Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:00

Video: Are Teachers Really Underpaid?

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When you take into account the amount of time off they get, teachers make more than chemists, physical therapists, psychologists, registered nurses, aircraft mechanics and firefighters.

A study from the National Center for Education Statistics found that teacher salaries have kept pace with inflation since 1990, and even increased by three percent after inflation since 1996.* The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that elementary, secondary and special education teachers earned $33.06 per hour in 2006, compared with the $31.30 that other professional employees earned.

It may come as a surprise, but this study also found that teachers enjoyed a higher hourly pay rate than everyone except business and financial management employees.*

Teachers have long vacation periods, several personal and sick days and work a shorter day than most other professionals. We can only properly understand these hours away from work as a benefit of the teaching profession. That is, a teacher who earns $45,000 to work for nine months is clearly better paid than a nurse who gets the same salary for working 12 months.

The Perks

  • Benefits and Pensions: In addition to your regular pay, one of the benefits of being a teacher is the impressive benefits package you'll enjoy. Schools offer comprehensive health and life insurance, as well as government pension plans to many public school teachers.
  • The Work Schedule: The one benefit that teachers love most about teaching is the time off. This is no nine-to-five job, and every teacher looks forward to the end of the school year -- and two months off.
  • Summer Vacation: Who says only students look forward to summer vacation? Teachers in states with traditional school calendars enjoy more than two months off each summer.
  • Holidays Off: Teachers don't have to work on holidays like other professionals. You may not think of it as one of the important benefits of being a teacher, but if you've ever had to work while others enjoyed a holiday off, you really should appreciate this more.

* Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

1 comment

  • Comment Link steve reed Friday, 13 April 2012 16:01 posted by steve reed

    I thought you had come to understand that your simplistic formula is - well - simplistic. Teachers regularly work 60 hour weeks (even mediocre teachers can't help working over 40. So, while a chemist has worked only ten months at a regular job, in the same ten months - teachers have worked 14 months. And lets think of the responsibility. Are you actually saying a chemist's responsibility is equal to a teachers.
    You're smarter than this.

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