seminar or training fees

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morepower

Member
I'm recently retired and am considering hanging out my own shingle. I've been teaching classes at the local college for 13 years. What do most of you experienced instructors charge for a seminar?
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I'm recently retired and am considering hanging out my own shingle. I've been teaching classes at the local college for 13 years. What do most of you experienced instructors charge for a seminar?
I'm not an experienced instructor, but I suppose it is like running any other business. If you want to profit, you need to figure out what your costs are both direct costs as well as maybe not so obvious overhead costs, and charge enough to cover them plus whatever you need for desired profit and divide by expected number of students to get a per student charge. If this is an all day class, you may need to consider meals or refreshments, or maybe you hold the class at a facility that already covers those things but on their own between the host and your student. Even hotel rooms in some cases may be something to consider, or at least as an available option or informational item to students. You may also consider pre registration and pre payment and at what point do you cancel a class because it is not profitable to go on with it if there are not enough students registered to take the class. (of course it would be a good idea to refund paid fees if you end up canceling) You don't want to spend more on renting a space, and any necessary supplies then you take in because not many people showed up.

Too big of a class can present problems too. Like having to turn people away because of occupancy limitations at the class site. Too much distraction from too large of a class may discourage future attendance for some in your classes.

Don't forget the time you spend preparing materials, or creating power point or other presentations needs consideration. It may not be something you recover in one session, but it is an overhead cost, and needs to be recovered over a certain amount of sessions before you put more time into improving your presentation, or just simply changing things because a newer edition of the NEC came out.
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
You can only make a profit when you instruct a class many times. To develop a class from scratch I allow 8 hours for every hour of podium time. Even a canned power point class from mike holt will have many hours in just setting it up. For a typical class I have done many times there still is about 16 hours - for registration, room setup, printing handouts, certificates, bank deposits...

Pricing is difficult - look at what other area providers offer. For some markets, IE in house classes, you need to charge more than your average contractor classes. Around here the going rate is $120 for 8 hours. Keep in mind you are competing against the internet providers - I don't do internet classes and don't worry about there lower cost.

I get by with a lower cost as I have a room that does not cost me much to rent. Expect to pay $250-500 for a hotel conference room. I also provide lunch as it keeps the class on site and I can go from 8 - 4:30 using 1/2 hour for lunch.

And one of the advantages of your own business is the tax write offs. Want to go to a mike holt seminar? deduct the cost, travel, etc.
Same with all your equipment. At the college you just get paid by the hour. I've been all over the country and to Alaska, all a write off.
 
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