Class Costs and Planning

Part of running a hackerspace is doing classes, events and workshops. Classes generally involved a teacher (and TA) and slides or a presentation. Workshops and Events are different from classes, and aren’t covered here. It’s sometimes hard to set rates and costs for classes, and it’s a tricky thing to make classes easy and affordable, but to make enough to support the space, and give people giving the class satisfaction of doing something worth the scratch.

I’ve heard some advice from different spaces on how to plan classes and costs, and (for me) one of the toughest parts was coming up with a decent cost for classes. My personal guidelines for the ‘don’t-expect-to-make-money’ classes (take it or leave it) is below. I use this for my own classes and events, and find it useful. If you also do classes or events, feel free to give us feedback on how you price yours, either by leaving a comment on the weblog, or updating the page on our wiki with your guidelines.

I expect to have 8 – 12 people per class, for almost any class at Hive76. For popular topics I expect to have 12 – 15, which requires at least 2 teachers to run right.

  • + $5 – Each hour of planning, ordering part, or making docs (beyond 1 hour)
  • + $COST_OF_PARTS – For all classes with parts more than about $1
  • + $10 per student – Each hour of class (beyond 1 hour)
  • + ? – if it’s a ‘marketable’ skill, or current hot item, I add $5 an hour on it.


  • 2 hour python class with 1 hour planning = (1hr * 10) = about $10
  • 4 hour iPhone class that took 6 hours of planning = (3 * 10) * (5 * 5) +’marketable’4*5 = about $75
  • 4 hour electroncis class with $50 in parts that took 3 hours planning, 2 hours parts-ordering, and a pear tree = (3*10) + 50 + ((2+3)*5) = $105

At Hive76 we try to always offer the option to take a class for free. It’s up to the teacher to decide how to manage free classes or events. Sometimes we do that via letting people choose $0 tickets (for non-parts classes). For things that require parts to be ordered, a ‘free’ class actually costs the space money. In most of those cases we have an ’email the teacher if you can’t pay’ comment on the class announcement.

(Note:this post is cross posted to