ELearning Salary Survey–How Much In Your Pay Packet?

What kind of a salary should you be commanding in the eLearning business? It’s an important question with a lot of latitude depending on the market you work in.

In Australia, a pay scale search engine puts the average salary for instructional designers at just under $79,000 per year for an entry level designer. That pay tends upwards to about $86k per year if you have five to ten years professional experience. The numbers are based on 65 salaries provided by anonymous sources. A different search engine in Australia puts the average salary for an eLearning Manager at $83,426 per year.

A more comprehensive salary survey (2,108 respondents) conducted by the U.S.-based eLearning Guild this year found that the average annual compensation for instructional designers was about the same, just under $79,000 USD. The Guild found that project and product managers top the survey scale with an annual compensation package of $90,000. Trainers and coaches make around $89,500 a year while content authors receive just over $84,000 annually.

What’s interesting is how these salaries stack up to the average total compensation salary package in the U.S., $92,126 across all industry sectors. That figure includes bonuses and average tuition assistance for employee training. Bonuses were checking in at the 4% mark. By comparison, the average base salaries in the United Kingdom showed a sharp increase to $78,393 over 2015, but dropped in Canada by 4% to $72,177. The global average annual base salary excluding the U.S. was $63,103.

In the employee benefits category, there are some interesting survey results. This is where the negotiating comes in and can make or break a job offer and play a very big role in employee satisfaction. The benefits category includes:

  • Merchandise and service discounts (e.g. discounts on gym memberships, products, groceries, travel)
  • On-site services and facilities (childcare, employee gyms, massage and naturopathy care, nurse practitioner)
  • Personal care and services (entertainment and clothing allowance, office supplies, internet and phone reimbursement, paid time off for community service or volunteer work)
  • Professional development (sabbatical and scholarship programs, paid conference fees)
  • Travel (company car, free parking, membership in roadside assistance program, commuter subsidies)
  • Dependent care (matching tuitions, childcare reimbursement, college coaching)
  • Financial and Retirement (Employee stock ownership plans, pension and superannuation, profit sharing, student loan repayment assistance)
  • Health (paid or unpaid parental leave, wellness incentive programs, flexible health spending accounts)

In a positive trend for eLearning practitioners—at least in the U.S.—women narrowed the salary gap by 4% . Women in the eLearning business, however, are still earning 10% below the average male salary.

There is also a prediction of real wage growth across all industry sectors.

The survey also found that there was a substantial increase of people who have entered the eLearning field (18% globally who had 3-5 years experience.) An indication that eLearning is a vibrant industry and here to stay.