≡ Menu

Truth about Teacher Salaries


I have some bad news for all you teacher, a raise is not coming.  I know and you know we deserve it, but listen to your Unions.  They don’t like the new evaluation processes that most schools are putting into place.  They don’t like to hear politicians talking about doing away with Public Sector Unions.  Actually they say that public school teachers are getting paid too much and are cutting staff, increasing class size, and in general not supporting teachers.

OK enough of the boo hoo, lets talk facts.  Here is a straightforward comparison, I will include research sources below.

This is the average national educators teacher salary as reported by the National Bureau of Labor and Statistics

Teacher Salaries:
Associate – $25,700
Bachelor – $48,040
Master – $58,830
Doctoral – $62,050

The national average is $52,790 and the national median is $53,230.

Now lets compare apples to apples, or in this case degrees to degrees.

Associates Degree:

Air Traffic Controller $108,040
Construction Manager $83,860
Registered Nurse $64,690
Forest and Conservation Technician $33,390
Veterinarian $29,710
Pharmacist Assistant $28,400
Teacher Assistant $25,700

I see now why a lot of my students want to be nurses, is the average salary really $64,690?  According to the National Bureau of Labor and Statistics it is.  I understand how a Teachers Assistant only makes just over $25,000 but I have never seen one in a classroom in our district.  I would have liked to have one.

Bachelors Degree:

Human Resource Manager $99,180
Electrical Engineer $87,180
Financial Analyst $74,350
Computer Programer $71,380
Sales Rep $56,620
Writer/Author $55,420
Accountant $55,000
Surveyor $54,880
Teachers $48,040
Social Worker $42,480

Here is the biggie, and the one that makes me absolutely crazy.  Of the basic generalized career paths only social workers get paid less, an equally important position that needs to have more pay for the amount of work they do.  I completely understand the demand for the technical jobs.  I completely support the pay of the people above us.  All I want is fair compensation.

Lets do a little math here.  Lets accept the fact that we get paid for 10 months.  Taking all the salaries above us the average is $69,251.25.  That would be $5,770.94 a month.  For a teachers salary of 10 months then that would give us an average salary of $57,709.40.  That is a $9,669.40 pay raise.  There is no reason that we cannot lobby for an average salary according the the USBLS, but that is not coming.

Masters Degree:

Physician Assistant $86,411
Educational Administrator $83,710
Occupational Therapist $72,320
Urban and Regional Planner $63,040
Teachers $58,830

I believe that we are true professionals.  I also believe that a person who has achieved a Masters degree should be justifiably paid.  The math does not make sense to get a Masters degree.  Sure we have a better education and should be able to do a better job but this really is a no brainer here.  If we have a Masters we have to become an Administrator.  A mear $10,000 pay increase does not support the amount of effort and financing that it takes to achieve a Masters degree.

Lets do the math that we did with a Bachelors degree.  The average salary is $76,370.  That is $6,364 a month or $63,641.88 for 10 months.  Look a principal still gets a raise and teachers are getting closer to what they deserve.

Doctoral Degree:

Doctors $166,400
Dentist $146,920
Lawyer $112,760
Pharmacist $111,570
Optometrist $94,990
Veterinarian $82,040
Biochemist $79,390
Chiropractor $67,200
Teachers $62,050

Here is the real injustice.  There is no doubt that teachers with a PHD in Education deserve a whole lot more.  On a side note I was surprised to see that a Chiropractor earned so little.  Again I totally get how much the other professionals make.  It is completely justified and there is no doubt in my mind that they deserve all of what they get for the services that they give.  But don’t teachers deserve the same?

And the math.  The average salary is $93,563.75.  That breaks down to $7,796.98 a month.  For a 10 month contract that would give us $77,969.80 a year.  Much much better and a little more justifiable.

So here is the current average compared with the calculated averages:

Teacher Salaries:
Associate – $25,700 – $25,700
Batchelor – $48,040 – $57,709
Master – $58,830 – $63,461
Doctoral – $62,050 – $77,969

With these numbers I could be much more happy with my position, monetarily speaking.  As I have said before it has never been that I don’t like teaching.  The problem has always been that I have struggled with the pay.  I don’t like the fact that we are expected to teach young people how to be successful and yet we don’t have anything to show for it.  Sure teachers have a great retirement, albeit fleeting in today’s economy.  But we struggle with bills.  We can’t live where we want to live, drive what we want to drive, travel to where we want to travel and we deserve to have that.

Unfortunately now that I know what I know my retirement will be devoted to teaching and not to trying to figure out what what kind of retirement village I can live out my years in.  I have fully turned to learning how to make the money I need to live the way that I want to.  Once I have achieved my goals for income and savings then I will be able to turn back to teaching without having the fear, difficulties, and problems that not getting paid what we deserve come along with.  Stick with this site and I may be able to give you the same options also.

Check out this nice comparison of state by state teacher salary.  How does your state rank?


{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment