How much to get paid for teaching your knowledge? (architecture graphics)

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE How much to get paid for teaching your knowledge? (architecture graphics)

This topic contains 1 reply, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  nca 5 years, 9 months ago.

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    David Larouche

    Hi everyone,

    I was asking myself how much would people paid for private session about architecture graphics. Some enterprises that has an interest into my work have asked if I was giving or if I’d be interested to teach my knowledge and my work process (i.e autocad, photoshop, illustrator, skethup). I’d teach advanced techniques and my post-production process to archive my results and ambiance perspectives. 

    If you have any idea about how much you would paid for it, or how much I should ask, this will help me a lot to drive my prices. 





    Those skills are more valuable than you probably realize. I would suggest not spending much time teaching others your techniques. Our profession is headed in a weird direction where everyone strives to become a project manager and craft takes a back seat. Hold on to and develop your own techniques and market them professionally. We are in the business of graphic communication and IMO good graphics do often go hand in hand with good design.



    Research the market.  Your direct competition is probably going to include individual instructors (many of whom have years of experience) or companies that charge a flat fee for training.  You may have to to a roundabout way of inquiring as if you were wanting to take the classes yourself.  There are plenty of vbulletin forums such as that will provide the answers for free (not to mention free youtube videos).  Ask yourself, why would someone pay you to train them when they can probably find the answer for free.  How are you going to break the instruction into modules to sell?  Will you charge someone to show them how to do Photoshop filter, or will it be a much larger one hour lesson that shows them to customize their work space? 


    Tosh K

    I seem to recall online videos that were ‘sold’ via subscription by an enterprising designer (these were admittedly not ‘interactive’ but the person did very well for themselves.

    A lot would depend on the market (how many are you competing with and how much does a client foresee making by being able to leverage what you teach them).


    David Larouche

    Thanks everyone for the very good answers.

    @nca, you’re right. I’ve come to conclusion that if I teach my skills, people will not deal with me anymore for my expertise, cause I taught ’em how to do. You’re also right about he profession, I’ve to play my cards well. So, if I really go though, I’ll probably not teach my “style”, but only techniques to reach how I do that. Which may not necessary correspond to what the client need, but I’ll make it clear and modular. 

    @landscapeplanner, you’re right when you says “what more do I have if I do compare to everything on internet like cadtutor”. But people don’t always have the time to learn by themselves. I’ve mostly learnt by myself and it took longer than I’ve expected to develop a good expertise. The information isn’t also concentrated into one web site, but many, which ask a lot of research. I started to learn sketchup and used podium, switched to shaderlight, then kerkythia, then photoshop, etc. Of course, if I go on with the project, I’m planning to help people to learn a specific kind of software, but not teaching really how to reach the final result. I’ve to make it clear to not mislead the client by the way.

    I’ve to make clear objectives, so people that want my teaching will know what they will archive with.

    Thanks again everyone, this will help me much



    Good for you, sounds like you have a good strategy. I know what it’s like to develop a style and be paid to produce that style on projects. In reality, if you do decide to do some tutorials chances are those that try to replicate your process will only be moderately successful. What clients don’t realize when they’re paying for professional graphics is they are as much paying for that persons eye for composition, color, contrast, materiality, etc as much as the graphic style. Illustrators can take a fairly incomplete, pedestrian design concept and bring it to life, make it exciting. So even though I stick by my original advice, I wouldn’t sweat too much others replicating your product. Chances are you may not hear from them for a few weeks after the tutorials, but they’ll soon realize your value. Keep drawing, rendering and put the craft first and you’ll go far!


    David Larouche

    Do you think so? I really fear to share my expertise so hardly gained. I’m not living in big cities like in USA. I’m from Quebec, QC, and this town is relatively low in population. We’re about 550,000 citizens and about 20 firms in landscape architecture. Only 2~ that specialize in architecture graphics. 

    Plus like you said before about the profession. I wish not to blow the secrets behind the scenes. But I’m not going to share my artistic knowledge and teach only some technics. I’ll also teach the many ways to go in architecture in post-production like skethup (only), export, IRP, or with export in PS, kerkythia, etc. ANd I might focus on what the client like the most and think is the most effective for him.

    I’ll have to make decisions very soon and I’d to thank you NCA. I appreciate your time spent to share your opinion with me.


    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    I see a lot of people put on presentations at trade or professional organization meetings that are supposed to be teaching certain skills, but are much more about demonstrating their own ability than actually teaching anything. By the end of the night several people have spoken with them about doing freelance work for them.

    In fact, one presentation was to our local landscape association on exactly this subject by a guy with an LA degree who had been struggling getting hired and getting freelance design work. He doing 3d modeling to supplement and now that is his business.

    His presentation was more about how well 3d works for selling landscape design and/or build than how to do it. At the end of the night he had sold that concept and not many had interest in learning how to do it. The end result was that people knew he was available to do this service for them.

    The presentation was free, but it put him in front of a target audience. He has since become part of the board for the organization. That is easy marketing to a target audience and then hanging around so that people in that group stay familiar with him and what he does.


    Trace One

    Ask Mike and Brian Lin. They made a career of their drawing school, as far as I can tell – at Penn they did not teach drafting, so we as a class hired Mike Lin during the summer – it was $300 to $400, class size was about 20,and it was a terrific class, we all loved it. I have heard they have a teaching studio set up also, so students can go there.

    I took AutoCad in 2007 from an enterpreneur (sp??) in San Diego, it was a terrible class, but he had a gig with UCSD, cost several thousands, I think..

    As for teaching fees, Community colleges pay $3000 per class on the east coast, as far as I know, for a semester’s worth of classes. for contrast, My pottery studio charges about $150 for a six week class. I would think your skills fall somewhere in between.  

    But since you want it to be private, I think the classes should be cheaper. seems like $25-50 an hour might be in the right general area. More than piano lessons. GOOd LUCK!


    richard elliott

    Very true, to replicate a persons style is very difficult (and not very creative or satisfying), and the companies who are after training there staff to produce an image like yours will soon realize that there is a lot more work in it than they originally thought.

    Perhaps you could offer a basic training in the fundamentals of graphics and workflow, but also offer your services for graphics production at the same time. As Andrew says below, it could actually be really good promotion for your own business. Also if you are creating tailored training sessions let the client understand this, that you are offering a personalized service specifically for there business, and this is what you charge. Dont ever under value yourself, if they really want your services they will let you know and you can always come to an agreement.

    Good luck.


    richard elliott

    I think you are really undervaluing what is being offered, and by the sounds of it the request for training is coming from professional organization, not some one who is doing a small hobby on a Wednesday night at art class.

    I am in Australia and listed below are some courses and there costs

    ESRI 2 day course: $2,200

    AutoCad Beginner 3 days: $3,695

    AutoCad intermediate 2 days: $2,495

    So if you are looking for an hourly rate, i would up it to the $140 to $160 mark in Aussie dollars.


    Trace One

    I agree, Richard Elliott. $150 an hour or so, sounds like a good range; $25 to $50 I said above is too low.


    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    I don’t know how any of you can project the rates of well recognized and highly sought after teachers to someone who is being asked to teach this for the first time.

    Would any of you pay anything close to those rates for an unknown instructor?

    High rates come AFTER you build a following whether it is doing design work or teaching a class.

    Start with a rate that can fill a classroom OR by speaking at trade groups to establish interest in what you are teaching. Your students will become your marketing machine if you do it well. Then raise your rates until it gets hard to fill a class room.


    Trace One

    This does not seem high, 150$ an hour. Computer is not rocket science, it is pretty cut and dried, so i disagree with the need for a reputation to charge that, it seems pretty standard. If he finds he is in huge demand, then he can go up from there.

    Where would you put an initial rate, Andrew? And perhaps it matters where you live.  


    Andrew Garulay, RLA


    I’d do a couple of local trade or professional groups for free to generate and gage interest. Then go from there if I thought that teaching was a good way to make or supplement a living. That is a marketing investment of time rather than doing something for free.

    More likely, I would do the same speaking engagements and generate an interest in hiring me as an alternative to buying hardware, software, paying for a class, and getting through a learning curve. I’d sell my graphics services rather than teaching. It also takes away that possibility of training your future competitor.

    What matters in this thread is what is right for David. His folio says he is a student. I assume that he is doing well with computer graphics and is hoping to start capitalizing on it while he’s still in school. Lots of students want to do that. How many professionals want to hire a student to teach them something that they can hire someone with more credentials or take courses at the same university that he goes to? … maybe if it saves time and money. Both of those things add up to valuing it less. When things are valued less they have to cost less (private sector thinking).

    I don’t mean to be negative, but it is unrealistic to suggest that a student learning the latest computer graphics is going to command the same fees as Mike Lin or ESRI or Autodesk. Pumping him up to professional seminar rates is going to price him out of supplementing his student budget. That is not going to help him in either the long or short term in my opinion.

    It is just my opinion. I don’t think any student teaching what he has recently learned is going to attract Mike Lin rates, ESRI, Autodesk rates, nor even $150 per hour. Knowing how to do something and teaching it are also two very different skill sets where one has less value without the other. Having a market of students with the hardware, software, and type of work who can benefit from these classes is another story in itself.

    If you think he’s worth $150 an hour, you are entitled to your opinion as well. I hope he can get it.

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