Are Today's Teachers Underpaid?

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. – Henry B. Adams

photo via The Canadian Teachers Federation website

photo via The Canadian Teachers Federation website

Teachers today are part of one of the country’s largest career fields. They are, however, among some of the lowest paid professionals. Teacher Salaries can range on a variety of factors, but many of our nations schools are underfunded and overcrowded. Sadly, that makes this career choice less attractive to many of those who could potentially become highly qualified teachers.

There is hope – the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that salaries for qualified teachers in urban schools are on the rise. In addition to a large increase in education funding (especially for teachers in lower-income urban areas), some states have started programs to improve their early childhood education programs. This boost in funding is expected to increase interest in applicants for teaching jobs in impacted locations.

Although change may be coming, many agree that teachers aren’t always compensated for the long hours of work that follows them home every night. I remember one of my own teachers complaining to our class how she never seemed able to escape us, even in her sleep. A large number of teachers, even at community colleges, work part time, but don’t be fooled by the relatively few hours per week. Teachers have constant homework – grading tests, planning lessons, and other administrative coordinated tasks.

Becoming a highly qualified teacher is one way to ensure a fair paycheck and possibly even a bigger income. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “being deemed highly qualified means three things: having a bachelor’s degree, having full state certification, and proving knowledge of each subject taught.” These qualifications help to produce professional educators. A teacher eager to earn more might consider continuing their education either online or at a traditional campus school. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees granted in education has spiked steadily, which is one way to increase a teaching salary.

via degrees.info








9 Responses to “Are Today’s Teachers Underpaid?”

  1. Aminah says:

    Good for you and you mother Jimbo!I graduated from college in 1998 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. I taught for two years on a provisional certificate because I had trouble passing my Praxis II exam. Your mother most likely became a teacher when it WAS NOT a requirement to take a certification test. Those “older” teachers were granted life time certification, and were basically “set for life” with a career. These days, no matter how well you do in school…it all comes down to passing that test! It’s great that your mom was able to have alot of time off, and that she did not struggle with her teaching career. The bottom line is, it SUCKS being a teacher these days. The “good ole days” are over, and teachers ARE underpaid. There is a shortage of male instructors because they can’t provide for their families on a “teacher’s salary” alone. It’s a shame that I chose a profession that I am so unhappy with…I should have become a pharmacist!

  2. Ashley Yankovich says:

    I think that teachers are underpaid to the point of ridicule. Teachers are the bases of civilization. If they were not there to pass on the skills of humanity to people of all ages, we would not be the prosperous nation that we are today. Want an example? The average teacher is paid $30,700 – $45,296. In some cases, that’s less than you would make at Publix. The cornerstones of the country, and ultimately the world, should be paid much more than the meager salaries they make these days. That means that the government should set aside more money towards paying them. Besides, it’s a bit ironic that those officials got where they were by going to school, because of teachers, and those same people want to squander their money and not pay them. This situation could be avoided, but it has been allowed to run on. It shouldn’t be.

  3. Ashley Yankovich says:

    I think that teachers are underpaid to the point of ridicule. Teachers are the bases of civilization. If they were not there to pass on the skills of humanity to people of all ages, we would not be the prosperous nation that we are today. Want an example? The average teacher is paid $30,700 – $45,296. In some cases, that’s less than you would make at Publix. The cornerstones of the country, and ultimately the world, should be paid much more than the meager salaries they make these days. That means that the government should set aside more money towards paying them. Besides, it’s a bit ironic that those officials got where they were by going to schoo, because of teachers, and those same people want to squander their money and not pay them. This situation could be avoided, but it has been allowed to run on. It shouldn’t be.

    – Ashley Yankovich

  4. Mike says:

    I agree with jimBo. Teachers I know, and I know a few, don’t work any harder than other professionals, probably less. They have great retirement benefits and lots of time off. I think they are overpaid if you look at the big picture!

  5. jimBo says:

    My mom was a teacher. She was not underpaid. And she is retired now making almost as much per year as what she did teaching. Plus, she got three months off every year. And she never really had that much to do at night after school. Maybe 1 or 2 hours a couple nights a week. That was it. Also, here is an article I found on the subject.

  6. Greg says:

    Why don’t people realize that teacher salaries are determined by supply and demand and not some arbitary number that people think teachers should be paid.

    For example, doctors earn a high wage, but what if tomorrow there were twice as many doctors in the US. I somehow think they would be earning less as they would lose patients to the new doctors. But yet doctors are important, but they don’t get to set their own price.

  7. Shelton says:

    Teachers are incredibly under-paid. They have a very difficult job and a huge responsibility, which their pay does not reflect. They have to educate, and sometime raise the next generation of America’s citizens, workers, parents, etc. Their pay should reflect the importance of their role in our society.


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