Educators in the US start on an average salary of $38,617, but this varies with state, level, experience, sector, and training.
What are the top routes to success as a teacher? Could you increase your teaching salary easily and affordably?
What is the role of a teacher?
Teachers work within education facilities such as elementaryand high schools, as well as in higher education establishments, like universities. They adhere to the standards of the state and the school in order to deliver the curriculum through daily lessons.
Teachers must be able to deliver lesson content interestingly and understandably, using course materials. They need to be able to modify their methods to suit individual students and administer work to be completed in class, or at home, as well as set tests to grade students’ understanding.
The ideal skill set depends on many variables, such as student age, class attitude, and subject(s) taught.
Private vs public schools
Research reveals that the average salary of public schoolteachers is surprisingly higher than their private school counterparts, even with the same experience level. Research has shown that, on average, private schools pay secondary school teachers a base salary of $44,720 and elementaryschool teachers $36,260; whereas, public schools pay secondary school teachers an average base salary of $53,520, and elementary school teachers $52,620.
Montana has the lowest average base salary at $30,036 and DC has the highest average base salary at $51,359. However, when looking at the average teacher salary, New York comes first with $79,639, and South Dakota last at $42,668.
In research combined from both the private and public sectors, 2-4 years of experience win a salary average of $37,510. The same research concluded that with an excess of 30 years as a teacher, the average salary in the US is $57,605.
What common benefits accompany the teacher salary?
A 2020 report showed that 71% of educators surveyed received medical insurance, 61% had access to dental care benefits, 52% received optometry benefits, whilst 28% receive no benefits at all.
Increasing a Teaching Salary
Here are four tips to a higher salary for any teacher:
Up your work hours
In most schools, experience raises, often called “steps,” are implemented to help encourage teachers to commit to the job. This means that even if you do nothing, your salary will increase annually, most likely for the first 10 years of your career. Analyze your teaching contract to find and calculate this figure.
By working full-time hours, you can maximize this, year after year. The specific number of hours you could work will depend on your other commitments and your employer’s preferences, however, 35 hours per week (or over) is classed as a full-time position.
In addition, teachers often complete lesson plans from home, which can eat into family and personal time. To avoid this, aim to use your workday to complete these tasks where possible. Work smarter, not harder.
Keep an eye on cost-of-living adjustments
Almost every year, the cost of living is adjusted, and often increases to correlate with the economy and within location-specific guidance. This payment is intended to assist with living, transportation, and general financial outgoings;however, any teaching materials should be budgeted for elsewhere.
Further your education
If simply waiting for an annual raise feels too constrictive, take the initiative to further your education and make the jump to a higher paycheck. Taking a more active role in any workplace can be challenging, but improving your skills is a great place to start when you want to climb the ladder.
Any teacher will need a bachelor’s degree (BSc) from an accredited university, usually taking a minimum of four years. With an extra master’s degree (MA) and increased experienced, salaries can increase to as much as $85,927. Of course, for this salary range, a master’s degree in education and 45 years of experience is not enough--for this level of compensation a high-level position with increased demand and responsibility is often needed.
The qualifications needed can be completed online, in full, meaning you can start building a higher salary, with no attendance commitment, or travel fees. Find a suitable MA education distance learning programme to advance your salary!
In many states and districts, you can even access further education for free, or fully funded by your institution. The government want to employ and retain highly competent teachers to educate the leaders of tomorrow, which means that your professional improvement is in both of your interests.
To do this check out the column payment structure on your salary schedule and calculate how many credits you need to move up a column. Next, reach out to the human resources department at your institution and enquire about the district’s maximum number of credits funded in a year. With this information, you can figure out how long a substantial salary increase would take, and what the resulting figure would be.
However, bear in mind that having your education funded will most likely mean that you do not graduate as quickly as if you’d self-funded. Should you have the resources to fund your further education, taking classes and being awarded credits as quickly as possible will speed up the process.
Your location has a strong correlation with salary when it comes to educators. Moving to a different district, such as New York, could increase your salary by up to $36,000. This is an undeniably huge leap, and it could be easier than you think.
Even though it could mean relocating across the country, consider neighboring districts that wouldn’t involve such a drastic lifestyle change, but could see a huge jump in salary!
How can I increase my overall income?
If you’ve exhausted every salary trick, consider going it alone, alongside your 9-5 job.
Although this may stir up images of late nights and excesswork, teaching privately can be a great and rewarding way to increase your income without taking your focus away from the education sector. Provided you do not copy your institution’s curriculum, you can even take your skills to an online platform and educate more widely and earn more passively.
The salary of teachers in the US depends on many factors, namely: your years of experience, location, position, and level of education.
There are several ways to increase your teaching salary: up your workload, access further education and advance your skills, and follow the salary averages by moving institutions!