No matter how powerful your passion for teaching, you might wonder how your pay compares to that of others working in the field. Knowing the national statistical averages of teacher's salaries for different education levels provided in the reports of both the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Center on Education Statistics can help you determine if your pay is adequate.
According to 2010 data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for teachers at the overall primary school level was $51,380. The 2010 salary for teachers at the kindergarten level averaged $48,800, while elementary school teachers for the same year received a mean pay of $51,660 annually. The National Center on Education Statistics reported a slightly higher average wage for elementary teacher, reporting a median of $54,764 for 2010 to 2011.
Salary data from 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics also suggested that teachers at the secondary level received an average salary of $53,230. Again, the National Center on Education Statistics reported a higher midpoint 2010–2011 salary of $55,241.
The salary for teachers at the college or university level averages, according to the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics, $62,050 per year. The National Center for Education Statistics, however, reports an annual pay average of $75,500. The National Center for Education Statistics broke this average down further to provide a range of salaries, from the average wage of $56,500 for beginning or non-tenure faculty to $105,000 for full professors.
These reported national numbers reflect the average across teachers who have been teaching a various number of years, so you can expect your first year teaching salary to be lower than this average. Starting salaries vary by city and state. According to National Center for Education Statistics, for example, the 2011–2012 salary for a first-year teacher in Montana began at $26,734, while a starting salary in New Jersey totaled $48,101. These numbers also don't reflect any additional benefits packages that factor into a teacher's total compensation. For example, while the National Center for Education Statistics reports that the average salary of a post-secondary educator is $75,500, it also reports that the average total compensation for these positions totals $97,200.
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- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: High School Teachers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Postsecondary Teachers
- National Center for Education Statistics: Estimated Average Annual Salary of Teachers in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: Selected years, 1959-60 through 2010-2011
- National Center for Education Statistics: Faculty Salaries, Benefits and Total Compensation
- National Education Association: 2011–2012 Average Teacher Starting Salary by State
- National Center for Education Statistics: Average Total Compensation for Full-Time Instructional Faculty on 9- and 10-month Contracts at Postsecondary Degree-Granting Institutions
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