Opinion: Teacher Salaries, not meeting the standard in light of other professions

Mr. Bryan Claussen


Photo courtesy of Chron.com

A great teacher does not just force facts into the minds of students.  A great teacher can inspire students, help them understand something that will help them in life, or even convince them to pursue their dreams.  Teaching is a very important, yet very underappreciated profession.

A global study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said, “Teachers across 34 developed countries make about 22% less, on average, than their full-time counterparts with similar education levels who have chosen to do pretty much anything else with their lives.”  In today’s society, teaching isn’t a desirable job and people that go into the profession are taking a pay cut compared to other fields.

The education firm Pearson ranked developed countries’ public education systems. They rated US as average and said that, “the high ranking countries tend to offer teachers a higher status in society and have a ‘culture’ of education.”  

The average high school teacher salary in the US is $56,310 and the bottom 10% of teachers earn $37,540. However, teachers at CVU are more fortunate. Salaries start at $42,675, but the average teacher has a sizable 13 years of experience and makes $74,409.  At CVU, teacher salaries can go as high as $85,691 after 19 years.

However, these figures are still below the salaries of adults in other fields with equivalent education and experience levels.  Many young adults choosing their career may be turned away from teaching due to the lower salary and lower status compared to other jobs. We need the best teachers we can get, so the salaries of teachers should be raised to make teaching a more appealing job, and to attract more people that would be great teachers.  In the long term, teaching being a desirable job will benefit everyone because the students of today are our leaders of tomorrow.