9 Replies
Bill Harnage

Is the estimate from a business or contractor perspective?

To me contracting estimates are easier as you can use your hourly rate plus any additional media (photos, audio, video, etc)  needed for the project.

The preso in this link discusses time, but also has dollar value associated.  You might find some helpful info.

The first 8 slides deal w/ ILT, but after that it's elearning.


Jenise Cook (RidgeViewMedia.com)

Hi John:

Great question! If you are an independent (freelance) consultant, and not in-house corporate or in academia, it's very important to consider your cost of living. You are a business; you have both business costs and personal costs to maintain.

Take a look at the SlideShare.net prezi that I created to demo a very helpful tool:

Consulting Rates for e-Learning: How Much to Bill Per Hour


And, here's my blog post about estimating training costs, based on article from ASTD:

How to Estimate Training Time and Costs


Yes, I have turned down some projects if the time involved + the compensation would have put me into the "red". Yes, other Articulate freelance consultants do bill less per hour than I do. However, I've also listened to colleagues who then found themselves re-working and re-working a client's project without additional compensation. So, it's important to begin with a Detail Design Document with your client's approval, and also to get their approval on a Change Management document.

Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions!

On Twitter: @jenisecook

Robert Kennedy

Hi John,

The resources above are great and similar to the ones I would post myself.  Also, keep in mind that expenses may vary by section of the country, or other economic or geographical factors.  I would say the first thing is to check out what you are really "worth" .  Find out what companies are paying instructional designers/elearning developers in your area as a n hourly fee.  Check both recruiting companies and organizations that have internal employees.  Then, you may even have some luck get that out of some other developers :-).  Figure out what your "personal" rate and worth is.  I know for me, although at some point, in my area, companies were looking to pay a certain amount for elearning work, other than cracking the industry, after a while it wasn't worth it to work for lower than a certain amount.  This can really be challenging work and so in addition all the goodies that Jenise mentioned above, I would suggest really doing some area research so that you can figure out what works for you.


Adam Mastalerz

Anyone wondering about e-Learning pricing here is a simple Infographic by an e-Learning company that explains some of the components to consider when developing an online course. I understand that it doesn't give a direct cost, but it shows the factors that will influence the cost.

Hope you find it helpful.

Take a look here (will open in new window) for the infographic.

Nicholas Soldatenko

While we often see clients asking for a set elearning price, there is seldom a single answer because of so many variables that affect the elearning cost. We ask our clients to fill out an elearning cost estimate form that allows us to provide our best price estimate based on the information they supply.