, I wanted to make sure it would actually be worth the effort. For anyone interested in providing swim lessons, one of the first considerations is how much money you can actually make. Before taking on the responsibility and the administrative work it takes to set up a swim lesson program, you will want to take a deep dive into how much money you can potentially make providing swim lessons.
How much money can you make teaching swim lessons at home? Providing swim lessons can yield an income of anywhere between $20 per hour to $120 per hour, or even more. There are a lot of factors to account for before you are able to truly assess what your profitability will be. Notably, the amount you make will depend on whether you do group or private lesson, how much you charge and how many lessons you teach.
The best way to understand how much you can make is to account for how much you will bring in and then subtract how much it will cost to operate the program. There are many factors that contribute to the profitability of a program and one should consider each one carefully to understand how much they could potentially make from offering this service. Below is a list of considerations for the money you will bring in, as well as a list of potential expenses that will pull profit from your bank account. Many of these expenses are expected, but others are less well known especially for first time service providers.
Determining your profit
Deciding to teach swim lessons can be daunting, but the excitement of making money doing what you love seems well worth any hassle. To really understand how much you can make, you will need to first determine how much money you can expect to bring in. There are several factors which contribute to this equation.
- Whether you will Teach Group or Private Lessons
- Your Hourly Rate
- Your Hours Offered
Group or Private Lesson
The first part of the profit equation is how you plan to structure your swim lessons. Only offering private lessons may yield a much lower profit margin because most people have a limit to how much they will pay for a single lesson, whereas that amount of money would be much more easily reached when split among several students.
For instance, if you plan to charge $20 for a private lesson or $10 for a group lesson you will only need three students in a class to make 1.5 times the amount of money as a private lesson in the same amount of time.
Although group lessons can be much more profitable, you must also decide how many children you are comfortable with in one class. You do not want to sacrifice results for profit since a large amount of advertising comes through word of mouth.
It may be profitable to have ten kids in a class, but you would lose money if none of those kids return for lessons later. Group lessons will make you more money, but not all parents are looking for group lessons so offering some private lessons will help enlarge your client base. Some sort of mixture is fairly typical but it is up to you what you are comfortable with.
Deciding how much to charge for each swim lesson is one of the most daunting aspects of beginning your business, which is why there is a whole article dedicated to just that. This is also one of the most influential parts of knowing how profitable you can be. There are several factors that affect how much you should charge, so you definitely want to look at my complete guide to setting your price before you decide how much to charge.
Now that you know what types of classes you are offering and how much you are charging for these classes, it is time to determine the hours you plan on dedicating to teaching. It may be as little as one hour a day or perhaps you will spend 8 hours in the pool.
Deciding your daily and class schedule may be influenced by your seasonal schedule as well. If you are a summer instructor, like me, you will probably take a vacation or two throughout the season. Since everyone is entitled to a break, this simply needs to be accounted for.
This would also be the time to decide if your clients can sign up for sessions, which would obligate them to a larger amount of money paid upfront for more lessons or if you are willing to allow them to sign up for single lessons at a time. It is more difficult for an instructor to teach students who only attend classes sporadically but if that is what your client base is most responsive to, then it may influence your schedule. If you are questioning whether to offer sessions or individual lessons, we have that covered in this helpful guide.
Putting it Together to Determine Gross Profit
One you have the answers to the above points, it is time to figure out how much money you could possibly make during a season. You do this with a simple equation
Hourly rate for private lesson
number of private lessons offered in a week
weeks offered in the season
Amount of money made from private lessons
You’ll take the total earned from private lessons and add it to the amount you make from group lessons.
Hourly rate for group lesson per students
number of students per class
number of group lessons offered in a week
weeks offered in the season
Amount of money made from group lessons
As an easy example, say you were going to teach swim lessons for 10 total weeks during the summer. Each week consists of 5 days of lessons. During those days, you plan to teach for 3 hours each day. 1 hour will be set aside for 2 individual lessons at $25 each. The second hour will be set aside for 2 small group lessons with 3 students in each lesson, and you are charging $15 per student. Your final hour will be 2 larger group lessons of 5 students, each of which will pay $10.
Under this scenario, you will run the following three calculations to reach a total potential gross profit of $12,000.
For private lessons: $25 X 2 (students) X 5 (lessons) X 10 (Weeks)=$2,500
For the small group lessons: $15 X 6 X 5 X 10=$4,500
For the large group lessons: $10 X 10 X 5 X10=$5,000
This will give you the top range for how much money you can bring in, but it is worthwhile to calculate a bottom range because despite how amazing of a teacher you are, it is not likely that you will fill every class at every time slot you have.
The easy way to do this is by multiplying your top range number by .60. This will be the amount of money you will bring in if you only fill 60% of the classes your offer. If you have taught swim lessons in previous seasons, instead of using .60 you may want to adjust it to the number of classes you actually filled whether it be more than 60% or less than 60% which will give you a better idea for your specific situation.
In the example above, the bottom range would be $7,200. So at those rates, you could expect to make between $7,200 and $12,000 during the summer.
Calculating your Costs
Many people assume that the above calculation alone is how much they can make, but it is really only half of the equation for how much money you will really bring in. After you have determined how much money you will bring in ,you need to subtract the expenses you will incur while offering swim lessons.
These expenses include:
One of the largest expenses that you will encounter is the actual facility at which you plan to provide lessons. There is a good reason why every American home is not equipped with a pool, and that is because they are expensive. Not only are they expensive to install, but they are also expensive to run and maintain. There are a few different options for where you could provide swim lessons.
- Your backyard pool
- A public pool
- A friend/neighbor/family members pool
These are the most used locations, although some less conventional lessons are held in open water venues. For the three most traditional venues there is a varying amount of cost associated with each of them.
If you already have pool that you are maintaining, not all of this will apply, but some still will. When you are providing swim lessons in your back yard, there are several expenses that need to be accounted for. The first of which is the possible installation of a pool.
There are many options when it comes to installing a pool, from the investment of an in-ground pool to the more affordable option of a temporary above ground pool. Despite your particular situation, this is an expense that should be accounted for. If you are planning to spend $1000 for an above ground pool so that you are able to provide swim lessons, that would decrease your profitability by $1000.
Most people who are considering offering swim lessons in their back yard most likely have a pool in their backyard already. If this pool is already something you posses, there is no reason to count its initial cost against your profitability. Consider it a happy circumstance that you already invested in the largest expense for a different reason.
Whether you already have a pool or invest in one there are still more things to account for about your pool. The most common costs associated with pool ownership are the maintenance fees of either having a pool company service your pool or buying the chemicals to maintain it, the electricity associated with operating the pool and the cost of fixing any issues that arise.
These fees will change depending on your pool type as well as your location. If you have a pool for personal reasons, then you may choose not to account for these costs in your analysis. For instance, I have a backyard in-ground pool that was here when we purchased the house. Since we bought the home, we have been paying for a pool service, electricity and any fixes that needed to be made, so when I was deciding if teaching swim lessons would be profitable enough, I did not include any of these expenses. Since we swim almost every night 6 months out of the year, the expense of owning a pool was not going to increase simply because I was using the pool more often.
If you do not own a pool and do not want to invest in one at your home or if you want to teach year round, you are able to contact your public recreational facilities and see if they allow private instructors to use their facility. If your public pool does, they will most likely have rigid guidelines about what times you can teach and what certifications you have to possess.
They will also have a clearly outlined payment schedule for using their pool for a profit making venture. This can be anything from their daily entrance rate per person, which is usually anywhere from $2-$8 per person, or they may charge a percentage of your profits, or they may have a flat rate that they charge you per hour regardless of how many students you teach.
This additional cost may not be that much or it may significantly impact your bottom line. Depending on what you must pay for access to their facility, you will have to adjust what you charge per lesson. Facilities that charge $5 per person to use their facility is $5 less per person you receive in revenue at the same price per lesson.
Friend/Neighbor/ Family Member’s Pool
You may be considering using a friend or family member’s pool. This is a great option, but it is not without its cost. The first cost would be if your friend charged you for the use of their pool. Although you may not expect to be charged, it is better to have this conversation upfront to prevent any awkwardness regarding the subject of money.
These costs would come out of your profit so it is better to know everything before making your decision about how much to charge and how much you could pocket at the end of the day.
Providing swim lessons at any pool, regardless of who actually owns it, comes with the risk of accidents happening. This is something that you want to account for when you are examining how profitable you can be. Deciding to begin teaching swim lessons comes with risk. An accident can occur anytime but if it happens at your home or in your pool, you will be on the line for any damages that are caused. You may even get hit if it occurs under your supervision at a public pool.
This is when it is wise to have insurance for your business. Homeowners may assume that their home insurance will cover these types of incidences but that is not always the case. Often insurance companies will not cover things that happen in a home if they are due to a business that is being run in the home. This could leave you on the line for a lot of liability when you could have been paying a minimal fee, typically under $40 a month, to have your insurance for your business.
Depending on your swim program, you will most likely need to buy some equipment such as kickboards, pool noodles, fins or other teaching aids. This cost is most likely minimal, but that does not mean that it isn’t worth accounting for. If you are calculating how much money you could make over a summer, $50-$100 dollars in equipment will eat in to your profit margins.
Although most of the expenses associated with teaching swim lessons have been covered, there are sometimes expenses that don’t fit in the normal boxes. Some of these can be fees associated with payment, such as running credit cards or returned checks, or others might be things you need to purchase to provide a better experience, such as lawn chairs for parents to sit in, extra towels for when a child has forgotten theirs, or perhaps a new swim suit that is better suited for teaching than the ones you may wear to the beach.
You also may need to factor in advertisement costs if you don’t already have a pool of students waiting. Miscellaneous expenses are the hardest to predict but taking a moment to consider your specific circumstance and any additional things you may need to really make your business thrive will better inform you to your actual profit potential.
Putting it all Together to Determine your Potential Net Profit
After adding up all your expenses, you are ready to subtract them from your top range number and your bottom range number separately. This will give you a range for what you can expect to actually profit during a season of teaching swim lessons.
As an example, if you totally fill each group and private lesson you offer throughout the season you could potentially bring in $12,000 based on the above example. This would be your top range, which would mean on the low end you would bring in $7,200 (this could be different if you decided you guarantee filling more than 60% of your classes). If your seasonal expenses were $500 then your seasonal profitability range would be $6,700- $11,500 dollars. Obviously, the less lessons you teach, the more the costs will affect your profit margin.
This range provides the information necessary for you to determine if teaching swim lessons is worth your time and energy, and reexamine your scheduling and expenses to help make this your most profitable venture.
How much should you charge for a swim lesson? There is no standard price, but private instructors typically charge $10-30 per half hour. Considerations that determine the price include the location in which you live length of the lessons, session length, experience as well as size of the class. For a detailed guide, check out this article.