The Shameful Truth About Teacher Salaries

Teachers across the world are not paid what they deserve for helping educate the public. It would be nice if people would be honest about the value of education and then pay educators that amount. Teachers bear the burden of teaching new generations about education, life skills, manners and more. They deserve compensation! It would be easy to demonize countries who don’t pay well. However, it is important to remember that teachers are typically paid through taxes. Most people don’t like to pay taxes, no matter the benefits it creates.According to Business Insider, a starting teacher’s salary in 2017 was around $44,000, reaching $68,000 in full earnings. Depending on the region, a teacher may earn less or more than the above. A salary as low as $44,000 can barely support a frugal person, let alone a family. $68,000 is better, but this amount does reveal the importance of educators in our country.

Obviously, teachers don’t do their job for the money…

After learning this statistic, I began to wonder: how does the US salary compare with teacher salaries in other countries? According to the OECD, the US is one of the higher paying countries for teachers. Luxembourg pays their teachers the most with different levels of pay for experience level. The top pay rate for elementary teachers in Luxembourg is $122,000 per year!

Some of the other top paying countries include: Switzerland, Korea, Germany, Austria, Canada, Ireland, Japan, and Portugal. The top pay rate in Switzerland is $84,000, $79,000 in Korea, and as for the other countries, around $65,000. Taking salary as the only indication of society valuing teachers, Luxembourg is the only country treating their teachers right. European countries, such as Sweden, most likely pay teachers fairly well, but do not quite make the top list.

Image source: OECD, early childhood education, start

Image source: OECD, early childhood education, 15 years’ experience

The worst paying countries are New Zealand, Italy, Chile, Mexico, Greece, Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic. In the Slovak Republic, the best teachers can earn is $19,000! The poorest regions of the world may not even have statistics on salary because education is not a primary concern for residents.

Visit Business Insider for information on teacher salaries in different countries, or the OECD to find data and charts on teacher salaries.