Pay Comparisons

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeacherShelly, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Just annoying, that's all.

    Median US Salaries for Five "High Paying" Jobs that Don't Require a Bachelor's Degree (source: Yahoo):
    - Dental Hygienist: $58,350
    - Fashion Designer: $55,840
    - Diagnostic Medical Sonographer: $52,490
    - Forensic Science Technician: $44,010
    - Paralegal: $39,130

    Median US Salary for Elementary School Teachers:
    - $38,859

    I don't have to remind anyone that not only is a Bachelor's degree needed, but more. When people say teachers are paid fairly, I just don't understand it.
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    A good deal of it is simple supply and demand: there is no shortage of qualified teachers willing to take jobs that pay at or below the median you quote. Medical technicians of all stripes are much harder to come by.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's very sad. :(
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    It is unfair. Teachers are so important, but we just aren't paid the way we should be.. It doesn't make any sense...
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I guess we need to make sure that we vote for people who will understand how important it is that we get paid fairly.
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    And you have to realized that these are median salaries. My mom was a paralegal for 10 yrs in a small town and only cracked $32,000 in her last 4-5 yrs of working. When I start teaching again in the fall, I will start at $42,000, a considerable amount above my mom who worked longer than I have.
     
  8. TampaTeacher

    TampaTeacher Comrade

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    I'd loooove to be paid more - no doubt about it. But it doesn't bother me if someone without a bachelor's degree gets a great salary. Many have hard-earned trade skills that shouldn't be discredited. I bet you have to be pretty smart and skilled to work in a forensics science lab. There are plenty of people who make more than I do, and they deserve their salaries. I just think we teachers deserve to be making those awesome salaries, too! But I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir! :)

    Also, I'm a little suspicious of the list. It doesn't seem to take into account that while the average employed fashion designer makes a good living, I bet there are TONS of them who can't find jobs.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I also have a friend whose mom has been teaching for something like 30 years or so. She makes about $80,000 a year... So, at least our salaries do increase in time. That's a good feeling for sure...
     
  10. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    And here I was happy that I was making 30,000 this year and add another 2,500 for coaching.
     
  11. love2teachk

    love2teachk Companion

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    The avg. is that much for teachers...I won't make that ANY time soon and I;ve been teaching 4 years already!! And I know SOME teachers max at 80,000, maybe in Pittsburgh Public Schools, but no where else that I know of! I am in very southern Va and will be lucky to make 50,000 after 30 years! :( And I know the cost of living is a little higher there, but not THAT much!!! I have even more seeing people who play games (athletes) or play pretend (actors) get millions of dollars for 2 hours work of work. Now THAT is irritating!
     
  12. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    And for that 2 hours of work we get to hear about their sex lives, what color carpet they have, see them without their makeup, see them fat, skinny and anorexic (all on the same day!), where they shop, how much they spend, etc etc.

    Oh, and THEY are called role models.....ugh, makes me mad! I am so tired of my kids, my students living in a world where they honestly believe they have a great chance of living that life......so they don't have to work hard in school (my students all think they will be in the NFL or NBC or a superstar) maybe 1% will get an honest shot......the rest, nada. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR


    The NEA has put out a list of which canidates support the minimum wage for teachers be set at $40,000. None of them really support it, but ask them about vouchers or NCLB and they are all over it.
     
  13. rainyday

    rainyday Rookie

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    I don't think a lot of teachers do it for the money?
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Of course we don't. But it would be nice to be financially compensated for all our hard work and education, just like folks in other fields.

    Plus, unlike most other fields, we are expected to pay out of pocket for classroom essentials. You would never ask a doctor to supply his own syringes or clipboards, but teachers are asked to provide everything from pencils to staples, and everything in between.
     
  15. elizak83

    elizak83 Companion

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    I'm in my 2nd year and I make 45,000...but I also work in an area with a high cost of living (near D.C.)
    However...it would be the same as making about 35,000 anywhere else..
    My boyfriend (that I live with) works for his Dad and makes almost 100,000...
    He complains all the time how teachers aren't paid well enough (He sees how much I work.)

    I agree..I supplement my income teaching an after school program and working during the summer.
     
  16. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I only make $31,000! I wish I made $38,000. If you don't get a masters degree here-you top out at $38,000 and can never make more than that. I'm getting my masters so it isn't an issue, but it seems like so much less than others have said they make.
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Just keep in mind that larger cities tend to pay more than smaller towns or rural areas.
     
  18. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    You can only top out at $38,000?!? Wow, here they don't top out, the scale is based on years experience and the most is between $60,000-$70,000.
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    So in Texas you could make $70,000 without a Masters degree?
     
  20. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Ok, I just looked and in the district I sub in, it tops out at $59,000 w/o a masters and a little over $60,000 with. Still a far cry from $38,000!
     
  21. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    As an outside observer, I don't really think teachers should be paid that much. Between 30-40K starting with up to a 5K bonus, between 60-80K and a 10K bonus for a midrange teacher, and 90-110K and up to 20K for over 12 years or so. Nothing extravagant.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    In many districts, teachers top out at 60-80k. That means 25+ years of experience and a Masters +32-60 graduate credits.
     
  23. love2teachk

    love2teachk Companion

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    Holy Goodness, if I could make in the 60's I'd be rich! And I don't think any teacher gets in it for the money (if they have they haven't researched their profession well). But it would be really nice if we were compensated fairly. Like Cassie753 said, we have to supply lots of our own things. And we aren't just teachers-we are often the parents to these kids too. And it would be so fabulous if I was paid enough to pay for the health insurance premium from my district. A family is $900 A MONTH. And that's NOT including the deductibles!!! Seriously, that is more than a 1/3 of my paycheck. It is things like health insurance that make a 33,000 a year job sound like crap!
     
  24. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    You are right, however some of us have to live, we have to pay for a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear. That is difficult on a teachers salary, especially a new teacher. Some of us do not have a spouse and we are on our own.
     
  25. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    This is my first year teaching. So with 0 years experience in a rural community I'm making $32,000.

    I've thought about going to school for ultrasonography. You can work part-time and still make a decent living. That would be nice if I could do that in the summer. It's just finding the time to go to school for that and my continuing ed.

    Yeah, I didn't get into teaching because of the paycheck. I got into the profession because I enjoy it. However, it would be nice to be paid as a professional.
     
  26. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    You also have to consider that teachers do have the summers off plus a week at Christmas and Easter. I agree that no one gets into it for the money and that there should definitely be a budget for teachers to supplements their classroom needs.

    Here in SE VA, the city where I live begins at approx 38K with a 2,500 add on for a MS. If you cross the state line into a very rural part of NC (30 minute drive and no Walmart in that county...lol!), the pay is about 10K less. Housing costs are cheaper there, but everything else is in line with VA prices. Most of those who live there cross the line to come to work everyday.

    I was a glorified clerk typist IV in a government job with 16 years experience making 28K prior to getting my degree. My husband is a laborer in a paper mill and makes 70K+ with no degree after 20 years.
     
  27. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    It is so irritating that my husband earned over 100K last year while I made around 34K as a first year teacher basically living at the school. He does nothing. Really. Many, many, many days he does absolutely zero minutes of work and probably averages only two hours of work a shift. I know you can't or at least shouldn't always compare careers and wages, but I can't help it!
     
  28. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Welll... in my personal experience as a career changer, here's what happened. I left the technology marketing field after 12 years, well into the six-figures. I will now enter the teaching profession and make roughly what the administrative assistants make back in the technology world. No, they don't get summers off, and no they don't have that warm fuzzy feeling we teachers bask in all day at work (!).

    But I still think the "teachers aren't in it for the money" rationale for low pay is unfair. Don't plastic surgeons feel the inner joy when they right an unsightly nose? Don't movie directors get a jolt of joie de vivre when their movies screen?

    Since I decided to give myself the gift of pursuing my dream career, I have had so many moments of joy being with the students and figuring out how to teach each of them. But I don't think I owe part of what would be a fair paycheck back because I enjoyed my work. If I do, I guess back in my old career when my marketing campaign sold a record number of servers I should have been paid less than when I flopped! My boss, "Here's a bonus, you clearly didn't enjoy that failure." Or, "We're docking you 20% this month. You were paid in smiles and a warm glow in your heart." Hahaha!

    No one in any other industry would accept the argument that they are paid less because their job is emotionally rewarding.
     
  29. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I agree with TeacherShelly. I will also add here that we are educating future leaders, doctors, lawyers, etc. We are the backbone to society, and we should definitely be paid accordingly. Obviously we enjoy what we do, which is why we are doing what we're doing in spite of the low pay, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't want to be paid accordingly.
     
  30. bakingdiva

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    AMEN!
     
  31. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    3 sons, I hate to tell you that it takes MUCH MUCH more to make 110K than 12 years!! Many places in this country never make it to that much money! I bet you would be shocked to learn just how little your child(rens) teacher(s) make.
    I work in a affluent area and will be working at least 20 years before making anything close to what your "nothing extravagant" salary calls for.

    And just remember, we buy many things for our kids....paper, crayons, holiday gifts, stickers, decorations, books, notebooks, tissues, baby wipes, post-its, copy paper, ink for printers etc.....
     
  32. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    3Sons, it would be nice if your calculations were true.
     
  33. Abagail

    Abagail New Member

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    Hi there,

    Yes, sadly in the US, salaries are just awful. In Canada (Ontario) it is very different. I have been teaching for 6 years and make $65 0000.00 I think American teachers need to have their Unions fight for better pay - it's the only way.

    Hang in there....
    Abagail
     
  34. elizak83

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    That sounds like my boyfriend....I work my butt off and he has a "cushy" job where he doesn't do much at all.
    Oh well...I definetely didnt get into the profession for the money.
     
  35. DaveF

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    Nobody should be angry about another persons wage. If you don't think that you are getting paid enough, vote with your feet. Get another job that pays you what you think you are worth.

    I am a 1st year teacher and a former business owner. A 52 week year with a 40 hr. work week is 2080 hrs. This is the number of hours a salary is based on in the private business world. That is 260 (8 hr.) work days. (The best part about owning your own business is that you get to work half-days. You get to pick which 12 hrs. you would like to work.)

    My school year is 180 days. My contract says I have to be at school for 7.5 hrs, but there is a 15 minute recess and a 45 min. lunch. So 6.5 X 180= 1170 hrs. Now, I work many more hours than 1170, but certainly nowhere near 2080 hrs.

    Also, you will never get stuck working on Christmas, New Years etc. You KNOW your schedule in advance, nobody is going to get sick and make you work on a holiday. You can plan for vacations etc.

    I guess I don't feel oppressed. :sorry:
     
  36. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    It is widely known that teachers are underpaid. As I said earlier, I am doing this (teaching) because it is what I love to do. None of us got into this profession for the money; however, we do have the right to recognize that our pay does not compare to other professions. As far as hours, your contract depicts the hours that you will be paid for. It does not, however, depict all of the additional unpaid hours that you will inevitably work...
     
  37. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    It's not that I feel oppressed, not at all. I feel liberated leaving a job that was unfulfilling for one that I love. I feel lucky, yes lucky, that I can AFFORD to be a teacher. That's what is incongruent to me. It shouldn't be a barrier to entry (take a 75% pay cut) to do something MORE valuable (I hope) to society than making computer hardware seem more appealing. Hahahaha!

    I don't begrudge any paralegal her salary. I just noticed that the salaries are higher, on average, for many jobs that don't require much formal education than for teachers. Interesting, isn't it?
     
  38. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Well said, TeacherShelly. I agree with you 100%.
     
  39. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    Here in my county, I have been at the top of our scale for 11 years. We have steps and raises with each step, until you reach 20 years, then there are NO more steps. I get a cost of living raise each year (usually 3 or 4%)but that is it. That is very discouraging because usually by the time you have put in your 20 years (retirement is 30 years or 62 yrs of age), you HAVE to stay to get your full benefits. BUT, back in the dinosaur days when I began teaching, I made $7000 and thought I was rich! My son, who is in college, just began delivering pizzas, and between his hourly wage, gas allowance and tips, he makes close to $20 an hour! I worked years and years before I made that hourly wage!
     
  40. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    You guys might be interested in international comparisons... though, of course, a lot of countries differ greatly in terms of working conditions and schedule.
     
  41. sadundercover

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    My husband and I know more people without bachelor degrees or higher who are making wonderful salaries. My husband does really well, but he has a dangerous job with often weird hours-mandatory OT. It is not easy at all. His background includes military and police training and about 40 or 50 college credits. Many of the other law enforcement officers in our area do not need a BA-some towns are starting to require it, but not all. The people we know work in law enforcement and trades, for the most part. I know someone with a GED who makes more than many teachers I know. I know someone with a Masters who makes 38K. So, I guess we never can predict. I do know that I have seen MANY job ads requiring a Bachelors and they are offering less than 30K.

    I don't have a problem with people's salaries. Just lazy people who do not do their jobs and do not appreciate them, but that is an entirely different thread.....But, I do not understand why from K-high school (graduated 16 years ago) we were told you HAVE to go to college. Many of my classmates did not and a lot of them are earning close to 6 figures. They have really good jobs and are happy.

    Because I can't find a teaching job, I am actually thinking about going to school for paralegal studies and I must have the BA to enroll in this particular course. Apparently, employers now like the BA/certificate combo. The average salary here for this field, to start, is $33-40 K. It will vary greatly. All of these jobs will result in salaries based on where you work and who you work for.

    All I want is a salary where I can live comfortably and be content at the end of the day. Don't we all?
     

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