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Teaching and money

I have been teach­ing for al­most my whole adult life.

My first re­al job was teach­ing as­sis­tan­t. I worked in a uni­ver­si­ty for 10 years.

Then I start­ed teach­ing Lin­ux train­ning cour­ses for di­verse com­pa­nies (think LPI kin­da stuff).

Then I stopped. Why? Be­cause it makes no sense eco­nom­i­cal­ly to teach in most cas­es.

The fol­low­ing is writ­ten in pe­sos, but the idea is prob­a­bly about the same for oth­er coun­tries.

There are no mon­ey signs beause chee­tah tem­plates hate them ;-)

A train­er is paid about 35 per hour. If he's pret­ty good, he gets 50.

A course is about 24 hours, so he gets about 1200 (I am go­ing for the best case sce­nario here).

Usu­al­ly he has be­tween 6 and 12 stu­dents, which are charged about 900 + tax­es, so the gross is av­er­age 5500.

Of that, half (or a lit­tle less) goes to the class­room ren­t, leav­ing about 3000 for the train­ing com­pa­ny.

Pay the teacher, and you have a rather pa­thet­ic amount for the train­ing com­pa­ny that pays over­head, sales­peo­ple, tax­es and what­ev­er.

So, who makes any mon­ey out of this? The class­room renters :-P

So, if youa re go­ing to work on train­ing, please don't rent class­room­s, it makes no sense.

Now sup­pose you have a con­sult­ing firm and you can do on­site train­ing (at your clients), and just pock­et the mon­ey.

If you have just three stu­dents, you need no fa­cil­i­ties, you can charge slight­ly high­er, be­cause its on­site.

It's the same ef­fort for the train­er, be­cause you just change where you com­mute to (train­ing cen­ter vs clien­t).

Since you can make more mon­ey with small­er class­es, you can still charge a lit­tle high­er (more per­son­al­ized at­ten­tion).

Since the stu­dents are all from one com­pa­ny they have more in com­mon and you can struc­ture the teach­ing bet­ter, which makes it way less bor­ing.

So, if you want to make a liv­ing teach­ing, here's how.

  • Mar­ket di­rec­t­­ly to com­­pa­nies, for on­site train­ing.

  • Have your own ma­te­ri­al­s.

  • Be flex­i­ble.

  • Buy your own class­­room if you have to.

And most of al­l, don't wor­ry. It's pret­ty much im­pos­si­ble to lose mon­ey train­ing, un­less you open a ex­clu­sive­ly train­ing com­pa­ny.

Ed Wiget / 2006-04-04 12:38:

I teach for the love of teaching. I see your point in your article though because recently I tought a course that costs 750 US per student, the training facilities were provided by the school who hired me to teach, they paid me 1,500 US for the course. I had 18 students in one course and 23 in the other - you can do the math - the school made a fortune.

I found a resolution though. You could do what I do and offer free training, although not acceptable as college credit, its the exact same course material that I teach at the community college. Have a look here: or

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