Upon completing Gaba's Initial Certification program, instructors begin teaching. All start at the competitive rate of 1,500 yen per 40 minute lesson taught. Of course, as each instructor designs his or her own schedule, monthly earnings will vary from person to person. To earn more, instructors make themselves available to teach more. Other options towards greater earnings include Gaba's Belt system - higher pay rates for top performing instructors - and monthly incentives.
For many, Gaba is their primary source of income. These instructors regularly teach over 200 lessons a month with top performers taking home over 300,000 yen for their efforts.
The Belt system
Gaba has eight lesson rates or "Belt" levels to recognize professionalism and quality. Moving up beyond the entry level rate is a matter of merit, not tenure. There are minimum performance requirements for each level and meeting them gives the instructor the potential to "Belt Up". Criteria include lesson quality as judged by the clients, performance as gauged by studio staff, and voluntary participation in Developmental Certification. Each month, eligible instructors are reviewed and the top performing among them will be teaching at a higher pay rate to start the next month.
The "Peak Numbers Taught" incentive was devised to recognize and reward instructors who commit to teaching when needed most. Peak times are early weekday mornings (7:00 to 9:10am), evenings (5:30pm to close), and all day weekends and holidays. Teach 80 or more peak lessons in a single month to qualify. The payout increases for surpassing 120 and 150 peak lessons. The amount of the payout is determined as follows: 35 yen is placed in a pool for every lesson taught Gaba-wide. At the end of the month, the sum in this pool is divided amongst all eligible instructors. The PNT incentive is available to all instructors regardless of belt level. Note: receiving more than one negative client evaluation in the month in question disqualifies the instructor from this incentive.
Early morning (F-Peak) incentive
Studying in the early morning (Monday to Friday) is particularly popular amongst our business clients. They like to sneak in a lesson before going to the office. For those instructors who rise early to provide lessons at 7:00, 7:45, and 8:30am, an additional 200 yen is added to their lesson rate. Teach in the early morning and receive this incentive. Simple as that!
For instructors interested in sales, Gaba offers certification and support in how to perform "First Meetings". These are lessons provided to prospective clients. Once certified, each successful FM conducted will earn the instructor an incentive in addition to their usual lesson rate. FM A certified instructors are eligible for a 2000 yen incentive per successful trial lesson. FM B certified instructors earn a 3000 yen reward.
Another means to augment income is by becoming an LPA certified instructor. Clients periodically take a "Learning Progress Assessment" to gauge how they are faring. These are not regular lessons and are a critical component in assuring clients' steady achievement of their language learning goals. Every LPA conducted earns an incentive of 1000 yen in addition to the instructor's usual lesson rate.
There are periodically other incentives. Two examples are referral incentives and seasonal peak lesson incentives. The former is paid out to instructors who encourage acquaintances to apply to teach with Gaba. Speak to a recruiter at the time of application if such an incentive is in place. The latter, seasonal peak lesson incentives, are introduced at times of increased lesson demand. The summer months are often busy with clients free to take additional lessons but instructors off on vacation. Instructors available to teach are rewarded and Gaba avoids the need to recruit additional instructors to cover the temporary surge in demand. Win-win!
Lifestyles in Detail
Sara has been in Japan for about 6 months and is here on a working holiday. Gaba is her main source of income for funding her travel/activities.
Ben has been living in Japan for 5 years and working as a sponsored instructor. Gaba is his main source of income to support his life in Japan and helps him pay off his student loads.
Lisa has just recently arrived in Japan and her primary focus is to study Japanese, but Gaba is a good way to provide her with some income to help assist her with her living expenses.
Daniel has lived in Japan for over 15 years and is on a spouse visa with his family. Gaba supplements his income to support his family in addition to his other freelance work.