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Going rate for a freelance trainer



I work for, a business advice website which attracts over 200,000 unique users per month. Hopefully some of you have heard of us!

We are putting together a guide on how to run a training company, and I was wondering if you guys could advise me on what a freelance trainer can expect to earn as a daily rate.

I am under the impression that a reasonable freelance training rate is £150 per day. Is this fair, and borne out by your experience?

Any contributions appreciated.


Gareth Platt


6 Responses

  1. Going rate

    Hi Gareth

    I doubt many Freelancers would want to divulge what they charge so as a non Freelancer I will give you an idea of what we would expect to pay…

    Soft Skills – £600 to £800 per day

    Technical – £800 to £1200 per day

    Highly Technical – £1000 to £2000 per day

  2. Need to define what you mean by freelancer

    Hi Gareth, this is not a straight forward question and not just because people may not want to divulge their pay rates. 

    Freelancers come in at least three flavours:

    1. A one person company where you deal with and get the owner as trainer. I used to be one of these and would feel good about getting £750.00 per day for training or facilitation work. The range I received was in fact between £150.00 (for being a single task facilitator|) and ££750.00 per day which leads me to the second catagory;

    2. A person working as part of another company as an associate trainer for that company and representing themsevles as being part of the associate company. I did most of my work as an associate for some excellent companies. I recieved between £400.00 and £1000.00 per day depending on the level of work done by me, i.e. one, some or all of the following selling, needs analysis, design, delivery and evaluation. The companies themselves then charged a rate above what they paid me to cover their own costs such as marketing, transport, expenses including the trainer, rectruitment of good trainers, admin and accreditiation if appropriate.

    3. Independent training companies of varying size from a handful of people to the large national and global companies. They will charge anything up to several thousand pounds per day as they tend to have much bigger overheads.

    The one person businesses will usually offer a more bespoke service but there a theoretical chance of them not delivering if they are ill, however in the four years I was in this situation I did not miss a day for my own or my associate clients and do not know of any freelancers who have let clients down due to short term illness prefering to "die whilst delivering" taking a "show must go on" approach. 

    Whatever routre you take price is never a good guide to quality, customer service, or the effectiveness of the training.   

    Hope this is helpful. 

    Cheers, Nick.


  3. Freelance rate

     Hi Gareth,

    I think Nick has summed it up excellently…and I’d agree with his experiences and insight.

    We use freelancers and agree a set standard fee with them for delivery only of pre-written materials. It is quite surprising though when some don’t wish to consider a reduced fee from their normal daily rate, when we will have marketed, researched, produced the materials, liasied with the client and have admin costs to cover for the work.

    Rate cards are good but in my expereince with freelancers and clients a degree of flexibility is required in meeting budget expectations.

    Those who ridgely stick to set fees tend not to get much repeat business.





  4. Associate fee rates


    I agree with others’ comments. I would also add that there are other factors that affect the rate you may get. These include the sector you are in, your expertise and credentials, the volume of work on offer, whether you are a sub-contractor, whether you are offering a branded product, the seniority of the people being trained/facilitated, how desperate you are and whether you are are working solo. Add all this to the factors above and you can see why the range of fees is so large; probably from around £150 (which really is rock bottom) to over £3k.

    Whatever the average figure, I don’t think citing an average rate is particularly useful and could be misleading for those just starting. 

    Best of luck with the guide.


  5. Going rate for a freelance trainer

    TrainerBase conducted a comprehensive survey of rates during 2008. I believe Peter at TrainerBase is planning to survey the market again in 2011. You can contact Peter on 01239 711544



  6. How long is a piece of string


    As Joy commented we used to undertake an annual survey (well from 2004 – 2008) and are considering this again. The previous commenters provide very valid insights into pricing structure and illustrate that there isn’t necessarily a ‘rate’ but more likely a ‘range’; significantly dependent on a host of factors; both financial and personal (some people say they refuse to get out of bed for less than £600 pd).

    I would strongly recommend that any business should work out what they need to charge rather than following a market led rate. Based on a sound premise that business can then evaluate whether they can and are being successful (financially).

    Peter Mayes
    Founder of TrainerBase
    If here was once there, where is there now?

    PS; Do be aware that collating and publishing pricing structures can have a negative impact on a market and is one reason why we stopped and are reviewing conducting a survey again.

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