How Much Do Teachers Make in The US and Around The World?

Gone are the days when teachers expected their rewards in heaven. Today, millions of teachers all over the globe want to be well-paid for the job on earth. Unfortunately, for a lot of countries around the world, including the US, teaching is not the most rewarding profession when it comes to salary, even though they are considered one of the most important groups in society.

For a lot of them in the US and around the globe, their salary barely covers their living costs, and a lot of them are left to struggle or turn to second and third jobs in other to balance the deficit. Just how bad is it? We took a look at how much teachers make in the US and other parts of the world below.

How Much Do Teachers Make in the US?

Using some of the statistics released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, we know that a teacher in the US makes an average of $55,000 per year. This means there are millions of teachers who earn below $55,000 and millions who earn above $55,000.

Several things determine the salary of a teacher in the US such as their level of experience, their school district, and what kind of teacher you are. As for the latter, teacher salaries vary progressively across each level of basic education in the US. Elementary school teachers are the bottom earns among each category of teachers while high school teachers earn the most on average.

According to the bureau, elementary school teachers have a median annual salary of $57,160, which puts them above the average salary a teacher makes in the US. In the bottom level of the median are teachers who make as low as $37,340 and at the highest earn as much as $92,770 a year.

Among middle school teachers, who operate at a school level with less number of personnel compared to the other two, they have a median salary of $57,720, slightly above the salary of elementary teachers. Those in the bottom 10% earn as low as $38,540, while those in the top 10% earn up to $91,670.

Their high school counterparts are the highest-paid group of educators in the US with a median salary of $59,170. According to the Bureau, among more than 1.03 million educators in the US, the best paid among them earn as much as $95,380 while the worst earn $39,080.

As for how their location determines their salary, educators who live in highly populated states in the US like New York, California, and Connecticut, have some of the best-paid in the country. Worst offending states include Arizona, South Dakota, and Mississipi.

How Much They Make Around the World?

While the US is not the worst country when it comes to salaries, there is still much room for improvement, as shown by the routine strikes happening across the country.

Compared to the United States, there are a few countries, particularly developed countries, who pay handsomely. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the US places 27th out of 32 developed countries when it comes to how much her teachers make in salary.

At the top of the list is Luxembourg, whose high school educators make as much as $79,000 in starting salary and up to $137,000 after ten years in the profession. Elementary school teachers can earn as much as $122,000.

Here is a list of how much educators make in select countries across the world.

  • Switzerland – In elementary schools, they can make up to $84,000 while teachers can earn up to $107,000 in high school.
  • Germany – They can make up to $89,000 in salary in high school while in elementary schools, they earn up to $72,000 in yearly salary.
  • South Korea – The Asian country pays its elementary school educators significantly more than the US with best-paid teachers making as much as $79,000 in salary. Korea’s best-paid high school teachers earn as much as $78,000.
  • Canada – The Maple Leaf country falls just behind the US with a salary of $66,000 for its best-paid high school educators. Their elementary school counterparts earn between $30,000 and $35,000 in starting salary and up to $66,000 at the top of the pay scale.

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Some of the worst-performing countries in the developed world include Hungary where the best paid high school teachers earn as low as $28,000, Israel where they earn $43,000, New Zealand with $46,000 and the Czech Republic, where the best paid high school teachers earn as low as $22,000.


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