In the United States, elementary school teachers average $57,730 per year and secondary ones make $60,440. Teachers in Canada earn generally between C$29,994 ($22,230 USD) and C$91,803 ($68,040 USD) per year. For the United Kingdom, salaries range normally from £22,500 ($28,074 USD) to £66,750 ($83,286 USD). Teachers make between AU$44,578 ($33,5053 USD) and AU$99,150 ($73,516 USD) in Australia and CHF65,000 ($64,017 USD) and CHF105,000 ($103,412 USD) in Switzerland. In Norway, the average pay is estimated at 546,000 ($63,601 USD) per year. Read below how the various factors influence the teacher salary.
Teacher Salary Influencers
Teacher pay is influenced by factors such as the type of employer, experience of the teacher and where the teacher works. Enrollment of students, which can also impact job prospects, depends on birth rates and immigration of children.
Public schools employ a significant level of school teachers. Within the private sector, teachers may work in religiously-affiliated or run schools or other private academies. In both public and private sector schools, the level of funding impacts available resources for pay. Public schools rely principally on taxpayer funding or grants from benefactors. Private schools charge tuition and obtain donations and other charitable giving.
The pay difference between public and private tends to be less significant. Those teachers represented by unions, especially in the United States, tend to earn more than those who are not unionized. Compensation of teachers also depends on the school level. Generally, those in high school or secondary ranks make more than those at the elementary level.
2. Geographical Area
Teacher Salary in the US
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, elementary school teachers earn an average of $57,730 per year. In the elementary school category, ten percent are paid above $85,550 per year. The mean salaries are $60,440 for secondary teachers, with the top ten percent earners making above $91,190 per year.
Teacher Salary in Canada
PayScale reports that elementary school teachers in Canada make between C$29,994 and C$67,381 per year, with the average being C$43,482 per year. For high school teachers, PayScale says the average stands at $54,206 per year. Pay for these teachers range between C$35,890 and C$91,803.
Teacher Salary in the UK
In the United Kingdom, starting primary and secondary school teachers make between £22,500 and £28,000 per year. The range is £35,500 to £43,000 for experienced primary school teachers and £39,000 to £66,750 for highly experienced ones. Salaries can differ by subject. For example, teachers who teach English as a foreign language (EFL) earn between £14,000 and £35,000 per year. For physical education teachers, pay runs from £16,250 to £46,500 annually.
Teacher Salary in Australia
PayScale reports that high school teachers in Australia average AU$64,542 per year. Total pay for these teachers range between AU$44,578 and AU$93,611. For primary school teachers, salaries run from AU$39,908 to AU$86,484, while English as a Second Language Teachers earn between AU$46,165 and AU$99,150.
Teacher Salary in Switzerland
According to LohnComputer, elementary school teachers in Switzerland earn an average of CHF97,500, or CHF8,125 per month. The reported minimum salary is CHF90,000 per year, or CHF7,500 per month. At the maximum point, pay is CHF8,750 a month, or CHF105,000 per year. For kindergarden teachers, the average is CHF68,500 per year and the range is CHF65,000 to CHF72,000 annually.
Teacher Salary in Norway
Statistics Norway reports that, in the private education sector, professionals in education earned NOK46,800 per month, which equals NOK561,600 per year. In 2014, professionals averaged NOK41,800 in primary education and NOK44,100 in secondary education. For teachers with a university degree in the “Central Government” category, the monthly pay was NOK44,200, which translates to NOK530,400 per year.
Generally, private school teachers do not need a license. In most jurisdictions, public school teachers must hold certifications or license. As part of the process, aspiring teachers must usually hold a bachelor’s degree, either in education or in a field in which the teacher expects to be involved. To fulfill the training prerequisites, student teachers conduct classes under the supervision and mentoring of licensed teachers.
Longevity traditionally plays an integral role in pay increases. With more teaching experience come opportunities to advance to senior or management positions in schools. These may include becoming principals or headmasters.
As a general rule, teachers fill full-time positions, though work weeks vary slightly by country. For instance, the work week lasts generally 37 hours in the United Kingdom for primary school teachers. In Australia, primary school teachers log about 41.5 hours per week.
On a daily basis, schools normally operate from early mornings to mid-afternoons. The amount of average time spent teaching varies. For instance, according to a 2014 OCED report, teachers in Norway devote on average three hours a day to teaching. Those in the United States teach approximately six hours per day. On average, teachers in elementary grades teach more hours than those in secondary levels. In addition to instruction of students, teachers attend staff meetings, plan lessons and grade tests and assignments. Some of these activities occur beyond the regular school day. Certain teachers, such as band or choir directors, lead student performances on evenings and weekends.
While schools traditionally dismiss during summer months, many jurisdictions operate on a year-round bases. This means students take blocks of weeks throughout the year rather than having a sumer away.
Bonuses & Benefit Packages
With the signifcant involvement of public schools in employing teachers, bonuses and benefits are often defined by governmental policies, rules or laws. Depending on the jurisdiction, public school authorities offer teachers signing bonuses to work in particular areas. Other teachers might receive performance incentives for students’ acheiving certain grades or other bench marks. These practices reflect governing officials’ stated committments to public education.
Teachers, especially in public or government-run school systems, can receive pension and retirement benefits. In Switzerland, private schools must contribute to teachers’ pensions under the country’s pillar system which applies to employees in general. During the academic year, teachers receive time off for national or local holidays. Where teachers have a summer vacation, they may seek alternative jobs durng that period to supplement pay.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an employment increase of six percent among teachers through 2024. For kindergarden and elementary teachers, the number of jobs could rise by 87,800 and, for middle school teachers, the increase could be 36,800. According to the Australian government, job openings through November 2020 should exceed 50,000. Job growth should be “very strong.”
Employment prospects for teachers often depend on location and the priorities of government educational authorities. Within countries, certain regions may experience teacher shortages. Emphasis on smaller class sizes and construction of new schools may increase the need for teachers. Birth trends could factor, especially long-term, in enrollment. According to Statistics Norway, in 2015, approximately 30 percent of women at least 45 years old had three or more children. That percentage was 35 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom could need an additional 2,260 primary schools to accommodate an estimated 543,000 school-aged children by 2018. New births and immigration are major drivers for enrollment in the United Kingdom. Countries such as Switzerland have needs for English as Second Language teachers.
Teachers should find ample opportunities for employment, given the demand for teachers and shortages in certain areas. Compensation may be limited by funding challenges, though unionized teachers may command higher pay. For teachers with certain skills or competencies, pay can run above average. If you want to learn more about the pay in the educational field, also read about the salary of school counselors.