Freelance Rate for eLearning QA

Hi everyone, 

I have a project that has multiple developers working on several different modules, but all part of the same course. I have a freelancer whose strength is attention to detail and would be a great person to review each course, check it for visual, tone, and grammatical consistency, as well as, check to make sure all of the text, font, logos, ect have met all of the trademark/marketing standards. This person would be viewing the published course, recording feedback, and sending it back to the developer, so not very technical work, purely QA work. Thoughts on what is a good rate for this type of work??? 

9 Replies
Trina Rimmer

Hi Danielle. Ryan's offered some great advice and his suggestion to negotiate a per project rate is definitely something I'd consider in your position. 

Just to chime in on going rates, when I was freelancing I often hired folks for grammar & continuity QA work and found the going rates were in the $25 - $35/hr range, with $35 generally getting me someone who had a little more technical know-how. 

Julie Stelter

I do a lot of work with associations and any discussion about wages on a forum is nipped before anyone responds. I'm not sure who gets in trouble but it can be construed as price fixing and violating anti-trust laws. I keep seeing posts like this and articulate staff never stops it, albeit few people respond typically. I suspect most people are aware of the liability in this question.

But today two people including staff responded to the question with actual rates. So I feel compelled to warn people. Trina I would talk to articulate attorneys about your liability in this matter asap. This is a great forum and a great product. I would hate to see articulate have to spend money on legal action. 

Cheers, Julie

Trina Rimmer

Thanks for chiming in on an important topic, Julie. My intent was to share only my personal experience of the wage ranges I encountered as a former freelancer hiring other freelancers to perform this type of work, not to suggest a wage. But because I’m not familiar with the legal implications you’ve cited, I’ve inquired about our liabilities and I appreciate the concerns you’ve raised here.

Christy Tucker

Not talking about pay rates is one of the ways pay discrimination against women is maintained. If we always keep it a secret, then women have no way of knowing their employers are breaking the law by paying them less. That's one of the reasons employee discussions about pay are legally protected.

You can look at the eLearning Guild's salary calculator for aggregate data. This is aggregate data based on a salary survey, which is one of the ways to avoid the extremely remote possibility of legal issues. They unfortunately don't have a specific QA job focus, but you could use the "other content writing" as a starting place.

Harold Jarche's article on elearning consultant fees puts the range for evaluation tasks at $50-100/hour. What he's describing is probably higher level evaluation than what you're discussing, but it's another data point to consider.

Ashley Chiasson

Christy - I agree in that Jarche's range is likely for the higher level evaluation, and I also agree about the issue on not talking about it. You could also peruse to look at salary ranges for an idea. 

As consultants, it's important to understand the value of your work and then adjust for the inevitable variables (e.g. increasing your value to account for things such as taxes and health care, etc. etc.). Pricing yourself is definitely a challenge, and I know I struggled through my first couple years of freelancing before I understood my value. However, it is a delicate balance between valuing yourself appropriately for the market and targeting your potential clients and their budget. 

For me, it was a lot of back and forth between understanding what I can feasibly provide in how many hours (for fixed price contracts), and understanding all of the 'isms' that projects encounter, which is why I place my rate competitively (and fairly for the market) and also why I tend to operate on an hourly rate when working with clients  (to account for those 'isms'). 

Additionally, if you choose to go for a project-rate, you'll definitely want to iron out a very detailed and specific client contract to identify what IS and IS NOT included in their price (otherwise you'll be overrun with additional review cycles and venture into the wonderful world of scope creep). 

Hopefully some of this drivel helps :P Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to chat about!