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The eLearning Guild Publishes 2013 Global eLearning Salary & Compensation Report

by Jennifer Neibert

February 20, 2013


by Jennifer Neibert

February 20, 2013

“In this report, we explore the trends in pay and look at how full- and part-time employment status, country, regional areas, gender, industry, company size, number of people managed, years of eLearning experience, years of education, and job focus influence salary calculations. It’s critical to note that there are many more variables than these that impact salaries, and that these factors don’t necessarily cause salaries to change.”

The eLearning Guild has released the 2013 Global eLearning Salary & Compensation Report. This comprehensive report is based on data obtained from more than 4,700 Guild members and shows worldwide eLearning salaries increased slightly by 1.7% this past year, with an average global salary of $77,682. In the US, salaries increased by 0.06% to $78,984. The averages shared in the report are given in US dollars so that comparisons can be easily made across geographies.

Most of the respondents providing survey input for this report are full-time employees; almost 41% describe their roles as “practitioners.” The report also shares up-to-date hourly salary averages for both part- and full-time employees and contractors. Unchanged from 2012 is the overall hourly rate at $36/hour.

Average salary by continent

Figure 1: Average global salary by continent and region

While the average salary within the eLearning industry varies quite dramatically around the world, with the range from $99,293 in Australia to $30,854 in India, pay is consistently higher for men than for women. Regardless of those differences, everyone is working hard, logging an average full-time workweek of 44.9 hours with an annual vacation allowance of 20.8 days.

The report goes far beyond gender and geography, exploring multiple variables and their influences on salary outcomes. In addition to gender and geographic differences, the report also includes global comparisons related to industry, company size, number of people managed, years of eLearning experience, years of education, and job focus. Specific highlights include:

  • Industry: Perhaps not surprising to some, employees from the pharmaceutical/biotech industry report salaries 41% above the average, while government (state and local) and education (K-12) employees are 16.9% and 18.6%, respectively, below average.
  • Company size: Employees at the largest companies (50,000+ employees) also report the largest salaries, at about 11.9% higher than average.
  • Number of people managed: As one might also expect, those who manage more employees are paid higher salaries. On average, managers with more than 10 direct reports earn 26% more than average. What about those 41% of survey respondents working as individual contributors? They actually earn 4.2% below average.
  • Years of eLearning experience: For those new to the industry, know that more experience brings a higher salary. Those with 10 to 14 years of eLearning experience report a salary that is 6.8% higher than average.
  • Years of education: And those of you yearning for more formal education? It just might pay off. The average salary difference for those with a doctorate (18.8%) or master’s (1.4%) is higher than average. If this is of specific interest, take time to read the Guild’s report Degrees for eLearning Professionals: What’s Needed?
  • Job focus: Lastly, those with executive management responsibilities are paid considerably more than other job roles at 62.4% above average.

The report also includes helpful resources including multiple scenario-based examples to help readers calculate a benchmark salary and additional references to other salary-related sites. If you’re negotiating salary in a new position, planning to ask for a raise, or are curious about how your compensation stacks up across the industry, take time now to read The eLearning Guild’s 2013 Global eLearning Salary & Compensation Report.

Online Salary Calculator

Using data from the 2013 Global eLearning Salary & Compensation Report, Learning Solutions Magazine has created the official online version of the Guild Research Salary Calculator. Use the calculator below to compute and compare baseline salaries for your own situation, then download the report to explore the data in greater detail.

Javascript is required to use the Salary Calculator


About Guild Research

Guild Research delivers four specific types of research reports whose single goal is helping you make sense of the depth of our field. We work with great thinkers to analyze existing and new sources of knowledge and bring you concise reports that you can use to make important decisions, inform practice, and keep up-to-date. This is where you will find out about research in the field, new technologies, and what your peers are doing and thinking, in practical language. Learn more about Guild Research on The eLearning Guild website.

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I'm an eLearning Developer in Oregon, and hadn't updated my salary information in two years. Hopefully my old $35,000 salary didn't drag the average down TOO much for my fine state. I've just updated it with my current salary, which is much closer to the national average.
Not to worry. "In this report, the data represents 4,703 eLearning Guild members worldwide who provided their salary and compensation information as part of Guild general membership data. For all data except trend data, the data represents the period from
January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012."
-- Bill the Editor
I have an "older" M.A. degree in Instr. Tech and have not used the skills. Would appreciate if someone would give me steps to re-entering the field. I work adjunct at a community college, but would like to get free lance and consultant work. First steps?
@Chicago48, Post your question here and definitely download our degrees-oriented research reports for some valuable insights! Also come to Learning Solutions if you can to network. We'll be thrilled to help you figure out to get your skills back uo to snuff so you can do consulting and freelance work.
Adding to Patti's suggestions (and in particular, you really should use our LinkedIn group and come to Learning Solutions Conference in order to network face-to-face):

As an adjunct, you may have had students in your classes who can provide you with valuable references to people who have eLearning projects that you can do.

A longer-term approach would be to contact LINGOs (search on the term here in Learning Solutions) and design some eLearning for NGOs in the developing world. This would be unpaid, but it would result in some product you could show to people, and some positive reviews from NGO member organizations (aka "clients").

You may also be able to get referrals through other faculty at your institution.
How is the role of "E-learning Developer" defined? I do everything--analysis, design, storyboards, write content, record audio, and author in Articulate or Captivate. Is this salary survey for those who strictly do e-learning development (in a tool) or does it apply to someone who is an ID and a "jack of all trades"?
To the commenter on 02/25/2013 2:38 pm: You would probably count yourself as "Do a Lot?Little of Everything." There are a lot of people these days who are in your role. Others chose the role they do the most of or their job title. It's certainly not an exact science.
I work for Cisco, managing a group that creates elearning for our software customers. I can never figure out what industry Software should fall into for the salary calculator!?
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