Freelance wages

Dec 11, 2013

Hi all

I am currently at the very beginning of a larg(er) project. The goal is to shorten residential training of major courses (3-4 weeks) and cover the theory with e-learning modules prior to the face-to-face training. 

I myself am a self declared e-learning specialist, mainly through practical work (from programmer to project lead) over the last 10 years.

The whole project will be running for at least one year. There is not to much done up to date since we are right at the beginning. But the management of course wants to know what costs are coming. 

Now my questions:

- How much does a freelancer charge per day?

- has anyone been in freelance contracts over such a period of time?

- If yes: are the "special" conditions for such a case

My idea is to hire a freelancer for around a year at 50%....

thoughts, feedback, input???

thanks guys


8 Replies
Bruce Graham

Hi Martin, and welcome to the Heroes Community.

I guess the first question is where do you want to get your freelancer from, (direct or agency), and where are you based?

Rates vary considerably by person and country.

I am about to enter my 5th year of a 3-month contract (!), so have good stats for that, (which I will share privately if useful - I am UK-based working for a US company).

Once again - welcome, and I hope you get the answers you need.


Martin  McCombie

Hi guys... 

sorry for the late response... i had some issues here

i am looking to hire a freelancer dirctly, not through a agency. i am based in switzerland, which is surely one of the most expensive places... but since travelling in europe is pretty easy and it is not required to have the programmer in house all the time i think germny or UK is a good option as well. 

@nicholas: exactly. i have 10 years experience in e-learning / wbt production and was hires by my new company in order to shorten the long residential courses by possibly 50 %... 

therefore the basic idea is to set up a modular distance learning, offering (many) short learning modules (rather than one "shot myself" 20 hour web-based training) with a tracked test for each module. once the residential training starts, the participants will have to take a "analog" test (on paper).

i am still right at the beginning, but i estimated someting like 30 modules, all of about 30 min (+/-) learning time, to be produced over the next year or so.... my goal is to gather the experty information, bring it to storyboard and the have it produced....

is that enough information? i am just looking for a rough estimate....

thanks guys



Phil Mayor

I generally estimate 1 minute of learning takes 1 hour to develop.  Based on your content I would look in the region of 900 hours work.

Obviously there will be some economies of scale here, it is probably best to create templates for the whole thing at the beginning and I would expect a lot of reusable content after the first few courses have been built which will reduce the time. Worst case scenario is 900 hours, i the real world it is probably about 30% less.

Daniel Brigham

Hi, Martin:

Though estimates are difficult, Phil's estimate above feels about right. If you have examples of existing courses that you like, that would help further hone the estimate. Not a bad idea to hire someone in Europe. Nothing replaces face-to-face communication, especially when issues arise. Best of luck with the project. --Daniel

Sarah Redmond

Hi Martin,

If you are looking for an exact amount, you can see we are all a bit cagey over details! I tend to charge lower the longer a contract is guaranteed for, so I'd come down to about 75% of a day rate for a year at 2.5 days per week. I'm in Australia, so that may not be a lot of use to you in Europe, but you do get what you pay for, so look for someone with experience of this rapid transformation in the right area - if you want to look at video MOOC style production and you have the right platform, look to someone who is working on MOOCs with their other 2.5 days per week. 

The other option is to work with a graphic designer to get all your templates right first, then look at someone who can just put the content in to the templates - may be more fiddly, but may save you some dollars too.

Hope this helps!

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