People often ask me, “how much do Skillshare teachers earn”?
Lets take a look at what Skillshare say, and what our own data says…
What Skillshare Say About Teacher Earnings…
In the past, Skillshare gave out some figures, such as in 2015, when they said that “on average” teachers earned $3,500 per year.
To date, we have paid our teachers over $4.5 million, and the graph above illustrates how much individual Skillshare teachers earn: $3,500/year on average, with the top 10 most successful teachers on the platform earning $30,000+/year.2015 blog post at Skillshare
Since then Skillshare have announced that “top teachers” can earn over $100,000 per year. (source: Skillshare website)
However “top teachers” is different to saying, “the top 10 most successful teachers”.
“Top Teachers” doesn’t mean much as a phrase. The “Top Teachers” program on Skillshare rewards teachers that rank, “among the top 1% of teachers on the platform” with various perks, so we could assume that “top teachers” means this group, but we don’t know for sure.
Yesterday, Skillshare sent a mailout, and in it they said that “an average teacher earn $200 per month“. That’s interesting because it’s a lot less, relatively, than the average teacher earned back in 2015! However, the phrasing has changed from referring to average earnings to “average teacher”. What’s an average teacher…?
Note that “top teachers” are now listed as earning “up to” $10k per month, so we can assume the highest earning teachers on Skillshare are closer to $120k per year than $100k.
However, assuming they’re still referring to the same thing, the average teacher earnings have fallen from $3,500 per year, or close to $300 per month, to $200 per month. That’s a sizeable fall!
It looks like the influx of teachers over the past few years wasn’t matched by a similar increase in the royalty pool.
Skillshare Teachers Independent Poll
I listed a series of income bands and asked teachers to choose which band their income fell into. Note, the poll included referral income because even though it’s possible to separate teaching income from referral income, I felt that both revenue streams were part of a whole.
If someone promotes their Skillshare class on Instagram and gets referral income and premium minute income when someone signs up for Skillshare premium to watch their class, both revenue streams should really be included when talking about teacher income.
The poll results were interesting. Within 24 hours we had over 50 teachers take part. Here’s the poll data…
You can see that the most commonly chosen option was $0 to $49, which was probably chosen by most new Skillshare teachers. With 22 selections, this was almost 40% of the responses!
The next most popular was $50 to $99 with another 7 responses.
In total, teachers selecting $0 to $99 made up 29 of the 57 responses, or just over 50%.
While this poll is obviously statistically insignificant, it does make you wonder how Skillshare calculates their “average teacher” when our poll has half the teachers earning under $100.
Perhaps Skillshare calculate their average only using teachers who get paid via PayPal, thereby disregarding all the teachers who earn nothing. It may have been wise for me to include zero as a poll option to see how many teachers would’ve selected it.
The remaining 50% of teachers earned over $100, with five selecting $100 to $149, and three selecting $150 to $199, which means 37 of 57 responding teachers (65%, nearly two thirds) earned less than the $200 monthly average reported by Skillshare.
The highest earning third of teachers from our poll earned $200 to $499 (five), $500 to $999 (six), $1000 to $1,499 (two), $1,500 to $1,999 (three) and $2,000+ (four).
Of course, the simple average (mean) results in a skewed number if there are significant outliers. For example, a few teachers earning several thousand per month would increase the average (mean) to a large degree.
It would be helpful if Skillshare said the parameters they used to calculate their average (mean), and also if they released the mode (most frequently paid amount) and median (middle payment if all payments were lined up in ascending order).
Then we’d get a clearer picture of what the average teacher earns on Skillshare.